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When the player's not there..
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:29 am    Post subject: When the player's not there.. Reply with quote

I've searched, and though i have had some threads linking to this question, i do think we are due for an updated questioning on it..
For note here's the prior two threads i could locate..

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3435
More was on about what happens to gear.

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1344
This one more dealt with what happens to their character, when they have to LEAVE the game midway into a session..


So when you have a game starting up, say a weekly running game, and several sessions in one (or more) players call ahead of time to say "Sorry bub, can't make it this week", What do you do??

Does their character 'fade out' like in some MMORPGS where their avatar disapears cause the player logged off?
Does someone else on the table run the character (with prior OK of the missing player)?
Does the DM run him(her)?

If someone else is running them, do they get full CP for the game?
Can they be killed/seriously injured?

At what point in # of missing players do you just say "ok guys, we are below min #, so we are canxing this weeks game?"
If you do canx it, do you play something else that day, or is it canxed period, no one bother show up??
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize this isn’t super common, but for me, if the player isn’t there, the character is not played. They stay in port/base or on ship, and we don’t even bother to explain why or what they’re doing.

Quote:
Does their character 'fade out' like in some MMORPGS where their avatar disapears cause the player logged off?

Yes.

Quote:
Does someone else on the table run the character (with prior OK of the missing player)?
Does the DM run him(her)?

No. If you need something from the character or need him to do something, you can call him up.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
I realize this isn’t super common, but for me, if the player isn’t there, the character is not played. They stay in port/base or on ship, and we don’t even bother to explain why or what they’re doing.


I think it is very common. I refuse to play that way, but I think most GMs are just happy to be playing with whomever shows up. So, they go with what they've got and don't think to much about the effect it has on immersion and suspension of disbelief.

If I were in this game, I'd probably drop out, because having different players all the time really bothers me. It irritates me to no end. But, I also realize that different people have different tastes and tolerances. It's all about having fun. If this is something that is fun for some, then more power to 'em.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A player who isn't there generally has their character fade into the background... if we really need them for something, they might get used (i.e. your medic character will probably have dice rolled on their behalf), but they don't fight or directly take part.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
I realize this isn’t super common, but for me, if the player isn’t there, the character is not played. They stay in port/base or on ship, and we don’t even bother to explain why or what they’re doing.

Quote:
Does their character 'fade out' like in some MMORPGS where their avatar disapears cause the player logged off?

Yes.


So one second he's there, next he's gone just like if he was beamed up in trek, and next he's right back??

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Falconer wrote:
I realize this isn’t super common, but for me, if the player isn’t there, the character is not played. They stay in port/base or on ship, and we don’t even bother to explain why or what they’re doing.


I think it is very common. I refuse to play that way, but I think most GMs are just happy to be playing with whomever shows up. So, they go with what they've got and don't think to much about the effect it has on immersion and suspension of disbelief.


Over on Dragonsfoot, some sure seem to be ok with running it more like a MMORPG where your avatar disappears when "you log off" (you fail to show up), but for others (inc me) that strains credibility way too much, and if i was wanting to PLAY that sort of game, i'd be ONLINE playing an MMORPG, rather than a face to face Role playing game..
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I refuse to play that way, but I think most GMs … don't think to much about the effect it has on immersion and suspension of disbelief. If I were in this game, I'd probably drop out, because having different players all the time really bothers me. It irritates me to no end.

Hrm, see, to me it makes the imaginary universe seem MORE believable if you go on different adventures with different groups rather than it being the exact same people all the time. Even in the movies, sometimes it’s just Han and Chewie, sometimes it’s Luke-Han-Ben-Chewie, sometimes it’s Luke-Han-Leia-Chewie, sometimes it’s Han-Leia-Chewie, sometimes it’s Lando-Leia-Chewie… right?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but there's often a reason why one of the others were not there. They had time to split/separate..
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Likewise, the characters in the campaign have a multitude of likely reasons to separate.

Do you not generally cause in-game time to elapse between sessions?
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I refuse to play that way, but I think most GMs … don't think to much about the effect it has on immersion and suspension of disbelief. If I were in this game, I'd probably drop out, because having different players all the time really bothers me. It irritates me to no end.

Hrm, see, to me it makes the imaginary universe seem MORE believable if you go on different adventures with different groups rather than it being the exact same people all the time. Even in the movies, sometimes it’s just Han and Chewie, sometimes it’s Luke-Han-Ben-Chewie, sometimes it’s Luke-Han-Leia-Chewie, sometimes it’s Han-Leia-Chewie, sometimes it’s Lando-Leia-Chewie… right?


Sure, sometimes characters are off screen, and we don't focus or follow that character for a bit. Same thing happens in a novel. But when it happens, it makes logical sense where the character went.

I've already said that if a missing player's character can logically be doing something else during the game session--staying on the ship, fixing the speeder, going to Toche Station for parts--then that's where that character goes, and we all play.

But, if we're sneaking through Darth Vader's castle one game session, then, in the next game session, one of the sneaking Rebels is no longer around--and then IS around for the climax against Vader's toughest henchmen, I'm not OK with that.

If I were watching a movie or reading a novel, a character just wouldn't pop in an out of a scene like that.

And, I don't want that happening in the game I play, either.
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think we agree if it’s possible to acknowledge the split with some logical in-world explanation (or even just “We’ll meet at the shield generator at 0300”), that’s the happiest solution all around.

The difference between a novel and a game is that the latter is improvisatory, and I would argue that these real-life situations can be seen as opportunities for some clever improv. Though maybe you don’t see it that way.

All in all, the situation of a session ending in medias res doesn’t happen to me much. I always try to end it “back at base”. So perhaps my base assumptions are different; the sort of situations you’re envisioning seem to me extreme corner cases.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
All in all, the situation of a session ending in medias res doesn’t happen to me much. I always try to end it “back at base”. So perhaps my base assumptions are different; the sort of situations you’re envisioning seem to me extreme corner cases.


I do try to end fights, but as a GM, a trick I learned from TV series is...always leave'em wanting more. CLIFFHANGER!

I look for cliffhangers on which to end the game.

It's just another "pull" on players who are dying to see how it all turns out.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From one of the old threads garhkal shared...

Whill wrote:
My adventures tend to take 2-3 sessions to complete, so a player leaving mid-session could be the same thing as a player not being available for session 2 or 3: leaving mid-adventure. The option you didn't mention above is the PC being written out of the adventure (or that night's session of the adventure). No, not poof gone - That would be silly. We try to come up with some logical reason for the character to be separated from the group at the first opportunity from that point in the narrative. Until we get to that point, I prefer another player to take over the character at the mutual agreement of both players, but I'll take over the character if needed. While another player or I run the character as a part of the group, they don't really have script immunity. When the character is "off-screen", they do tend to have script immunity, but the PC is also not earning CPs for the portion of the adventure they are absent from the group's story. If the character's skill set is absolutely vital for the session, then we usually reschedule but we rarely might have someone else run the character.

We try to write the character out of the story if possible. If in the middle of adventure, we do a lot of 'someone is breaking into the ship so the absent player's PC needs to go defend it', or they get a call and a contact is delivering information or something else they need but only if someone in the party goes to meet someone at a certain spot. If a player is not present for the start of a mission, then they are off doing something else that possibly lends to the possibility of meeting up with the party later (for the next session).
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've had a situation where a missing player's character stayed at the Rebel base. The rest took off to start a new adventure that ended up taking a few sessions--maybe even five or more.

If there's no way to bring the player's character into the game logically on the next session where he does show up, I try to find something for the player to do outside of his character.

If I've got a GM run NPC with the group, I'll let the returning player play that until such time as the group rejoins with the missing character. Sometimes, there's a droid that the player plays. I've even had the player help me, as GM, and run some NPC bad guys.

This isn't always possible, though.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

If I've got a GM run NPC with the group, I'll let the returning player play that until such time as the group rejoins with the missing character. Sometimes, there's a droid that the player plays. I've even had the player help me, as GM, and run some NPC bad guys.

This isn't always possible, though.


That's something i've often done and had some funny moments crop up cause of it..
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I look for cliffhangers on which to end the game.

Ah, I see we’re working from a very different assumption. I understand the dramatic effect, but I don’t think this would work very well with a large group (9+ players), in which case you have to assume a different combination of players each time, and in which case it’s better to bake that into the format of the game.
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