Now that summer has hit full swing my ACKS group is suffering from "vacation-itis". We all know how it strikes, and it becomes an epidemic before you know it.
Taking the whole summer off isn't really an option - the group looses all momentum and this is where most campaigns seem to die unsightly deaths. So, even if it's irregular. Even if the group is short handed, you want to keep it going.
Initially I was thinking of moving from our ACKS campaign to a different system for the summer, so that absences would not result in present party members out leveling their vacationing brethren, but that lacks an important element. The campaign itself.
So, I just sent my group a message that my current idea is to play their future henchmen. They are all third and fourth level and there is currently one henchman in the party (a goblin they picked up early on).
By playing their future henchmen, they'll be more invested in them when they do join the party. They'll be more likely to have their own personalities and have them form in a natural process. Also, in the future, if the PC dies, the players will already have an attachement to the henchman - it makes for a more natural progression.
I'll see what the reaction is, but I think it could be the solution we are looking for ;)