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How I introduce new or returning characters

One thing that keeps a campaign going is new blood. Players move on, or life happens and they have to step away from the table, and you find replacements. Someone hears about your game and wants to come play! A player may miss a game or two and then return.

I hear of a lot of different approaches to this, with creative backstories or constructions on how player X just happened to be at the right place at the right time...

I saw situations like what this person described in one of the Facebook groups I'm a member of...

Two weeks? That's awful, to have a player sitting on their hands at the table. That must have been really hard for everyone there, especially player and DM. I would hate that!

I can't do do that, and I don't. I take a different tack.

I blame Jeff Rients for the approach I've used for the past ten years. A PC of mine died in one of his convention games. I rerolled 3d6 in order and he had me just hop back, no explanation, no story... just BAMF! and the…

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