Vacancy At the Table

Anyone who’s run a tabletop role-playing game for any length of time will eventually have to deal with a player or players dropping from the game. It’s inevitable because everyone has a life away from the table, especially as you play with older players.

The 4th Edition game had this happen early on, two of the original players had to drop out before the campaign even got up and running. Life is just that way. I’ve been blessed though to have people interested in jumping in and playing, so the home game has never really had an issue with not having enough players. Some people might say that my 4th Edition game has the opposite issue with there being too many players, but I would rather keep the hobby going and have 8, 9, or 10 players at the table, than not.

My 5th Edition game had some issues with players wanting to play but then dropping out of the game before the campaign started. I figured that having a game at lunch time at work might have some issues, but I work at an internet based company and with a large number of gamer type people. So recently one of my players had to drop out because of demands on his lunch time. No hard feelings about it, but that brought the number of players for the game down to 3. I was a little nervous with the low number to be honest.

Once I let my players know that while we could continue the campaign, another player or two would be great. Two of the players took this as a mission and began recruiting in the office. Before I knew it, I had a new, never before played D&D or any tabletop role-playing game, player.

So one of the joys of working with players who’ve never played before is they come with big concepts from their favorite types of fantasy. For the player of Timbletoe, his inspiration was to play a character like the dwarves from The Hobbit movies. From there we worked out the archetype he was looking to play which originally was a knight in shinning armor, but then once he got into the details of the Folk Hero background, he took the flaw about being interested in the vices of the city, especially drink. So he’s less knight in shinning armor and more someone call him out of the bar, there’s a fight about to start.

As a DM, there’s a certain pride for having players who are so into the game that they will handle recruiting for a vacancy. A friend told me that this is a sign that the players have bought into the campaign, enjoy the game play, and are looking to keep things going.


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