Before I played P&P, I role played a lot in multiplayer CRPGs, mostly in Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2. I played on “persistent worlds” (basically like a small MMORPG with enforced role play) and also on more P&P like campaigns were the same small of group with am DM met on regular basis to play campaigns. So I have rp experience, but no P&P (or table top) experience.

I started playing in my first P&P group a while ago and the role play is, well, not really what I expected, I guess. Everyone speaks IC very rarely. Most of the time it’s more like a “my character does that” or “my character says that” type of play. I find that hardly immersive. I guess everyone is just a bit socially awkward (me included), but actually I am the only new guy and everyone else knows each other for years. The DM and our only female player are even a couple and living together. That didn’t cause any issues so far (he treats her like everyone else while playing), but I would suspect them being comfortable to role play in each other’s presence. So I guess that’s how they always play and probably always will, given the fact that they all have been playing P&P for a very long time.

Also, it seems to me that the main focus is mainly on the DM telling the story and not at all on the characters development. The DM tries to bring in some character related side quests (like my Viking priest having some sort of crisis of faith) but those does not seem to be a result of role play but rather an idea the DM is pursuing because he likes the idea, not because it is a logical consequence of the character’s actions or as a decision of the player. I also feel kind of railroaded. The world our characters are actually living in is basically not fleshed out at all, because it’s not more than a base we use to start missions. And while the worlds we visit have always some interesting ideas about some sort of alternative history, we never stay for long and it always seems a bit superficial. That’s maybe just something a setting of inter-dimensional special forces like our group just brings with it, but somehow it feels not satisfying. There were also no grave moral decisions or anything like I was used to from old school singleplayer CRPGS. Actually the only decisions we’ve have ever made were either which mission to tackle first or puzzles like how to break open an enforced door and how to pass different kinds of traps.

I like the other players and the DM, but I notice that I look forward to our sessions less and less. Is there something I can do in this situation? Does it make sense to openly address my issues even if the chance is really high that the others will basically understand that I mean they’re bad at role playing or DMing? I am also not very diplomatic and often come across as more judgmental and unfriendly than intend with topics like this. Additionally I see the problem that I don’t give a better example and they might just ask me to role play like I think it should be done. I am not sure if I can really do that with a character which was mostly created by the DM, being a bit socially awkward and being strongly influenced by the style of play of the others. So what do you think I should do? Do you have similar experiences? Is there a way to bring back the fun for me?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. I suggest you take the tour to find out how this site works. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Apr 26 '17 at 9:21
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ While there is a good question in there, it is drowned by too many tangential questions. "What do you think?" is a bad one which invites discussions and cannot really be answered. I would rephrase your question to focus on one thing: Is there a way to bring back the fun for me? leaving the rest for either another question or dropping it altogether. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Apr 26 '17 at 9:23
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You seem to have two different problems here, that can't be solved all at the same time: 1)You don't know how to bring hot topics to your friends. 2) You are afraid of not being able to roleplay your character as you would like to. Did I nail the problem? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Apr 26 '17 at 12:35

First off: There are many ways to approach roleplaying games. Don't be put off by PnP RPGs as a whole due to one less than satisfactory experience. I.e. talking in character or describing what your character does are both equally valid. As are more open playstyles and those that rely heavily on narrative driven quite heavily by the DM.

That said, you and your group have to figure out if you all want the same out of the game and have issues putting that to practice. Or if maybe you just have very different expectations from the game and don't fit well as a RPG group. A very valuable tool for that is the Same Page Tool which offers you and your group a series of questions that you can sit down and discuss together to determine what kind of roleplaying game you all want to have.

If you conclude that there is a working game - one in which everyone of you has fun - to be found in bringing together your expectations, you can take measures to make that happen: Adjust your expectations, adjust your playstyle, adjust your DMing style according to what you set up to be the groundrules of your game.

If, on the other hand, you conclude that you just don't fit in with what all the rest want out of the game, it is time to move on. Find a new group. Simple as that. There is no point in you not having fun and there's no point in forcing the rest to adjust so that you have fun and they don't. By all means, that doesn't mean you can't be friends or do other stuff together - it just means that you're not a match for PnP RPGs. Other people will be. Go find them!


Is there a way to bring back the fun for me?

It is highly unlikely for that game.

The group you are role playing with clearly has a different expectation of what role play (for this game) is than yours. Asking that they change their ways to suit yours is possible and if done in an diplomatic way unlikely to destroy friendships. However, this is unlikely to work as they seem happy with what they are currently doing.

I like the other players and the DM, but I notice that I look forward to our sessions less and less.

Do not do things that you are not enjoy, life is way too short for that. You should either seek out another group with expectations closer to yours or suggest a different game (maybe with a system more aligned to your style of play) that you can all play together.

When (if) you decide to leave, please be diplomatic: it is okay to have different expectations. Make sure there is no blame assigning.

Note that, the same page tool is a tool that can be used to define what people want out of game. It has been used many times with great success.


Another option is to suggest trying a different game completely with them, a game that emphasizes roleplaying more, like Inspectres, Soth, or Paranoia. This way they can come to it without carrying any historical baggage of their continuing campaign, or characters, or setting, and it can just be a one off tryout.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm downvoting this for being a suggestion, and not an answer neither objective nor supported by experience. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Apr 26 '17 at 12:06

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.