How Do You Tell a Group: "Maybe This Isn't for Us?"

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
But if they can't be bothered to right down the names of their main suspects in a demonic cult investigation that is poised to bring about the destruction of the city in a matter of days, why should I bother? It's clearly not connecting with them, and I doubt if changing systems would impact that much.
Yeah, that's a clear message! And as a GM it is FRUSTRATING. When this happens to me, it always feels personal.
 

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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Yes. I have it, though I was never able to play it. Still have my hard copies and a load of PDFs from a recent Humble Bundle.
The benefit of sticking with the current edition would be that I get to use the books I've already bought (which are like 10 volumes of this campaign) and it's all automated on Foundry.
Converting it to Savage Worlds or a previous edition would be work. Then putting all that in Foundry would be additional work. Plus teaching the players a new system.
I mean, absolutely yes, I will do it if they want to stick with the campaign. But if they can't be bothered to right down the names of their main suspects in a demonic cult investigation that is poised to bring about the destruction of the city in a matter of days, why should I bother? It's clearly not connecting with them, and I doubt if changing systems would impact that much.
And if you're not getting into the story, mystery, and politics of The Enemy Within, I don't think there's a point. It's like trying to play Tomb of Horrors without traps.
it really does sound like they want a fairly simple fight game, what used to be referred as a beer and pretzels type campaign. A fairly railroady D&D campaign, Not "The Enemy Within"
I don't know if your are comfortable with that type of campaign though. There may a playstyle mismatch at work here.
 


Retreater

Legend
it really does sound like they want a fairly simple fight game, what used to be referred as a beer and pretzels type campaign. A fairly railroady D&D campaign, Not "The Enemy Within"
I don't know if your are comfortable with that type of campaign though. There may a playstyle mismatch at work here.
I can be comfortable in a variety of styles. I just don't want to be running the wrong game for the wrong playstyle. I can adapt easier if the system and the campaign adventure aren't in opposition to what the players want.
As I've told them, I'd be happy to run them with 5e, OSR, Pathfinder, etc. They just need to tell me what they want to play.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I can be comfortable in a variety of styles. I just don't want to be running the wrong game for the wrong playstyle. I can adapt easier if the system and the campaign adventure aren't in opposition to what the players want.
As I've told them, I'd be happy to run them with 5e, OSR, Pathfinder, etc. They just need to tell me what they want to play.
Sometimes the players need to have these growing pains to find out. It can be hard because GMs and players are often at different points in this journey. This might be them wanting the classic D&D experience, or them trying to get out of their comfort zone and look around.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I can be comfortable in a variety of styles. I just don't want to be running the wrong game for the wrong playstyle. I can adapt easier if the system and the campaign adventure aren't in opposition to what the players want.
As I've told them, I'd be happy to run them with 5e, OSR, Pathfinder, etc. They just need to tell me what they want to play.
Aside from Frostmaiden was this group involved in any other of the AP's you have run, any you consider successful?
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
A couple longshots here:

1) Go full Skyrim on them: give them quest titles and quest waypoints. Also, present problems in multiple-choice, not sandboxy "what do you do?"

2) Assign player jobs: leader, chronicler, mapper, and quartermaster. Priority to the first two; the leader's responsibility is moving the PCs forward, while the chronicler takes those important notes. Maybe if only one PC should be taking the notes, it would add more urgency.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Welcome back, not see you post in a long time.
(Hiya, and thanks! Since I took a break from ENW I've written two GUMSHOE games, run two 10-yr-long D&D campaigns (and started two more Swords of the Serpentine campaigns), played and run a TON of indie RPGs, watched 124 crappy shark movies (all during the pandemic), and played in a weekly 5e game. I'm lucky, and in a good gaming place. It's good be back home, even if I'm mostly in the not-D&D forum right now.)
 
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hawkeyefan

Legend
I can't help but think we'd be having a better time doing something else. In this case, would you put your foot down and say you want to run another game once we get to a good stopping point (probably in 1 or 2 sessions anyway)? Would you let them keep playing it this way, being frustrated? Would you try to do even less hand-holding and just let them fail?

A few questions. You may have touched on some of this in your responses, but I want to be clear.

First, what are the pros? You've listed the cons. What are the good things about the game? And I don't mean some perceived good thing like "we like our characters" that's coupled with "we don't know what to do with these characters". Think of the best moments in your recent sessions....what was happening that had everyone smiling or engaged?

Second, would it maybe help to totally abandon the prepared story and just have the characters go off on their own adventures? I don't know if you're comfortable with winging it, or with homebrewing things, and I don't expect that the WFRPG leans all that much into that kind of play.... but maybe the issue is with the Enemy Within adventure path. It sounds like your group has enjoyed adventure paths before, but maybe this one just isn't the right match. Mysteries are tricky and quickly fall apart if they don't grab the players. Find something else for them, or just start winging it and going off script from the books.

Finally.... are you enjoying this in any way? If no, then I say have a conversation and let the players know this isn't working. Don't "blame" them for being unengaged or anything like that, just say it seems no one is into it, and that you're not enjoying running it, and you think you'd be better off spending your time on another game.
 

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