If a player is absent, can the party play on behalf of him/her, or is that a “DM-only” role?

2 thoughts on “If a player is absent, can the party play on behalf of him/her, or is that a “DM-only” role?

  1. D. Walker says:

    It should really be up to the player in question, and what they’re comfortable with.

    Think of it this way:

    If one of the players couldn’t make it to see a movie with the group, but was lending your group their car for the trip, would you decide -for them- which member of the group gets to drive -their- car?

    Of course not. You ask them who they trust to let drive their car safely. Even if it ends up that they’re fine with -anybody- in the group driving their car, you still need to give them the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.

    Now, typically they’re going to want to have the best and safest driver be the one behind the wheel. And in this analogy, that’s the DM, who in most cases the most experience by far.

    But the DM is also frequently distracted by other things, so it can also make sense to have one of the other players get behind the wheel, so long as they can actually be trusted to keep the car / character safe from misuse or harm.

  2. specialagentace says:

    I think it depends on the character, too. If they are not an INTEGRAL part of whatever is happening at the time, they can be easily ‘sidelined’ for a session or two.

    However, in my case, I have the only Healer in the group and in the interest of not taking that resource away from them, when I am not able to make sessions, I give permission to my group to autopilot my character, without whom they would have a much smaller chance of surviving through our low-level encounters.

    Ultimately I think it should be up to the player of the character to decide whether or not they want someone else driving at all, and who should take the wheel.

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