Content of the article: "Help with cowardly players"
Hi! So I've been DMing three separate groups in a kinda parallel version of the same homebrew universe for a few months and have a growing issue with one of them. I love sharing the universe this way, their choice are really different so they go in very different directions, but any event/discovery of one group adds to the universe of the other groups. I'm also sharing some specific adventures for the main plot or simply because they were appreciated.
My issue is with one group; they constantly take the cowardly route and avoid conflict. See interesting animal footprints on the way? Ignored. See a clockwork soldier with a cable going to an electrode? Cut the cable. See a secret passage entrance at the bottom of a well? Fill the well with rocks.
I know I'm not giving enough context to really appreciate the issue, but while the other groups are finding a baby hyppogriph, exploring dungeons and letting their half orc barbarian handle diplomacy (lol, that might lead to a TPK), this group feels like it's going to start a small farm or something.
We talked about it a few times and even introduced a new player, hoping it would help, but he's mostly sharing their cautious nature. I thought I would try to exploit their backgrounds more when preparing side stuff, but they didn't bite.
My current conclusion is that I should stop preparing stuff for them, and "go with the flow". Improvise as much as possible, expand on their voiced theories about what's going to happen and see how it goes. It should reduce my frustration and help me see what they expect of the game. Any thoughts?
Edit: thank you all for your ideas, I really appreciate it. This game includes my two brothers and i really want it to be enjoyable. Key things I gathered from the comments (will update it after reviewing all comments, the edit window doesn't let me see the comments):
- Let the action come to them if they don't seek it out;
- Have a rival NPC group benefit from or simply accomplish quests they refused;
- For new content, greatly lean on their decisions and hypothesis about what's to come (go with the flow + improvise);
- If that doesn't help after a few sessions, hold another meeting to discuss expectations.
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