Day 51: Early Exits

September 16, 2009

Over at the TAG forum, Ron said:

Early PC exits are something to consider. Is there something like a way station/shelter of some kind to hide out during a storm? A scurv outpost? Underground waterway? Some temporary dumping ground out in the wastes for a PC type of mechanic. But I take it this has to be an in-game-outta-game co-ordination thingy for this to be accomodated tho, eh?

The Tag’s Folly game is based on the players making groups that do sorties out into the wilderness, so a single player making an early exit is really hard to make coherent.

At the table, this is pretty awkward.  As GM I have my hands full with monsters and the set.  Even if we had another player play the missing character, the tactical effectiveness of the party drops significantly without the “it’s my character” level of mastery.  Otherwise, the players suddenly lose a major portion of their combat effectiveness – a deadly prospect.

In the fiction, the situation is even worse.  A bold adventurer joins up with an expedition, heads out with a group to stay alive in the Wastes, and then… maybe halfway out… disappears.  Now, you could say he decided to go home, or got lost, or whatever, but it stretches believability that:

  1. The character is competent
  2. The other characters would want to bring him again.

But I think Ron’s also asking whether there are safe zones out in the wilderness where a party can rest, and if it’s possible to make a safe route home.  The answer is yes, those are out there, but they haven’t been discovered or made yet.  The players may decide to invest some of their gold in making a waystation, or a player may set a retiring character to patrol a certain stretch of the Wastes.

Here’s a freebie:

Take 10, Arcana: One of the wonders of the old Domes was a network of magical conduits which could allow nearly instantaneous travel between destinations.  Some of these were reactivated for a time in the early days of the Big Tribe.


5 Responses to “Day 51: Early Exits”

  1. ronCidious Says:

    Yeah. I am asking that, but more so of a safety net that protects the games integrity/fiction in such a case. Sessions assume that the party needs to return to Husk b/fr session’s end. That’s what I call the “in-game-outta-game co-ordination thingy.”

    So the mech. I propose is a waystation of some kind that helps explain how a char. suddenly departs when the player needs to go. Maybe store goods, fix-up the station, leave a travel log, or just maintain postition “and head back to Husk to get back up if we don’t return in X days.”

    The above are a bit “cheap” but provide excuses for: extra gear, early exits, why the station isn’t falling apart, how we can take 10 regarding other sorties, and a way to let others in town know that “Party X has gone missing, so let’s get out there and find them” thus creating a simple hook. Or the char. can just sit there till next session XD

    • ronCidious Says:

      Also I’m still pressing to know how PC DEATH during a session is handled? Should we bring a 2nd sheet for expediency’s sake? Or once your char. dies, that’s it, you’re out?

      • stoughton Says:

        Oh, good point. I want people to bring the second character sheet. I also have a few 1st-level generics rolled up in case.

        I have several ways to bring them in (Haksh, Scurvs, and various other baddies often take slaves, not to mention badguy Wasters and Tiefers out there).

  2. stoughton Says:

    That’s a good idea; I like that. So you’re saying that we can treat the waystations as a different place to drop characters off and then “restart” the expedition from there without the missing character (who stays behind to upkeep the waystation).

    OK, That would work. As long as the party organizer is OK proceeding a man down. In fact, maybe that’s how I should have handled the sick player/reschedule that just happened for tonight’s game. Damnit, I need to think faster, or better.

    Anyway, there are already 4 potential waystations within a day of Husk that you guys could use, but someone will have to get there in game first and clear them of any existing inhabitants.

  3. stoughton Says:

    I’ve added a page about character death and retirement. The link’s on the left and on the new PLAYERS: START HERE page.

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