So I've been running a game of Shadowrun over the internet for the past few weeks online, and I've had a hectic personal schedule, so I haven't been able to do lengthy sessions. I've got a player who wants to leave the campaign (or at least has talked about this to the other players-I haven't received any word from him about this, but I trust the guy who talked to me about it).
Long story short, he wasn't happy with the way the game was going, and after the result of a few weird rolls (which I rolled hidden, instead of open), he became convinced that I was not only railroading, but running a rather powerful NPC intentionally to mess with the party. However, instead of communicating this to me, he communicates to my other players.
Now, this wouldn't be such a huge deal, but the other players want to sacrifice said player's old character and give the remaining (black magic tradition) mage a boost to his casting ability to make up for the loss of a player.
I would have no qualm with this-it's dark, but fits in with the general mood of the campaign, plus it emphasizes the moral ambiguity of the group-except for the fact that I had no contact with the player himself, and I only see him online on rare occasions so I haven't had time to get first-hand confirmation myself.
Are there any tips for:
- Trying to mediate with the player. I recognize that he may not want to play in my campaign anymore, but I'd like to at the very least get some meaningful feedback to improve my GM'ing.
- Confirming that the player actually wants to leave for good, and ask if he cares about what happens to his character (as well as telling him explicitly what will happen), before letting it happen, since obviously his character will not survive if he decides to return later.
- Dealing with the fact that my group knows each other, while I only know one of the players from a past game, in particular ways to prevent losing the rest of my players; essentially, "How do I make sure that my group doesn't split up when a player leaves?".
We're still rather early into the plot, so the loss of a character doesn't really change anything (and even then I've been of the mindset that the world is the world, without worrying much about adjusting difficulty for players' characters, so long as I can fudge the right dice when push comes to shove).