“Ok guys, just bring me back when you’ve Teleported us to the capital city and found a high enough level caster. I’ve got enough money in gems to cover the costs. Sorry for that dumb move, I always forget about AoO.” Darwidian’s unperturbed player then closes down his license of the group’s Hero Lab software, opens up a pinball game on his iPad, and proceeds to quietly occupy himself for the remainder of the evening while the rest of the group goes right on with the adventure.
So this more or less literally happened in my last gaming session. Our party unluckily was fighting not 1, but 2 glabrezu thanks to their 20% summoning ability. The Rogue tried to protect the Cleric & Wizard, but in the process of moving to engage the enemy, instead got sliced/diced. He died pretty early in the night, then nonchalantly played a video game the rest of the time. Why? Well he knows his character is coming back, and, after a few thousand extra GP, with no worse the wear. No reason to break a sweat, let alone be upset about it. And a rather routine revival of characters is pretty much the case for every edition of D&D. (Killing Off Raise Dead)
One of the things that I really enjoy doing is allowing the players to push things in directions that I wouldn't normally take them by letting them play NPCs involved in the action. I can't tell you how much fun it is when one of them plays a guard and takes a notion to tell the King (played by me or another player) that the thief has been spotted doing what thieves do. Or when they play rival Guild Masters battling to hire a player character for their own nefarious ends.The Arneson Rule:When combat occurs any player not involved in the encounter is given control of the monsters involved. If multiple players are not involved in the encounter than the monstrous group will be divided up among them as the Game Master decides.
The more I've used this rule since I first made it the more firmly I've become convinced that it's the best way to keep everyone engaged in the action and preventing anyone from checking out at the table. It's a fun, easy to implement change that pays off big dividends. Try it out for yourself!