So I just started up reign of winter again after not playing for about a year were in the fifth book and everyone's level 13, but regularly someone can't make it not anyone in particular, it's just becoming a trend, and so we cancel. I'm tired of this so I want to use a GMPC that can take over for someone if they can't make it, but I wan't it to be able to take over for anyone who isn't there, and I don't wan't it overshadowing anyone who is there.
The party consists of a mystic theurge focused on dominate person, a druid fighter who wildshapes into a small bird and pecks peoples eyes out (quite effectively), An Urban barbarian who is quite defensive, and a melee sorcerer (surprisingly effective).
|Tin Foil Yamakah|
|Turin the Mad|
|2 people marked this as a favorite.|
You could give everyone a Leadership-style cohort, not for adventuring with them, but for acting as their second. When they can't show up, their designated second fills in for them as your GMPC. You don't take over anyone's character, you don't have a GMPC who mysteriously doesn't show up when everyone arrives. The cohort provides a similar role to the player character, but is a couple of levels lower so is bound not to overshadow anyone.
The cohorts might be pretty much the player -2 levels, or just something that can provide similar tricks - a Level 11 witch for the Level 13 theurge, for example.
Idle Champion has a good idea, make a rotating cohort that is controlled by a volunteer for that session. The cohort can be controlled by another volunteer the next session, etc.
Make sure the players know the cohort should not be played suicidal, and can't be looted (unless it is to recover anything PCs have gifted the cohort with).
|nate lange RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
Whenever you think you need a GMPC... think again. You don't. Almost without exception.
Either play the character that's not there, or have someone (or all of them) pick up Leadership and then the cohort can fill the extra slot.
GMPCs lead to a very dark place, and I want to help others avoid it, having been down that road (as a player in a group that had multiple GMPCs) myself.