Shuffling ensembles can also work for roleplaying games!
One problem with running an ongoing campaign is that real life intervenes sometimes. You might find it difficult to schedule a game day when everyone can make it. Or when you do, something comes up and someone has to cancel at the last minute. And then what do you do? You can't play without everyone there...
Yes you can!
We are in fact currently playing a Dungeons & Dragons campaign like this. The games are scheduled on specific dates. If some players can't make it (as adults we have various other things we need to do sometimes), we play anyway. And the missing players' characters sit out of the action.
It's harvest time back on the family farm, and the party's fighter needs to spend a couple of weeks helping with the harvest. Or the cleric has some duties to perform for their superior priest. These people miss the exploration of the goblin king's dungeon. The other party members risk the danger and get the rewards, both in treasure and experience, while the fighter and cleric get nothing.
Next game day, maybe the wizard has some chore to run for their mentor and misses the next adventure. While the fighter and cleric get back into it and take their shares of treasure and experience.
Things even out a bit over time. Or maybe some player misses more games and their character lags behind a bit. But that's fine! Everone's having fun and you're playing more often. That's not a bad thing.
Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)
One vote for great, one vote for not-great. Going to need a few more comments to really judge how it was. But at least Pete didn't completely freeze up if there was time for Ben to fit a bridge section in.
I wonder if Corey or Jim made it as well. It would be pretty hard to have a session transition like this and fit all of the players in on the same scene of course. But if they don't show up in the next comic, that's going to cut down on what I should expect for upcoming scenes. Judging by the different appearances here, I think it's safe to assume we'll at least have a First Order scene, a Finn and Rose
sneak into a base deliver to a casino, and the continuing fun adventures of Rey and Luke. Or the adventures of Rey exploring an island anyway.
GM: Sorry I missed the show. How’d it go?
Kylo Ren: It was awesome!
Finn: There were other musicians with them, and they shuffled the on-stage ensemble between songs. It was fun.
Kylo Ren: Yeah, I didn’t get to sing all the songs. And I was backing vocals on a few.
GM: Okay, but the question that must be answered: How was Pete’s drumming?
Kylo Ren: Great!
Rey: I blanked on the transition to the finale in one song...
Kylo Ren: But I just took control and ad libbed a couple more verses.
Rey: She wasn’t even lead vocal.
Rose: I had to rescue it by playing a bridge and signalling to Pete to just hit the crash and end it.
Rey: Oh, is that what you were doing? I thought you were having a conniption.
Rose: That too.