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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It's OK. You're new to this.

    When you get experienced you'll realize that the referee of a game has no business cheering for either side. Your job is to be neutral.
    I consider I should appear to be neutral but actually make sure characters don't die pointlessly unless their owners make it hard to avoid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    I consider I should appear to be neutral but actually make sure characters don't die pointlessly unless their owners make it hard to avoid.
    I'm with Jay R. It's not my job as DM to cheat or make decisions about "pointlessly." It's my job to adjudicate and describe. Death happens.
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2013-05-21 at 12:53 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    And in what "neutral" way do you determine exactly what challenges the party faces? Random die rolls off encounter tables for everything? Never modify a monster from the manual to avoid making it weaker or stronger than normal?

    A DM can't actually be totally neutral. It's a myth.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamOfTheSky View Post
    A DM can't actually be totally neutral. It's a myth.
    Sure, but I can not cheat. It's up to the players to fail or succeed and to give things meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamOfTheSky View Post
    And in what "neutral" way do you determine exactly what challenges the party faces? Random die rolls off encounter tables for everything?
    In D&D: mostly. Random encounter tables are awesome. Pre-placed monsters are just there - it's up to the players to decide what challenges they want to face and what challenges they want to run from. (It's also their responsibility to scout.)

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamOfTheSky View Post
    Never modify a monster from the manual to avoid making it weaker or stronger than normal?
    In D&D: pretty much. Too fiddly to bother modifying them.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamOfTheSky View Post
    And in what "neutral" way do you determine exactly what challenges the party faces? Random die rolls off encounter tables for everything? Never modify a monster from the manual to avoid making it weaker or stronger than normal?

    A DM can't actually be totally neutral. It's a myth.
    To me, neutrality isn't being a robotic arbiter. It's never fudging die rolls. I'll modify encounters I planned and move NPCs around as is convenient and change loot. But I won't fudge dice.

    So if the PC takes 50 damage? He takes fifty damage. If the PCs kill my uber boss before he acts? So be it. I've had PCs fight things +10 CR above them and win with cleverness, luck, and to be fair pretty low-op wizards based on the fluff of my world.
    Homebrew PrC: The Performance Artist
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ View Post
    So if the PC takes 50 damage? He takes fifty damage. If the PCs kill my uber boss before he acts? So be it. I've had PCs fight things +10 CR above them and win with cleverness, luck, and to be fair pretty low-op wizards based on the fluff of my world.
    Exactly this. My players get to decide what they take on and how and when. If they want to survive, they play it clever. When they succeed this way, it's awesome. When they fail, it's tragic or funny, depending. I've had two gestalted PCs get strangled by one choker each because they stupidly crawled after them into Small-sized vents (funny!), but I've also had three PCs use node-tapping and glamours to ambush and completely wreck a company of Inquisitor-Templars (awesome!).

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    Exactly this. My players get to decide what they take on and how and when. If they want to survive, they play it clever. When they succeed this way, it's awesome. When they fail, it's tragic or funny, depending. I've had two gestalted PCs get strangled by one choker each because they stupidly crawled after them into Small-sized vents (funny!), but I've also had three PCs use node-tapping and glamours to ambush and completely wreck a company of Inquisitor-Templars (awesome!).
    Haha, sounds memorable!

    Yeah, I have kind of a high risk high reward policy. Some parties will get way beyond wealth by level because they punch far above their weight class. Those groups definitely have deaths, though.

    Case in point. Ran two games this week. One ended in a TPK, (it was a one shot so no biggie,) the other had a party of four level ones defeat a group of warriors that included 10 level 2s and a level 3 lesser werewolf. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. And even though I am the DM, the outcome isn't up to me.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Note: I realize that different people run games differently, and I'm not saying that other ways are wrong. I am describing how I design and run games for people who want to face real challenges that might defeat them.

    Specifically, I am responding to somebody who is treating to very different parts of the job of DM as if they should be approached exactly the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamOfTheSky View Post
    And in what "neutral" way do you determine exactly what challenges the party faces? Random die rolls off encounter tables for everything? Never modify a monster from the manual to avoid making it weaker or stronger than normal?

    A DM can't actually be totally neutral. It's a myth.
    Designing the scenario and running the scenario are two different things, done differently.

    I teach college algebra and statistics. When I'm designing the classroom activities, I am fundamentally on the students' side. I'm trying to find the best way for them to learn the material.

    When I design the tests, I write them based on what they know (or what they are supposed to know), so that they have a fair chance to make good grades if they've learned the material. I'm hoping that they will all make A's, and I'm writing the test to allow it.

    But when I'm grading the test, I am not either for them or against them. I am a neutral judge, grading their actual responses. My job is to provide a completely fair judgment.

    Similarly, when I design an encounter, I am on the players' side. I write it based on what they can do (or should be able to do), to make a fun, challenging adventure that they should be able to overcome.

    But when I run the adventure, I am a neutral judge of what effects their actual responses cause. My job is to provide a completely fair judgment.

    [Every once in a great while, I see that a test question is much harder than I intended, and I eliminate it from the grading. Similarly, every once in a great while, I see that an encounter is much harder than intended, and I tone it down. But If I do either more than once or twice a year, then my design of the test or encounter is wrong. I shouldn't keep adjusting in the middle of the test or encounter, but learn to design better encounters or tests.]

    The crucial fact is this: The designer of the scenario is doing it for the players' benefit. He or she should make a fair, fun challenge, neither so hard that death is likely, nor so easy that death is impossible. The DM on the day should be a neutral observer and judge, being neither for nor against the players. These are different attitudes, even if they are the same person.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    ^THIS. So hard.

    Yes. It drives me bananas when people (who have every right to play however they want and have every right to fiat that their players win all the loots and asplode all the monsters and kiss all the girls and then are king of everything because PCs should succeed by merit of being PCs - all of that is OKAY and you SHOULD NOT feel bad if that's your play style) create threads asking for advice on how to get the players out of hot water.

    LET THEM BOIL. Running away is a perfectly valid tactic. What is the opening scene from The Matrix? Trinity running the hell away. If she'd stayed, that Agent would've shot her a dozen times so she ran away EVEN THOUGH SHE'S A HERO.

    Play how you like, there's no wrong way to play, etc. But if you keep saving the PCs... you're going to have to keep saving the PCs.

    EDIT: I'm sigging you again.
    Last edited by Morghen; 2013-05-21 at 09:47 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darthteej View Post
    The amount of truth contained in this single post is like the sun compared to all the other puny little candles of insight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It's not a game until I can lose it.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    The crucial fact is this: The designer of the scenario is doing it for the players' benefit. He or she should make a fair, fun challenge, neither so hard that death is likely, nor so easy that death is impossible. The DM on the day should be a neutral observer and judge, being neither for nor against the players. These are different attitudes, even if they are the same person.
    This is all so very true. Well said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morghen View Post
    kiss all the girls
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    ... did I just make it creepy?

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Similarly, when I design an encounter, I am on the players' side. I write it based on what they can do (or should be able to do), to make a fun, challenging adventure that they should be able to overcome.

    But when I run the adventure, I am a neutral judge of what effects their actual responses cause. My job is to provide a completely fair judgment.
    I seem to remember an article that mentioned this; and in fact was planning on linking it even before I read your post:
    http://angrydm.com/2010/07/winning-dd/

    Basically, it comes down to the "two hats rule" (mentioned near the end of the article). When designing encounters, the GM tries to favor the PCs, make every one of them beatable. But when running them, the GM does his level best to defeat the PCs, but will not 'cheat' in either side's favor.

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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    It's good for a DM to feel bad when a PC dies. That's not to mean it should never happen. It's when the DM feels nothing or even worse, happy about it, that the DM needs to give up the chair. The DM has lost the whole point of the game.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    It's good for a DM to feel bad when a PC dies. That's not to mean it should never happen. It's when the DM feels nothing or even worse, happy about it, that the DM needs to give up the chair. The DM has lost the whole point of the game.
    Also, don't forget that sad is not bad. The game needs both its highs and it's lows, if it is to be a memorable one.

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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    I think bias has something to recommend it if the alternative is 'render a substantial investment moot'.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    I think bias has something to recommend it if the alternative is 'render a substantial investment moot'.
    A "substantial investment"? Rendered moot?


    Nay I say: the death of a character does not destroy the 'work' invested in him, but rather completes it. Just as every story has a beginning, so too must if have an end, lest it grow wearisome; and a quick death is by far preferable to the wasting sickness -especially if it is a dramatic or a noble one.

    And not only does death act as a capstone for one character, it can serve as a cornerstone for the next. Thus can a character's story extend well beyond his own death. And when this cycle repeats itself, it can form arcologies far grander than could ever have been accomplished in one lifetime.

    Verily, the death of a character is occasion for morning: but that grief is a good thing! Channel it into your roleplay, build upon it! From the ashes of sorrow you shall forge a greater triumph than would ever have been possible before; for when victory is finally yours, the bitter memories of the hardships you endured along the way shall merely make it taste all the sweeter.
    Last edited by Geordnet; 2013-05-21 at 03:04 PM.

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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geordnet View Post
    Nay I say: the death of a character does not destroy the 'work' invested in him, but rather completes it. Just as every story has a beginning, so too must if have an end, lest it grow wearisome; and a quick death is by far preferable to the wasting sickness -especially if it is a dramatic or a noble one.

    And not only does death act as a capstone for one character, it can serve as a cornerstone for the next. Thus can a character's story extend well beyond his own death. And when this cycle repeats itself, it can form arcologies far grander than could ever have been accomplished in one lifetime.

    Verily, the death of a character is occasion for morning: but that grief is a good thing! Channel it into your roleplay, build upon it! From the ashes of sorrow you shall forge a greater triumph than would ever have been possible before; for when victory is finally yours, the bitter memories of the hardships you endured along the way shall merely make it taste all the sweeter.
    ... we're going to have to agree to disagree. I seem to like putting more effort into individual characters than you. Working a character into the backstory of others again and again is a contrived coincidence, too.

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    I, quite simply, hate the idea of putting substantial time and effort, not only into the mechanical aspects of a character, but then every other thing about them, only to have to go and start again, because of random chance? Even worse if it's some climactic fight, everyone else gets interesting loot or what have you, and I'm having to start over with no part in this. Eugh.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    I think bias has something to recommend it if the alternative is 'render a substantial investment moot'.
    How is it moot? Characters cannot and should not live forever. The best you can hope for is an entertaining death or a glorious retirement. You invest time and get, fun, some stories, and some memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geordnet View Post
    Nay I say: the death of a character does not destroy the 'work' invested in him, but rather completes it. Just as every story has a beginning, so too must if have an end, lest it grow wearisome; and a quick death is by far preferable to the wasting sickness -especially if it is a dramatic or a noble one.
    Exactly!

    Also, many RPGs actually let you invest in your next character while playing the current one: The Riddle of Steel and Adventurer Conqueror King spring to mind immediately. When I run (A)D&D I prefer to have henchmen hanging along, and they accumulate treasure and XP; when a PC dies, the player can promote one of the deceased's henchmen to PC status.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    ... we're going to have to agree to disagree. I seem to like putting more effort into individual characters than you. Working a character into the backstory of others again and again is a contrived coincidence, too.

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    I, quite simply, hate the idea of putting substantial time and effort, not only into the mechanical aspects of a character, but then every other thing about them, only to have to go and start again, because of random chance? Even worse if it's some climactic fight, everyone else gets interesting loot or what have you, and I'm having to start over with no part in this. Eugh.
    Well, there's the problem. You're investing a lot of time up-front.

    I think a much less work-intensive approach is to come up with enough material to start playing (a paragraph maybe, or just a concept), and invent more stuff during play. Some of the best RPG material (characters and campaign settings alike) is made up slowly over time. Backstories are over-rated and rarely enter play anyway; if you want hooks for the GM to use, you can just come up with a short list. What really matters is what your character has done during play.
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2013-05-21 at 03:32 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Because an ignoble death of the kind 'missed a trap and got incinerated', does not 'complete' a story, it's the equivalent of an unsatisfying literary cop-out. It's not as if there's any choice about when to die. Again, being screwed over by random chance. Possibly satisfactory if at the very end of the story, or something climactic, but when it's basically halfway through Act 2 and looking around something of rather minimal importance?

    The assumption I'm making here is that the story is relatively serious but not horror. Genre conventions and all.

    Investing time for fun and stories is good. Investing extra time because of pot luck, whilst everyone else is either held up (so under pressure) or continuing anyway (so having more fun)? Um... no. Frustration is not my idea of fun.

    Promoting henchmen... the idea makes my skin crawl.

    I think a much less work-intensive approach is to come up with enough material to start playing (a paragraph maybe, or just a concept), and invent more stuff during play. Some of the best RPG material (characters and campaign settings alike) is made up slowly over time. Backstories are over-rated and rarely enter play anyway; if you want hooks for the GM to use, you can just come up with a short list. What really matters is what your character has done during play.
    I like backstories.
    Last edited by Raineh Daze; 2013-05-21 at 03:40 PM.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    ... we're going to have to agree to disagree. I seem to like putting more effort into individual characters than you. Working a character into the backstory of others again and again is a contrived coincidence, too.

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    I, quite simply, hate the idea of putting substantial time and effort, not only into the mechanical aspects of a character, but then every other thing about them, only to have to go and start again, because of random chance? Even worse if it's some climactic fight, everyone else gets interesting loot or what have you, and I'm having to start over with no part in this. Eugh.
    Why do you seem to think character death means starting from scratch, and not taking part in proceedings?

    In fact, the opposite is more true: your now-expired character should be the immediate focus of things for the next few moments following his death. It is not just your own duty to make that death meaningful, but the duty of the other players as well. Wherefore else are you playing together, and not apart?

    The task of forming a meaningful backstory should be easier than the first time as well, for now you have the entire campaign up to this point to draw upon! Set out with the intention of making your character's motivations complementary to the developing story, not supplementary; seek out ways to tie them back into the prior course of the story, and the opportunities will appear. If you can tie the beginning of this new story directly into the actions of the old, then all the better.

    Finally, concerning the looting: what care you for such trivial trinkets? Their gain is a few new baubles, maybe a few options to tweak their build, but yours? To you is granted infinite possibility to craft and design as you see fit. In fact, what keeps you from forming your new character to be the equal or better of any of your comrades, save the will of the GM? Absolutely nothing; not that it should really be important to you.

    Still, I say to you that your loss is imagined; that you are simply missing the opportunity. If you enjoy making a backstory, you've a fresh excuse to do so; if you enjoy seeing the story develop, this death is but one more development; and if you merely sought the vainglory of imaginary treasures, then it was never any more than an illusion...

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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geordnet View Post
    Why do you seem to think character death means starting from scratch, and not taking part in proceedings?

    In fact, the opposite is more true: your now-expired character should be the immediate focus of things for the next few moments following his death. It is not just your own duty to make that death meaningful, but the duty of the other players as well. Wherefore else are you playing together, and not apart?
    Yes, because if I'm dead, the fact I'm dead is surely the most pressing matter, and not, possibly, whatever killed me, or even making sure someone else hasn't died to the same thing.

    Also, a few moments of focus is basically equivalent to speaking. :/

    The task of forming a meaningful backstory should be easier than the first time as well, for now you have the entire campaign up to this point to draw upon! Set out with the intention of making your character's motivations complementary to the developing story, not supplementary; seek out ways to tie them back into the prior course of the story, and the opportunities will appear. If you can tie the beginning of this new story directly into the actions of the old, then all the better.
    Only if I felt inexplicably beholden to having a character that exists as an accessory to the plot. Why, exactly, should my character be made to fit the plot? I may as well hand the character sheet to the GM and go home by that point. Also, I don't want a backstory that is 'footnote in other characters' lives', because I'm already of less narrative importance by dint of coming late.

    Finally, concerning the looting: what care you for such trivial trinkets? Their gain is a few new baubles, maybe a few options to tweak their build, but yours? To you is granted infinite possibility to craft and design as you see fit. In fact, what keeps you from forming your new character to be the equal or better of any of your comrades, save the will of the GM? Absolutely nothing; not that it should really be important to you.
    The entire concept of reward, perhaps, is more important than getting to choose initial gear. Any excitement, curiosity, or tension is missed out upon, because I'm busy doing arithmetic as I add up the costs for things.

    Still, I say to you that your loss is imagined; that you are simply missing the opportunity. If you enjoy making a backstory, you've a fresh excuse to do so; if you enjoy seeing the story develop, this death is but one more development; and if you merely sought the vainglory of imaginary treasures, then it was never any more than an illusion...
    I enjoy making a backstory in my own time, when I have time to think about it. I don't enjoy being rushed. Same goes for coming up with a character concept. Rush me, I end up with a throwaway character I don't care about and don't really want to use.

    Funnily enough, I don't particularly enjoy stories that throw in deaths because drama. Never seen the appeal of it.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Because an ignoble death of the kind 'missed a trap and got incinerated', does not 'complete' a story, it's the equivalent of an unsatisfying literary cop-out.
    Ah, well in this case the death must be exploited to its fullest extent. The scene must be acted out in minute detail, preferably with an artistic license for heroic last words and passing off significant heirlooms. The other players need to describe their characters' reactions appropriately, and taking on new motivations related to finishing the departed's goals, avenging his death, etc. encourages. The character needs to be buried, or if that's impractical then there needs to be roleplayed objections to leaving the body behind.

    This is especially important because the character's death cannot be the end of his story, if his legacy is to be honored. It must become the Climax, since it is unfitting for the role of Catastrophe.

    You are correct that if the story ends there, then it is pointless; but that just means that the story cannot be allowed to end there!

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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    ... what, so it's not pointless because everyone else has the possibility to put extra effort in to make it interesting, whilst I sit there doing nothing? Er, still pointless. Whether other people take time to put excruciating detail into it or not, the death served no purpose except frustration.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Yes, because if I'm dead, the fact I'm dead is surely the most pressing matter, and not, possibly, whatever killed me, or even making sure someone else hasn't died to the same thing.
    Avenging your death would be.

    And if immediate attention is impossible, then it needs to be given as soon as is possible. When the battle is over or the beast is slain, your compatriots should rush to your side, setting the stage for dramatic death, grieving, and burial scenes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Also, a few moments of focus is basically equivalent to speaking. :/
    I meant actual attention, not mere lip service.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Only if I felt inexplicably beholden to having a character that exists as an accessory to the plot. Why, exactly, should my character be made to fit the plot? I may as well hand the character sheet to the GM and go home by that point.
    You're looking at it the wrong way, is all. You aren't an accessory to the plot, in fact it's the other way around: you are fitting the plot to your own ends, you are making it serve you! It is a tool in your hands, not the other way around! Because no matter what, you aren't beholden to the story. You merely chose to make use of certain parts of it because it suited your purposes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Also, I don't want a backstory that is 'footnote in other characters' lives', because I'm already of less narrative importance by dint of coming late.
    A footnote in other characters' lives? Perhaps for them, but for you it is certainly more than that. For the PCs, where they bought that 10 ft. pole from may be so trivial to not even be worth mentioning, but for the poleturner they bought it from, it could be the start of a complete turnaround in economic fortune. It's up to you to make it more than just a footnote, to make it significant.

    Not to mention the myriad ways to tie a character into the story without being directly connected to the characters at all. Think back to the GM's descriptions of the world around the PCs, pick whatever unexplored detail looks most interesting, and run with it. Or you could even work something up from scratch, and figure out why this new character is traveling the same road as the PCs.

    Likewise, "Narrative Importance" is entirely what you make of it. For instance, what did Frodo really do besides carry a piece of jewelry from a manor to a volcano? Gandalf and Gollum did the pathfinding, Sam took care of him, and everyone else did all the fighting! Similarly, the Emperor didn't really get more than a few minutes of screen time until Episode VI, but does that make his defeat any less the crux of the entire series? You focus too much on the superficial, methinks...


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    The entire concept of reward, perhaps, is more important than getting to choose initial gear. Any excitement, curiosity, or tension is missed out upon, because I'm busy doing arithmetic as I add up the costs for things.
    Then find another way to do it. Perhaps ask your GM to assign magic items, or roll them up on a table. You just need to get creative.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    I enjoy making a backstory in my own time, when I have time to think about it. I don't enjoy being rushed. Same goes for coming up with a character concept. Rush me, I end up with a throwaway character I don't care about and don't really want to use.
    Then plan ahead of time. You don't need to know the specifics, but at least enough so that you aren't rushed. Always keep a rough idea in the back of your mind of what your next character is going to be like if (when) this one kicks the bucket.

    Or at least ask the GM if you can run a temp character for a few sessions, while you finely craft your next 'permanent' one.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Funnily enough, I don't particularly enjoy stories that throw in deaths because drama. Never seen the appeal of it.
    It's supposed to increase adrenalin a bit, from the tension inherent in not knowing who's going to die next.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    ... what, so it's not pointless because everyone else has the possibility to put extra effort in to make it interesting, whilst I sit there doing nothing?
    Are you not at the same table as them? Can you not talk out of character, even ask the other players to honor your character's memory a certain way? Talk to the GM about making your death (and new character) meaningful and significant to the story?

    Also, they other players have more than a possibility to make it more memorable: it is in fact their duty to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Er, still pointless. Whether other people take time to put excruciating detail into it or not, the death served no purpose except frustration.
    Only if you let it, my friend. Only if you let it...
    Last edited by Geordnet; 2013-05-21 at 04:54 PM.

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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by INoKnowNames View Post
    So, I decided to Dm my first game ever, on these here forums. Yay!

    And now we're in our first combat! Yay!

    Unfortunately for firsts, I just killed my first player... and I feel bad now... not yay....
    Mom always told me I'd come to a bad end if I kept playing role-playing games.... I didn't realize she meant literally!!!

    More seriously, was the death in nature with the tone of the game? Was it realistic by the standards of the game? Did you avoid making any substantial errors that caused it (major misrulings, etc.)? Above all, did everyone have fun?

    If you can answer yes to all the questions (esp. the last one), then I wouldn't worry about it. It sounds like an enjoyable time was had, and that's the whole point!
    Last edited by tomandtish; 2013-05-21 at 05:13 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    No, I'm not using the plot to my own ends, I'm being an uncreative hack riding on previous work and letting something else define my character. Nope.

    Working something out from scratch is what I would end up doing anyway, so I don't know why you're putting it in the same sentence as trying to argue I should have an integrated backstory...

    I said narrative importance. Someone that shows up not having been even a background character in the plot for X percent of the story is less important because of that.

    Then find another way to do it. Perhaps ask your GM to assign magic items, or roll them up on a table. You just need to get creative.
    ... this sounds like a good way to guarantee I'll be doing the same thing again within an hour.

    Then plan ahead of time. You don't need to know the specifics, but at least enough so that you aren't rushed. Always keep a rough idea in the back of your mind of what your next character is going to be like if (when) this one kicks the bucket.
    I have at least three ideas in my head right now. The problem is choosing. Then there's ideas that aren't really appropriate for whatever's going on. This doesn't really cut out the majority of the work. Honestly, the only way I can make use of this suggestion is maintaining several character sheets at the same time, which makes me look paranoid.

    Are you not at the same table as them? Can you not talk out of character, even ask the other players to honor your character's memory a certain way in-game?
    I refuse to tell people how to roleplay their characters. That's their choice. :|

    Only if you let it, my friend. Only if you let it...
    One way or the other, I've missed out. Hence, frustration.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: I Feel Bad! I Just Killed My First Pc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    No, I'm not using the plot to my own ends, I'm being an uncreative hack riding on previous work and letting something else define my character. Nope.
    It takes more skill to take something that already exists yet make it your own than it does to make something up from scratch.

    I mean, it's not really like there's such a thing as a truly original idea anyways...


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Working something out from scratch is what I would end up doing anyway, so I don't know why you're putting it in the same sentence as trying to argue I should have an integrated backstory...
    Because you are focusing on the wrong detail, and miss the point I was trying to get across.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    I said narrative importance. Someone that shows up not having been even a background character in the plot for X percent of the story is less important because of that.
    And in what way does this make the character any less worthy?


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    ... this sounds like a good way to guarantee I'll be doing the same thing again within an hour.
    Only if you have a fairly poor GM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    I have at least three ideas in my head right now. The problem is choosing. Then there's ideas that aren't really appropriate for whatever's going on. This doesn't really cut out the majority of the work. Honestly, the only way I can make use of this suggestion is maintaining several character sheets at the same time, which makes me look paranoid.
    Ask someone else about it, collaborate a bit. It helps a lot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    I refuse to tell people how to roleplay their characters. That's their choice. :|
    Of course it is, but that doesn't mean that you mustn't even ask a favor of them! RPGs are a group activity, and you are a part of that group even when your PC is dead. Just ask politely, the worst that can happen is that they say "no". But it's even worse when they would have been glad to oblige, if you had only asked...
    Last edited by Geordnet; 2013-05-21 at 05:07 PM.

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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geordnet View Post
    It takes more skill to take something that already exists yet make it your own than it does to make something up from scratch.

    I mean, it's not really like there's such a thing as a truly original idea anyways...
    I can do it, I just don't want to do it. Besides, lack of original ideas or not, it's fun to see what I can come up with rather than how I can repurpose things.

    And in what way does this make the character any less worthy?
    Compared with other PC's, who are more important, more integrated (they know each other better), have experiences together...

    Faramir is less important than Aragorn.

    Ask someone else about it, collaborate a bit. It helps a lot.
    Every time I do that, I just end up with more ideas. I should not be given a sounding board.

    Of course it is, but that doesn't mean that you mustn't even ask a favor of them! RPGs are a group activity, and you are a part of that group even when your PC is dead. Just ask politely, the worst that can happen is that they say "no". But it's even worse when they would have been glad to oblige, if you had only asked...
    But I don't want to ask people to roleplay in a particular way to amuse me because I died.
    Things to avoid:

    "Let us tell the story of a certain man. The tale of a man who, more than anyone else, believed in his ideals, and by them was driven into despair."

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    ... we're going to have to agree to disagree. I seem to like putting more effort into individual characters than you. Working a character into the backstory of others again and again is a contrived coincidence, too.
    Well, actually, I like creating characters. That's why it isn't a bad thing to have to do it again - because I actually enjoy it. (My backstories run 5-8 pages, on average.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
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    I, quite simply, hate the idea of putting substantial time and effort, not only into the mechanical aspects of a character, but then every other thing about them, only to have to go and start again, because of random chance? Even worse if it's some climactic fight, everyone else gets interesting loot or what have you, and I'm having to start over with no part in this. Eugh.
    By that logic, I guess that the work put into developing Boromir, Sirius Black, D'Artagnan, King Arthur, Beowulf, Hamlet, Hercules, etc. was worthless, because they died at the end of the story.

    But .. they were the subjects of great, stirring stories. Isn't that the real point of this, more than than just getting loot?
    Last edited by Jay R; 2013-05-21 at 11:03 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    By that logic, I guess that the work put into developing Boromir, Sirius Black, D'Artagnan, King Arthur, Beowulf, Hamlet, Hercules, etc. was worthless, because they died at the end of the story.

    But .. they were the subjects of great, stirring stories. Isn't that the real point of this, more than than just getting loot?
    I guess if you experience RPGs in the same way you experience novels then you'd have a good point. That said RPGs aren't really like other media at all, each individual player might care for their own character but it's rare for them to feel empathy for other PCs or NPCs. Not saying that it never happens, it's great when it does happen I'm sure, but it's a little unreasonable to expect. It's also quite unreasonable to compare some D&D character to a beloved character from classic literature or theatre.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    I guess if you experience RPGs in the same way you experience novels then you'd have a good point. That said RPGs aren't really like other media at all, each individual player might care for their own character but it's rare for them to feel empathy for other PCs or NPCs. Not saying that it never happens, it's great when it does happen I'm sure, but it's a little unreasonable to expect. It's also quite unreasonable to compare some D&D character to a beloved character from classic literature or theatre.
    There's also the point that the deaths most players tend to get annoyed/upset about are usually the ones that are not, as it were, at the end of the book. The audience for "everyone dies" books is generally considerably smaller, from what I know. (And I know I am not super-thrilled at reading a book in which the apparent protagonist dies on page 37 by mistake. I have very nearly fired such a book across the room in disgust, in fact!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
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