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Questions tagged [absent-players]

For questions about players missing sessions. This covers questions about how to handle player characters when the player is away, and questions about handling missed progression from sessions where a player was absent. (See also: the [attendance] tag.)

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10 votes
7 answers
3k views

"Astral Flu" mechanic for scheduling problems

I am DMing 5e for a group at my job, but we are finding it very hard to find a suitable schedule for everyone. We are all very busy with unpredictable schedules and frequent work travels. Currently we ...
Gabriel De Oliveira Caetano's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Should I postpone Session Zero, so an irregular player can attend?

I am currently trying to start a campaign with a group of friends and our Session Zero was scheduled for next week. One of my players has now told me, that he is unsure, if he will be a part of our ...
TreeSpawned's user avatar
  • 3,476
19 votes
6 answers
7k views

My sister wants to play every other week at our weekly table. How do I fix the issues that come with this?

My sister and I both play at the local game shop once a week. It costs five bucks for anyone to get in. Recently, my sister has started attending a church program every Wednesday and wants to play D&...
Sabre Dorko's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do I DM for this group when we can't handle a large group properly, but also can't count on any smaller group all attending?

I just concluded an online game with my players. (We played 5E, but I want to move to Dungeon World.) I started with four players, and that has since grown to around ten people wanting to play, which ...
From A Public Comp's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
313 views

Player shows up inconsistently

I am a DM running Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (soon to progress to Undermountain). There are three players, I play a generic paladin, and we play via Zoom. One player, however, is inconsistently showing ...
user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
2k views

As a DM, how can I manage a group with different amounts of free time?

I've started playing D&D 5e with a group of friends recently. I'm the DM and there are four players. One is still working and is only available during weekends, while the other three (and I) have ...
Amon's user avatar
  • 323
17 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to handle not being able to attend as often as I'd like

I've been playing with a group for about a year. I have no complaints about my group, I'm the problem. I'm the only one who has kids, and unfortunately for me my wife is not exactly supportive ...
DumpTruck614's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I deal with a player that doesn’t play, but says they want to? [closed]

Forewarnings, there are a lot of very long reasons behind answering the question, but in short, this is it: In short, I want to kick this player, my other four players want him kicked, and the player ...
Austin Cruce's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
817 views

When a player has drama and won't communicate

Right now, a player seems to be upset with events of a session he missed and hasn't responded to my messages. Background About a month or two ago, a player began to be dissatisfied with how I ran the ...
MrBeefCakes's user avatar
21 votes
9 answers
5k views

A player left the group at a moment's notice, and I am at a loss for what to do with his character

I had a player message me a few hours before our 5e session, "Hey I'm quitting the group, would it be too much of a hassle to kill off my character tonight?" I said that's fine, thinking I would fudge ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 213
18 votes
4 answers
5k views

How can I quickly adjust encounters for variable party sizes?

Problem I'm running a campaign with 6 players, but they can't always show up1. That, by itself, would not be a problem, if I knew how many would come with enough time to prepare for it. The thing is: ...
HellSaint's user avatar
  • 37.1k
6 votes
2 answers
369 views

How to handle a party member spontaneously not showing up?

I am the GM of a party that consists of two family fathers, one guy working on a oil platform and another freelancer working in the film industry. So it happens quite often that one member ...
ruedi's user avatar
  • 6,557
8 votes
3 answers
372 views

How to keep Bonds relevant when players are absent?

Some time ago I GMed Dungeon World for a group of friends -- the first time any of us tried DW, though we'd played Apocalypse World before. The campaign only lasted 5-6 sessions because of multiple ...
AgentAquarius's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
556 views

Missing players don't spend daily resources

Last year, my D&D group attendance was really good. All 6 non-DM players were frequently available on game-day and the campaign progressed quickly. Recently, 3 people with a nearly 100% ...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 35.3k
12 votes
1 answer
376 views

Dungeon World with a variable group

I'm starting a role playing game group, and I expect (and specified in my “looking for group” ad) that people will be attending irregularly. I am going to run it at a local games cafe (taking the “...
Anaphory's user avatar
  • 3,995
32 votes
12 answers
21k views

How do we play with irregular attendance?

Some of my players (myself included) will always set time aside to play our weekly D&D 5e games, but others are more casual about their attendance, and won't make it most of the time, except when ...
Skeither7's user avatar
  • 1,109
7 votes
1 answer
614 views

What problems should I expect when running Apocalypse World as an "open party" game?

Many of my friends who play or would like to play RPGs have too tight schedules for a single long campaign, but want more continuity than what a single one-shot game would allow. I've been thinking of ...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54.1k
12 votes
3 answers
954 views

How do you resolve conflict when an absent player's character is played "differently" by another player?

A problem that can arise when not everyone can make it to the table is that someone running the absent person's character may make choices or decisions that are either out of character, don't sit well ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
613 views

Is it normal for others to use a player's character when the player's absent?

I'm a new and inexperienced player in a weekly game with some old friends, and I've missed a few sessions. (We were supposed to game 2 Saturdays per month but this was changed to every Saturday.) My ...
darkstarmorn's user avatar
29 votes
4 answers
3k views

What do I do when some players won't show up consistently?

I am running a campaign in Roll20, and I have some players that will very often miss sessions without any warning, or just show up really late into the campaign. Because of their absences, I have had ...
Flotolk's user avatar
  • 2,272
12 votes
1 answer
765 views

How to deal with a player missing the first session of a campaign

I don't think this question has been asked before. However, the 'How do you deal with missing players' question is related. My group just started a new campaign. A player we thought would no longer ...
Archwillow's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do I deal with absent players missing out on levels or XP?

If a player is absent and nobody chooses to play this absent character and instead I let it vanish for a while with a suitable reason or excuse, does this missing player gain levels and XP with the ...
Luke Burgin's user avatar
65 votes
7 answers
3k views

As an unreliable player, how can I lessen the burden on my group?

I'm often unreliable, in the sense that something always seems to turn up at the last minute that draws me away from our current regular game. (It's happened before as well.) Given that the reasons ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
451 views

Creating a new character vs taking over an inactive previous character

In a lengthy campaign players may miss some sessions or even stop playing for some time. Other players may join at any time. What are the advantages/drawbacks of having the new players taking over ...
Wilerson's user avatar
  • 637
11 votes
11 answers
586 views

How do I catch a Player Character up to the rest of the group after returning from an extended hiatus?

This is somewhat similar to "How do you deal with missing players?", but I'm looking to address slightly different issues. Also, this query is about longer breaks than the one or two sessions ...
Iszi's user avatar
  • 6,245
14 votes
8 answers
702 views

How do you plan a character's actions when the player is absent?

How do you handle being absent a session when you have specific actions in mind for your character? Leave notes for the person playing your character, even a script? Describe the character's ...
C. Ross's user avatar
  • 24.2k
45 votes
26 answers
17k views

How do you deal with missing players? [closed]

If you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing a player, do you reschedule? Or just play them as an NPC or as a group puppet?
TALlama's user avatar
  • 934
20 votes
9 answers
1k views

Dealing with a changing set of players in a continuous campaign

I have a group of players who have all been integrated into the game. However we all live in different counties and at any one time only a subset of the players can play at any one time. I try to ...
Heather's user avatar
  • 1,741