I'm running a long campaign and recently one of my players mentioned feeling a bit left out, not being a caster. I kind of have to agree; all the PC's are pretty well-rounded so there isn't much that only this character can do, whereas there are many things that can only be accomplished with magic. I don't get the sense that it's about having the spotlight so much as a clear role on the team. The player is an equal participant in talking things over and solving the challenges, but the character doesn't then have an equal share in implementing the solutions.
- The game is about 50-50 combat and puzzle solving (there's also dialogue to move the plot along, of course, but none of the PCs are that interested in social challenges.) Some of the puzzles have mundane solutions, others magical (this character has made good use of an Immovable Rod.) Combat has been primarily standard-issue fantasy monsters, including some casters.
- The system is GURPS 3e, with Magic and Grimoire as the only supplements (though I've offered others). I don't believe this is a system-specific problem but perhaps there are system-specific answers. Everybody has points to spend and I've been pretty generous about letting people add abilities. However, I'm the only one with system expertise so the players don't necessarily know what's available until I point it out (and homework isn't too feasible with this group.) Also, magic has a number of practical applications, not just in combat (which I otherwise like, but it exacerbates the problem here.)
- I did offer the possibility of learning magic but it doesn't really fit with the character conception.
- Current PC's:
- A Fragile Speedster (no magic, but clear combat role and quirky characterization mean the player is satisfied with this.)
- A healer with a few other utilty spells who shapeshifts for combat
- A fire mage with several other spells (especially defense)
- The character in question, a quiet fencer and sailor with a practical attitude and skills (think Zoe but less sarcastic)
- One slightly lower-level GMPC druid who's there for extra muscle and so I have someone to play when someone else wants to GM an episode
- The PCs are around 175 points (except my GMPC at around 125); everyone is more well-rounded than optimized (the healer has 55 points in spells, for example, including 16 in Daze as their only high-level spell.)
- I did have all my players fill out a character questionnaire about background, motivation, and goals; the responses for this character have helped with roleplaying but don't suggest an answer to this question.
I feel like I'm missing something obvious about why people play non-casters, possibly because I almost never do myself. How can I design adventures and/or suggest new and improved abilities such that this character is an important part of the team and occasionally essential?