Monday, 14 November 2011

What happens to a PC in a dungeon whose player is not present?

A game session is halted in the middle of a dungeon or other weird supernatural locale far from home. When the subsequent session comes around one or more of the players who were there last time are unable to attend. What happens to their PC(s)?

Some initial ideas:
  1. Disappear in some freak act of teleportation
  2. Turn to stone
  3. Miniaturized
  4. Turn into a figment – cannot interact with anything, cannot pass through solid objects
  5. Kidnapped by shadows, demons, imps, etc
  6. Absorbed into the ground
  7. Fall into a faint and cannot be roused
(All these effects are, of course, intended to be temporary. When the player returns the character will recover / reappear.)

Please provide further ideas... if we could build it up to d20, d30 or even d100 that'd be awesome!
(The concept is that the missing PCs should not be able to function as normal party members, or to help the PCs of the players who are present. The assumption is that in mythical realms like dungeons, the laws of normal reality are weakened and weirdness holds sway. So, pretty much anything goes.)


Continued...
  1. Character is turned into a frog by pixies. Another character must carry them for the entire session.
  2. The character turns out to be a doppleganger. The real character is back at the tavern tied up and naked in the storeroom.
  3. The character turns out to be a doppleganger. The real character is held by monsters somewhere in the dungeon!
  4. The character was a hallucination of the other others and wasn't with them in the first place.
  5. Character and all equipment is transformed into a pink mule, complete with (empty) saddle bags.
  6. Turned into a gold coin that has fallen into the treasure when no one was looking. 
  7. Abducted by scientists, via a time travel/teleportation device and subjected to annoying, tedious and ill-informed questions about "the past," then finally returned to his own time.
  8. Kidnapped by Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus, who needed a last minute date for a swanky party in Nessus. 
  9. As above, but it's an intime soiree and the PC gets to sit at a dinner table with the Big Man himself.
  10. PC falls into a rupture in time-space and is immediately deposited at the time and place, most convenient for the DM.
  11. PC is abducted by aliens, probed, then returned. 
  12. The gods decided to put mankind on trial. Guess who got to appear and testify for the whole of humanity.
  13. PC is whisked away to a dimension where they are fed midnight tomatoes by beautiful women, lying on a chaise longue.
  14. Character transformed into an incredibly lifelike tattoo on one of the other PCs.
  15. Character disappears and is replaced by a sheet of paper covered in stats describing their abilities and equipment.

18 comments:

  1. Make this into a d100 table contest and get some answers. Here's mine:

    8. Character is turned into a frog by pixies. Another character must carry them for the entire session.

    9. The character turns out to be a doppleganger.The real character is back at the tavern tied up and naked in the storeroom.

    10. The character turns out to be a doppleganger. The real character is held by monsters somewhere in the dungeon!

    11. The character was a hallucination of the other others and wasn't with them in the first place.

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  2. Haha, awesome ideas Tedankhamen! :)

    I was hoping for d20 or d30, but who knows, the sky's the limit! d100 would be awesome, if enough entries could be invented!

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  3. I usually turn them into pink mules through a fake Cure Wounds potion, whose effect ends when absent players come back.

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  4. Turned into a gold coin that has fallen into the treasure when no one was looking.

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  5. Hamel - what's a pink mule!? Sounds cool whatever it is!

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  6. Always end your game in town. Problem solved.

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  7. Haha yeah I tried that. It didn't go down very well with the players, so I'm looking for another solution. I think wacky disappearances and unusual temporary transformation fit in well with the subterranean weirdness I have in mind...

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  8. We had a two characters, a warrior and a druid, reduced to 0 HP by a wyvern during a Celtic D&D game I Dmed back in the day, just as a session ended. Next session, the druid's player showed up but the warrior's guy went on a date. I ruled that both characters started in the Land of Mists between Life and Death. A booming voice asked 'Will you go back or forth?', back being a hole in the mists through which they could see their bodies, or forth to where a woman's hand beckoned them. The druid guy came back to the Land of the Living, and told the others the warrior had gone with the Lady of the Mists. We had a good laugh at that.

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  9. @Gavin

    Simply a mule with a pink fur, exploited to carry stuff and treasures. ^_^

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  10. Jeff Rients has a published system for this - Triple Secret Random Dungeon Fate Chart of Very Probable Doom (d20). It's awesome enough that my players NEVER ended their games in dungeons.

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  11. Abducted by scientists, via a time travel/teleportation device and subjected to annoying, tedious and ill-informed questions about "the past," then finally returned to his own time.

    Kidnapped by Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus, who needed a last minute date for a swanky party in Nessus.

    As above, but it's an intime soiree and the PC gets to sit at a dinner table with the Big Man himself.

    PC falls into a rupture in time-space and is immediately deposited at the time and place, most convenient for the DM.

    PC is abducted by aliens, probed, then returned.

    The gods decided to put mankind on trial. Guess who got to appear and testify for the whole of humanity.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @ChicagoWiz: yeah I tried that a while back. I think the problem is for us that we usually only play pretty short sessions, so it kind of works out much easier if the game can stop and we just carry on from where we left off next time.

    Besides, I like the idea of a table full of fun / bizarre explanations of why a playerless PC isn't just silently following the party around like a zombie. It's an issue which always comes up at some point...

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  13. PCs are whisked away to a dimension where they are fed midnight tomatoes by beautiful women, lying on a chaise longue?

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  14. We have d20! (Table updated in post...) Anyone for any more?

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  15. Ok I've just added a couple more of my own... onwards to d30!

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  16. A mysterious hex removes all the features of the PC's face, making the PC unable to hear, talk, see or smell. Has to be guided through the dungeon by his comrades for the remainder of the session.

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  17. The PC becomes morose and depressed, and fades into the background, all but forgotten by his party and everything around them.

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