Last Friday I took over the GM’s seat in a game that I have been playing in. I have notes from the previous GM, plenty of plot hooks to pick up on as well as new ones of my own design, I am familiar with the PCs and their backgrounds, and I was probably in about as good a position as a person can be to take over the GM’s role in an existing game. Yet I did have one pesky problem — my PC.
My PC survived the last GM’s adventure and now I had to separate him from the rest of the party in a way that would be believable and that would also lead to his eventual return at a level comparable to the rest of the party. You see, we have a rule that when a GM returns to the role of being a player that their PC is allowed back into the group at the lowest level that the party members have obtained and that the PC has gained a magic item somehow.
I did not want to introduce a GMPC to the campaign, and I do not have the time to play him in a separate solo game run by someone else. That is why I had my PC arrested and thrown in jail. He is a cleric, and an elder priest of his temple took offense to how he handled himself during the last adventure, insulted my PC, and then insulted someone close to my PC. So I had my PC punch the elder priest in front of their superiors. Not a good career move, but it was an excellent moment of role playing in the game.
So I threw my own PC into jail to get him out of the group’s way. I mean, how perfect a solution is that? For one, everyone immediately understood why he can’t go on the next adventure. Plus I now have an unexpected side plot to run because the players want their characters to be a part of the defense in my PC’s trial. No matter how the trial goes my PC will be sent on a quest of some sort to redeem himself which will explain how he rejoins the party at approximately the same level.
Now like all good GM made plans I expect this one to survive contact with the players for about ten seconds. Complications will come up, but is that not part of the fun of being a GM? Just in case though I have an idea of how I can splinter this event into different in game events. A plot against the party where my PC’s arrest is just the first step in the process. A quest for the party to clear my PC’s name. It all depends on what the players think will be fun.
Who else has a similar situation? How do you handle it? What tricks do you have for removing your PC from the party when it is your turn to sit behind the screen? Are there similar situations that you have encountered even if it did not involve a PC of your own?
Until next time remember that the GM is a player too! Have fun with it!