Recent Chat Activity (Main Lobby)
Join Chat

Loading Chat Log...

Prefer not to see ads? Become a Community Supporter.
View RSS Feed


A PC's life is finite.

Rate this Entry
Saying its unfair to give the PC's an equal chance to die as the NPC's is just silly. The PC's at least get to choose their battles most of the time. NPC's and monsters are an expendable, renewable resource. They always die off faster then the PC's. If they didn't it would be a very short game and I would be a very lousy Dungeon Master.

If a PC gets thrown into an arena and forced to fight a veteran gladiator should they not be scared? Is it wrong to assume that gladiator is a survivor of many battles without actually proving it? Should I complain if the PC's outnumber a giant six-to-one because they get to roll many more attacks then he does and they therefor have a higher chance of rolling an instant kill?

Any player that *****es that a PC's life is ultimately finite should be congratulated for stating the obvious. Death is innevitable unless you choose to retire a character. Just think of it as fate. The only real control a player has involving his characters death is how often he risks his life and for what reason. I reward players that martyr themselves for good reason by giving them more leway on their next character.

I guess in a sense it takes many PC deaths before a player really proves that he is selflessly roleplaying. If a player can't do that D&D will never be as rewarding for them because they are in essence cheating themselves. The Dungeon Master is not to blame for that.

Submit "A PC's life is finite." to Digg Submit "A PC's life is finite." to Submit "A PC's life is finite." to StumbleUpon Submit "A PC's life is finite." to Google

Updated 12-22-2009 at 10:00 PM by scars_of_carma

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


  1. Blydden's Avatar
    Exactly. That is part of why Raise Dead doesn't exist in my game. A death isn't very climatic when you can just come right back, now is it?
  2. scars_of_carma's Avatar
    Good point. Raise Dead hasn't come up in my game for a long time... I have some ideas about it though. I was thinking it would be interesting to allow raise dead but penalize the character somehow for it... like perhaps they take ability damage, or take negative-levels, or a percentile for an alignment shift or madness... etc. etc. Raise dead could be interesting if it just wasn't a simple spell that goes *poof* your alive again!
  3. templeorder's Avatar
    Adventurers, in the classic sense, break into the homes of others, kill them, take their stuff, and revel in it. Most are self-righteous and overconfident. This career path should, in most cases, have a short and violent road. PC's are not exceptions by default, only in action. And i say NPC's are no different. They make their choices in where they live, their allies, and how they develop themselves. I have a lot in my campaign that are more powerful and longer lived than the PC's - it gives the PC's themselves a symbol - something to strive for, to get to a point and "get out of the business" - that is "winning" in role-playing (in a sense - the only one i can see that matters to the character).
  4. Dark Cloaked Figure's Avatar
    I think raising the dead should be a difficult endeavor, requiring rare reagents, and penalizing the raised for quite some time-- a permanent level lost IN ADDITION TO other penalties that slowly fade as the character's soul and body heal from the ordeal.

    That said, there are also many cases where -10 doesn't need to mean death-- DMs are allowed to fudge the rules. Common literary tropes, such as Never Found the Body, can be a great way to bring a character back 'from the dead' without having him actually die. Almost every good action novel has something like this happen.
    Updated 05-23-2010 at 11:53 PM by Dark Cloaked Figure (More to say)
  5. Blydden's Avatar
    In my game, even though there is no Raise Dead ritual, that does not mean I don't allow my characters to come back. With that said, it is only if I (The DM) feel benevolent to give them a way to come back to life...or sneak a Water of Life inside one of their backpacks. ^_^

    But, if they died because they were stupid, not because of bad luck, they stay dead.