One of my biggest pet peeves as a GM is PCs who don't have a reason for participating in the adventure. You've seen them around. You're running a Super Hero game and someone's looking to play someone who is trying to hide their powers and not get involved - even if it means people get hurt. You're running D&D and someone is looking to make a character who would never go into an old tomb looking for their fortune. You're looking to run Shadowrun and someone's looking to make a SINner with a dayjob who doesn't want to mess either up by doing something illegal. It sucks, and today I want to talk about it.
Why It Sucks
I understand the draw for these characters and why players make them. Sometimes it even happens on accident. Movies, books, and TV shows - and comics and videogames - are full of stories of reluctant heroes who don't want to get involved but are drawn in anyhow. Heck, "refusing the call" is part of the Hero's Journey. By having this character the player wants to have a reason for the character to get involved.
I say this so you know I understand. However, when it comes to table top RPGs it is a completely shitty thing to do. Why? Because it's not fair to the GM.
Think of it. The GM has to run the world, the NPCs, the adventure, and the whole game. They need to have a bunch of characters in mind. They need to have a plot and events going on with hooks to pull motivated characters in. They have to have the whole world running, and on top of that they now need to find some super special way to pull in this PC, overcome the inertia of a character setup to not go the way the game wants to go, and then not only that but also give them a reason to get involved in what is going on.
I solved this problem in my games a couple years ago. My solution? You don't want to get involved in things, that's fine. Just don't expect me to give you screen time.
I'm very clear at the beginning of my games what I am looking to run. It is a discussion with the table. We all decided we were going to do a Teen Superhero story. Not a story about super powered teens, but a story about super powered teens trying to be heroes. That was the deal. That is what I set up. That is what you agreed to. So if you come to the table with a character whose powers are subtle and who doesn't want to get involved, and instead wants to hide their powers - even from the other PCs - I simply don't have time for you. I have 4-5 other people and a world to run a game for.
I look at it this way. The GM is responsible for the world outside of the PCs themselves. The players are responsible for the PCs. That responsibility includes having a reason to get involved in the type of game that is going on. If doing super heroes, that means playing someone who wants to be a hero. Running Shadowrun? That means making someone who is a shadowrunner. That's all you have to do.
Now, yes, the GM still has to meet you along the way. The world needs to have an on-ramp for the adventure and story that is going on. It's just your job to take that on ramp. If no one goes for it, then that's worth discussing. But if everyone else is trying to take the on ramp, and you're elsewhere trying to hide from that story...well, that's on you and it's not worth ruining the game for everyone else to accomodate you.
Long story short: make a character who wants to be part of the game. Not one who wants to avoid it.