[RPG] Differing roleplay priorities between players leading to conflict


I've been in a D&D 5e group with some people from my high school for a few weeks. The group started with a simple starter campaign (A Most Potent Brew) and continued with a homebrew campaign created by the DM.

The problem I'm having is that parts of the group are very heavy on roleplay that seems like it means nothing to the story or campaign. For example, in the last session, three or four of the characters spent an hour of real time in an inn, seducing the bartenders/other bar attendees/each other and having a party. After this, there was about 15 minutes of story building and progress, with some mild story related roleplay (I found this interesting) and then more roleplay about romantic relationships between characters.

To clarify, I don't inherently dislike in character roleplay. For example, there was an interaction between one character and an NPC that I was very interested in. I just feel like the focus in roleplay should be roleplay that's actually helping to advance the story of the campaign in some way. I also don't have a problem with small amount of this kind of stuff, I just don't like it taking over the entire campaign.

I tried to bring this up with the group. The responses I got were "Your character isn't developed enough" (true, but irrelevant), "you're ruining the fun", "maybe you should try it, you might like it", and "this is what D&D is supposed to be like" (all direct quotes).

Is there a way out of a scenario like this that isn't just leaving the group?

Best Answer

Since you stated 'parts of the group are very heavy on roleplay,' I'm assuming you are not the sole dissenter of the group. If you are, some of the options below won't apply.

Try the irrelevant roleplaying

Give it a shot. While it may not necessarily be your cup of tea, you may find yourself enjoying it more than you might think. Sometimes, random and perhaps somewhat pointless roleplaying in character can be an enjoyable process.

Talk to other players

With 3-4 players involved in the heavy roleplay that is not relevant to the campaign, the other players in the group should also share similar feelings as you do. Are the irrelevant roleplayers hogging the DM's time and giving them no chance to shine?

Ask them if they are happy with the current situation. If they are not, then you can approach the next step with better hopes for a successful outcome.

Talk to your DM

Like all problems in a campaign, you should discuss this with your DM. Your DM is the one running the campaign. Is he happy with the progress of the party? Or is he more concerned about how the heavy roleplay is stalling the campaign?

If he is happy, then you can only suggest that you and perhaps other players would like to see the campaign progress faster. Perhaps he can integrate the non-relevant roleplay and make it relevant somehow. For example, a character romance could be interrupted by a rich and mysterious playboy/girl who is secretly the villain boss/henchperson aiming to disrupt party cohesion so their schemes succeed.

Alternately, you could ask to do other things while the roleplayers are having their fun. Are they carousing with the barmaids and innkeeper? How about checking out the kitchen or innkeeper's room? Or perhaps the innkeep's son or daughter has a quest for you? Do other solo actions. This isn't the best option, but it may be the only one available.

If the DM is not happy, then you have the strongest ally on your side. Suggest ways to progress the campaign to areas with less irrelevant roleplay, like dungeons. Yes, character romances can continue here, but when trolls attack for the fifth time while the party bard is serenading their love, it will probably send the right message: the party is in a dangerous area - focus or die.

Are you having fun?

At the end of the day, we spend hours on this game to have fun. If you aren't, then try the above to ensure you are. If that still doesn't work, then yes, you should consider leaving the group.

This should only be the case when the DM is content with the situation, the other players are enjoying their time or not keen to rock the boat, and you find yourself feeling unhappy and unable to do anything about it. Otherwise, talking is your best option.