I’ve got a confession to make, I’m not all that fond of wargames that say they are RPGs. You know, Traveller, GURPS, Dungeons and Dragons, and others. Pretty much the damn hobby. Don’t know about you, but where I come from it aint just murder hobos who get to have adventures.
To take your RPG past the mindless slaughter takes one very important thing, enthusiasm. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.
Oh, and give your character’s a voice for crying out loud.
Bad: “The dragon is trying to fool you.”
Good: DM speaking as dragon; “My word, I wasn’t expecting company today, please excuse the mess.”