My DM is running the Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign, which is notoriously catering to murder-hoboism. We have currently went from level 1 to level 9 over 12 weeks. This quickly went off the rails, however, and now we're running the dungeons as a homebrew setting instead of the official setting, keeping the general plot arc the same (game show, yadda yadda, wizard, yadda yadda).
Recently DM was telling me that my character's love interest was, well, losing interest. He said this was because everyone was distant. My thoughts at this moment somewhat resembled, "Well, if we got a moment to breathe instead of fighting, we may be willing to not be so distant". Of course, I bit my tongue at this snarky remark, and accepted it for what it was.
Of course, he's obviously trying to add drama. It's just not good drama. Good, not as in a "good v. evil" sense, but good as in "the milk is still good to drink".
For example, his most recent drama was having the BBEG attack my character's love interest instead of me when the BBEG couldn't reach me. To me, this isn't drama, as much as it is a hook. Normally, I'd bite, but the BBEG needed dealing with more than the NPC.
Another example is when we're tasked with burning the upper echelons of a city which we had no connection to. Most of the players had no problem with this because:
- We had never seen this city before. We have no clue about how the
town even operates.
- Most players had an affinity to 'stick it to the man' anyway.
Yet, this was supposed to be a dramatic moment for the players.
A more in-depth example, is the way things just turn into breadcrumbs instead of plot points. The most recent MBBEG (mini-big bad evil guy) was inspired by Pyramid Head (from the Silent Hill series). Now, I thought this was interesting, and could go a lot of directions.
The MBBEG called one of the PCs "Papa", which was supposed to be "the drama" for the section of the game show. The other PCs even temporarily stopped combat to try and ask why he was calling one of the PCs that name. This did not work, with a generic response of "because he's my papa", and combat ensued, as he kept hitting the "papa" PC.
Now, there was no extra information, and the NPCs when pressed didn't know anything. The PC, when pressed, didn't know anything (I'm the PC in question, my character's never had a kid). And the only other expose we got is at the end when the MBBEG wanted the 'papa' PC to finish them (MBBEG) off. We never got any other story, or any indication that there may be more story. The other players did most of the asking of other NPCS for info during this quest, while I as the 'papa' PC held back in fear of being branded as being on the MBBEG's side.
In a way, I cannot help but feel this is on us as players not biting at the hooks. I've tried a few times to get into the hooks, to which the 3 other players' response is usually, "Why are you even asking about this?". My response is then, "You're right, why am I asking about this? The answer is obvious," and the answer is obvious, which makes me think that the drama is weak and untenable.
How do I encourage the DM to add better, more relatable, more impactful drama into a campaign which is predominantly catering to murder-hobos? By drama I mean Merriam-Webster's definition no. 3:
A state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces
Ideally, encounters would carry more weight than hit points and XP, and characters would be more integral to a story, as opposed to scripted. They might have opinions and preferences, for example. Currently, NPCs are about as good as a piece of paper with a script on it. They don't have opinions, and their history has no bearing on how they act. Each NPC has the same personality, and methodology of actions. Some things like zombies may attack differently, but there is the same action loop for most creatures, behavior is the same, etc.
I've talked with the other players about it, and they agree that the campaign is quite flat. I haven't talked to the DM explicitly, rather telling him how much I like story-driven events, and praising his good dramatic encounters.
My biggest concern is hurting his feelings. He works hard and has self-confidence issues, so I don't want to be negative towards what he's said is his favorite day of the week.