I'm a New DM, running a party of new players through a campaign. I've got some experience as a player, however all the players in my game are completely new to playing PnP RPG's. Basically we are a group of friends who wanted to get involved in D&D but were never able to... until now.
We got started a few weeks ago and so far it's been great! We kicked off with The Red Box (which helped a lot), grew from that to build/refine characters in the builder, and have continued the story into the DM's Kit 'Reavers of Harkenwold', which I plan on blending into the Forgotten Realms as we are all fans of that setting. I now own many of the core books and am addicted to collecting minis
We aren’t far, only level 3, however I have come to see a few issues which I was wondering if I could seek advice on from more experienced players and DMs.
Firstly is our roleplaying in general, quite frankly we suck. After encounters and looting, the players all just sort of wait, and its hard to initiate any roleplaying with them. I usually just end up reading from the book and giving them the answers as to what to do next, or what skill to roll on. Rarely are they jumping out and seeking answers, interacting or planning. It's got me worried that because there are no experienced players, they don’t know how to act in this portion of the game. There are only so many times I can ask "what does your character want to do?" My DM skills are to blame no doubt, but what can I do to encourage better roleplaying, and ultimately improve our game? Does it just come with experience?
Second and closely related to my first problem are the connections between the PCs. How can I instil a feeling of connection between the party members? Is this something I should have done before the first game? Should I ask the players to create backgrounds that intertwine? I’m worried that nobody cares about the other in-game. For example if one character came to great grief none of the others would have a reason to care, and ultimately there is no real reason for the party to stay a party once they get their gold.
Lastly is a little problem with individual player qualities. Only player tends to be a typical 'power gamer', with a strong optimized character build and getting a little on the greedy side when it comes to loot. Another is playing his class terribly wrong, with a leader that wishes it was a defender. I think he just wants to be right in the fight, seeming to feel left out when his warlord just sits back and gives everyone else extra attacks, but ends up causing more problems for the others when he's the first to be unconscious every encounter.
Is there anything I can do as a DM to change these players without offending them?
I just want everyone to have as much fun as possible, and we are, but these issues feel like the beginnings of a bad career as a DM... Or am I overacting and reading into this too far? We are all beginners, so things shouldn’t be perfect I guess.
Thanks in advance to anyone who replies, greatly appreciated.