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Heliomance
2012-01-21, 12:36 PM
Something that comes up now and then is how willing should you be to kill your players? How important, and how easy, should death be?

There is one school of thought that declares alea jacta est, let the die fall as it pleases. If the dice say you're dead, then you're dead. But to me, that can be profoundly unsatisfying.

In some games, it's part of the tone, and it's expected. In Call of Cthulhu, for example, you are not heroes. You are mooks, meddling in things that you don't understand, and that can and will kill you. You are not expected to be heroic, you are expected to die like dogs. In a game like that, you can die to whatever kills you.

D&D, though, is a game about heroes. It's a game about epic fantasy quests, about saving the world, marrying the princess, and riding off into the sunset. Dying to a goblin who got a lucky crit is not heroic. Rolling a natural 1 against a Finger of Death before you get to act is not heroic.

In a heroic game, deaths should be heroic. I don't believe that a hero should die unless it's meaningful - or he screwed up. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in giving carte blanche to suicidal charges against insurmountable odds. If a player tries to kill a god at level 5, they are not going to come out of that looking good. (Although, that said, the god probably wouldn't care enough to put the effort in to kill them.)

I think that in a heroic game, character death should only occur due to one of two things: Player choice, or player stupidity. If a player knowingly goes into a lethal situation, for whatever reason - giving his party-mates time to get out, stalling until a ritual can be completed, or een just spitting his defiance into the teeth of oblivion - then it's fine to kill them. It's what the player wanted, otherwise they wouldn't have done it. There is nothing wrong - and many things right - with a heroic death.

If a character tries to take on a problem that is far too hard for them to manage, even after the dreaded "Are you sure?", then go ahead and kill them. It's not your job to coddle the players, and their characters are not all-powerful.

But death should never be random. Death should never hinge on a single roll - unless the player wants it to. Some players are happy to cast their fate to the whims of chance, and that's fine. Mostly, though, it's profoundly unsatisfying to die to bad luck.

And that brings me to resurrection. Some people say that you shouldn't be afraid of killing the PCs, because death is just a nuisance. I hate that even more. Death should be meaningful, and easy resurrection cheapens that so it loses all dramatic impact. I don't hate resurrection in and of itself, but I feel it shouldn't be easy. Bringing back a fallen ally should involve an epic quest, say to enter the underworld and steal their soul back, or perhaps to find a legendary artifact like the Black Cauldron. It shouldn't be a case of scratching some money of your character sheet and pressing a button.

A roleplaying game is, at its heart, collaborative storytelling. And to me, the biggest question that you have to keep in mind when playing is this: "Would this make a good story?"

If it wouldn't, maybe ask yourself why. And maybe ask yourself if you can make it a better one.

Totally Guy
2012-01-21, 12:40 PM
A hero should have the chance to die when he cares about something so much that he'd risk his life for it.

GungHo
2012-01-21, 12:42 PM
Sometimes giving a character a seemingly random/ignominous death (if the player is agreeable) is a great way to introduce a new villain or a new challenge to the group.

Luka
2012-01-21, 12:45 PM
A hero should have the chance to die when he cares about something so much that he'd risk his life for it.

Pretty much this along a Dying moment of awesome (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DyingMomentOfAwesome)

Yora
2012-01-21, 12:45 PM
When he dared facing a danger that's too big for him to escape from. If he stumbles on it by accident, he should survive.

Mystic Muse
2012-01-21, 12:47 PM
Before he lives long enough to see himself become the villain.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-21, 01:04 PM
I don't really play DND, but I agree with the OP. Both of the death part and the resurrection part.

Belril Duskwalk
2012-01-21, 01:26 PM
I feel the need to argue a primary assumption of this question. In particular, I question the assumption that being a PC in D&D means you're a hero. From my perspective (which is heavily filtered by 2nd edition) the PCs are not heroes. The PCs are adventurers and given time, effort and overcoming great challenges they may become heroes. Starting from this perspective, it feels much easier to kill off a PC every once in a while just because that's how things crunched out. Incidentally, this is where having access to recovery options goes from 'annoying' to 'important'.

Now if you're playing a game assuming characters are heroes, I see no problem with A) making death less random and B) making bringing the dead back harder as long as A and B are paired together. My point really is just, sometimes, PC does not mean hero.

Tavor
2012-01-21, 01:35 PM
It really depends on the kind of campaign and game you run. In a low-mid level 3.5 campaign death is a serious threat and your group needs to agree on the deadliness.
In high level DnD your life is a resource. If you can assure victory for your team even though you die that is a perfectly valid choice to make. You will come back to life afterwards. It is still meaningful because you sacrifice alot - your group is down one member for at least the rest of the combat and of course there is the pricetag of gold and worse: XP (until True Ressourection becomes available anyway).
But remember that if your group can't win the encounter the game is over for the whole group anyway since 3.5 lacks functioning retreat options (with a few exeptions). And everyone hates those "being imprisoned by the enemy" sessions because the DM took pity or wants to wave around his mighty DM-stick.

A quest to bring your fallen ally back to life is a cool idea, but in 3.5 this is at max a mid-level adventure. The only way to have this kind of quest at high level would be a villan who stole the soul preventing ressourection.
But while this is a cool idea, it should stay an idea and never make it into actual play. Why?
Because the dead characters player has nothing to do! Giving him some NPC or having him roll up a new character for the next 5 sessions is not a satisfying solution.

Cookiemobsta
2012-01-21, 02:45 PM
Agree wholeheartedly with the OP. If a player does not choose their character's death (either through wholehearted stupidly or deliberate dramatic choice), then characters dying are not fun. And since the point of role-playing is to have fun, then characters dying for no reason should be avoided at all costs.

The one caveat to this (as other people have pointed out) is that in a game like call of cthulu, characters dying is just part of the game. If that's the case, that's fine, because by choosing to play a game like call of cthulu, the players are well aware that their characters are likely to die and chose it anyway. Ditto for playing tomb of horrors or something like that. But if it's a character that the players have invested months into and aren't ready for him/her to die, then dying should be avoided at all costs.

MukkTB
2012-01-21, 03:19 PM
I personally feel that players should have a clear chance. If they die they should be able to trace their deaths back to a mistake they made. At worst they should be able to trace their death back to the actions of the other PCs. Maybe the mistake happened in character design, but it shouldn't be arbitrary

So as DM I let the dice fall as they may. If I feel the characters shouldn't die because the criteria above aren't met, I have the bad guys capture them or have the cavalry come in. As a last result I fudge the dice.

some guy
2012-01-21, 03:49 PM
I feel the need to argue a primary assumption of this question. In particular, I question the assumption that being a PC in D&D means you're a hero. From my perspective (which is heavily filtered by 2nd edition) the PCs are not heroes. The PCs are adventurers and given time, effort and overcoming great challenges they may become heroes. Starting from this perspective, it feels much easier to kill off a PC every once in a while just because that's how things crunched out. Incidentally, this is where having access to recovery options goes from 'annoying' to 'important'.

Now if you're playing a game assuming characters are heroes, I see no problem with A) making death less random and B) making bringing the dead back harder as long as A and B are paired together. My point really is just, sometimes, PC does not mean hero.

I'm with Belril Duskwalk. In my games the pc's are no heroes, they are adventurers. Even if they were heroes, I would think random death could be meaningful. A reminder that what they are doing is meaningful; if an hero could die at the hands of a mere goblin, that means that goblins are a real threat and that the world needs heroes to deal with goblins.
Mind you, I'm still of the opinion that being lenient with life and death could make a good game for some people. But not for me. And you know what? It's fine. It's fine because I can play my game where death comes up a bit more and other people can play games in which they know their character won't die because of an unlucky die.

Saph
2012-01-21, 04:58 PM
I think that in a heroic game, character death should only occur due to one of two things: Player choice, or player stupidity.

Players always have a choice. For example, they can choose not to get into fights with lethal monsters. If they pick a fight and lose, it's their own damn fault.

I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for the "We should be able to kill everything we meet, but no-one's allowed to kill us because that's unheroic" attitude. The point of being a hero is supposed to be that you know something's dangerous and do it anyway.

Raum
2012-01-21, 05:01 PM
Something that comes up now and then is how willing should you be to kill your players? Don't kill players! It ruins the game and leads to spending a lot of quality time in close proximity to someone named Bubba.

Ok, you meant characters...


How important, and how easy, should death be?It's entirely dependent on the style of game. A four colors super hero game may not have death at all. In some fantasy games it may be common and permanent while in others it's merely a bump in the road or seldom occurs. In games like Paranoia, you aren't playing until you're on your third clone...

Wiwaxia
2012-01-21, 05:29 PM
I'm perfectly okay with both sides of the issue, but I feel that the DM should make it absolutely clear what kind of game s/he is planning before anyone even starts making characters. What's not fun is dying an ignoble death when you were expecting to be given a heroic one, or having your DM protect your characters from death in a survival horror game.

Solaris
2012-01-21, 06:17 PM
PCs die when their hit points run out. Heroes die when their villain is defeated and the world no longer needs them. Let's not confuse the two.

Existence alone is not sufficient to make a PC a hero. It's so much more rewarding for the player to make his character a hero.

Kiero
2012-01-21, 06:21 PM
When the player decides they would like it to happen.

Morithias
2012-01-21, 06:28 PM
In my opinion a "hero's" death. Should only happen if one of three things is met.

Crowning moment of awesome: They go out swinging and nearly take out a creature 5 CR higher than them in an epic battle that lasts 12 rounds. The death has meeting, it has heart, it means dying for a cause you believe in. Watch Linkara's "top 15 worse things about countdown video" for a good explanation and two VERY good examples of "death done right".

It makes sense plot wise: If a PC is dying and on the ground and they're facing a pit fiend who can hit all the PC's including the dying one with it's fireball power. Let the fireball fly, pit fiends don't show mercy and at that level leads into our next topic....

Death is Cheap: If death is truly cheap, and resurrection is easy, don't be afraid to go all out. Don't go for a tpk, but a death maybe once every 3 level ups or something should be good. Don't try to force the death, but at this point, death can be reversed, and a villain that is willing to kill makes for a more epic story, than giving your heroes the equivalent of joker immunity.

These are how HEROES are suppose to meet the end. PC's however have two extra things.

The player is being an idiot. Going up to a great wyrm red dragon that is trying to give you a quest and attacking it at level 5 is not wise. In these cases, just kill the idiot. Also don't kill on the first time, only kill if he doesn't learn his lesson.

To end the campaign. Everyone hates "rocks fall everyone dies" but sometimes an epic final battle that ends with both sides TPKed except for maybe one character is the way to go. Not every hero comes out alive, and it often serves as a great capstone to an epic dungeon crawl.

Wyntonian
2012-01-21, 06:38 PM
Just as an example, but I think Lord of the Rings pulls this off decently with Gandalf*. Could the fellowship have escaped? Eh, let's go with yes for this. But Gandalf, or his player, anyway, decided to name a trope (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouShallNotPass) and generally embody the most badass** example of the heroic sacrifice he could. Now, did this end the game for him?

Heck no.

Is it because the parties cleric had diamonds for a ressurection?

Nope.

It's because Gandalf had, essentially a side quest and planned with the DM on a suitably dramatic reentrance, while he played some former NPC for a lil while.

And it worked for them.


* The rest of the story may have been lacking if turned directly into a D&D adventure, but this part was ok.

** My own opinion, feel free to have your own.

Disclaimer: Not saying this is right for everyone, but it seemed cool and appropriate, or that every character needs a sidequest to come back, or really anything else. Just that having a crowning moment of awesome and generally laying down the cool can work in some cases.

Kenneth
2012-01-21, 06:48 PM
Players always have a choice. For example, they can choose not to get into fights with lethal monsters. If they pick a fight and lose, it's their own damn fault.

I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for the "We should be able to kill everything we meet, but no-one's allowed to kill us because that's unheroic" attitude. The point of being a hero is supposed to be that you know something's dangerous and do it anyway.

I think i am love with you.

I wholeheartdedly agree with this satatment.

and I think this whole thread is a sub-thread of the '7 tips for being a great DM" here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229610)where never allowing a character to die unless the player wants said character to die is a very decisive point.


in the end I think it comes down to different beliefs and a newer versus older belif on what makes your character a 'hero' ..
in the older days you played to become a hero, start off barely surviving radnom occurance A) only to be called to undertake random occurance B) something that you full and well know is beyond your capabilits. but who else is even close to be as capable as you. now with MMOs and the introduction of crazy powerful litiaure 'heroes' most gamers today expect them to be doing the crazy things that previusly you only though one should be doing at the mid point in your particular game.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-21, 07:22 PM
I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for the "We should be able to kill everything we meet, but no-one's allowed to kill us because that's unheroic" attitude.

Is anyone here showing this attitude? If you stupidly decide to take on something you know is beyond your ability, then the DM has all the right to kill your character.



The point of being a hero is supposed to be that you know something's dangerous and do it anyway.

From an IC perspective. From an OOC perspective, the fact that the player knows the DM will probably not kill his character does not diminish his heroics at all. Also, any decent DM should be able to put other stuff than just the PC's life at stake to make the situation more dramatic.
In fact, a very lethal game will usually discourage heroics - the PCs will become careful and overly prepared for everything, not willing to take any risks. That's not heroic at all.

Dumbledore lives
2012-01-21, 07:25 PM
A hero should die when his story is done. My player's characters are not heroes, hell they're not even really good people, they don't make the best plans, and their execution often leaves much to be desired, so they die. I could be softer, I could save them more often, but sometimes a foolish decision leads you dead, like a wizard charging a mimic with only a dagger.

I should point out as well that in one party we have had 3 inter-party kills, one was kind of revenge for a previous one.

Raum
2012-01-21, 07:29 PM
From an IC perspective. From an OOC perspective, the fact that the player knows the DM will probably not kill his character does not diminish his heroics at all. Insofar as heroism involves courage and valor, removing danger certainly does diminish it.


In fact, a very lethal game will usually discourage heroics - the PCs will become careful and overly prepared for everything, not willing to take any risks. That's not heroic at all.There's some truth to this...but why do you think that's bad? Take Shadowrun as an example...paranoid preparation is an expected part of the game! :)

tensai_oni
2012-01-21, 07:31 PM
in the older days you played to become a hero, start off barely surviving radnom occurance A) only to be called to undertake random occurance B) something that you full and well know is beyond your capabilits. but who else is even close to be as capable as you. now with MMOs and the introduction of crazy powerful litiaure 'heroes' most gamers today expect them to be doing the crazy things that previusly you only though one should be doing at the mid point in your particular game.

Because it is such a great feeling to spend hours, days maybe creating your character - not rolling stats, but his description, personality, backstory. And then have him die in the first encounter because the goblin got a critical hit in or a you rolled a nat 1 on a save-or-die spell.

Now we have all these newfangled ideas that having a strong character that is actually fun to play is something a player deserves, rather than has to earn. This is obviously introduced by MMOs, not by players who just find different things enjoyable than you do.

In case anyone cannot tell, two paragraphs above are 100% sarcasm. Also I like how those who disagreed with the OP so far equated his stance to a player stupidly picking a fight he knows he cannot win and hoping he'll escape alive. As opposed to not dying to random encounters who the player should be able to handle, but didn't because he had a series of fail rolls. Please do not pick at strawmen.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-21, 07:31 PM
I should add that my PCs are always the heroes of their own story. It might not always be an epic, world-changing story, it might be something small that most people won't care about or even notice - but it's always there. I don't find plotless dungeoncrawling, wide open sandboxes or the "here are the PCs, let's put them through a series of disconnected adventures" approach to be very fun.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-21, 08:10 PM
Insofar as heroism involves courage and valor, removing danger certainly does diminish it.

It's not the player who is heroic, after all there isn't anything much heroic about sitting around a table rolling dice or sitting at your computer telling stories over irc, it's the character and from their perspective the danger was no less real.

Raum
2012-01-21, 08:44 PM
It's not the player who is heroic, after all there isn't anything much heroic about sitting around a table rolling dice or sitting at your computer telling stories over irc, it's the character and from their perspective the danger was no less real.Sounds like sophistry to me. :smallconfused:

I'm not there so the character can play a game and have fun. The character is simply the token I'm using to play the game. And yes, playing may involve risking the token.

Shrug. As mentioned before, I think there is no single answer to when a character should be at risk. It depends on the game. But 'heroism' is a different story - it's defined by courage and valor, neither of which exists without risk.

tensai_oni
2012-01-21, 08:49 PM
It's not sophistry, it's IC/OOC separation. An action does not have to be heroic OOCly to be heroic ICly. In fact no actions are heroic OOCly because all you do is sit around, talk and roll dice.

RPGuru1331
2012-01-21, 09:37 PM
Sounds like sophistry to me.
In the immortal words of Dogbert, "Excuse me while I take a wicked wag."


I'm not there so the character can play a game and have fun. The character is simply the token I'm using to play the game. And yes, playing may involve risking the token.
Then you're not really heroic, are you? You're just playing a game XD


Shrug. As mentioned before, I think there is no single answer to when a character should be at risk. It depends on the game. But 'heroism' is a different story - it's defined by courage and valor, neither of which exists without risk.
The courage and valor of rolling dice at tables?
*Suppresses giggles*
Please, tell me of your heroism.

Silus
2012-01-21, 09:49 PM
Just gonna chime in and say that I think a hero (particularly in a TTG) should, barring accidents or the like, be able to die in both a blaze of glory and on their own terms.

Holding the pass against the entire Orc army while the refugees escape.
Taunting the dragon while the party gets in position for the kill shot.
Standing atop the corpses of a million slain demons to give your allies enough time to shut down the hellrift.

That sort of thing.

Raum
2012-01-21, 10:01 PM
In the immortal words of Dogbert, "Excuse me while I take a wicked wag."Huh?


Then you're not really heroic, are you? You're just playing a game XD

The courage and valor of rolling dice at tables?
*Suppresses giggles*
Please, tell me of your heroism.So by your own giggles, you seem to be saying there's no heroism possible in playing a game? Not entirely in agreement, but I'll buy it for discussion purposes.

What's next? If you can't have heroism in your game?

Personally I think heroism is relative. Risking your life is one level, your reputation another...down to the relatively ephemeral risks taken in a game's gambit. In all cases, it takes risking something of yours.

But I suspect we're getting off subject here.

Fri
2012-01-21, 10:12 PM
Sorry, I never usually join in discussions like this, but man.

In my opinion, if you really think you can do heroism by playing a game, you really look down on real heroes we have like firemen and soldiers and such.

Once again, having heroism in game is perfectly normal. But the player doing heroism simply by playing a game? And that's by rolling a random dice? I mean, not even situation like 'hey, we're surrounded by enemies, let me sacrifice the character that I've been playing for so long and love so you guys can escape'?

At least the second version is heroic to your friends.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-21, 10:12 PM
It is really simple. You're not doing something heroic, but your character might. Just like Tolkien wasn't doing anything particularly heroic while writing Lord of the Rings, but it is generally agreed that Gandalf sacrificing his current incarnation and experiencing a lot of suffering is. The relationship between a player and their character is fundamentally the same as that between a writer and the characters in their books. As such the character can, in the story being told, do something heroic regardless of the circumstances the player find themselves under while portraying this action.

As such, when you play the game you are not doing something heroic unless you happen to be doing the roleplaying version of Legend of Koizumi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_koizumi), in which case I doubt your experiences are widely applicable. This is regardless of whether you play a dungeoncrawl using Call of Cthulhu rules or play purely freeform. These things have no bearing on events as they're perceived by your character and those around them. If the setting and story say that what you're doing is extremely dangerous and your character chooses to do so, then your character is being heroic. You need to understand the ontological distinction between the players and the characters they play, just like you need to understand the distinction between writers and the stories they write and actors and the characters they portray. Or do you think that Harrison Ford has actually spent a substantial part of his life killing nazis and raiding ruins?

dps
2012-01-21, 10:16 PM
I'm with Belril Duskwalk. In my games the pc's are no heroes, they are adventurers. Even if they were heroes, I would think random death could be meaningful. A reminder that what they are doing is meaningful; if an hero could die at the hands of a mere goblin, that means that goblins are a real threat and that the world needs heroes to deal with goblins.
Mind you, I'm still of the opinion that being lenient with life and death could make a good game for some people. But not for me. And you know what? It's fine. It's fine because I can play my game where death comes up a bit more and other people can play games in which they know their character won't die because of an unlucky die.

In theory, I agree as well. In practice, this is the sort of thing that the DM and players need to discuss and agree on before a campaign starts.

Raum
2012-01-21, 10:19 PM
Sorry, I never usually join in discussions like this, but man.

In my opinion, if you really think you can do heroism by playing a game, you really look down on real heroes we have like firemen and soldiers and such.

Once again, having heroism in game is perfectly normal. But the player doing heroism simply by playing a game? And that's by rolling a random dice? If that's what you think I said, obviously I wasn't clear.

Neither life, language, or heroism are binary. It's not a yes / no question. And if you think heroism of some level can't appear in games, I suspect you're not a fan of team sports. :smallwink:

RPGuru1331
2012-01-21, 10:22 PM
So by your own giggles, you seem to be saying there's no heroism possible in playing a game?
Absolutely none. You can not be a hero rolling dice. Only possible in an absurd, horrifically contrived gambling situation.

But you can tell stories about heroes by participating in an RPG.


Personally I think heroism is relative. Risking your life is one level, your reputation another...down to the relatively ephemeral risks taken in a game's gambit.
And none of that is being done by you. You're not risking your life in a roleplaying game, and the only reputation that can be at stake is your reputation at particular skills you, personally, possess, such as minmaxing ability, writing ability, etc. From the plot's perspective, the fact that there may be a rule like the "Toys of the Gods" rule* in Weapons of the Gods is irrelevant; the characters don't know that. As far as they know, they're doing whatever it is thinking they can, and possibly will, die (Unless they, as characters, are blind, naive, idealistic, etc).


In all cases, it takes risking something of yours.
You're not risking anything. You will always be safe. By your own logic of risk and danger, you're not being heroic. Your character is, though**. That's why you claiming the divide between IC/OOC was 'sophistry' was so comical. I mean, you could conceivably argue that you're at least risking something you're emotionally attached to, but that's a difficult argument to make after declaring the character nothing but a token.

* In a nut casing, shrimp vs. Stompy megagod means the shrimp lives almost every time; No matter how much you are a gnat bothering some titan, you're important enough to crawl away, broken, and swear revenge. Applies both ways!
**to the extent that a construct that only exists in the heads of those playing and maybe watching/reading can be said to do anything, anyway.

Addendum:

If that's what you think I said, obviously I wasn't clear.
No, you were clear. The problem is that you didn't say what you wanted to say XD

Fri
2012-01-21, 10:23 PM
If you read the next sentence I wrote, which you conveniently forgot to include in your quote, I clearly said that you can be heroic to your friends in playing the game by sacrificing the character you love, but not simply by rolling dice in accident.

Reluctance
2012-01-21, 10:26 PM
In my perfect game system, there'd be some way that the player could be granted metagame currency in exchange for leaving their character vulnerable to death. That way, you're guaranteed to risk yourself on something big. The only other way that death can become a serious option is when the DM clearly warns the player that the action will have suicidal consequences. (To prevent the PCs from doing things like jumping into active volcanoes, just to see how far the "PCs cannot die" rule will be stretched.)

My beef with D&D is that it tries to have it both ways. The more you're expected to invest in a character, the more it sucks when they're removed from play. If I'm playing a fighter who has identical infinuplets, I'll be fine with his life hinging on one die roll. If I've put effort into his backstory and build, cheap death discourages me from doing that again. (Remember the old not-joke about not even naming characters until they have a few levels under their belts.) Single-roll death is something to be very much avoided unless it's been specifically and deliberately thought out.

Kenneth
2012-01-21, 10:26 PM
CHiming in again with what I hope to be an accurate account of the 2 sides to when a character should die.


Side a: ( the side I am supporting) is stating that when you partake of a dangerous action be it combat, or exploring a swamp/ruin/cavern system/otherworldly plane of existance. bad things not just might, but WILL happen to you, dieing is a given amongts the list of bad things that are going to happen.

side b: is stating that unless it is some kind of epic moment, such as, defending a narrow pass agianst insurmountable odds ala the spartans, or taking on some arch-feind so the rest of the party can escape to fight another day there should be no worry of death.

I just want to toss in a ntoher supportinmg clause for myself and the rest who are on side 'a' pf this debate. I might be doing it wrong as i am about to brng real life into here.
Lets say you are a going after a gang leader. you only have a knife but are very skilled in knife fighting.. so is said gang leader. but in order to get to him you have to go through several of his underlings who have varying degrees of knife fighing ability. if they even have a knife at all.. But on the up side you are only ever going to have t go against 1 at a time at maximum. You are going to get hurt during all of this, and the more underlings you fight the bigger your chances of possibly dieing become.. why is playing a charatcer in an RPG any differnet"

I understand there is the suspension of disbeleif and all in most RPGs ( the ones that are normally very relaistic tend to be the very unpopular ones) but saying that unless im in a fight agaisnt the main villain, or the whole 'crowning moment of awesome' that keeps getting tossed in. for me that is asking for too great a suspension of disbeleif.


I shall nwo explain my 5 ( or so) minue speech I give to my players when they play with me for the first time. I tell them that I tend to be a lenient DM, mostly becvuase the rules suck and don't allow you do to the things that anybody could do. IThat does not mean that You get an out of death pass If it happens your character will die. that is not to say I am active;y aiming to kill your characters, that is failing on a big scale ive played those kind of games.. they force you to be very very defensive minded and overtly paranoid... again.. not much fun. combat its combat, you get hurt and you can die. I will not pull any punches.. unless you are completly new then I shall. becuase boiling down to fun again, it no fun the the very first character you ever made charged into a couple of orcs and died, your new and still getting the hang of Roleplaying down. but, given time I will tighten my grip and hopefully before it gets to the normal torque you have gotten RPing down solidly. One caveat... if you do something really really dumb.. ou are proably going to die.. i'll give you a one time offer card to get out.. but if you screw teh pooch on that...


there is of course more to this than what i am typing, but I do let my players understand that while I am not actively trying to kill them, just becuase thay are playing the game does not grant them immortality.

Raum
2012-01-21, 10:30 PM
If you read the next sentence I wrote, which you conveniently forgot to include in your quote, I clearly said that you can be heroic to your friends in playing the game by sacrificing the character you love, but not simply by rolling dice in accident.And I agree! It's those player choices which can be heroic in some ephemeral fashion - within the context of the game. Just as real life choices occasionally give rise to much more lauded forms of heroism.

But without that choice, without that risk taken, can there be heroism in any form? I suspect not.

tensai_oni
2012-01-21, 10:33 PM
In my perfect game system, there'd be some way that the player could be granted metagame currency in exchange for leaving their character vulnerable to death. That way, you're guaranteed to risk yourself on something big. The only other way that death can become a serious option is when the DM clearly warns the player that the action will have suicidal consequences. (To prevent the PCs from doing things like jumping into active volcanoes, just to see how far the "PCs cannot die" rule will be stretched.)

Something like Hero Points in Mutants and Masterminds? It's not exactly what you're looking for, but characters still get them when the bad guy suddenly ups the ante with a tricky situation or when they act on complications that are part of their background.

Fri
2012-01-21, 10:36 PM
@ Raum

Indeed. but you do it by choice. Not randomness or accident.

Wait, are we even still arguing about the same thing here?

Anyway, in case we somehow meandered to something different. I'm saying that dying by random rolls isn't heroic. When you choose to die for your friend, that can be heroic.

@Reluctance

My favourite is actually the system you use in mouse guard. Basically, before any conflict, the dm say first whether it's a 'to death' event or event that will only set you back. It's in the system.

So when you know that it's to the death, you'll use all you have in your deck.

Eurus
2012-01-21, 10:38 PM
Honestly, I feel like the threat of random death actually enhances the game. Knowing that actions have consequences, and you're not invincible. Yeah, actually dying to a set of lucky crits from that hydra really sucks. But it makes victory all the sweeter when you survive. To be meaningful, for me, there should be the possibility of failure and also the possibility of success. Non-lethal setbacks are a good compromise, but it can be hard to make them pack a punch.

deuxhero
2012-01-21, 10:39 PM
A real man never dies, even when he's killed!

tensai_oni
2012-01-21, 10:44 PM
To be meaningful, for me, there should be the possibility of failure and also the possibility of success. Non-lethal setbacks are a good compromise, but it can be hard to make them pack a punch.

I don't know. I found it very effective to endanger other things that players care about than their characters' lives. The NPCs, or the players' goals in general.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-21, 10:44 PM
Honestly, this whole discussion is over a very basic difference.

One group is primarily approaching roleplaying as a game, another is basically approaching it as collaborative improvised storytelling with random elements. The two groups are playing to two distinct goals and have two distinct desires and the role of death is different in the two cases. In the former case, death is essentially a lose condition which is necessary for a game to have meaning. In the latter case death is a dramatic event with far reaching influences on the narrative core of the activity and having it happen randomly throws everyone off and is often anticlimactic.

The first group doesn't care about the drama of the narrative, they care about facing challenge and overcoming it and then tell stories about it in the same way they would a game of soccer or baseball. The latter don't care about the challenge, but rather with the narrative, themes and similar. Simply put, it's two groups of people with two different goals trying to insist that they have the one true way.

Aquillion
2012-01-21, 10:50 PM
It's also important to realize that the game system you're using has huge implications.

In D&D, where death is reversible, death can be used as a penalty in a game.

In Exalted, where death is permanent (and characters take a pretty long time to make), most players are going to be annoyed at random, sudden deaths.

In Nobilis, dying doesn't even necessarily cause you to stop playing. In some editions, you could take the "dead" flaw at the beginning of the game. In fact, since it's likely to constantly cause problems for you (and therefore constantly give you miracle points), being dead can actually make you more powerful in Nobilis. And, either way, it doesn't put you out of the story.

In any system, having a player sitting around for extended periods of time doing nothing is just not fun, so it's most important to avoid that.

TurtleKing
2012-01-21, 10:52 PM
Something that has yet to be addressed yet bear mentioning is the reason for the character or driving force. Is the character out doing things for fortune, fame, glory, love, or just because is bored or having fun? This can and does have an effect as to why a character will do an action. One of my greatest heroic characters was virtually indestructible yet once got over or should I say reminded of why he was there went from bumbling fool to mighty despite all the built in failings. Motivation is key to whether a PC is just a character or goes beyond that to becoming a hero. While starting off with some grand noble reason is not the only way to becoming a hero. Most stories start the character off as some random guy that due to whatever event embarks on a quest. Some are also thrust into the role even if they want nothing more to than normal. So being a hero is dependent on both the setting and the players.

Another thing stemming off the character above is Death the end of a character's story? Does it have to be? Some might have the event from normalcy to hero starting with the character's death or plays a major role in it. Another of my characters that also quested for love didn't start his until after he had died. For him his beliefs are with death you are done yet a loved one was also going to die before supposed to die. So off he goes to find a way to save their life unliving only so long as to find the cure to the disease before passing on.

So while the reason does not automatically make a character into a hero it does play a major role. Plus when do define the end? Is at "death" or when is it they retire for whatever reason? If wanting a good undead to go with for a character persisting beyond death then go with Deathless. "Death" of a character is best when they have seen their time and fulfilled their goals. Past that they are done. Though if they are stupid don't hold back. They asked for it.

@RPGuru1331: Dogbert!? Excuse me if some video game or some other media yet curious. Were you playing in Orlando a year or two ago with somone playing a prinny on a quest to bring dead gods back spanning across time and space?

Edit: If not apparent I do subscribe to both as I play D&D to both have fun and tell a story together. No too mention how it helps in a round about way of my Asperger's. Though if going to label me then stick me in the narrative roleplaying side of telling a story.

Raum
2012-01-21, 10:53 PM
@ Raum

Indeed. but you do it by choice. Not randomness or accident.

Wait, are we even still arguing about the same thing here?

Anyway, in case we somehow meandered to something different. I'm saying that dying by random rolls isn't heroic. When you choose to die for your friend, that can be heroic.Probably not. :smallwink: And yes, we did go off on a bit of a semi-philosophical tangent.


Honestly, this whole discussion is over a very basic difference.

One group is primarily approaching roleplaying as a game, another is basically approaching it as collaborative improvised storytelling with random elements. The two groups are playing to two distinct goals and have two distinct desires and the role of death is different in the two cases. In the former case, death is essentially a lose condition which is necessary for a game to have meaning. In the latter case death is a dramatic event with far reaching influences on the narrative core of the activity and having it happen randomly throws everyone off and is often anticlimactic.In many way I agree, though I think it's a spectrum of which you're pointing out the extremes. You can play a game to create a dramatic story after all (though other systems do this more overtly than d20).


The first group doesn't care about the drama of the narrative, they care about facing challenge and overcoming it and then tell stories about it in the same way they would a game of soccer or baseball. The latter don't care about the challenge, but rather with the narrative, themes and similar. Simply put, it's two groups of people with two different goals trying to insist that they have the one true way.Here's where you start to get too extreme for me to agree entirely. You imply there are only two choices.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-21, 10:58 PM
There has only been two positions presented in this discussion. Not just that, the two are paradigmatically different. At core trying to do both at the same time is as impossible as doing quantum physics and Newtonian physics at the same time. The two use different methods to achieve different goals and conceive of the game in different manners. Both can have elements of the other, but at heart it is incompatible paradigms of roleplaying.

And again, look at the discussion for these last two pages, does it look like it is a continuum or like it is two distinct positions?

Belril Duskwalk
2012-01-21, 11:00 PM
Honestly, this whole discussion is over a very basic difference.

One group is primarily approaching roleplaying as a game, another is basically approaching it as collaborative improvised storytelling with random elements. The two groups are playing to two distinct goals and have two distinct desires and the role of death is different in the two cases. In the former case, death is essentially a lose condition which is necessary for a game to have meaning. In the latter case death is a dramatic event with far reaching influences on the narrative core of the activity and having it happen randomly throws everyone off and is often anticlimactic.

The first group doesn't care about the drama of the narrative, they care about facing challenge and overcoming it and then tell stories about it in the same way they would a game of soccer or baseball. The latter don't care about the challenge, but rather with the narrative, themes and similar. Simply put, it's two groups of people with two different goals trying to insist that they have the one true way.

I think that actually sums this whole thread up really well. Well, maybe the line isn't quite as clear as all that, but people will generally be closer to one side or the other. Some people want to overcome the challenge before them, others want to tell the story of how the challenge was overcome. Both are reasonable ways to play. I'm closer to Group One, but I can see where Group Two is having fun as well.

TurtleKing
2012-01-21, 11:03 PM
I will second Raum that there are people who play it for more than one reason. I at least have three reasons for playing RPGs.

As for the title and discussion of this thread. When should a hero die or even better when is time for the character (broader term) to retire in whatever fashion is based on many factors such as setting, DM, players, the character's choices, and more. Like so many other things we can only define the main aspects of what is largely situationally dependent of when it is time to hang up the cape. Many of these have already been discussed so won't reiterate it again.

Raum
2012-01-21, 11:11 PM
There has only been two positions presented in this discussion. I listed five differing play styles on the first page. And that's certainly not all of the variations available.


Not just that, the two are paradigmatically different. At core trying to do both at the same time is as impossible as doing quantum physics and Newtonian physics at the same time. The two use different methods to achieve different goals and conceive of the game in different manners. Both can have elements of the other, but at heart it is incompatible paradigms of roleplaying.They're not as diametrically opposed as you might think...once you look at other game systems. In Wushu the entire game is about pacing the story. In FATE, game mechanics are often 'meta-mechanics' which directly affect narrative elements. There are a lot more out there, covering a spectrum from pure story pacing of Wushu to pure simulation.


And again, look at the discussion for these last two pages, does it look like it is a continuum or like it is two distinct positions?Extremes on the internet?! :)

Kenneth
2012-01-21, 11:14 PM
So.. let me get this right terra..

Becuase I see character death as a thing that happens when you go around exploring ruins and delvin into things that should be better left alone. i am incompatible with telling a story..

that is kind of.. wrong ig uess is the best word for it. I play D&D to create a world to tell a story and my players to tell their character's story as well.
If a starting out 'hero' =has this inulvernabity and has no worry about dieing to a golbins sword swing, then why are there any needs for a hero? I mean if there is not the threat of danger and wory to temper one's being how does one become a hero? Look at achilles. the guy spent 3/4 of the trojan war moping and pouting in his tent of this and that the guy did have his nice 'invulnerabilty' and it wasn't an epic total aweosme moment when he died.. a crappy fighter shot an arrow and got lucky.


It is perfeclt fine that peopl both play a game and tell a story. I know that I do both and those whohave played with me tend to do the same thing.. for me ist actually the ones ( in my experiences at least) that are just playing the game tend to get upset over their character dieing. the more storytelling ones are mor einterested in the story whether or not that be with Xerarhd the might sorcerer or kruff the valian knight.

Drathmar
2012-01-21, 11:45 PM
I personally have to agree with those saying PC's are not heroes until you make them heroes.

D&D isn't a game of heroes (to me) it is a game of playing someone else in a fantasy world.

Are they likely to become heroes? Yes... but if one of them dies by the wayside on the way... that can make a good story.

Some of the best fantasy stories in the genre are those than don't shy away from killing the heroes and main characters, that let them die, that let the death of a hero affect the rest of the story.

If it happens from a random dice roll... go with it and MAKE a good story out of it.

Dimers
2012-01-22, 12:08 AM
There has only been two positions presented in this discussion. Not just that, the two are paradigmatically different. At core trying to do both at the same time is as impossible as doing quantum physics and Newtonian physics at the same time. The two use different methods to achieve different goals and conceive of the game in different manners. Both can have elements of the other, but at heart it is incompatible paradigms of roleplaying.

They're "incompatible" in the sense that there are situations in which both can't be fulfilled simultaneously. But many people do feel motivations from both paradigms at once. If I have a character die randomly and not heroically, I'll piss and moan because that instance is no fun, but I'll still be glad I'm playing in a game that allows the realistic result that death represents. So in that way, it is a spectrum, not a dipole.

RPGuru1331
2012-01-22, 12:49 AM
I listed five differing play styles on the first page. And that's certainly not all of the variations available.
Those aren't playing styles, those are story types. They're orthogonal to the point.


They're not as diametrically opposed as you might think...once you look at other game systems. In Wushu the entire game is about pacing the story. In FATE, game mechanics are often 'meta-mechanics' which directly affect narrative elements. There are a lot more out there, covering a spectrum from pure story pacing of Wushu to pure simulation.
It's not about whether or not you have mechanics, it's about what you're trying to do at the table. Wushu and FATE use PCs for plot, IIRC; they don't really try to have the same kind of Yet Another Stupid Death elements that you might see in say, Hackmaster or DnD.


Extremes on the internet?! :)
In other words, you can't actually bring up a position you claim exists. XD



@RPGuru1331: Dogbert!? Excuse me if some video game or some other media yet curious. Were you playing in Orlando a year or two ago with somone playing a prinny on a quest to bring dead gods back spanning across time and space?
No, he's from the comic strip Dilbert. You've got the wrong person. Sorry.


Becuase I see character death as a thing that happens when you go around exploring ruins and delvin into things that should be better left alone. i am incompatible with telling a story..
Basically. It's not about whether death can occur, but about whether death can occur randomly and without narrative cause. Those are different things.



that is kind of.. wrong ig uess is the best word for it. I play D&D to create a world to tell a story and my players to tell their character's story as well.
ACtions speak louder than words. Valuing a dice roll more than a story, in effect, tells me you're not really focusing on plot. Which you know, is perfectly cool and I don't really care what you do in your game time, but don't then come back and tell me you care more, or equally, about plot.

Moreover, the fact that this position is *alien and incomprehensible to you*, as has been evidenced by your posts earlier, betrays the point. You can't seem to conceive putting the story above the dice. Which, really, is fine, but it doesn't speak well to "I do them all and care about them all equally". You don't. I don't either. No reason to lie to ourselves about what we do.


If a starting out 'hero' =has this inulvernabity and has no worry about dieing to a golbins sword swing, then why are there any needs for a hero?
You and Raum have an odd habit of confusing IC and OOC knowledge. I as a player may feel confident my character won't die to some peons under any circumstances, but that does nothing to bolster or lessen my character's fears (Unless I theoretically play someone who's poking at the fourth wall a lot). If your character was scared before, they should still be scared. As far as they know, screwing up is death (If it's that kind of setting to begin with, anyway).

For that matter, it's also not just about starting out heroes either; the mooks on the... what the devil would a dungeon crawl that isn't Stone Soup look like again? The mook zombies in the evil Necromancer's tower might be peasant zombies, or they might be bone dragons; If they don't have plot relevance, they're atmosphere. They're not, if I'm the one running the game, ever going to have a chance to kill the PCs,* because it's about making sure death comes at an appropriate moment.**

And you know, if an appropriate place comes up for a new character, and the player's cool with it, I'm not really gonna turn that down.


Some of the best fantasy stories in the genre are those than don't shy away from killing the heroes and main characters, that let them die, that let the death of a hero affect the rest of the story.
This is kind of not what you want to invoke; it's a rare fantasy story that lets an important character die *pointlessly* (Unless, in fact, the narrative is specifically trying to play on the trope and show that death is meaningless; however, that's not much of a staple of fantasy so much as it is war stories). It's not about avoiding death. It's about making sure death comes at an appropriate point in the character's story. I can think of 3 friends of mine making characters they plan to kill off; later. At a properly dramatic moment, at that.

Let me repeat that, for people who still think this is about avoiding the death of PCs:
<b>You can plan to kill your character off, for plot, from the start of the game.</b> Because sometimes, in stories, people die; but it's absurdly rare for them to die without the author killing them off for some reason (Even if that reason is to enforce the idea that death doesn't always come for a reason; it's paradox, but whatta ya gonna do?). The argument isn't to never have characters die, but to have those deaths something that come at the right time for an ending.

If it happens from a random dice roll... go with it and MAKE a good story out of it.
There's not really a story to tell out of an Orc's nat 20 that ends a level 1, in older DnD versions (It'd take a few more crits in the newer one, but the concept holds strong). That's kind of the point, really.

I mean, I can write out the occurence with sufficient delivery, but there's not much to tell. Also I'll have wasted a substantial amount of my and - usually - other players' time.

*Notice I Didn't say they can't win. Just that they're not an appropriate end in my book.

**Now, that's not to say I can't think of a way to make what is mechanically the same sort of thing into a fight that might be considered a worthy end. If someone wants to die, I can oblige and make it spectacular. And there's a pretty decent chance I'm going to do that, because I don't really do dungeon crawl. But it's still ultimately about whether that fight is an appropriate place to die.

Heliomance
2012-01-22, 08:08 AM
Insofar as heroism involves courage and valor, removing danger certainly does diminish it.

There's some truth to this...but why do you think that's bad? Take Shadowrun as an example...paranoid preparation is an expected part of the game! :)
Exactly. In Shadowrun, that's the point of the game. Shadowrun is not a heroic fantasy game, it's grim and gritty. You are not heroes, you are people trying to survive in a dystopia. Different systems wil encourage different playstyles. In Paranoia, if you don't die, you're doing it wrong. In CoC, if you don't die, it's probably only because you've already gone irrevocably mad. In Dark Heresy, if you don't die, it's because you ran away and hid like the squishy redshirt you are. In WoD mortals, if you don't die, it's because of a lot of preparation, a lot of care, a lot of paranoia, and a lot of luck.

In Legend of the Five Rings, if you do die and you haven't spent your life dearly, if you die ignobly, then you have just dishonoured your lord and yourself. In D&D, if you die, it's because it was your time to die - or, in my opinion, it should be.

THey're different games, different genres, different levels of darkness. Some games you play heroes, some games you play frightened people trying to survive against all odds. In the latter, it's a given that you may well not survive. In the former, it's not.


I just want to toss in another supporting clause for myself and the rest who are on side 'A' of this debate. I might be doing it wrong, as I am about to bring real life into it.
Let's say you are going after a gang leader. You only have a knife, but are very skilled in knife fighting - but so is said gang leader. But in order to get to him you have to go through several of his underlings who have varying degrees of knife fighing ability, if they even have a knife at all. On the up side, though, you are only ever going to have to go against one at a time at maximum.
You are going to get hurt during all of this, and the more underlings you fight the bigger your chances of possibly dying become. Why is playing a character in an RPG any different?

Took the liberty of fixing your spelling and grammar.
Playing a character in an RPG is different because it's not real life. Real life is not heroic fantasy. You are not a hero, and there is no force of dramatic imperative. Nothing dictates that real life should be a good story. It is not your destiny to save the world. Real life is grim, and ugly, and lethal (everyone dies of it!).

A large part of the reason for playing, e.g., D&D, is for escapism. We play to forget about the real world for a while, to be heroes, to be larger than life, and to tell an epic story. That is very much not the way the real world works - and that's kind of the point.

TurtleKing
2012-01-22, 08:22 AM
AMEN and preach on Heliomance.

RPGs for just about everybody in whatever guise it holds is escapism. The being larger than life. Some do it by telling a story of a person who goes through trials to achieve said goal likely becoming a notable person as possibly a hero or villian. What!? Some (alot) of us play evil characters or in evil parties. Other people do it by challenging themselves to best the the challenge before them. Probably could name a few more though all at its core is escapism. Is escapism the only reason we play RPGs? No! Many of us probably play it for other reasons as well such as hanging out with friends or using as a substitute for therapy (mediocre quality at best) since can't afford it.

Gunpowder
2012-01-22, 09:44 AM
I like the way Savage Worlds does injury and death.

The fact is, it's very hard to die. I wont go into the details, but once you're incapacitated, you get two chances to avoid death, all of which can be rerolled if you have spare fate chips (tokens which allow you to redo/modify a bad roll). Which essentially means that it's only in the really tough battles where you need to use the chips simply to keep up the pressure that you have any real chance of losing a player.

It's less difficult to leave a battle more scarred than you went in.

See, while you get two vigor checks after incapacitation before you end up taking a dirt nap, anything but a raise on the first check gives you an injury - maybe a heavy blow gave you a couple of broken rips, maybe a lucky strike gave you concussion, hell, maybe you got a bullet lodged in your leg. Luckily, most of these only take a week or two to heal. Unless, of course, you're were only lucky enough to just hold on to life.

Some injuries stick around for longer. Those ribs might set badly. The concussion might have done a little more permanent damage to your head. And that bullet wound can get infected, and, well, doctoring on the front line isn't a perfect science.

In the last deadlands game, we only lost one player, who gave her last breath in the final battle - a fitting end. But we didn't walk into the final battle as whole as we were when we first met. Half the party had some war wound that would stick with them their whole life, and only one player had managed to avoid any injury at all.

And... well, I actually think that this is the best way to play a game. If characters are dying left, right, and centre, there'd be no development, no player investment in any character. But equally, every party is putting themselves in danger to fight for what they believe in, be it honour, justice or even just gold. If it takes a few scars to remind us of that, then I'm happy to risk the trial of rolling on the injury table once in a while.

Raum
2012-01-22, 10:12 AM
@RPGuru1331 - Can't figure out who you've quoted half the time so I'll cherry pick pieces to respond to.
Those aren't playing styles, those are story types. They're orthogonal to the point.

It's not about whether or not you have mechanics, it's about what you're trying to do at the table. Wushu and FATE use PCs for plot, IIRC; they don't really try to have the same kind of Yet Another Stupid Death elements that you might see in say, Hackmaster or DnD.

In other words, you can't actually bring up a position you claim exists. XDThe original question was "When should a character die?" I stated "It depends on the game." and listed several different games typically played in differing styles. Others have also listed games where death is treated differently. Please explain how this is "orthogonal to the point."


You and Raum have an odd habit of confusing IC and OOC knowledge. Since I haven't addressed it here, I'm not sure how I've confused it. You may be reading more into what I've stated than is really there.

----------
Bottom line - there are as many different answers to "When should a character die?" as there are styles of game play. "One true way-ism" doesn't work. :smallconfused: Not sure it ever has.

Solaris
2012-01-22, 10:54 AM
Bottom line - there are as many different answers to "When should a character die?" as there are styles of game play. "One true way-ism" doesn't work. :smallconfused: Not sure it ever has.

Blasphemy and heresies. Mine is the one true way. All others are wrong. To say otherwise is to violate the fundamental nature of reality itself.

Raum
2012-01-22, 11:15 AM
Blasphemy and heresies. Send in the inquisition! :-P

Solaris
2012-01-22, 11:41 AM
Send in the inquisition! :-P

They'll never expect it.

jindra34
2012-01-22, 12:17 PM
Skimmed over arguements in page two so this may be repeating somethings said but here are some problems I have with the PCs should never die (and/or seriously hampered) without player consent group:
1. It places the PCs on a completely different level of response by the GM/DM/Whatever than the NPCs.
2. Any situation that calls for rolls (and thus leads to 'let the die fall as it may') should be a situation where the PCs already know the risks
And
3. It stresses the versimilitude and logic of the game, if your going into a goblin warcamp that has killed the last n people to go in there why should they simply take you prisoner.

Now the person running the game should be clear and upfront about this but it seems silly to default to semi-invincible as opposed to frail and squishy. And while an RPG is a cooperative story telling process, it still works within the rules of a agreed upon system. If you really feel the need to mitigate single bad roll deaths allow players to either burn important resources (such as xp) to get a re-roll, or just give them a small number of free re-rolls a session/story. And if that isn't enough maybe you should look into free-form roleplay as opposed to an RPG system.

Kenneth
2012-01-22, 02:36 PM
Playing a character in an RPG is different because it's not real life. Real life is not heroic fantasy. You are not a hero, and there is no force of dramatic imperative. Nothing dictates that real life should be a good story. It is not your destiny to save the world. Real life is grim, and ugly, and lethal (everyone dies of it!).

A large part of the reason for playing, e.g., D&D, is for escapism. We play to forget about the real world for a while, to be heroes, to be larger than life, and to tell an epic story. That is very much not the way the real world works - and that's kind of the point.

Id like you to read about Audie Murphy, The ROman General Horatius. the passangers aboard flight 93. look, I could go on about the many many time with examples of how your 'real life is never heroic' is much on the far side of wrong.

but this boils down to play styles. My groups tend to play that farmer who picks up an old shoddy sword and attacks soem damn goblins and progresses from their. they do not start out at heroes who desrve statues, parades and feats for rewards on the very first thing the do, they play to earn that right.

TO me i would be downright upset if i knew the DM/GM/storyteller wa never going to let my character die.. that is the whole point in playing for me, the chance that I might fail and so the evil force wins the day. there have only been 3 times I left a game in my enitre life, 1 of those was the DM was activly being an arse to all of us. One was some guy randomly threatened to kill my hedgehog (who has sinced passed away RIP ROOTA!), in my house none the less, and the 3rd was when I found out the DM had jibbed the dice so that we never died. I pulled the DM asaide during a break and said ' man, thats ot cool, whats the point in playing if we are already going to succeed and none of us have the threat of dieing looming overhead" he gave some halfbrained excuse and i just siad ' ok man, well Im done playing a game like this is no fun.. like playing a game on god mode.. i guess its kinda fun.. but you do not get the full aweosmefulfillment of winning otherwise.'


at RPGuru1331

uh.. what? You may not understand this but D&D is all about random chance. EVERYTHING is based on a die roll. I think you are getting to caught up in a single character deciding the fate of a story. My stories go as this "super condesned time' long ago bad guy evil almost desotryed X, too powerful to be killed instead bad guy evil was imprisnoned. now bad guy evil has broken out and is on a rampage and somehow more powerful than ever a band of heroes come along and unbeknowenst to them have everything that is needed to kill bad guy evil. while there are mnay persons who attep to stop him only a certain few are the ones who succeed,

{{Scrubbed}} Bob creates a elven blademaster who happened to be in a cage and was about o get eaten by those same ogres.. WHAT THE (&*^ the story continues.

Lie i said much earlier.. or was it in that other thread.. idk.. i let my players know that just as in real life, there is a such thing as death in D&D. ive never really had too mnay complaints against that and those who did were.. well. not that fun to play with at all...

If your players are going into teh forgotten swamp that the only person to ever come out alive was a super badass who was never the same afetrwards... shoudln't they also expect that maybe some of them won't ever come back ou alive?

if the characters never have a chance to die why even play at all. just cut straitght to the ending cut scene and let them know what happens when they save the world I mena if I was playing under the people who feel that character death is a bad thing and will never kill characters id want it that way save me 10 minutes of creating a character and months of playing it.



plus. I have to agree with raum here. what in the world are you referring to when taking of OOC and IC information?

Toofey
2012-01-22, 02:44 PM
PCs should not be immune from death, it destroys the dramatic tension. Generally it's not ideal for the PCs to get killed off, but it's not the end of the world.

Crow
2012-01-22, 03:02 PM
Without the risk of losing the character, what is the point? Im not hanging with my friends to tell a story or hear a story. I'm there to play a game and craft a story around it.

It's the same reason so many games where you can't die seem to fall flat. Look at Fable. Winning the game is a forgone conclusion, so there really is no sense of accomplishment at finishing. I may as well have sat down and wrote a fanfic about how my guy saved the world.

Losing is fun. It's what makes having a character who has a long career and really does become a hero so special. If you're all heroes from the start, who really gives a damn. Yeah, you're a badass, go write a novel about how you never fail unless you want to.

Kyberwulf
2012-01-22, 03:28 PM
I think its a double standard, to whine about your character dying and ruining the story you crafted for him. Then in the same breath talk about how DMs should not Railroad players, for the sake of their Stories and plots.
If the DMs have to accept the luck of the rolls dispatching their stories, so to do the players have to accept it.

RPGuru1331
2012-01-22, 04:16 PM
The original question was "When should a character die?" I stated "It depends on the game." and listed several different games typically played in differing styles. Others have also listed games where death is treated differently. Please explain how this is "orthogonal to the point."
The conversation drifted to the related topic of player play styles, and how those are affecting the answers given. Different game themes are an unrelated point. It's like trying to talk about movie genres instead of talking about writing styles.


Since I haven't addressed it here, I'm not sure how I've confused it. You may be reading more into what I've stated than is really there.
You, as well as Kenneth, have had an interesting habit of asking why my characters wouldn't be scared when they can't die. Very odd question.


Bottom line - there are as many different answers to "When should a character die?" as there are styles of game play. "One true way-ism" doesn't work. Not sure it ever has.
And who's done that here? I was pretty specific in saying I don't really care what anyone else does, at the end of the day. You should look at all those folks saying that if I don't have let people randomly dying, I'm doing it wrong.

Like so;

uh.. what? You may not understand this but D&D is all about random chance. EVERYTHING is based on a die roll
I don't play DnD.


I think you are getting to caught up in a single character deciding the fate of a story.
The fate of my character does determine my character's story. There's not just one story at play.


My stories go as this "super condesned time' long ago bad guy evil almost desotryed X, too powerful to be killed instead bad guy evil was imprisnoned. now bad guy evil has broken out and is on a rampage and somehow more powerful than ever a band of heroes come along and unbeknowenst to them have everything that is needed to kill bad guy evil. while there are mnay persons who attep to stop him only a certain few are the ones who succeed,
I, for one, am completely unsurprised.



OH NOES!!!! bob's barbarian warrior died at level 4 due to a ogre killing him THAT HORRIBLE END OF THE STORY AND THE GAME AND TEH UNIVERSE. only the story doesn;t say 'bob's barbarian warrior must live' so the unthinkable happens.. Bob creates a elven blademaster who happened to be in a cage and was about o get eaten by those same ogres.. WHAT THE (&*^ the story continues.
Um, see, those of us who actually care about plot had stuff planned for the barbarian, dude. The barbarian wasn't just some head crusher. Maybe he's an exiled noble, hoping to bring down the high society that spurned him, or she's a warrior princess who's arrogance is going to cause her problems.

As a GM, I'mg oing to have **** planned to take advantage of their plotline, and they'll oblige by creating plot hooks for me to exploit. We don't make interchangeable characters. I don't mind that you do, but I'm not going to change how I run because that's what you want.



if the characters never have a chance to die why even play at all. just cut straitght to the ending cut scene and let them know what happens when they save the world I mena if I was playing under the people who feel that character death is a bad thing and will never kill characters id want it that way save me 10 minutes of creating a character and months of playing it.
You really don't get this whole plot thing, do you?

Kenneth
2012-01-22, 04:56 PM
I do get a 'this whole plot thing' but anyody playing an RPG , minus the few where no combat ever takes place, well i guess I should say most people playing an RPG, minus the few that have no combat involved. Understand that death may happen.

while you may seem to think that I cannot do plots and am unable to plan thigs for certain characters, I always make it a point to include the characters backstory in the campaign. for instance the old mercanry turned paladin I had, he raped his wife murdered his family in law and left. his wife child was stillborn and she turned to an arch-fiend for revenge to grant her power to seek revenge on her husband. long story short he fought her and upon the final blow with knocked her across the room and removed her helm he realized who she was, she was clutchin her fist to her heart and the Paladin knelt down embraced her and said ' forgive me my love. I was beyond apprehensible and was far from right of any of my actions, I love you and am sorry that my own actions drove you to this' her last words barely a whisper was to forgive him her hand fell and tehf ist came open to revela she was holding the wedding ring. too bad the paladin never got to finish teh campaign.. teh party decde that instead of going inot one of the main bad guys castle to camp literally right out in front of it. needled to say 3 of them deied and the other 3 surrendered. Liek i metioned ealrier i gave them a way out, the guards all left, except for the one who had the key to their chains they attacke dhim and got themselves free and instead of escapeing tried to , completely unarmed and unarmored kill more underlings.


Ok so you don't play D&D.. so.. theres RPGs out there that do not have dice rolling, card drawing rock-paper-scissors, or some other type of randomization of successor failure that you happen to play. interesting, what is the name of that game/system?

unlike yourslef as a GM i am going to make sure that player understand that they are not just going to get to walk around and do whatever they want with no fear of repurcussions. like Crow said. if you want to play a mary sue ( i think thats the term here) and GM a game with a bunch of mary sues then ok. thats never the game for me, I want my character to have to overocme hardships and have the chance that they might die.

If nothing ever can kill/hurt/annoy you then really how much of a hero are you?

I mean you even say it yourself
There's not just one story at play.
dude.. just becuase your character dies IN COMBAT or jumping n th lava, or eating a posioned frog does NOT mean that the whole story is ruined. there are other stories that are going to continue.

and I do not make interchangabel characters, i just though my 1000+ characters in my years of playing understand that **** happens and yoru character dies sometimes. if i was liek some of these poeple and cried, moped,whined, and resort to writing a thesis about why my character should never die. id probqably commit suicide years ago.

and hwo is raum and I's
odd habit of asking why your characters wouldn't be scared when they can't die is far form odd, fight or flight si the most base human instinct of all. I5 just strike the two o u as odd that you walk around with these character who are completely unafraid of any sort of danger as they are incapple of being inured, hurt, aggreived, annoyed, or just about anything that you as the player do not want to happen to them.

again, what system/game do you play that allows you as teh player to decde what, where, who, wy and how something can or canot happen to your charatcer.. i bet that back in the day when playing shoot-em up with your firned you were that one kid who suddenlty had an nergy field/magicla armo/ taking up for a practice rapture when somebody shot you.

again, i am going to refer to crow above post and say
I'm there to play a game and craft a story around it. and add that i agree with his statemtn
Yeah, you're a badass, go write a novel about how you never fail unless you want to.

Drathmar
2012-01-22, 05:06 PM
I, for one, am completely unsurprised.


Um, see, those of us who actually care about plot had stuff planned for the barbarian, dude. The barbarian wasn't just some head crusher. Maybe he's an exiled noble, hoping to bring down the high society that spurned him, or she's a warrior princess who's arrogance is going to cause her problems.

As a GM, I'mg oing to have **** planned to take advantage of their plotline, and they'll oblige by creating plot hooks for me to exploit. We don't make interchangeable characters. I don't mind that you do, but I'm not going to change how I run because that's what you want.


You really don't get this whole plot thing, do you?

Gonna respond to this part here. In a non-random RP... that is fine... but part of the fun of a random, d20 based (or other die roll based) system is the randomness... throwing things into the plot and making you work with them.

Lets take the exiles barbarian noble... who tragically met his end at the end of an ogres weapon... and now his comrades carry on his dying wish against that high society. Which in turn gives that a whole new meaning... and a different depth... but is still caring about plot, while working with the what happens due to random chance in these games.

Or the barbarian princess... well... looks like her arrogance in thinking she could take that ogre did cause her problems... maybe the party then has to go back and tell her tribe she is dead... which could have varying consequences... such as them being blamed and imprisoned for it, or her father sending them on a quest to gather something special for the royal funeral of his daughter who died in honorable combat.

Just because people 'let the dice fall as they may' does NOT mean they do not care about the plot as much as you. Your whole "oh but I am not saying my way is the right way" and then saying "but if you don't do it my way you obviously don't care about plot as much" is pretty damn hypocritical.

As someone said... this question has no definite answer, as there as many answers as play styles... just as there are as many STORIES (where plot is important) as there are play styles that revolve around story telling, and one that incorporates the randomness into the story telling cares just as much about the plot (though it may have to tweaked), as one that doesn't let characters die if its not the right moment.

TLDR: Stop saying one way is better than the other, or one type cares about plot more than another cause you're all rightn and you all care about plot.

Zeful
2012-01-22, 05:13 PM
PCs die when their hit points run out. Heroes die when their villain is defeated and the world no longer needs them. Let's not confuse the two.

Existence alone is not sufficient to make a PC a hero. It's so much more rewarding for the player to make his character a hero.

This. A PC can be a hero, but is not always a hero.

MukkTB
2012-01-22, 07:15 PM
Random events =/= No Plot
No random events with planned story == Railroading

So by default when you start a story based RPG you are going to have random-ish events that no one person is totally in control of. Death could be an event. It doesn't have to be. Any character action is outside of DM control. Any dice action is outside of anyone's control (minus optimizing bonuses). Players craft a story out of the events as they go on.

Even in a story where the DM is railroading as hard as he can, the players will be acting a certain way. Being greedy or helpful, being smart or stupid. They'll still be creating a story. Unless the DM is so railroady that they never get to act.

In the same way the players can still create a story when the dice are dictating what is happening.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-22, 07:23 PM
So it is railroading even if player choice is a substantial element? That's got to be a new definition, given how the term tends to center on the removal of player agency as opposed to the presence or absence of events outside human control.

TurtleKing
2012-01-22, 07:24 PM
I am curious. Is death the end? Does it have to be?

RPGuru1331
2012-01-22, 07:56 PM
Gonna respond to this part here. In a non-random RP... that is fine... but part of the fun of a random, d20 based (or other die roll based) system is the randomness... throwing things into the plot and making you work with them.
Randomness is going to throw things in. You're not obligated to make one of those possibilities death. You can, and I don't really care. This can not be that difficult; The entire set of events isn't rendered meaningless just because death can't occur without player permission.



Lets take the exiles barbarian noble... who tragically met his end at the end of an ogres weapon... and now his comrades carry on his dying wish against that high society. Which in turn gives that a whole new meaning... and a different depth... but is still caring about plot, while working with the what happens due to random chance in these games.
Then that's everyone else subordinating their own plots because of a random dice roll. The players have that option, but there's no reason to make that the expected result when you can just make random peons not be lethal.


TLDR: Stop saying one way is better than the other,
I'm not. That's the opposite of what I'm saying.


No random events with planned story == Railroading
What are you talking about? If everyone gets input into events, and crafts the story, then it's the opposite of a railroad. I mean, I don't do no-randomness either, that was you guys throwing those words into my mouth, but that's besides the point; communal input means the GM isn't throwing you where you don't want to go.


Death could be an event. It doesn't have to be.
So close to my point, yet used to move so very far away.


I do get a 'this whole plot thing' but anyody playing an RPG , minus the few where no combat ever takes place, well i guess I should say most people playing an RPG, minus the few that have no combat involved. Understand that death may happen.


Let me repeat that, for people who still think this is about avoiding the death of PCs:
You can plan to kill your character off, for plot, from the start of the game. Because sometimes, in stories, people die; but it's absurdly rare for them to die without the author killing them off for some reason (Even if that reason is to enforce the idea that death doesn't always come for a reason; it's paradox, but whatta ya gonna do?). The argument isn't to never have characters die, but to have those deaths something that comes at the right time for an ending.


while you may seem to think that I cannot do plots and am unable to plan thigs for certain characters, I always make it a point to include the characters backstory in the campaign.
Your words belie this; you would not consider characters to be interchangeable if this were true, as you made it so clear was the case hwen you told us about bob the barbarian-nee-elven blademaster.


dude.. just becuase your character dies IN COMBAT or jumping n th lava, or eating a posioned frog does NOT mean that the whole story is ruined. there are other stories that are going to continue.
I didn't say the entire game's plot was ruined because my character's story ended prematurely. I said my character's story ended.


is far form odd, fight or flight si the most base human instinct of all. I5 just strike the two o u as odd that you walk around with these character who are completely unafraid of any sort of danger as they are incapple of being inured, hurt, aggreived, annoyed, or just about anything that you as the player do not want to happen to them.
The characters don't know this. How hard is this? The IC/OOC divide is roleplaying 101.


Losing is fun. It's what makes having a character who has a long career and really does become a hero so special. If you're all heroes from the start, who really gives a damn.
Us. I don't care if you don't care. Just as I'm sure you don't care that I don't care about the mountains of PC corpses you have.


Yeah, you're a badass, go write a novel about how you never fail unless you want to.
You're really not getting the point at all. Oh well.

MukkTB
2012-01-22, 08:14 PM
So it is railroading even if player choice is a substantial element? That's got to be a new definition, given how the term tends to center on the removal of player agency as opposed to the presence or absence of events outside human control.

Yeah but even in bad railroading the player has agency. He can be sullen. He can be engaged. He can quit the game. Even a railroading DM can't micromanage his every move. He can make friends with one NPC and constantly insult the other. He can scrawl graffiti on every train stop. If you want to take the railroad analogy further the train is following a specific path, but what happens in the train car is still under the PCs control.

Go read DM of the Rings. That guy railroads like nothing else, and yet the players still have agency. The actions of the players have a great deal of impact on the story. Now and then they break out of the rails. And when they can't, they change the tone of the story drastically from what the DM wants.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-22, 08:25 PM
Yeah but even in bad railroading the player has agency. He can be sullen. He can be engaged. He can quit the game. Even a railroading DM can't micromanage his every move. He can make friends with one NPC and constantly insult the other. He can scrawl graffiti on every train stop. If you want to take the railroad analogy further the train is following a specific path, but what happens in the train car is still under the PCs control.

Go read DM of the Rings. That guy railroads like nothing else, and yet the players still have agency. The actions of the players have a great deal of impact on the story. Now and then they break out of the rails. And when they can't, they change the tone of the story drastically from what the DM wants.

And that relates to death happening at the whim of the dice in what way exactly? :smallconfused:

Drathmar
2012-01-22, 08:52 PM
I'm not. That's the opposite of what I'm saying.


You say this, yet you don't address and completely leave out every single part of my post showing how you ARE, aside from me saying you are.

To reiterate, you are saying if people let die rolls determine death they do not care about the plot as much as you, therefore you are saying your way is the right way for people who care about plot, and that those who let die rolls determine death don't care about it nearly as much, therefore their way is the wrong way where plot is concerned.

Which is not true at all. Your way is not the best way for telling a story, or caring about plot, nor is die roll randomness, because the 'best way' depends on the people writing the story (the players and dms).

TurtleKing
2012-01-22, 08:55 PM
Does anyone else feel this thread has deviated abit from the intended?

Hopefully back on topic with a 4th? time asking this question. Does Death have to be the end?

Belril Duskwalk
2012-01-22, 09:20 PM
Does anyone else feel this thread has deviated abit from the intended?

Hopefully back on topic with a 4th? time asking this question. Does Death have to be the end?

Actually, no. I feel the thread is very much on target. Seeing as one of the primary targets of the thread was 'should a PC die by the fall of the dice? or only when it is dramatically appropriate?' And the primary discussion is pretty much about just that.

As for your question no, death need not be the end. Unless your party is cheap or flat-broke. Or your DM tells you there are no high-level clerics willing to deal with you. Or your enemy decided to be severely thorough about making your character really really dead.

Terraoblivion
2012-01-22, 09:28 PM
Or you don't play D&D. That one is kinda important to mention and rather common.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-22, 09:28 PM
Hopefully back on topic with a 4th? time asking this question. Does Death have to be the end?

In DND it rarely is, but honestly I think it should be most of the time. Easy access to raising spells destroys all the impact of what should have been a very dramatic event - the death of a PC or an important NPC. This is the reason why in most non-DND RPGs, resurrection is either incredibly rare and difficult, or outward nonexistant. And I like it that way.

Coidzor
2012-01-22, 09:28 PM
Before he's lived long enough to see himself become the villain.

TurtleKing
2012-01-22, 09:40 PM
The reason I asked does death have to be the end is for when past death is when the adventure begins. Example of the adventure starting after death could be playing a Vampire in World of Darkness. Or say the character for whatever reason doesn't let death stop them from continuing on. This case playing a Deathless or some other undead that is compatible with the party. Just because one is dead doesn't automatically mean evil either. Granted this does take a little work to not go nuts such as in D&D. Some systems however has death just another milestone in the characters story. Reason not saying about ressurection is not all systems have that so try to be system neutral where possible.

The basic thing trying to accomplish is a change from death as the end to the end of the character's story through whatever way. This doesn't change the thread much just the viewpoint of death being the end of the character's story.

Raum
2012-01-22, 10:20 PM
You, as well as Kenneth, have had an interesting habit of asking why my characters wouldn't be scared when they can't die. Very odd question.Sigh. I'd ask you to point out any such statement by me, but I can seldom figure out who you're quoting since you don't attribute the quotes. Besides, I specifically remember referring to characters as game tokens...don't think any objective reader equates that with character emotions.


Hopefully back on topic with a 4th? time asking this question. Does Death have to be the end?Death in D&D has usually just been a bump in the road in my experience. Either you've just started and a new character isn't a big deal or some form of resurrection is affordable. :)

Belril Duskwalk
2012-01-22, 10:21 PM
Or you don't play D&D. That one is kinda important to mention and rather common.

My reference pool of Table-top RPGs is primarily limited to D&D and RPGs very similar to it. Occasionally this fosters a belief that what applies in D&D will apply in other systems as well. Please, forgive the oversight.


The reason I asked does death have to be the end is for when past death is when the adventure begins. Example of the adventure starting after death could be playing a Vampire in World of Darkness. Or say the character for whatever reason doesn't let death stop them from continuing on. This case playing a Deathless or some other undead that is compatible with the party. Just because one is dead doesn't automatically mean evil either. Granted this does take a little work to not go nuts such as in D&D. Some systems however has death just another milestone in the characters story. Reason not saying about ressurection is not all systems have that so try to be system neutral where possible.

The basic thing trying to accomplish is a change from death as the end to the end of the character's story through whatever way. This doesn't change the thread much just the viewpoint of death being the end of the character's story.

Well yes, if there is room in a campaign for a character to keep being part of the campaign in spite of being dead, why not? Is your point that in a game where 'Dead' isn't a hindrance to being able to participate a DM might be able to be more open to killing PCs?

Crow
2012-01-22, 10:29 PM
RPGuru's only coherent point seems to boil down to his play style being better than other play styles.

Drathmar
2012-01-22, 10:44 PM
RPGuru's only coherent point seems to boil down to his play style being better than other play styles.

No no, it's not that it's better, it's that his play style is the only play style you can play if you care about plot.

TurtleKing
2012-01-22, 10:57 PM
Each person has their own playstyle. While many of us have very similar playstyles they are still our own as that is the playstyle that works for ourselves. Attempting to push one's view on another as the only view is foolish. "You may bring them to the waters of your view but you can not make them drink it."

Also Death can be the end of a character as is should be normally. Though assuming it is the end to me at least leaves out some types of adventure and characters when they could be done in that particular system. For instance with D&D why let death be the end when it is possible to continue as a Deathless? Basically put have the option to continue past death, and as options go they don't have to used if not wanted.

Plus I may be a bit biased as my two favorite characters were undead as a Prinny and Deathless.

Belril Duskwalk
2012-01-22, 11:12 PM
Also Death can be the end of a character as is should be normally. Though assuming it is the end to me at least leaves out some types of adventure and characters when they could be done in that particular system. For instance with D&D why let death be the end when it is possible to continue as a Deathless? Basically put have the option to continue past death, and as options go they don't have to used if not wanted.

To be clear, are we talking more or less about this template? (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Deathless_%283.5e_Template%29) If so, I wouldn't want to play such a thing unless it got a significant background overhaul. From the sounds of it, it would create an undead being of considerable power wholly obsessed with some specific goal. At that point, you're not playing a character, you're playing a revenant that used to be your character. Now it is not your character, it's obsession made flesh. Also, I note it talks about requiring divine intervention or very powerful magic, which incidentally is on the list of requirements for a resurrection in the same system. So why choose to be a powerful undead when you can just as easily choose to be alive again?

But yes, if it were A) easier to do than a resurrection and B) seemed to allow for a personality, I'd be on board.

RPGuru1331
2012-01-22, 11:13 PM
{{Scrubbed}}

Jzadek
2012-01-22, 11:27 PM
In fact, a very lethal game will usually discourage heroics - the PCs will become careful and overly prepared for everything, not willing to take any risks. That's not heroic at all.

If a player plays their character like that, that's bad roleplaying, and the blame lands squarely on their shoulders. A PC should be a person - never knowing when they'll die, being careful, if it's within their character, but sometimes throwing caution to the wind to get something done.

MukkTB
2012-01-22, 11:28 PM
Plot doesn't happen when characters might die. Its too scared to come out. Instead of a story you're left with a disjointed collection of things that just happened for no reason at all.

RPGuru1331
2012-01-22, 11:33 PM
If a player plays their character like that, that's bad roleplaying, and the blame lands squarely on their shoulders. A PC should be a person - never knowing when they'll die, being careful, if it's within their character, but sometimes throwing caution to the wind to get something done.
If you run lethal games with people who don't particularly want them, people will generally create more cautious characters. Or at least, they will after you use this kind of logic to punish or chastise them for caution in a lethal game.



Plot doesn't happen when characters might die. Its too scared to come out. Instead of a story you're left with a disjointed collection of things that just happened for no reason at all.
Yeah, that's totally a thing that people said.

TurtleKing
2012-01-22, 11:35 PM
@RPGuru1331: The part about not pushing viewpoints was not directed at you so much as going the back and forth over playstyles with a "Enough!".

No not that Deathless. Talking about the Deathless from BoED and/or ECS I think.

As for being literal yes I was but used undead as an example. Another example of adventuring past death is the campaign. For instance playing a character similar to Dante when he went after his wife. Didn't he die as part of the process to go retrieve his wife? Basically put death for many is the end yet sometimes it could be just a transition.

Roland St. Jude
2012-01-22, 11:42 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Thread locked for review.