Much as this post is late (sorry, yesterday was just..weird) tonight I'm going to be very late for game. It's not really avoidable. I got tapped at work to provide some late coverage for an event going on at the school, and considering that I'm trying to be as useful as possible in a department that has been going various sequences of major change over the last couple years, I didn't say no. Besides, they gave me plenty of notice and I like to help folks out.
However, my absense does put a strain on the game and the GM. For one, my character won't be around to participate in things. This is only mildly problematic as the current story arc focuses very little on my character but considering I am kind of the group swiss army knife (medic, explosives, mechanics, electronics, and odd ball strategies) it could have some impact. More to the point though is it can just be weird not having a character around.
In previous sessions the GM has explained a missing person with an abduction attempt on them, but that doesn't seem as likely to work. That does leave more generic options - they're just not there, they're busy doing something else, they're there but staying quiet - but I am not sure how well those sit with the GM. I guess I'll find out.
Today though, I figured it'd be fun to ask how you handle missing PCs given a week's notice. Do you just ignore them? Concoct some story reason for it? Just move them off to the side?
What about when you know they'll be there, or showing up for whatever is going on, just late?