Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summertime Blues - Continuity When Your Group Suffers Summer Shrinkage

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 ;)

1 comment:

  1. That's a great idea. I ended up doing something similar with my 4E group. They were mostly newbies with little experience with older systems so I decided to take them on a ride.
    There was an old ruined dungeon they were about to explore and in the first room of the dungeon I created a puzzle with a bunch of chairs that they had to sit in. Once they all sat in the proper chairs, they were frozen in time and their consciousness was transported 100 years into the past. They took over the control of a different group of adventurers. These adventurers were "old school" and didn't have the new fangled powers that modern adventurers had. To represent this historical perspective, we played using Castles & Crusades rules and characters. I had them take over control of the other adventurers who were entering the same dungeon sitting in the same chairs. I explained to them how they looked different when they awoke, not knowing what happened, they took a while to figure out that their classes were all changed and in one case, their gender. Once they realized that condition of the dungeon was much better and through some checks that their equipment was "vintage" they realized they were different people and in the past. At that point, I handed them their new character sheets and explained that we'd be using simpler faster paced rules. They ate it up. Eventually, they all died in the dungeon, since C&C doesn't hold your hand the way 4E does. As they each died, I had them transported back to their bodies in the future. Once everyone was back in the present, we returned to the 4E ruleset and continued to explore the dungeon. The best part was when they came upon the locations where their characters has died and found the now fully decayed corpses of those same adventurers.
    It was a fun way to pass the time with a smaller subsection of players without over leveling the main characters, but yet tying it all into the main story. Plus they got to experience a different ruleset without the nonsense of trying to convince someone to do that kind of thing. It just felt like the right way to go back in time.


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