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Episode 1771: The Clones Maketh the Man

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There are several reasons why a GM might want to take over playing a PC, either temporarily or permanently. Most involve changes in state of mind, such as being drunk, going insane, changing into a were-beast, or being possessed or magically controlled by another entity. Anything that could cause the character to take actions that the player wouldn't normally want to do, or that the player would not know to do. (This comic presents a more unusual circumstance in which it also makes sense.)

Although using this trick for temporary conditions can be pulled out occasionally, it's a good idea not to do it too often, as naturally the players can get frustrated if their characters are pulled out from under them, and forced to do things they don't want to do. On the other hand, you might have a player who loves playing a flawed hero who frequently gets roaring drunk and wakes up the next day not knowing what they've done the night before.

For permanent changes of character ownership, it's often when a hero succumbs to permanent madness, lycanthropy, or undeath. Think about vampires controlling those they have converted to vampirism, or an undead lord animating and controlling armies of the dead (like the Night King). At this point it makes sense to retire the character as a PC and for the player to make a new character. The old PC can come back to haunt the new heroes as a villain to be fought later. It's virtually inevitable, really.

Transcript

GM: Here Corey, take this note.
GM: Now, Luke reappears, but I'm going to play him for a bit, for reasons explained to Corey on that note.
Luke: {off stage} But this note—
Mark: Hey everyone! What's going on?
Fozzie: Mark! Did you just go and get changed?
Mark: Yeah, ready for my song and dance.
Fozzie: What was wrong with what you were wearing?
Mark: I was in my pyjamas.
Kermit: Looked like pyjamas, that did not.
Mark: How would you know? You don't even wear clothes.


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Published: Sunday, 12 May, 2019; 03:11:04 PDT.
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