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    Default Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I've had issues with one of my players, recently. He's upset whenever a character die, including what he considers to be important NPCs. He keeps asking me, "Why do you put so much effort into the game if one single bad roll can kill weeks of efforts?", and I honestly don't know what to answer him but: "Because I like it". Now, this guy has been quite lucky so far, and hasn't died once yet, (Since the part still is in their low levels, I just made them reroll new characters as they felt like when they died) but I now feel biased towards keeping him alive just for him not to complain, as he's a very good friend outside of the game. But he's right, rolling a 1 is usually a bad sign, and not getting initiative can just mean death.

    He's worked hard on his character, and doesn't want to see it disappear as he feels it'd invalidate any and all character development he had (mind you, he's also against alignment change spells since they "mindrape" your character into thinking he's always agreed with such ideology against the character's owner's belief, but I houseruled that alignments don't really mean that much to begin with). He's heavily into roleplaying, too. And yet, I don't think it's the fact he gets attached to his characters that bothers him, but like as I've said, the fact dices are in control of his destiny. What can I do about it?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Good question. I come from the opposite end of the spectrum: I tend to feel that the story becomes invalidated if you don't pretty much roll openly and stick to what the dice say. I get severely annoyed at GMs who keep characters alive that ought to have died, especially mine ('What, I can't even escape your plot by dying?').

    I guess you have to put it to him this way (though not sure it'll work): There's not just a story going on, there's also a game. And if there's no risk of failure, this ruins the game, and incidentally hurts the story too, since people will begin to act with recklessness undue the moment.

    Maybe point to some stories/shows you both enjoy, and talk about how there's a difference between those where everyone is invulnerable due to plot, and those where characters can die. Most people agree that the latter enhances the drama greatly.
    And then there's great drama in death, too. Maybe he should be trying to play it up rather than distance himself from it.

    In the end, maybe your next game should be with a different system, where he needn't worry about death so much.
    Last edited by hymer; 2012-11-12 at 09:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    1. Break into his house at night.
    2. Flush his goldfish down the toilet.
    3. Tell him the next day that Goldy has gone to sleep and is never going to wake up.

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    For me having death at stake is great for making the statement "I care about this so much that I will risk my very life for it".

    But you can't feel that way about every little thing.

    Threaten other things that the player cares about so that losing is interesting and then play hard for it.

    Does the game you are playing allow for stake setting in some way? Play to the game's rules on that and remind the players how the game handles stakes.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    If the player is miffed that dice are in control of his destiny (and all the dimiunition of drama that implies) then I'd suggest ramping up the description. When he rolls well, describe that perfect combination of blows or eureka moment that leads to success. When he rolls poorly, describe the enemy gaining the upper hand through vicious attacks or cunning strategy. It won't fix the problem entirely, but it should help it feel more realistic.

    Also, try upping the roleplaying and non-combat parts of the campaign. This will help get him up to levels where he's harder to kill and decrease the amount of dicework.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Since it's just one guy, I think he is just gonna have to roll with it.
    If it was the whole group, I'd suggest using a different system, one that uses less prep time and/or doesn't have character death.

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReaderAt2046 View Post
    When he rolls poorly, describe the enemy gaining the upper hand through vicious attacks or cunning strategy. It won't fix the problem entirely, but it should help it feel more realistic.
    Along these lines it's often cool to have the player succeed their task but ultimately fail the intent. Find out what the player wants to happen and how they'll make it happen. You can describe the "how" working out whilst other factors thwart the result they wanted.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I think the nature of the roll would be important here.

    Say I'm playing a sneak or caster that doesn't have much health. If that 'one roll' that killed me was a critical with a high-damage weapon, I'll be annoyed that it happens, but it is part of the game and I know that I have (and will again) wipe out enemies with similar events.


    That said, I cannot abide situations where you need good luck to prevent such an outcome. For example, if I have a character die to a save-or-die, I'm going to be mad. Even or especially if it had been a character with low magic defense, though it is galling to have a magic-specialized character die because I couldn't roll a 15 on the die.


    Short form: I'm okay with death as part of combat, but not when an enemy can just kill a character instantly.

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    You could co-opt something similar to Tenra Bansho Zero's wound system.

    There, you have an HP pool and a bunch of wounds. When you take damage, you can either choose to knock down your HP or check off wound boxes. You have fewer wound boxes than HP, but you also gain a bonus from the most severe wound box that you have checked off (so a minor wound would mean that you get a small bonus, a severe wound would mean that you get a massive bonus).

    You check off wound boxes on a 1-for-1 basis, substituting each wound for 1 HP. If your HP empties, you're knocked out of the fight. That's why you want to fill up wound boxes, because your HP is a measure of how long you can stay in combat. Filling in wound boxes lets you not take HP damage.

    Then there's the Dead Box. When you check the Dead Box, it absorbs all of the damage from that attack (or that round, perhaps). It also means that when you drop to 0 HP, you're dead. That's it.

    Why is this important? Because it lets the player set the stakes. You are not allowed to kill the character, until the Dead Box is checked. Mind you, TBZ is designed to emulate high-octane shounen anime, stretching plausability a little. If this is D&D you're talking about, though, that's basically the Western version of the same genre.

    Anyhow, the player gets to decide when they're willing to put their character's life on the line. Once they do that, they understand that it's fair game, and that their character could die. But I think that should help with their control concerns. (Also, when hacking this to D&D, I would reduce the number of HP that characters get, maybe by a third, because they're able to fill up wound boxes.)

    You can also apply that philosophy to the game in general. Make it clear that their character can only die if they put themselves in high-risk situations. Also point out to them when high-risk situations arise, and make sure that they understand that they're putting their character's life on the line. Ask them, "Is this really that important to the character? Important enough to risk death?"

    Personally, I'm cool with a potential insta-kill, as long as I understand that's what's on the table. My character's dropped down to -5 HP (in 3.5 Edition) twice in the campaign...back-to-back sessions, actually, and it was a bit nailbiting, but that was because we've been hitting some very tough enemies. So it was cool. And kinda awesome, actually.
    Last edited by CarpeGuitarrem; 2012-11-12 at 12:14 PM.
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I dunno. Maybe you should advise your friend to try out some diceless game systems.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    D&D is terrible about this sort of thing, because of the prevalence of potentially instant kill effects. Most DMs I know tend to avoid them intentionally for this very reason, because it strains the line between "dramatic danger" and "pointless death" if there's a significant chance that a CR-appropriate encounter might kill off an otherwise healthy character from one bad roll. At low levels, even a lucky crit can accomplish the same job, dropping you from full to dead in one swing.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2012-11-12 at 12:40 PM.
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    I think the nature of the roll would be important here.

    Say I'm playing a sneak or caster that doesn't have much health. If that 'one roll' that killed me was a critical with a high-damage weapon, I'll be annoyed that it happens, but it is part of the game and I know that I have (and will again) wipe out enemies with similar events.


    That said, I cannot abide situations where you need good luck to prevent such an outcome. For example, if I have a character die to a save-or-die, I'm going to be mad. Even or especially if it had been a character with low magic defense, though it is galling to have a magic-specialized character die because I couldn't roll a 15 on the die.


    Short form: I'm okay with death as part of combat, but not when an enemy can just kill a character instantly.
    Point, but at that stage of the game it would be prudent for there to be enough possible defenses to make such an occurrence rare. It would still be galling to die for having rolled a 1, yes, but when failing the save happens on a roll of 5 or less, or having outright immunity to the effect was feasibly possible, or Raise Dead isn't such a chore, or players use better tactics and actually understand healing in combat does work in some cases to prevent death, then while the risk of death is there it doesn't sting so much.

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    Point, but at that stage of the game it would be prudent for there to be enough possible defenses to make such an occurrence rare. It would still be galling to die for having rolled a 1, yes, but when failing the save happens on a roll of 5 or less, or having outright immunity to the effect was feasibly possible, or Raise Dead isn't such a chore, or players use better tactics and actually understand healing in combat does work in some cases to prevent death, then while the risk of death is there it doesn't sting so much.
    This is also a good point. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of diamond dust. The best way to avoid potentially dying from a save is to engineer situations that don't put you up against people who will force you to make the save.

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    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Since this player is wondering about a NPC death or a player death.

    The adventure(plot point, duengon crawl) has never been finished in the last century because there was alway a threat of dying. That is why your character is (fool hardy, insane, brave) you know which word works best to even attempt to take this on.

    If you character wants a peaceful life with out any chance of death to him or thers let us run an adventure where your a farmer and never go anywhere but to the local pub with your prize pumkin.

    See the end of return of king with hobbits in back round laughing and looking at the pumkin as if it is greatest thing in world. Then look at Frodo and ringernoants. Ask your player which he would rather be.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    If he's worried about death I have an idea.

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    The system has rules for death cause death is not permanent Rep is.

    Or maybe something a little horror themed.

    Little Fears Nightmare Edition includes the rule that a character does not die until the end of a scene. And even then they can be saved by adults, or turn into a child among the missing. Which means that a character can get near death or even die once. Downside is you got to play kids between 6-12and if you don't think your group can accomplish that then it falls apart.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by CardCaptor View Post
    I've had issues with one of my players, recently. He's upset whenever a character die, including what he considers to be important NPCs. He keeps asking me, "Why do you put so much effort into the game if one single bad roll can kill weeks of efforts?", and I honestly don't know what to answer him but: "Because I like it".
    Well, to start with, you need to break down "Because I like it" into its component pieces. There are probably non-arbitrary reasons why you like it, and they might do more to convince him than essentially pleading him to agree with your conclusion. Break down the factors and reasons that you enjoy death as a part of the game and seek to convince him that death will result in the type of game he's interested in.

    His argument is a subjective preference based on non-arbitrary criteria, namely that effort put into a character is nullified when that character dies. Your counterargument should also try to undermine this position. Try to convince him that the effort won't be wasted because the detail brought to the character can still impact the ongoing storyline, and that the test of a character's significance is how long they continue affecting things after they're gone.


    Now, this guy has been quite lucky so far, and hasn't died once yet, (Since the part still is in their low levels, I just made them reroll new characters as they felt like when they died) but I now feel biased towards keeping him alive just for him not to complain, as he's a very good friend outside of the game. But he's right, rolling a 1 is usually a bad sign, and not getting initiative can just mean death.

    He's worked hard on his character, and doesn't want to see it disappear as he feels it'd invalidate any and all character development he had (mind you, he's also against alignment change spells since they "mindrape" your character into thinking he's always agreed with such ideology against the character's owner's belief, but I houseruled that alignments don't really mean that much to begin with). He's heavily into roleplaying, too. And yet, I don't think it's the fact he gets attached to his characters that bothers him, but like as I've said, the fact dices are in control of his destiny. What can I do about it?
    Now this addresses a different dynamic, that death as the result of one roll can be unsatisfying above and beyond the existence of death at all.

    The way standard D&D wants you to deal with this is to always prepare for every possible situation, stacking buffs to make as many people as invincible to secondary effects as possible. Death Ward, Freedom of Movement, True Seeing, Mind Blank... This gives blanket immunities, obviating the need of a roll at all. My problem with this is that it is a strange way to balance a threat... it isn't like when Perseus got the mirrored shield, he calmly walked into Medusa's lair and stared her in the eyes, laughed and cut her head off...

    Personally, what I like is to give players between four and six Action Points per level that they can use to reroll poor saves or attack rolls, meaning that as long as they have a reasonable chance to pass the save, they have to have a run of bad luck to fail, but these action points atrophy, and refresh only at a new level, so instakill threats can still occur, but you have a resource you can throw away to limit your chances of hinging your character's fate on a single toss of the dice.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Well, the player in question does make a point. Dying because of one bad roll is not fun, and very lethal games tend to have players care about their characters and the story less. One way to handle this is to run a game where PCs usually get knocked out when they fall, not die, and actual dying is more difficult. This still keeps combat exciting because each downed character lowers your chance of winning and the party still dies if there's a TPK, but you don't have to reroll your character just because someone critted you or you failed a saving throw against a killing spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    The way standard D&D wants you to deal with this is to always prepare for every possible situation, stacking buffs to make as many people as invincible to secondary effects as possible. Death Ward, Freedom of Movement, True Seeing, Mind Blank... This gives blanket immunities, obviating the need of a roll at all. My problem with this is that it is a strange way to balance a threat... it isn't like when Perseus got the mirrored shield, he calmly walked into Medusa's lair and stared her in the eyes, laughed and cut her head off...
    This, from my experience, is one of the things that can kill the dramatism of a game most effectively, even worse than the DM stating upfront "you know people, you will never lose in this game". A game should encourage players to be smart, but also bold. There is nothing heroic or cunning about being a paranoid little coward who overprepares for every situation.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2012-11-12 at 04:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I'd say there's a lot of solutions out there:

    - Systems where death is hard or it is easy to return from death

    7th Sea requires a specific coup-de-gras action for your character to die. You cannot die randomly. Someone must want you dead enough to burn an action in combat to do it even after you are disabled, or you must do something really flashy to die (like run into a the gunpowder room of a ship when its on fire to try to put it out at the last moment). In my current D&D campaign, you die at -MaxHP instead of -10, and there's a 'KO' region between -10 and -MaxHP where you cannot regain consciousness in the fight regardless of what is used on you - basically, you're out and are going to be out until its over.

    This solution is what you could use if you don't actually care much about PCs dying, but your system resists keeping people alive without fudging.

    - Systems where death is a wager

    Death flags and the like have been mentioned. I think this is a good compromise between systems where its hard to die and systems where death is common. It doesn't even have to be very unrealistic, if you basically have it be a morale thing (conceptually your real HP is twice/three times/etc what your sheet says, but you automatically surrender or flee as a free action at some point unless this fight is really meaningful to you and you willfully say 'I bet my life on it').

    - Systems that incentivize character death

    I haven't seen so many of these. Imagine if instead of playing a character, you're playing a dynasty or some chain of related people (to retain the story). When your character dies, your next character takes up the mantle of your fallen hero and obtains either a bonus or malus in exchange for it, based on the nature of the death. A noble death is a buff, but a suicide, an ignoble death, etc is a malus. Essentially, you're rewarded for dying well or in awesome ways, and mildly penalized for suiciding a character to try to build up bonuses. Or have it actually be a tactical decision - every game your character lives you build up some sort of resource, but on death that resource is converted into a buff for your next character, and its better than linear. So you basically want to stay alive as much as possible to get as big a bonus for the next character as possible.

    Anyhow, the first two categories require a change in DM-ing style depending on whether they're symmetric (no-death both for PCs and enemies) or asymmetric (PCs are special and are more able to come back). In a heavily asymmetric game, the ability to return from the dead guarantees eventually PC victory on any task that can be retried, so everything important must be time sensitive, and failure must be a real possibility or the game loses some meaning. In a symmetric game, PCs will have a hard time with plots of 'this is a bad guy, go stop him' - you need to make capture and furthermore keeping people captured a feasible thing, or just run different kinds of plots.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    He is telling an interactive story about a favorite character. It's about a character, and will lose value if the character dies.

    You are trying to run a game about simulation and risk.

    These are in some ways inconsistent goals. There's no answer that will satisfy you both, except to hope that he stays lucky.

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    This sounds to me like an issue of clashing play-styles. If he's the odd man out and the other players enjoy your game the way it is, you have every right to tell him to adapt or walk away. You can accomodate him somewhat by reducing or eliminating your use of SoD effects, but if he's getting clobbered in a fight, sometimes luck will clobber him a little faster; crits happen.

    As for him having a problem with the dice deciding his fate, too bad. You can't have a combat system without some degree of random chance, because short of larping you just can't make combat work without it. Accomodating that issue forces you to adopt a system in which engaging in combat A) represents a major failure and B) has to be entirely ad-hocced or arbitrarily decided by the GM.

    His complaint about NPC death is way out of line. You're the GM and you decide what happens in the world outside of the PC's influence. If an NPC dies, that's either a plot-hook, a consequence of failure, or a complication to make the on-going story more engaging. He needs to learn to deal with it, period.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    As for him having a problem with the dice deciding his fate, too bad. You can't have a combat system without some degree of random chance, because short of larping you just can't make combat work without it. Accomodating that issue forces you to adopt a system in which engaging in combat A) represents a major failure and B) has to be entirely ad-hocced or arbitrarily decided by the GM.
    Slight comment here: Nobilis and Amber Diceless both manage to have combat systems without random chance. I'm not sure you'd consider either of those games to have deep combat systems, but it is possible to do. Basically you use bidding systems, lack of total information, and extremely wide decision trees (do I throw the sun at him or cause the earth to turn into a bottomless pit?) to fill in for randomness.

    I'd also say that even in D&D you can do a lot to become independent of the dice. I mean, just suggest the Heroic Destiny feat to him. Once per game, death is just getting knocked out. Seems like that'd give a pretty good buffer.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Have you ever seen the 3.5 suppliment "Ghostwalk"?
    There's things you can do with a player after they've died. Ways to bring them back. Adventures they can go on while dead.

    I had a player who cheated pretty often on his die rolls so he'd never die, but after he ended up dead ANYHOW due to PVP, I had him go on a solo adventure in the Abyss. He ended up making it to Demon and summoned back VIA Planar Binding, for FURTHER quests in the prime material, until he arranged for his own ressurrection and got back with the party.

    Now he doesn't mind the idea of his character dying.

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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    We use a crit/fumble table that we pieced together to avoid the one dice roll kill event.

    Do not get me wrong, a run of bad luck can end your day. But a roll on the chart and a save seems to work well for us (and it does occasionally kill ours from time to time). Trade off is that with this chart, our crits are not near as awesome ether.
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Actually... I just had an issue with this a few days ago in my game. A player of mine has been playing a single character for the past... 30+ sessions of game (8+ hours per session). He's REALLY grown attached to the character. I can understand that. Hell, admittedly, the character has died a total of 4 times, and has come back each time (D&D 3.5).

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    In the most recent session, the party had decided to wander off to the ruins of a town, where, as cliche as it sounds, "No adventurer has ever returned from." Well, the party gets to the final room, finds the "uber treasure" they were going after, but also finds out that what is essentially a 'bomb' is going to go off in 5 rounds, and it's going to take the entire town with it.

    Another one of my players, being as dramatic as he is, decided he's going to wait till the last possible moment before casting that Teleport spell to get out.

    >.> Well, that teleport spell failed. And since it was the last minute, nobody could do anything. [Now before you say anything, I gave each player the opportunity, during EACH ROUND, to actually do something else. Nobody did].

    So, the 'bomb' went off. The entire party was killed in it. Now, because I'm not a **** of a DM, the players have a way to come back. Dying in that way is not without consequence though, and they were told by an NPC "You will not be able to go back." [Obvious baiting, they're the heroes. They should push past that and say "OH yes we can!"]

    >.> So... the player who was very attached to his character... did not take it well. He yelled at the other player (the one who waited till the last moment) and then went home. He holds the other player completely responsible for "ruining" his character.


    Needless to say, some players need to take a step back and cool down. It's a game. I can understand being attached to your characters. Hell, I've had to walk away from the table occasionally, but some people take it too far.
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  25. Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    @ Alaris: Why did the teleport spell fail?
    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Sherman T. Potter
    The itch is mightier than the stench.

  26. Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Man on Fire's Avatar

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    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Make death more than just simple bad roll. Just telling plyer "you die" is pretty weak. Try to play with it. Give the character funeral, suddenly stop the fight to describe how fallen warrior enters the Vallhalla, let him do their last awesome action before dying, prolong their death a bit to let them say goodbye, or even trick other players into thinking they're fine and then have the character die in his sleep - make death powerful and emotional, let it be his character's last dance, not just one unlucky roll.

    Also, sometimes you may just do what Spoony once did (cannot remember which Counter Monkeys rant it was) - one of his players rolled poorly and was killed by by avatar of the evil godess, Scorpion Queen. But instead of killing him, Gm said that killing attack inject him with something. Something that turned out to be Scorpion Queen's essence, which, after her defeat, started driving him crazy and tried to turn him evil.

  27. Top - End - #27
    Banned
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by CardCaptor View Post
    He's upset whenever a character die, including what he considers to be important NPCs. He keeps asking me, "Why do you put so much effort into the game if one single bad roll can kill weeks of efforts?", and I honestly don't know what to answer him
    Well, I'm on the far other side here as I slay characters and stack them like cord wood....

    The Answer to the question is simply Chance. It's the pure randomness that makes the game fun and exciting. To put it simply: Anything can happen. And that is the most fun you can get out of a game: sitting back and watching as anything that can happen does, and having the game take on a life of it's own.


    Quote Originally Posted by CardCaptor View Post
    He's worked hard on his character, and doesn't want to see it disappear
    Players say this sort of thing all the time. But, it's this work and effort that makes death of a character such a big deal. After all if it took one second to make a character(like picking a game token) then it would be meaningless.

    Dreaded Video Game Example: Ever play a video game on 'immortal'? Every just walk through 10 challenge levels and beat the game? Was it fun? Did you get a feeling that you accomplished something?

    Dreaded Kids Sports Example: Sigh. No matter the team the scores a point, both teams get the point. So the game is automatically a tie, even before the game starts. So ''everybody wins''.... Would you join a sports team and work out and train and play a whole season on that team with that rule?

    Sure it's no fun when a character dies, but that does not make it a bad thing. In order to have the thrill of victory, you must also have the agony of defeat.


    And watching the game take on a Life of It's Own is awesome. Classic example:

    So the ye old lich is just about to flood the valley and kill everyone...just because he is evil, of course(this was the Good Old Days). The players struggle to stop him. It all comes down to the final battle with the lich on a cliff side over looking the valley. The paladin was very hyped up to Save the Day, and wanted first attack at the lich. So the group distracted all the minons, and gave the paladin his shot. The paladin ran over and dramatically swung his holy avenger.........and missed. With a one. And then the paladin not only dropped his holy avenger...but he also dropped it off the cliff. And finally, he also rolled a 1 to balance...and also fell off the cliff.

    Now the game was very serious, but we all must have laughed for a good five minutes. The rest of the characters retreated. The lich flooded the valley.

    As a result of this the player decided that ''there must be something wrong with my god to have let me fail like that'', and immediately made a cleric of that god. As a good DM I picked up on that thread. And this spawned a whole series of adventures about the fallen good god and the new demigod of necromancy. The former paladin player was very motivated to 'make things right', not just for his paladin, but all the other npc good fails he discovered. They ended up getting rid of the old good god, and helping a new one rise.....and the crowing event was when they attacked and destroyed the Flooded Valley of the Nectropolis of Tark...

    So you see A Lot came out of a couple failed dice rolls. Now compare to a 'safe' game: DM:Ywan, you guys beat the lich and save the day, again. Um, what do you guys want for your next adventure?

  28. Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I have occasionally had a character who "died" in one session wake up in chains in the main villain's lair. If the character's player is upset about character death, I would privately tell him this was happening, and to play an NPC until the party rescues his character (or give the PC a chance to escape on his own.

    A few years back, I was play one super-heroes game, in which my Superman-based character named Hyperion had suffered a public "death". I was the only player who knew he was coming back, at some suitably climactic moment, and was temporarily playing a Bouncing Boy type named Pinball.

    The party was facing a giant robot, and we just didn't have enough raw power to stop it. The DM said, "You hear a rushing of air coming from the east." I looked at him quizzically, he nodded at me, and I said, "Somebody has to say it. Pinball says it."

    "Look! Up in the sky!"

    Others then filled in the rest: "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Hyperion!"

    It was a very satisfactory return of the character.

  29. Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ReaderAt2046's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    I've had some weird experiences with this in an Avatar RPG i'm in.

    In our third session, our DM killed off Boris III, a jovial inventor-rouge who was sort of the Heart of our party. We were chasing the BBEG down a secret tunnel when he turned and shot lightnings at us. They missed the character in the front of the line and hit Boris instead. Now, Boris didn't have very many hit points, and was already wounded from a fight the day before, so he was knocked down to -10 instantly. So Boris died, but he did go out with style. His last action was to unbuckle his mechanical arm (which was packed full of explosives) and hand it to the airbenderer saying "Make it count". So we threw it at the BBEG and blew it up right in his face. BAM!! Half the BBEG's hitpoints gone and a big scar over his face. He ran!

    Now what makes this wierd is what happened a few sessions later. I'm playing a slightly psycho firebender, and when the party's newest member (the replacement for Boris) insulted my nation, my religion, my morality, and my race immediately upon meeting me, I challenged him to a duel. For some reason, this really ticked off the party assassin, who immediately tried to kill me. The assassin had optimised his build to kill benders, and I'd taken a pretty bad hit from the insulter, so I went down to negative health pretty quickly. Then an increaisngly improbable series of coincidences kept preventing the assassin from killing me, until he finally literally said, "Ok, I give up. If the spirits want him alive this badly, fine."
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  30. Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Alaris's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making players accept death as part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    @ Alaris: Why did the teleport spell fail?
    Circumstances of the dungeon. There was magic-eating mist everywhere. You teleport into it, it bounces you back, eating the spell.

    Several of the players had other ways out. Hell, the Teleport spell would've worked had they used the area that was protected against mist (you know, 1 room over).

    Needless to say, had the player who had waited to teleport, not waited... the others would've had a few rounds to figure out another exit plan.
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