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So I'm running a D&D 3.5 game right now with 4 friends, soon to be 5. I was talking with one of them after a session asking what they thought I could do to improve the campaign and they recommended that I find ways to engage the players so that they're thinking about the game away from the table. As I see it, this could have several advantages, if I get my players pondering what happened in the campaign when the campaign isn't happening, I believe it will do a great deal to increase immersion, as nothing is better for getting players to engage with a campaign then to have them thinking a great deal about it.

As things stand, while my players love the sessions, they spend so little time thinking about the campaign out of session that they often forget their character's stats and have trouble staying in character or recognizing that I'm talking to them when I mention their character's name. I'm really hoping that, by thinking about the campaign more, they'll be more absorbed in their characters and that will increase the quality of the roleplay.

So far, I've thought about running parallel plot lines to increase intrigue (e.g. is this dead nobleman part of the Nightmask's plot to take over the city or part of the machinations of the local wizard guild to accrue power in the city... or both? Which should we pursue first?). I think the kind of engagement I'm hoping to inspire is the kind of way I engage with Game of Thrones for instance - where I can't help but think about who is Azor Ahai or what 'x' character will be up to next.

Are there some common techniques used by DMs for engagning players between games? Looking for a experienced based answer.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by KorvinStarmast, Dale M, daze413, user17995, Oblivious Sage Feb 6 '17 at 4:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ they spend so little time thinking about the campaign out of session that they often forget their character's stats and have trouble staying in character or recognizing that I'm talking to them when I mention their character's name __ Why do you think that's due to not thinking about the game outside of the sessions? Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to get a sense of how to get the most out of this site. What problem are you trying to solve? SE sites aren't great places for idea generation. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 6 '17 at 4:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ The really key words that people don't like here are 'Any ideas?' See if you can rephrase the question so that it asks god a solution to a specific problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Feb 6 '17 at 6:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're engaging in an XY problem: You have a problem (the players have trouble tracking some info) and have concluded there's a specific solution (keep them engaged out of session) and are asking us about achieving that solution. This is concerning because it may not be a solution at all, or the best solution. You should just ask us about your problem: your players have trouble tracking their stats and are caught off guard when you address them by their characters' names, what can you do about it? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 6 '17 at 14:41