I have an unspoken but enforced arrangement when I GM.

I have an unspoken but enforced arrangement when I GM.

I have an unspoken but enforced arrangement when I GM. 

If someone misses a session, they get as much experience as the lowest-earning member present.  This way no one who shows up with any frequency gets left behind.

The trade off is that when their character reappears we have them either actively in a jam, or just getting out of one. 

Ex : Jim had a family engagement and missed last session, where the party traveled to another plane of existence.  The next session resumes in this Other Place.  The party enters the Field of Blooming Critters and finds Jim’s Thief there, covered in glowing mud, repeatedly stabbing the shuddering just-slain corpse of a werewolf wearing a emerald crown with a shrieking dagger made of intertwined bone and silver.  It is up to Jim to explain what just happened and why he is here, or to brush it off with a “Don’t worry about it – good to see you guys again!”

How do you guys and gals handle missing players?

10 thoughts on “I have an unspoken but enforced arrangement when I GM.”

  1. In one game we ran we had a dwarf named Trapfinder, who whenever his player missed a session, we described as having fallen down a pit. He wasn’t named Trapfinder because he was good at noticing traps you see…

  2. Mouse Guard has a great rule for this.  When the missing player returns, they get rewards points for describing what kind of adventure they had while they were absent from the game.

  3. The usually have to tell me what antics they have been up to “off screen” but in DW I have found the xp gap to not be a concern.  I have 4th level PC’s running around with brand new characters with no problems, so I don’t feel the need to keep the xp even in the first place.

  4. I usually handle mission players via the “war table” scenario. The player party goes out on a mission, while the missing player(s) are sent on a “separate assignment”. I meet with them separately in some manner and orchestrate some important decisions, so their absence still moves the story forward on multiple fronts. 

  5. Stats dont change as much in DW, so i dont mind. If a player isnt there there are no xp. Gives incentive to show up hehe

    Thats for a group where this happens only very occasianally, for a group with more flexibility, i might reconsider though.

  6. It’s not like everyone is going to be leveling evenly anyway. A paladin might be getting bond and alignment every single session, the bard fails every other roll she makes, while the wizard sucçeeds most rolls and ignores bonds and alignment. I’ve got a level two and a level five that started at the same time.

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