"Sorry, man. None of us can make it - we're calling the game tonight."
There are times when, despite our best efforts, scheduling fails. In any situation where a group of people gather regularly for some type of event, whether it’s fantasy football, or a knitting club, or a gaming group, someone inevitably can’t make it. Life usually doesn't care if your adventuring crew was going to fight Tiamat’s 3rd cousin, or if the Computer is trying to determine which of your members is a traitor (Paranoia, anyone?). Life happens, and it can sometimes get in the way of your P&P fun.
I have been pretty lucky as a P&P gamer thus far. Most of the groups I have been a part of have multiple games going at any time, so we can switch games on the fly if need be. In some cases, we've cancelled the actual game night, but the rest of us went out for drinks or to a movie or another social activity. And in other cases, we've just called it a night entirely and let the group members go about their merry way.
In most instances, I find it frustrating when a group can't get together. While I have other interests and hobbies, getting together with friends to play is one of the things I look forward to, and when it doesn't work out, it can make me a sad panda.
When that situation happens, how do YOU handle it? Does your group have a backup game or some other activity to do when the whole group can’t make it? Or, do you soldier on, and play regardless of who is/isn't there? Does it ruin your night, or do you find another way to play?
*EDIT* Apparently, I still can't get my tags right, so this is showing up on TAYClassic likely MUCH later than I posted it. Sorry, all!*