D&D General RP style Problem solver?

Oofta

Legend
Sometimes DM and players just aren't a good match. Nothing against either.

The player wants a world that feels lived in and real. It's not realistic that practically everyone they talk to has a plot hook. Sometimes an NPC should just be a shopkeeper.

On a related note, I always keep a list of random NPC (and business) names. If I have to come up with something on the fly I just check my "notes".
 

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Shiroiken

Legend
It might be that you set up towns and areas that are plagued with problems, which didn't seem "realistic" to them. If a third of everyone they meet needs help, it might feel overwhelming. In general, I try to keep most NPCs as flavorful background, with only a few that initially serve as adventure hooks, but use the player's favorite ones later in the campaign (makes the players more invested). It really should be a minor issue, but obviously it mattered a lot to them.

As for names... most DMs only name "important" NPCs, and they should be try to be a bit understanding about it. I started keeping a list of names to use when needed, because I had a pair of players that used this tendency to metagame investigation adventures.
 

Immoralkickass

Adventurer
I think its complete horseshit. Roleplaying and Solving problems aren't mutually exclusive. What does he expect? Sit around all day, do funny accents and play out his character's quirks all day long? Usually the PCs have a role, whether they are heroes, mercenaries, or even evil baddies, we signed up to play a game, and we want to do stuff, not attend acting classes.

And just because a problem exists, doesn't mean you must solve it. It might not be your responsibility, might not be worth the effort, or maybe you just don't give a damn. Or maybe its not even a problem in your eyes. Its not a video game, they don't magically appear in your quest log bugging you to finish it.
 



Maybe this player is too much problem solver, once he get a quest or a problem to solve he don’t want to be bothered by any other problems!
 

On a related note, I always keep a list of random NPC (and business) names. If I have to come up with something on the fly I just check my "notes".
Yeah I have done that too. In this case when they went to the guards it took me a second, (we play online) and I have a tab open most of the time with a random name generator onit... but hitting random human, reading it and coming up with it in an instant is NOT my best trait... but I do pride myself on being able to make an NPC with a personality within a minute or less.

I guess the question for your friend becomes less "what went wrong" as "what would it look like if things were going right?" Your friend seems pretty well able to identify what they don't like, but it seems you are struggling to find a different path forward that would be more welcome to them. What would an ideal "roleplaying" session look like to them? Since they see problem-solving as disconnected from what they consider "roleplaying" to be, I mean. They put emphasis on what kinds of characters were "named" (which, as Prabe said, I suspect is a proxy for "characters you developed ahead of time as opposed to characters you improvised") and what interactions came from those characters. What mix would they prefer, in terms of developed ("named") NPCs and their interests?
He did (we do a question and answer after each session and each campaign to figure out how to do better even our BEST games can be made better somehow... and sometimes it is nice to be praised) give some examples of how HE would run a game. he would have a family owned tavern with husband wife and two children that the parents are different races (like dwarf and Tiefling was the example he gave) and the teenage children would be half breeds with some magic talent (like NPC 1st or 0th level sorcerers) and they are not having issues but each could be named, have dreams and aspirations and hobbies... but nothing the PCs could do for them. Later in the same town the local Apothecary or Alchemist could have an interesting potion, but it come with a story of when he or she was an adventurer and they discovered how to make it. again no hook nothing they need... he felt that if our group had that town the mixed race family would be outcasts and being picked on for being strange, and that alchemist/apothecary would need ingredients that PCs would need to gather...

he also told us about (and no offensive to him, he is awesome this sounded boring) a campaign where they spend 6 sessions (it was monthly so 6 months out of game time) in a farming area where the family farm had a dozen workers and the DM had names personalities, even pictures for 20ish NPCs ranging from the 6year old to the old man who used to be an adventurer and now just wanted to pick vegies. they talked to them and no one attacked and no one had anything to hide and no one had a quest... but they got to RP interacting with them and getting to find out about each other (the characters the players had) by role playing dinner with different groups of them and games.
another player told him that sounded more like a session of down time to us, a few hours of rp, not multi sessions... and he agreed that was what he found weird we would spend months fighting or problem solving then 'skip' the real RP part of the role playing game calling it down time...


It might be that you set up towns and areas that are plagued with problems, which didn't seem "realistic" to them. If a third of everyone they meet needs help, it might feel overwhelming. In general, I try to keep most NPCs as flavorful background, with only a few that initially serve as adventure hooks, but use the player's favorite ones later in the campaign (makes the players more invested). It really should be a minor issue, but obviously it mattered a lot to them.
yeah I can understand that... but in the town in question I did also have names for the shop keeper the inn owner/worker the mayor and the owlin librarian, none of them had issues, but also the PCs didn't need anything so the didn't go shopping so none of the shop keepers came in. Also the party did not have a wizard, and as such they didn't seek out the library because even though they passed it, no one was up for that.

As for names... most DMs only name "important" NPCs, and they should be try to be a bit understanding about it. I started keeping a list of names to use when needed, because I had a pair of players that used this tendency to metagame investigation adventures.
Yeah I do a mix. I also am (maybe too much so) honest when something doesn't matter. If the PCs are investigating the murder of the local apothecary and they go to someone I didn't expect I will make up a name and personality... if they go to 2 or 3 people I didn't expect I will start to hint to them they are off track by saying something like "oh, yeah you want to talk to the lamp lighter... he is a pretty generic human, and he gives you his name but it's not important so Im not going to make it up you know it in game" and I will not give him any intresting quirks... weather they say it out of game or not they will normally quickly correct and realize that it is a dead end. I say normally becuse boy have my players gone WAY off track and ended up with me improving a game I didn't prep when they decided that the _____ from _____ must be involved and headed off to somewhere I had not planned.
 

It a kind of video game trope. If you want to know which NPCs are worth talking to float the cursor over them and see if they have a name.
I have joked in the past 'yeah there is still have a marker on your map from that npc' or 'yeah, this npc is out of dialog'

and twice in almost 30 years my players threw me such a curve ball that I told them 'give me a sec, you just hit the loading screen in D&D' well I went through my notes/rule books. ONe player that has not been able to play (she has twins now) for a few years used to brag at Cons that was a point of pride she found something that made the DM do that.
 

Maybe this player is too much problem solver, once he get a quest or a problem to solve he don’t want to be bothered by any other problems!
I would think so... except on average each town on my map had 5-9 'hooks' some fleshed out more then others, and there were ruins and dungeons littering the map, and on average the PCs took 1 or 2 hooks per town and half the time avoided the 'strange ruins' or 'old haunted house'. So it's not like he was pushing to 'complete everything' he seemed fine ignoring hooks Players were not interested in.

the game was MUCH more a sandbox then I normally run... but because of that it also was more an island then a continent. The entire map of the land mass the PCs were on was only 500 mile north to south and 350 mile east to west... then there were 4 5-10 mile islands mapped just off coasts (within 3 days sail). I had asked VERY nicely at character creation for us not to sail to other unmapped areas... but I had no 'big arc' story. the main land was 3 kingdoms (shadow lands the biggest and where they started) and they for the most part kept to that one kingdom...

I also took the shadowfel and the underdark and mix/matched them in my 'upside down' where if you traveled 1/3 a mile or more under ground into caves and such gravity fliped and you were on the dark side of the world with a dark sun (giving off black light during day and being pitch black at night) were the shadar kia drow and mind flayer kingdoms were. They did travel there twice.
 

HammerMan

Legend
he also told us about (and no offensive to him, he is awesome this sounded boring) a campaign where they spend 6 sessions (it was monthly so 6 months out of game time) in a farming area where the family farm had a dozen workers and the DM had names personalities, even pictures for 20ish NPCs ranging from the 6year old to the old man who used to be an adventurer and now just wanted to pick vegies. they talked to them and no one attacked and no one had anything to hide and no one had a quest... but they got to RP interacting with them and getting to find out about each other (the characters the players had) by role playing dinner with different groups of them and games.

That sounds like a Becky game to me. She runs what we call high RP high Intrigue campaigns. We sometimes stay in city for 5-8 levels at a time

I will say 6 sessions with no issues is weird though. That game for us would most likely have had a few arguments for us to defuse and maybe some mystery to solve like “why DID that adventurer retire?” Or even “is that farmers daughter sleeping with the help?”

Last campaign we played in under her had us go months with out a real fight. All of our encounters were social or intrigue.
 

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