This player is not the problem: your expectations do not match is the problem
It seems that everyone seeks to enjoy the game for slightly different reasons one– Your enjoyment seems to favor immersion and game in the character. You feel you have to force the issue …
I'm worried that I'm going to have to start punishing him for
basically do nothing
and then questions:
Any advice to try to get someone like Bob into the RP aspect of the
Do I play before the DM hammer has to come down?
I answer: change your attitude as DM.
This is a friend of yours, as you say, and you have taken the position that you must force him to have fun the way you think he should be. This may be involuntary, but that is the signal that is coming through the wires.
Stop, and back off a little.
Before your next game session, call a zero session.
It is possible that the four need to be together on the same page about what each one wants from this game. A Session Zero is where everyone makes a contribution regarding what they expect to get from the game (details in the questions and linked answers). You may discover that each of your players has somewhat different expectations than you have, which is fine. Talking to each other about this and reaching a compromise is a big step to curb your current frustration.
Online role play has some obstacles that games in the flesh do not have.
I love playing in real RPGs, but my current configuration makes me play more on Discord or ROll20. I have found some significant obstacles with online tools, although they are a great way to play with friends that are around the world / map.
- You lack the immediacy of the social context "at a table"
- Visual cues, and some subtle vocal cues, are often overlooked.
- The game is a little slower than in the flesh.
People can disconnect or wander and it takes a while to realize that. At a table, getting up and going out is pretty obvious.
All these drawbacks amplify the disconnection between your player and you in terms of how much commitment to the fictional world you expect (more) and he expects (little). It is easier to obtain and provide comments in person, since all the signals are available.
Paladins are driven by their oaths, not by the gods, in this edition.
I suggest you take a look at the PHB and these questions and answers to better understand how the paladins work in this edition. However, it is correct from the point of view "in the universe": choosing an oath will inform the RP of the PC from that moment. Where you may be making a mistake is trying to force it.
Let the player grow in RP at their own pace.
Forcing the RP is a true detour. (This from experience in both directions, as GM and as a player). Trying to force the dive simply does not work. Cheer up Of both is the best approach.
Questions and answers related to the promotion of role play
How to get the players to worry and RP more?
How to introduce and encourage role play in non-role players?
How can I encourage my group of D & D Encounters to do more role plays?
How do I transition from my roll to roll role players?
Immersion can be a difficult thing
You mentioned in a comment:
I'm quite imaginative and I tend to try to pressure people when I realize they are not participating. Actually, the problem is that I want to try to immerse myself more in the game, but I need advice on the best way to do it.
Each player will search and enjoy the immersion in the game at a different level. Your stimulus to increase the immersion will be improved in the game by asking the character questions when they act, and by describing how the world reacts to the character's decisions:
You can find some more useful techniques to encourage "character" behavior in these questions and answers.
I am in favor of the PCs that make their players as they see fit, and honestly, any RP.
of him is better than none, but the problem is that he is a level 2
Paladin. The next level, which is coming fast, will have to take
his oath Paladin is a class that requires a lot of RP to satisfy his
God and I'm worried that I'm going to have to start punishing him for
Basically not doing anything, which I think will turn it off
In my experience, you believe correctly.
If you want more RP of this character, use the carrot, not the stick. Encourage this player to participate more "in the game" and above all …
You can not force the fun.
oneNotes on the styles of play and how people get involved in a role play:
- Here is a summary of the description of Robin Laws player styles
- You will also find in the Dungeon Masters Guide (page 6) a breakdown of the ways in which players have fun participating in the game. Not all styles fit perfectly.