Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who's really in control?

Dave Noonan talked about the issue of an absent player, and as a DM, this is always an issue that needs to be dealt with.

In our group, I'd say that more than half the time it just means a skipped session, especially if I -- I mean, the NPCs -- slaughtered the last party last session, and thus this is a new party, or more likely, a new campaign. I refuse to start a new campaign with someone missing.

If we do decide to play with someone absent, we've tried the various solutions, from Noonan's "in the background" character, to another player taking control, to the DM taking control, to leaving the character in the tavern with their ogre slaying knife. We've had a character die while the player was absent, and I've sometimes written up the night's adventure for the missing player to let them know what they missed, though not necessarily as descriptive as this each time.

As we get older and more responsible, and our social wives and social lives start demanding more of our precious spare time, it becomes harder and harder to skip a weekly session, though, for risk of not seeing a campaign through before we lose our eyesight. I think as a group, we're going to have to decide what does happen in future sessions, and just try to play through -- provided it's just one player missing that week.

What does this have to do with 4th edition? Well, err, Noonan did say that this was something 4th edition couldn't fix... so, yeah! Damn this 4.0 system, if it can't handle sucks...not gonna play...bring back THAC0...


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