What to do about players that *want* to be railroaded?

Does anyone else have this issue? I often find myself establishing the scene, the players might fiddle with something and then say “What do we do next?” They know why they’re there. They have details that they need to make a decision, but sometimes they just won’t. I’m all for adapting to the play-style of the players at the table, but I sometimes feel like I’m awkwardly telling a story by myself around occasional rolls from the others. Any ideas?

It sounds like they don’t have a leader who can make the final call and cut through the indecision.
Do you have any players who might be able to fill that role? If so you could try arranging matters so they are the officer in charge which means that you can try and get the call out of that one player.

If that still isn’t working then try and bring it down to only a couple of options when you hit critical points. That way they can have a significant impact on the story but you get to cut down the amount of standing around they seem to be doing.

In general I have the opposite problem with my group.
It is not that they won’t be railroaded, it is more that they tend to suddenly start laying a new track when I don’t expect it.



Are u having fun?

Let em know yr concerns OOG.

I’ve mixed things up with this particular group as far as leadership, but I haven’t found a great solution there. They eventually make a decision, but there is still very little input overall.

I might try that. It will involve quite a bit more scripting, which is not my preference, but it might have to be that way.

I have a couple other groups that generate a lot of ideas and end up taking the story in surprising and interesting directions, but Idk what it is with this particular one. I guess there’s really only one other extrovert at the table other than me. Maybe that’s the difference maker?

Erm…the last session didn’t seem like anyone was having too much fun. Maybe at times. I have talked to them out of game, and I actually made this campaign in response to their play-style, but it didn’t really go over too well with session one of this new campaign. We have had sessions that everyone enjoyed, but I feel like I am always nudging them to participate.

Is STA a game you feel PCs have to be proactive? If yes, let em know. Are they into ST, do they know the «style, genre» theyre getting into? What are their expectations? Do they mesh with yours?

Sometimes you have to call on the person who most likely would make the call for the next step and ask what they think and what their decision is. Otherwise, yes, you might get a lot of blank stares/


RCAUTELA might have the answer. Are the players ST fans TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT’wise? ST is a very hard game to roleplay if you are not familiar with it’s narrow niche.

The new “series” have gone all dark/action instead of the optimistic good guys vibe of the core TV series. If you are running a core Trek and they are expecting mutineers are heroes they may not know what to do.

Roll for initiative.

Seriously though spend some threat, start shooting at them, blow something up, message from star fleet, make them respond to something lateral to the mission.

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STA is heavily narrative, and that lends itself quite well to GM-driven “railroaded” adventures. Consider how many times events in ST episodes happen to the characters rather than happen because of the characters. That’s not to say that proactive players can’t drive a plot, but don’t worry about it taking a while to develop from the background while you give them a ride on episodic railroaded adventures. OTOH, if you’re pushing for a fully player-driven open sandbox game, then I don’t think these are the best rules (or setting) for it.

I’ve got 1 super fan, 2 big fans and 2 casual fans, so I would say the overall Trek knowledge is quite high. However, only one of them is a seasoned role player. The others have some RPG experience, but not much. The casual fans had trouble with a standard STA game and wanted a bit more of a roguish experience, and the others thought it sounded fun. So now they’re all playing Liberated Borg that are freshly disconnected d from the collective. They are decisive during combat situations, but even the players that really enjoyed writing their back-stories had to be prodded to do any actual role-playing beyond saying “I’m going to shoot that guy” and then rolling dice. It’s just strange because I know that all of them particularly like the character-driven episodes of Star Trek. Maybe they just need to watch an example video of a typical RPG setting? Anybody know a good one?

A couple of ideas.
One group I played with had an ongoing bluebook discord that let us roleplay social situations outside of the actual adventure sessions it seemed to help us roleplay in session as well.

It may be that having all liberated Borg is a problem because of their tendency towards flat affects. Perhaps it is time to include a “clownish” NPC or two to drive them into akward social situations. It’d be interesting to see what happens if they fall in with some Ferengi, young roguish Klingons in search of glory outside of the empire, a telaxian trader, etc.

If they crush normal combat but dont enjoy playing it then change the nature of the conflict. Like make them go to a club full of dancing Orion Slave girls and pit them against a Lando Calrissian type character in a battle of wits.

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Head on to Modiphius’ own yt channel - there you’ll find several fine sessions.

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So the players know the setting, they are just new to roleplaying.
Playing new Liberated Borg may be part of the issue. A newly disconnected Borg wouldn’t be pro-active. At least that is how I believe they would act.

While I am definitely not the greatest RPG player out there, I have been playing and running RPGs for years. And I will say I’d have a hard time with that PC, especially if all the other PC’s were disconnected Borgs too. After an existence where all thought and action was externally provided, suddenly they have to plan their own actions?

Perhaps you could try an separate short intro game where they all play stock Star Fleet types, or even use the actual crew characters for TNG, DS9 or VOY. A short mini-campaign leading up to the liberation of their Borg PC’s. That way they can lean on the what they know about the TV characters personalities for the time it takes to get familiar with STA.

It may be that they just need a chance to play more “normal” PC’s before taking on that level of uniqueness.


We started with a typical Starfleet campaign actually, but had similar issues. I like the idea of using the iconic characters. Maybe trying to imitate them will get them a bit more familiar and comfortable with the role-playing elements.

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