A couple years ago I DM’d for the first time for a game with my girlfriend (now wife) my friend Matt and his wife and a couple of our female friends. Other than myself and Matt, no one else had ever played D&D. Though I think they kind of liked it, it was very difficult to get them to attempt to role play (my wife later said she just didn’t know what to do. My wife is very smart and loves the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and things like that, so I thought she would love role playing. The problem is she is also very shy and introverted any may was probably a little afraid to put herself out there (she later said she just didn’t know how to role play or what she was supposed to do). What advice would you give to try and draw someone out of their shell and help them dip their toes into the waters of role playing if they have no previous experience?
Do you have any suggestions for getting players to be passionate about a game in general? Specifically new players, who maybe aren’t that into gaming, or who are too busy or preoccupied to spend much time thinking about the stuff. My players have all indicated they really enjoyed a couple of sessions we’ve done so far, and that they want to keep playing, etc. However, apart from the one session we play every two months or so, they don’t seem interested in thinking about or discussing their characters. For example, at one point I emailed a short, basic questionnaire of about 2 or 3 questions just asking for slightly more information about their characters for planning purposes, and if they got back to me at all, it took weeks. I wish there was a way to get them more invested in the game. On one hand I feel like it’s probably a failure of mine as a GM. But on the other hand, it’s these people with lives and children and I feel like there must be some way to crack that shell and get them more excited about playing. Basically, to boil it down, the problem is not getting them excited at the table, the problem is getting them excited before the game. Any thoughts?