Content of the article: "What is the best method for gently teaching and encouraging new players to roleplay?"
I've been playing half my life, and I run 2-3 games a week. One of my games is at a pub, and is an open-to-the-public style game with no commitment necessary, to introduce and teach new people how to play. A lot of people, when you tell them you do D&D, say "It seems neat but I'm so busy, and I don't know a group who plays". So this game is a massive team of people, basically a city guard, who do small quests 2-5 players at a time, but all in the same city/world. (Biggest group I've run was 15, that was a Thing.) It's been great, I've made a bunch of new friends, some people have become weekly regulars. Some people use the game as a date night.
One of my biggest issues as a DM is pushing players to actually roleplay. Most groups I've led before were fine, because they knew the game, but a lot of players in this game are completely green. My biggest frustration in these games is giving an exposition spiel, turning the action over to the party, and having everyone just sit in silence. I try to make an open world without railroading, but sometimes I have to strongly push players to investigate this, fight that, etc. I offer multiple mysteries, calls for aid, and oddball characters, hoping that the team will chose what interests them best and explore it. But often they just sort of wait for me to tell them where to go and what to stab.
Does anyone have any tips on how to encourage new players to roleplay, and to take the game into their own hands? Teaching new players is a lot of basics, and the folks who aren't veterans or theatre nerds tend to just sit and wait their turn.
Any ideas on how I can encourage new friends to act as a character without being too harsh or critical? I definitely don't want to come down too hard on any part of the game and scare away new players. But my favourite sessions were ones where people wasted an hour or more just chatting in character, and I want to help others enjoy that.
Thanks, appreciate it
- Tips for nervous players new to roleplay.
- Help with a player who takes too long to make roleplay decisions?
- Making games more exciting as a player – roleplay tips
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