View Full Version : Problems contacting a player

Frog Dragon
2009-08-20, 02:07 PM
So with the game I'm DM:ing I have 4 players. Lets call these people by simple lettering: T1, T2, O, V. 3 of them are easily contacted and I can basically just call or even just talk to them at school. They come to the game fairly reguralry (which I run about weekly) unless they have a specific not to but there's one character I find myself DMpcing more often than the player himself is playing. This player is O. He goes to a different school than I do and never answers the phone. I'm lucky if I can catch him once in two weeks and when I manage to catch him and negotiate a time after asking the other three it often happens that he can't make it which he explains afterwards that he has a busy schedule. Always going somewhere. The question is, what should I do here? This doesn't work at all, but it's not really O's fault. We're still young teens so he doesn't have much control over said schedule and I can't tell him to keep some way to keep in contact because I can't contact him to convey said message! I've asked a another player (T1 who lives at a walking distance from O) to go talk to him face to face. I'm just hoping he remembers it.

And yes I have asked him if he actually enjoys the game. He says he does though has commented on the fact that his class is a bit complex for him for (new to D&D).

2009-08-20, 02:12 PM
No text messaging? No MSN to leave offline messages?

Frog Dragon
2009-08-20, 02:13 PM
I've tried text messages. He doesn't seem to get those either. He has no messenger.

2009-08-20, 02:21 PM
If the guy's not going to make an effort to actually make it to the games, or return /answer calls it sounds like it not terribly important to him. It does not sound like you all are great friends, so there's little invested if you do just write the chararcter out of the game.

Drop him, he's dead weight. If you really, really don't want to do that, then I suggest awarding the character only cohort xp, or less. Rationale being that the more he's not there the more his character falls behind.

2009-08-20, 02:22 PM
I'm not sure what to tell you, then. I'd explain to the player your problem next time he does manage to make it to your game, but ultimately I think the problem may not actually be with player O, but with your game schedule. You said you run it 'about weekly', which implies that the time and day changes depending on when the other three can make it.

It seems to me that you need to set a game time and try and stick to it, or deal with the fact that player O will be missing a lot of them. Easier said than done, I know.

(Come to think of it, I was the same way when I was much younger. I figured it would be easier to be antisocial and shy if I could limit the ways people could get ahold of me.)

Frog Dragon
2009-08-20, 02:33 PM
We're all good friends actually it just didn't come over from the text very well. The other three have a very loose schedule so it depends a lot on O if I can get ahold of him.

2009-08-20, 02:45 PM
He has no messenger.

Unless he has no computer, that's no excuse.

Ask him what his prefered method of communication is and go with that.

2009-08-20, 02:49 PM
1) Keep on. The schedule hurts, but he's a friend. Play when his schedule allows it and have a backup plan when it does not.
2) Trust in your friendship. If you get ahold of him first, tell him that his character will become an NPC and the game will go on, but that if he can make it, he is welcome. If you don't get ahold of him first, just make the character an NPC and tell O about it later.
3) The game must go on. Drop him. Tell him why so that makes it clear that he is welcome back, but that his chaotic schedule makes it too hard of the other three who want to game.
4) Move heaven and earth. Rearrange your schedules if you must. Find a way to rearrange his. Have O schedule special game nights to come over or to have the rest of you come over. Mobilize resources so that he can make it when normally he would be unavailable.

There are variations in those choices. For example, if you keep on, you could still start a second game as your backup plan. If you move heaven and earth, he could take part of the game via telephone conference, especially via video phone. Of course, these are just suggestions, as I don't know the details about how likely any of these would be. Hope they help.

Mr. Mud
2009-08-20, 03:02 PM
Before you cut him, make sure you have a serious talk with him. Tell him what you think ,and tell him what the rest of the group think. And, if he isn't going to commit, drop him like it's hot.

2009-08-20, 08:13 PM
One of my house rules is that you have to notify people beforehand (even the night before) if you are not going to turn up. If you don't, something mildly embarrassing may happen to your character off-screen.

If this guy expects to stay in the game, then he should have the courtesy to let you know either if he is not going to show or if there are problems with following a regular schedule in showing.

2009-08-20, 08:26 PM
Improving communications would always be a first choice. But, moving on, there is one thing I have not seen suggested:

If the campaign allows, have the absence of the player result in the absence of his character. Might be less embarrassing than having to DMPC it 60+% of the time.
If O's character is a Barbarian, he must have gotten himself too drunk yesterday to get out of bed today.
If O's character is a Wizard, he needs to spend time in the library to catch up with his research.

And so on. If the player's busy schedule does not allow for weekly adventuring, then the character's schedule won't either.

Frog Dragon
2009-08-21, 07:12 AM
O's character is a cleric of an elven war god.

Also. T1 is supposed to go meet O today. If he could relay the message to give me friggin medium to cntact him with!

2009-08-21, 07:34 AM
Who are you? His mother? If he was so intent on contatcing you, he would have.

Frog Dragon
2009-08-21, 08:23 AM
*Sigh* It's generally the DM's job to take the initiative. It's also a lot like him to forget. He hasn't heard anything in a week or two and probably didn't realize I can't actually contact him. That's my guess. Anyway, all I'm trying to do is contact him so I can know if he wants to continue anyway. If I can't contact him in a few days, I'll drop it and his character. If he later wants to play he can come in with a new char.