A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 38
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Best Death systems

    I recently (last year) learned the basics of 5e, after spending a good decade, or so, with 3.5. I must say, I'm really not a fan of the 5e death and dying system. It seems to remove consequence from the game. But I wasn't a big fan of the 3.5 system either. What are some other systems out there that deal with death and dying well? A perfect balance of consequence and fun.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    One game I think that handles it well is Circle of Hands. In CoH, A Circle Knight who is killed during an adventure becomes a wraith. A wraith is not technically undead and has full mental faculties of the person when alive. The character continues to participate in the adventure, until it is finished, at which point the character is gone forever. The wraith can cast spells and is subject to magical attacks. It can be heard by the other Circle Knights (i.e. the other PCs).

    This deals with my biggest gripe with death in rpgs (you don't get to keep playing unless there is a henchman, npc, etc.).
    Last edited by Jorren; 2021-07-08 at 07:11 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    One game I think that handles it well is Circle of Hands. In CoH, A Circle Knight who is killed during an adventure becomes a wraith. A wraith is not technically undead and has full mental faculties of the person when alive. The character continues to participate in the adventure, until it is finished, at which point the character is gone forever. The wraith can cast spells and is subject to magical attacks. It can be heard by the other Circle Knights (i.e. the other PCs).

    This deals with my biggest gripe with death in rpgs (you don't get to keep playing unless there is a henchman, npc, etc.).
    Is there any way to bring them back to their bodies after they become a wraith?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryyke View Post
    Is there any way to bring them back to their bodies after they become a wraith?
    No, death is permanent unless you want to house rule in resurrection magic of some sort. Of course in that game everyone (including the GM) creates two characters and the characters are shared by the group. The rule is you can't play the same character two sessions in a row.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    One of the big problems is that systems that encourage a lot of investment into a character means that losing it all on an unlucky roll really sucks. Modern D&D wants to get people really into their characters, so tries to mitigate how easy it is to lose them.

    I don't know your broader taste in games to recommend something outside the long D&D lineage. I do know that older editions of D&D, as well as a lot of retroclones, do go in stronger on the idea that life is cheap and that your lowbies can be disposable. Those might be a good place to start looking.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    "Adventurer, Conqueror, King". When you hit 0 hp, you roll on a table, modified by how many hp below 0 you would be. The result can be anywhere from immediate death, permanent disabilities, temporary disabilities to a full recovery with 1 HP.

    The game's resurrection spell is used to heal disabilities like lost limbs, as well, and every time you cast it there is another table to roll on. The spell might fail altogether, it might work so well that you get +2 to an ability score, or it might leave you with any number of cosmetic, beneficial or negative conditions.

    Lots of consequence, and very fun.
    Last edited by Thrudd; 2021-07-08 at 08:59 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryyke View Post
    ... What are some other systems out there that deal with death and dying well? A perfect balance of consequence and fun.
    Can you describe the last sentence? What are acceptable, desirable or fun consequences for you? What isn't acceptable, desirable or fun? I also am not a fan of 5e death mechanics, but can live with them, while I know other people who find they are an improvement, and some who vehemently oppose them.

    It depends a lot on what you are seeking and what would make it fun for you. (Read about the 8 aesthetics of gaming, it can help make sense of people prefences).

    So, what do you seek? What doesnt sit well with you? And why?

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Iím a fan of Blade of The Iron Throne. Death for a character is permanent, and entirely possible. But when you die you consult a little table that tells you how many advantages you get in chargen based on how many Passions (player designated personal objectives for each character) you finished. So characters can die, often die pursuing something of great personal interest, but the player himself isnít punished for the death. This is particularly aided by being a pretty flat progression anyhow - and frankly the kind of game where you might look up a few months later and go ďhuh, we havenít really given out XP have weÖoh wellĒ

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryyke View Post
    I recently (last year) learned the basics of 5e, after spending a good decade, or so, with 3.5. I must say, I'm really not a fan of the 5e death and dying system. It seems to remove consequence from the game. But I wasn't a big fan of the 3.5 system either. What are some other systems out there that deal with death and dying well? A perfect balance of consequence and fun.
    What sort of consequences do you want to include?

    3.5's "consequence" for death was a meta one: "Reroll". It really didn't have any other consequences. There weren't wound systems or resurrection penalties or "You took X damage, your character is now gimped until magic." rules.

    What do you think would be a "fun" way to handle death?

    Most death systems are IMO, pretty boring or very setting/system specific.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    EU
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    3.5's "consequence" for death was a meta one: "Reroll". It really didn't have any other consequences. There weren't wound systems or resurrection penalties or "You took X damage, your character is now gimped until magic." rules.
    Uh, no? Only True Resurrection was consequence free, all other forms of revival had side effects, large limitations or, more commonly, made you lose a level.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Name View Post
    Uh, no? Only True Resurrection was consequence free, all other forms of revival had side effects, large limitations or, more commonly, made you lose a level.
    Not sure about "large limitations", you mean the time window for casting the spell?

    Looking back over them real quick, looks like the only real side effect was the loss of 1 level, or 2 con points if you didn't have at least 1 level. But I don't know many people who had a some-form-of-resurrection-spell available for a 1st level character. Yeah some of them don't immediately fill you back up to full health but I wouldn't really call that a "consequence". You were dead...1HP and alive is better than no hp and dead.

    This is only my experience speaking: I didn't see resurrection spells come up much, except Reincarnation, because it was funny.

    Entirely Personal Opinion Here: I find death in TTRPGs to be terribly dull. The player didn't die, if resurrection is available, they come back with some relatively minor bumps. If it isn't, they get to reroll. If it's a needed role in the party, we'll likely get "Cleric Bob 2.0". If the DM bans clones, we'll get Druid Bobbie-Sue instead. "Death" isn't very consequential in D&D (and a lot of other TTRPGs), IMO.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Any permanent disability is an incentive to just make a new character. IMO if you want consequences just make death permanent. But also never make a skill check where the fail condition is death.
    "make an acrobatics to cross this crappy unstable bridge"
    *rolls 5*
    "ok you fall off and take 20d6 damage"
    "70 damage... and I'm dead"
    "well new character it is, consequences"
    "actually I'll just go home"
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Murica
    Gender
    Male

    Thumbs up Re: Best Death systems

    In my homebrew system, I'm still working out how exactly the resurrection stuff is going to work. All I know is, it doesn't come cheap, and it is rare. It costs resources to bring someone back from the dead, so choose wisely who you want to bring back. There's no real time limit on it either, so no need to throw away a character sheet after they die, unless you feel you are truly done with that character. Also there's no inherent penalty for being brought back to life, like losing a level or XP, or temp. stat decreases or whatever, unless something goes horribly wrong (like if the spell gets disrupted by outside forces, for example).
    Also maybe, the higher the level of the character that is to be brought back, the higher the resource cost, but I'm not too sure about that idea. And bringing someone back may require a skill or ability check of some sort, gaining a bonus if you have other mages helping? Not sure about that idea either.

    As for the dying bit, if your HP drops to 0, you go unconscious. At -10 HP, you die. If you are left in the "dying" state for too long (about 1 hour or so) you will die eventually unless you get healing.
    There's no rolling of constitution checks to see if you bleed out each turn or "stabilize" (like in D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder) cuz that just gets annoying. No Death Saving Throws either.
    Also when you're unconscious on the ground, an enemy can choose to just finish you off if they want to, assuming they do enuf DMG with their attack to kill you. No Coupe De Grace, no automatic critical hit, just roll damage.

    And if you get healing while at negative HP, you do not heal from zero. That just don't make sense.

    Dying from massive Damage (in D&D 3.5 n Pathfinder, I think it be 50?): No, not a thing

    Not sure if it be the best Death system or whatever, but it is what I prefer at the moment.
    Last edited by HumanFighter; 2021-07-18 at 01:18 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    This isn't a system but a much loser pattern. Which is "tactically dead" (call it left for dead, call it incapacitated, doesn't matter) comes hard and fast but that doesn't actually kill the character. This means someone can be dead as far as this scene is concerned but not as far as the campaign is concerned.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryyke View Post
    I recently (last year) learned the basics of 5e, after spending a good decade, or so, with 3.5. I must say, I'm really not a fan of the 5e death and dying system. It seems to remove consequence from the game. But I wasn't a big fan of the 3.5 system either. What are some other systems out there that deal with death and dying well? A perfect balance of consequence and fun.
    Going off on a tangent, but the death system in 5e can really be tweaked quite a bit. As Anymage pointed out, 5e puts some more emphasis on the roleplay aspects versus the wargame aspects so players can be quite attached to their characters (though, I've always found this to be the case since I started playing back in the 80's). If you're giving players a bunch of options to deal with death then it kind of softens the blow and allows you to kill them more frequently. Some options below. Alternately you could just rule that zero hit-points is death.

    So your character has died?
    But did it, really? Are you sure it isn't mostly dead and can be brought back to the land of the living with some really good medical care, an extended convalescence and, perhaps, some permanent injury/disability, either physical or emotional or both? Talk it over with your DM. Maybe your character isn't completely dead. But, if it is, this doesn't have to be the end of your book. Think of it as the beginning of an exciting new chapter. You have options!
    Create a new Character
    You were very invested in your character but, let's be honest, you made a few mistakes creating it. There were a few details you would have changed if you had the chance. And now you do! Roll up a new character. An improved character.
    Deliberate Resurrection
    If you've got friends (or minions or co-players who owe you money) then you've got hope.
    Conventional resurrection
    This is the traditional route back to the land of the living and the route is so well-travelled that it might as well be a highway. You're just a great big diamond and a spell away from once again being the life of the party!
    Complications may include:
    Memory loss
    Skill losses
    Traumatic stress (at night, during stressful situations, etc...) which may prevent you from performing at your best, completing long rests, or etc...
    Physical disability (stat reduction, lingering wound, the mark of an unknowable horror)
    Coming back with a malevolent entity buried deep inside your psyche and trying to claw its way out
    If you suspect some animus other than yours coming back in your body consult with your cleric and do your best to warn your still living comrades before they stop living
    Unconventional resurrection
    Does conventional resurrection sound too... conventional for you? This is fantasy so you've got other options.
    Maybe the party lost your body (or just got tired of carrying it around). Maybe the cleric/witch doctor/mad scientist can't do a wish or a true resurrection but has a special on 'alternatives'. Or perhaps you're simply looking for an opportunity to play a truly unique character. If your old body isn't available then perhaps a new vessel can be found.
    Non-Biological
    Mechanical (You know you were a little war-forged curious.)
    Non-biological golem
    Object (E.G. Bob the Skull?)
    Biological
    Existing humanoid body
    This can be a fun one. Where did the body come from? Was someone still using it? Are they sharing the body? Can the other intelligence assist the PC? Is the other intelligence fighting for control of the body? Trying to kick the PC out?
    Non-humanoid body
    Dog, Cat, etcÖ
    Still in there with them? Hey, funny but mean is still funny.
    Constructed body
    Biological Golem
    It's not grave-robbing, it's recycling!
    Modified Living Creature
    Did someone take an existing creature and modify it? Give it digits capable of manipulating objects? A mouth capable of speech? Did someone make an aberration? Do you want to play it?
    Spontaneous Resurrection
    Don't have friends among the living? That's okay, because there are other powers that want to work with you! You have a wide selection of beings that want to send you back to the land of the living in return for a favor. Or two. Okay, maybe a few of them want to turn you into their eternal servant so you can advance their terrible cause. That's not so bad. Right?
    Conventional warlock with a patron
    A bargain has been agreed to by both sides, patron saves the life of the character in return for service, character is now a warlock and can only take new levels as a warlock.
    Possessed warlock 1
    A being or beings has taken up residence in the body of the character and are co-existing with the character (who is now a warlock and may only take levels as a warlock).
    May be trying to take over the body as per demonic possession in the DMG
    May be working with or assisting the character
    Possessed warlock 2
    An entirely different intelligence as replaced the character and is now inhabiting the character's body.
    Ghost
    Not interested in working with other powers? Did you miss the boat to the afterlife? Then perhaps you'd like to consider the ghost option. This one's a lot of work with your DM to iron out the options, but it can be worth it. Think about the options available to character that can be invisible and possess people. Oh, and has to deal with the terrors of the ethereal plane as well as dealing with wacky situations on the prime material. But hey, if you wanted easy you shouldn't have died.
    Revenant
    For the truly single-minded and dedicated there's the upgraded ghost option. That's right, be a ghost in your own home, or body. You get instant upgrades to your abilities while, of course, locking yourself out further character level progression. But, if you cared about anything other than the single purpose that animates your body despite the best efforts of death to separate your animus from your corpus then you wouldn't be revenant, would you?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Murica
    Gender
    Male

    wink Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    This isn't a system but a much loser pattern. Which is "tactically dead" (call it left for dead, call it incapacitated, doesn't matter) comes hard and fast but that doesn't actually kill the character. This means someone can be dead as far as this scene is concerned but not as far as the campaign is concerned.
    I think that is brilliant.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vacation in Nyalotha

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by HumanFighter View Post
    I think that is brilliant.
    Mostly what comes about in the system play test Iím collaborating on. Stamina and Health, you have a threshold for the maximum amount of damage per hit that goes to stamina, rest penetrates to health. Stamina = 0 is unconscious. Players choose the stam/hp damage split, so staying conscious to fight within an inch of their lives is a valid choice, but you can also choose to slump unconscious if you think thatís more likely to save your characterís life in the scene.
    Martialsí concepts donít evolve past the mundane
    High levels arenít just lower levels with bigger numbers
    Martials have the tools they need for relevance

    Pick 2

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorren View Post
    One game I think that handles it well is Circle of Hands. In CoH, A Circle Knight who is killed during an adventure becomes a wraith. A wraith is not technically undead and has full mental faculties of the person when alive. The character continues to participate in the adventure, until it is finished, at which point the character is gone forever. The wraith can cast spells and is subject to magical attacks. It can be heard by the other Circle Knights (i.e. the other PCs).

    This deals with my biggest gripe with death in rpgs (you don't get to keep playing unless there is a henchman, npc, etc.).
    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    This isn't a system but a much loser pattern. Which is "tactically dead" (call it left for dead, call it incapacitated, doesn't matter) comes hard and fast but that doesn't actually kill the character. This means someone can be dead as far as this scene is concerned but not as far as the campaign is concerned.
    I'm probably the only one who finds this hilarious: two exact opposite answers, showing two very different preferences. Am I "dead" for now, but perfectly fine long-term, or am I still playing for now, but dead hereafter?

    But it really highlights the importance of the question, "what do you want?".

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    To Quertus: In a sense they are opposite, but they are build of the same criterial insight: Death traditionally actually fills a lot of roles in games and it doesn't have to. Blades in the Dark is a great example because it uses... 4/5 different types of death?
    • Left for Dead: If a character max out their stress (a very important resource) they will be left for dead and are out of the scene/adventure.
    • Undead: The Dusk is a city of ghosts. If a character dies they can come back as a ghost and even be given a new body.
    • Laid to Rest: If the body is dealt with correctly or the undead destroyed a character is completely dead.
    • Missing/In-Jail: Downtime problems (caused by "run-off" from active play) can cause a character to be removed from play for a while.
    • Retired: Characters can retire from play or even be forced to retire from play by the mechanics in the game.
    So if you wanted to write an essay on death mechanics in role-playing games Blades in the Dark would be a great place to start.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    61.2į N, 149.9į W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    I think part of the problem is that D&D is the elephant in the room and doesn't really do anything beyond ok-dying-dead. It doesn't usually have options for knocking out PCs, everything is hung on getting hit points to zero which skips the character from 'ok' to 'will die soon/easily'. The D&D 4e & 5e thing where a PC can choose to knock out an enemy if they get the kill shot is ok for monsters, but when PCs go to zero they make death saves instead and the knock out thing doesn't really work there.

    There's also the weirdness where it's insanely difficult to take prisoners because as soon as they have 1 hit point people start casting spells again unless every single prison is coated in antimagic fields. That makes nobody (among intelligent creatures at least) want to deal with anything but absolutely dead opponents.

    Games that use condition tracks or ongoing debuff effects instead of, or along side of, hit points seem to have a better chance for knock outs and PCs surrendering before they're chopped into giblets.
    "And this, too, shall pass away."

    DtD40k7e rewrite complete.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Continuing to hype the 20 year old game Ironclaw.

    After a moderate hit, you can a status that keeps you from attacking. Anyone without the status can heal the status with a skill check, at range, but it takes their action economy to do so. It can also be gotten rid of by leaving combat. if most of your team has this status, running is going to look like a real good option.

    After a really strong hit, (or multiple moderate hits, but it's not linear like HP) a non-main character (or a hero or named villian who has spent their 1/session plot armor) is incapacitated and "dying". With medical care you wont die, but you're out of the fight. An even stronger hit will skip dying and go straight to dead (unless plot armor), and REALLY big attacks are so devastation, not only is the target dead, but the target's allies are shocked into the first "cannot attack" status just from the gory display. (this can actually overwelm plot armor, as plot armor can only reduce this to dying)

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Obviously the best RPG death system is the one from Dark Dungeons, wherein having your character killed exiles you from the game, and everyone pretends you're dead in real life.

    Speaking seriously, I'm a fan of systems where death is swift and easy at lower levels of character progression, but far less likely at the higher tiers. It encourages you not to get too heavily invested in your character from the start with elaborate backstories and character details, but to let your investment grow from the perils you survive and the stories told in the course of gameplay. Once you have played for a while, and the character has real stories and characterization behind them, you are far less likely to be swiftly killed.

    I think some of the Warhammer (Fantasy and 40k) roleplay systems do a good job with this; a lot of them use similar systems. Hit Points (or Wounds) are low relative to weapon damage (typically in the 9-12 range to start off with, where most weapons deal around a d10) and scale very little with XP. Taking damage beyond 0 Wounds imposes Critical Effects, ranging from temporary debuffs to permanent injury to death to spectacular death.

    Again, Wounds scale very slowly if at all (every additional Wound has to be bought with XP), so the system remains theoretically this lethal even at higher stages of play. But as you level up, acquire better armor and weapons, improve your combat skills (which are pretty mediocre to start, even for combat-focused characters), and buy fancy talents and spells/psychic powers, the likelihood of being brought to the threshold of that unforgiving death system goes down due to your overall competence.
    The desire to appear clever often impedes actually being so.

    What makes the vanity of others offensive is the fact that it wounds our own.

    Quarrels don't last long if the fault is only on one side.

    Nothing is given so generously as advice.

    We hardly ever find anyone of good sense, except those who agree with us.

    -Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Virtual Austin

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Catullus64 View Post
    Obviously the best RPG death system is the one from Dark Dungeons, wherein having your character killed exiles you from the game, and everyone pretends you're dead in real life.

    Speaking seriously, I'm a fan of systems where death is swift and easy at lower levels of character progression, but far less likely at the higher tiers. It encourages you not to get too heavily invested in your character from the start with elaborate backstories and character details, but to let your investment grow from the perils you survive and the stories told in the course of gameplay. Once you have played for a while, and the character has real stories and characterization behind them, you are far less likely to be swiftly killed.
    This is our preferred system in our BECMI campaign.

    The focus of the game is the world.

    The characters are tools that the players use to explore that world. The tools get used up sometimes, but the players get to keep exploring using new tools.

    As the campaign matures, however, things shift a bit and the few characters who survive to higher level allow more investment by their players. This feels earned because of the number of harrowing experiences the characters survived to get to this point.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Murica
    Gender
    Male

    Thumbs down Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    Mostly what comes about in the system play test Iím collaborating on. Stamina and Health, you have a threshold for the maximum amount of damage per hit that goes to stamina, rest penetrates to health. Stamina = 0 is unconscious. Players choose the stam/hp damage split, so staying conscious to fight within an inch of their lives is a valid choice, but you can also choose to slump unconscious if you think thatís more likely to save your characterís life in the scene.
    That is less brilliant.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vacation in Nyalotha

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by HumanFighter View Post
    That is less brilliant.
    Brilliant being arbitrarily defined by how it is pleasing to a single viewpoint? Care to elaborate?
    Martialsí concepts donít evolve past the mundane
    High levels arenít just lower levels with bigger numbers
    Martials have the tools they need for relevance

    Pick 2

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    I think the likelihood of death should be considered in light of the tone the individual game is aiming for, not something hard-baked into the system unless the system is very strongly tied to a specific tone (like eg. Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer).

    The more the tone tends towards heroic fantasy (small f, not the genre), the harder it should be to die for good.

    That means a game system that wants to cover a multitude of tones needs a few different death mechanics, from 0HP = go directly to afterlife do not pass go do not collect 200GP, ranging all the way up to death only being permanent if the player expressly wants it. (ie. "death" takes you out of the scene but the character will get better as soon as they've had time to recover, but the player can, should they find it dramatically appropriate, choose to have their character die for real and maybe even get a situational bonus for doing so, like taking a big bad down with them in a final sacrifice).

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    Mostly what comes about in the system play test Iím collaborating on. Stamina and Health, you have a threshold for the maximum amount of damage per hit that goes to stamina, rest penetrates to health. Stamina = 0 is unconscious. Players choose the stam/hp damage split, so staying conscious to fight within an inch of their lives is a valid choice, but you can also choose to slump unconscious if you think thatís more likely to save your characterís life in the scene.
    So basically you turned plot armor into a hit point currency? From a narrativist + gamist POV it is a good idea.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Murica
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    Brilliant being arbitrarily defined by how it is pleasing to a single viewpoint? Care to elaborate?
    Perhaps I do not have the full picture here. What is the point of having 2 "health bars" (stamina and hp)? Do u actually use stamina for like special abilities and whatnot?
    As for letting your stamina drop to 0 and so u fall unconscious instead of dying, how would that help you? The enemy would probably just kill or eat you anyway.
    What if, say, u had 7 stamina and 5 hp, and you get hit for like 10 damage, would your stamina drop to 0, and then the remaining damage goes to health? I just don't get it or see the value in it.
    I can understand that maybe when you rest (like short rest) your stamina recovers faster/more easily than health, but then, why not just have resting restore health anyway.
    Maybe I am biased cuz I have played a similar system before (Shadowrun, dont remember which edition tho) and it did not go well.
    But if you want to play your game in this annoying way, go right ahead. Not my time that's getting wasted.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vacation in Nyalotha

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    So basically you turned plot armor into a hit point currency? From a narrativist + gamist POV it is a good idea.
    Not quite? It functions mainly like ablative armor you see in various FPS games, stopping some but not all the depletion of the characterís health. Stamina will generally replenish scene to scene while health demands downtime or resources. The main behavior I wished to highlight was the ability for the player to tap out of the fight or choose to press on with a risk of death. Maybe weíre just saying the same thing different ways and itís not hitting my neurons right.

    Thinking back this reminds me of the ďdeath flagĒ mechanic I saw something like a decade ago. Characters by default cannot die, but there are certain scenes the character cannot engage with if they do not have the death flag raised. Of course raising the death flag provided meta currency to encourage more general use.

    Quote Originally Posted by HumanFighter View Post
    Perhaps I do not have the full picture here. What is the point of having 2 "health bars" (stamina and hp)? Do u actually use stamina for like special abilities and whatnot?
    As for letting your stamina drop to 0 and so u fall unconscious instead of dying, how would that help you? The enemy would probably just kill or eat you anyway.
    What if, say, u had 7 stamina and 5 hp, and you get hit for like 10 damage, would your stamina drop to 0, and then the remaining damage goes to health? I just don't get it or see the value in it.
    I can understand that maybe when you rest (like short rest) your stamina recovers faster/more easily than health, but then, why not just have resting restore health anyway.
    Maybe I am biased cuz I have played a similar system before (Shadowrun, dont remember which edition tho) and it did not go well.
    But if you want to play your game in this annoying way, go right ahead. Not my time that's getting wasted.
    Matter of fact it is inspired by Shadowrun, but Iíve dodged the glaring binary resolution where an attack damages only health or only stamina.

    Depletion of stamina results is a short term consequence and is the default. The player will be the one opting into cases where health can be depleted, ie cases that can have long term consequences. This is of course added complexity, and it allows for GM and players to start a scene near an expected common value rather than whatever arbitrary midpoint attrition pushed them down to on the way to this scene. Stamina being low is a potential end condition for the scene, health being low is a potential end condition for the act.

    Not knowing which edition of Shadowrun you played I completely understand your hesitancy to engage with anything remotely resembling it. The options, gear, and probability spreads involved can make it feel like a part time job. (Itís mainly the gear and convoluted stat optimization). Though earlier editions have some exceptionally arcane damage calculation.

    Edit2:
    Putting reply to the multiple-bars multiple-resources Q down here so it doesnít sidetrack too much from the main topic.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Yes, all status bars have options that players can acquire which allow the stamina etc to be spent for a benefit. My players stuck the term mana on the third bar and I canít convince them to use anything else, guess the customer is always right.
    Last edited by Xervous; 2021-07-22 at 01:19 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Best Death systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryyke View Post
    What are some other systems out there that deal with death and dying well? A perfect balance of consequence and fun.
    I think the key here is to understand that there isn't one that can work for all genres and all types of games. A system about being high-fantasy Heroes will necessarily require different mechanics than one about being a ordinary human at the mercy of overwhelming terror.

    So once we know what kind of game you want to play, it's easier to narrow it down.

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    I think the likelihood of death should be considered in light of the tone the individual game is aiming for, not something hard-baked into the system unless the system is very strongly tied to a specific tone (like eg. Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer).

    The more the tone tends towards heroic fantasy (small f, not the genre), the harder it should be to die for good.

    That means a game system that wants to cover a multitude of tones needs a few different death mechanics, from 0HP = go directly to afterlife do not pass go do not collect 200GP, ranging all the way up to death only being permanent if the player expressly wants it. (ie. "death" takes you out of the scene but the character will get better as soon as they've had time to recover, but the player can, should they find it dramatically appropriate, choose to have their character die for real and maybe even get a situational bonus for doing so, like taking a big bad down with them in a final sacrifice).
    This is good advice, for sure!
    Last edited by NorthernPhoenix; 2021-07-25 at 09:06 AM.

Posting Permissions

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