Some changes in store for my 4E group this year. At least one of our number -- Nick, who plays aspiring dwarven librarian Mord -- is unfortunately moving away to greener pastures in March, and there is talk of one other potential exit as well. Much like any DM would, I lost all rationality at this point and immediately had visions of the whole game crumbling out from underneath me, but thankfully the remaining two players have both informed me they're not going anywhere. Which is a relief, because one of them is my wife.
However, almost the same day that this news came to light, I received a prod from another couple of local guys who are looking for a stable, long-term game and thought that ours fitted the bill. We met them on Sunday for a social vetting, discovered they both wore goatees much like mine, so no problems there, and promptly invited them to the group. While we won't be playing this week, it does give them some time to roll up a couple of characters and peruse the new edition before joining us for the first weekend in February.
This is going to make things very interesting for a few weeks as we'll have no less than six PC's. What does this mean for the game? Well, first, very little elbow room at the table, and second, a bit of work for me to re-tool some planned encounters to accomodate the new characters. There was talk of a paladin and a ranger, both of which would be great additions to the group. Why? Because not only will this be the first real chance to see both of those classes at full throttle (Corrash has dabbled in ranger already), but also because the combination of the ranger's additional damage, and the Paladin's admittedly-limited-but-still-better-than-none healing abilities, should adequately fill the hole which will be left when we remove NPC cleric Romto from the group. Ideally, I would have preferred one of the new PC's to assume a Leader role, but I'm not in the business of dictating class choices to my players, so I'll work around it if those are the classes that get them excited.
Six PC's equals my own record for the largest group I've ever DM'd, which makes the next few weeks an exciting prospect. I can't wait to see the roleplaying dynamics between the various new faces and the established company, not to mention the tactical melange that fights are going to become with potentially three Defenders. I only wish this was a long-term change rather than a transitional one. :sniff: