Handling PCs Splitting Up

by John Kim

         This is one of a series of essays on techniques for emulating common genre conventions in RPGs. My assumption here is that you have a given genre -- such as "superhero comic book" or "period martial arts movie" -- and you want to adapt it from its original medium into the medium of RPGs. This is similar to the problem of adapting a novel into a film, or any other change of medium. For more on the meaning of genre in RPGs, see my essay on "Understanding Genre in Roleplaying".

Splitting Up

         In many genres, it is common for the main characters to split up to deal with multiple problems. The action then jumps back and forth between the different groups. This is problematic for an RPG session, though, simply because it means some of the players are sitting around watching.

         There are several ways to make this more workable.

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Mon Apr 21 00:36:03 2003