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Intermitant group with chaning players

Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:00 pm

OK, my live games have a cast of 4 to 10 players, varies every time we play. We only play monthly too. So, ideas on how to do this?
Right now I'm running with 4 core PCs that always must be played by anyone player, then a second PC if needed or the others are optional depending on players. I will have each player roll up two PCs, one they declare for themselves and one to be extra. Then people can pick up as needed.

Then how to handle changing numbers? keep the adventures one time only? Or just imagine the PCs come and go and don't worry about it.


Re: Intermitant group with chaning players

Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:48 pm

I'm not sure I understand what you have set up. Do you have a group of 4 core PCs that must be played by someone every session, so the players for each PC vary? If so, that is a little weird to me, but maybe it works in practice.

Normally, I'd suggest you just hand wave the absence of PCs from session to session and not worry about it. Trying to explain frequent absences will be difficult at best.

"West Marches" is a style of play that has every game session be self-contained so the cast of PCs can freely change from session to session. The party must end up back at their home base at the end of every session. There are GMs who run West Marches games regularly. I haven't really dug into it, but keeping every session self-contained strikes me as hard. Again, it may prove to be quite doable in practice.

Re: Intermitant group with chaning players

Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:04 pm

Could use the "Adventurer's Guild" route. All the PCs belong to the guild, take missions and/or can swap party members as they will. If in the middle of something long term, maybe have them all one large party with the active ones roaming about and the others guarding the camp in NPC mode.

Otherwise, your swap the players for the PCs as present is workable if unusual.

Re: Intermitant group with chaning players

Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:12 pm

So, like many US television series. Every episode starts with a certain cast of characters, adds a few guest stars, something happens, and everyone ends up back where they started (maybe minus a guest star or two).

Re: Intermitant group with chaning players

Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:55 pm

We have a group of 4-6 players who I can usually count on to show up. I have 2-4 who are hit and miss at best with long absences.

I was thinking so far is to have a group created where each player creates two PCs, their prime PC and their "optional" second.

Then the group will agree on four core PCs who are central to the group and able to be played by anyone. These are outside the ones noted above. I assume they will be wizard, cleric, thief, and TBD. I doubt a fighter is needed. Possibly something like a Bard or such.. possibly one of the AB classes that fit. We play in the old Celtic world of the pre-roman England.

When we play, the four core are picked up by players present. The four players can opt to play their prime PC as a second if they are playing a core. The other players get their prime PC and if desired their second. The secondary or optional PCs can be sprinkled in at player request/want. But its nice to have each player with two PCs.

That gets me a reasonable sized group of PCs.. by having one or two PCs (possibly three?) PCs per player.. we will have breadth and depth. with some continuity. Also, the battles can be lethal/debilitating without stopping play for the night for a player.

I will shoot for short runs games, or single night games when I can (I agree hard to do), with a scribe to post or summarize each night of play so new players can come up to speed if they pop in the middle of a game. That scribe might be forced upon the player of the Bard???

So the home base or "justice league old 80s cartoon" format idea I like and have some thoughts on how to do. Now I need a magic item or two to get PCs to and from games as the players come and go. Right now I have a "cloak of travel".. a twinned item, meaning a matched set. Speak the name of the matching cloak's wearer and you create a short lived dimension door between the inside of both cloaks.... you can pass people and items through the cloak. You will bump into their back on the way out if wearing it, or the wall if its hanging, etc. The cloaks are opposite ends of a tunnel in affect with a command word to open both doors.

Now I can get PCs to and from and I can have a "reason" for the party to change as needed or as wanted... kind of hokey, but the so is the old "pop in and pop out" or send them off on some side bar mission that never happens...

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