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View Full Version : DM Help How late is too late to bring in a new player?



NOhara24
2014-09-04, 11:43 AM
Hello Playground,

Cue the wall of backstory to help you all realize where I'm coming from (TL;DR at the bottom):

It's been a long time. Life kicked in, and I've had to put my campaign on hold for a year; but it looks like life is starting to stabilize for the players (knock on wood) and the DM(s) who haven't left the group for one reason or another. We've convened and decided that we really do want to see a resolution for our characters, the NPCs and the story.

My issue is this. It started out with 4 players and a DM. We had 2 relationships end, another one begin, and the original DM swapped his DM privileges for a player seat, making now what was once the party's favorite NPC his own player character. All of this leaves the group with 3 players and a DM.

Now, while A, B & C have discussed and agreed to start the game again. A,B and C have also discussed D. Who, out of game (over the span of a year), hasn't been the best friend to A & B. A & D were close before B came into the picture, but A & B got together, and D has seen fit to make things awkward between the three of them. We (A, B, C) are on the fence if we're going to include D at all to finish the campaign. His character seems to only be present for the combat, and out of character we imagine him making things awkward as he usually does. A doesn't want anything D does to harm his friendship with him. B doesn't want anything D does to put her in a tough spot, and C doesn't want to see anyone made upset and see the game ruined because of personal matters.

Onto explaining my query:

A & C have a mutual friend who is experienced and has the desire to join a campaign that has had a strong main storyline. Obviously, if we weren't so far along in the campaign I'd bring him in to replace "C" in a heartbeat. But I'd say we're probably no more than 7 sessions away from the last session. As an experienced player, would anyone rather be left out and be notified when another campaign starts? Or can bringing him in so late still be enjoyable for him?

TL;DR

I'm starting my campaign again after a year-long hiatus. I have a player I would like to replace with another, but I don't know if bringing in a new player so late would be enjoyable for the new party. How late is too late?

Yora
2014-09-04, 11:46 AM
Never too late. It depends on the group how you get the new character most seamlessly into the party, but the length of the campaign should have little, if any impact on that.

Berenger
2014-09-04, 11:56 AM
The biggest inconvenience seems to rest on the shoulders of the new player - he has to create a character whose career is destined to end just when he starts to get attached to him. I'd have a problem with that. On the other hand, some people actually prefer one-shots over campaigns. So it seems to depend on a personal preference of player D.

NOhara24
2014-09-04, 12:09 PM
Never too late. It depends on the group how you get the new character most seamlessly into the party, but the length of the campaign should have little, if any impact on that.

Thanks for the insight :smallsmile: it might require a little more work on the DM's end, but I think it will be worth it to have a strong third player again.


The biggest inconvenience seems to rest on the shoulders of the new player - he has to create a character whose career is destined to end just when he starts to get attached to him. I'd have a problem with that. On the other hand, some people actually prefer one-shots over campaigns. So it seems to depend on a personal preference of player D.

If the shoe was on the other foot, I know it would be a tough choice for me. But I'm going to be completely transparent with him about the situation. I just think that the story proceedings tend to hit harder the closer a party's number is to 4.

Tengu_temp
2014-09-04, 12:25 PM
Never too late. Just let the new player know that the game is probably going to end after half a dozen sessions or so. If he's good, remember to invite him to the next game!

Mark Hall
2014-09-04, 01:29 PM
Invite E, and let them play. You might let them make their own Darren, or their own Cousin Oliver, but yeah, have D sit this out and have fun.

Jay R
2014-09-04, 06:11 PM
It's only too late to bring in a new person when you've abandoned the game forever.

bulbaquil
2014-09-04, 07:58 PM
You have 7 sessions left. If it were only 1 or 2, I'd say hold off, but when it's 7... The biggest challenges are going to be:

(1) integrating the new player into the story (but let's be honest, that's tricky anytime a new character's being introduced unless it's session 1 of the campaign, and sometimes even then), and

(2) since you're relatively close to the end of the campaign, odds are you're close to the maximum level (I'm assuming D&D here, since you said "DM") you're going to end the campaign at. This may not be a problem if your player isn't a system newbie or you're playing a relatively low-level game, but you may well be asking them to roll up a level-17 character with little system mastery.

Do let them know the current game is going to end in about two months (if you play weekly) or three/four (if biweekly) at which point you'll be starting a new game, though.