Last night, a new player joined my weekly game for the session. I don’t know yet whether or not she will be a regular. She was completely new to tabletop RPGs and didn’t even have experience with superficially similar video games. Another player helped her create a character (she chose a human rogue) at the beginning of the game. We leaned heavily on one of the default 4E PHB rogue builds, and the process was actually relatively quick (though we didn’t really go into power descriptions or anything).
I gave the new rogue a very simple backstory to get things moving. The PCs had accepted a mission from the queen, so I made the new rogue a member of the queen’s secret police sent to assist the party. To make things interesting, I started the rogue with a free collapsible hand crossbow and six poisoned darts. No name was selected.
There were several open hooks, and the players chose the one that led to Death Frost Doom (they only know about the options via diegetic information, so they were not choosing based on knowledge of modules). When exploring the cabin her character came across the pouch of purple lotus powder. Of course the unnamed rogue decided to partake. New player, Raggi d100 table… I was kind of dreading the outcome. Percentile dice were rolled…
What was the result?
33 Character Suffers Total Amnesia!
So the character with minimal backstory (and no name) had a mind wipe. I can’t make this kind of stuff up. If the player decides to join us again, we now have a reason why she will stick with the PCs. And if she doesn’t, I now have an amnesiac member of the queen’s secret police to use as an NPC.