View Full Version : 101 Totally Not Contrived Ways to Bring in a New PC

2015-10-24, 07:11 AM
When one PC dies, or the player gets tired with them, you need to bring in the new PC. Sometimes it's easy, but sometimes the location makes it rather unlikely that you would meet someone friendly. How would you do it?

1) They are a prisoner in the next room you enter.
2) They literally fall through the ceiling.
3) They appear out of the air - teleportation/plane shift gone astray.
4) They parachute out of the sky, in a crate.

2015-10-24, 07:27 AM
5)The adventurers return to town and personally find and recruit a new fighter. Can't trust luck on these things.

2015-10-24, 07:58 AM
6) They appear by cutting themself out of a T-Rex's stomach.
7) They come running in terror down the next hallway, pursued by a bear.
8) They were always there and find it so weird that the rest of the party don't remember them.

2015-10-24, 08:16 AM
8) They were always there and find it so weird that the rest of the party don't remember them.

As an inverse corollary to that.

9) They remember the new guy like he's always been there, but evidence suggests they might be newer than they seem.

The Great Wyrm
2015-10-24, 10:32 AM
10) The PC is a former NPC, with stats slightly changed.

(Example from my campaign: A new player joins, and wants to play a druid. The NPC druid from the previous part of the adventure joins the party, but now he is higher level, has somewhat different skills and feats, and has a new animal companion.)

2015-10-24, 10:36 AM
11) An old friend from home suddenly appears, commenting on the smallness of the world.

Grim Portent
2015-10-24, 10:38 AM
12) Riding in from Valhalla on a bolt of lightning.

2015-10-24, 10:43 AM
13) They show up in the dungeon as "An escaped experiment or test subject"
14) They show up lodged in a trap they couldn't avoid.

2015-10-24, 10:43 AM
15) During the next fight, one of the monsters will turn on its allies, suddenly turn out to have like seven class levels, and join the party.

16) The next summon spell cast by a party member goes wrong.

17) The new PC bursts forth from the old PC's corpse.

18) The next batch of loot contains a Mirror of Life Trapping that is imprisoning the new PC.

Honest Tiefling
2015-10-24, 11:54 AM
11) They meet another adventuring group. This one, however, has the idea of gutting the party and taking their stuff. The new PC either objects to wanton murder or thinks the PC group is far stronger and wants to be on the winning team...Or controlling it, whichever.

2015-10-24, 12:06 PM
A KingdomExpress (PlanarExpress?) delivery man dimension doors in, asks you to sign for delivery, than walks back through the door (closing it) leaving the new PC (possibly in a crate).

2015-10-24, 12:09 PM
20) They see the new PC fighting solo against some formidable foe (or group thereof).
21) The new PC asks the party for help in his/her quest.
22) They find the new PC unconscious on the road.

2015-10-24, 12:24 PM
23. The new PC is the old PC, trapped in a new body with only a vague recollection of his previous life. These fading memories drive him to seek out his old party.

24. A strange metallic cylinder falls from the sky and lands in front of the party. It opens to reveal the new PC, complete with level-appropriate equipment.

25. The party wakes up after a night of debauchery to find the new PC asleep in their room. Apparently, during last night's drunken stupor, you recruited him.

2015-10-24, 12:34 PM
25. The party wakes up after a night of debauchery to find the new PC asleep in their room. Apparently, during last night's drunken stupor, you "recruited" him.

Oh, is that what they're calling it now?

2015-10-24, 12:41 PM
Oh, is that what they're calling it now?

Apparently. :smalltongue:

26. The party is hired to assassinate a tyrant. The new PC is one of the guards - and the one who put out the hit in the first place.

That's how I joined my first long-running campaign. The PC in question ended up in service to a Blue Dragon and addicted to the Deck of Many Things at one point. Good times.

2015-10-24, 12:42 PM
27. Check the conveniently placed mail box in the dungeon for a package containing a new party member.
28. If there is no package, simply fill out the form in the back of your "Adventure Weekly" magazine and place it in the mail box with ten gold for shipping and handling. Your new player will arrive via post horse in 4D6 rounds.
29. Accept new party member from the conveniently placed merchant, who is running a give-away: Free party member with purchase (minimum 10 gold).
30. Rescue the new party member from being stewed in the monster's soup pot in the next room.

2015-10-24, 01:35 PM
16) The next summon spell cast by a party member goes wrong.

31) The next calling spell cast by a party member goes right:

Player Ally
Conjuration(Calling);[See text]
Level: Any caster, the lowest level they can cast.
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Close
Effect: One called Player Character (see text)
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell calls another Player Character to join your party.

If this PC is substituting an old one, the new PC's ECL is at least one lower than the former PC's, and their wealth can't be greater than the former PC's. The old PC's body and belongings vanish as part of the spell. (If the Player doesn't want to retire the Character the spell fails.)

If this PC is not substituting an old one, the new PC's XP is equal to the lowest in the party, and the PC has appropriate WBL.

Note: When you use a calling spell that calls an air, chaotic, earth, evil, fire, good, lawful, or water creature, it is a spell of that type.

2015-10-24, 02:00 PM
32: The wizard spellbook explodes and from its remains the new batch of PC comes.
33: An evil spirit appears and possess something and that thing is now a PC.

2015-10-24, 02:08 PM
34. Your magic lobster submarine runs into their magic lobster submarine. What are the odds?

35. You were just settling down with a good book, when suddenly the main character just popped right out.

36. A group of gnomes wander through the dungeon, grab the old PC, and drag them out kicking and screaming; when the gnomes return, it's with a completely new person: the new PC. None of the PCs (including the new guy) have ever or will ever again see these gnomes.

Kid Jake
2015-10-24, 02:47 PM
37. The new party member arrives from the future just a few rounds too late to warn the others about the impending death of the old PC. Since time travel only works one way he figures he might as well hang out with them while he waits for his own time to come back around.

2015-10-24, 03:12 PM
38. The brother/sister/mother/neighbor/college roommate/creepy stalker fan/former teacher of a slain PC joins the group to avenge their death.

39. A friendly NPC tells the party members about this cute powerful adventurer they know that they can like, totally set you up with.

40. The party wizard finally receives that "Build-a-<insert new character's class>" kit they ordered last month in the mail.

41. The new PC is a mail-order bride/groom ordered by mistake (or not :smallwink:) for one of the other PCs. Awkward hilarity ensues.

2015-10-24, 04:05 PM
42. There is a hiccup in the space-time continuum which causes a new character to mysteriously appear as though they'd always been there. No one suspects anything because they perceive that it's always been that way.

43. Somewhere in the stars above, the crew of a space-fairing vessel bounces a graviton-particle beam off the main deflector dish to extract their vessel and crew from a dangerous ordeal. As an unintended side effect, a new character teleports into the same location as the party from elsewhere on the planet.

44. On the other side of the planet, a butterfly begins to flap its wings. As part of a strange and difficult to explain chain of events, your party now has a new character.

45. If the character is a stage magician, once long ago, he was performing a trick on stage in which he disappears from inside of a wardrobe. Well, he disappeared, and then didn't immediately reappear. Ownership of the wardrobe passed to the owner of the venue who sold the wardrobe to a pawnshop which was picked up by a caravan headed east. The caravan was raided and the wardrobe was dragged back to the dungeon by a band of marauding hobgoblins. Later, as in the hobgoblins may not even be there any more, the party is adventuring through said dungeon and happens upon the very room where the wardrobe has been resting all of this time. The magic field emanating from the party's magic weapons and armor reacts with the wardrobe, and the stage magician reappears. The first thing the magician says to the party is "And now, as you can see, I have safely transported myself back into the wardrobe." He then notices that he is not on a stage in front of a captive audience, and is instead faced by several rather unsavory-looking adventurers.

2015-10-24, 04:50 PM
43. As it turns out, the recently-deceased old PC had a family curse/boon - whenever one family member dies, another family member teleports in, bound by Fate to finish the slain family member's unfinished business. Fate, for whatever reason, is usually pretty good about making sure the new family member is the appropriate level.

(This is, no joke, the backstory of a friend of mine's character - his first character died, so a replacement character, the first character's older sister, teleported in mid-dungeon to finish her sister's unfinished business.)

Kid Jake
2015-10-24, 06:26 PM
43. As it turns out, the recently-deceased old PC had a family curse/boon - whenever one family member dies, another family member teleports in, bound by Fate to finish the slain family member's unfinished business. Fate, for whatever reason, is usually pretty good about making sure the new family member is the appropriate level.

(This is, no joke, the backstory of a friend of mine's character - his first character died, so a replacement character, the first character's older sister, teleported in mid-dungeon to finish her sister's unfinished business.)

I had a clan of NPCs similar to this in a game I ran years and years ago, only the joke was that there were just SO MANY of these people. Every town the players showed up in always had at least one giant Amish guy that was beyond heartbroken to discover that his brothers had died and would immediatley step in to avenge them, only to die an inglorious death in turn. :smallbiggrin:

2015-10-25, 05:54 AM
25. The party wakes up after a night of debauchery to find the new PC asleep in their room. Apparently, during last night's drunken stupor, you recruited him.

Orgy with friends? Now that is the right kind of party.

2015-10-25, 06:50 AM
43. You reach the end of the dungeon...And the new PC is stitting atop the corpse of the supposed boss. Apparently, there was a back entrance.

44. You find the new PC fleeing for his life against a fiendish bison stampede, and he begs you for help.

45. You kick in the door to the next room screaming warcries. About 2 rounds into the encounter, the New P.C kicks the other door in, also while screaming.

46. New P.C emerges from a portal to a distant plane. They doesn't know how long they were over there, but wherever it was they are the king now.

47. New P.C is being boiled alive in a cannibal cookpot. Be a dear and get them out, please?

48. Your illegitimate kid from the future shows up, and ask to join up with deadbeat daddy dearest.

49. The new P.C crashes a flying machine or mount into the ground in front of you.

50. You find the P.C bathing in the nearby stream. Awkwardness ensues.

51. you find the P.C in the bushes preparing to go to the bathroom. Even more awkwardness ensues.

52. You find 2 new P.Cs in the bushes about to get freaky. Approximately twice as much awkwardness than the other two options combined ensues.

53. You see the bombastic new P.C standing atop a hill. They graciously offer YOU the chance to join THEIR party.

54. A crow lands nearby, looks at you quizzically, then transforms into the new druid P.C

55. Remember that beggar you threw a gold piece to? They're back, they had a major windfall thanks to your help, and now they want to repay you with their lives.

56. The new P.Cs suddenly emerges from the sea and starts kissing the earth lovingly. Apparently they were shipwrecked.

57. The new P.C suddenly emerges from a hole in the ground and starts praising the sun. apparently they were stuck in the underdark.

58. The new P.C suddenly emerges from the trees and starts hugging random objects. Nothing bad happened to them: they're just weird.

59. One of the P.Cs had a secret admirer, and they now travel with the party in order to hit on their crush.

60. As you're about to fight the boss, the new guy gets a sneak attack on it. With a ballista.

61. You catch the new P.C about to piss on the old P.C's grave. the new guy had always hated him, and offers to join your party as a form of restitution.

62. You had previously punched the new P.C in the face. According to the laws of shonen manga, you are now friends.

2015-10-25, 07:51 AM
63- As the party hangs on to their crashing airship for dear life, a nearby building explodes and launches the new PC out the window. The Airship passes under it just so that they fall onto the deck. The captain of the airship declares this maneuver "putting the kitten in the basket". All party members now must try not to die in the collision with the ground.

64- a person walks up to you and tries to sell you a "Snowball cannon" and a "headpiece of magnificence". Or just goes "Oooh books!" and begins talking to you. This person is your new wizard.

65- the party is sprinting down a hallway towards a commotion. Suddenly, a new person comes running towards them at high speed. The individual crashes into one of the PCs and introduces themselves.

66- The party sees you doing something awesome and proceeds to pester you for the next twenty minutes to join them. The more you rebuff them, the more annoying they get.
(we did this and I'm not sorry. lol.)

2015-10-25, 01:08 PM
64. While taveling, a mostly nude screaming man charges out of the woods while chasing a deer. He slaughters it and offers the party some meat. This is the new barabarian.

65. The party enters a tavern and a man with a lute ducks behind the party meatshield, allowing him to take a punch from an angry drunk. This is the new bard.

66. One of the party members enters town after an adventure, and a man starts bawling at seeing the injuries. He heals them and insists he goes with to keep them safe. This is the new Cleric.

67. A PC is about to take a leak on a tree when a squirrel starts yelling at him, and transforms into normal form and goes with to protect the trees from this nature hating PC. This is the new Druid.

68. The party is about to fight a vampire when someone crashes through a stained glass window, unloading his two repeating crossbows into the vampire. This is the new fighter.

69. The party hot-head is yelling at an NPC when an oiled muscle man busts down a wall and beats the NPC down, screaming "OH YEAH!". This is the new Monk.

2015-10-25, 04:03 PM
To continue StealthyRobot's formula:

70. As the party is walking down the street to the item shop, someone runs out from an alley, bumps into one of the PCs, then takes off running as armed men burst forth from the alley chasing them. The PC finds a stone idol in his bag with a note wrapped around it that says "Thanks for holding this for me. I'll be back for it later." This is the new Rogue.

71. As the party is about to enter the tavern, the door opens and someone walks out. As smoke pours out the open doorway behind them, they tell the others "I wouldn't go in there." This is the new Sorcerer.

72. As the party enters a clearing in the forest, they see the corpses of several <level appropriate monsters> stuffed with arrows. Someone is whistling while hammering a sign to a nearby tree that reads "<level appropriate monsters> Beware." This is the new Ranger.

2015-10-25, 04:07 PM
80. The party comes to town after a successful tomb robbery adventure, looking for a well-deserved drink. You wake up next morning in a jail cell. Someone comes in yelling that s/he had to arrest all of you last night: the wizard was TRYING to charm/dominate the barmaid, the rogue was TRYING to pickpocket everyone he could see, and the druid was awakening animals in town. This is the new Paladin.

You take a look through the cell's window and see someone TRYING to control the animals in the town. This is the new Ranger.

Edit: I think we missed some numbers. We should be in number 80.

2015-10-25, 04:11 PM
77. The party stumbles upon an old man in a dress and funny hat, carrying an overlarge book and mumbling gibberish to himself as he strokes his beard. This is the new "Wizard."

78. The party is traveling through a dungeon when suddenly, a wall collapses and a person covered in coal dust - with nothing else on - falls out of the next room, an angry drunk dwarf chasing him. Choose one or both of these to be the new PC(s). :smalltongue:

2015-10-25, 04:22 PM
78. Dropped from the sky by a gigantic spectral green hand (my standard way of introducing new characters)

79: the player is a dwarf and part of a clan of dwarves that all look and sound the same (even the women) and share the same name but with slightly different pronunciations (cuts down on confusion). They’ve all taken up the same quest so when one dwarf dies, another take with no-one being none the wiser. (actually did this one)

2015-10-25, 07:35 PM
81. The characters are walking to wherever they happen to be heading at the moment. Suddenly, they meet a fellow who seems totally double-trustworthy. Without anyone saying a word, the fellow joins them in their grand endeavour and they are all the best of friends from that moment on. That is, until someone else dies and is subsequently forgotten in 5 minutes. Then they meet an another super double-trustworthy fellow. (Old school gaming, yay.)

2015-10-26, 02:41 AM
82: The wizard casts polymorph and the spell fails and the party fighter definitively becomes a Twelve headed tarrasque with 1000 tentacles and able to teleport by a free action(or alternatively an hyper-mundane because they are at the same level of awesome)

2015-10-26, 06:49 AM
83. The town you walked into is the setting for a "games show". The new PC is another participant that you meet during the event. (I got introduced this way.)

84. The princess did not actually need rescuing, in fact she meets you half way back from the dragon's layer.

85. The quest giver tags on some extra help. (Been used in my group.)

86. The quest giver puts some stock into "if you want something done right, you got to do it yourself".

2015-10-26, 08:30 AM
87: As the local townspeople throw a parade for the party, someone seamlessly sidles up next to the party and starts waving to the crowd like they belong there. This is your new Face man.

2015-10-26, 12:40 PM
88. Someone changed history so the new PC was always there. Incidentally, Hitler now rules the world.

89. The new PC descends from the sky in a beam of light. Aliens abducted him and decided to un-abduct him right by the party.

2015-10-26, 01:50 PM
90:The GM says "plot plot plot" because he knows no other words right after that a player come to your table and says Can I play and the GM says "plot!" The players at the table thinks it is an approbation due to the intonation.

The Glyphstone
2015-10-26, 02:27 PM
The next monster encountered is actually a PC in a rubber monster suit.

2015-10-26, 02:40 PM
41. It's Count Count who can help PC and DM alike with their limited grasp of numbers!

2015-10-26, 03:13 PM
42. They appear out of nowhere, muttering something about balancing the improbabilities.

Grim Portent
2015-10-26, 03:17 PM
94(?): The party is challenged to a spontaneous salsa dance showdown in the town square by the new PC.

2015-10-26, 03:24 PM
95: Someone stands by the side of the dungeon hall, holding out a thumb in the direction the party is going, sporting a van smile. He has his towel with him, so though he has temporarily mislaid his shield, sword and masterwork fullplate, he can be trusted with some spares.

2015-10-26, 03:33 PM
96? Due to a miscount of the original party numbers, you seem to have actually had one extra character who was just really quiet and didn't do anything since you all met.

2015-10-26, 05:26 PM
97. The demonic portal opens, and fiendish eyes look out at you... then the demon's head is thrown out the portal and the new Grey Guard walks out, smiling smugly.

98. The new P.C was won as a prize in a town contest.

99. An orc raiding party is in the distance... when one of it's members suddenly breaks off, waves goodbye and walks up to your party. This orc is the new fighter.

100. The new P.C is the penalty for losing a town contest. Poor guy, poor you.

101. There is a crash of glass, and a person in a monk's robes land on he ground near a now-shattered stained glass window, with a furious abbot saying "AND STAY OUT!" It's the new bard... you hope. You fear for your lives if it's the new cleric.

2015-10-26, 06:39 PM
101.5. Just like 81. but this time the fellow is not trustworthy at all. He still gets to adventure with group, without any one of them batting an eye. (Got to love old school gaming...)

2015-10-26, 07:29 PM
102: A courier arrives, and brings what appears to be a life sized package. A note is attached, that reads "From GitP, with love!"

And after paying the fee, out of the giant box comes an adventurer, fresh from the character sheets!

2015-10-26, 09:12 PM
103. The PCs find a gem. Taped to it is a note that says "break me." When they do, the new party member is released from being bound in the gem.

104. The ship the party is traveling on is wrecked by a storm. All hands are lost, except the party and one crew member... the new PC. Nope, not contrived at all.

2015-10-26, 09:57 PM
105. Turns out that the wizard's familiar has been studying magic. Welcome your new raven wizard!

106. The party find a statue and a scroll of flesh to stone. Hopefully they join the dots.

107. The party teleport/planeshift and the new party member arrives with them at their destination. Alternatively they get a mishap and end up in his house.

108. The party fight a Devourer* and the new party member is spat out from the creature's chest upon it's defeat.

* search the 3.5 srd - I can't post links

2015-10-27, 12:39 AM
109. "There just is a new party member now, okay?" The perfect solution.

2015-10-27, 02:22 AM
110. A villager from the village you're in suddenly has his eyes start to glow blue. The glow spreads through his skin in cracks projecting out, as he hunches over and screams. Soon, his skin is blackened, and charred-- cracked pieces flake off only to reveal a field of stars. You hear a sound like something truly massive inhaling, followed by a large explosion of eldritch chaos. Out of the crater steps your new Warlock, muttering something about being amazed that his patron didn't screw him over *or* hurt anyone this time.

2015-10-27, 04:58 AM
111: Divine intervention.

112: They followed a yellow line on the floor, which led to the party.

2015-10-27, 10:42 AM
113 One of the party members suddenly replicates asexually and creates a new PC.

2015-10-27, 10:50 AM
114) Because magic.

115) Because reasons.

116) Because I said so.

117) You heard the lady.

118) Not everything needs a reason, you know.

2015-10-27, 02:21 PM
119) The PC appears with the party — no explanations.

2015-10-27, 05:59 PM
120. The new party member is flown in from the sky by large carrier pigeons. Nobody in the party questions this.

121. The party is walking down the street one night, and passes a tavern. A man comes flying through the door and stumbles out into the street. Another man steps into the now doorless doorway and laughs triumphantly. This is your new fighter.

2015-10-27, 07:21 PM
122: She's the skillmonkey. She's always been the skillmonkey (https://youtu.be/SiZ-XgJKAIk?t=98). (Actually did use this one once - whichever sick sonofalich put Programmed Amnesia in the Spell Compendium, ta very much.)

2015-10-27, 07:40 PM
123. You meet a screaming man in a dirty bathrobe being attacked by squirrels as you travel to your next location. This is your (like-)new (barely used) Truenamer.

2015-10-27, 07:44 PM
124. The new PC arrives via ballista, catapult, or trebuchet, landing in the general vicinity of the party and totally destroying everything on impact.
125. The same as 124...but now, with STEALTH.

2015-10-27, 11:21 PM
126. "What do you mean, "a new party member"?"
"Yeah, I don't follow you."
"Me neither."
"Are you okay?"
"But... I... I just made this character!"
"Heh, time sure seems to fly by. It's almost like it was yesterday when you made that char for my campaign."
"... It was yesterday!"
"Huh? Whaddya mean?"
"You mean figuratively?"
"Hehheh, he's joking, guys."
"I... what...?"