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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    We've all been there. An errant breath weapon, a lucky arrow shot, a careless rogue and a devious trap, the unfathomable evil of Cthulhu and his ilk, rocks falling. The party's been slogging their way through the Never-Ending Dungeon of Inestimable Peril (TM) for days now, and a character just died. But you're in the middle of an endless series of caverns and there's no easy way to introduce a new character.

    This thread to the rescue! These scenarios can arise in almost any game, so let's come up with scenarios that make this slightly less awkward. They can be generic or tailored to a specific system.

    And attempts to actually maintain a numbering system never work, so just post away!

    • Prisoners of War - You wander into a chamber where the despicable creatures that inhabit the dungeon have chained a prisoner to the wall. You free him and find that he (coincidentally) perfectly fills a gap in the party's skill set!
    • Rivals Turned Allies - You've been racing another group of enterprising businesspeople through the dungeon. Their party has just come up against an encounter beyond their abilities, and one member has survived...
    • Extra-Dimensional Portal - Who knows where these things come from, but helpful people are forever wandering through them.
    • Amnesia - I made it all the way in here, got a nasty crack on the head, and now I don't remember why I came here in the first place...
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    Er... numbering systems do work. Sure, people slip up once in a while, but it's quickly corrected.

    5. There's a shop. In the middle of the dungeon. It's run by a powerful artificer who decided to invest his WBL in low-level magic item crafting and sells the stuff to adventurers. He also stocks rope and ladders in case people forgot to bring any (or enough). He has the new character working as his assistant, the sole survivor of the last party that came through.
    Last edited by Hiro Protagonest; 2012-07-30 at 05:14 PM.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    of the top of my head.

    Trapped In Time: Either you happen to bump into a useful guy who just happened to be either trapped in some temporal stasis until just now or has been turned to stone but fear not there is a handy Stone to Flesh scroll in the same room as him.
    "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff."

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    how could I forget!

    Saving the Mind Controlled minion of Evil: A once mighty adventure who just happens to be exactly the same power level as the group that faces him is clearly under some sort of Domination spell. Once freed he/she/it will happily join the party in order to gain revenge against the Evil that did this. (Bonus points if Pally/LG Priest)
    "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff."

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    7: In-Dimensional Tunnel:
    Similar to the Extra dimensional tunnel. Perhaps the guy rolled badly/well with a dimensional door, and will join you for the safety.

    8: Time Warp:
    So many games are trapped in medievel stasis....

    Extra dimensional tunnel has already been mentioned. It is also a way for lazy players to avoid making new characters, as it happens in heroes...

    And, for all the warlocks/Devine worshipers and worlds where Divinities are more interactive:

    9: My Diety/Patron wanted me here. Didn't tell me why though.
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    You counted 6 twice.

    11. Another party tried taking on the dungeon. He's the only one who survived to escape

    12. Monster PCs!
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    13 Denizen Coup A classed leader among the denizens of the dungeon is ousted in a coup. He happens to be of a similar level to the party and wants to avenge himself on the traitors.

    14 Last man standing The dungeon has been occupied fairly recently by the monstrous hordes, one man(of the PCs level, maybe he has followers) is still fighting to hold his sacred ground/city/treasure. The party finds him fighting it out with a group of foes and upon their rescue joins them.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    15: PC dies. Gets reincarnated.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    16: Accidently summoned by an NPC spellcaster.
    The Cat Burglar by Ghar. Thanks!

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    17. The random character gets teleported in as punishment for something. He was meant to die down there, and nobody knew of the party's presence.

    18. The random character is monster food. The party finds him about to be eaten

    19. The random character was bribed or blackmailed into being there

    20. The random character is petrified in the corner. Has been for ages.

    21. The random character is the supplier for goods and whatnot for the dungeon's inhabitants. Since you killed the monsters he is out of a job
    Last edited by Kane0; 2012-07-30 at 08:35 PM.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    22: Penance. The man was doomed to die (or sentenced to something similarly nasty), but your valliant group of murdering vagabonds saved him or enslaved him!
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    23. "A crack appears on the roof in front of you, and bits of dust and rock start showering down. All of a sudden there's a massive CA-RACK, and part of the roof collapses. Sitting on the pile of rubble, coughing on the dust, is a very large, half-naked male human with the better part of a tree in one hand, and a dead dog in the other."
    Why yes, I have used this in one of my games, why do you ask? Related, but not in a dungeon, a character of mine joined the party by falling off a roof, landing right in front of them, and then hiding behind them from the mean man who was chasing her.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    In a war campaign, when the party paladin got killed a long ways from a tavern, I handed him the stat block of the Marine Sergeant whose squad was already providing support fire. He did some pretty cool things with it (e.g. charging a bunker full of elven artificers, catching one of their grenades, and tossing it back through the firing slit, and later having the party mechanic salvage a magical machinegun from a golem, which he proceeded to fire from the hip while chewing a stogie), so after the adventure, we reworked him as a PC.

    I guess that would be...
    24. Promote an NPC to the Main Cast

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    25. Finding a Warforged trapped under a pile of rubble, and digging him out.
    26. Coming across another adventuring party being slaughtered by orcs, joining in the battle, and recruiting the lone surviving adventurer.
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    "Totally not a Doppleganger" -- you find the PC tied up in a secret room. He explains that a Doppleganger infiltrated his former party and convinced them that he was the Doppleganger. The PC tried to kill the Doppleganger but was overpowered by his party and left tied up "until they could figure out whether he was lying." That was a day ago, and he hasn't seen them since.

    Bonus points if the PC is actually a DM Trap and totally is a Doppleganger
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    "Oh thank goodness somebody found me!" This can range from a hide-and-seek game taken way too seriously to a cave-in that trapped another explorer.

    Crazy hermit: He might just live in the dungeon.
    Last edited by QuidEst; 2012-07-31 at 09:25 AM.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    17. The random character gets teleported in as punishment for something. He was meant to die down there, and nobody knew of the party's presence.
    Similar to this one:

    Misfired Teleport: Character was off on his scroll of teleport. Teleported into the dungeon by accident.

    I use the next one when I just really don't want to think of one. Also good if you want to make your player think on his feet.

    Divine Intervention: Patron deity of the character wants to punish/test/whatever the PC. Teleports him to the party.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    32. A huge demon is giving birth. Amidst the gore and blood emerges the new PC; fully grown, geared up and covered in blood. (Maybe the PC crawled his/her way out of hell? Maybe the pc is a demon? Maybe it's just weird?)

    33. The party finds a Deck of Many Things. The first card they draw is the Knight, but instead of a loyal 4th-level fighter, it's the PC. (Problem: if they continue drawing cards, the whole party probably needs replacements.)
    Demiliches. Why'd it have to be demiliches?

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post
    [*]Amnesia - I made it all the way in here, got a nasty crack on the head, and now I don't remember why I came here in the first place...[/LIST]
    I did a variant of this, except my character was sleeping and woke up with a nasty hangover when the party found him. My character had been given the same task as the party, just a day prior, and he'd been blacked out when he took the job.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    34. The party slays a T-Rex; the new character spills out of the stomach, somewhat embarrassed but blessedly alive.


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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    35. There is a ghost haunting the dungeon. Surprisingly, they're not too hostile to the party, they just want to finish their last task before moving on and do whatever it is that the rest of the party also wants to achieve.

    36. After coming in contact with a strange magical object, one party member summons themselves from a parallel dimension; they look like them, but have a completely different class, and maybe, for extra mindscrew, a different personality, too.

    37. That character just managed to catch up with the party after following the trail of dead monsters and destruction. Their only motivation is to have fun. Their definition of "fun" happens to also involve dead monsters and destruction.
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    38. "Who are you people and why are you in my house!?" (Whether or not the player actually lives there or is just crazy enough to think that a dungeon is their house is up to you.)

    39. "So the four of you, including the cleric who has totally been with you the entire time what other guy descend into the dungeon." (Bonus points: none of the NPCs remember the new character, and continually ask about the previous character, who none of the players remember.)

    40. Another time travel one: "I'm your son/daughter from the future... and I've come to warn you!"
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego Havoc View Post
    40. Another time travel one: "I'm your son/daughter from the future... and I've come to warn you!"
    A man appears before you in a flash of magic, he looks at you and says "Marg The Mighty?... You look different without your scar.." the stranger places his hand on your shoulder saying "We must save the Bard, then we shall save the world"

    Why I find this thread so funny.... I've done a fair few of these over the years.

    NPC/PC trapped in time/stasis bubble: Check.
    Warforged knocked below 0 but not dead: Check
    Time traveling future selves: Check


    41. BBEG shouts that he will now destroy you with his epic summon spell! new PC is summoned by mistake
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonok View Post
    Divine Intervention: Patron deity of the character wants to punish/test/whatever the PC. Teleports him to the party.
    "The god of pure Chaos turns up and drops a dude at your feet. Because he's the god of Chaos, and he felt like it."

    I used this one to get rid of a couple of characters whose players had left the game. They were both Chaotic characters, too, so it worked that he'd be drawn to them, and also he was the god of a temple the party was going to have to deal with eventually.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    One instance I remember reading here was just having the new character fall out of the sky and crush the party member he was replacing...

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    43. "Remember that funny-looking magic rock you found but never identified? Yeah, it was a Philosopher's Stone. And guess what happens when that true resurrection oil falls onto dragon feces?"

    Yes, this actually happened. A dragon had just turned our fighter into a red smear on the ground (shortly before being mulched itself), and the player wanted to bring in a new character. Problem was, the party was under serious time pressure to reach the bottom of the dungeon and prevent the plot McGuffin from being activated - the kind of time pressure where every second counted, and stopping to free prisoners might accidentally doom the world. So I ruled that the dragon's claws had smashed the items in his backpack, inadvertently mixing the philosopher's stone with a Cure Serious Wounds potion and flinging the resulting resurrection juice onto a nearby dragon poop. Coincidentally, this particular poop used to be an adventurer on much the same quest as the heroes, and after a very brief period of post-resurrection disorientation she joined the party as the player's new PC.

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    44. Dwarven mining team punches through the dungeon wall/Elvish scouting party stumbles across the ruins. One of the dwarves/elves has a son/daughter (who for some crazy reason) thinks they want to be an adventurer. Maybe the party would like to drag them along on one of their wild and zany trips (please?), so the son/daughter can see that adventuring isn't all gold pieces and ice cream, and then they'll want to come home and act like a proper Dwarf/Elf.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-07-31 at 03:21 PM.
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    45. The dead PC's cohort/follower is promoted to PC.
    46. The Princess and the Frog Scenario: the party encounters a monster who says he's under a curse and that the party just so happens to have the method of breaking said curse (whether that's a kiss from a woman or something more esoteric and/or disturbing, it's up to the DM). Grateful for his freedom, he joins the party.
    47. "I've been watching you for days." A stranger pops out of nowhere and says he's been following the party for a while now, unnoticed due to a ring of invisibility or other magical doohickey.
    48. Reinforcements. If the party is working for some powerful person or organization, they may have sent reinforcements to join the party on their quest. Unfortunately they arrived too late to save the PC who just joined the choir invisible...
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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    Thief caught in a cage trap: "Funny story, actually. I figured out the preassure plate pattern in the room- by the way, guy-in-armor, don't step to your left- but I failed to notice the cage hanging from the ceiling. Long story short, here I am. Mind giving me a hand?"
    "How're we doing?"
    "The dwarf's on fire."
    "So as bad as usual, huh?"

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    Default Re: 1001 ways to introduce a character in the middle of a dungeon!

    50- The Sleepwalking Barbarian (or other character): The PCs encounter their new party member stumbling around in the depths of the dungeon, eyes closed, mumbling to himself. When woken he is disoriented and has no idea how he got in or how to get out again. Having no other option, he joins the party.
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