View Full Version : To die or not to die.

2010-03-15, 04:10 AM
So we recently started playing D&D, my first D&D game ever.
We have played for 3 sessions now, we are playing 4th Edition.
I have been playing with a character I planned for like.... 3 months, a Human Paladin that was planned for AD&D but alas my friends convinced the DM to play 4th.

So well, it's ok, the edition is non-factor, the important thing is that I am a Paladin and I have my kickass background and I will roleplay a great holy warrior.

So then last session... between an encounter and some friendly fire my character died.
Thing which I am totally fine... (I mean I have been the ONLY guy who has died and lost like 6-7 characters between different RPG games with my friends in the last 2 years) but my friends HATE it, they don't like dying they hate it, even when they screwed up and DESERVED to die the DM's always come up with some crappy miracle to prevent them from dying because some guys can take it personal.

So, when the session ended a friend of mine (The one introduced the ''Dying is NOT cool'' tendency) told me super calmed ''It's ok dude, we just revive you''.
And said guy as DM gave a Resurrection Rod with unlimited charges in his campaigns.

I mean... how? We are in the middle of the desert, 4 days away from any town we have NO money at all and WE ARE LEVEL ONE!
So then the DM said ''You choose Zonack, you can choose to revive or NOT to revive''
I am a guy who doesn't care about dying... don't get me wrong I am not thrilled to lose a character I worked for... background and stuff... but I accept death! I died fair and square!

And well I just checked how Raise Dead works in 4th Edition.
Sure we cannot do it cause we are level 1 but if we get JUST 500 gold pieces they can get me revived and they have 1 month to do it.
I mean (this is MY opinion and I respect everyone who differs from me) this is kinda lame for me because players just lose the fear of dying, they feel perfectly safe... they can face 50 dragons and then not to worry cause they can just pay up some gold to revive.

So the DM tells me.

-Well they just need a piece from your corpse, then they go to a Temple of Rim (my deity) and they revive you.

However I don't really think it's logical, I died, it's no fun when you can't die, it's like in any game, there is no fun if you never die or lose.

So I started thinking my next character right away, a Goliath Barbarian!
And when I proceeded to ask my friends if I could make my Barbarian dual-wield instead of Ye Old Stereotypical 2 Handed axe Barbarian they asked me.

''DUDE??? We can just revive you! Why do you want to waste a character??? You can't die!''

I mean wow, I think that's pretty boring.... If we were rich and we were level 12 and we had Holy Avengers and what not... then yeah I guess, revive is an option but if we don't die from level ONE then we might as well take the ''Immortality'' feature from the Epic Tier classes right from level 1.

So well what do you guys think? My DM told me to do whatever I want, hes fine if I revive or I die and make another character.
One friend thinks like me.

You died fair and square, get over it, roll another character and have fun.

But the rest..

Grumble grumble, stupid game I died.

I am being an idiot by accepting death right?
I mean I wanted to be level 30 with that Paladin.

Become a Demonslayer at level 11 and then a Chosen One at level 21 and then ascend to the heavens next to my deity and be a Legendary figure in the world.
However my destiny turned out so that I ended up impaled between the axes of a lesser demon and the sword of my friend who rolled 2 critical fails (haha).

But then again there are many many characters I want to make, just like my Goliath Barbarian can become a mighty and legendary as any character anyone makes.

Probably a stupid post but this has been bugging me for a while.

I just needed to get it off my chest :smalleek:

I am not crazy, am I?

2010-03-15, 04:28 AM
No, you don't sound crazy.

Players tend to have different views on character death. Me, I'd be somewhat unhappy about that particular incident because of the friendly fire - if it was a character I'd been playing for a long time. Otherwise, I'd do what it seems you want to do: shrug it off and make a new character.

Some players just hate their characters dying, some DMs go out of their way to avoid it, and then some DMs... well, some DMs are a bit too happy about killing the PCs. :smallbiggrin:

Giving a Rod of Resurrection to first level characters certainly seems a bit (understatement) much. At least make 'em work for it, I say.

Would your paladin want to come back, given the chance? That's probably the way I'd make the decision. Unless you would really prefer to start anew with the barbarian, of course, or it just goes against your ethics too much to get a 1st level resurrected for free.
You could always try to come up with a reason the paladin wouldn't want to come back, and then there's not much they could do about it.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-15, 04:30 AM
I have to say in the past several years of playing D&D I've managed to avoid any of my characters dying except for my lizardfolk fighter who ran off into the night to rescue his halfling little buddy. He didn't have time to don his armor thus lacking the higher armor class he died protecting his friend(who survived by the way).

I would call that a good death, because he died heroically in battle.

Other then that I've managed to use skill and tactics to survive each encounter.

I had a cleric who would have also died, but the DM realized he was applying point blank shot at like 50ft away, so the last shot would have missed and I would have been able to cast a cure critical on myself.

2010-03-15, 04:32 AM
Not yet, but that can be arranged if you want. I know some powerful brain acid.

Anyways, I fully agree on the death thing. if you can't die-whats the fun?
Where is the courage of the charge if you cannot die?
Where is the thrill of getting past clever traps if you could just walk through and nothing happens?
Where is the glory of defeating the BBEG, if he could not defeat you?

In my book, reviving is cheap, and even at higher levels-when I DM, I stockpile difficulties. I much rather see the party get changed a little every-so-often, then to have the same bunch of arrogant "I can't lose" dummies repeating their mistakes as they take no punishment for them.

Besides, death and replacement characters add not only realism, but allow versatility in the game. after all a game with a rouge, a fighter and a beguiler is very different if the beguiler died to be replaced by a blaster mage, or the fighter died and a knight came instead.
Not only party interactions change, but combat style as well.

Very good at stopping the game from getting repetitive.

2010-03-15, 04:32 AM
No, you're not crazy. Character death is part of the game and it is your decission if you want to make a new character of have the old one 'revived'.

What I don't like - and I totally agree with you here - is the carelessness that comes with being immortal. Well, not immortal, but revivable without any limits or consequences. It takes something out of the game, I think.

Just my 5c.

2010-03-15, 04:41 AM
I can understand how you feel. You are a cool guy.
But I can also understand someone who "suffers" when his character dies. I understand how he feels too. The time invested, the creation - the thrill of creating a character takes flesh and bones, all this creates a bond between the imaginary character and the creator.

I disagree with the "characters don't actually die" thing.
In our campaign, many characters died. Only one got resurrected. Why? Well, I think the way someone dies matters. The death of a hero. And a fools death. Produce way different feelings.
Some of my co-players, feel "disgusted" when their character dies. Disgusted with the character, they feel he was no good, and they get a new character sheet trying to create something better, or try something different.

If someone can't accept death, or failure and doesn't know how to accept defeat, well... he is not pleasant company, if you know what I mean... sounds more like munchkin to me...

2010-03-15, 07:37 AM
It's your character, you get to decide. If someone has a problem with it calmly explain that you wouldn't prevent their characters from being revived either, different methods of playing blah blah blah.

The group I tend to play D&D with is split down the middle. The DM is on the side of "free rezes for everyone!" where as I am on the side of "regardless of level or access to scrolls my characters never accept resurrection". I might have written 10 pages of backstory for them and have several events active in the game my character initiated but upon death those fade away. Most of the others fall somewhere in between. If my character is playing an appropriate class that can resurrect then he will raise fallen comrades if their player so requests.

2010-03-15, 07:46 AM
Death sucks...but without death, or other risks of loss, the game is...less challenging. If you remove them entirely, it's like playing a game in godmode. Fun for a bit, but ultimately boring.

Unfortunately, 4th E removed a great deal of sting from losses. Non death permanent losses appear to be rare, and death is easy to recover from. A ressurection rod with unlimited charges, though, is a bit much, even in 4th.

Ultimately, talk with them about the level of risk you find enjoyable. It may not be the same as them, but that's fine. Different party roles have different levels of danger, and if you opt not to have your char rezzed....well, it's YOUR character, isn't it? Should be possible to find a balance where you are all reasonably satisfied.

2010-03-15, 09:20 AM
We recently had two party deaths for stupid reasons. One player wanted to kill himself because he was getting bored with his character (setting a dangerous precedent. it will not go unpunished) and the second actually thought that he could TAKE the great wyrm black dragon. Granted, he took on some pretty bad odds himself and lived, chosing to fight a pitfiend army instead of the ice devil one...at level 9. Granted he had backup that time and was a multi-classed dwarf in second edition with a hundred and something hitpoints but STILL! one does not solo a Great Wyrm, I don't care if you have a hammer of T-Bolts.

2010-03-15, 10:30 AM
How can you have fun drinking and brawling in the hall of heroes if you donīt die in battle :smallmad:

2010-03-15, 10:59 AM
Your not crazy, and fully agree with the no ressurect rule.If you die you die, no buts about it.No one can be 'resurrected' out of no where with a rod of resurrection they seemed to just have pulled out of their rib cage.

its the one of the reasons I like the Iron Kingdom setting, resurrection doesnt work for the gods.The souls of the dead stay dead, well unless your trollkin, gobber, or Ogrun instead of resurrect theyre reincarnated, and thats at later levels.It isnt "Well sorry your Cleric of Morrow died on the home front, may his soul rest in peace." Players should understand, death is death.

make the Goliath Barbarian, ignore the players who think their ideas better.Listen to the DM, its your character! Not the parties!

2010-03-15, 11:03 AM
Why not let the character decide? Based on the backstory you've come up with, let your paladin figure out if he wants to take another chance or if he'll stick with the cards fate dealt him.

2010-03-15, 11:48 AM
It's the same way with my most recent of groups. Character death is taboo, and saying stuff like "I guess I'll roll up a new character" doesn't jive well. The other PCs usually say stuff like "We can pool all our resources and borrow money to pay for the rez", and if I say that I'm fine with the death (It happens... and sometimes you're too low a level to come back -> that's the adventuring credo, or something), they always insist, as if the DMs entire game hinged on my character and it's impossible to think up a contingency for a new character.

I may be odd, but I usually feel like if my character dies through no fault of anyone else at a pre 'raise dead' level, his expiry date has passed and I'm fine with that and never hold a grudge regardless of cause of death (and generally go with the flow w/r to death at any level). But a lot of the time (in the group's eyes), the introduction of DM fiat rezzing devices break verisimilitude more than introducing a new character.

2010-03-15, 01:14 PM
Cool, good to know I am not alone haha.

I mean like I said... I spent a good time making that character I was a Lord from a small town up to the north, I planned to expand it to become a mighty castle, a city and a cathedral dedicated to my god... in other words a bastion of power dedicated to my deity.
I had to resolve a LOT of issues from my background, find my lost brother, cure a plague that is invading my town leaving everybody blind...

Amongst other things.

Well we are in the middle of the desert.
We are BROKE (hell I am a noble guy and just have 7 silver pieces with me.. not even a GOLD piece haha).
The High Priest of Rim (my deity) is missing and the closest town is about 3-4 days away.
So what will happen is that I accept the revive it's gonna be pretty lame cause the DM will probably say.

''So well... you arrive at the city and... Rethar, you wanna look for someone to pickpocket to get the money?''
''Yeah! *rolls D20* aha 21!''
''Good! You steal 500g! Enough for the ritual''

So I just know the DM will pull out some mercy trick on me. (a lame one of course).
Probably the only way I would accept to be revived is if my cleric was level 8 and he had the necessary resources and HE had a reason to revive me.
Or something that is acceptable... because like I said.. if I accept getting revived then dying will be impossible.

Probably the thing that bothers me the most is that all my friends will say ''I revive'' without even thinking it.
Maybe the only way to kill them is to petrify em like the book says...

2010-03-15, 01:20 PM
Heh, I'm always wary of DMs that ask how many HP I have left before rolling damage, or if they find out they killed me, say that they miscalculated and it was just enough damage to get me to -1. I don't want my character to die, but I want there to be a real possibility of death.

2010-03-15, 01:23 PM
''So well... you arrive at the city and... Rethar, you wanna look for someone to pickpocket to get the money?''
''Yeah! *rolls D20* aha 21!''
''Good! You steal 500g! Enough for the ritual''

If that is the expected wealth from one pickpocket use I would soooo make a rogue :smallbiggrin:

Anyway I really donīt know whats wrong if the player really doesnīt want to make a new character (bordering on quitting if he isnīt raised) then I would make an exception. But if I know the player has no problem excepting his death and his glorious afterlife :smallbiggrin: ... ah well different groups different playstyles I guess :smallsmile:

2010-03-15, 01:24 PM
Heh, I'm always wary of DMs that ask how many HP I have left before rolling damage, or if they find out they killed me, say that they miscalculated and it was just enough damage to get me to -1. I don't want my character to die, but I want there to be a real possibility of death.

YES!!!! That's the problem with the other DM!!! The guy who told me I could revive without breaking a sweat!!

He DM's Star Wars.

DM - All right so... the sith raises his lightsaber and strikes at you twice... *rolls 2 D20* Son of a .... (that always means TWO criticals). how much hp you got?
Player - 13 Wounds
DM - Ok he makes you 10 wounds of damage.

I mean.. seriously? 2 LIGHTSABERS? CRITICALS? TEN point of damage?
Talk about lameness :(

2010-03-15, 03:35 PM
Make the new guy (you probably already have) and enjoy a new character. Death is a part of the game and brings a bit of fatality and consequence to it. If you were a decent paladin who served his god/helped others/yadda yadda he should go to his form of Heaven. Why would he want to be ressed?

2010-03-15, 03:43 PM
Heh, I'm always wary of DMs that ask how many HP I have left before rolling damage, or if they find out they killed me, say that they miscalculated and it was just enough damage to get me to -1. I don't want my character to die, but I want there to be a real possibility of death.

Yeah, me too. So much so that when I DM, I make the players roll their own damage (and keep track of their HP totals just in case). I still sometimes fudge attack rolls, and my general rule is I will usually not kill off a character simply due to bad luck with the dice, though stupidity or heroics (often no diference...) are never fudged.

This also helps the players recognize the danger they are in. If a guy has 60 HP and takex 10d6 damage from an attack, he knows he got off lucky with only 25 damage and the critter can hit MUCH harder as opposed to possibly thinking that I just rolled high. In my experience this helps the "decision making process" :smallamused:

2010-03-15, 04:31 PM
Dying is a part of the game. I would probably take it marginaly personal and be all "grumble grumble didnt get animate dead or my legions of the damned" but then you gotta move ON. Whats the point if Resing was as common as muck? Every commoner would rise and look for kobolds to kill! There would be overcrowding in DUNGEONS! There would be theme dungeons for the kids with 1 cr 1/4 monster! But there is a lifeline (or deathline) for rubbish plotholes like this. The rules for Raise dead requires the soul to be WILLING to come back (certainly in 3.5 probably in 4). Just say no to your own revival. They can stand there all day and your soul will be still drinking tea and eating biscuits in whatever pally heaven you go to.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-15, 04:39 PM
As I DM I like to ask how many HP are left, not so I can fudge rolls, but so I know. Do I really need to bother rolling if their is no possibility of surviving the hit I'd rather just skip finding out how dead they are.
Just as if a monster the PC's are fighting has 5hp left an gets hit by the rogue dealing 6d6 sneak attack. I don't wait for the damage total I just say it had 5hp left you killed it

Its also useful for judging the encounter, should I have a few more monsters show up to increase the challenge or have I done enough.

And lastly to help me judge the scale of an encounter to help plan future ones. If the fighter is barely able to handle fighting one deathclaw then I know facing two deathclaws will probably be fatal.

2010-03-15, 04:46 PM
Heh, I'm always wary of DMs that ask how many HP I have left before rolling damage, or if they find out they killed me, say that they miscalculated and it was just enough damage to get me to -1. I don't want my character to die, but I want there to be a real possibility of death.

I've played under that style DM before. One time in a 4E game my character was knocked out inside an effect that dealt 10 hp of damage a round. After 2 rounds I stated that the damage killed my character (he still had 30 hp to go but I wanted to see what the DM would do and I was completely happy with my character dieing there). The DM actually rewound the combat right there and had a bad guy force feed my character a potion...yeah...

2010-03-15, 04:54 PM
If there is no risk in your game then where's the reward? Even if you do something epicly awesome it really doesn't matter because you were never at a risk of character death.

Character death is sometimes in convient story wise and time wise, but it's part of the game. I personally love character creation and would choose to die than a cheesy res.

2010-03-15, 06:21 PM
Not everyone wants an RPG to be a challenge. Some players just want to enjoy the story as it unfolds. Some players would prefer not to have risks, because the frustration they feel when bad things happen outweighs their satisfaction they feel when they avoid bad things. Heck, maybe the potential for failure makes them feel nervous and stressed instead of happy and excited.

On the other hand, nothing that happens to a character, even death, has to make a player dissatisfied with the story. Indeed, if you're playing with the attitude that you just want to find out what happens to your character, then having potential outcomes eliminated just makes things more predictable and thus more boring. On the other hand, if you have your character's life path decided ahead of time, and you just want to be able to play it out... well, maybe D&D isn't the best game for that.

Now, a setting where people can relatively easily be brought back from the dead could be very interesting, because that has a lot of implications to explore. (Apart from not having to worry nearly so much about getting killed, being able to casually visit the afterlife seems like it would be pretty cool.) On the other hand, including something in a setting as a hackneyed plot device and disregarding its implications is... less interesting. And D&D, regrettably, seems to take this tack a lot. There's a passage in the 3.5 DMG II that basically comes out and says "Yeah, the setting doesn't actually make sense; it's just there to allow for cliche fantasy stories." I find that dissatisfying, and not due to any story elements being overly familiar.

2010-03-16, 03:43 AM
Well, today I just did my Dwarven Barbarian.
It turned out pretty awesome!
Already talked to my DM about some things... it's gonna be fun stuff :D

And well, thanks a lot for your comments guys, and thinking it through... while I keep dying and sacrificing myself and well... losing characters in a normal way I will just keep rerolling and be happy / have fun! I mean why should I care if my friends never die?

I have the option to die, so I WILL be careful for not to die, since I CAN CHOOSE not to be revived even if my buddies spam ''Raise Dead'' over and over.

And who knows maybe if the time comes I can make a Ye Old Stereotypical Sacrifice-To-Save-The-Party-Deed or something!

Barrbaryunz! Grrrr!
Haha I love that OOTS joke.