Beside money or items, what else might be the reward of a quest? If the quest itself if supposed to be the reward, how to make the quest itself rewarding?
I am a new GM running a role-play heavy (mechanically simplistic) game with a single player.
We are using a home-brewed system with the basis of D&D, except everything is simplified to only the player's bases stats and inventory. The PC does not use magic or complex skills/abilities.
My PC is trying to gather a total of 2000 gold as the campaign's end-game goal; the context was that she was a modern human being trapped in a fantasy world, and have to gather enough money to pay/persuade the local church to open a portal and send her home.
Story-wise the current campaign revolves around the PC taking various quests posted in a city. Different factions are at conflict around the city, clues suggesting the existence of such conflicts are scattered throughout the quests as the PC attempts them.
I have operating under the assumption that if I envision a sufficiently dynamic, consistent and detail fictional world, the campaign will eventually collide with the greater-scale conflicts and become more engaging. This has yet to happen.
I suspect that the player is not interested in the quests—which were taken in the form of job-posts from a post-board, and consecutive quests have little direct correlation to one another, at least superficially.
The player is blazing past information, ignoring most environmental and social presences and focused on the completion of each quest. I cannot adequately assess the player's level of engagement due to inexperience.
How should I improve my quest-designs? If I should start by understanding the player's points of interest, how should I find that out? How should I respond possible player interests given their areas of focus? (E.g., if my player enjoys social interaction, how should I modify my quest to suit that need? Etc.)