Introducing a new PC to a party that lost a member whilst dungeoneering! Quickly!

If a PC dies, how to get their new PC into the game as soon as possible? This question came up on Reddit rpg recently. I think it’s a fun opportunity to imagine all sorts of possibilities – and to make a table to roll on! Try rolling 1d20 twice and letting the player choose between the two options as to how his PC shows up! That new PC can be right in the next room or even just around the corner in the very next hallway!

  1. Strange statue – this statue might have been moved several times or the creature that caused it may have left. But this statue is a terrible pose is actually a petrified adventurer – one who was lucky enough to suffer a fading curse of petrification (maybe they had one eye closed?)! Something about the adventurers – perhaps arcane or divine magic on them (magic used or magic items) triggers the curse to finally break and the adventurer breaks free of a crust of stone, right in front of the group!
  2. Chute! Some of those pit traps go a long way, even right to the surface. Some of them bring their prey down alive, sometimes their prey finds a way to survive the many falls involved in coming down the chute. But one thing is for sure, they were where they were meant to be one minute, the next they are tumbling across the ground in front of the party, the crumbling tunnel behind them probably collapsed with the force of their arrival. Perhaps this area was a slavers pen once, or an arena or even a abattoir! But now this adventurer finds themselves stuck with the party!
  3. Meat safe – The chest looked weird, but what are you going to do, not open it? No traps and not locked – but very suspicious. You opened it and…that’s creepy! There’s a humanoid inside. Eww, close the lid! Wait, you’ve just disturbed the spell that kept the meat nice and fresh…and alive. Even if you closed the lid, an adventurer stands up, with the worst neck cramp from being stuck in that meat locker! Or maybe you didn’t open it out of suspicion, but disturbed the spell in some other way and pop, out comes an adventurersicle!
  4. Now you see him – when the magician calls for a volunteer from the crowd, you knew you shouldn’t have accepted it! Meanwhile some adventurers ran into a large oblong box leaning against a wall, thick dust across its top and some painted stars along the side. At a tavern or a party, you stepped into the box, the magician said ‘Now you see him!’ closed the box, tapped it on its side and…instead of a secret door opening at the back and you being ushered away, you find yourself staggering backward into some dank, musty room. And when you turn around there’s an armed party of adventurers staring at you, gob smacked! Something about trying to do magic meant it actually happened! Just at the wrong time for you!!
  5. Giants can be a little forgetful – They managed to scoop up an adventurer at some distant location and were too lazy in their swinging it against a wall, they merely knocked out the adventurer rather than killed them. After travelling many a mile they put down the bag for a moment, then got distracted and left it behind. Perhaps they left the bag here or some goblins made off with the bag before the giant could remember, but then the gobos were frightened off by the arriving adventuring party. Now the bag wriggles and a fellow adventurer, cradling the bruise on his head, climbs out!
  6. It’s an adventurer! Your party member probably shouldn’t have tampered with that strange looking equipment or sipped that weird potion, even if it healed them (who knows what’s in potions these days?). Because now they have a strange lump growing on their side (perhaps the side of their arm or torso). It grows quickly and eventually it gets big enough that the surface gets taught – and you can see a tiny figure underneath! Ewww, gross! Quick, kill it with fire – wait, the adventurer its growing on doesn’t like that idea. But bickering just gives the pustule time to grow and burst in a shower of ichor and yuck! And it’s an adventurer! Quickly growing in size until they reach their proper size, while the adventurer they popped out of feels very tender skin where the boil burst. So, you’re a parent now! Well, actually as part of an experiment gone awry (or gone just right), the adventurer was miniaturised and put into stasis some time ago, just waiting for an incubator so the magic could regrow them. But then again if the adventurer has a bit of amnesia, they might think the other adventurer is their parent! “Momma, just birthed a man! Got a boil on the side of my head, grew till it burst and he introduced himself as Fred…”
  7. Kiss the frog! Who did they cross? Well, this adventurer ended up cursed as a wee creature, probably a frog. Maybe the one who cursed them couldn’t slay them outright and planned to kill them after they were polymorphed, perhaps keeping them as a pet for awhile first. But somehow creature adventurer got out – but with the mind of a tiny creature, they can’t remember much except foraging for themselves. And then the curse slowly broke – the adventurer found himself cramped in the little alcove he always slept in, but hears the boots of an adventuring party and thinks, wait, boots? He hadn’t thought about boots in so long! And wait, I’m not a frog!’. He stands, to meet a bunch of adventurers – though the flies buzzing around the group are particularly interesting…
  8. Basket case – Well, you got surrounded by raiders and it seemed a good idea to hide in a basket on one of their carts, to be carried far away from the raiding horde. Except they just brought you into a dungeon, lifting your basket and carrying it far beneath the earth. And now just as you’re getting out, a group of raiders walks in – you’re doomed! Wait, they are armed and dangerous, but they don’t seem to be part of the raiders. Maybe you could join them?
  9. Click! Your cunning plan to obtain a piece of wire by tricking the guards into walking over a piece that you knocked off a passing workers basket with a well aimed stone had all gone off smoothly. And it’d taken you some time, while the guards were gone, to figure out the lock, but you did it. Then a group of adventurers walk in, casually scooping the keys off the wall and offering them to you like they did you a big favour, just seconds after you picked the lock and started to open the cage door!
  10. What ales you – The party comes across another displacer ale victim! They might wake up in funny places after a night out on regular ale, but this time they are waking up really far from home!
  11. Pit! An adventurer is just managing to climb out after having fallen in and been left behind by another group! Perhaps the other group was fleeing a superior force?
  12. Magical tea party – The party turns a corner to see an adventurer with a blissful smile on his face, holding a small tea cup, sitting at a tiny table. Slowly the expression starts to fade – whatever creature that charmed him is not present, they said they would be away for a moment (that may have been hours ago, given the charm). Some magical creatures want to twist and make strange the life of mortals, rather than attack and kill. And now the adventurer is snapping out of it and beginning to realise he doesn’t like tea!
  13. Framed – Did something move in that painting on the wall? It did, it did! And from the frame steps an adventurer! He’s not sure if he was trapped in a painting or that was his homeland and he stepped through a portal – he feels rather groggy. And regardless, it’s a one way thing, as it’s just a regular painting now!
  14. Boned! A skeleton approaches! No doubt the party readies itself or perhaps launches attacks as soon as possible. But then chunks of meat fly across the room, slapping against the skeleton to the sound of wet splats. More and more and the skin knits and even bits of armour and gear fly together. It’s an adventurer! Who was killed here, apparently – and yet as much as some spell tore him apart, it kept his pieces in a kind of order – enough to assemble them to flesh then cast the flesh back onto bone! How long ago did he die? Who knows, but now…well, he’s a kind of alive?
  15. Bulette train – Whether they meant to fight the Bulette or were just trying to get out the way, their armour or robe got caught on the creatures armoured carapace and when it burrowed down through the ground, it took them with it! The thing burst into view of the party, shoot dirt from its hide and an adventurer as well! And now its burrowed away (or perhaps not?), the tunnel it came in by and the one its leaving by both collapsing as it goes. Leaving a very dirty and disoriented adventurer behind in its wake!
  16. Gibbet – Everyone knows to release a victim from a gibbet is just a mad thing to do! And the one in this hanging cage looks especially mad! But suddenly the bottom opens and the figure drops to the ground in a crouch! It must be a trap that has been sprung! The being rises, its eyes wide and wild! Wait, he just has some mirror spell cast on him – that’s how your party looks to him, it’s your eyes being reflected in the mirror. Some evil being set you up to attack each other! That or the madness spell had not fully taken hold of the adventurer. Or at least that’s what he tells you!
  17. Guys? The party encounter an adventurer, who seems to be trying to work out what the time is. He was supposed to meet his party here (how he got here might have been by walking or one way teleport or by an already used up gaseous form potion). But its been hours now and he doesn’t have a lift home?
  18. Dragon stocks dungeon – Plucked by a dragon from the earth, the great beast decided to add the adventurer to a dungeon as a form of amusement, for dragons don’t take with make believe plays. They like real drama! And it’s probably watching through a scrying device or listening right now, after having dropped the adventurer in through a chute or had some underlings drop him and leaving him in a special part of the dungeon.
  19. Lost soldier – charging in to the labyrinthine passages of the dungeon with many fellow troops to chase down an enemy, somehow this soldier got lost in the many twisting tunnels. Now they are an adventurer – and possibly treated as a deserter. Though perhaps theirs was a loose mercenary affiliation, so they merely forfeit their pay and future employ. Given those prospects, they run into the party who could do with another fellow!
  20. He told me you’d be here – this is what the adventurer says when the party encounters him. Why did he follow the instructions of this knowing person? Who can say? If he were an enemy agent, he could have attacked by now and he has told you he was sent to meet you. But who is the mysterious benefactor who sent him? What do either of them get out of the deal?

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