My group has been fun to play with and likable; we're a group of friends that enjoy the hobby and like to adventure into many different genres and settings, however as a Game Master, there's a problem that haunts me: Two of my players are too active, the other two are very passive.

My friend Alex is always thinking every day about new scenes in which his character can look cool, helps me with story arcs, has ideas for villains and battles; there's not a single day in which Alex isn't thinking about what his character can do within the game world, even tho sometimes that makes it seem he likes being protagonistic.

Lulu, another friend, almost never speaks about roleplaying away from the table. However, she surprises me with how much she can do within the game and how creative she can get even tho she's meek. In fact, she's saved the party many times with her wit and creativity.

The other two players are "newcomers" to these sort of games, and they're always short on ideas. "Newcomers" because it's been almost two years as opposed to Lulu and Alex who've been playing for longer.

They are, most of time, feeling excluded from the group because Alex gets the spotlight often, and Lulu gets the ideas before they can even speak. Even pausing to ask them what they want to do, they usually end up saying stuff like "I still need time to decide" or "Let Alex decide what to do". I would have thought they didn't really care, but last night they talked to me through Facebook to tell me they feel their characters aren't important and would like more inclusion, since I usually take entire sessions to let Alex and Lulu develop, since it seems Interludes haven't really helped.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What's your actual question? \$\endgroup\$
    – schroeder
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a mixed group, two players that like to be spoon-fed what they should do, and two players that get bored when I direct them. We all like each other, problem arises when adventuring and only half the group is invested. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this really a savage-worlds question or a general system-agnostic question? Do you only want responses with Savage Worlds in mind? \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have laid out a problem, but not a question. Do you want to know how to get them invested? How to get the others not as invested? How to mesh the two groups? Whether it can be solved? What do you want us to weigh in on? \$\endgroup\$
    – schroeder
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd like to get system specific advice, if it helps. I'd like to know how to design games likeable for everyone. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 16:46

2 Answers 2



Make a history with the two players where they develop a back story that needs to be solved. Work with them alone to make it interesting and have multitude of ways to create hooks for the group. This way the players rely on them for quests instead of NPCs.

Go in deep with them so this way the "Shining Stars" of the group have to rely on them to get it done and not just "Thanks for the idea...we got this".

RP specific quests/items:

Also give them specific encounters where they are away from the group and they find out neat/cool/intriguing stuff that they have to share and only they can fulfill.

EX: one of the finds an old man whos dying breath tells them about a treasure to help save the town and touches the hand of the player and only that player has a "Hand compass" or "Pull" towards the direction.

Your Job:

You have to make the other two want to include and also look to include the two players being left out. Right now they are feeling out shined and dont want to upset the "Favorites". Let them into the game this way and they will know they are also wanted and respected in the group.

All in all this one may rely on back stories and finding creative ways the other two cant solve problems without involving the other two. Maybe removing the majority of NPC help or "Clues" the two main ones find. The best way to do this is have clues that fit the lesser two players ability and skills.

Also while a big help the very active one while helping give you ideas for cool things to do also is fourth walled your story by using the ideas. This make the character seem way overly accomplished then could be done with just game play and figuring it out.

I encourage free thinking in my group but it must be "In Game" and hopefully the rest of the game world agrees. I had when I was younger to many armchair DM/GM ideas that went south exactly how you described this situation. It make ones be a super star since they have privy knowledge no matter how innocent. Only when I did all the story in my own way without letting the rest know the cool stuff (be it my idea or another) did this slow down to the group not having one with a "Leg Up".

We have all been there and will always have this problem of some who are more gregarious then others. They do like the center stage...I just remind them there is a whole supporting cast.

These ideas I have shared helped me get the group as a whole involved so as always...

Hope this helps.


You need help from Alex and Lulu

Having proactive and imaginative players is a bless, because you have to work less, and because the story is more personal if they look for their own goals instead of you throwing challenged at them.

So, talk with Alex and Lulu and make the part of the solution. Tell them you want the other two players involved on their ideas and plans. Remind that everyone having fun is not only the work of the GM, but the whole table.

Split and conquer

When I was a scout leader (I'm not sure if that's the right term) when we had to divide the kids on groups for activities, we sometimes put all the shy kids together, so no one could talk for them. This gave these kids confidence to talk even when they were all together again.

Same drill here. When there are no Alex nor Lulu around, who will speak for the newcomers? You can have a few separate scenes, you can have Alex and Lulu separated, or trapped. You can make a NPC that only talks a language one of the newcomers (or both) talk. You can make necessary the knowledge or skill of the newcomers.

If the newcomers are getting a hard time carrying the weight of the adventure by themselves in front of the others, you can try splitting the group longer, in a way that you play two separate sessions: one with Alex and Lulu and one with the rest.

The idea is to slowly accustom those players to take their own decisions and not to depend so much on other players. It may not work miracles, but luckily you will get some improvement.

Once you have tried all of this, ask the players again if they are having a good time.


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