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WarKitty
2015-04-30, 11:57 AM
So this is an issue I've seen with a couple different players. I tend to run very rp-involved games with lots of scenery and things to interact with that aren't necessarily goal focused. The trouble I'm having is that I've noticed certain players make very one-dimensional characters. So right now I have a character whose identity seems to be "the healer." Which is fine, but it seems like if a healer isn't necessary right at that moment, the player just checks out, and complains that she isn't relevant. I feel like it should be the player's job to make themselves relevant outside of their one thing, but I'm not sure how to address things without coming across badly.

Lord Torath
2015-04-30, 12:13 PM
Offer to give your Healer a free couple of skill points to create a hobby. Something completely unrelated to combat and healing, but that their character finds interesting. Something like Brewing, Knowledge: Butterflies, or Perform: Whistling (but not where it's light). Once she has a hobby, she's got something to ask about any time you come to a new town. She can chat with the tavern owners about their brewing ingredients and processes, purchase drawing supplies and ask about rare butterfly sightings, or trade whistling tunes with others in town.

If the other players complain, give them a couple of free skill points to be used for their hobbies. But stress that those hobbies can't be directly applicable in combat, and must be approved by you. So Knot Tying would be right out, but metal engraving would be allowed (as long as you don't get mechanical benefits for engraving your sword).

illyrus
2015-04-30, 12:52 PM
You can also create situations that involving healing, at least on the surface.

Let's say there is a gang fight (few deaths but lots of injuries) and both sides seek healing. The winning side is going to be pretty adamant on not letting the losing side receive healing but they're probably not going to attack the healer over it. The healer has a variety of options here and all of them should involve RP.

Pretty much any healing of people in the gray area of good/evil and legal/illegal endeavors could bring up moral questions and can create relationships (either good or bad) with NPCs that can come up in the future.

Maglubiyet
2015-04-30, 01:07 PM
What game are you playing? Some RPG's are much more combat focused than others with little to no mechanics for doing anything else. Power players can get bogged down in optimizing numbers with little thought to actual RP-ing.

Have the players written up bios and/or goals for their characters?

WarKitty
2015-04-30, 01:17 PM
What game are you playing? Some RPG's are much more combat focused than others with little to no mechanics for doing anything else. Power players can get bogged down in optimizing numbers with little thought to actual RP-ing.

Have the players written up bios and/or goals for their characters?

D&D. The players were supposed to have bios and goals but the one player didn't really provide much, saying she wasn't interested in it.

mikeejimbo
2015-04-30, 01:18 PM
Going along with RPing opportunities associated with healing, some kind of plague might be good. She could cast "Cure Disease" (if she has such a spell, this is system agnostic) but there are likely to be far more than she can cure. It's up to you to figure out what she can do about it. Find a cure that she can teach the doctors in town, stop its spread, discover that the source is a malevolent demon they have to put down, etc.

Maglubiyet
2015-04-30, 01:44 PM
I'm guessing you're not asking for healer-themed plotlines -- you want the healer (and others) to participate in non-combat, non-healing RP opportunities in your game, right? Like building relationships, solving puzzles, interacting with NPC's, and that sort of thing. Decorating their lives.

By the way you're describing it right now this character, if observed in play, would seem very wooden. Is this similar to the player's personality? Is it possible this is the extent of what she's able/comfortable giving to the game?

WarKitty
2015-04-30, 02:07 PM
I'm guessing you're not asking for healer-themed plotlines -- you want the healer (and others) to participate in non-combat, non-healing RP opportunities in your game, right? Like building relationships, solving puzzles, interacting with NPC's, and that sort of thing. Decorating their lives.

By the way you're describing it right now this character, if observed in play, would seem very wooden. Is this similar to the player's personality? Is it possible this is the extent of what she's able/comfortable giving to the game?

That seems right. The way the player acts seems overly goal-driven; anything that's not obviously going towards the character's goals is sort of ignored. And you're right about what I want, and what the rest of the players do; the rest of the group is pretty heavy into RP. I'd let it go except the player also tends to check out and complain that they're not getting anything done or that the game is too unfocused.

Surpriser
2015-04-30, 02:14 PM
It seems that this player and the rest of the group simply have completely different expectations of the game.

Talk to everyone as a group and try to find a way that everyone can have fun. If that turns out to be impossible (no will to compromise, drastic differences) then it might be time for that player to find a different group that is more suited to their playstyle.

Gritmonger
2015-04-30, 03:22 PM
D&D. The players were supposed to have bios and goals but the one player didn't really provide much, saying she wasn't interested in it.

This is in no way on you.

The most you can do at this point is ask the player about her character's history when you think it might be relevant (however tenuous) and see if they can't make something up and then stick to it.

If player's don't have a background in mind, they can develop one through the course of the adventure. What I prefer is a partially sketched-out bio with some adventure hooks, and then the player and I can put together some interesting aspects that play into that or off of that to involve various players in the story throughout.

Failing that, have the player roll up a trinket they find in a mysterious package (5th edition has a list of 100 or so trinkets) and ask the player to explain what meaning it has for them. Maybe it was delivered by someone else, maybe it was part of an inheritance. If nothing else, if they don't come up with an explanation, you can start coming up with some stuff and make it part of an adventure.

Do not - DO NOT - under any circumstance drop all other play and adventure hooks and other elements just to draw that one player in the group to the middle of things. If they didn't want to make a bio because of explicitly saying it didn't interest them, then it's not incumbent upon you to deduce what they really meant. It sounds like they just came to hit things, and if that's the case, you can balance that with the needs of the group without having to give them sole focus.

StanTheMan
2015-04-30, 04:21 PM
That seems right. The way the player acts seems overly goal-driven; anything that's not obviously going towards the character's goals is sort of ignored. And you're right about what I want, and what the rest of the players do; the rest of the group is pretty heavy into RP. I'd let it go except the player also tends to check out and complain that they're not getting anything done or that the game is too unfocused.

I'm a lot like your player, actually, and what got me RPing was, simply, a different game system. Specifically, Burning Wheel. Let me explain.

For me, the sort of RPing you're asking for is, frankly, unfocused. It's just there to be there. Now, I get there are lots of people that like that sort of gaming, and that's cool, but for me as a player and GM, and I want to get on with it. Like, if I have a roleplaying scene, I want that scene to be there to advance the story or gain me insight into something. Just to RP? I find that utterly pointless.

This is where Burning Wheel shines. It's built to get to the "good stuff", that is, to force players and the GM to get on with the story and "significant" action. Like, each player has a set of Beliefs, and the GM is punching those Beliefs right in the face, challenging the player and such. Now, that sort of thing is usually part of a character background in many games, and GMs may or may not bring it up in game (ditto the player, on that; many write background stuff and then forget it).

Where BW is different is that it gives a mechanical reward for doing engaging those Beliefs. Essentially, players are primed to run after their Beliefs at top speed, full tilt. For the GM, it's the only job; you build no elaborate plotlessness or anything else. Your main job is to hit those player Beliefs. If the game is put together right by the group, that makes a beautiful whole as you punch related Beliefs between the players, or ones they have about the setting or the situation you all set up for the game.

Now, it's entirely possible I'm super-wrong, but it sounds like your player wants the game (and her character) to be focused on something, and get rewarded for it. If she does, I'll bet cash she'd RP the hell out of those scenes that were leading to her goal, partly because of that reward, and partly because it probably is feeding back into some other PCs Beliefs.

Mind, I have no illusions that you'll suddenly abandon your current game and system. But she sounds an awful lot like myself. As I've gotten older, I've grown to HATE the idea that I'm just supposed to act out everything "just because." I also loathe social rules that hinge on me, the RL guy, getting the GM to agree to my silliness, but that's another thread for another day.

WarKitty
2015-04-30, 04:40 PM
I'm a lot like your player, actually, and what got me RPing was, simply, a different game system. Specifically, Burning Wheel. Let me explain.

For me, the sort of RPing you're asking for is, frankly, unfocused. It's just there to be there. Now, I get there are lots of people that like that sort of gaming, and that's cool, but for me as a player and GM, and I want to get on with it. Like, if I have a roleplaying scene, I want that scene to be there to advance the story or gain me insight into something. Just to RP? I find that utterly pointless.

Now, it's entirely possible I'm super-wrong, but it sounds like your player wants the game (and her character) to be focused on something, and get rewarded for it. If she does, I'll bet cash she'd RP the hell out of those scenes that were leading to her goal, partly because of that reward, and partly because it probably is feeding back into some other PCs Beliefs.

Thanks for the insight. I think I do have a player like that, while the rest of us really do enjoy RP just for the sake of RP. The one complaint I'd have is that the player tends not to take a lot of actions to advance the plot either - she tends to be a bit uncreative on that score?

McStabbington
2015-04-30, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the insight. I think I do have a player like that, while the rest of us really do enjoy RP just for the sake of RP. The one complaint I'd have is that the player tends not to take a lot of actions to advance the plot either - she tends to be a bit uncreative on that score?

Take what you're given and roll with it. She's a healer. She only likes to focus on healing. So give her a puzzle that relates to healing.

Offhand, the puzzle that comes to my mind is a thinly-veiled redesign of the Star Trek (Star Trek has so many "solve a plague" puzzles to draw from) Deep Space Nine episode called "The Quickening". Basically, you find a town where everyone is infected with a plague, but they seem indifferent to the disease, hostile to the healer, and the only treatment, such as it is, is to kill the patient once the disease hits the agonizing final stages. Then turn the screw: the reason why the town is hostile to the healer is that when she casts Cure Disease, the disease rapidly progresses to the agonizing final stages. Then turn the screw again: by focusing on the team pooling their resources, the team can find a non-magical measure that partly solves the problem: an innoculation for the babies, but not something that can cure those already infected. Then turn the screw a final time: the BBEG of the campaign released this plague because their parents or grandparents defied the BBEG, and he chose this as his way of showing the price of defiance.

The point being, if they just want to heal, you can still build a scenario around it that allows you to tie them into the campaign and make them want the BBEG deader than disco at the end. You just have to be willing to meet your players where they are.

Red Fel
2015-04-30, 07:37 PM
Offhand, the puzzle that comes to my mind is a thinly-veiled redesign of the Star Trek (Star Trek has so many "solve a plague" puzzles to draw from) Deep Space Nine episode called "The Quickening". Basically, you find a town where everyone is infected with a plague, but they seem indifferent to the disease, hostile to the healer, and the only treatment, such as it is, is to kill the patient once the disease hits the agonizing final stages. Then turn the screw: the reason why the town is hostile to the healer is that when she casts Cure Disease, the disease rapidly progresses to the agonizing final stages. Then turn the screw again: by focusing on the team pooling their resources, the team can find a non-magical measure that partly solves the problem: an innoculation for the babies, but not something that can cure those already infected. Then turn the screw a final time: the BBEG of the campaign released this plague because their parents or grandparents defied the BBEG, and he chose this as his way of showing the price of defiance.

On the one hand, I'm a big fan of motivating the players through heartbreak and tragedy. On the other, however, this player might not feel receptive to this kind of plot, and here's why - healing is her thing. It's what she does. It's the only thing she does. If you introduce a nail, the player with the hammer will want to hammer it. If you then explain that the hammering has made things worse, not better, that player may well feel that she has been rendered useless; the one thing she does has been made worthless. If you introduce a plague that is made worse by being treated, expect frustration from the player whose only schtick is treating things.

The bottom line is that you can't force RP. You can barely even encourage it, short of sitting down and talking it out with your players. I agree with those above who said that what's going on here is a difference of expectation. The player in question seems to have a linear expectation - "I made a healer, so I do the healing. When there's no healing, I'm waiting to do healing." You seem to have a broader expectation - "When you can't do your thing, find something else to do." If the player isn't seeing things that way, your choices are either (1) sit down and explain your expectation to her, and hope that she gets onboard with it, or (2) accept that this isn't how she plays. And if it's #2, any frustration she feels, as others have mentioned, is on her, not on you. She has chosen to pigeonhole herself into a role; she has declined any opportunity to do anything other than that. She has nobody to blame for her uselessness outside of healing but herself, and you have no obligation to make a healing-centric plot. Your obligation ends after you've offered the party plotlines and events that allow them to contribute in ways other than their preassigned roles; if she chooses not to take advantage, you have no further obligation beyond that.

McStabbington
2015-04-30, 08:19 PM
The bottom line is that you can't force RP. You can barely even encourage it, short of sitting down and talking it out with your players. I agree with those above who said that what's going on here is a difference of expectation. The player in question seems to have a linear expectation - "I made a healer, so I do the healing. When there's no healing, I'm waiting to do healing." You seem to have a broader expectation - "When you can't do your thing, find something else to do." If the player isn't seeing things that way, your choices are either (1) sit down and explain your expectation to her, and hope that she gets onboard with it, or (2) accept that this isn't how she plays. And if it's #2, any frustration she feels, as others have mentioned, is on her, not on you. She has chosen to pigeonhole herself into a role; she has declined any opportunity to do anything other than that. She has nobody to blame for her uselessness outside of healing but herself, and you have no obligation to make a healing-centric plot. Your obligation ends after you've offered the party plotlines and events that allow them to contribute in ways other than their preassigned roles; if she chooses not to take advantage, you have no further obligation beyond that.

I don't disagree with anything that you've said specifically, but I would say that if that's the player you've got, then the thread is completely moot because there is absolutely nothing to be done. You cannot force RP, just as you cannot force her to stay after meeting initial difficulties in the village. But you nevertheless can keep offering her RP opportunities and hoping she takes one idea and runs with it.

Red Fel
2015-04-30, 08:51 PM
I don't disagree with anything that you've said specifically, but I would say that if that's the player you've got, then the thread is completely moot because there is absolutely nothing to be done. You cannot force RP, just as you cannot force her to stay after meeting initial difficulties in the village. But you nevertheless can keep offering her RP opportunities and hoping she takes one idea and runs with it.

Correction. There are two things you can do.

1. As you say, you can keep offering her opportunities. I agree. Offer her the same opportunities that everyone else gets. Keep in mind, however, that if you do just as you have been doing, you shouldn't expect things to change. (Something something definition of insanity something.) On the other hand, if you start creating opportunities targeted at her specifically, you can expect the other players to start to grumble, both because they're being left out, and because grumbling apparently works. I don't think that's a precedent you want to set.

2. You can talk to her. Sometimes, that's all it takes. Maybe she just doesn't grasp that you've been placing these opportunities in front of her. Once you explain that you had hoped that she would try something other than just healing, that you've given her the opportunity to do more than just healing, and that you really hope she'll take advantage, maybe she will.

But as you note, if she doesn't take advantage, and if she isn't receptive to your explanation, then "the thread is completely moot because there is absolutely nothing to be done." All you can do is continue what you've been doing and hope that the other players at least enjoy the game.

At this point, it's not about how she will change; it's about what, if anything, you should do, and how you should be prepared to react if she doesn't change. And the answers are (1) talk to her about it, and (2) if she refuses to change, don't worry about it anymore.

Maglubiyet
2015-04-30, 09:21 PM
Where BW is different is that it gives a mechanical reward for doing engaging those Beliefs. Essentially, players are primed to run after their Beliefs at top speed, full tilt.

Yes, unfortunately the granddaddy of RPG's evolved from wargaming. You can still see it in that characters are mostly just sets of combat stats and how every monster has an xp value for killing...er, overcoming it. The mechanics don't offer much reward for RP beyond "playing the role" of a certain member in a combat team (tank, dps, healer, etc.), much like a World of Warcraft party.

Other games are actually built for more story development than "our x-level party did y damage to the x-ECL creature. We got z gold for it". Burning Wheel and Fate Core are two good examples.

I would also like to hear any advice anyone has for dealing with WarKitty's player. I haven't hit on any magical fix for this either.

WarKitty
2015-04-30, 09:48 PM
Yes, unfortunately the granddaddy of RPG's evolved from wargaming. You can still see it in that characters are mostly just sets of combat stats and how every monster has an xp value for killing...er, overcoming it. The mechanics don't offer much reward for RP beyond "playing the role" of a certain member in a combat team (tank, dps, healer, etc.), much like a World of Warcraft party.

I don't think it's a wargaming problem, from what I'v seen. The characters I've seen this with are perfectly happy in a non-combat situation, so long as they feel like it caters to what their character is about (which isn't always combat related). It's just that the character tends to have one or two defining features, and rather than flesh the character out in other situations the player just sort of checks out if the situation doesn't immediately call for what they see their character as doing.

goto124
2015-05-01, 02:52 AM
D&D. The players were supposed to have bios and goals but the one player didn't really provide much, saying she wasn't interested in it.

Is her lack of RP being disruptive to the group?

StanTheMan
2015-05-01, 03:46 AM
Thanks for the insight. I think I do have a player like that, while the rest of us really do enjoy RP just for the sake of RP. The one complaint I'd have is that the player tends not to take a lot of actions to advance the plot either - she tends to be a bit uncreative on that score?

Well, see, what I was getting at was, the "plot" as it is, doesn't exist; there should be a common situation that the players have to handle, but that's all. In BW, when everyone makes characters, you spend time figuring out the situation that will grab you, and how you fit into it (Beliefs). So you role-play to advance your personal piece of that overall situation, not a "plot" per say. Like, the "story" gets generated as play happens, right? So there can't be a plot. There are things the PCs will do; there are some things the NPCs will do off-stage (though, in truth, I don't worry about NPCs too much unless a player has a Belief about them), or the environment does, whatever. But there's no plot to advance, only a situation or series of such to deal with.

For example, currently getting ready for an Orc Horde game in BW. The premise is that the horde was destroyed by an alliance of Men, Elves, and Dwarves. The players don't know what happened to the rest of the horde, and they are stuck behind enemy lines.

Players get three Beliefs. Player A might have the Belief "I must reform the horde, under my leadership!"

Player B has "I will become the Great Mother for the new Horde; I will make sure Player A survives to raise me to my rightful place."

Player C has "The tricksy Elves must pay; I will murder the general who led the final battle on our horde."

Player D has "I pledge to protect my dead sister's children, to raise them in our new horde full of Hatred for Elves, Dwarves, and Men."

With those sort of Beliefs, play unfolds, and we seek the story. The interesting bit in BW is, you get save-your-ass points by going after those Beliefs, which feeds into a system that helps you advance abilities and skills as well. So, at each turn, you're getting rewards for "playing your character".

So, my suggestion is, perhaps you players need something like that? As someone else mentioned, Fate does something like that, and for me, BW does it the best. I think Apocalypse World does something similar? Perhaps you can add a mechanic like that to the D&D game? So that RP isn't "pointless", but given mechanical weight, if that makes sense.

Maglubiyet
2015-05-01, 08:13 AM
So, my suggestion is, perhaps you players need something like that? As someone else mentioned, Fate does something like that, and for me, BW does it the best. I think Apocalypse World does something similar? Perhaps you can add a mechanic like that to the D&D game? So that RP isn't "pointless", but given mechanical weight, if that makes sense.

It's a great idea. Are there any add-ons anyone's seen for D&D that gives rewards for role-play? There's always bonus XP, but maybe formalize it beyond just alignment-based actions. Like each PC has a Goal and/or Motivation. Bonus XP for every action taken in play towards that Goal -- penalties for acting contrary to the Goal or not taking any actions.

Goals would have to be more than "kill enemies of our group" or "gain treasure". They'd be focused, in-character objectives, like "I want to become the head of the House of White Healers" or "I cannot bear to see others suffer disease". They would force action in non-combat situations, which is what the OP is looking for.

I'm just throwing out ideas, so don't take this as anything more than brainstorming.

EDIT: This is like story rewards, but for individuals. Split XP rewards based on solving the problem for the adventure and on advancing the personal story of the PC. Maybe 5e has something like this already, I don't know enough about it.

goto124
2015-05-01, 09:37 AM
I'm sorta scared of giving my characters a personality. After all, I'll have to throw it away when it gets into conflict with the group. That, or I don't like having to think about every action I make, and whether or not it goes with my character's personality, as opposed to just taking the most sensible action. I can put some form of RP into the actions I take, but actually sticking to anything is another matter. Or... something.

How would you get a newbie to be less afraid of RP?

WarKitty
2015-05-01, 10:14 AM
Is her lack of RP being disruptive to the group?

The player is complaining that she isn't relevant and doesn't have enough to do.

illyrus
2015-05-02, 06:47 PM
You can frame the scene for her and ask for her input.

GM: "Jane, the duke is talking about war against the hobgoblin tribes. From what you've seen the forces are pretty evenly matched and the loss of life will be high. What would Jane want to do in light of this?"

or

GM: "Jane, your party member has been hooking up with every girl in town but keeping his philandering a secret with the women, what would she do about this?"

etc

She might blow off the invitation to participate and that's all on her then. But you're doing what you can to get her involved in the scene.

StanTheMan
2015-05-03, 03:32 AM
You can frame the scene for her and ask for her input.

GM: "Jane, the duke is talking about war against the hobgoblin tribes. From what you've seen the forces are pretty evenly matched and the loss of life will be high. What would Jane want to do in light of this?"

or

GM: "Jane, your party member has been hooking up with every girl in town but keeping his philandering a secret with the women, what would she do about this?"

etc

She might blow off the invitation to participate and that's all on her then. But you're doing what you can to get her involved in the scene.

In terms of technique, it's good. But I have to ask again, as I did earlier - what's the "mechanical heft" that makes engaging like that meaningful? That is, what is the player "getting" other than a pat on the head and a "good job!" for roleplaying? For me, I'd need a bit more - but it's a way, for sure.

Nightcanon
2015-05-03, 06:34 PM
Sounds like your player has confused her character playing the role of Healer with role-playing a character who is a Healer. Within the party, there's nothing to stop a healer contributing to decision making, whether it's East or West at the next junction or what to do next to work toward strategic long-term goals. With regard to NPC interactions, a healer could easily be the character the locals most want to interact with- the blacksmith is ill with a mystery disease; a shepherd is injured after an attack by bandits; or the local Lord's wife is enduring a difficult labour. The usual party 'face' or the designated leader might not be invited into such situations. People tell their doctors lots of things they keep secret from others. Perhaps the solution to one of these problems sets up the next quest (find herbs/ obtain magic to heal smith, hunt down bandits), or sets up a relationship with a patron. Even if it's just banal stuff- dishing out CLW to injured soldiers in an army camp- she can interact with the NPCs and begin to flesh out why she is doing what she does.

WarKitty
2015-05-03, 06:46 PM
In terms of technique, it's good. But I have to ask again, as I did earlier - what's the "mechanical heft" that makes engaging like that meaningful? That is, what is the player "getting" other than a pat on the head and a "good job!" for roleplaying? For me, I'd need a bit more - but it's a way, for sure.

Honestly I feel like it would be more than I can do to add a mechanical reward for roleplaying. It wouldn't be fair to give it to just one player, and I can't keep up with it for everyone.

Red Fel
2015-05-03, 07:01 PM
Honestly I feel like it would be more than I can do to add a mechanical reward for roleplaying. It wouldn't be fair to give it to just one player, and I can't keep up with it for everyone.

I agree. Roleplaying, in my mind, should not generate rewards on its own. Now, good roleplaying might generate rewards after a fashion, inasmuch as - for example - roleplaying a social encounter may produce overall better results than just rolling dice and announcing, "I roll Gather Information." That's the kind of "reward" that, in my mind, makes sense.

I don't believe that roleplaying merits a mechanical incentive. It is - or should be - its own reward, making the game more enjoyable for everyone at the table.1

The bottom line is that, assuming you've provided her the opportunity to do more than heal, the player has nobody to blame but herself, and nothing to complain about but her own laziness. Take her aside and explain that you won't be creating scenarios exclusively for her benefit, that she can do things other than heal if she wants to, and that you will be providing her the same opportunity to do so that you provide everyone else. And that you don't expect to hear any complaints if she refuses to take advantage of those opportunities.

1 Obviously, this doesn't apply to systems in which roleplaying certain things, according to the rules, generates explicit mechanical benefits. But not all systems are like that.

grimsly
2015-05-04, 12:03 AM
You know, experience can be given for just about anything. In D&D RAW, it's for killing stuff. But, you could come up with a pretty simple system for spreading it out. Just lower the xp you award for combat and choose a few other things you want to award it for, depending on the theme of your game. Want to have a lot of mystery? Give exp for solving riddles or finding clues. Want political intrigue and king making? Give exp for forming useful contacts. Exploration? Hide some non-plot critical goodies.

The point is, decide on a theme or two for the adventure and keep track of whenever the players choose to pursue one of them, then give the extra experience at the end along with an explanation of why they're being rewarded. This could help give your player a reason to get into the other parts of the game.

And once you've decided on a system for bonus xp, all you have to do is put a check mark next to a player's me then total the points whenever you want to hand out the xp. I've seen some formulas for this sort of thing online, I could find them if you're interested.

JeenLeen
2015-05-04, 12:48 PM
You could institute giving out tokens for good rp, and players can spend them for things like a +2 bonus to a roll, or to at -10 and stable instead of dead, things like that. You could also give a +1-2 bonus on some rolls if things are rp'ed well. A well-described attack, or a narrative instead of "I roll Gather Info", gives a bonus.

I agree that it's hard to encourage good rp when the system does nothing to give incentives. Sometimes the systems even give disincentives, such as while good rp might have you spend skill points on hobbies, your char is more likely to succeed if you spend it on relevant skills.

More on the point: if the player in question isn't bored, and everyone is having a good time, one non-rp'er isn't a bad thing. Not great, but not bad. This idea, or others folks have mentioned, may encourage her.

WarKitty
2015-05-04, 06:48 PM
You could institute giving out tokens for good rp, and players can spend them for things like a +2 bonus to a roll, or to at -10 and stable instead of dead, things like that. You could also give a +1-2 bonus on some rolls if things are rp'ed well. A well-described attack, or a narrative instead of "I roll Gather Info", gives a bonus.

I agree that it's hard to encourage good rp when the system does nothing to give incentives. Sometimes the systems even give disincentives, such as while good rp might have you spend skill points on hobbies, your char is more likely to succeed if you spend it on relevant skills.

More on the point: if the player in question isn't bored, and everyone is having a good time, one non-rp'er isn't a bad thing. Not great, but not bad. This idea, or others folks have mentioned, may encourage her.

That's the thing - this one player is constantly saying she's bored, and she just wants to get on with the adventure while everyone else is roleplaying and where's the next step?

grimsly
2015-05-04, 07:44 PM
That's the thing - this one player is constantly saying she's bored, and she just wants to get on with the adventure while everyone else is roleplaying and where's the next step?

I have a couple questions, just so I can understand what's going on: when the rest of the group roleplays, how much dice rolling goes on? Follow up question: are they working toward a goal or just exploring their characters? If the answers are 'very little' and 'just chatting with the locals', there's some room for compromise here. You can look for chances to use the social skills to decide outcomes a little more often or encourage the players to focus on the goal at hand. If, on the other hand, they do stay focused on the adventure at hand, them it seems like this healer just doesn't 'get' that aspect of the game, which is a problem. Are there any non-combat sections she does seem OK with, like lock picking or wall climbing or anything other than fixing broken PCs?

StanTheMan
2015-05-05, 01:27 PM
Honestly I feel like it would be more than I can do to add a mechanical reward for roleplaying. It wouldn't be fair to give it to just one player, and I can't keep up with it for everyone.

Well, now, this part I steal directly from Burning Wheel; don't. I make the group do it. Like, we don't "tally" the save-your-ass points until the end of the session, and then we go back over what happened and such. Kind of storytelling/summarizing. People get one of their points by saying what they did to advance their Belief or how their Instinct made "fun trouble" for the group. It's the "wrap-up" for each session. Everybody gets a little for playing the game and not dying (or dying well when it was called for), assuming it was part of their character, or the group's shared, goal.

Does that make sense? I definitely get not wanting to do it as a GM, so, as I say, make the group do it. Make it a group activity (I've even thought of doing it mid adventure if we were playing a longer session of 6+ hours). I super-duper don't add work to myself. Players are there, after all, and probably have better memories anyway.

Nightcanon
2015-05-05, 07:27 PM
It's a great idea. Are there any add-ons anyone's seen for D&D that gives rewards for role-play? ays bonus XP, but maybe formalize it beyond just alignment-based actions. Like each PC has a Goal and/or Motivation. Bonus XP for every action taken in play towards that Goal -- penalties for acting contrary to the Goal or not taking any actions.

Snipped

I remember seeing a piece in an old Dragon mag (best guess: somewere in the 140-160 range) about an alternative alignment system whereby instead of choosing from the ol' 3x3 grid you chose from and rank a list of motivating factors or goals (iirc there was an actual list, but you add your own and you didn't have to include the ones that genuinely didn't apply to you). So a rogue-type character might have 'gain wealth' as their primary motivation, with 'loyalty to comrades' next, then 'excitement' then 'protect the kingdom', while a druid might have 'protect/ preserve nature' at the top and not have wealth anywhere. It would be fairly easy to give out personal development awards based on what you did to serve your main motivators. I never tried this system out, though it did interest me. I believe it was designed to be fluid, with position changes and new additions with personality development, rather than a straitjacket (where have I heard that before?), so the rogue example might be played as having loyalty to comrades rising above personal gain, and wouldn't, for example, be constrained to try to make off with the party's loot every night just because obtaining wealth was above party loyalty 'so my character would totally do that'.

Going back to the OP, could we have some more details about your player? Has she played before? If so, was it with a group that tended to focus more on what one of my early players used to call 'serious adventuring', i.e. kick in the door dungeoneering, with time spent in town seen as a necessary prep-work evil, and thus wants to get on with the plot rather than talk to tavern patrons about the weather, the harvest etc in character? Is she new to the game, and under the impression that her party role isn't (edit is) her personality, and (edit: unaware that) she's allowed to interact with others too. If she is new to this, could you help develop her character in some way: she doesn't talk much in the tavern- is that because she's watching what's going on (with a wisdom bonus to spot checks): "as you sit quietly, watching Sir Garrulous regale the tavern with tales of how your party defeated the dragon, you notice a man at the back of the crowd watching intently. He doesn't look pleased."
Could the player's impatience to move on with the plot be developed into an aspect of the character's personality? an ascetic type who has little interest in small talk or tavern tales, and is driven to [insert campaign arc aims here, though I guess it works better with some things rather than others].

Jay R
2015-05-05, 09:27 PM
D&D. The players were supposed to have bios and goals but the one player didn't really provide much, saying she wasn't interested in it.

Provide interesting scenarios based on the other characters' bios and goals, and every single time, apologize to that player that you can't get them involved in the plot, because they haven't provided goals and a bio.

Every.
Single.
Time.

Segev
2015-05-06, 11:31 AM
What does "being a healer" mean to her? Is it just a combat/anti-debuff role, or is there more to it on a character level?

WarKitty
2015-05-07, 06:46 AM
What does "being a healer" mean to her? Is it just a combat/anti-debuff role, or is there more to it on a character level?

It's definitely a thing on a character level. She's ok with healing and with getting involved with her (unfortunately quite localized) cult. It's more that there's nothing else going on. She doesn't want to talk to NPC's unless there's an obvious connection before the conversation starts to the main plot. She doesn't interact with the other PC's at all, beyond healing them.

Segev
2015-05-07, 09:24 AM
Is there only one thing to do when moving on with the plot, and that's an obvious "next step?" Or are there options for "what to do next" or even how the party approaches a problem? If the latter, how does she NOT interact with the party, if only to participate in deciding what to do next?

goto124
2015-05-07, 10:08 AM
Does the player talk to the other players? She herself even said that she felt left out and wants to join in...

D+1
2015-05-07, 10:19 AM
So this is an issue I've seen with a couple different players. I tend to run very rp-involved games with lots of scenery and things to interact with that aren't necessarily goal focused. The trouble I'm having is that I've noticed certain players make very one-dimensional characters. So right now I have a character whose identity seems to be "the healer." Which is fine, but it seems like if a healer isn't necessary right at that moment, the player just checks out, and complains that she isn't relevant. I feel like it should be the player's job to make themselves relevant outside of their one thing, but I'm not sure how to address things without coming across badly.

The answer is simple and doesn't involve game mechanics in any way. No bribes, impassioned pleas for participation, etc. You're waiting for the player to engage while she says she's not relevant. Don't wait. YOU have NPC's engage the players PC. If you feel that there just HAS to be more roleplay with the PC but the player won't initiate any then YOU have to do the initiating. Complaints about the PC being irrelevant shouldn't be a concern for you - it is not YOUR choice what PC the player will play or how to play that PC. All you can do is provide opportunity or actively engage the PC in RP. If that isn't enough then I don't know what to tell you... Explain the above and add that they should stop being a whiny fun-sponge?

WarKitty
2015-05-07, 11:53 PM
Is there only one thing to do when moving on with the plot, and that's an obvious "next step?" Or are there options for "what to do next" or even how the party approaches a problem? If the latter, how does she NOT interact with the party, if only to participate in deciding what to do next?

There's usually not an obvious next step. She does talk some on what to do next but tends to become frustrated and disengaged if it's not immediately obvious what to do.

Segev
2015-05-08, 02:16 PM
Hm. Tricky and confusing. Have you tried asking her what she envisions when she pictures playing her character?

JeenLeen
2015-05-08, 02:26 PM
I have a couple questions, just so I can understand what's going on: when the rest of the group roleplays, how much dice rolling goes on? Follow up question: are they working toward a goal or just exploring their characters? If the answers are 'very little' and 'just chatting with the locals', there's some room for compromise here. You can look for chances to use the social skills to decide outcomes a little more often or encourage the players to focus on the goal at hand. If, on the other hand, they do stay focused on the adventure at hand, them it seems like this healer just doesn't 'get' that aspect of the game, which is a problem. Are there any non-combat sections she does seem OK with, like lock picking or wall climbing or anything other than fixing broken PCs?

If it is a 'just chatting with the locals' or other not-related-to-mission stuff, I could see talking to the other players and asking to tone down some of that stuff. I know I did some stuff like that in one of my gaming groups, and it got on the other players' nerves after a bit, so I toned it down. I still got to explore what mattered to my character, but I did it in a less time-consuming way. Perhaps a good compromise can be found so both she and the other players enjoy what's happening.



There's usually not an obvious next step. She does talk some on what to do next but tends to become frustrated and disengaged if it's not immediately obvious what to do.


I can see with this that maybe you should make it more obvious what the next step is. I realize that can be hard, and you don't want to give clues away, but if things are stalling and leading to boredom, that can be the DM's cue.

WarKitty
2015-05-09, 12:54 AM
I think part of the problem is I don't run - and the rest of my players don't really want - super plot driven games. I'm really running an open world, interact and find stuff to do type of game. I'm just feeling like what one player wants from the game is completely different from what I and the rest of the players want from the game, and I'm not sure I can deliver both.

Maglubiyet
2015-05-10, 11:14 AM
I think part of the problem is I don't run - and the rest of my players don't really want - super plot driven games. I'm really running an open world, interact and find stuff to do type of game. I'm just feeling like what one player wants from the game is completely different from what I and the rest of the players want from the game, and I'm not sure I can deliver both.

Yeah, sounds like this player is more comfortable with the status-bar style of play. The kind where you know you have completed 61% of the objectives for the current quest and the only reason to go to town is to re-supply and talk to quest givers.

goto124
2015-05-11, 03:25 AM
I imagine many people would wonder 'why not just play a video game?'

Tabletop games have the advantage of not having to spend hours searching for overly specific specific syntax, and if you're stuck on something the GM is literally right there to help :smalltongue:

Also, they're probably just more used to computer games, and need to be eased into the tabletop style. Especially when it comes to roleplaying.

WarKitty
2015-05-11, 07:14 AM
This is not a new player by any means. She's actually DM'd before - though her games were more traditional dungeon crawls than the open world sort of play I like.

grimsly
2015-05-12, 09:29 AM
This is not a new player by any means. She's actually DM'd before - though her games were more traditional dungeon crawls than the open world sort of play I like.

OK, I think I'm getting a clearer picture here. So it sounds like she only gets bored while you're in town, between adventures. I can sympathize a little, I know I get a little annoyed at hour-long discussions about what to do next, though it seems like she has a more extreme case.

What I would say is as long as you do have a good amount of straightforward encounters every session (quick rule of thumb would be at least 3-5, depending on length, maybe two possible combats among them, the rest either puzzles, traps or 'get past the guard' style social encounters) with an obvious objective, you can get away with less focused encounters the rest of the time. The secret nobody talks about is that players don't have to enjoy every second of a game to enjoy the game.

The takeaway is this: make sure there are enough encounters with a clear objective to keep her engaged often, then continue with your game as is.

Segev
2015-05-13, 01:24 PM
Have you asked her what she would like to see?

WarKitty
2015-05-15, 01:04 AM
OK, I think I'm getting a clearer picture here. So it sounds like she only gets bored while you're in town, between adventures. I can sympathize a little, I know I get a little annoyed at hour-long discussions about what to do next, though it seems like she has a more extreme case.

What I would say is as long as you do have a good amount of straightforward encounters every session (quick rule of thumb would be at least 3-5, depending on length, maybe two possible combats among them, the rest either puzzles, traps or 'get past the guard' style social encounters) with an obvious objective, you can get away with less focused encounters the rest of the time. The secret nobody talks about is that players don't have to enjoy every second of a game to enjoy the game.

The takeaway is this: make sure there are enough encounters with a clear objective to keep her engaged often, then continue with your game as is.

I think part of the issue is I don't really have a game designed like adventure-town-adventure. There's locations, and there's various things you can do in different locations. A lot of the things are connected underneath but you're not going to find out what there is to do and how it connects to other things unless you do some digging.

Part of my frustration is that I feel like rather than doing the more open world type game I'd like to run, she's looking for a game where you go into town and immediately talk to mr. questgiver who points you to a nearby dungeon. She seems particularly adverse to any sort of poking around to figure out what to do.


Have you asked her what she would like to see?

I haven't gotten much, other than that she wants to feel more relevant.

Segev
2015-05-15, 01:06 AM
Ask her what would make her feel relevant. And keep asking for more information about what it is she's saying, until you have an idea or few. Ask her what she pictures her character doing when she thinks of her character as relevant. Ask her to describe scenes, go into detail.

grimsly
2015-05-15, 08:11 PM
I think part of the issue is I don't really have a game designed like adventure-town-adventure. There's locations, and there's various things you can do in different locations. A lot of the things are connected underneath but you're not going to find out what there is to do and how it connects to other things unless you do some digging.

Part of my frustration is that I feel like rather than doing the more open world type game I'd like to run, she's looking for a game where you go into town and immediately talk to mr. questgiver who points you to a nearby dungeon. She seems particularly adverse to any sort of poking around to figure out what to do.

That's frustrating, for sure. It sounds (reads, technically) like she doesn't even like pre adventure preparation, like asking around for clues about the inside of the dungeon or anything.

Since it seems like everyone else is really digging your style, maybe your table isn't right for her play style. If you and the rest of the table can make an adjustment and meet her partway in between, great. If not, she doesn't need to play with you. Doesn't mean you're not friends.

One last thing to consider from me, if there is something she already does interact with, expand it. I think you mentioned a cult she's in, maybe squeeze some of them into more places. Maybe she won't mind rumors as much if they come from her own gang, who knows?

Ettina
2015-05-15, 08:54 PM
I'm sorta scared of giving my characters a personality. After all, I'll have to throw it away when it gets into conflict with the group. That, or I don't like having to think about every action I make, and whether or not it goes with my character's personality, as opposed to just taking the most sensible action. I can put some form of RP into the actions I take, but actually sticking to anything is another matter. Or... something.

Just make a personality that will take sensible actions and work with the group. You don't have to RP some loony or clueless dimwit.

For example, I like to play clever, evil characters who are loyal and considerate to teammates but will happily torture NPCs if they can get away with it. Definitely a distinct personality type, but will use good combat strategy and won't disrupt the team.

Sure, for an added challenge, you can RP a character who won't necessarily act optimally in some situations. (Like my warforged, who was extremely literal and direct to the point of starting a fight in the middle of a crowded inn because xe was hired to get payment from an uncooperative debtor and he said no. I thought about trying some diplomacy, or at least getting him outside, but GADA27 wouldn't think of that.) But there's nothing forcing you to play someone like that, just because you decide to RP.

goto124
2015-05-15, 09:18 PM
I read somewhere that if you make only optimal choices, you're not a roleplayer.

Which is at least a troublesome view for me. I suppose I have to make nonoptimal choices that don't disrupt the group's fun. I can't really think of any examples.

Also, even if you make optimal choices, you can describe how your character thinks and acts. No two people will perform any action in the exact same way, which already contributes to personality.

And there's such thing as two or more choices that are equally optimal, right...?

I'm going to play a Champion Fighter in a 5e campaign, so it's pretty important for me.

WarKitty
2015-05-16, 05:18 AM
That's frustrating, for sure. It sounds (reads, technically) like she doesn't even like pre adventure preparation, like asking around for clues about the inside of the dungeon or anything.

Since it seems like everyone else is really digging your style, maybe your table isn't right for her play style. If you and the rest of the table can make an adjustment and meet her partway in between, great. If not, she doesn't need to play with you. Doesn't mean you're not friends.

One last thing to consider from me, if there is something she already does interact with, expand it. I think you mentioned a cult she's in, maybe squeeze some of them into more places. Maybe she won't mind rumors as much if they come from her own gang, who knows?

The odd part is I get the feeling she does want to roleplay, or at least says she does. She just seems to lack imagination, as it were. She doesn't like rp that doesn't advance the plot and she tends to get frustrated easily if the plot advancement isn't obvious.

hymer
2015-05-16, 05:57 AM
The odd part is I get the feeling she does want to roleplay, or at least says she does. She just seems to lack imagination, as it were. She doesn't like rp that doesn't advance the plot and she tends to get frustrated easily if the plot advancement isn't obvious.

I think I might get where she's coming from. I remember a few sessions of an alternate history WW2 game. We parachuted behind enemy lines to go to a village, to find out who was giving away the local resistance movement to ze Germans. Well, things eventually got to a point, where the GM had nothing to offer us, except to walk about in the village and speak to NPCs. And what they had to talk about were things like card clubs, and what a gossipping squid the postman was, and how there was a new gardener at the manor. And whenever we got new information (however irrelevant) we went to a new NPC and tried talking to them, and at best got more irrelevant information, and at worst hit yet another brick wall. It was supremely frustrating for everyone at the table.
And the GM had worked hard to detail this village, but there was nothing for us to actually do, because we were soldiers, built for a campaign of dangerous combat missions (including the pregen PCs), and with no skills at all in sniffing out truth or lying (well one of my PCs had some social skills, but he got killed saving the local vicar from ze Germans). Some of us could sneak and break in well enough, but it didn't get us anywhere. But even if we had had social skills, none of us would have enjoyed that stretch of talking to little old ladies and the owner of the local pub about everything and nothing, going nowhere fast.

And even knowing that the truth was out there somewhere (because the GM told us as much and encouraged us to keep searching), it was really hard to be interested in conversation after conversation with a village of mostly boring people. I consider myself quite interested in the RP aspect, but this was just grinding for the sake of grinding.
My guess is that your player feels the same way. She wants to do your world justice, but to her, talking to random people is just not interesting, nor is it moving anything towards being interesting. It feels like such a senseless waste of time that could be used shooting Germans, which is what we expected going in. And it's very hard to put words on it, especially in a way that isn't insulting to the GM who put such a lot of work in.

I don't think there is any easy solution. The rest of the group wants something she isn't interested in, and by giving her what she wants, you'd be depriving the rest of the group for the duration.

grimsly
2015-05-16, 10:06 AM
I don't think there is any easy solution. The rest of the group wants something she isn't interested in, and by giving her what she wants, you'd be depriving the rest of the group for the duration.

This right here is the issue as I see it. Cause from what I can tell, she'd be happy if every conversation had a clear task attached, like 'go talk to X to learn more about Y', which is something you could do, except then your other players won't get to interact with the rest of the world as much, which is a hard thing to find in a game. I can sympathize with both sides here, I'm in an improve group and we focus on character and relationships a lot, but I don't play a barbarian for his fascinating character dynamic, you know?

There are a hundred things I would try to get her interested, most of which are already in this thread, but I think the best solution will be something the rest of the table agrees on and is willing to help with. If you all want to try some longer, more obviously connected plot lines, great, try it. Depending on how mature everyone is, you could have this conversation at the end of a session, that might help her get more invested too ("Oh, they're going to try it my way, I'd better make sure it goes well.")

Good luck, I'm genuinely interested to see if you can bring her around.

Ettina
2015-05-16, 10:20 AM
I read somewhere that if you make only optimal choices, you're not a roleplayer.

I don't agree with that viewpoint at all.

If you make optimal choices when your character wouldn't have (eg having the guy who knows nothing about trolls use his torch instead of his sword against one), then you're not a good roleplayer.

But nothing's stopping you from building a character who has the necessary knowledge and background to use fire on a troll. For example, what if you were roleplaying as Batman?

Roleplaying isn't about making non-optimal choices, it's about building a character.

MysticMonkey
2015-05-16, 01:43 PM
Perhaps defining what a healer could do needs to be explored a little bit. The scope might need to be broadened. What if you as DM, came up with a couple plot devices to get the ball rolling and see if they take it from there. A healer should be expected to know and do more than heal party members who did something dumb.

Expample: what if PCs come into an area and a few towns are being ransacked by gnoll tribes and in the last raid, the local healer of any note was killed. In steps pc to set up refugee camp and temporary hospital while party also helps towns deal with gnolls. Anyone else, seems to botch the job not knowing what is needed for caring for others. A healer would need to know general healing not just instant magical healing.

Or: the prince who is to be married next week to form an alliance with a neighbor kingdom, is suddenly in ill health and not improving no matter what the palace healers do. Time for outside opinion.

You could design a few encounters specifically with the pc in mind where he needs to think. And ensure that the others players look to him for help. Use him as a possible pinion for an adventure hook, help him to feel included.

Jay R
2015-05-17, 10:40 AM
I'm guessing that the healer is there just for the tactical fighting scenarios. There's no shame in that; many people are.

But she needs to be told that the role-playing part of the role-playing game does exist, and will be played. If she's not interested, have her say, "My character loses interest, and takes a nap," while the rest of the party plays out the scenario. Then pull her out of her smartphone when the fight starts.

Beleriphon
2015-05-17, 12:08 PM
I don't agree with that viewpoint at all.

If you make optimal choices when your character wouldn't have (eg having the guy who knows nothing about trolls use his torch instead of his sword against one), then you're not a good roleplayer.

But nothing's stopping you from building a character who has the necessary knowledge and background to use fire on a troll. For example, what if you were roleplaying as Batman?

Roleplaying isn't about making non-optimal choices, it's about building a character.

Lets not forget that you play a character that fights monsters for a living. Do you honestly expect not to know about monsters, or not making rational choices in the face of obvious dangers? Optimal choices, especially in combat often means doing the thing that puts as much steel through the other guy's body as quickly as possible.

Jay R
2015-05-18, 06:49 AM
Lets not forget that you play a character that fights monsters for a living. Do you honestly expect not to know about monsters, or not making rational choices in the face of obvious dangers? Optimal choices, especially in combat often means doing the thing that puts as much steel through the other guy's body as quickly as possible.

I consider my best times as a DM have been when I have made meta-gaming the choices impossible, beyond the level I think there should be. I change a few monsters from their descriptions, to simulate the false stories that float around, but certainly let the players use the information they would legitimately have.

I have several versions of trolls, for instance. The ones near where the players grew up are as described in the books. But they have heard no tales of the rock trolls to the east that are unaffected by fire. Similarly, they know all the stories about giants, but have never met anybody who has actually faced a giant.

And recently, when the Death Lord broke into this world with his minions, his goblins are very different from this world's goblins.

At first, they didn't recognize the large, hulking humanoids they saw as ogres, because none of them have seen ogres before.

But many monsters have been as the players expected them, and the druid's knowledge of animals has always been exact.

WarKitty
2015-05-18, 07:32 AM
I'm guessing that the healer is there just for the tactical fighting scenarios. There's no shame in that; many people are.

But she needs to be told that the role-playing part of the role-playing game does exist, and will be played. If she's not interested, have her say, "My character loses interest, and takes a nap," while the rest of the party plays out the scenario. Then pull her out of her smartphone when the fight starts.

Not really? I mean, when there's something rp-wise for her character to do, she does it. It's just that her character's interests seem to be so very narrowly defined that she doesn't do anything that's not on your "good guy cleric hero" list of things to do, unless prompted and told how it advances the plot. She also has effectively no background and no ties to anyone in the world, while the other PC's have stronger backstories.

So for example, when they visited a halfling festival, the other PC's wanted to try their hand at games, bargain for goods, talk to the locals, that sort of thing. Her character pretty much sat in the wagon while she complained about being bored and asked when we'd get back on the quest. Or when they visited a brothel to try to find clues, she asked like 1 question and then said "well this isn't getting anywhere, my character heads back to the dormitory."

Jay R
2015-05-18, 09:08 AM
Then I recommend that you try inventing a piece of her background yourself. Have her meet a childhood friend, or have her favorite uncle killed by a vampire, or some such.

Try it once only. If it doesn't work, then give up on her having any interest in anything except the quest.

grimsly
2015-05-18, 09:31 AM
Not really? I mean, when there's something rp-wise for her character to do, she does it. It's just that her character's interests seem to be so very narrowly defined that she doesn't do anything that's not on your "good guy cleric hero" list of things to do, unless prompted and told how it advances the plot. She also has effectively no background and no ties to anyone in the world, while the other PC's have stronger backstories.

So for example, when they visited a halfling festival, the other PC's wanted to try their hand at games, bargain for goods, talk to the locals, that sort of thing. Her character pretty much sat in the wagon while she complained about being bored and asked when we'd get back on the quest. Or when they visited a brothel to try to find clues, she asked like 1 question and then said "well this isn't getting anywhere, my character heads back to the dormitory."

She doesn't go visit the local church? Shoot, that's what my goody two shoes cleric type would do. Especially while the rest of the PCs were in a brothel. " Well, this isn't getting us anywhere. I'm going to go pray for your eternal welfare, let me know when you've left this wretched hive of sin." It's not just Paladins who get to play the religion card. But I digress.

If you haven't told her that a short background would help you know what to do rp wise with her character, tell her that. I remember my very first session, I hadn't really thought out a back story, and my DM took a few minutes to help everybody make sure their character made sense and had some clear motivation, which was really helpful. Even just 'well, I'm a cleric, so I guess I want to help people, maybe call them to repentance because, uh, as a child I guess I used to be a thief or something til I found religion. There, happy now?' can be a really good start.

In the interest of full disclosure, my first character saw his parents killed, then escaped and was raised by wolves. Not exactly prize winning literary genius on that one, I'm afraid.

WarKitty
2015-05-19, 07:08 PM
She made a pretty boring background - basically it amounts to she never really knew her family, lived her whole life in the temple right up until she went out to the city we started in.

Maglubiyet
2015-05-19, 07:24 PM
She made a pretty boring background - basically it amounts to she never really knew her family, lived her whole life in the temple right up until she went out to the city we started in.

So maybe she (the PC) has social anxiety from living such a sheltered life. She doesn't know how to relax around others in an unstructured environment. The real reason for her stand-offishness isn't boredom, it's fear.

The other party members could make her their "project" and try to get her let her hair down and have fun, go clothes shopping, invite her to parties, set her up on blind dates, etc. There's gotta be a tv trope about this type of person -- incapable of having a good time so the gang does their level best to break her out of her shell.

This way she's not a hindrance to the rp action, she's the focus!

hymer
2015-05-20, 01:24 AM
There's gotta be a tv trope about this type of person

I applaud the thought, though I must say there is a grave danger the trope in question would be Stop Helping Me! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StopHelpingMe)