that feeling when you’re the only one who knows a word like “charisma” or “encumbered” because you’re a nerd who plays rpgs all the time, or even worse, shit like “aggress” or the fabled “abscond” because you’re a filthy fucking homestuck
Here’s a pitch for you kids with free time:
A RPG Maker horror game where you don’t use a flashlight.
Instead, you’re forced to depend on this $7 Hatsune Miku Projector Pen to help you navigate the darkest places unknown to man.
(BONUS: when an monster closes in, “World Is Mine Nightcore” starts playing.)
If I cancelled an RPG session every time someone wasn’t able to make it, my campaigns would never get anywhere. So assuming it’s just one or maybe even two people missing, the show must go on! Here’s a few ways I handle it:
1) The Sidequest
If I know a player is going to be gone ahead of time, I can make a plan for their character to split from the group. Sometimes, it’s for just a small encounter: Your animal companion gets startled and bolts off into the woods! You must chase her down.
The fun part about this is actually doing a one-on-one roleplay session with the player. It’s usually quick and dirty; maybe take 15 minutes with just them before the rest of the players show up to your next session. You can also do it by text or over phone. These roleplays aren’t as immersive or polished as the big group ones, but for some reason I always really enjoy them.
I’ve also done more substantial side storylines, depending on the length of absence or the excellence of the narrative opportunity. I once had a player who had to be out of town for two months get a pretty major B plot in my campaign. We did the one-on-one RP through IM, and when he finally returned to the party, he had a sack full of cash and a story to share.
2) The Surrogate
If a player is amenable to the idea, they may elect another player to control their character in their absence. I have a couple guidelines about this:
You better trust your friend, because I am absolutely going to have your character do what they say, and there may be lasting consequences
It’s gotta be an individual. I don’t have time for a group to form consensus on one character’s actions
I, as the DM, am not going to do this because I can’t authentically roleplay a character while also pulling all the strings in the narrative
This usually turns out pretty well actually, mostly because I don’t mess around with asshole players.
3) The Auto-Pilot
Usually employed when there isn’t time to prepare for a missing player, Auto-Pilot means their character stays present with the group, but doesn’t really do anything. They just sort of fade into the background and don’t really take part in combat or social encounters. The only exception is when it comes to something only that particular character can do. For example, if the rogue is missing and the team needs a lock picked, I’ll let someone roll for it.
Auto-Pilot isn’t necessarily ideal, but it is convenient. Mainly because you don’t have to worry about the process of reuniting the characters. Don’t have to bother, because they were there the whole time!
Anyway, that’s how I do it! And if players don’t like it, they should show up!
Oh hey! Look! it’s Rex’s custom model in @timeforbirds, an upcoming game made by birds for birds! I highly suggest following along with the development and becoming a patron. It has some really cool features and designs that I think are really neat, my personal favorite is when the NPCs are talking their beak matches the displayed text!! I don’t know why, but it’s so pleasing took look at, I guess because in most others the mouth movement is kind of random? Also really smooth, beautiful, great character customization, lovely soundtrack, and best of all, it’s about birds!!
I didn’t forget to update you forgot to update. Don’t judge me. Nyeh.
But look! I bring flowers! And some trees, I guess. But the flowers are the important part. When I was I thinking over the idea for this map, I though “Man that’s going to look terrible, I can’t do flowers at all.” But! I dunno, I think they turned out better than I would expect. I would’ve gotten an in-game screenshot, but it wouldn’t have been able to get everything without looking weird.
On a mostly unrelated to DE note, I made a dude as a short exercise in larger sprites. He looks all:
Felt like revisiting my favorite cursed half-elf bardic rockstar, Sagan Nethersall~ (also have been fiddling around with last year’s NaNo story again, which is both inspired by and which originally inspired the homebrew campaign I ran—these doodles are mostly from scenes near the beginning :>)
ask me! “if you were a(n) _____, what would you be?”
🃏 character archetype
👥 social media site
👻 mythical creature
📚 (hogwarts) professor
💻 program from microsoft office
💇 hair style
🎸 indie band (made-up or real)
🛍 chain store/restaurant
🔑common household object
🖼 art movement
📱 electronic device
🏺 time period
⚔ rpg class
🚦 traffic sign
📖 literature genre
🎵 music genre
The PCs enter a fairly normal town which hides a big secret: a buried time portal.
Using this hidden rift in reality, the characters can shuttle back and forth between the same location in the present and many years in the past, in order to solve a mystery.
Each time the players return from the past, small details about the town have inexplicably changed due to their actions in the past. These changes vary from minor name or occupation swaps for NPCs to absolutely ludicrous scenarios.
Perhaps try swapping back and forth between certain changes, each time the characters return from the past.
For example, when the characters arrive in town, the tavern built over the hidden site of the magic time portal is called “Sir Rodney’s Rock”, but when the characters first come back from the past, it is now the town’s Novelty Rock Emporium.
Maybe a key NPC contact in the present suddenly ceases to exist and nobody remembers them. The party will have to go back into the past to undo whatever change they made when they were last there.