The Friday Geek-out:
The D&D game I run hit tenth level a little while ago. This was pretty significant for us since it is the first 4e campaign many of us have been involved in and the first one to reach double digit levels. At the point they hit ten I made them fight 400 giants, voluntarily kill one of their own party members, and stand on the walls while 50 of their best friends and associates were trampled in the streets. It was a great night.
The next session picked up 5 years later. During that time they had picked up another two levels searching for a way to bring back their un-raisable rogue. Our last game, (the first one since the five-year skip) began far away to the north with the group following the last of their leads to bring back the rogue, after this they’re out of options. I made the player roll up a new character to play, a surly dragonborn paladin with a mysterious past. (Of course he has a mysterious past. What the hell good would he be otherwise?)
But here’s the funny thing. I can’t tell if anyone actually cares if they bring back the rogue or not. Some of the characters have woven into their own story arcs about wanting to return their lost party member, but the players keep asking me “Why are we here again? To bring who back? What happened to him?” To be fair, we only play every other week, and that’s plenty of time to forget what happened the session before. I write updates, but that means reading and remembering… and who wants to get involved with all that?
So I’ve got another solution. For players who’d rather not be bothered, (setting aside the ones who do keep up, of which there genuinely are several… thanks guys!) we’ll create a shift in the way we play D&D. Those player’s characters will no longer have names, clothes, facial features, or any other form of distinguishing characteristic. More importantly, the character will have no memory of what they are doing from week to week. They’ll be a whole new race, the… never got around to picking out a name, or Ngatpoan. (Pronounced nat-poon.) The characters who do know why they’re there will be responsible for guiding their Ngatpoan brothers (there is only one gender) around and telling them who to fight, and all questions about the game will be answered by screaming “You don’t know!”
I should really drink beer when I write this all the time.