Every game has that moment – a player calls or texts and work, life, or just general malaise prevents them from making a game. What do you do? What do you do?!
We’ve all been on Actual Play podcasts and those losses are felt distinctly when recording. The first question is what to do with the character and the second whether something needs to be done with the player. For the character, you need to have them take a step back at the least without a player there to control.
Send the character on an errand or scouting mission
Befuddle the character with a magical or pharmaceutical enfeeblement
Turn the character into an NPC for a night
Ignore it entirely.
Each of these options has its pluses and minuses. The scouting mission or errands allows the character’s continuity to continue and lets the group accomplish something “offstage, but is difficult when in the middle of an encounter. Befuddling a character is fun but works best if the rest of the players get to undertake a way to free that PC by next game. The NPC for a night is a good option when you are in the midst of a fight, but doesn’t give much in the way of role playing strengths for the other characters. Finally – ignore it and the character. Meh.
For the player – is it truly a once in a blue moon event? If so, there isn’t much to worry about. If it happens regularly, you may need to make some adjustments. Can you change when the game is scheduled with the whole group to minimize the interruptions? Is there something about the game that the player is not enjoying any more? This is where our repeated calls for communication with the players come in. Talk, ask. Listen.
Salcik the Great- Have you ever seen a specimen of physical perfection? Well feast your eyes on Salcik the Great. Is he well no but he is fit. Why is he out here? That is not something he is likely to ever tell you the truth about. Has his last contract ended well? Very possible but then why is he out here so far from civilization all alone.
Salcik is a man in his late 20’s standing just over 6 feet tall. He is well muscled but not without flaws. His armor is battered and dinged. His sword is the only thing that seems to not have been a hand me down. How did he get here? Does he want to be doing anything else?
Mmmm, it is the time of the year for fruitcake. As the temperatures drop, that particular combination of preserved fruit, baked goods, and hard liquor has few rivals! Hraknoth is a famous ork whose fruitcake is legendary – first because few orks actually take up baking; second because he distills his own orkish whiskey aged in charred barrels of elven wood; and most importantly because of its magical properties.
We all know that fruitcakes when doused in brandy and liquor will keep their nutrition for years, but Hraknoth’s has been around for decades. Every year or two, a new group finds it …. And eventually has to eat some of it. It is delicious – a masterwork of fruity, rich, and intoxicating flavor that will carry you through a cold and chill night. Strangely enough, each morning it is complete no matter how much you ate, so long as one crumb is left. An eternally regenerating fruitcake.
The insidious part, though, is that it grows on you. No, no. Figuratively. You crave the fruitcake. You want nothing but the fruitcake. It is the only thing that tastes remotely right …. And you understand why the orkish tradition is to eat only a bite at a time, not a slice. The wisdom of the orks may have come too late for you but there is a way to break this curse, this insidious drive, this compulsion.
Can you eat the entire fruitcake in one sitting with no crumb left behind?
Dauphin noun, often capitalized dau·phin \ ˈdȯ-fən , ˈdō- ; ˌdō-ˈfaⁿ \
Definition of dauphin
: the eldest son of a king of France
Origin and Etymology of dauphin
Middle English dolphin, from Anglo-French dolphyn, from Old French dalfin, title of lords of the Dauphiné, from Dalfin, a surname
First Known Use: 15th century
Popularity: Bottom 40% of words
From 1350 to 1830, dauphin was the title given to the eldest son of a king of France, or the heir apparent to the French crown. The title was established by the royal house of France through the purchase of lands known as the Dauphiné in 1349 by the future Charles V. The Dauphiné was a region and former province in what is now southeastern France. It was sold to King Philip VI of France and ultimately became a grant of land to the eldest son of the French king, who assumed the title (dauphin) attached to the land. The area had a quasi-independent status until it was annexed to France in 1457.
Zendead- The Orville on Fox
Joules- The Nonary Games
Guard-a-Manger- Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment
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