Hey @Magician, @BESW, thanks for the chat the other day about burnout. When I thought about it I realized things had progressed to the point where I wouldn't really enjoy even co-writing. But it turns out two of my players were keener than I expected to GM, so I grit my teeth (butbutbut spoilers!) and handed over my notes and they've been cheerfully plotting since.
disclaimer, I see nothing wrong with it if everyone involved with it is ok with it, but I don't personally like other people taking over my PC characters (NPC's are fine) and I don't feel particularly good about taking over theirs either
@Magician No, a while back one of my more interesting NPCs volunteered to go with them and has been gradually gaining abilities. I'll add a few more until she matches the rest of the party and play her as a PC.
We've already done this when one player wanted to run a session; we just switch which characters are PCs and which are NPCs.
@trogdor Agreed, after 2 years it wouldn't feel right, though I don't mind playing a PC as an NPC if we're down a player but need the party intact
I'd prefer not to use a temporarily playerless character as an NPC; try making them a plot hook instead
for example, being the target of a semi-successful assassination featuring an obscure poison both keeps them out of the game for a session, and leads to interesting questions like who is trying to assassinate you, why, and how do we get an antidote
@trogdor Ooh, that does sound fun. In a good-sized group my go to is "they're off getting drunk somewhere" (the more humorously implausible this is the better), but in a smaller group where basic functionality depends on having everyone there, sometimes it's necessary to include them (unless you're going to remove obstacles on the fly that could only have been bypassed by the absent PC.)
but I will say that even as a pretty new GM,.. it is taking some getting used to
I am used to the GM being the person who is supposed to place wonderful surprises everywhere for the players,... that is not easy to do when the players suddenly know so much more about the world and contribute to it more (it isn't a bad thing, again, just getting used to it)
coincidentally one of my players is about to leave for a month so I too was having a problem what to do with his character in the meantime
the solution is going to be the character is going to be killed off and when the player comes back he starts with another one. Current character's death makes a lot of sense storywise player leaving or not, so I talked to the player and we decided on this solution