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WarKitty
2010-10-30, 10:20 AM
How do you go about introducing a new character to the party? We had a rather failed attempt last night. The party was traveling through an occupied city when we see a guard beating a pair of slaves. We decide that we can't rescue them, because there are likely other guards around and we'd just get ourselves killed for no benefit. Turns out the slaves were the new characters that we were supposed to pick up. We did end up rescuing them, but only after the DM broke in and told us these were the new PC's.

So how do you introduce a new character into an existing party without invoking "it's a PC we have to take them"?

Psyren
2010-10-30, 10:23 AM
In your situation, I'd have some vigilante NPC swing in to rescue them, start a big brawl in the street, urge you to "take the slaves and RUN!" then suffer a noble and glorious death at the hands of the guards as the party makes their escape.

If there's a paladin in the party, emphasize the importance of protecting the weak and beaten slaves over staying to help their rescuer.

Grynning
2010-10-30, 10:26 AM
It really depends on the game and setting. If the characters are hired or contracted by someone, it's easy; you can just have the new character show up as another hireling sent to help them out. In other cases, it can be tougher, and you should tailor it to the character you're introducing.

A good example was in a 4th ed D&D game I was being introduced into. My character was a changeling, and the adventure was a con-job/heist pulled against a rival thieves guild. So, the next time they met with the rival guild, I was there - in disguise as one of the bad guys. The PC's guild had planted me there, just most of them didn't know about it.

Comet
2010-10-30, 10:27 AM
I think it's better to be honest about it and straight out say "Ok, Jim and Jack are playing characters X and Z" and when those characters enter the scene make sure everyone is aware that they are, indeed, PCs.

Trying to wiggle them in without OOC action is, at best, awkward. Sure, it might sometimes work but I think it's better to just take the shortcut and avoid all the trouble if possible. The most important thing is to keep the game flowing.

oxybe
2010-10-30, 10:32 AM
usually i just have them be introduced by a 3rd party/patron or have them meet up due to similar goals/situation.

either way, i try to make it so the situation is favorable for the old & new PCs and would give all the PCs a reason to work together.

mucat
2010-10-30, 10:33 AM
One thing that can work is giving the new PC a tie to one or more of the existing ones. They can be someone already mentioned in a character history, or someone with a connection invented on the spot...but give the old PC a reason to welcome and trust the new one.

For example, one character who I really enjoyed playing was an older novice druid, a widower with three grown children (he had been a failed druid turned farmer, who took up the ways of the forest again after his kids were grown.) When a new player joined the group, one option she could have used was to play one of Johan's sons or daughter. They were all a little worried that Dad had lost his mind, selling the farm and going to live in the forest, so any one of them could have come home to check on him, then gotten drawn into the ongoing adventure.

Instead, she decided her character was the apprentice of an NPC mage who we already knew and trusted. That worked well too; since our wizard ally vouched for her, we had every reason to welcome her into the party.

bartman
2010-10-30, 10:39 AM
I'm surprised no one has said it yet...

"You seeem like a trustworty fellow, come, join our party!"

Psyren
2010-10-30, 11:35 AM
I'm surprised no one has said it yet...

"You seeem like a trustworty fellow, come, join our party!"

That would require the party, OOC, to know that these are PCs they should be inviting to the group. How many random NPCs do you pick up?

WarKitty
2010-10-30, 11:48 AM
I suspect it also depends on how long you want the player to sit out. Our party prefers to have the new character brought in right away, rather than waiting. Unfortunately this means new characters often have to be picked up somehow in the middle of the wilderness, or an occupied city, or somesuch.

DonEsteban
2010-10-30, 11:48 AM
That would require the party, OOC, to know that these are PCs they should be inviting to the group. How many random NPCs do you pick up?

You (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIaIdv79Xz4) just (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiTEHqAeanw) failed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-7UwvyVzG4&feature=related) roleplaying (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h54TQv61IsU&feature=related) forever (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4qBjQ2YWnw&feature=related)!

Nyarai
2010-10-30, 12:43 PM
I'm surprised no one has said it yet...

"You seeem like a trustworty fellow, come, join our party!"

Only because you beat me to it.

At one point, the game at the LGS had sooo many people coming in and never returning (and at one point had a terrifying 12 players) that "You seem like a trustworthy fellow" was all time allowed.

Besides, it was megafunny. Even with group size halved and fleshed out, in-character intros, someone would usually say it anyways. :smallcool:

mucat
2010-10-30, 01:49 PM
I suspect it also depends on how long you want the player to sit out. Our party prefers to have the new character brought in right away, rather than waiting. Unfortunately this means new characters often have to be picked up somehow in the middle of the wilderness, or an occupied city, or somesuch.

You could compromise, and bring in the new player right away, but let them play an existing NPC (possibly powered up temporarily to PC status) or a new NPC whose presence makes sense given what's going on in the game. Then when they reach a place where they can logically introduce their "real" character, let any experience they earned as the NPC carry over.

WarKitty
2010-10-30, 01:54 PM
You could compromise, and bring in the new player right away, but let them play an existing NPC (possibly powered up temporarily to PC status) or a new NPC whose presence makes sense given what's going on in the game. Then when they reach a place where they can logically introduce their "real" character, let any experience they earned as the NPC carry over.

You know, for all people say this, I have never figured out how to make it work. I mean, what, do you have henchmen following your party around or something? Y'all must play in very different worlds than we usually do.

Prime32
2010-10-30, 02:01 PM
In your situation, I'd have some vigilante NPC swing in to rescue them, start a big brawl in the street, urge you to "take the slaves and RUN!" then suffer a noble and glorious death at the hands of the guards as the party makes their escape.Umm... why can't the vigilante be the new PC?

WarKitty
2010-10-30, 02:05 PM
Umm... why can't the vigilante be the new PC?

In this particular case, because any character high enough level to survive that on his own would be way too high for our party.

oxybe
2010-10-30, 02:18 PM
You know, for all people say this, I have never figured out how to make it work. I mean, what, do you have henchmen following your party around or something? Y'all must play in very different worlds than we usually do.

at low levels it's not that much of an issue, but higher levels to be walking around with henchmen who are only slighly less reality warping then yourselves kinda makes one wonder that agency lends theses guys out and why they are still acting the role of henchmen rather then then proper adventurer.

or simply retired.

having a 1st year university student work by tutoring high school /junior high students in physics is one thing. it's another to have albert einstein do the same.

i don't mind letting dead players use NPCs while they roll up a new PC, but if you've got a PC ready to go, i find it's best to simply either retcon "he was with us all along" if the current adventure just started or if it's a bit later, squeeze him in a dungeon, strap him to a rack in the next room or something. is it immersion-breaking?

maybe, but i've been the guy to sit out two or more sessions because of "not the right time" and i don't want to have to put others through that. i've only got so much spare time in a week, and i don't want to have to spend it listening to other people roleplay while i sit in the sidelines.

Kaww
2010-10-30, 02:25 PM
You should give more specs on the game and situation.

I have stages when I plan for a potential character switch/new player being added. They should always join as equals, not as damsels in distress, except for dwarves, nor as superhero types that one hit kill anything that was attacking/beatingthec***outof the party. Later they will not have that status, they must be equals. Alternative is a hired band-aid, hired lock/trap expert or good, old, dumb Joe who's there to be punished while the party escapes...

WarKitty
2010-10-30, 02:27 PM
You should give more specs on the game and situation.

I have stages when I plan for a potential character switch/new player being added. They should always join as equals, not as damsels in distress, except for dwarves, nor as superhero types that one hit kill anything that was attacking/beatingthec***outof the party. Later they will not have that status, they must be equals. Alternative is a hired band-aid, hired lock/trap expert or good, old, dumb Joe who's there to be punished while the party escapes...

Well since I'm not the DM I was looking for general advice on working new characters in, not on fixing a specific situation. I'm just confused about the NPC bit because I've never played in a game that had close NPC's that would be at all suitable tagging along with the party.

Starbuck_II
2010-10-30, 02:45 PM
In this particular case, because any character high enough level to survive that on his own would be way too high for our party.

Or just more optimized. Remember kids optimization lets you kill people with a spoon. :smallbiggrin:

WarKitty
2010-10-30, 02:48 PM
Or just more optimized. Remember kids optimization lets you kill people with a spoon. :smallbiggrin:

I'm an anthrobat 3.PF druid. I got knocked to half hit points in a single round with 2 of them. I don't think optimization would help much here. :smallbiggrin:

Kaww
2010-10-30, 02:53 PM
Well since I'm not the DM I was looking for general advice on working new characters in, not on fixing a specific situation. I'm just confused about the NPC bit because I've never played in a game that had close NPC's that would be at all suitable tagging along with the party.

In that case as a player: I once (knowingly) entangled a PC that was chased by a worg, so she could be the bate while we killed the worg. She lived... I was N so there was no reason not to, and a good reason to do it. She wanted to use us as a meat shield...

As a rule we don't use NPC little helpers, but we take prisoners or save the prisoners that may become the part of the party. Best to be lawful and to have a debt to PCs in this case, to justify why you want to stick around...

Psyren
2010-10-30, 03:02 PM
Umm... why can't the vigilante be the new PC?

Because he would begin life as a DMPC (hence my brutal murder of him offscreen.)

You know, like what should've happened to Gandalf :smallwink:

Prime32
2010-10-30, 04:06 PM
Because he would begin life as a DMPC (hence my brutal murder of him offscreen.)

You know, like what should've happened to Gandalf :smallwink:...you don't have to do that. Just say "come in now to help out".