A few days ago I was informed that a friend of mine passed away. I’ve known friends that died before, but this was a different experience. No death is really anticipated, but the suddenness of this passing really struck me. Beyond being a regular at my gaming table, he’d been a supporter of Victorious (see comments earlier on this blog) and really went to bat for us and the game at North Texas RPG Con and FenCon in Dallas. He’d had some health problems, but was apparently improving and we were cautiously optimistic about his improvements.
Then we got the news Monday, and all that went to pieces. I’m going to miss him, and his emphatic roleplaying at the table. I’ll miss his enthusiasm, his plans to publish his Sky Pirates adventures for Victorious, and even his quirky sense of humor. I don’t know if we’ll still go to FenCon, as it won’t be the same without him.
The worst part is that we’re scheduled to game this coming Sunday, restarting the Victorious campaign that had been on hiatus since June due to one of the players recently having a baby. But Matt won’t be there. His character Travis Birmingham is intricately involved in the current story arc, but Matt’s not there to play him.
I’ve never experienced this in my 40 years of gaming. I don’t know how to run the game with his seat empty, never to be filled again. How do I handle the game without his character? I don’t think I can NPC him, certainly not to the extent needed. I don’t think I want to either, it would feel wrong. But just cutting him from the adventure seems wrong as well; a blow against his memory.
Has anyone else had this issue? Please advise, either in the comments or via the contact form. I’d really appreciate it.
2 thoughts on “An Empty Chair at the Table”
I have never dealt with a player’s death, but if you like you could try the following.
Something horrible happened during the downtime between the sessions. The main villain located and isolated the character. During a furious and glorious battle, the character drove off the villain and his cohorts.
In so doing the hero was able to save a small group of people that would have been collateral damage. Sacrificing himself in order to protect them. An icon of bravery and self-sacrifice for all those who remain.
In his name and to honor him they will continue until they are Victorious.
Once again I am sorry for your loss and hope that you can find your way through it.
Thanks David, and that’s not a bad idea. At the time in the game his character had stolen and repurposed a suit of armor from a villain. Perhaps that villain could return for revenge? Also, his original profession was as a ounty hunter so that would make a good rationale for his absence, if less dramatic.