View Full Version : How to reintegrate players?

02-11-2012, 10:48 PM
In one of my groups, an old player wants to return. He started with the current group of 4, but left about a year and a half ago. He left due to personal reasons, but wishes to rejoin the game. The game is a 3.5 hybrid with pathfinder influences. Obviously, the others have increased in power a great deal in this time. I normally start a player 2 levels beneath the average party level, but there is some resistance among the current players. The returning player is nearly 'off the grid', he does not respond to regular off day emails and phone calls as the others do. I have known this eccentric player for 35 years. He tends to be adversarial toward all DM's, but I enjoy his play style.

Do you have any advice or ideas in returning players into the fold? In this situation or in general? Am I forcing a square peg in a round hole? :juggle:

02-13-2012, 09:24 AM
A lot of how to go about reintegrating players in my experience has been dependent on those involved. While I've never reintegrated a confrontational player, I have had players leave for personal reasons then return at a later time.

Never had my other players resistant to bringing someone back though. You might want to ask the other players what that resistance is, why are they feeling this way. Don't be confrontational when asking, just try and see what their hesitation is about.

They might not want that player back in the group for some reason, possibly due to his adversarial attitude toward the DM, or it could be for some other reason. They might feel he's adversarial toward them as well.

Once you've found out that info, then you'll be better informed to make the proper decision.

02-13-2012, 10:21 AM
Considering you that you find his gaming style confrontational, as a GM myself, I am rather surprised you would want that sort of drama back in your game. Since your other players do not want him back, the implication is they do not like his gaming style. I realize this guy may be your friend, but he seems like more trouble than he is worth. As someone who has been in the hobby since 1975, I have learned over all those years that gaming time is too preciously rare to have that time interrupted by drama. My advice is to let this loose cannon destroy someone else's game and leave your campaign running smoothly.

02-13-2012, 06:51 PM
Sorry, but I'm with Lazarus on this one. The idea of the game is GROUP role-play - not INDIVIDUAL role-play. If the other players are hesitant, you should be hesitant as well. If part of your game consists of after-play e-mails and such - and this guy doesn't do that - then that would be the game-killer for me. I would run away and not look back.

This would be akin to that absolutely crazy "girlfriend" that was great in bed. Yeah, you might miss the "game play" - but the extra baggage isn't worth the good times.

Unfortunately, I vote to not reintegrate him unless he gives his assurance that his play-style and after-play commitment match the others. Any deviation from this and just kick him out of bed IMMEDIATELY!!

02-14-2012, 07:06 PM
A little more info...

The first problem stems from the sudden 10 level increase. One player has issues that it isn't 'organically' created like the other characters were in the game environment and would be unbalanced. The same player also says the levels weren't earned and are unfair. I feel the first problem is unwarranted because I am restricting his build and the second is just childish because you can not expect a low level character to live in a 14Th level group.

The second problem stems from the returning players lack of web access. I generally do not want to waste game time for down time things like; crafting items, brewing potions, going on shopping trips, or single character excursions. I like to do these via email gaming. It can be very fun to come home on a non gaming day and role play these type of things while not wasting the whole groups time. I might do some other small things via email to move things along from time to time. The returning player does not have the Internet at his home, but I don't want to exclude somebody just because they are poor and have a crazy wife.

The player is not a drama queen whom is confrontational. He does have trust issues, which may make him feel like the game is the DM against the players. I understand because I have also played in bad past games that were like that, though I try to curb such problems with my friendly referee style of DMing. When I am his DM, there usually isn't a problem (and no problems when he was playing with this group). One of the others did play with him when another guy DMed (it went bad).

I just think the players should at least trust my view, despite their 'issues'.