There are a few concerns to address when adding new players to a game already in progress. Here are a few I've encountered over the years, and how I've addressed them in my own gaming groups.
|That's not how you make a new player feel welcome, Mike.|
First off, make sure your new players are a good fit for your game/group. Since my current group of players are all over the LGBT+ rainbow and play characters who are of a similar mindset, any new players to my game should at least be tolerant of those views. The last thing I want to do is bring in someone who will butt heads with the rest of the players on a personal level. Despite the World of Darkness setting that we play in, my games are a space where my players can be free to express themselves in ways they can't outside of the game. Drama should stay between characters, not the players. (It also helps if they can commit to the established game time.)
Next, work with new players to fit them into your game as smoothly as possible. If a new player to my game wants to play a Progenitor in my Traditions chronicle, I'd suggest alternatives to help them fit into the game better. Maybe that player is simply drawn to the Life Sphere and making new life forms, in which case a Verbenae character would fit well with the other players. If it's the tech aspect they're going for, maybe the Society of Ether or Virtual Adepts would appeal to them. It also helps to boost that character with XP close to, if not exactly at, the level that the rest of the characters are at.
Finally, make sure the original players have valid in-game reason to bring the new player into the fold. Sure, you and your group can hand-wave any suspicions or mistrust to immediately accept a new character into their cabal, but for story cohesion, it's much better to give them valid motivation to accept them. In my game, the players' cabal and their mentors visited a new chantry and were greeted at the door by my new player's character. While the mentors talked with the chantry leader in private, the new character gave the others a tour of the chantry (with informational assistance from me). Since this was a new location to all of my players, they were already on equal footing and were able to experience something new together right off the bat. At the same time, they were given ample opportunity to learn about each other and bond that a random encounter might not provide.
At the end of the day, adding a new player and making them feel welcome requires little more than clear communication and maybe a little extra planning than usual. To that end, check in with your new players after the game to see if they have any questions or concerns, and be open to adjusting the way things have always been in your game to accomodate feedback. The ultimate goal, after all, is to have fun with your friends. As they say, the more, the merrier!
Do you have any specific questions about working new players and their characters into an ongoing game? Drop them in the comments below, and I'll answer them as soon as possible!