I run a D&D 5e game for my SO and her family. They are all first time players and agreed to try it on my behalf.
The group consists of:
- Me (25M) DM
- My SO (25F)
- Her father (54M)
- Her mother (49F)
- Her sister (16F)
- Her sister (14 non binary)
We started off playing LMoP with a custom side quest starting with the burning of Phandalin.
We are 5 sessions in (2 years) and the last session went horribly.
I know there are many posts out there trying to figure out how to engage players but I feel the problem I encounter is a mixture of the following:
The players seem to want to be entertained by me and my characters / descriptions and do not participate in telling the story.
I can't quite put my finger on it (which may be the reason why I didn't find any helpful threads) but this leads to a game with only situations like this one:
DM: You see far off the distance the towering shadow of Mount Keep. As you glance along the shape of the mountain you see smoke coming out from behind the trees
Group: ... I guess we go there ...
DM: all right.. on your way travelling the narrow path that leads up the hill an arrow cuts through the air and group of 4 goblins emerge from the shadows. Everybody roll Initiative.
Group: I hit the goblin... I hit the goblin ... I hit the goblin .. We go on the road.
DM: you arrive at a small clearance where the remainder of a still smoking fireplace catches your eye.
Group: we want to roll Perception to see what we find.
This leads to a game that stretches like chewing gum
So players lose focus, get distracted, need to be addressed and then the need to search until they find whatever to roll or add.
This lengthens the game and it goes on and on.
Every time I described the death of an enemy in a cool way or a NPC has a funny voice or character everybody seems to be enjoying it. But a game where I have to go from one NPC to another and act like a puppet is incredibly exhausting.
Has anybody dealt with a group like this before? Do you have any other advice for me?
I feel this happens because they never played TTRPGs before and simply do not know better. I thought I might have another "session 0" to explain the ideas of a game like this. But what should I say or point out?
I feel kinda lost now but I'm sure there's someone out there who has a better insight modifier then I have ;)