I'm running a campaign with some experienced players that is pretty complex and long-term. (Short story: Acererak is returning to the Prime Material to enslave the population, and the only weapon that can destroy him permanently is the Rod of Seven Parts.) Players started at level 1.

The players have REPEATEDLY failed to examine items and scenes where I've placed important items. This includes not looting monsters they've killed, but extends to, for example, finding a hall full of statues and not examining to note that they are actually victims of a medusa.

This has led to me having to almost spoon-feed them information and items. I even tried to "gift" them a Wand of Fireball from a party of bandits they encountered and killed, and when they failed to check for it I had one bandit survive the encounter, meet the party later, and actually drop the wand right in front of them. I had to write in multiple NPCs to flat-out say, "Hey, that vampire might not have been the BBEG" and also told them out-of-game that they need to be more observant.

What techniques can I use to have my players pay more attention to details?

  • \$\begingroup\$ it seems like semantics, but a better question would be "How can I encourage my players to investigate more" or something specific we can actually answer with certainty. \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Mar 12 '19 at 14:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ To me, this looks a lot like the question I've marked it as a dupe of. However, I'm still new to my "powers" of closing as duplicate all by myself, so if anyone (OP included) disputes me, I'll undo it. Bluedogz, does the linked question help you with your situation? \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Mar 12 '19 at 14:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bluegodz Does the linked duplicate question look the same as yours and do the answers look like they address your issue? Also note that having a question closed as a duplicate is not a bad thing as it makes it easier for other people to find the same question and allows us to keep the same conversation in one place :) Also, Welcome! It appears you now have enough reputation to get into Role-playing Games Chat where we talk about all things RPG. Feel free to join us there. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 12 '19 at 14:37

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