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Ways to introduce a new character to the team?

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  • Ways to introduce a new character to the team?

    Hello fellow GMs, so I am running into a situation that I'm sure many of you have dealt with before, and would appreciate some advice. Namely, effective ways to introduce a new member to the team.

    I'd really appreciate near anything you have to say on the topic, whether it's stories of great character introductions, tales of failed intros, or anything in between. Thanks in advance for taking the time to pass on the knowledge!

    Now for those who care for a little context (which I know isn't everyone), here is the nitty-gritty:

    At the end of "season one" of our campaign, a member of the PC's team retired. There was a bit of in-character reasoning behind the decision, but honestly, the player ultimately felt that the character wasn't working out/wasn't appreciated/had little to offer to the team and story. So he retired it.

    Now as we are gearing up for season two, he and I have been working on his new character concept a plant-based Powerhouse created by merging with an alien symbiote ala Venom from Spiderman. In our universe, most heroes belong to or are approved by the Sentinel organization, which oversees many different teams of heroes and manages their efforts (kind of like an Avengers East, Avengers West, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, sort of situation). Thus everything is very structured. So when this new character joins the team and fills that empty slot left by the retiree, it will be kind of like when a new hire is introduced at work.

    And frankly, that doesn't sound very superheroic.

    So my main issue is trying to brainstorm ways for plant-Venom (the player is still thinking of a name), to join the team in a slightly more organic way than being the new hire (even though that will be part of it). What's more, his last character was, to be honest, a bit "emo" and definitely the least contributing member of the team. So the player has a bit of a reputation within the group that I'd like to help him turn around, and I think starting him off on the right foot will be a big part of that.

    As I said before, any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Re: Ways to introduce a new character to the team?

    Make the adventure center around his pc. Perhaps he is part of another team that was wiped out by some villians. His intial knowledge about this enemy will help the group track down and stop this group. By having some insite and experience with the foe he will seem benifical. In addition, he may not be treated as a neophyte but rather unaware of thecurtent groups organization.

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    • #3
      Re: Ways to introduce a new character to the team?

      I agree that doing it in media res is probably the best way to handle it. Introduce the character doing whatever it was that endeared them to the team. If you really want it to have been a "hired on based on interview" kind of situation, I'd actually recommend skipping that entirely and starting this arc with them already being part of the team and having established some bonds. If you feel like you can trust your players, you can even play an improv game with it where every character is allowed to introduce one anecdote about the new guy joining the team with the rule being that no one can directly contradict a story by saying "that didn't happen" but they can modify it by indicating that wasn't the whole story. I advise limiting everyone to one anecdote to keep things from bogging down, and to encourage people to make their anecdote good. So, for example:

      Team is faced by a pack of demon dogs
      Captain Courage: Hellhounds? Bah, that's no problem for us. Hey, Plant-Venom, remember when your psycho hosebeast ex showed up and turned you into a dog then nearly got you neutered?
      Plant-Venom: What? She turned me into a newt. She didn't try to neuter me. And I got better. Besides which, you made the most adorable chinchilla... plus isn't that how you and Princess Power got to know each other a bit better?
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