New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Happy endings?

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location

    Default Happy endings?

    I was wondering what your guys' opinions on ends is. I know the best (and really first, so that might be part of it) campiegn (sp) I have see end I died in. Like no chance of survival. My brains were scooped out by an epic lich, and I, the high end wizard, obliterated most of the team, till one of them teleported. The survivor.


    Now, I brought it on myself, reading random books in the BBEG's castle and all. Teach me to read a book on a pedestal instead of healing my friends being killed by a dragon. Any who. My death showed to me that I wasn't the hero in the traditional sense. My own death put me way further into the action and feel than living could ever have done. In the stereotypical story, hero finds problem, hero works on it, hero almost dies, hero comes back at last moment, killing enemy, hero wins. This is such a well known and common theme, that the death of my character made it feel like it wasnt a story custom built to make me have fun, but that it was a real story, with lives at stake, and that there was something to fear here. When the one survivor didn't come back to save us, (the logical move in the situation) and decided to just live in the castle we ended up having built, it really gave a feeling of "Wow. This really is happening" instead of "God damn it you *******. Why the hell would you kill me like that? I mean.. Its the end! What the hell? I wanted a happy ending!!"

    In short, I think a bad ending can bring alot more through than a happy ending. More than one movie has pissed me off by ending well. What do you guys think?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Damionte's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by skreweded View Post
    Happy Endings? I was wondering what your guys' opinions on......
    Ok there's joke I want to tell here........ but it's a little on edge and I'll refrain from jokes of that adult a nature... for now.
    Last edited by Damionte; 2007-09-10 at 12:59 AM.
    Custom Avatar By: "The Chilli God"
    My Games:
    None Current

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Imagination Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    There seems to be some kind of invisible force within Hollywood that causes films to have a happy ending even when it would make more sense or be more meaningful to have a sad one. It's probably because a significant portion of viewers just don't really like to be sad, since going to the movies is purely for the entertainment value. I know some people who really feel gipped when the movie ends with an unhappy or incomplete ending.

    That being said, IMO the purpose of a tragedy is for the reader (or viewer, or whatever) to gain some insight through the failure of the protagonist. It goes back to the old saying "You learn more from failure than you do from success."

    As far as character death goes, it really all depends on how you feel about your character and the way s/he died. If you felt that their death was appropriate to the way they lived, then that's great. If you feel like "the stupid monster just got in a lucky shot", then maybe it wasn't a very "good" death. That's the reason why spells like raise dead and ressurection exist. I've had times when a character died and I wanted the party to hurry up and bring them back, but I've also had times when a character died and I really felt like that was the appropriate end to their story.

    So to sum up, happy and unhappy ends can both be good and meaningful. Also, since the unhappy endings are not as common, they can seem to have more impact because people don't expect it to end like that.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    Watch me draw and swear at video games.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Damionte's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    There seems to be some kind of invisible force within Hollywood that causes films to have a happy ending even when it would make more sense or be more meaningful to have a sad one. It's probably because a significant portion of viewers just don't really like to be sad, since going to the movies is purely for the entertainment value. I know some people who really feel gipped when the movie ends with an unhappy or incomplete ending.

    That being said, IMO the purpose of a tragedy is for the reader (or viewer, or whatever) to gain some insight through the failure of the protagonist. It goes back to the old saying "You learn more from failure than you do from success."

    As far as character death goes, it really all depends on how you feel about your character and the way s/he died. If you felt that their death was appropriate to the way they lived, then that's great. If you feel like "the stupid monster just got in a lucky shot", then maybe it wasn't a very "good" death. That's the reason why spells like raise dead and ressurection exist. I've had times when a character died and I wanted the party to hurry up and bring them back, but I've also had times when a character died and I really felt like that was the appropriate end to their story.

    So to sum up, happy and unhappy ends can both be good and meaningful. Also, since the unhappy endings are not as common, they can seem to have more impact because people don't expect it to end like that.
    I have to admit I feel cheated when I don't get my happy ending. ( i have to stop snickering when I say that ))

    The opposite though is usualyl aproblem for me. In many tragedies I end up looking at it and going WTF why in the world did they do that!

    Especially when I'm watchign asian cinema. They love a great tradgedy, to the poitn that they go out of thier way to get a tradgic ending. To the point that it becomse even more unbelievable, especially to a western audience who doesn't udnerstand the romance behind the tragedy.

    Especially when it comes ot heroes. In the West there's nothign heroic about dieing for no reason when you could have lived. Many asian films the hero dies for nothing.
    Custom Avatar By: "The Chilli God"
    My Games:
    None Current

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Well doesn't it bore you knowing for nearly sure that you will get the happy ending (and if you feel gipped by a bad ending, then your GM may catch onto that, and want to make it a more enjoyable experiance for you) instead of knowing what you do will affect the scenario? A couple of days ago, I outright killed a player character. As another PC. It made no sense for me to trust him. He stole from me, rambled in pirate, and to my character, it looked like he nearly destroyed shipboard sequrity. So i lured him and killed him. He re-rolled in about an hour, and I spent most of that time trying to justify the kill. Eventually, it was decided that in character, it was justified. He made mistakes, and because he didnt listen to the DM as to how he was supposed to be introduced, he had to re-roll. He learned IRL, and learned not to be a dumbass. A bad ending helped to make things better. Wouldn't it be better to get a bad ending that teaches you something than a happy ending that is just there?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Banned
     
    Solo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    *stab*

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    I prefer bittersweet endings. The heros win... and yet, they don't.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In the Playground

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Well in the best campaign world and dnd games I know (although that may be that they are fun, not the best stories. They are the best and best-described adventures though) the ending has been turning out the same way pretty often: The evil party gets something that makes the leader MORE unstoppable but we do manage to stop the evil plan that will destroy the good city portion of it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Damionte's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by skreweded View Post
    Well doesn't it bore you knowing for nearly sure that you will get the happy ending (and if you feel gipped by a bad ending, then your GM may catch onto that, and want to make it a more enjoyable experiance for you) instead of knowing what you do will affect the scenario? A couple of days ago, I outright killed a player character. As another PC. It made no sense for me to trust him. He stole from me, rambled in pirate, and to my character, it looked like he nearly destroyed shipboard sequrity. So i lured him and killed him. He re-rolled in about an hour, and I spent most of that time trying to justify the kill. Eventually, it was decided that in character, it was justified. He made mistakes, and because he didnt listen to the DM as to how he was supposed to be introduced, he had to re-roll. He learned IRL, and learned not to be a dumbass. A bad ending helped to make things better. Wouldn't it be better to get a bad ending that teaches you something than a happy ending that is just there?
    Being less than surprised about a happy ending is preferable to being bummed out by a tradgedy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewalker View Post
    Well in the best campaign world and dnd games I know (although that may be that they are fun, not the best stories. They are the best and best-described adventures though) the ending has been turning out the same way pretty often: The evil party gets something that makes the leader MORE unstoppable but we do manage to stop the evil plan that will destroy the good city portion of it.
    Our campagns keep ending like this as well. Long drug out campagn and the bad guys win... again. My current group has been together goign on threeyears now. Nice big experienced group of long time players. We'r eon campagn 6 I believe since gettng together. None have ended with the heroes on top, except maybe 1. In that one the party broke up due to the characters growing too far apart in goal. And we retired them and started over.

    All the other games have ended in TPK's. We havn't succesfully finished a campagn with a PC victory ever.
    Last edited by Damionte; 2007-09-10 at 10:47 PM.
    Custom Avatar By: "The Chilli God"
    My Games:
    None Current

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Falrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Belgium
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Ask your players if they like 300, that would be a good start.


    The main thing has been noted above: The Ending should fit the Character.

    A Paladin getting killed when covering innocents/party/important x is a nice.
    That same Paladin getting critted by the BBeG's main Bodyguard's second Assistant's favorite Waterboy is not a campaign-ending story.

    Death should be a feeling creeping up your players. When they enter the Liches Tomb they should know certainly one, probably more and maybe all of them can die. This feeling is maintained by very deadly situations and the occasional Character Death. Occasional because they'll kill that lich when the fighter is paralyzed, the cleric at -8, the wizard got feebleminded znd the rogue just hacks him down at the last strike.


    IMO that's one of the major slippery slopes a DM should balance around.
    Suspense Vs Character Death Vs Player's Fun.

    When the right character dies at the right time all players will have fun, feel like heroes and remember their fallen friend with pride.

    When goblin x kills the fighter in a bar fight but lich y didn't even finnish of the paladin when he had 2 hp left players feel cheated and think death is an inescapable, meaningless DM-trick that never gets in the way of the story the DM wants to tell.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lemur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Toon Town

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Variety is good, from my perspective. If every story ends the same way, I'm going to lose immersion and start cracking jokes (not that that's even necessarily a bad thing- low immersion, high joke games can be fun, even if nothing actually gets done in the game).

    For what it's worth, having characters die is a tried and true way to end the story, and doesn't necessarily have to be sad. However, no ending should be arbitrary, and unaffected by the actions of the PCs during the campaign. Heroes shouldn't suddenly die out of the line of duty or be killed by inconsequential NPCs, nor should everything be made out to be peachy keen for everyone if the world is plunging into a giant war by the end of the story. Personally, I'm curious if anyone's ever had a campaign end where the heroes are ambiguously disposed of- like falling through a portal to a place beyond the stars, or becoming lost in time.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Viscount Einstrauss's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    I like to achieve that happy ending at the end, but I like getting there to mean something. What fun is a happy ending that you didn't slug through all the bad stuff for first? It's all the bleeding, all the tears, all the pushing and courage that makes finding peace in the end worthwhile, not merely being handed it.

    So, naturally, I tend to not get a happy ending because my methods of getting there tend to lead to my own demise. But it makes those few ocassions where I beat the odds all the better.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of adventurers, for you are expendable and full of EXP.


    Overblown fantasy action/adventure/comedy/drama/spoof. Updates M/W/F

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Damionte's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falrin View Post
    Ask your players if they like 300, that would be a good start.


    The main thing has been noted above: The Ending should fit the Character.

    A Paladin getting killed when covering innocents/party/important x is a nice.
    That same Paladin getting critted by the BBeG's main Bodyguard's second Assistant's favorite Waterboy is not a campaign-ending story.

    Death should be a feeling creeping up your players. When they enter the Liches Tomb they should know certainly one, probably more and maybe all of them can die. This feeling is maintained by very deadly situations and the occasional Character Death. Occasional because they'll kill that lich when the fighter is paralyzed, the cleric at -8, the wizard got feebleminded znd the rogue just hacks him down at the last strike.


    IMO that's one of the major slippery slopes a DM should balance around.
    Suspense Vs Character Death Vs Player's Fun.

    When the right character dies at the right time all players will have fun, feel like heroes and remember their fallen friend with pride.

    When goblin x kills the fighter in a bar fight but lich y didn't even finnish of the paladin when he had 2 hp left players feel cheated and think death is an inescapable, meaningless DM-trick that never gets in the way of the story the DM wants to tell.
    Exactly, that's one of the problems with my groups games. We have a coupel of players who are big fans of the heroic death. BUT the death they end up with is never as heroic as they thought it would be.

    Best example I can think of.

    We had a Knight Ronin Samurai somethign or other in one game. Part of his super sacred vows was that he couldn't back down from a fight. No challenge could go un answered.

    Well that's just dumb. One week when the GM was trying to rail road us in a particular direction he sent a trio of some kind of undead wraith things he made up. We had plenty of warning of thier approach and had time enough to break camp and pack the horses. The Knight though felt he coudl not run from this "potential challenge." There was no need to fight. We could all get away they were not even fast enough to chase us even with us being slowed by the desert sand.

    But no he stayed behind to fight the things alone. And died alone. Yes he had this heroic "looking" death where he took one for the team but there was no need ot take one for the team.

    This happens a lot with our group. We've sat down and we've all talked about it a million timeas but they're going to have thier stupid hero deaths anyway.

    They never die heroicly against the final BBEG. It's always mid way tyhrough the campagn.
    Last edited by Damionte; 2007-09-11 at 01:34 AM.
    Custom Avatar By: "The Chilli God"
    My Games:
    None Current

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Southwestern Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Curiously, from all possible faults, the one thing my players tend to criticise most about my GMing is the fact they do not die.
    In their opinion, if they do not risk dying trying to achieve their mission, there is no tension in the attempt and no accomplishment in their success. They want to be sure it was their cunning and the abilities of their characters which got them through, and no character shield. Not that they would want to die - but they want to know that if they screw up, they will. What counts for screwing up depends, of course, on what they are up against. Against the BBEG, even tiny mistakes might qualify.
    Anyway, I've not lost a single PC in the past six years, so their belief in the danger has gotten somewhat shakey. I have, sometimes, trouble convincing them they indeed are in danger, and the fact they have survived so far was both due to their sufficient abilities and my good estimations on what they would be able to take on.

    Altogether, I want to say that a happy ending is usually most desirable, but should never be granted. There's nothing wrong in the characters always achieving the happy end, if they have truly earned it. Setting up a story with no happy end would mean the game wouldn't be interactive anymore, per definition: The players should always have the possibility to change the outcome of everything, for most players see little sense in playing if their actions do not change the in-game world. However, this also means that it must be these very actions which made the happy ending come to pass - if the players had not done what they did, everything would have ended in disaster. GM intervention is, even when happening in the PCs favour, ultimately reducing the importance of the players. So no happy ending if the player characters did not work, fight and bleed for it.
    LGBTitP Supporter
    In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die - Ever drifting down the stream - Lingering in the golden gleam - Life, what is it, but a dream?
    - Lewis Carroll

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falrin View Post
    Ask your players if they like 300, that would be a good start.
    Not necessarily. I hated 300 for reasons having nothing to do with the ending and everything to do with... well... everything else.

    As a DM, I'm pretty nice to my players, as long as they don't start getting cocky. I'm a fan of the Big Death--i.e., if you're going to die, it's going to be in a fight that matters. I'll usually fudge rolls to keep people alive in minor skirmishes; I'm less likely to do so in a "boss fight," and I never do so in the climactic battle of the campaign. In the Grand Finale, nobody has plot protection.

    Of course, if you do something blatantly suicidal, and you know it's suicidal, and you know you have other options, but you do it anyway... you're gonna die, dramatic or not. I try to avoid setting up situations like the "super-powered monsters attack the knight who can't retreat," but I have had players do things like attack the equivalent of a great wyrm red dragon with 10th-level characters. The dragon was asleep, they had already slipped past it, but they decided to go back and try to coup de grace it.

    I gave them a fair chance, but it's awfully hard to beat the Listen check of a dragon that size, even when it's got the -10 penalty for being asleep... especially when you have to climb up a heap of clinky coins to reach it.

    Toasty.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    None of my campaigns has ever ended. None. All of them dissolved. However, both of the games I'm currently running (one on these boards, one via a chatroom) are designed to be closed stories that will end at some point - in fact, the chatroom one, which I was running for almost 2 years now, is (very slowly) coming to its finale, which (players stay away - you know who you are!)
    Spoiler
    Show
    will be a happy ending, unless the group screws up somewhere on the way.


    I believe that the depth of the ending does not depend on it being happy or sad, but on the effort you and your players put into it, combined with the general feel of the campaign before. I also think that a character's death does not equal to a sad ending - for example,
    Spoiler
    Show
    Spike's death at the end of Cowboy Bebop

    is, in a way, both happy and sad at the same time.

    Birdman of the Church of Link's Hat

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ditto's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    First off, I'd say there's nothing *wrong* with a happy ending. But I think the best kinds are ends to a chapter in a series of stories. "Victory, *but*..." There is such a thing as a Pyrrhic victory, too. You don't have to come out unscuffed to be satisfied.

    That said, you do not want Deadlands-quality ending. The version of a happy ending Deadlands is, "Everyone in the town was killed by the ghost cavalry, avenging their killers from decades past (though the townsfolk had nothing to do with it). But you got rid of them, so yay!" That's as good as it gets. The (entirely viable and acceptable) alternative was, 'You give up and leave. The Fear quotient for miles around goes up by 3 points. But they didn't chase you to the ends of the earth, so yay!'
    Quote Originally Posted by zyphyr View Post
    They don't actually love Gold, they only say that to get it into bed.
    John Dies At The End
    Sauron vs. Voldemort

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    I think that basic D&D is designed as heroic fantasy. In heroic fantasy the good guys eventually triumph over the bad guys.

    My basic strategy as a DM is to fudge rolls in basic XP building encounters that fill every dungeon. No one dies in these unless they do something really stupid. In 'boss fights' I'm less likely to fudge rolls. If a boss is rolling consitantly good against players then I'll start to hit them for full damage. Usually I'll give a last chance to a player if they're hit with enough damage to kill/incapacitate them by either dropping them to 1 HP, or (if it was a really bad hit) to -9 HP.

    In climatic fights no one is safe and its me versus them.

    I find that the players can respect this and often get their 'heroic' deaths when fighting major bosses that everyone can live with.
    Stoic (and apparently only) member of the Fanclub.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbuckets View Post
    And then the Rock totally sneaks up and impales them both on an American flag.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damionte View Post
    Exactly, that's one of the problems with my groups games. We have a coupel of players who are big fans of the heroic death. BUT the death they end up with is never as heroic as they thought it would be.

    Best example I can think of.

    We had a Knight Ronin Samurai somethign or other in one game. Part of his super sacred vows was that he couldn't back down from a fight. No challenge could go un answered.

    Well that's just dumb. One week when the GM was trying to rail road us in a particular direction he sent a trio of some kind of undead wraith things he made up. We had plenty of warning of thier approach and had time enough to break camp and pack the horses. The Knight though felt he coudl not run from this "potential challenge." There was no need to fight. We could all get away they were not even fast enough to chase us even with us being slowed by the desert sand.

    But no he stayed behind to fight the things alone. And died alone. Yes he had this heroic "looking" death where he took one for the team but there was no need ot take one for the team.

    This happens a lot with our group. We've sat down and we've all talked about it a million timeas but they're going to have thier stupid hero deaths anyway.

    They never die heroicly against the final BBEG. It's always mid way tyhrough the campagn.
    First things first: that's a dumb way (as you stated before) to act, even if you have this code of honor.

    For exemple: the most powerful evil cleric of the war god want to kill some paladin, but the paladin (at current time) is unkilable (immunity to all magic cast from mortals, immunity to all status and level changing effects that are harmful to him, immunity to any magic item with attack bonus less than +5, if attacked by any evil creature the creature must make a Fort save DC 40 or die, and if he pass he take automatically 40 points of untyped damage, DR apply, and can cast ressurrection 3/week, so the hostage tactics are not helping too much), and the cleric (as a restriction on all war clerics) must challenge him to a duel. But that doesn't mean he need to go to him and be a walking target, he will challenge him sooner or later, but when he actually have a chance to defeat him (in this case, he still don't have).

    Conclusion: the evil cleric make sure he will fight with him alone, prepare some ways to stay alive in the combat and to deal damage to him, giving him a chance to fight an even fight (or a realistic chance against him) before challenging that monster (if you know at who I'm talking about but doesn't know how the fight ended, suffice to say the cleric won the fight by almost dying in the process).

    In other words: you can and must run from challenges that acchieve nothing from your death (dying doesn't stop the slaughter of the vilage, but you can save some lives if you run and warn the people to escape) or the challenge is clearly impossible to defeat at your current level ("Shhhhh. This is the resting place for one avatar of Tiamat, and we must be... where's the paladin? OOOHHH SSSSHHHHIIII.....").

    About the happy endings: I prefer consistency. If the story is about heroic acts, then a happy ending is my preference (and by 'happy' I mean the problem are solved, whatever the amounts of heroes and civilians died in the process that are in the acceptable range), but if it's about terror, then it could vary (from TPK to heroes to true happy ending).

    Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Southwestern Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    I see people state repeatedly they fudge rolls in the players' favour, as long as it's only a minor battle.

    My players would be pissed off to no ends if I did that. For several reasons.

    First, a battle is a battle. There are crucial moments in a campaign, which are climactic and more important than others, but nevertheless each and every battle is a unique dangerous situation, into which one does not go lightly. To dismiss it like this, to downplay it's role to such a point where it's something too minor for the players to die, would mean to disrespect the NPCs (either the good ones, if any are involved, or the evil ones, who attack the players) and to make death insignificant.
    Death should never be insignificant. Those are, often enough, people who are dying there!
    By which I'm saying, the very fact that there is death involved means that every battle is, already, not something minor.

    Second, connected with this: If the players knew they could not be hurt in a battle not involving the BBEG, they would take battle much too lightly. Combat should never be taken lightly. People die in combat, and the PCs know that.

    And the most conventional argument for the finale: If my players knew they were not in danger in fights anymore, where would be the excitement? They would be reduced from an exciting attempt to save one's life to a mere dice-rolling exercise!

    So, even if I wanted to, my players adamantly veto fudging rolls in order to prevent a sad/lethal ending.
    LGBTitP Supporter
    In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die - Ever drifting down the stream - Lingering in the golden gleam - Life, what is it, but a dream?
    - Lewis Carroll

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    I agree, Winterwind ... sometimes characters die in a battle that isn't the glorious end battle with the evil sorcerer who killed their parents or whatever. And that's got to be accepted. Knowing that you've got a team that'll remember you and continue your quest helps in that regard. Particularly in a game where you can be revived or just roll a new character and "meet up with" the party the next time they come to an inn or something.

    On the topic of the sad vs. happy endings ... I love trilogies and series and whatnot precisely because you can have those really deep, meaningful sad endings and still achieve catharsis at the end of the story. The end of one character doesn't mean the end of the story, and that character's death can make the true end much more powerful. In something I'm writing now, I have to kill off my favorite character. Which sucks because it means that while I can write more about him regarding his life before this, it's rather limiting in what I can write about him after this story. But ... it's something that's gotta happen ... old wise man syndrome and it just wouldn't be as good with him making it through to the end.

    So after that long tangent: Happy endings = good, sad endings = good, but only insofar as the happy ending or sad ending has meaning.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    This topic has come up recently with one of DMs. He is a big fan of the noire aspect of certain kinds of games. Happy endings are for children, ect… This is fine with me. If you are a killer DM who wants to have a dark campaign, and a bleak ending I am on board. However, tell me that in the beginning. BEFORE the game starts. I will not play any character that I am attached to. In fact, to fit the theme of the game I will probably roll up an evil character that I might enjoy seeing killed.

    Here’s the problem. The DM does not want us to play evil characters? WTF? You want us to play heroes, good and nice, and place them in a black hole of a nasty killer game. Drop dead. If you want it dark and evil, if you want to “keep it real”, then lets go for it. But don’t complain when the PC end up reflecting your idea of what the game world looks like.

    One of my pet peeves.

    DM

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post

    Second, connected with this: If the players knew they could not be hurt in a battle not involving the BBEG, they would take battle much too lightly. Combat should never be taken lightly. People die in combat, and the PCs know that.

    And the most conventional argument for the finale: If my players knew they were not in danger in fights anymore, where would be the excitement? They would be reduced from an exciting attempt to save one's life to a mere dice-rolling exercise!

    So, even if I wanted to, my players adamantly veto fudging rolls in order to prevent a sad/lethal ending.
    As soon as I suspect the players of the "the DM would never let us die to a couple of beholders", I immediately stop fudging rolls for them. If they're being really cavalier about it, I may ever fudge a few rolls in favor of the monsters.

    Am I a mean DM? Maybe, but only if people abuse my kindness.
    Stoic (and apparently only) member of the Fanclub.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbuckets View Post
    And then the Rock totally sneaks up and impales them both on an American flag.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Damionte's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Curiously, from all possible faults, the one thing my players tend to criticise most about my GMing is the fact they do not die.
    In their opinion, if they do not risk dying trying to achieve their mission, there is no tension in the attempt and no accomplishment in their success. They want to be sure it was their cunning and the abilities of their characters which got them through, and no character shield. Not that they would want to die - but they want to know that if they screw up, they will. What counts for screwing up depends, of course, on what they are up against. Against the BBEG, even tiny mistakes might qualify.
    Anyway, I've not lost a single PC in the past six years, so their belief in the danger has gotten somewhat shakey. I have, sometimes, trouble convincing them they indeed are in danger, and the fact they have survived so far was both due to their sufficient abilities and my good estimations on what they would be able to take on.
    I have that problem as well. I went thruogh my first 10 years of GMing and only lost 1 player. And that was through his own stupidity. We were playign a game of Champions. He had tied all of his powers and even his life force through a pair of bracers.

    In his very first fight he got knocked out : As he had forgotten to buy defenses for his character. He was captured and they stripped him of all his clothes and put him in a cell. Where overnight he withered away and died.

    Over the next 10 years I did manage to lose more players as we moved to deadlier games like Vampire, D&D and Shadowrun.
    Last edited by Damionte; 2007-09-11 at 11:15 PM.
    Custom Avatar By: "The Chilli God"
    My Games:
    None Current

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    tainsouvra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Quote Originally Posted by drunkmonk View Post
    Here’s the problem. The DM does not want us to play evil characters? WTF? You want us to play heroes, good and nice, and place them in a black hole of a nasty killer game. Drop dead. If you want it dark and evil, if you want to “keep it real”, then lets go for it. But don’t complain when the PC end up reflecting your idea of what the game world looks like.
    Some like playing the rare point of light in a sea of darkness. It makes the heroism all the more dramatic because it's rare. I don't believe that's an unreasonable path for a campaign to take.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Happy endings?

    Yes, but it is always nice to have a choice of what sort of character you play.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •