Calling your players out to engage roleplay

Asisreo

Explorer
Has anyone, as a DM, called their more quiet players out during mundane task to eek out roleplay? Like, when one party member is talking to an NPC do you ask what the others are doing in the meantime? I think its a good strategy to get the NPC to react more organically to the party and have more player engagement in the more mundane tasks. For example, one party member is talking to a quest-giving NPC when you ask the wizard "What are you doing" and they say "petting my owl familiar." Now, the NPC goes "Hm? an' a mystical bird, eh? ooh, methinks 'e gots a good eye for scoutin' from above at nighttime. Perfect! 'e'll have 'im on watch!" and maybe the player goes "I don't trust you with my pet why don't we do this: (explains an alternate strategy)." Now the player has been engaged where they probably wouldn't be and they were doing something besides stare at the wall (or their phones!) because they didn't think they had anything to contribute. What do you think?
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
"Calling out" sounds a little much, except I do mention their characters by name, as well as have it standard for them to reply in the action, even if short. I also try to have little side stuff for them to do, esp if they mention something they want to do.
 
Encourage is probably the word thats more appropriate. I try to initially, might nudge them a little but usually theyll either warm up to it in time, take to it naturally or sometimes the quieter players are content to remain in the background and play their character by the numbers. Im fine with whatever unless the player is truly dead weight and adds nothing to the game.
 

Arilyn

Hero
Sounds like good GMing to me. Some players hang back because of discomfort or reluctance to be in the limelight during roleplaying scenes. Your example allows an easing into the scene without putting too much pressure on the player.
 

Asisreo

Explorer
Yeah, I didn't notice how aggressive "Calling out" sounds. I certainly mean encouragement to roleplay without having them lag behind. I know the first time I RP'd, I had all these thoughts about what I wanted to do but I didn't want to feel like interrupt to narrate how I'm meditating or something.
 
If a player has been quiet for a while, yeah, I will ask something like "how does your character feel about the news that an orc horde is two days from the city?" or "while they're talking to NPC, that ale you ordered arrived; tell us about the unusual stein it showed up in." I generally try to give them a prompt to go on, to help them along.

But some people just don't want to RP, or don't feel comfortable with public speaking, so I'll try to be gentle about it.
 
It also works as a player. Finding the groups "Leader" or more social players, and asking them to try to engaged with all their teammates more regularly. Just simple stuff, like asking their advice on a situation, or asking them in character to use their character's skills, or light-banter roleplaying in general. Players talking to players tends to feel a lot less aggressive, and being called out by the DM feels a lot like being called out by a teacher.
 
If they're not as comfortable talking in character, allowing them to think in a visual way has the potential to be easier for them. But in general I'm a big fan of putting some of the storytelling duties back on players now and then.

Interesting I never thought to reverse the situation as such, usually its me as the DM describing the stein. Might have to try
 
If they're not as comfortable talking in character, allowing them to think in a visual way has the potential to be easier for them. But in general I'm a big fan of putting some of the storytelling duties back on players now and then.
Seems like a good way to get the players more involved and take some of the burden off of the DM.
 
Definitely. But, going back to the stein example, if the player says "The stein is carved in the likeness of my hated nemesis, the Duchess Kriegetti," then the DM has to suddenly figure a way to work Kriegetti into whatever's going on. It takes work, and can require you to think on your feet, but the sparking of ideas you might have not come up with on your own is well worth it.

Seems like a good way to get the players more involved and take some of the burden off of the DM.
 

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