Home > Play-by-post discussion > What do you do with characters from members who have left your game?

What do you do with characters from members who have left your game?

a man leaving his character behindIt’s very likely that people who joined your roleplaying game will choose to leave at some point, and sometimes (or often perhaps) these people will just leave and give no explanation of why. There can be many reasons why people leave, usually they just can’t commit enough time, sometimes they’re lazy, sometimes they have arguments with other members of the game. But the question really is what should you do with their characters once they’ve left?

It might seem too harsh to kill their characters off, what if perhaps the member wants to re-join at a later date? If you do kill them, do you build a story about it? Should you make your existing characters react to the death like any real person would? Or maybe you should just neglect to mention them until the characters disappear into obscurity as if they never existed?

I asked this question openly on Twitter and Facebook to other roleplayers. Here’s what I asked, and the replies I received.

@ir0nwolf said:

@ongoingworlds I NPC them, depending on situation they either head off to do their own thing or they meet their fate if the dice go that way

@JLCoburn said:

@ongoingworlds Depends on how they left. If it couldn’t be helped then ignored or some other calm way. Flakes are killed off creatively.

@d20Blonde said:

@ongoingworlds Usually they come back later, having given the bad guys vital info, and try to kill the PCs.

@rulescardiff said:

@ongoingworlds It depends why they left, in my opinion. Think Chef’s death in South Park 😉

Raymond Frazee said:

For the most part I let them go their own way. If they were extremely interesting I’ve brought them back in as an NPC, otherwise they vanish into the game world. Only on a few occasions have I killed off a character after the player left–and that was only because that character was about to die a slow, horrible death anyway.

What would you do? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.

  1. September 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

    We have a rule that if you are absent for one month, the administrator has the right to NPC your characters, so as to move the story.

    This is what we are doing. Sometimes they are NPC-ed for months (such as featuring in a few posts in the thread, together with the other characters, as needed) because they can’t vanish mid-thread. Other times, they are sent away – transferred on another ship, left in anger, etc. Other times, a catastrophe may get them disappeared, but not necessarily dead. They are missing, and they can come with a story if they want to come back.

    So, the final word is we do to the characters as it fits best the story.

    • September 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Elena that’s a really sensible thing to do, otherwise the story might never move on!

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