I’m having a problem with some of my players’ motivations. This is my first time DMing a campaign, and I had all the players give me their characters’ backstories and I put them together to make a world- I started the first session with them meeting in a town and giving each of their characters a reason to team up to get to the bottom of whatever brought their characters there. The more info they gave before the first session, the more I worked their character into the world, etc. Everything seemed to be going well, ignoring the hiccups of me being new to DMing.
I might have made a mistake at this point: two of my players wanted to change characters after the party reached level 3. I said it was okay, not really thinking about it. They introduced their new players at the most recent session, and I realized I should have pushed for more details before we all got to the table. Essentially now they have two characters that do not fit into the world – they came to the table with an elven prince (and his buddy) from an ancient kingdom that was destroyed by a drow invasion and as a last-ditch effort they opened a portal to the future and jumped through it. I just…don’t know what to do with that. I continued running the adventure, but I couldn’t think of a reason for them to be there at all. They also keep making stuff up about the past that I’ve never okayed, and therefore make no sense with the current timeline, and then telling the other players. I want them to be able to play the characters, but when I was composing the campaign time travel wasn’t something I thought about, and it’s really messing up continuity (and confusing the hell out of me). Problem is they’ve already played a session with the new characters, and can’t really retcon a whole gaming session. Their characters are running around searching for clues about a fallen elven empire and how to time travel back there, while everyone else is trying to pursue the current enemy and figure out his evil plans (and don’t care about the elven empire that no one remembers).
I also realized that two of the mini bosses don’t make sense anymore – one was the old mentor of player A and the other was the thought-to-be-dead son of player B.
I want my players to play he characters they want, but I also want them to feel like their characters actually have a stake in what’s happening, and they seem to want to pursue a plotline that I made no plans for and I see no way of meshing the two together.
I've been putting off meeting fo the next game because I just don't know where to go from here. Any advice?