As a GM I've been running into several problems, one of them being that, my players more often than not can't roleplay for more that a few minutes, before the game become a dull "dice simulator".

While I think I can pinpoint 2 possible reasons for that behavior, I just can't figure out a solution to help them roleplay their characters longer, and better.

Reason 1 : The Background of their characters is often too vague, or, too detailed, but never gives any information on the Personnality of the character. There is two major exemple I can give wich can illustrate the problem :

  1. Rowan is a Ranger, who spent her life in the forest.

The only information about this character is their name, class, and that they lived in a forest. But appart from that, I have no idea who she is, what she did, how she lived, if she enjoyed her life, why did she suddenly leave the forest, etc etc.

  1. Claude is the bastard of a King, who has been killed in a revolution, Claude was the only survivor in his family, and was later welcomed by a ancient Knight, and his wife. Later on, his adoptive father was killed by an old nemesis, and he was then welcomed by an order of Knights.After a few years the order was decimated in a battle against the undead. Only Claude survived.

While we do know a bit about his past (which, let's be honest, is too video gamy for a tabletop RPG), we, again, don't know much about him, his personality, how he took those events, what are his reason to go on a adventure, hell we don't even know what happened to his adoptive mother.

While I have no problems with simple or complicated background (I would enjoy mixing them with the story), since they have no information on who the character is, as a person, they can't roleplay them accordingly.

Reason 2 : None of the players are actively trying to immerse themselves in their characters. The players tend to take any and all decisions as players, not characters, meaning that almost everything affecting the game is due to meta-gaming. Wich means there is no reason to try and Roleplay their characters, as they are nothing more than an excuse to throw dices.

My question : Are the 2 reason I cited the reasons why my players are unable to roleplay their character ? And, if it is, how can I help them improve their roleplay ?

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you checked whether they want to roleplay? Some people just prefer rolling dice and killing monsters and aren't in it for the story. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Apr 6, 2018 at 8:21
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify for us which game and edition you're playing in? That knowledge is instrumental to understanding the potential causes of this behaviour as well as your options for resolving it. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2018 at 8:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi and welcome to the stack, we notice you've been using the [new-gm] and [new-players] tag, these aren't tags to signal that you (the GM) and your players are new to the hobby. If you take the tour, you'll see what tags are for. And if you look at each tag's description, it even says that it's not for saying "im a new GM". Welcome to the hobby, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Apr 6, 2018 at 8:33
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Linking a bunch of related questions: How to introduce and encourage role playing in non-roleplayers?, How do I transition my players from roll-playing to role-playing?, How do I deal with my players not roleplaying at all? One of those might even be a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Apr 6, 2018 at 8:37


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