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I have recently started DMing for a group of six (I have only had groups of two before). I have a few quite players and some of them are more involved than others. But I don't want my quieter players to get steamrolled. I am trying to get them more involved by asking them questions about what their characters are doing but I don't really get that much feed back.

So far I found that if I make an interesting enough story line every one seems to get pretty involved.

One player who has been wanting to play D&D for a while isn't that involved and I want to make sure he enjoys this game, he is pretty quiet. I'm harassing him for more details on his character.

Right now I have been asking every one what they want to do and I have gotten a wide variety of answers from being a cult leader to doing puzzles.

The current quest the group is on has them in a town that is stuck on a time loop, that every one seems pretty into.

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closed as too broad by A_S00, Miniman, ZwiQ, screamline, Wibbs Dec 13 '18 at 21:41

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! This question looks like it could use some more detail, to help us provide better answers. First and foremost, please edit the question to include a tag indicating what game you're playing. Also, you might be able to give us more to work with by including more details about your game and situation in general. What makes you think your players might not be having a good time? You mention that they want different things; how do you know? What have you tried so far? \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Dec 13 '18 at 21:13
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You've written:

Everyone in my party wants to do something different

and this is going to cause trouble for you. In a game with six players, if each of them is only active one-sixth of the time, it's going do be very hard to keep them all entertained.

What you need to do is get them to do things as a group. Give them monsters to fight, give them problems to solve, give them dungeons to explore, give them villains to thwart. Make sure you're providing activities so that they don't feel the need to make up their own individual activities.

If, despite your efforts, someone comes up with their own activity they want to do, that won't advance the group's story -- "I'm going to go have a chat with the mayor, one on one, about this plot of land I want to buy" -- a good solution is to ask them to take it to email. They can send you an email between games describing their action, and you can reply with the result of that action, and then the actual game can be for group activities.

I've done this occasionally, but usually I find that just providing a direction to the game will keep everyone from splitting up in the way you describe.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe, maybe not. If they all want to go their own way and operate entirely independently, then yes, you're right, but if two want political intrigue, another three want combat, and the last two are into puzzles and ancient lore respectively, it's possible to craft plots and settings that satisfy all or most of these. As long as players are willing to be patient during times focused on other preferences and know their favorite types of things will be forthcoming, having diverse interests among PCs can make for a richer game than one focused in only one area. \$\endgroup\$ – user47897 Dec 13 '18 at 21:29
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While this question is very open-ended, there are a few general items that can help, in my own experience.

You might consider a 'Session 0' to hammer out exactly that, or if game has already begun, there's nothing to say you can't take a couple hours out of play to examine the game and make adjustments to your plans to better accommodate player preferences. It's a good idea to periodically pulse check the game like this anyway and keep the game healthy. That said, you asked about making sure quieter players didn't get steamrolled, so the rest of this will focus on that rather than on session 0 stuff.

Proactively ask the quieter players what they want to do and do not let anyone else interrupt them. Be prepared to calmly and firmly say something like 'Hold on, we'll get to your input in a moment, but everyone should have the space to contribute.' and give the quieter person time to think a little and then give their input. Since singling people out could cause some anxiety, doing this for each player in sequence, around the table for Social or Exploration times or in initiative order for Combat times will ensure everyone has an equal chance to be heard.

Make efforts to ensure that the quieter people are comfortable.

Quieter players may have a lot of reasons for being quieter. Some may just be a bit laid-back or introverted, others may have anxiety issues or just be shy. The gaming table should be a safe place for expression and participation. Find out what motivates the quietness and ensure the environment of the gaming table is a positive one for them. This means that if they tend to get talked over or if they automatically yield focus when someone else speaks up, be ready to ask the more boisterous person to hold off if you feel they are speaking out of turn. It's good for players to be excited, but not at the expense of the others at the table.

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