Events between game sessions


Hello to everyone again!
I'm novice at gamemastering, and recently I've come to one question: what about roleplaying events "between" regular game sessions?

I mean, there is a group of characters, and though they have common missions (which we play in our game sessions), they just can't always be together. They also have their own life and goals. When the mission is over, they can have a break - days or even weeks. And narn wants to visit his family on Narn, while the Psi-Cop wants to travel to Corps base at Mars to report some new facts about his secret mission or to recieve new orders, etc.

So, if the group breaks apart between modules, what must I do? Simply telling each player what happened, what information he received, etc is an obvious way, since I can't roleplay individual adventures with each player personally.

But what if their life between common sessions is not just working on some civil profession, resting or receiving orders and information? For example, narn wants to work as gun smuggler in his "spare time". This is connected with risk, he can be imprisoned, injured or even killed. So I can't just tell him "last week you have earned 5000 credits on gun smuggling" - it will be unfair to make it like the simple "profession check", since a lot of things can happen.

Or the psi-cop wants to investigate the info about the rogues hideout that he received during the session - I can't simply tell him what he found there, how many people he shooted and what items he gained because it all must depend on the player.

Sorry if the description is little messy. :) I understand that there is no one and right solution, but I just want to hear some hints...
1. Handle it through email or some other asynchronous system. You wouldn't go into as much detail as you would in a normal tabletop game, but you could ask the Psi Cop how he's approaching the rogue hideout, he'd respond with a synopsis of his preparations, you tell him how well those worked and so on...

2. Draw the characters together, and run important encounters for the group. The Narn meets up with a gang of human weapons suppliers...who are actually the same rogues the Psi Cop is after. Pit player against player.

3. Actually synopsise it. It really doesn't matter if you just say "Ok, Psi Cop, you capture six rogue telepaths in the hidden base. Your superiors in the Corps are very pleased with you. Narn guy, you earn 5,000 Credits from gun smuggling and are now wanted by the Pak'ma'ra." It's what happens in the game sessions that's important, not in the downtime.
Mongoose Gar said:
1. Handle it through email or some other asynchronous system.

Email is the easiest way, especially if a player wants to keep things secret. In the days before email it was called 'blue-booking' and was done in a note book that was passed between player and GM with each writing the events and outcome of actions.

It's what happens in the game sessions that's important, not in the downtime.

In my (now defunct) B5 game the downtime became more important to the players than the campaign and was more fun too! However it became difficult to maintain group cohesion. While characters with different agendas is the epitome of Babylon 5, it can make for challenging GMing.
For my o.2cr I'd go for the email (or even text message) to keep the stories going. That way the players always feel that the universe is moving on all the time and not just when they are all around the table. I have found with some groups their "downtime" activities almost wrote the next scenario plot for me!

You might want to create a random table for them:
20-19: Outstanding Success! Profit x2 what was expected or other suitable bonus.
18-03: The plans all work out pretty much as expected.
02-01: Disaster! All their work is undone and they are now wanted by the law/mob/Vorlons( :shock: ) etc, etc!

Of course you could modify it depending on what exactly they are up to and how dangerous / risky it might be.

Thanks to everyone! I think that e-mail is definitely the best way to handle the "downtime".
I have only one question left: what about the experience for such individual adventures? Especially if I just tell the player what happened... I think there must be no experience for this... Or perhaps a small fixed award equal to all players?
A small experience award is good, maybe 50-100 xp. If a player goes to a lot of effort then give him more, especially if he provides you with plot hooks and story development.
If you and your players have the spare time to do it (and lets face it, not everyone has that much free time) let them split up, and give them solo sessions. Make it RP based or whatever, but let them do their own thing perhaps with a small tie to your overall plot.

The best thing about this is when they get back together and want to talk about what happened while they were away, you can get both some great RP and a few eye-openers.
One of my players in AotR (B5 PbP RPG on these forums) is going to get an XP bonus for giving me a plot hook to help them out of a tricky situation.