Lord Foul wrote:I really wish more people would realise how difficult it can be for everyone else in the game when they choose to play the silent contemplative type, even though they as players may be quite capable of taking a more active role. I more naturally tend to play alpha types anyway, but even then it can be so hard when you get to feel you're the only one actually in the game, driving everything. I totally understand that some players are shrinking violets who find that level of interaction challenging. But when they don't suffer from that issue, but still choose not to get involved, that is annoying.
Amen, it's my single biggest pet peeve among PC personality type creation. To the point where it's a red flag for me. But I think it's got some pretty complex reasons behind it.
Sometimes, it's a function of a newer player feeling a little overwhelmed with choice and pulling back into a shell. One of the guys in my current campaign is like that. This is the first campaign he's ever played in that got above level 10 (D&D 5e) and the bonkersness of it all has him a little gun-shy. We run into avatars of gods on regular basis. Last session, we found an Ur-scroll with the power to reshape reality (a bit) and had to decide if the costs to use it worth the benefit. He had no idea how to even frame that kind of meta-physical conversation about a fictional realm.
Other times, it's a function of prior GM abuse. You know, the player who only creates PCs who are orphans with no friends so the GM cannot punish them for having attachment points? Or the GM who makes a point of making the party choose which passage of the temple of doom they go down so the GM can unleash the inescapable death trap of damnation and the GM can say it was 'because you choose the right passage' and shrug. Do that kind of thing too often and you get players who don't want to make choices. And I get it. Most often, the GM *thinks* they have left enough clues that the players should have figured out that the 'smooth grooves in the floor' or some other such Holmesian level deduction tidbit mean [ A ] when in reality, no player who cannot see into the GM's head and see the full picture the GM is seeing would know enough to figure it out.
And sometimes, it's just that the player is shy and quiet and has trouble pushing themselves out there. So I try not to get too bothered when a player does it. If I'm also a player, I'll step up and mitigate it. Last session, I could see the writing on the wall so I gave the party 20 minutes. If they came to a decision, Wally would abide. But Wally thought we should read the ur-scoll, consequences be damned. And it they didn't come to a decision soon, Wally would read it. Wally did read. Now we have a cool encounter to deal with! And the story moved forward. If I'm a GM, I find a timer can be helpful... or adding another monster mini to the table if the party is (OOC) taking too much time to debate in combat strategy or something similar.