I'm a part of a Pathfinder group. We meet every Friday night at 6-7, and play until 11:30. We have been meeting for the past 2 months, and the people in my group are pretty great. But our party is a real piece of work. The main problem with our group is that we have no true group focus. We aren't together in one cause.

It all comes down to when we began our group - everyone vied for a "silent stoic type," with a mysterious backstory and [can't remember name | is practically mute | is married to DM | is new player, so RP is secondary | didn't bother with a backstory in the first place]. Multiple times have people in the party said "If you stepped in the way of my fireball, I'd pretend I didn't see you" or "I don't care for anyone in the group."

The last week's game was atrocious (we just made the change to homebrew adventures). Basically, we got shoehorned into doing a quest for a character's backstory - but that character won't reveal to the rest of use what it is that we are doing. So essentially we're doing very tiny pieces of a larger quest, without any real knowledge of the quest, because the character doesn't trust us.

I believe the problem arises farther back. When we created our characters, nobody took the time to have our characters have integrated backgrounds. All of the characters are true neutral or CN, so they have no reason to care (or that's at least the roleplay that is presented). We can't simply remake all of our characters because we're lvl 6, and people generally like their characters.

Question restated:

How do I get a group of adventurers that don't necessarily care for each at all to find passion in each other, and become a great RP driven group?


4 Answers 4


The main problem with our group is that we have no true group focus. We aren't together in one cause.

All of the characters are true neutral or CN, so they have no reason to care (or that's at least the roleplay that is presented).

Out of Character Approaches

  1. If you are the only player concerned about this, the short answer is that you can't. If you are all concerned about this, then you can have an out-of-character discussion on what overarching aim or desire you have — even if it means simply using one another for your own ends.

  2. Don't feel bad: IRL groups that don't have a purpose to stay together often don't. This RL character of groups translates well into group dynamics for role playing characters.

  3. If you all, as players, enjoy playing even if a particular group of characters is dysfunctional, then part of your fun is the dysfunction itself. If you don't all enjoy that, your group's social contract requires a discussion or revision: see point 1.

  4. As you pointed out, if the alignments are TN or CN then you are role playing about right: the characters aren't as team centered as might otherwise be the case. You could argue that this is good role play, depending upon how much influence you all (as a group) prefer to allow alignment to have in your games.

  5. Regardless of your take on points 1–4, have a talk with you DM about your concerns. You may be on the cusp of reaching something that, as an external issue, acts as a unifying goal or purpose for your group -- but he's not ready to reveal it yet.

In Character Approaches

  1. If your character has a goal, make a deal with the character whose quest you are on:
    your further help is contingent upon reciprocity, in that your assistance is null and void unless you get a contract/commitment for assistance in your next personal objective.

  2. Another RP approach to employ is that "there is something bigger going on, and I'm hoping that this side quest reveals what this is." You can extend this to a general "conspiracy theorist" approach where you always look to the in-game concerns of
    What's the bigger picture here?
    Who is pulling the strings?

    in subsequent adventures.

  3. Test the resolve of the other characters by withdrawing from any mission or raid that doesn't align with your aims and objectives. That can lead to some good role play, but it can also slide into "My Guy Syndrome" if one isn't careful to balance that with playing together. See what their in-game reaction is to the first example of this kind of transaction.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I really need to consult the rest of the players - all I know is that me, and one of the other players agree that last weeks game was lame. We didn't like the dis-cohesion, and in the future want a more... group-y group. Thank you for the points though, definitely a lot of stuff to think about. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2015 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tanishalfelven Heh, that's why I made that point number 1. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2015 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ About the last few points: You don't want to abuse the meta-game. Meta-gaming isn't bad, but abusing it is. Don't, for example, be that guy that only goes on adventures if others pay him. Sure, it could provoke some engagements and others might start plotting against you (which, I suppose is also a form of cohesion), but it's the DM's job to give the party antagonists and it will be most likely that they'll accept your offer because they feel like they have to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joninean
    Sep 15, 2015 at 6:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Joniean That last point is an "in character" transaction, and is aimed at the professed alignment mix, and to date behavior, of the party: a group of non-team players. It isn't meta-game activity, which concerns are addressed in the "out of character" section. I agree on the risks you point out: in game the "pay to play along" can be even more counterproductive, depending on the line taken. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 15, 2015 at 11:58

Your choice of pronouns implies that you are a player in the group, but you didn't indicate any exceptions to the problems you described, so I have to assume that your character is cut from mostly the same mold.

If I were attacking this from the GM angle, I'd start talking to individual players behind the scenes and fleshing out their backstories in ways I could use to motivate them, but you're not the GM. The only character and background you have (limited) authority to change is your own. I would talk to the GM and see if he feels the same way, and if so, volunteer to throw yourself on your sword, change your character concept a little, and see what happens from there. Specifically, you need no authorization from the GM to simply change your character's attitude. On the other hand, if you want to change your background to give the GM more hooks... you kinda do need to talk it over, and you kinda need your GM to pick up on the hooks and work them into adventures.

It may be the case that seeing you get more of the spotlight because you are being a cooperative player will spur the other plays to move in the same direction.

  • \$\begingroup\$ My answer is basically a more defined this. And you are correct in assuming that yes, even I fell into this trap. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2015 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like they are different answers-- tinkering with an existing character to entice other players is different than wholesale scrapping one in order to bring in another that challenges/provokes other players. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Sep 15, 2015 at 14:38

With some help from one of my friend players and the GM, I've taken the time to create a new character. This character will challenge the ideas of the group fairly heavily, as he is LG, and everyone else in the party is fairly true neutral or CN. My hope is that when the group is challenged they will take a step back and try to strengthen their roleplaying ties. Although this approach could end up working out pretty awesomely, and I really like the new character, the most probable outcome is going to be him having no credibility in the group and not being listened to.

The biggest problem with this also will be the introduction of the character - the group would not take it well if someone out of nowhere came and started "bossing" them around, so I'm still thinking of a great way to integrate my new character and phase out the old one.

This is not the answer, just an answer to help get you thinking, and so you know where I'm currently at.


While not as useful as a DM-led effort to pull a team together, it is certainly within your ability to lead from behind. Pull your team together with a rousing speech, perhaps talk it out with them (rp or not) to draw parallels. Perhaps even make promises to assist in this personal quest, if only you knew what it was.

Certainly one of you has persuasive skills -- and if your fellow players are willing to roleplay their characters to the T, then use of skills should be within the realm of reason. Why would a self-centered character persuade others? Greed, furthering their own goals, and furthering their own survival.

Basically, add some more chaos to your neutral, it should pan out.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, the change is in. I wish I knew which alignment his character was in, and what this quest involved -- even a true neutral druid can be persuaded to help out, if his garden is in danger. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2015 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ My character is CN, as is common in our little ole group. The character we are following is a CN barbarian with a surprisingly high intelligence. Our quest is homebrew now, but our group completed the first part of Serpent's Skull. The quest is pretty nonsensical, as our characters aren't being clued in on all of the details because one character chooses to not tell us. But basically we're going about a murder mystery. The downside is that none of us really care about... the murder mystery, except for the character whose backstory it is based. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2015 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is anyone else endangered by the elements of this mission? I.E. will the killer go after anyone else if not found? Surely the highly intelligent barbarian could be persuaded to assist, given the right impedus. Also: perhaps someone could be intrigued by the turn of things and want to see it through after more comes of it. I'd hate for it to come down to simple persuasion rolls, but that's always an option. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2015 at 19:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .