How do you make things matter in your game. I have a chronic issue with getting things to have import and weight. I get this feeling from the players that they're not terribly concerned, because they know everything will work out in the end, even if right now something important is on the line.
Any suggestions on how to get things to really matter? I know there's the old tried and true putting someone's life on the line, but that seems a bit like using a sledgehammer to fix a clock.
How important do personal relationships for characters seem to be to players?
In one of the games I play in, my character has a number of detailed personal relationships. He has sisters, pals, rivals, and two ex-boyfriends he doesn't get along with. The other three characters in this game seem to have cut all ties with other people when the group formed. One character has a number of old war-buddies that seem designed to be more like professional contacts than background color (the security guy, the first aid guy, the gun guy, etc.). Another's family is alive and well, but seldom mentioned and never visited. All three had communities they were living in at start of game, but they only go back to these communities if Plot is Happening there.
When I started up my Exalted game, I asked each player to tell me about their character's family life and the communities they grew up in. I was hoping to see some personal investment in the world around them so that the characters might have a chance to become somebody's heroes rather then merely powerful. Of the four characters in my game, one has amnesia, and two are barbarians who left their tribes under unpleasant circumstances, never to return.
Thinking about others games I've played in or run, I seem to be in the minority for wanting to create detailed friendships and family life for my characters.
Is this just the folks I game with, or does it seem to be common among the majority of players out there that these things are low priority when creating characters?