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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: How do you deal with instant death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    Excessive exposure to healing magic causes cancer, right?
    Spoiler: Major positive-dominant planes
    Show
    Simply being on the plane grants fast healing 5 as an extraordinary ability. In addition, those at full hit points gain 5 additional temporary hit points per round. These temporary hit points fade 1d20 rounds after the creature leaves the major positive-dominant plane. However, a creature must make a DC 20 Fortitude save each round that its temporary hit points exceed its normal hit point total. Failing the saving throw results in the creature exploding in a riot of energy, killing it.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: How do you deal with instant death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    I brought this up with my group and we liked it a lot. Because we are using a milestone type of experience system (well, it still uses xp, but everyone receives xp at the same time and levels together) we also came to discuss how to handle xp loss from use of spells and death or loss of familiar etc, and decided we'd use the optional craft rules, but use them as currency for xp loss and allow players to restore it as rewards or spend it similarly to how you described here.

    It also now has become the fuel which measures a souls worth in the after life, which fiends use in dealings and deities use to power their planes.

    Thanks for the nudge, we'll be working on the details for this over the weekend.
    Glad to help.

    My experience with this was:
    - At zero, significant player tension and discomfort. Make it relatively easy to go from 0 -> 1.
    - Above 3, mild player complacency and reduced engagement. Make it non-trivial to have 2, and difficult to get more than 3.

    In addition to saving your life, a Fate Point could also work like a Force Point from SWd20 (adding to a d20 roll). This wasn't useful as an option -- I'd recommend trying something else, and not using these points for Action Point type stuff.

    However you do want these tokens to be consumed regularly for some non-death purpose, so players can neither quit producing cool stuff nor feel so complacent that they disengage from the game. Some ideas which I haven't tried:
    • Some span of game-time passively eats a token.
    • Creating a magic item eats 1+ token.
    • Downtime declarations can be made, each will have a token price decided by the DM. A declaration is basically the player taking on the role of DM and deciding some aspect of the game world, like "We take the struggling orphanage and turn it into a thieves' guild with moderately trained orphan thieves", or "We use earth magic and water magic to turn White Plume Mountain into a hotsprings resort and make that our income-generating stronghold."


    Basically, some permanent improvements might be worth paying a life-token.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    Default Re: How do you deal with instant death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I am curious how you folks handle instant death effects. Of course, not all systems or tables treat the same mechanics the same way so I've provided a few different scenarios that I'd like your input on:
    • Save or die - Do you use abilities that create a situation where a character can die instantly? If not, how do you handle effects like those?
    • Skill checks or die - Do you allow skill rolls where failure will result in death (i.e., falling off a cliff)? If not, do you allow players to roll additional skill rolls to avoid the situation? How else would you handle it?
    • Failed rolls - In games like Apocalypse World, failing a roll can be very bad and open up characters to death - if such a roll would cause character death, do you allow the player to find an alternative way out?
    Wizard: ZAP! You're dead!
    Cleric: ZAP! You're better!

    I don't "pull any punches" when it comes to death effects. If an enemy has a save-or-die then they'll use it, and if a PC is unlucky they'll die. I even had an enemy cast Power Word: Kill on one of the party recentlly - they didn't even get a save for that: just instant death.

    But if it's fair game for the party to be able to do that sort of thing then their enemies can too. I run a very "simulationist" game, so the spells the players have access to are the "known" spells in the setting and NPCs have access to them too.

    Similarly, in skill-check-or-die situations such as climbing across a rope that spans a chasm, the player knows the risk when they have their character do it. If they're prepared to take the risk then so be it.

    Having said that, in D&D - the game we most commonly play - there are plenty of spells that can bring you back from the dead. I never deny the player the opportunity to have their character returned to life reasonably quickly (unless there's a very good situational reason why they won't be able to get to anyone with powerful enough healing magic, such as being stranded on a desert island). It's basically up to the player whether they want to have their old character raised or play a new character. Being killed without being able to be raised again - at least in D&D - is very rare.

    In non-fantasy games where there's no coming back after death, we don't really change our play style. The mechanics are usually more forgiving so character death is rarer (there are certainly fewer save-or-die equivalents in other systems) but we all roll openly and if someone dies, they die.

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