With Cameron, who has been a staple player in several of my previous campaigns, now enlisted in the Army and stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, it became necessary to devise a plot mechanism to allow his character to appear and disappear from the storyline without causing disruption to logical progression.
My solution was the character (Major NPC) Sir Vandermort Goanhime, who is the ghost of the spirit of a Knight bound to the prime material plane. With an ethereal form, and technical NPC status, it’s very easy to explain why the ghost character sometimes can or cannot make itself physically apparent. This provides the perfect opportunity for Cameron to reprise the role each time he happens to be in Hopkinsville while we’re gaming, it also provides me with an additional plot mechanism if ever needed.
Dungeon Master Commentary: Recurring Player-Driven NPC Role