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Mulsiphix
12-29-2007, 10:30 PM
Alright I've got a question for you DM's who like to run long term campaigns. How do you handle player deaths? I've often toyed with the idea of making player death impossible. Instead I would penalize them horribly XP, financially, or something else that would make them think twice before making another careless decision that could cost them their life. Do you also make death impossible or do you somehow provide an adventure for a party composed of characters ranging from levels 3 to 20?

Drohem
12-29-2007, 11:00 PM
If you're dead, you're dead. What challenge is it if you know you can't die? I try not to kill characters, but if it happens, it happens. Depending on the game and campaign setting, the others players may have the ability or chance to bring the dead back to life; but I don't toss that powerful magic out like candy either.

GC13
12-29-2007, 11:36 PM
How do I handle player death? I limit myself to two a session, three if I'm bored; new players are hard to find, and it's really tough getting rid of the bodies. ;)

Oh, you meant character death? Oh... Of course... Um, what ever happened to Raise Dead? With spells like Raise Dead in the game adding a second safety layer, I'd have to agree with a hard stance on death (keeps the game more exciting). For minor deaths (only a few beyond -9), my DM allowed players to burn action points (one per HP beyond -9 I believe) to stabilize at -9 rather than dying. Like an evil version of SAGA's "no, your character will never die" version, but then SAGA lacks Raise Dead.

gdmcbride
12-29-2007, 11:50 PM
Character death can be tricky. Character death at a non-dramatic point of the campaign is something I tend to fudge out of existence. I just don't kill characters who happen to have a bad day with dice. Some find this controversial, I know.

However, character death at climatic points is something I tend to encourage. It makes the climaxes more memorable. If I have a villian that the players have really taken to hating, then I love for him to kill a PC. That really gets the blood up.

I've had this pre-game conversation with more than one player: "So, your character is pretty much built around revenge and in the next session or two we are facing the object of your revenge. One way or another, we are ending your main reason for being. You've got a choice here: find another reason for your character to go on OR die dramatically in the battle and build another character with a bonus goody for being a good sport. What do you say?"

Usually they take the cookie and really get into the spirit of a valiant death.

It doesn't have to be the end of the campaign or the death of a major villian. Think about how Boromir died (in the movie). That's a great PC death. He even got a final soliloquy surrounded by fallen foes and a minor villian. What more could a PC hope for?

Oh, by the way, I think horrible XP penalties instead of death are also a bad idea. I had rather be dead than useless as a player. Nothing sucks worse than being permanently crippled compared to the rest of your companions. Being in a party with Superman, Batman, Green Latern and Wonder Woman where you get to play Aqualad ... well, it sucks.

Gary

ronpyatt
12-29-2007, 11:58 PM
I guess that depends on how you view your player characters. If your characters are heroic, then of course you'll be more inclined to protecting them. If your players are expected to have their characters do heroic deeds, then the GM might need to be the hero for the players and save them from themselves every now and again.

If your story is gritty then "Death to the PC!" at every opportunity. Some games systems make gritty settings difficult to hold on to players. Many players would rather not have to build a new character every session.

If how you view your characters happens to be somewhere in between heroic and realistic then you have to strike a balance. Your target gaming experience should let you know what kind of deaths you'll allow. Also, your players expectations might influence your approach.

Personally, I like the heroic adventures. They're fun and exciting, and the PC's do things that normal people wouldn't dream of. They do heroic things because the players know they're playing heroes.

Deaths are dramatic events that are right at the sharp edge of danger, but it doesn't have to be the motivator for keeping your players under control for fear of having to build a new character. That just seems like too much meta-gaming and not enough fun.

gdmcbride
12-30-2007, 12:18 AM
I suppose I should add the addenda that I am mostly talking about Heroic, D&D-esque games. In college, I ran a Call of Cthulhu campaign where a PC died on average every week. It started as an accident and soon became a fact the players were down right proud of.

The game ran for about fifty sessions, if I recall. One a week. Two in a few sessions. Five in one climactic one. There was one PC who made it through the entire campaign, a psychologist who had lost more friends than he could count -- a man who had seen the best men and women of his generation sacrificed to keep back the darkness that threatened at every turn to overwhelm us.

He didn't smile much anymore.

Gary

rabkala
12-30-2007, 12:20 AM
The last time a player died, the group all chipped in for flowers. We went to his funeral to offer our condolences. Immediately following the funeral, we played a game in his honor. We didn't get much gaming done, especially after one of the guys read a players prayer (I think he found at Kenzer&company). We did talk a lot and bond over his memory. Shaun is still missed...

Drohem
12-30-2007, 12:57 AM
I suppose I should add the addenda that I am mostly talking about Heroic, D&D-esque games. In college, I ran a Call of Cthulhu campaign where a PC died on average every week. It started as an accident and soon became a fact the players were down right proud of.

The game ran for about fifty sessions, if I recall. One a week. Two in a few sessions. Five in one climactic one. There was one PC who made it through the entire campaign, a psychologist who had lost more friends than he could count -- a man who had seen the best men and women of his generation sacrificed to keep back the darkness that threatened at every turn to overwhelm us.

He didn't smile much anymore.

Gary

My online name (Drohem) is in honor of my favorite characters of all time. His name was Drohem Calhorn, and he was a dwarf created using the RuneQuest 3rd edition rules. However, we didn't play in the Glorantha world. We created our own world in which dwarves, elves, halflings, etc. were closer to AD&D races.

RQ3 is a grim and deadly game system as written. My dwarf was a civilized soldier turned mercenary. Throughout the campaign, the characters were hounded and hunted by minions of a powerful demon; not to mention normal adventures.

Back in those days, we had huge groups (8-12 people). Drohem was the only survivor of three TPKs. He also survived many narrows encounters. He was the longest lived RQ3 character I ever had, and he survived to face down the demon in a final and epic battle. At the start of that battle, Drohem was controlled by the demon and killed two friends and seriously downed another one before the party could wrestle him down and end the control. The group went on to defeat the demon, with Drohem landing the final blow.

He was a stone-cold killer, and grim SOB by the end of the campaign. He was responsible for several PvP kills during his career. He never smiled as well.

Mulsiphix
12-30-2007, 01:23 AM
To clarify I meant PC not the actual players controlling the PC's. One thing nobody has addressed so far though is how you design adventures for a group of very varied PC levels? If you have four players and the levels are 2, 7, 13, and 17, how can you possibly create any encounter that the level 17 PC won't dominate?

I was really looking forward to running one to two year campaigns. I've read, although never directly asked, that it can take a full year (one four hour session a week) for a PC to level from levels 1 to 20. Is this true? Who would want to spend 34 sessions playing one character only to lose everything they worked so hard on. They couldn't possibly be of any use to the rest of the party that are still in their teen levels. Or are one to two year campaigns just not all that common?

Drohem
12-30-2007, 01:30 AM
It depends on the game system and GM. If you're talking about D&D, then such a level disparity in a party is hard to design around. Anything you throw at the party that will challenge the high level characters will snuff out the low level characters.

Although, it's possible if the campaign is more role playing orientated, and serious combat is avoided at every turn. Also, if the players are seriously tactically inclined. However, any real challenge to a party composed of such level disparity is going to generate the real possiblity of the lower level characters dying.

As far as leveling goes, one of my friends and GMs give out a level from 1-3, and then a level every 2-3 adventures for levels 4+. This really moves the campaign along, and allows the characters to become real movers and shakers in his game world before they retire or perish. ;)

rabkala
12-30-2007, 01:53 AM
Okay, PC death. When my personal computer dies, I call gateway and order a new model without Vista operating system.


I let my players know that I don't pull my punches often. The game can and does get deadly.

Keep things like Raise Dead and Resurrection attainable even if difficult. You don't want it to be a cake walk, but don't dash their dreams if they have really grown attached o a character. I also have a special DM table of monster races with a level adjustment. Sometimes when a player character dies by no fault of his own, reincarnation is available surprisingly easily and I happen to roll 100% for DM choice ;). That can also make the loss less of a blow.

I have used a house rule for many years, when a character dies the player can start a new character 2 levels below the party average. I have also used character trees so that the players slowly become attached to the replacement characters. If they want to take a character out of the tree prematurely, the current character that will be going back into the tree doesn't level until the replacement passes him in accumulated levels. (Sometimes they decide they like the ones in the tree better than the ones they are playing)

I also often use an additional experience award of 10% per level of disparity so those that are lagging behind can become productive faster. Sometimes this is needed when a large difference is slowing my plot down because the players don't want to jeopardize themselves with an underpowered party backing them.

Digital Arcanist
12-30-2007, 01:33 PM
Well, if a PC dies then the party has the opportunity to either resurrect the character themselves or find a temple that can for them and the character suffers the effects of the spell as illustrated in the PHB. If the party chooses not to help out their friend then I let them scavenge the body, if accessible, and we then begin the process of creating a new character.

New characters come in one or two levels before the average character level of the party. I try to keep everyone at the same level to make it easier on me. If the character died doing something stupid then its two levels and something heroic or followed logic to a tragic end then one level. There has been an instance where the character defended his party valiantly and stayed behind to allow them to escape and died; the new character came in at the party's level.

I have a rule of no pre-existing knowledge of the old character so that I don't have to run a revenge scenario or fight over where possessions are and such. If a player decides his character had a family and a member of that family comes to take his/her father's place then I usually gently suggest to the party to pass down any scavenged gear.

Mulsiphix
12-30-2007, 01:55 PM
I like the approach of all three of you (Drohem, rabkala, Digital Arcanist) and could easily see myself using any of the methods mentioned above. In general, from those of you who have played with many different DM's and/or DM yourself, are items that can resurrect the dead uncommon or extremely difficult to obtain? How about items that can restore massive quantities of health in a very short period of time? Just wondering how hard most people make it to avoid death all together.

Digital Arcanist
12-30-2007, 01:58 PM
I equip myself with healing torcs and and other magical gear to stave off death as early as possible. Some DM's have a policy of supply/demand and others make you quest for such an item. Its about 50/50 in my experience.

Maelstrom
12-30-2007, 02:26 PM
I'm coming in late, but here goes. I like to make really challenging but attainable adventures. When its regarding a major part of the story, or facing a major villian, my measuring stick is whether in the final conflict most of the players went down but not out.

It makes an interesting choice for the remaining players to aid their teammate and lose a round and possibly take a hit, or let a hero die. In a perfectly balanced session, a couple characters would see the villian finished and be able to nurse the rest back to health.

This allows a sense of danger where players don't feel invincible, but also allows them attempt heroic actions and feel fully challenged.

This balance is a lot easier in the early levels however. When you start facing dragons and beholders, player death is almost inevitable, but then in those cases you have access to Raise dead spells and such.

To answer the second question:
I couldn't imagine trying to build adventures for players of all levels. The players with lower levels may survive with enough help from the others, but they certainly won't have as much fun. I agree with the others that if there is a player death, they create another that is close to the rest of the players in power. I don't know about penalizing them... A heroic death of a PC is something to remember and adds to the drama of a campaign, so a player shouldn't be penalized by coming in at a lower level, they should be consoled. I like the idea of letting them create their new character with usually unavailable choices, such as the option of using a race from the monster manual.

Dimthar
12-30-2007, 02:30 PM
One One time a Mage (which was not a particular villain, just another Bad Guy) threw a Fireball at the Party, after rolling the damage, 4 out 5 players handed me their sheets and the fifth was -5, as Gary mentioned before, it was not much a climatic moment, so I gave them a Reflex Save for dismissing all damage and if failed they re-rolled their saving throw, still one PC died.

We were not much into resurrection, if one PC died, the player will create a new PC, one level lower than his previous character. The PCs body and belongings were buried together (For another party to rob!)

But now that I think about it, our two handed longsword munchkin ranger had his sex changed to female (Though it was a belt of Giant Strength), died, was reincarnated into a talking Parrot to later be reincarnated into a Hal-Orc. My Bard made tons of money by publishing his story.

rabkala
12-30-2007, 02:41 PM
Myself(usually) and about 80% of the DM's I have played with in recent years, have a rather high magic world like Forgotten Realms on steroids. If there are items or spells that are in the books we allow (which is nearly all of them), they are readily available in any city that can support it ( look for a city stat block- size/population/gp limit/ total assets).

I don't generally go out of my way to give out great healing or life sustaining magic, but the players generally do go out of their way to make sure they find such things when possible. About the only things that might be more common in my worlds are reincarnation and my special deck of many things. I love monstrous races, randomness, and cross classing. So, I do not impose many of the penalties on them that might be found in most worlds. I also love when a character suddenly is forced into a very different role because his body drastically changed.

Mulsiphix
12-30-2007, 03:28 PM
I also love when a character suddenly is forced into a very different role because his body drastically changed.This sounds very interesting. Could you cite an example?

ronpyatt
12-30-2007, 06:49 PM
One thing nobody has addressed so far though is how you design adventures for a group of very varied PC levels? If you have four players and the levels are 2, 7, 13, and 17, how can you possibly create any encounter that the level 17 PC won't dominate?
Simple. Split the tasks into the various levels and difficulty based on the character class and level. When a lock needs to be picked by a 3rd level Rogue, have the 17th level Wizard get occupied by a monster or other appropriate task. It's all about sizing up the situation and throwing the right person at the right job.
D&D doesn't often lend itself easy to have this kind of adventuring party, but it can be done.

Mulsiphix
12-30-2007, 08:34 PM
Yeah but if all your using your low level characters for is non-combat tasks, especially if that player was previously combat heavy like a Warrior or Paladin, then the player probably won't have much fun. I agree though that if enough care was put into design that suitable adventures could be tailored for such a group.

rabkala
12-30-2007, 10:47 PM
This sounds very interesting. Could you cite an example?
Recently, a young player started in one of my groups. He was a half elven swashbucker 2 levels below the party average after dying twice in rapid succession. The player was having a hard time due to his lack of D&D experience , a previous GM in another system who was afraid to kill players, and some real bad luck. When they were headed back to the ruins of a dungeon they believed held an artifact, the new player was killed again in a minor forest encounter. The ranger tracked the creature looking for its lair, in the small treasure they discovered was a scroll of reincarnation.

I rolled on my new and improved reincarnation table and came up with Flind which is a +2 LA (One of the best possible on my table). He now kept his inteligence, wisdom, and charisma but suddenly got +6 strenth, +2 dex, and +4 con. I suggested a prestige class which would be great for his newly improved character. He then took a couple levels of fighter for the feats so he could enter the dervish prestige class. It was completely different than his original plans, but he is now kicking butt like a pro.

Another time a player took a template which was really not helping, the 2 level hit was really killing his HP and his character repeatedly. A friendly druid turned him into a lizardfolk which wiped away the bad template choice and the level hit. The 2 monstrous hit die boost for the lizardfolk really helped. He then decided that the elven prestige class that he was aiming for wouldn't work all that well, so a quick multi classing dip into two other base classes to aim for a different prestige class. The fact that I didn't force the 20% multi-classing penalty worked great. That character lived until the end of the campaign.

Sometimes a little help with a monster race and a little nudge of advice can turn a sub-optimal character choice into a death machine.

Mulsiphix
12-30-2007, 11:03 PM
Sometimes a little help with a monster race and a little nudge of advice can turn a sub-optimal character choice into a death machine.One of the sexiest things I've heard about gaming in a long time. Thats the kind of thing you keep in the back of your D&D notebook. When the chips are down you read it and BAM your remember your never truly down and out :p

Digital Arcanist
12-30-2007, 11:59 PM
What is a Flind? I don't recall that race in any of the books.

Mulsiphix
12-31-2007, 12:44 AM
Straight from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnoll): "Within the context of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, one notable subrace of gnoll is the flind (alternately spelled flynd), which is shorter, broader, and stronger than other gnolls; flinds are often found leading a tribe or settlement of gnolls. Flinds use a nunchaku-like weapon called a flindbar, which consists of a pair of metal rods linked together by a chain."

Xaels Greyshadow
12-31-2007, 12:04 PM
Is the Flind from a published source, or homebrew, or mix of information? I have MM I-IV and can't find it anywhere in my spot check? That's a good alternative race and character booster I would like to remember and possibly work into a game sometime maybe.

Mulsiphix
12-31-2007, 12:17 PM
I found Flind in the Tome Of Horrors (revised), although it was made by Necromancer Games, on page 199.

Mulsiphix
12-31-2007, 12:23 PM
I just came across it in MMIII. In the table of contents it is listed as Gnoll, Flind. If you go to page 62 it covers stats and shows the artwork of a Flind.

Digital Arcanist
12-31-2007, 12:24 PM
A Flind appears to be an old 1e or 2e creature, which is why I didn't recognize them. Back in those days I never faced gnolls, only undead, orcs, beholders and the rest of the widely recognized monsters of the D&D universe.

Drohem
12-31-2007, 04:25 PM
Yes, the Flind were from 1st and 2nd AD&D.

Mulsiphix
12-31-2007, 05:49 PM
Yes, the Flind were from 1st and 2nd AD&D.They're clearly still present in 3.X.

rabkala
12-31-2007, 07:35 PM
Flinds were really cool back in 2e when they used there flind bars to disarm opponents easily. I still like to use them in 3.x whenever I use gnolls.

I love some of the old less popular monsters. Some have not been updated in the manuals, but you can find them in various sources. The Flumph is in Dungeon 118 I think, anyone remember them? How about the Urd, kind of like flying kobolds (which first appeared in the Realms I believe)?

Anyway, I guess I'm derailing the thread again, there are many ways to soften the blow of character death.

One thing to watch out for are players who have grown overly attached to their characters. Sometimes people just identify tooo closely with a character. Sometimes people have adverse things happening in the real world, like the death of a loved one. Watch for things like that so you can avoid a major freak out, uncomfortable crying fit, player storming out, quiting, etc

Mulsiphix
12-31-2007, 08:44 PM
Have you seriously had a player that was responsible for an uncomfortable crying fit? If so PLEASE tell me about that time. I can imagine people freaking out, quitting, or storming out under certain circumstances but crying... just hard to visualize what could send a D&D'er over the edge.

Digital Arcanist
12-31-2007, 09:44 PM
Perhaps if your character is swirlied to death by a group of athletic orcs?

Mulsiphix
12-31-2007, 10:11 PM
Were you serving citrus and the player, their PC just dying, was so upset he slammed his fists down on the table and an orange slice flew into his eye?

rabkala
01-01-2008, 12:05 AM
There have been several times where players have cried at my gaming tables, and it wasn't just good role-playing.

In the most memorable instance, a young guy had lost his mother. One of the other players knew he was having a hard time of it, but "wasn't ready to talk about it." The second time we played after his loss (most of us still didn't know), his character died in a major battle. He just started sobbing, like nothing I have ever heard. Playing D&D was a huge release for him. It was his only way to escape the horror of real life, until the game became too much like real life. A couple of the guys were giving him kind of a hard time, and the kid started screaming. Of course, we could understand none of it through his weeping. He then threw things off the table and ran off.

We were shocked and appalled by his behavior at first. Then, we heard why this all happened, and we couldn't believe how blind and insensitive we were. I was particularly stunned by how little I knew some of my players.

After that, I made an extra effort to keep in touch with my players. An occasional call or email just to touch base with them to see how they were doing, really helped me get a better feel for them. I also spent more time getting to know new guys. Many times, people would join and just seem to fit in fine. They just became one of the D&D guys and you took it for granted that you barely knew them. While I become great friends with some players and play with some great friends that I have had for a long while, not all become that close.

There have been other incidents. One I never knew why, and never saw the player again. No incidents in recent years. So either; I am better at judging my players, closer to my players, or just not such a mean SOB anymore.

Mulsiphix
01-01-2008, 02:31 AM
Do you recruit these guys locally? Sounds like you've gone through quite a lot of players. Just wondering how many campaigns you've run. I know some people here run game stores or frequent game stores that hold regular D&D games.

rabkala
01-01-2008, 10:53 AM
Well, I have played since '79 and moved several times. I usually run more than one game at a time and prefer larger groups. For about a 12 year stretch I ran open games at local shops in addition to my home games. I have also DMed at small time conventions. I don't think I could count all the people I have played with nor all the games I have run or in which I played. My home games are generally pretty stable. Right now I have two home games each with 4 stable long time players and play in another game with 5 stable players. I prefer to have 6 per group. People move, schedules change, life gets busy, etc.

Mulsiphix
01-01-2008, 12:58 PM
Wow. I forget just how long the true D&D players have been able to play this game. This community is a blessing to newcomers like myself.

upidstay
01-01-2008, 01:29 PM
I would generally try and avoid PC death. You can do other, sometimes worse things than outright killing them. Magic items, powerful NPc's, etc. to resurect a PC should be available. I had a Well of life in one campaign (stole the idea from the REALLY old D+D game on the Sega Genesis) that would resurect pretty much on demand.
I actually had a player ask me to kill a character they had gotten bored with. I think she dove into a marauding dragons mouth to rescue someone. Had a Daerns Instant Fortress in her pack which she activated (turns from a 1' mini tower to a 90' tower in 10 seconds.Split the dragon's head wide open)

Mulsiphix
01-01-2008, 04:38 PM
I actually had a player ask me to kill a character they had gotten bored with. I think she dove into a marauding dragons mouth to rescue someone. Had a Daerns Instant Fortress in her pack which she activated (turns from a 1' mini tower to a 90' tower in 10 seconds.Split the dragon's head wide open)Did she want to be resurrected after that or did she just want to create a new character? That is one hell of a way to go out with a bang though. That is the kind of death I would be greatly inclined to reward when they were creating their next character.

snake8654
01-01-2008, 11:18 PM
Well there are ways to bring a character back of course. Like if you have a high level priest you can use a spell to bring them back. Also if you can find a gold dragon he can bring them back to life also. But anything really magical with resection properties would work to.

Mulsiphix
01-01-2008, 11:34 PM
Using a spell, except in an epic battle, almost seems a bit cheap to me. Bringing back a character seems like it should be a trial by fire kind of thing. To bring anybody back from the dead great lengths and further danger should be expected :D

Maelstrom
01-02-2008, 08:32 AM
Using a spell, except in an epic battle, almost seems a bit cheap to me. Bringing back a character seems like it should be a trial by fire kind of thing. To bring anybody back from the dead great lengths and further danger should be expected :D

Heh, and then what happens if another PC dies while trying to resurrect another?

upidstay
01-02-2008, 09:09 AM
Yes, he was rewarded (it was a guy playing a femal character) when he rolled up another one. It was a group of players I sort of inherited. Sat in with a friend's group for a game or two, then the DM left for some reason, and I was the only one willing to run it. They were all pretty high level, and we ended that campaign shortly after. Ended with 7 or 8 20+ level characters, all victims of a Monte Hall DM. How many +5 weapons can one have?
And yes, that pc's death was talked about for a long time after. Sort of like Bruenor with the keg of oil on his back.

Mulsiphix
01-02-2008, 11:06 AM
Heh, and then what happens if another PC dies while trying to resurrect another?Alright maybe not a trial by fire. More of a "remember what we had to go through to bring you back? Seriously be more careful!" kind of thing. Not enough danger to kill somebody but enough of a nuisance that the PC who died is more careful? Not the kind of thing I would do every adventure but definitely something I would do for over zealous PC's who played a little to impulsively.

tesral
01-05-2008, 05:53 PM
Dead players? No laughing matter really. I have buried four players.

My first wife Denise died of a heart attack. That was the roughest one. Rodney died of congestive heart failure. Art, who was a usher when I married Susan died of cancer. Simon, died much too young of complications of diabetes. He was 25.

We have also had our share of the weddings and births, so there is joy to leaven the sorrow.

Mulsiphix
01-05-2008, 10:42 PM
Dead players? No laughing matter really. I have buried four players.

My first wife Denise died of a heart attack. That was the roughest one. Rodney died of congestive heart failure. Art, who was a usher when I married Susan died of cancer. Simon, died much too young of complications of diabetes. He was 25.

We have also had our share of the weddings and births, so there is joy to leaven the sorrow.Is it just me or did the digital air in the forum just become so thick you could cut it with a knife. Whether you made this up or you are serious, you have my condolences :(

tesral
01-05-2008, 10:51 PM
Is it just me or did the digital air in the forum just become so thick you could cut it with a knife. Whether you made this up or you are serious, you have my condolences :(

I have had a long and interesting life my friend. Yes, it's real. Live a few years down the road and you to will have to bury friends and lovers.

Tomorrow is my 50th birthday. Pretty much from here on in the funerals get more common.

That said: Live life, seize the day. One cannot dwell on death lest one die well before the grave. I'll be playing until they shove the dirt over me.

Mulsiphix
01-05-2008, 11:07 PM
I'll be playing until they shove the dirt over me.And after if there is such a thing as an afterlife and your lucky :p

Maelstrom
01-07-2008, 05:40 AM
D&D In the Afterlife, now theres a scary thought.

The supplements are probably all sold by TSR, considering they are dead...

Mulsiphix
01-07-2008, 09:53 AM
Are you kidding? In the afterlife Gary Gygax is selling everything from the drunk of his car. D&D in the afterlife is OLDSCHOOL! :p

rabkala
01-07-2008, 11:00 AM
Is the drunk in Gary's car his little brother Ernie? I have heard rumors, but...:p

Mulsiphix
01-07-2008, 01:30 PM
Lol nice typo there. Yup Ernie is getting in on the action in the afterlife. He may not be accepted in this life as a drunk selling old D&D modules from his car but in the afterlife such behavior is perfectly acceptable :)

DrAwkward
01-09-2008, 03:34 PM
Alright I've got a question for you DM's who like to run long term campaigns. How do you handle player deaths? I've often toyed with the idea of making player death impossible. Instead I would penalize them horribly XP, financially, or something else that would make them think twice before making another careless decision that could cost them their life. Do you also make death impossible or do you somehow provide an adventure for a party composed of characters ranging from levels 3 to 20?

There are a few things I do to make it harder to die. I advise against making it impossible, as that takes out the challenge.

My "Kid Gloves" House Rules:

Save vs Energy Drain -- You get an initial Fort save to avoid receiving any negative level that could become permanent. This applies to attacks by undead or demons with energy drain, but not to magic items that bestow them while equipped, or spells that bestow negative levels that always wear off harmlessly. If an attack (like from a vampire) bestows multiple negative levels, you save multiple times (once per negative level).

Losing a level sucks so hard. I felt a need to nerf energy drain.


Fort save to stabilize -- You do not die at -10, and stabilization is not a % roll. When you go below 0 hit points, you make a fort save (DC = 10 - your HP) to stabilize. If you fail by 20, you die. A natural one does not automatically kill you, it simply means you fail to stabilize.
For example, at -3 hit points, its a DC = (10 - (-3) ) = 13. At -15 hit points its a DC 25 to stabilize, and if you fail a DC 5 you die. The DC to stabilize can be replaced with another's Heal check.

The idea here is that at the lower levels its a nice buffer, and greatly increases a character's survival. It doesn't keep them conscious any longer than usual, though. At the higher levels, you take so much damage at a time, the 0 to -10 range doesn't come much into play anymore; this should make it so your tanks can drop with a chance of still living through it. It also gives a reason for the cleric to keep his Heal skill up to date.


Diehard feat is changed a bit for this rule. If you succeed, you remain conscious but staggered. If you fail, you fall unconscious but stable. You still die if you fail by 20.

Will to Live (General Feat)
Prereq: base will save +2
Effect: You may roll a Will save instead of a Fort save to stabilize or avoid death from massive damage. Other instant-kill fort save effects are not included.

Otherwise, if a player really does die - its only a 5th level spell to come back.

If a player retires a character or decided to stay dead, they can bring in another character at the low end of an appropriate level for the party. Gear is handled depending on the campaign, and what happened to the old character's stuff. In really long term campaigns I encourage the players to have a backup character ready, and bring them into the game as a background support character. They stay "off camera" until they get swapped in due to a retirement or death, but they are known to the party and it doesn't seem silly for the group to welcome them in and share loot.

Riftwalker
01-09-2008, 04:01 PM
I like how these scale, Dr. Awkward, especially the save to stabilize.

Maelstrom
01-09-2008, 06:07 PM
Wow, some really great rules there. Very well thought out Doctor.

What do you do about turning to stone? You remain alive, but instead of a 5th level clerical spell to be brought back, you need a 6th level sorc/wizard spell, and you have to make a DC 15 Fort to survive.

Personally, I plan on turning stone to be a gradual thing for an upcoming adventure... you might as well be dead if you fail the save.

rabkala
01-09-2008, 06:48 PM
I don't know if I like the fort save to stabilize. It seems a bit to good for fighters especially, since spellcasters would have to waste one of their very few feats to get a good save at stabilization. The whole thing seems a bit too unbalanced and awkward.

I can get with the nerfed energy drain for the most part.

Mulsiphix
01-10-2008, 05:10 AM
Entire PostI love a DM who takes the time to make death a little less probable, especially for weaker lower level characters. I'm all for smiting the stupid but honest "tried my hardest" deaths in mundane situations seem so pointless.

Maelstrom
01-10-2008, 08:48 AM
I don't know if I like the fort save to stabilize. It seems a bit to good for fighters especially, since spellcasters would have to waste one of their very few feats to get a good save at stabilization. The whole thing seems a bit too unbalanced and awkward.

I don't think so... it does smack of more realism. Really what the fort save means (as long as they don't fail terribly) is that more frail characters would be less likely to stabilize on their own, which makes sense. The front line fighters with the high fortitude will go down will be able to stabilize easier due to their higher constitutions, so they know they can charge into battle in more heroic acts enhancing the game, while they also know that they must protect their casters or risk losing them.

The Will to Live feat is a nice touch... I can see a cleric jumping for that one, as if he goes down and can't stabilize, who will save him?

DrAwkward
01-10-2008, 10:46 AM
What do you do about turning to stone? You remain alive, but instead of a 5th level clerical spell to be brought back, you need a 6th level sorc/wizard spell, and you have to make a DC 15 Fort to survive.
Hadn't put any thought into that one. I rarely use petrifying creatures or spells versus the party. I put that up with the Bodak's "save or die" gaze -- rarely, and only for good reason.


I don't know if I like the fort save to stabilize. It seems a bit to good for fighters especially, since spellcasters would have to waste one of their very few feats to get a good save at stabilization. The whole thing seems a bit too unbalanced and awkward.

It does favor the fighter types, yes. I feel the worst for the rogues, though. I thought a while about it, and reviewed who it was that tends to die the most in my game and why. My rogues know not to tank, and the casters hang back. It's typically the fighter's job to trudge in and show everyone how the monster works. I'm throwing them a needed bone.

All the percentile mechanics bother me. Stabilaztion, concealment, and armor check penalty are what seem awkward to me. I'm thinking over a house rule to use concentration checks minus double your armor-check penalty for casting in armor, but it so rarely comes up I don't have much incentive to persue it.

tesral
01-10-2008, 03:34 PM
All the percentile mechanics bother me.

Percentage is one of the easiest things to reduce to d20. Just saying.

Mulsiphix
01-10-2008, 03:41 PM
Percentile dice are what bother me. I can deal with percents all day long and be fine. When I have to roll a four sided die to derive them, I get queasy.

tesral
01-10-2008, 03:46 PM
Percentile dice are what bother me. I can deal with percents all day long and be fine. When I have to roll a four sided die to derive them, I get queasy.

Now you have me confused. When does a d4 come into any percental roll? d100, a pair of d10 read 10s and 1s. Chessex even has them marked that way.

Mulsiphix
01-10-2008, 04:21 PM
I bought several dice sets a several months ago and a few came with four sided dice in the shape of a pyramid. Each side contains two to three different percents on it. Not only do I not get how you read them, they really don't roll. They just lye flat wherever they fall.

Maelstrom
01-10-2008, 04:24 PM
4 sided dice are the only ones I can't get to spin for a minute...

Mulsiphix
01-10-2008, 04:29 PM
I know right? Have you ever dropped a D10 or D20 on a hard surface from several feet above? They skip and jump all over the place as if they were a football falling from the heavens :rolleyes:

tesral
01-10-2008, 04:36 PM
I bought several dice sets a several months ago and a few came with four sided dice in the shape of a pyramid. Each side contains two to three different percents on it. Not only do I not get how you read them, they really don't roll. They just lye flat wherever they fall.

AH ,I see your confusion. Two kinds of d4, the normal ones and the Chessex "topsiders". In either case you read the number that is right side up. 1 to 4, it is a four sided die. Old fashion ones will have the number at the bottom. The topsiders will have the number at the top. Read the number that is right side up.

No, d4s do not roll you kind of have to toss them with a spin.

Maelstrom
01-10-2008, 04:37 PM
Yup, still find dice under the furniture from those times... Ok, maybe just a tad bit of an exaggeration.

Also, if you're trying to stack dice on top of each other, 4 sided ones mess everything up.

DrAwkward
01-10-2008, 04:53 PM
I know right? Have you ever dropped a D10 or D20 on a hard surface from several feet above? They skip and jump all over the place as if they were a football falling from the heavens :rolleyes:

Ever tried to roll a d30? or the dreaded "true" hundred-sided die? You need some time on your hands if you wanna use those regularly.

Maelstrom
01-10-2008, 04:57 PM
Might as well just put numbers on a ball...

rabkala
01-10-2008, 09:35 PM
I machined several d6s, D10s and d20s from blocks of stainless steel. I think I will make a whole set eventually. Meatal dies are the coolest. Especially a whole mess of d6s for damage. I just need to figure how to rig the dice so they come up on the numbers I want now!

Riftwalker
01-10-2008, 09:47 PM
I machined several d6s, D10s and d20s from blocks of stainless steel. I think I will make a whole set eventually. Meatal dies are the coolest. Especially a whole mess of d6s for damage. I just need to figure how to rig the dice so they come up on the numbers I want now!

And they're magnetic!

rabkala
01-10-2008, 09:50 PM
And they're magnetic!
Stainless steel isn't magnetic. I suppose I could make some mild steel dies and polish them up, but you don't want rusty dice.

Riftwalker
01-10-2008, 10:31 PM
So I looked it up, and it looks like the correct answer is: maybe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel



Martensitic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martensite) stainless steels are not as corrosion resistant as the other two classes, but are extremely strong and tough as well as highly machineable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machining), and can be hardened by heat treatment. Martensitic stainless steel contains chromium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium) (12-14%), molybdenum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molybdenum) (0.2-1%), zero to less than 2% nickel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel), and about 0.1-1% carbon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon) (giving it more hardness but making the material a bit more brittle). It is quenched and magnetic. It is also known as "series-00" steel.


(Bold and underline added!)

tesral
01-10-2008, 11:05 PM
Yup, still find dice under the furniture from those times... Ok, maybe just a tad bit of an exaggeration.

Dice under the furniture is a real problem around here. Lost four siders will really wake you up if you step on them in the middle of the night.

tesral
01-10-2008, 11:06 PM
Ever tried to roll a d30? or the dreaded "true" hundred-sided die? You need some time on your hands if you wanna use those regularly.

They never stop rolling and you still can't tell what number is on top.

rabkala
01-10-2008, 11:20 PM
Okay you got me in a generalized blanket statement, your point? The vast majority of Stainless steel is not magnetic. The most common types in use in my sector- 201, 301, 304, 316, 321 are not magnetic. I have worked in the metal industry as a top custom fabricator for many years. I don't think it would be prudent to special order unusual magnetic stainless steel and draw attention to my screwing off on business time.
So in conclusion, my player character killing - cool sounding stainless steel dice will remain non magnetic. :)

Riftwalker
01-10-2008, 11:35 PM
I was just giving you a hard time. I bet they look pretty awesome. Upload a pic?

Drohem
01-10-2008, 11:58 PM
Ever tried to roll a d30? or the dreaded "true" hundred-sided die? You need some time on your hands if you wanna use those regularly.

hehe...I love my golf ball die (d100)! You just need a good light source and maynifying glass to read it. Oh, and it sounded cool when it rolled. :)

Drohem
01-11-2008, 12:01 AM
Dice under the furniture is a real problem around here. Lost four siders will really wake you up if you step on them in the middle of the night.


hehe...that reminds me...

many moons ago, we had a roaring drinking party and we were all pretty smashed...we decided that we all had to take our shoes off for the night...we took the bag chalk full of dice and pulled out all the d4s. We then randomly threw them about the very small apartment kitchen and living room....

ah...good old drinking and d4s! Good times!

Mulsiphix
01-11-2008, 12:06 AM
I actually stepped on a D4 in the middle of the night. Colorful language ensued, followed by a launch of the die into orbit :D

upidstay
01-11-2008, 07:18 AM
I left my dice out on the floor one day, and my mom came into my room for something, barefoot, and stepped right on the pile of d4's. Man was she mad.

I have a big, honkin' d20 I bought at a con about 15 years ago. Size of a small apple. Makes a very satisfying "thunk" when it hits the table. I use it for special rolls, call it my "d20 of doom".
And personally, I always hated those d 30's and d100's. The d30 is just useless, IMO. The d100 is cool, but you need to set up barriers to keep it from rolling off the table, and like a previous poster said, it takes a magnifying glass to read the stupid thing. I traded mine for something. I think I got the better end of the deal.

Riftwalker
01-11-2008, 08:14 AM
LOL @ d4 improvised caltrops!

tesral
01-11-2008, 10:42 AM
I actually stepped on a D4 in the middle of the night. Colorful language ensued, followed by a launch of the die into orbit :D

To be refound in the dark and stepped on latter. :eek:




many moons ago, we had a roaring drinking party and we were all pretty smashed...we decided that we all had to take our shoes off for the night...we took the bag chalk full of dice and pulled out all the d4s. We then randomly threw them about the very small apartment kitchen and living room....

I am remined how many Darwin Award nominations start "They were drinking and...."


I have a few "cool dice" The solid brass d20 two inches across, the "Damage Die" as it is called. The casino six siders that are not drilled so they roll true. They are used primarily as stat rollers.

The Zhorch dice, or the "Stat Builders". Those take some explanation. About 15 years ago we were working the local PBS station auction soliciting donations for the station. Hey they get all that stuff from somewhere. They rewarded their foragers with auction bucks you could spend at the auction, so of course we did. People that paid cash for good got a free dice game, Zhorch, that consisted of 9 d6 marked 5-10. They got repurposed at once. I forget the point of the game, it was lame. They were donated because they wouldn't sell. It's cool to pull out three d6; "I got a 25".

Drohem
01-11-2008, 12:36 PM
People that paid cash for good got a free dice game, Zhorch, that consisted of 9 d6 marked 5-10. They got repurposed at once. I forget the point of the game, it was lame. They were donated because they wouldn't sell. It's cool to pull out three d6; "I got a 25".

Those sound like cool collector dice for gamers!

Mulsiphix
01-11-2008, 01:49 PM
Those of you posting about your awesome or rare dice need to take some pictures and share the goodness. I haven't seen too many exotic or collectible dice. It would be nice to have an image to go with the data ;)

Maelstrom
01-11-2008, 01:55 PM
I like the ones that are a set of normal polyhedral dice, except for where the 1 would be it says D'oh!

Mulsiphix
01-11-2008, 02:01 PM
I've got a few themed D6's. My favorite are my dino dice. I'll post a picture of my collection soon enough. Maybe in a new thread though ;)

Drohem
01-11-2008, 03:06 PM
Here is an attachment with pictures of my speciality dice.

I have several d30s. My d6s with skull and crossbones for '1'. My d100 golf ball. My d12 hit location die. My d8 directional die. my rare d34 die. and my precious Root Beer dice set. I bought that set like 20 years ago, and package actually said "Root Beer" dice set. :)

Mulsiphix
01-11-2008, 05:40 PM
Wow thost D100's really are almost completely spherical :eek:

DrAwkward
01-11-2008, 06:56 PM
Wow thost D100's really are almost completely spherical :eek:

Yes, indeed; It's like numbering the dimples on a golf ball.

I think some of them are hollow with a few BBs inside just to prevent them from becoming perpetual motion devices. (Maybe that's why Drohem's sounded cool when it rolled)

Mulsiphix
01-11-2008, 08:21 PM
I have some spherical D6's. They have small weights inside so one of the sides always ends face up. Takes a little bit for them to settle but I like them a lot.

http://www.bgamers.com/images/d6round.jpg

tesral
01-12-2008, 12:58 AM
Those of you posting about your awesome or rare dice need to take some pictures and share the goodness. I haven't seen too many exotic or collectible dice. It would be nice to have an image to go with the data ;)


From left to right. The Damage die d1000 and d10,000, Death dice, 2 of the 12 Casino dice from Harvey's, The "Mood" die, and the Zhorch dice (Stat Builders)



http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/SS_Modeler/mvc-736f.jpg

Mulsiphix
01-12-2008, 02:06 AM
I own the following (just bought not to long ago so I'll use the website images):

http://www.bgamers.com/images/CHH7_2500cRdBlu.jpg

http://www.bgamers.com/images/d6colorspots.jpg

http://www.bgamers.com/images/d6bone.jpg

http://www.bgamers.com/images/tsdice25mm.jpg

http://www.bgamers.com/images/KOPalphaWhite.jpg

tesral
01-12-2008, 02:08 AM
I own the following (just bought not to long ago so I'll use the website images):


http://www.bgamers.com/images/d6bone.jpg



I see they took the sheep off them first.

Mulsiphix
01-12-2008, 02:21 AM
Here is the lot I bought from unclesgames.com:

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/02988.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/08674.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N00856.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/n00858.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N00862.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/thumbs/N01955_1.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26623.jpg

Mulsiphix
01-12-2008, 02:24 AM
http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26626.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26628.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26629.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N27608.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N27633.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N27635.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/NLE460.jpg

upidstay
01-13-2008, 09:36 AM
Anybody have any of the metal of semi-precious stone dice sets I've seen advertised? I won a set on EBay once for a crazy price (like $15 for a set of some sort of stone) but the seller backed out. I saw a previous poster made a set of stainless.

tesral
01-13-2008, 10:41 AM
Anybody have any of the metal of semi-precious stone dice sets I've seen advertised? I won a set on EBay once for a crazy price (like $15 for a set of some sort of stone) but the seller backed out. I saw a previous poster made a set of stainless.

Some of stones will go higher than that easy. I've seen them butt they are gaming jewels, not usable dice. I never felt the need to spend thirty to sixty bucks to have a fancy set of dice I can't really use.

rabkala
01-13-2008, 10:53 AM
I would also be afraid to actually use the stone dice. I have seen pictures, but never actually seen anyone with stone dice. I guess it depends on the stone and such, but they are really expensive to risk damage.

I got the idea to make my stainless dice because of the ridiculous prices that they sought for metal dice. It isn't hard to make them if you have the equipment. I was actually thinking I would try to make a set for each of my players for Christmas (or other holiday for my other players) next year.

tesral
01-13-2008, 11:06 AM
I would also be afraid to actually use the stone dice. I have seen pictures, but never actually seen anyone with stone dice. I guess it depends on the stone and such, but they are really expensive to risk damage.

I've handled them, one LHS had them in a display case. They are small, and you would not want to roll them on a hard surface.


I got the idea to make my stainless dice because of the ridiculous prices that they sought for metal dice. It isn't hard to make them if you have the equipment. I was actually thinking I would try to make a set for each of my players for Christmas (or other holiday for my other players) next year.

That would be exceptionally cool. Most anything is easy if you have the tools. Most people don't have access to the kind of metal machining tools that making dice would require. I have a wide variety of high end office machines. I make books easily.

Mulsiphix
01-13-2008, 05:50 PM
These are my dino dice. My favorite set :D

http://g2ch.com/Graphics/Dice/DiceGames/dinogame_g.jpg

Drohem
01-14-2008, 10:39 PM
http://www.bgamers.com/images/d6colorspots.jpg



http://www.bgamers.com/images/KOPalphaWhite.jpg

What are the dot dice for?

What is the letter die for?

Drohem
01-14-2008, 10:39 PM
These are my dino dice. My favorite set :D

http://g2ch.com/Graphics/Dice/DiceGames/dinogame_g.jpg

hehehe...dino dice...those look cool!! :cool:

Drohem
01-14-2008, 10:40 PM
Here is the lot I bought from unclesgames.com:



http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/08674.jpg




Those alien dice are cool too!! :cool:

Drohem
01-14-2008, 10:42 PM
http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26626.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26628.jpg

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N26629.jpg





oooh...those multi-colored dice are cool too!

Mulsiphix
01-14-2008, 11:00 PM
Most of these dice came just as pictured but some of them I was unsatisfied with. The alien dice were two very different shades of green (one glows much brighter than the other) and the die pictured below wasn't as beautiful as the picture. The one I received was almost completely translucent with only a small amount of the blue/purple stuff in it. Other than that I was very pleased.

http://www.unclesgames.com/images/products/N27608.jpg

Mulsiphix
01-14-2008, 11:11 PM
We use the dot die for a variety of situations. My wife and I actually play a lot of dice based games to pass time while waiting in line, at a doctors office, long car rides, etc... The colored dots are assigned anything from numerical values from 1 to 6 or letters, words, or whatever to suit what we're playing. I actually own 16 of the alphabet dice. We roll them and play a game similar to boggle where you try to make as many words out of them as you can in a given amount of time. During the game we'll roll only X of the dice and try to spell words for bonus rounds. The fewer dice the harder. Nobody ever does that well when playing with us. Our two to five letter mental dictionaries are extensive indeed from countless days of playing Scrabble and with these dice in the car.

Digital Arcanist
01-14-2008, 11:15 PM
So we're done talking about handling player death?

Mulsiphix
01-14-2008, 11:19 PM
Nope. Sorry I'll create a new thread.

Digital Arcanist
01-14-2008, 11:24 PM
Nah...you don't have to create a new thread. I was just wondering if anyone had any other thoughts.

I don't want to interrupt your role-player's version of a pissing contest.:D

Mulsiphix
01-14-2008, 11:38 PM
Too late (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18136#post18136) :o

Riftwalker
01-14-2008, 11:40 PM
It's all still on topic. Save or die, right?

Mulsiphix
01-14-2008, 11:51 PM
Nope that was another topic. One I hope we don't see for a very long time lol :D

Riftwalker
01-14-2008, 11:53 PM
Bah. I got lost amongst all the open tabs of topics I'm still getting to.

Forum critical fumble confirmed. :-/

tesral
01-15-2008, 07:10 AM
What are the dot dice for?

What is the letter die for?

What for I don't know, but it is a d30, so it can hold the entire alaphabet and some. One side was marked "wild".

upidstay
01-15-2008, 07:25 AM
Hah! MY dice bag is bigger than YOUR dice bag!!

tesral
01-15-2008, 07:43 AM
So we're done talking about handling player death?

I believe that Character death is what was meant. One has to be careful about that. New players do not grow on trees.

One handles it as it happens. I haven't had too many PCs die permanent deaths. The fore mentioned Grishnar in another thread. One or two others. Mostly from inexperienced gamers or the not so bright gamers.

I have thing I call "nooses". It is a situation patently deadly, maybe not at once, but a Bad Idea (TM) from the start. I make it fairly plain it's a bad idea. Smart players nod sagely and keep stepping. Not so smart players try them on for size.

Classic case that resulted in two permanent PC deaths. Third level PCs. They enter the dark foreboding castle on the hill in a pouring rainstorm. In the back they find a ruined chapel. Across the altar is the body of a beautiful woman pierced between the breasts with a great sword that is shoved into the very stone beneath her. Light beams down from the ruined windows onto the Altar. Mind you when they came it it was dusk and pouring rain.

My Son, whom Daddy did not raise a fool said "Don't TOUCH it!". The Magician (whose player was not so wise), touched it. pulled the sword out in fact. UP rose the really pissed off multi level vampire and smote the guy holding the dangerous sword (magician) twice, dead. She then charmed the Faun, (female Satyr) the Ranger got out his bow to defend the retreating party. She took him down pronto (wood hurts). The party got the hell out. Three characters down.

They later recovered the Faun, alive and a pawn of the Vampire (which they took no pains to discover.) the Magician and Ranger were never recovered. The Magician's player, a clue resistant fellow that over time never did learn better (he was the "Do I wake up." guy) got to roll a PC with less XP for dying stupid. The other player got bonus XP for the new PC for dying heroic, defending the party retreat under impossible odds.

But they never should have touched the scene, and were told as much.

Drohem
01-15-2008, 12:58 PM
I think that the reality and possibility of character death is necessary in order to have a successful game and storyline. Without it, why bother going through the motions of game mechanics? Just write up a story.

Character death is necessary to make a game or storyline truly heroic. In my RPG career, I have had many character deaths. No big deal.

Most most memorable was with a 3rd GURPS character named Fierce Fox. This was in a homebrew fantasy campaign. He was from a culture similiar to the Plains Indians of North America. His pony was named Freewind. Demons were the main evil in this campaign world, and there was a gigantic, fast, and powerful demon loose that the characters were trying to defeat. The demon couldn't be taken down in one-on-one combat or by a group of heroes; it was just too powerful. We designed a plan and trap for it: we gathered all the cannons and gunpower in the immediate lands. We set kegs of gunpowder in a mill near a stream in a valley that was rimmed with hills and cliffs. We set up the cannons all around the small vale, and pre-sighted them on the mill.

Now, someone fast was needed to lure the demon to the trap. Obviously, it was a suicide mission once the cannons started firing. The only one fast and skilled enough at riding was Fierce Fox, who gladly volunteered for the job.

The last ride of Fierce Fox and Freewind was epic, and now has a place in the history of Istys (the homebrew campaign world). Fierce Fox confidently rode up the demon and counted coup on it, and then led the demon on a harrowing chase into the vale and mill. The demon was destroyed, and the Day of 10,000 Cannons and the Last Ride of Fierce Fox are still sung by bards all over Istys centuries later.

Mulsiphix
01-15-2008, 01:16 PM
Epic death is awesome! I love hearing stories about epic PC deaths. Thanks for the details of the event Drohem. One sentence "it was awesome and epic" just don't do epic stories justice. Nothing can be epic in a single sentence.

Drohem
01-16-2008, 11:41 AM
Epic death is awesome! I love hearing stories about epic PC deaths. Thanks for the details of the event Drohem. One sentence "it was awesome and epic" just don't do epic stories justice. Nothing can be epic in a single sentence.

Yeah, it was cool and epic. The demon was this colossal wormlike demon with like a hundred arms, each with a melee weapon.

He didn't have to get that close, but he did to prove his honor. Fierce Fox rode up and touched the demon; counting coup on it. Of course, the demon attacked him with a bunch of arms. I had to made a lot of dodge rolls.

The demon was extremely fast, and Fierce Fox basically had to make a slew of hard Riding skill rolls to just keep the demon like one or two hexes behind him; otherwise the demon might actually catch him before they reached the trap location.

I made all the skill checks necessary, and led the demon to the trap. It was a glorious end to a cool character. Fierce Fox had been through some hardcore shite before his glorious last ride. My friend's campaign world of Istys is hardcore grim-and-gritty.

Mulsiphix
01-16-2008, 12:38 PM
Is your friend still playing in that world or has he retired it? Sounds friggin awesome :D

Drohem
01-16-2008, 12:45 PM
Is your friend still playing in that world or has he retired it? Sounds friggin awesome :D

We started playing in his homebrew world of Istys under 3e GURPS. We are still play in his world of Istys under d20 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons now. His world has been ongoing since 1996, IIRC.

tesral
01-16-2008, 01:01 PM
We started playing in his homebrew world of Istys under 3e GURPS. We are still play in his world of Istys under d20 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons now. His world has been ongoing since 1996, IIRC.

The older they are the better they get. I don't understand people that use and discard game worlds. You do have to have one for a good long time for it to develop any complexity

Mulsiphix
01-16-2008, 01:07 PM
Does he have anything online about it? Campaign journals, blogs, even images of maps? I can't wait to whip out my cartography skills when I make a custom setting. GURPS CARTOGRAPHY GO!!!

cplmac
01-22-2008, 01:52 PM
Sometimes a character dies, although I don't make it a goal as DM to see how many of the party I can kill during an adventure. Since I like to run adventures that take at least a year or more to complete, I always have extra characters ready that the person whose PC has died can choose from to be able to keep playing. I usually have them "join" the party at the next town they stop at to pick up more supplies. Of course to do this means that you have to have many different levels to choose from. Once, I had someone actually pick a new character that was 4 levels below the rest of the party because they still wanted to play a cleric. He just made sure that his character was not running up into battle, but hung back enough to be useful as a cleric. By doing this, he was able to advance in levels to be up with the party eventually. It also helped that he was really good at roleplaying the character too.

Mulsiphix
01-22-2008, 05:32 PM
What level was he when he died and how long exactly did it take him to catch up to the rest of the party? Once caught up, what was the average level of the party when the campaign ended?

Dravion
01-22-2008, 05:52 PM
When I use to run games in 2nd Edition, I would have players make 3 different character, that they could switch at the begining of each game. And if one happened to die, they had two in back up. The XP would carry over all three character the players had, so they could all be kept at the same pace. And when a player killed off all three of his character, he would have to start all over at level 1 with three new character, and suffer a half XP gain, as to the rest of the group staying at the level they were at and getting full XP.

Mulsiphix
01-22-2008, 07:07 PM
The three character approach seems like an interesting approach but I would worry the players wouldn't take death as seriously. After losing all three I would think many players would just walk out, rather than be Lv 1 with their average Lv 12 group. Not much that player could do in that situation :o

Dravion
01-22-2008, 09:15 PM
Most of the player's that I used this rule with liked the chance to pick which character they wanted to use. And if they lost one character they would try not to loose another one. Although I did have one that lost all three and the group was at an average of level 9, and he did a few extra side quests to help expand his class skills, and by the end of the campaign the other players were at level 13 and he made it up to level 6. And the second time around he didn't have one dead character, while the other players were down to one character each.

tesral
01-22-2008, 09:34 PM
I use one character at a time. What I do, do is the new PC gets a bonus/minus to the starting XP depending on how they died. A good heroic death can gain you as much as a level. Dying stupid can loose as much as a level. I don't handicap new PCs with being far below the level of the rest of the party.

agoraderek
04-27-2008, 06:27 AM
Character death can be tricky. Character death at a non-dramatic point of the campaign is something I tend to fudge out of existence. I just don't kill characters who happen to have a bad day with dice. Some find this controversial, I know.

i've always been of the "let the dice fall where they may" school, with an occasional exception for just PATHETICALLY bad dice rolling on the part of a particular player (but, i mean it has to be the player in question rolling "1"s constantly, even though he or she has made sound tactical decisions throughout).

i agree that in a game with "raise dead" and "reincarnation", character death isnt that traumatic. also, i had an incredibly funny situation in one campaign where the "cowardly human thief" was reincarnated as a pixie (hilarity ensued...).

also, death can be a way for a player to have the opportunity to roll up a different type of charaqcter and explore other role playing avenues.