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So, I'm a new DM, this is my first time. One of the players in the campaign really wants to have her character abandon the group during the night or even while they're at a city; and just go off by herself. I told her that she could do whatever she wants, but silently I'm freaking out; because i'm not at all sure on what to do.

One of the reasons the character is leaving is that another character has completely smashed everything that is important to her in the campaign; and kinda screwed everything up that I had planned. However the main reason is because she just wants to leave; with no particular reason. Having two separate journeys going on at once is something I do not want to do for my first time.

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There are many ways to handle this sort of thing in-game, but rather than trying to go down that route I would suggest just talking to the player first. Let the player in question know that Dungeons and Dragons is a team game, and while they're free to play a character who's a bit of a loner, at the bare minimum they need to be willing to go on the adventure in the first place. If that won't work for the current character, then they need to roll up a new one who is more of a team player, simple as that.

All that said, this may be an issue where the player in question is not particularly interested in the plot hook or other characters, and is having their character split up as a result of that. In that case, a conversation with them can also be useful to gauge what sort of game they're looking to play, and it might be better in the long run if you can devise some other type of plot that will appeal to the entire group.

Issues like these are one of the reasons that many people suggest a "Session Zero", where all the players sit down with the GM and have a discussion about what sort of game everybody is expecting, including the basic concept, tone, any topics that might be uncomfortable for people, what characters would work well for the campaign concept, and other baseline expectations. Having a specific time set aside to cover those topics can be very helpful to avoid people making characters that just don't fit with the rest of the party, aren't interested in the type of adventure, or just aren't going to be nearly as useful.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That was really helpful, Thank You! \$\endgroup\$ – Taylor Spaulding Apr 14 at 22:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Feel like it might also be worth addressing the point that "another character has completely smashed everything that is important to her in the campaign", which seems to be... a serious problem? Without context, can't say for sure, but I'd say it's very possible there's a problem with the group as a whole, or with at least one other player, rather than this just being an issue of a single player not understanding the game. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcosa Apr 14 at 22:33
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It's really up to you as to how to handle this. You could drop the player into the middle of a plot hook. You could have them be captured and let the other PCs know where they are being held. Have the PC encounter monsters that are more they can handle alone and require them to run back to the rest of the party.

I would recommend discouraging this kind of behavior though. A D&D game should not be a solo adventure when there are other players around for very long. I'd suggest getting an idea of what the player intends to do after abandoning the party.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank You! I will definitely do that. One of the reasons the character is leaving is that another character has completely smashed everything that is important to her in the campaign; and kinda screwed everything up that I had planned. However the main reason is because she just wants to leave; with no particular reason. Having two separate journeys going on at once is something I DO NOT want to do for my first time. Anyways, Thank You again for the Help! \$\endgroup\$ – Taylor Spaulding Apr 14 at 21:39

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