We need to talk.
It’s about your players.
They don’t care about your RPG campaign world as much as you do.
It’s ok, you can never expect them to and they never will.
I know this is a tough one to swallow.
You’ve put all this effort into research, mapping, the world’s history, the pantheon, the NPC’s personalities, the various factions and plots and intrigues, all the weird and wonderful details that make the world unique and they just don’t care?
They can’t even be bothered to read your setting document! Or create a character that vaguely fits the world! The ungrateful wretches! When you put all this work in!
But it’s okay that they don’t care as much as you do. In fact, it’s impossible for them to love your game world and have the same enthusiasm for it as you do.
I’m not saying they don’t love your game, I’m sure they love playing your game. But your world? That’s your baby. Nobody can love it as much as you do.
I know you GMs get frustrated.
You get frustrated when your players don’t care or even read about the lore documents you’ve written them.
You get frustrated when your players treat the world as a lot more disposable than you by being ‘murderhobos.’
You get frustrated when you put lots of effort into writing an NPC And your players ignore them for that NPC you made up on the spot.
You get frustrated when your players create a character that doesn’t make sense in the context of the world you’ve devised.
And I understand your frustration. I’m a GM too and have been at this game a long time. The feeling your players don’t care about the effort you put into your world is a difficult one to deal it.
But that’s your feeling to deal with, it’s not your player’s fault and blaming them for it will never get you anywhere good.
You have to understand that your players are playing the game for the enjoyment of playing, you enjoy the world-building, they enjoy something else whether it’s building a powerful, unique character, engaging in a story, killing lots of monsters to get their treasure or just hanging out with their friends.
They have a lot of their own ideas they can bring to the table and they may clash and that’s okay. That’s part of the wonderful chaotic collaborative process that defines what makes RPGs such a unique medium.
You can set expectations. You can run your session 0. If it’s mandatory they know the lore then tell them that but don’t be annoyed when you get push back because most people don’t play games to do homework.
They play games to enjoy playing the game.
So run the game for them and show them your world, don’t tell them about it.