I've been running a group and came across an interesting albeit somewhat delicate situation.
It is a group of 6 players, and 1-2 of the Players are more experienced in D&D, and the other 4 are relatively new.
The 1-2 experienced Players each have their own views and don't generally mesh that well.
Now, the Experienced Player(s) will usually want to do something different like "Stealth over and find out what is inside" or "Carry Corpse of Evil Wizard to later use ritual Speak to the Dead and see what information we can get" from the Newer ones who prefer to "Let's bash down the door and kill everything!"
Due to the composition of the group, and knowing that the Experienced Players also enjoy the Fighting, I'm currently veering towards more Combat and less RP. Times that I've tried to provide RP opportunities generally provoke an extended argument between members of the group on what to do, causing a severe time-sink in our limited play time.
Admittedly, the more Experienced Players tend to be quirkier people who don't always diplomatically address the others, so it is amusing for me to see them advocate a better option only to be overruled, leaving them unsatisfied when s*** hits the fan.
So far, my thoughts on handling it is to let the more Experienced Players hang behind / slightly away, but initial attempts also resulted in some resentment and a sharper divide (no thanks to the "Haha, told you guys!" from the experienced players). Thoughts ?
This is where you pull them aside before the game for some "notes". Tell them that you are wanting to push the new guys into being more RP savy, and that they should try to throw in some helpful advice here and there, like. "Why not check for traps before we walk down this hallway." Just simple things that any good gamer would do. It would help them gain much needed exp in the feild and as for RP for the sack of RP give them some RP-XP so they are motivated to start talking with each other and the NPCs. Just don't go over 500xp unless they were god-like in the RP.
None of the players in my group are terribly experienced in D&D, though half have played AD&D in the old days, and I'm having similar problems. The group leader does a lot of metagaming, while a couple of the players understand the value of RP. I'm also about to cut out the more wacky, ridiculous RP elements that some of them are trying out. I'm gonna try the 'RP for XP' idea, but not splitting the group, since I really wanna promote RP and teamwork. Wrangling the characters is enough trouble when they're in the same room, lol.
That problem does take away from the game. I have always found it great to have the newbies in so that they get that first experience feel for those situations vet's will just do what they know, taking away from the DM fun. That is why I police any player knowledge over character knowledge at the start. I also have one person put in charge that the others are likely to follow, meaning the character, not the player. Sometimes it is better to let the noobs run the show to get unusual outcomes, I have seen.
I would first ask, "Ae the experienced players taking over when their character would be doing something different?" I also give those that have problems always following other leaders a chance to run free for short periods to get it out of their system (experienced or not).
That is a rough postion to be in as a DM. I would look to the players and see the personalities and twist things up and get them off guard (like splitting the party or making someone responsible for anothers problem). Good luck.
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