A Fitting Punishment

There’s no perfect solution to handle players who miss gaming sessions.

They’re not playing and experience is the reward for playing, so it seems counter-intuitive to not award xp. However, falling behind the party seems like a punishment, and you shouldn’t punish someone for having a life and obligations. In-world, missing a session often doesn’t justify losing xp as the character is often run by the DM and is still involved in the encounters and problems, and thus learns something. But the character is seldom as active as they would be otherwise, so full experience also does not seem appropriate.

Well, I say “no perfect solutions” but there is one that is pretty good: if the player misses the game they bring snacks or pizza to the next session. Seems like a fair trade off to me.