And then some gets sick or unexpectedly has to work a night shift. It happens, it's only to be expected.
If you have a character driven story going on, as I try to have, you don't want anyone to miss out. So what do you do, cancel the game and set a new date, so now it's two months between sessions?
What I tried for a solutions, is to prepare a couple of short, parallel stories. The setting is the same, but with different characters. That way, we could play the same game and perhaps I could show the players different sides of the world and the events that characters of the main story wouldn't even be aware of.
The asteroid city of the Rock of Bral would be great for such short stories. The Rock is a veritable crossroads of the spheres, so anything could end up there. With different criminal organizations getting a lot of room in the sourcebook, I felt like going for some pulp detective story -style scenarios. Nothing too serious, of course. This is, after all, wizards and elves in space. On wooden sail ships.
Bral Noir, or Hard Boiled Tales from the Rock's Underworld.
This is also AD&D, so for the first story, which I originally prepared on a short notice, I just generated a small random dungeon using this very handy random dungeon generator. Then I rolled up a couple of characters pretty much randomly, so we wouldn't spend the whole night rolling up stats and choosing skills and spells, and wrote up a short intro as to why some fighters, mages, clerics and thieves would be stuck in an underground complex full of hostile monsters and traps.
The scenario was, that the characters are members of the city watch (plus their street urchin sidekick), investigating the disappearance of a young woman's fiancé. They have found out that a certain illithid is likely to be involved and are lured to investigate the said octopus-headed creature's town house while the thing is out on business.
But their treacherous informant locks them in the basement and as the game begins, they have one hour of in-world time to get out before the illithid returns and is certain to wipe the floor with a group of 1st level characters.
This being a pulp novel, I did a book cover for it to set the mood:
The Squid Sematary (lit. Sleep, Sleep, My Squid)
Read the full story here, if you can (it's in Finnish again). Note: The horizontal line marks the end of the intro and the beginning of game play.
And here's a picture of the master of the house, whom the PCs fortunately never had to face:
And the title? Taken from the Finnish translation for Stephen King's Pet Sematary: Uinu, uinu lemmikkini (lit. Sleep, Sleep My Pet). Because of that, here's a link to a cover of Pet Sematary by The Ramones, as performed by the finnish band Pojat:
Chorus: "To a bewitched boneyard, I took the best of cats. Tonight he will come back,"