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Darkomn
2011-09-13, 10:52 PM
Sense this is my first post I guess I should say hi before shamelessly asking for help: So I'm Darkomn Hi!

So here is my problem, I have been running a Pathfinder game for about 9 sessions and for most of it the party (4 to 5 depending on the day) has been cutting through monsters like a hot knife through butter... That is except this one guy he has died 5 times.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with the lost levels, due to death, he is having a hard time being relevant in fights (not that he plays up to his int, or even that of an orc), and I'm limited to mostly monsters that can't murder a 5th level character while providing a challenge to 9th level characters.

Any help would be appreciated.

Lord Ruby34
2011-09-13, 10:54 PM
Have him bring in a new character and hope he doesn't die as often.

Acanous
2011-09-13, 10:56 PM
Have you tried an alternate approach to combat?
Monsters that can be negotiated with might help.
"Puzzle" monsters can work well, too (Like the Curst, which can only die if hit by..remove Curse)
Certain kinds of undead (Ghosts, Ghasts) can be very difficult to deal with, without upping the CR, due to special abilities.
What class does this player play?

Mystic Muse
2011-09-13, 10:57 PM
Sense this is my first post I guess I should say hi before shamelessly asking for help: So I'm Darkomn Hi!

So here is my problem, I have been running a Pathfinder game for about 9 sessions and for most of it the party (4 to 5 depending on the day) has been cutting through monsters like a hot knife through butter... That is except this one guy he has died 5 times.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with the lost levels, due to death, he is having a hard time being relevant in fights (not that he plays up to his int, or even that of an orc), and I'm limited to mostly monsters that can't murder a 5th level character while providing a challenge to 9th level characters.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bring him back in at the same level as the rest of the party.

If this is the same character and he continues to die, ask him to retire the character. If I died 4 times in the same dungeon, I'd quit going through that dungeon. Granted, I'm not his character, but quitting is a reasonable reaction.

Silva Stormrage
2011-09-13, 10:59 PM
Well you do realize that the person at level 5 gains ALOT more xp from encounters than the level 9s. Also a easy fix is this, the monster kinda ignore him. If he isn't contributing much than the monsters will target the threats, the druid calling the primal forces of nature upon them not the halfling with a wooden spoon whacking them.

Of just have him come in with a new character would work.

Also out of curiosity how is he being raised this much? Thats 25k worth of diamonds for a 9th level party. I can't get my group to waste 5k on a single resurrection.

Zaq
2011-09-13, 11:30 PM
Congratulations, you've discovered one of the many reasons why it's not fun to have the party diverge in level. Following the rules regarding level loss on resurrection is one thing, but when it just gets ridiculous like that, there are problems. (Or are you making him bring in new characters at lower levels? That's a different sort of problem.)

If you want an only moderately handwave-y way of starting over, semi-forcibly (with the player's blessing, of course) send the character away on some kind of "training journey," played as much or as little for laughs as you like. Bring in another character (equal-level with the party) for the rest of the dungeon and maybe another adventure or so. Then bring the original character back (if the player still wants him back) at an appropriate level. Ta-da! At your option, you can have the player write or describe the "training montage" that the old character went through, but make sure that doing so is fun, not homework.

Arbane
2011-09-13, 11:34 PM
Whats he playing, and why does he keep dying? Bad tactics, failed saves, setting off traps, using Oil of Deliciousness on himself before going into the room full of hungry pirhanabats...?

Darkomn
2011-09-13, 11:41 PM
First thanks for the quick replies and I have tried already tried a few of them but its still not working too well.

Mainly I don't like to give him a bunch of new characters because he will make a much an not be satisfied (also he loves that blasted reincarnate spell).

But I might have to try that puzzle battle idea might work, they do have a upcoming boss battle on the face of a clock that could really involve noncombat things.

He has already already had one retraining "spirit quest" and doesn't really want to bother with it, just have me "fix it"

As for how he dies its mostly down to separating himself from the party or doing a really good job of playing (in combat) to the int of a camel.

SowZ
2011-09-13, 11:47 PM
First thanks for the quick replies and I have tried already tried a few of them but its still not working too well.

Mainly I don't like to give him a bunch of new characters because he will make a much an not be satisfied (also he loves that blasted reincarnate spell).

But I might have to try that puzzle battle idea might work, they do have a upcoming boss battle on the face of a clock that could really involve noncombat things.

These are temporary fixes, but eventually you will want the party within a couple levels of each other. As has been stated, though, a level 5 character will gain more XP from the fight and takes less XP to level up. Eventually, the problem will work itself out. Otherwise, you can always houserule the level loss as being temporary and only lasting a week. (Explain it as, 'After coming through the void, you don't feel quite connected with your body. Eventually, you feel alive and yourself again.)

Acanous
2011-09-14, 12:21 AM
if he continues going off on his own, maybe have him fight something his own CR?
Don't handwave the loss away, if he was being dumb he earned those lost levels.
Seeing as he likes to go off alone, and you need to catch him up in XP, have him fight some of the easier CR5 monsters one at a time whenever he effs off. He'll catch up faster and die less, while still needing to go back for heals and things.

Darkomn
2011-09-14, 12:38 AM
Well I guess I only really included running off because it was the most memorable death

Player: "hmm I'm 200xp short of everybody else. I know while they are in town I will go look for something in the wilderness!"
DM: "Um ok make a survival check"
roll roll roll
DM: ok your lost in the woods"
Player: "I don't care I'm looking for monsters."
DM: "Ok I guess roll another survival check maybe you can find a bear or something (this isn't an mmo grinding doesn't work)"
Roll roll roll
DM: "Ok you find a scary cave looks like a bear lives here your survival skills tell you that you shouldn't go in"
Player: "I go in!"

Zaq
2011-09-14, 12:41 AM
if he continues going off on his own, maybe have him fight something his own CR?
Don't handwave the loss away, if he was being dumb he earned those lost levels.
Seeing as he likes to go off alone, and you need to catch him up in XP, have him fight some of the easier CR5 monsters one at a time whenever he effs off. He'll catch up faster and die less, while still needing to go back for heals and things.

The problem with that is that it either has to happen in solo sessions (meaning way more work for the DM, not to mention scheduling for both DM and player), or the rest of the party has to just sit around and watch while Mr. Too-Stupid-to-Live brawls with something they could squish without even trying.

Remember, the point of the game is to have fun. The player's low level is making the game less fun for the GM, and making encounter design constrained (thus probably making it less fun for the party). "Earned" or not, letting it get in the way of enjoying the game is just bullheadedness. That's not to say that there should never be any negative consequences ever, don't get me wrong. But the game still needs to be fun, and from the sound of it, it's not.

Malimar
2011-09-14, 12:44 AM
Mainly I don't like to give him a bunch of new characters because he will make a much an not be satisfied (also he loves that blasted reincarnate spell).

AHA! Next time he dies, reincarnate him into something with RHD and LA sufficient to bring him up to the level of the rest of the party (either through DM fiat or by homebrewing a more extensive reincarnate list (http://luduscarcerum.blogspot.com/2011/04/custom-reincarnate-tables.html) filled with good possibilities for stronger creatures). Problem solved!

Darkomn
2011-09-14, 12:51 AM
AHA! Next time he dies, reincarnate him into something with RHD and LA sufficient to bring him up to the level of the rest of the party (either through DM fiat or by homebrewing a more extensive reincarnate list (http://luduscarcerum.blogspot.com/2011/04/custom-reincarnate-tables.html) filled with good possibilities for stronger creatures). Problem solved!


When he was playing a sorcerer he got reincarnated as a pixie (LA +4 making him the highest ECL) with a huge bonus to cha and flight... and he died in the next battle against a melee only opponent on the broken off top of a tower in the open air :smallannoyed:

Malimar
2011-09-14, 12:53 AM
When he was playing a sorcerer he got reincarnated as a pixie (LA +4 making him the highest ECL) with a huge bonus to cha and flight... and he died in the next battle against a melee only opponent on the broken off top of a tower in the open air :smallannoyed:

[incoherent spluttering noises]

Okay, then: combine the above with "The party conveniently finds a Headband of Intellect in the next treasure" so he feels less compelled to act like a moron to reflect his character's intelligence, and so you can say "your character isn't that dumb anymore" whenever he does anything dumb?

XenoGeno
2011-09-14, 01:10 AM
He has already already had one retraining "spirit quest" and doesn't really want to bother with it, just have me "fix it"

As for how he dies its mostly down to separating himself from the party or doing a really good job of playing (in combat) to the int of a camel.

These two things make me think the problem is a problem with the player, and is going to have to be settled OOC. After all, it seems like he's asking to act like an idiot but not have to suffer the consequences, and since you're now having to work around his character, it's becoming disruptive. The extreme solution is to make him roll a new character, and tell him that if this new one dies due to player stupidity, you'll kick him out of the group.

A less extreme solution could take the form a number of ways. The most obvious to me is to make his character go on another "spirit quest" and have him play a temporary character for a little bit as punishment; if he's going to keep breaking his toy, it's going to be taken away from him for a little while. After this, make it clear that he needs to start fighting smarter, or the next death will stick, which you can do a number of ways: kill him in a way that doesn't leave a corpse, make him an undead (if you're creative enough, you can ALWAYS justify making him a ghost), or send a marut to kill him and take his body away to another plane (I don't know about PF, but in 3.5 multiple rezzes were enough to tick off one of them).

The thing is though, your (admittedly, brief) description makes this guy sound like a bit of a troll. You may have to keep that "kick from the game" threat ready if necessary, even if you don't want to. If he doesn't perceive any consequence to his actions, he's just going to keep on acting like he's acting.

Also, question: when he died by his lonesome in some random cave while the rest of the party was in town, how did they know he was dead and then find his body in time to reincarnate him?

Darkomn
2011-09-14, 01:22 AM
Also, question: when he died by his lonesome in some random cave while the rest of the party was in town, how did they know he was dead and then find his body in time to reincarnate him?

He didn't actually get reincarnated that time, (the party did find a blood stain on their way out of town that used to be him) I actually had him come back as a mummy that an angry necro/alchemist used to attack the city the party when to next. After he passed a Will save I let him take back over his now mummy/swashbuckler.

XenoGeno
2011-09-14, 01:33 AM
He didn't actually get reincarnated that time, (the party did find a blood stain on their way out of town that used to be him) I actually had him come back as a mummy that an angry necro/alchemist used to attack the city the party when to next. After he passed a Will save I let him take back over his now mummy/swashbuckler.

Since optimization is clearly not something he's interested in, he probably sees this kind of thing as a reward. Also, how many characters has he played? Did he only start reincarnating once his mummy got killed and he was forced to roll a new character?

Darkomn
2011-09-14, 01:40 AM
He hates undead and I think he would opptimize if he could but non of us are really good at that, most powerful PC is a druid/wizard mystic theurge which for what I hear is bad.

But yes he started reincarnating after his next character died.

He is now a Gunslinger but has anounched plans for a "secret character that the DM can't mess up"

Safety Sword
2011-09-14, 01:46 AM
He is now a Gunslinger but has anounched plans for a "secret character that the DM can't mess up"

Challenge accepted. :smallamused:

deuxhero
2011-09-14, 01:50 AM
Why to the other PCs keep blowing the dimaonds to reincarnate him?

XenoGeno
2011-09-14, 01:53 AM
Even if he hates undead, from how you've described him, it seems like he'd still relish the opportunity to play a mummified Errol Flynn.

So he's had four different characters so far? A sorcerer, a swashbuckler, a druid/wizard theurge, and now a gunslinger? And he already has plans for a new character? Out of curiosity, how did he get to the point where he's four levels below everyone else even though he keeps rolling up brand new characters? :smallconfused:

Mystic Muse
2011-09-14, 09:34 AM
[incoherent spluttering noises]

Okay, then: combine the above with "The party conveniently finds a Headband of Intellect in the next treasure" so he feels less compelled to act like a moron to reflect his character's intelligence, and so you can say "your character isn't that dumb anymore" whenever he does anything dumb?

Horrible idea. It takes control away from the player, and when all they get to control in the world is their character, that gets really annoying.

MukkTB
2011-09-14, 09:53 AM
Well you can always roll dice where the players can't see them. Just crit a PC and tore off his head? Nope you rolled a miss. Kind of clunky and I don't really like it.

You could always go read the Evil Overlord List and then have your villians do all the wrong things that perpetually lets heroes defeat them.

Our party has a house rule that you get to keep all the experience you earn in a pool because we kill off PCs pretty often. We have a more brutal playstyle than most. When a PC dies he restarts at level one but then whenever he gains experience he gets to take the ammount he gained out of his pool and gain it too.

But it seems like this is a problem with a particular player, not a DM style. If he keeps doing stupid things, punish him in ways other than character death. Make him the distressed damsel. You wandered off from the party by yourself, failed to sneak and fought like an idiot? You are now the minitaurs hostage. He stuck you in a gogo cage and likes to listen to you beg for mercy. I guess the other PCs will have to come rescue you again.

Edit - Breaking off from the party isn't something that should be punished by itself. Breaking off from the party when the encounters in the area will kill you by yourself and then failing to sneak around is bad.

Tr011
2011-09-14, 10:51 AM
Well you do realize that the person at level 5 gains ALOT more xp from encounters than the level 9s. Also a easy fix is this, the monster kinda ignore him. If he isn't contributing much than the monsters will target the threats, the druid calling the primal forces of nature upon them not the halfling with a wooden spoon whacking them.


I think this idea is pretty good. First of all: Check out how he will get MUCH more xp (DMG 38 states i.e. a CR 9 monster grants 2,7k xp for a lvl9 char, but 6k for a lvl5 char). So in the long run, this should fix itself.
Also, consider what bad guys with some int (like a lvl10 evil wizard) do to low-level chars: Often nothing. They won't see any reason to fight or kill a guy who isn't even a threat to them. Maybe he would take him prison (like most LE guys do).
Low-int enemies (like most magical beasts) usually ignore the low-level guys and focus on the real threats in combat. Even if they are harder to reach.

And don't blame him for sneaking around in the woods if he needs more xp. If he goes into that cave, he could find an obvious hard-to-kill monster that is sleeping, so he has the chance to go away.

Telonius
2011-09-14, 10:55 AM
Why fight it? Grant him a new template.

Mysterion

Requirements: Character must have died in three consecutive combats.
Effects: The gods of Death and Comedy have, for reasons of their own, taken direct interest in the character. Once a day, the character will die, preferably in the most hideous way possible. Nothing is capable of saving the character from his fate, nor is it possible to raise the character from the dead, or create an undead from the character's corpse. The next time the party stops to rest, the character will be there, alive, at full hit points, cured of all status ailments and ability loss, with all spells and other abilities ready as though he'd had a full night's rest. The character has all of the gear that was present at his death. (Gear looted by other characters will always be back with the Mysterion character).

The character no longer gains experience points, but upon awakening he is at the party's average level. A Mysterion does not count as part of the group when determining the rest of the group's experience award.

Special: A Mysterion is completely ignored by any Marut he encounters, and vice versa. Maruts and Mysterions cannot perceive each other by any means, and it is impossible for either to do any damage to each other, even indirectly or by accident.

Level Adjustment: N/A

Urpriest
2011-09-14, 11:00 AM
Tell him that his bad choices in combat are breaking the other players' sense of immersion, and that you'd prefer that he played his character more realistically. Then point out that a real person wouldn't get themself killed so often.

Tr011
2011-09-14, 11:18 AM
Telonius is right, just say he has to rename his character so his name is no longer Kenny.

XenoGeno
2011-09-14, 11:23 AM
So I was doing some research on Pathfinder rezzing, and the "gain more XP" thing doesn't work because he'll technically still be the same level as the party, gaining XP at the same rate and all, as PF doesn't make you lose actual levels, just gain negative levels. The bright side is that this means it's pretty easy to get back to normal, you just pop a restoration spell and 1,000 gp of diamond dust once a week or a greater restoration and 5,000 gp of diamond dust once. The downside is, alongside the 1,000 gp of the oils for reincarnate, it adds up quite a bit.

Of course, if he's not just getting rezzed, but rolling new characters all the time, that doesn't matter.

For the record, since I realize I haven't said it yet; you're not a killer DM if your player is actively trying to prove that the law of natural selection doesn't exist in your campaign setting. Honestly, you're giving him more chances than I would.

Tr011
2011-09-14, 11:27 AM
So I was doing some research on Pathfinder
We're talking PF?

Mystic Muse
2011-09-14, 11:28 AM
We're talking PF?

Yes. It was in the first post.

Arbane
2011-09-14, 11:34 AM
Give all of his characters six clones. If he's going to PLAY like a Paranoia Troubleshooter, treat him like a Paranoia Troubleshooter.

(Semi-seriously, if you're going to bend each session around your attempts to keep this idiot from getting the horrible death he obviously craves, he's just going to keep doing it.)

MammonAzrael
2011-09-14, 12:38 PM
These two things make me think the problem is a problem with the player, and is going to have to be settled OOC. After all, it seems like he's asking to act like an idiot but not have to suffer the consequences, and since you're now having to work around his character, it's becoming disruptive. The extreme solution is to make him roll a new character, and tell him that if this new one dies due to player stupidity, you'll kick him out of the group.

A less extreme solution could take the form a number of ways. The most obvious to me is to make his character go on another "spirit quest" and have him play a temporary character for a little bit as punishment; if he's going to keep breaking his toy, it's going to be taken away from him for a little while. After this, make it clear that he needs to start fighting smarter, or the next death will stick, which you can do a number of ways: kill him in a way that doesn't leave a corpse, make him an undead (if you're creative enough, you can ALWAYS justify making him a ghost), or send a marut to kill him and take his body away to another plane (I don't know about PF, but in 3.5 multiple rezzes were enough to tick off one of them).

The thing is though, your (admittedly, brief) description makes this guy sound like a bit of a troll. You may have to keep that "kick from the game" threat ready if necessary, even if you don't want to. If he doesn't perceive any consequence to his actions, he's just going to keep on acting like he's acting.

I agree, this sounds more like an OoC issue, and should be treated as such. First, a few questions:


Is he having fun despite the deaths?
Is he having fun because of the deaths?
Are the other players having fun?
Are you having fun?
Do you sincerely believe that the player in question is actually capable of playing more intelligently, so as not to die through idiocy?


I think you need to sit down with your player, and cover the issue of dying. Make it a point to emphasize that he isn't dying because you're trying, or unlucky rolls; he is dying because he makes obviously idiotic decisions. Find out why he is making the decisions (ask him straight out). Depending on the answers you (and probably other players) will either need to help coach him to become a smarter player that doesn't treat the game like an MMO (have you made it clear your world does not function as such?), or you'll need to tell him that his continued deaths are becoming a detriment to the game and the enjoyment of everyone else involved, and that if he doesn't tone it down, you'll have to ask him to leave the game.

Darkomn
2011-09-14, 01:22 PM
First to whoever said I should play my villains the opposite of how the Evil Overlord List say: Indecently when he made his Gunslinger he linked me to that list told me it was his alignment (but of course he he still insists he is chaotic nuetral :smallfrown:).

For now I think I will continue to have my monsters leave him alone for the most part and hope he levels up fast (I didn't actually read the Pathfinder changes on rezze, I have just been taking a level not giving a negative one), he gained 2 levels last session. That 1.6 times xp he got really help.

Last time he made a new character I offered to have him make 4 or 5 and run a few mock battle with just him controlling a whole party for some practice maybe make the offer again.

XenoGeno
2011-09-14, 03:16 PM
First to whoever said I should play my villains the opposite of how the Evil Overlord List say: Indecently when he made his Gunslinger he linked me to that list told me it was his alignment (but of course he he still insists he is chaotic nuetral :smallfrown:).

That's it, he's a troll. If he plays his characters as stupidly as you say he does, then there's no way he can ever even pretend to follow that list.

Arbane
2011-09-14, 04:09 PM
Next time he dies after going off alone, put a dunce cap on his head and let him sit in the corner while the rest of the gang plays. (But be fair - do that to anyone who gets themselves killed by sheer foolishness.)

Next session, have his character back good as new, with no explanation. If anyone uses detect magic, they'll see that his soul has a big "REJECTED" stamp on it.

Tzevash
2011-09-15, 02:41 AM
Why fight it? Grant him a new template.

Mysterion

Requirements: Character must have died in three consecutive combats.
Effects: The gods of Death and Comedy have, for reasons of their own, taken direct interest in the character. Once a day, the character will die, preferably in the most hideous way possible. Nothing is capable of saving the character from his fate, nor is it possible to raise the character from the dead, or create an undead from the character's corpse. The next time the party stops to rest, the character will be there, alive, at full hit points, cured of all status ailments and ability loss, with all spells and other abilities ready as though he'd had a full night's rest. The character has all of the gear that was present at his death. (Gear looted by other characters will always be back with the Mysterion character).

The character no longer gains experience points, but upon awakening he is at the party's average level. A Mysterion does not count as part of the group when determining the rest of the group's experience award.

Special: A Mysterion is completely ignored by any Marut he encounters, and vice versa. Maruts and Mysterions cannot perceive each other by any means, and it is impossible for either to do any damage to each other, even indirectly or by accident.

Level Adjustment: N/A

THE Template!

CapnVan
2011-09-15, 02:55 AM
(Semi-seriously, if you're going to bend each session around your attempts to keep this idiot from getting the horrible death he obviously craves, he's just going to keep doing it.)

Semi-seriously?!

Are the other players accepting this kind of behavior? If not, contact them out of game and ask them to take this guy aside and have a chat. If no one but the idiot is having fun, then, at some point, the idiot's got to go.

Chaotic Stupid can't be dealt with by simply allowing the player to be rewarded for his behavior "You're a mummy now!" isn't much of a deterrent. If he thinks that, "It's the DM's fault" that's he's getting smushed on a regular, recurrent basis, from the behavior you've described he doesn't understand the basics of the game.

There's nothing wrong with saying, "I don't want to play with you anymore."

Godskook
2011-09-15, 01:08 PM
He hates undead and I think he would opptimize if he could but non of us are really good at that, most powerful PC is a druid/wizard mystic theurge which for what I hear is bad.

Mystic Theurge is 'bad', in so much as you are no longer a powerful druid, nor are you keeping up with normal wizards. However, when compared to anything without a caster level, you're still A-OK.