Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Absent Characters Can Simplify Things

Our latest session of Deadlands was great. I had a really good time as Game Master.

One of the players has missed a couple sessions. Now my normal take on this is to just pretend that everyone has been there all the time—kind of like Lost I suppose, there were characters that were present since the Plane crashed, but only featured prominently on one episode, when it was convenient to the plot to focus on them. I wonder if there is a T.V. Trope name for that? Absentee Actor almost fits the bill, but there's probably another, however, after a few hours on the site, I've been unable to locate what it might be (Seriously, that site should come with a warning!—Danger! one article will lead to many more, leave now if you do not have several hours available). Moving on.

Some of my most regular players were unable to make it to the game, and one of the players that has missed a few sessions as of late was able to come. I used this to get things going in the right direction, after the possible derailment of last session—which I allowed, just so I could see what would happen. Before P came to the game I told him why his character had not been with the rest of the posse, he had been gathering information on his own that the rest of the posse had spend a good chunk of the previous session trying to gather, but coming up short.

I didn't give them too much information, and they almost walked away from the exact location they needed to be, due to a miscommunication on my part—a notice check nudged them in the right direction. We were able to complete two combat encounters, and a fun time was had by all.

I love Savage Worlds, and this session made apparent one more reason why it's such a fun system. There were four players; two Novice level, one Heroic, and I think a Veteran—and I don't think that the novices were having any less fun, or feeling like they weren't part of the action just because their characters are of a lower Rank. I've played D&D where my character was lower than the rest of the party by a large gap, and frankly, I couldn't do anything, The monsters were too tough for me to handle, so I could get killed or hide behind the more experienced characters while they took multiple attacks and dealt high damage; in hindsight, letting my character get killed so I could go home would have been the better decision.

Part of that was due to my handing an NPC (that the posse rescued) over to one of the players that has a novice character, and partially due to the player of the Novice Mad Scientist having so much fun with his one invention (even using it when possibly detrimental to the posse; not because it's detrimental, but because his character just didn't think of it that way—Hijinks Ensue).

One final thing. We all owe S a big thanks. Without P, there would not have been a session, and it was a really fun session.

So thank you, Thank you, Thank You.

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