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.