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Our group has a fairly fresh campaign running, I am DM'ing the campaign (5E) there are currently 4 PC's (paladin, warlock, gunslinger (fighter) and ranger. The ranger has other time commitments that won't allow him to continue playing.

Question as follows: What is the best way to ensure continuity in my campaign? I currently see two options a) have him leave the party or b) NPC him. He is True Neutral and essentially treats others how he is treated.

What would be the best option and is there any guidance on npc'ing PC characters, perhaps in the short term until he can rejoin us at a different date or time?

Thanks :)

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closed as primarily opinion-based by LegendaryDude, KorvinStarmast, Miniman, Oblivious Sage, Purple Monkey Apr 21 '16 at 13:06

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you own the DMG? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 21 '16 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a copy of the DMG, I was really asking what the best option was and how to best pursue the preferred option. If anyone has experience in doing this. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Rundle Apr 21 '16 at 12:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ConnorRundle Unfortunately, with the way your question is currently worded, it will most likely be closed as being primarily opinion-based. How you handle this situation is entirely left to you, and it can be handled in one of many ways. No one can tell you what the best way to handle the situation is because that would only be their opinion on what is best. You may be able to edit your question to bring it closer to objectivity and solicit some good answers. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Apr 21 '16 at 12:27
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This comes from personal experience, and it depends on what you would like to have happen.

If you want to have the leaving character potentially come back:

  • that character is going on a side quest. Something personal takes up that character's time, and they want to do it on their own. This justifies the character coming back and being at a similar experience level as the player characters who didn't leave.
  • that character has decided that there are easier ways to make a living; they go into "adventurer retirement," and use their wealth from adventuring to live a normal life. Assuming you want your PCs to be about the same level all the time, you will have trouble obtaining a justifiable reason for a change in the character's level if they do come back from "adventurer retirement." The tolerance for this varies within groups; some are OK with everyone being the same level, others want individual experience to be tracked.

If you don't want the character to come back (make sure the leaving player is OK with this, or social bad times can happen):

  • Kill off that character. Adventuring ought to be a dangerous business.
  • Turn them into a villain! This makes for a much more personal villain.

These four solutions have worked well with past groups I have been in. As always, you don't want to offend the people with whom you play, otherwise you may find yourself without people to play an RPG with.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Great ideas, thank you! I love the idea of making a TN villain, in the sense of restoring balance on all of the parties wrong doings! \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Rundle Apr 21 '16 at 12:45

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