D&D General D&D Party Fanboys and Girls are Great. (DM Advice)

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
So I read this piece of advice on Tumblr at some point in recent memory and I wanted to share the gist of it with all of you as potentially powerful advice:

Rescued Character becomes a Fan. Inspired by your party, they become an adventurer.

So you've got a party who save a small village from some rampaging beastie. In particular they save one or two impressionable youths who get wide eyed with wonder at the impressive (if small scale) heroics of the people who just saved them and their home. The heroes leave, and those youths are looking to gear up and find their own adventures in the world.

4-5 sessions later, when the party is at some Tavern where the Bard is recounting their escapades, one or more younger adventurers shows up asking after the party. Turns out the youths made good, and became adventurers. And are just leaving to go on their own first or next adventure. They play a tiny bit of catch-up and head out, wishing the heroes good luck and thanking them, again, for saving the village.

4-5 sessions later, there they are, again. Listening to stories about their favorite heroes from other bards in the area. They've got stories of their own to share, but are mostly interested in hearing about the party's exploits. Eventually someone gives someone a Sending Stone, or other long-distance communication comes into play so the kids can be friends to the party.

A few sessions later, someone loses their character in a tragic d20 accident (Nat 1 Syndrome). The fanboy shows up to the funeral (If there is one) and says a few words, showing the character's impact on the world. And that's when it happens...

The player who just lost their character takes up the character sheet of the Fanboy/girl and now they've got a character that the party already knows, who already knows a lot of what's been happening with the party, and is an established adventurer who can slide into the group without hesitation.

No need for an utterly random new character to join the party and go from absolute stranger to trusted confidante overnight.
 

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aco175

Legend
I like the idea and story behind it. It is something I would have to plan out a bit to track and such. I tend to have another group of NPC adventurers in the same region of the PCs and the two groups come into conflict or aid over the course of the game. The one problem to the fanboy idea is that the player would be stuck playing whatever class/race the fanboy is or maybe have a choice of 2-3 and that may not be what the player wanted. I could see the fanboy become more of a sidekick or information giver for more quests and such.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
The answer to that, @aco175, is to leave classes suuuuuuuper vague.

Knowing the character by name, and the crazy shenanigans they and their party get up to, can be enough.

Though it is true that race/gender/class/background can become limited in this way. Which is why another good option is to have the Fanboy "Finally" introduce another member of their party to the group. Someone who the fanboy has told all about the heroes, and who hopes to help them.

It's a slightly watered down version of same.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
My players usually discourage this. Young adventurers often end up dead and they dont want that on their conscience. Or the competition.

Seriously though, this is a nice development to read about. I love stories like this.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
Wow, that story didn't end how I imagined. I thought the party would spurn the young admirer and cause him/her to turn against the party and become the BBEG that knows all their strengths and weaknesses. . .
 

pukunui

Legend
I like the idea and story behind it. It is something I would have to plan out a bit to track and such. I tend to have another group of NPC adventurers in the same region of the PCs and the two groups come into conflict or aid over the course of the game. The one problem to the fanboy idea is that the player would be stuck playing whatever class/race the fanboy is or maybe have a choice of 2-3 and that may not be what the player wanted. I could see the fanboy become more of a sidekick or information giver for more quests and such.
One way to resolve this issue could be to reveal your hand a bit and let the players know these young adventurers are a possible pool of replacement PCs and thus they can create and flesh them out themselves. That way they'll have a replacement PC waiting in the wings that you can feel confident they will want to play.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
Wow, that story didn't end how I imagined. I thought the party would spurn the young admirer and cause him/her to turn against the party and become the BBEG that knows all their strengths and weaknesses. . .

I'm glad it didn't! That sort of grim dark 'twist' is tiresome at best.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
"Wow! You're the Grand Champion! I saw your fight against the Gray Prince! You're the best! Can I... Can I follow you around? I won't get in the way!"
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I doubt anyone else here has read this series, but the Adventurer's Wanted series by M.L. Forman has basically the same premise. The party of adventurers impresses a young dwarf in the first book, who later becomes a member of the party later on in the series. (It even happens after a party member's death in the previous book, but he doesn't join because of it. How adventuring parties work in the series is very different from D&D, the young dwarf just becomes one of the rotating members of the party.)
 

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