Imperial Stormtrooper

Keeping players interested... while they're unconscious

20 posts in this topic

So last session had a lot happen for my group, one character was written out, and another is sitting at double their wound threshold and out of it. On top of this, it all happened before the adventure's final space battle with the Empire.

 

My question is, how do I keep the players of these characters interested, until they either regain consciousness or the story reaches a point where their new character can come in? One of them says they're fine just watching the next session, I think they will be but I want to offer some options anyway, and I think the other player will want something to do. The thing is that so far I've only come up with offering them a chance to play an NPC for the session, is this a good option, or is there something I'm missing?

Benjan Meruna likes this

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Nope, sounds like you extended reasonable offers.  Usually the kitchen is full of food at my sessions so Mr. Lights Out goes and stuffs his face....again...

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Just a few things off the top of my head. They aren't necessarily good:

  • Is there an NPC droid, pet, crew member, support Starfighters, etc in the group? Let them run it?
  • If they can be trusted, have them assist you with running the session (mechanically, not narratively). Clean up the tokens, grab some new ones of a certain type, give suggestions on spending dice results, etc.
  • Perhaps go so far as to let them run an enemy NPC if the player can be trusted not to muck things up and the enemy NPC's actions aren't crucial to the encounter. As in, let them take control of a couple Stormtrooper squads and roll the dice freeing you up a bit.
  • Steward.

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 If their characters are coming back and they don't need to roll new ones then I would definitely give them a stat card and let them help run the npcs. If there's a star destroyer in that upcoming battle it will help like you wouldn't believe!

Plus, you'll get some really fun conversations at the table that way.

And if they're really fine just watching till their characters come back in, that works too. The other way just tends to keep players more engaged and lets them have excuses to fly a squadron of TIEs at their friends.;)

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On the other hand if the unconscious guys is a Force Sensitive and happens to have "Forsee" this is a GREAT opportunity to give him some visions of the near future...8) 

Otherwise playing an NPC is a great option. 

If there is an upcoming battle you could always have the crew find a drifting ship or life-pod on their way in with the incoming character inside to speed up the process...more fun if they have to scoop them up under fire! 

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In most of my games, regardless of system, I often let characters wake up from their unconciousness after the fighting is over and someone had a chance to stabilize them with some healing skill. Even if the PC is still unconcious according to the rules, I let the character hobble around, talk, and help out in small ways. But obviously they cannot undertake any strenuous activities without going unconcious again.

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We don't have any breaks at our table, so I usually tend to eat my meal whenever I feel hungry.

Exceeding wound theshold isn't necessarily unconscious, they are just so badly wounded that they can't meaningful contribute. If they try and hold a gun it slips from their weak grasp, or they are weak with pain e.c.t.

Edgehawk and SEApocalypse like this

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I'm curious what the circumstances are that are preventing someone getting the two Out Of It characters back on their feet? Give 'em a round of stims, a quick check by the medic and away they go!

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Thanks for the help, I like the idea of offering them control of a NPC (friendly or enemy). It should make it interesting for them. I also got a few other ideas that I might use if they find those more interesting.

14 hours ago, Vestij Jai Galaar said:

If there's a star destroyer in that upcoming battle it will help like you wouldn't believe!

There just happens to be one. :D

45 minutes ago, Desslok said:

I'm curious what the circumstances are that are preventing someone getting the two Out Of It characters back on their feet? Give 'em a round of stims, a quick check by the medic and away they go!

Well, there's only one that is out of it, the other was written out so the player could make a new character. As for the one that is out of it ,they had already gone down once, and was healed by the medic with a medicine check plus two stim-packs. Then later, they were shot by commando droids and fell from the top of the wrecked bridge of a Munificent-class star frigate to the ground, given the situation was not in a med-bay yet, I said the medic could make two medicine checks (one more than is standard if I remember correctly). They chose to heal one of the crits and one group of wounds, but I think they didn't want to use all of their stim-packs, since the character would still be out of it after that. The group seemed to agree that bacta-time was in order after the character fell, especially since there hasn't been a long enough down moment since then to spend a lot of time healing the character.

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Well, if the one is actually looking to swap out his character, yeah it's a bit kludgy to do it in the middle of the game, but I would add him in straight away. Excuses, backstory and proper integration can be worried about at a later date.

As for the Out-Of-It character, I might give him a shot of handwavium - half his health back and a couple of stims of wiggle room. That says "Hey, be careful" but doesn't keep him out of the fun for the whole game.

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Or let the  incoming characters player describe how they meet up mid-battle...I still think the drifting ship / escape pod would be a quick resolution...depend son how the player works it. 

Otherwise let'em run NPC's or help with the space combat...

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Posted (edited)

The rules weren't written to prevent the players from playing their characters, unless the PC is straight-up dead. When combat is over, the player should be given a chance to recover some or most of what was lost in terms of wounds - and keep in mind that wounds/strain are just an abstraction - and the other players should be willing to help him out with immediate medical assistance.

Give the PC a randomly rolled Injury to represent the amount of damage that put him on the floor and move on with the game.

Edited by Concise Locket

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Concise Locket said:

The rules weren't written to prevent the players from playing their characters, unless the PC is straight-up dead. When combat is over, the player should be given a chance to recover some or most of what was lost in terms of wounds - and keep in mind that wounds/strain are just an abstraction - and the other players should be willing to help him out with immediate medical assistance.

Give the PC a randomly rolled Injury to represent the amount of damage that put him on the floor and move on with the game.

I might suggest this to my DM. my group get really timid when they get low on life.i

But to be fair, players have to lie down sometimes. It isn't always narratively practical to introduce a new character out of the blue.

Edited by LordBritish

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I have always been a fan of making players fight back to conciseness, as the session goes on i describe to the player the semi conscious dreams they have. (you can use this to add in side quests, subtly push the whole group in the right direction, or hint at missed information) every so often i have them do a check of some kind (usually resilience) and have them slip deeper into a coma or come farther out of the coma. you can keep this up for an entire session if need be. think of the scene in the original trilogy where Luke see's force visions of Leia. that's the feel i try to go for. just my 2 cents =)

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7 hours ago, LordBritish said:

I might suggest this to my DM. my group get really timid when they get low on life.i

But to be fair, players have to lie down sometimes. It isn't always narratively practical to introduce a new character out of the blue.

Slap that player who's lying down and tell them to get their head back in the game. They can rest when their PC is dead! ;)

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13 hours ago, Desslok said:

Lando would disagree.

But he wasn't out of the blue. We get introduced to for a fairly solid lump of time before he sets his heart on helping the heroes.  

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13 hours ago, LordBritish said:

But he wasn't out of the blue. We get introduced to for a fairly solid lump of time before he sets his heart on helping the heroes.  

Actually, Harry flipped a Destiny Point and created "Lando" on the spot. The GM ran with it.

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On 3/30/2017 at 3:51 PM, RLogue177 said:

Actually, Harry flipped a Destiny Point and created "Lando" on the spot. The GM ran with it.

He was originally going to be a system, not a man.

On 3/28/2017 at 1:15 PM, Imperial Stormtrooper said:

Well, there's only one that is out of it, the other was written out so the player could make a new character. As for the one that is out of it ,they had already gone down once, and was healed by the medic with a medicine check plus two stim-packs. Then later, they were shot by commando droids and fell from the top of the wrecked bridge of a Munificent-class star frigate to the ground, given the situation was not in a med-bay yet, I said the medic could make two medicine checks (one more than is standard if I remember correctly). They chose to heal one of the crits and one group of wounds, but I think they didn't want to use all of their stim-packs, since the character would still be out of it after that. The group seemed to agree that bacta-time was in order after the character fell, especially since there hasn't been a long enough down moment since then to spend a lot of time healing the character.

Well...ouch.

I might handwave a bit of a super-potent bacta bath or a stroke of genius from a doctor or some such to get the player back in the fight, just for being such a trooper.

A7T and Imperial Stormtrooper like this

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