When a character dies

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Snarkythekobold
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When a character dies

Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:00 pm

As the GM, what do you do when a character dies? I mean, you want to keep the tension up and the possibility for death a reality . . . but then there is a player who is just sitting there with nothing to do. As a group of gamers, you hate to see someone have to sit out.

What we have done is create a couple of extra characters sheets at the 1st level already filled out and then weave them back into the story. What do you guys/ gals do when this happens. I usually play with younger folk (I'm the dad) and so I hate to see someone sit out, especially when I know that they are younger players who take it hard. My little boy got wiped out from playing like a warrior when he was really a wizard. He started tearing up so I let him keep one HP and told him to learn his lesson. I couldn't let the little guy just sit there and tear up.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: When a character dies

Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:06 pm

I sometimes use a ready sheet to insert a new PC after a death. Or if you have any NPCs in your party they can control the NPC the rest of the night. Or if you really wanted to be wicked, you could let them handle one of NPCs/monsters the party encounters along the way.
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GM Parseth
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Re: When a character dies

Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:25 pm

Depending on the level of the group, the character may well have some minions around somewhere, whether being porters to help haul gold out of dungeons, being a mercenary to help with threats or maybe a seneschal at their castle/lieutenant at their thieve's guild/apprentice at their wizard's college/initiate at their temple.

Another method may be that there is a wandering adventuring party nearby who hop in and help drive the enemy in the fight back (for a share of the loot) and one of these adventurers tags along with the party henceforth.

And, finally, there is resurrection magic in the game as well. If you play a little loose with the rules, you could say death is little more than a speedbump (maybe a small penalty in XP for a resurrection from a temple). Heck, you could even use it as a chance for a new adventure! Maybe the cleric back in town can resurrect the player's character but only if the party does a mission for them to retrieve materials for the spell or that they must be in the temple's employ for some time after the resurrection!

Always ways to make this a great learning opportunity and chance for more adventure.
Working on - The Fallen City & The Baroness of Blood
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minstrel
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Re: When a character dies

Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:25 am

I've wondered about the same with regards to kids. I'm hoping my daughter will want to play some day and I don't want to set her up to expect things will always go her way, but, at the same time, I know kids will get more attached to PCs and I don't think I would allow a PC death until it seemed like she could handle it.

How to actually do it...I think I'd avoid using unconsciousness rules too much (and set up the expectation going below 0 isn't a big deal), and instead fudge enemy tactics: if it looks likely they'll strike a killing blow, maybe they instead decide to trip the PC, or smash them with a chair - things that seem cinematically appropriate and don't break suspension of disbelief too much, but aren't as likely to kill. Same for traps or other lethal situations, change the nature of the trap a little, make the chasm actually an illusion.

Short of death, I'll be very strict about failure meaning failure though. No hero points or get out of jail free cards or failure is actually success but at a minor cost stuff. If the dice don't go your way, bad stuff happens and it's time to get creative to get out of the situation.

That's my plan anyway. I know enough to say that kids can surprise you and I'm sure how I'm envisioning it isn't exactly how it'll play out, if she even still has an interest in papa's games when she's old enough to join.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: When a character dies

Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:09 am

I played with kids and if your kid can handle killing other creatures they should be able to handle having their character die. IMO its important to make sure that when playing with kids we should emphasize the idea that the player is not the PC. What ever happens to the PC is not actually happening to the player. So a few early deaths of the PC isn't doing our kids any harm as long as you aren't playing deep immersement style game play. And to be honest, IMO, you should save deep immersement for later on when the kid is much more developed intellectually and emotionally and can rationalize the difference between things happening to the PC and things happening to the player.
Snarkythekobold
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Re: When a character dies

Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:35 pm

My youngest teared up (not cried) because he is competitive and hates to lose.

I get what you say about the difference between the PC and the person. Personally, I do not get into the whole personalizing the character and the deep role-playing thing. I find it a bit . . . uncomfortable (to be nice).

I like BFRPG because it plays as a game first. We play it as a survival, use your wits, strategy, manage resources type of game. Also, we are not always able to have players come every night and so, sometimes, players sub in and use other player's characters. We make it more about the gaming together and a group effort than anything.

And because we play it as a game, I just wanted to think of ways that players who experienced "game over" could get back in and the "game over" bit still be of consequence. To me, it's all about fun and having some good "face time" together. Life is too short to become obsessive about rules and miss out on the main things.
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Dimirag
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Re: When a character dies

Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:59 pm

For Kids I might use a KO/no death rule as to make the game a little lighter for them.
For other... if they have henchmen they can choose one to step up as a full pc, if not... things will depend on what situation they are, maybe some adventures entered after them and a few of them reached the party, maybe there is town nearby...
Having a player with a killed character is not a nice thing if the party is still adventuring or in a place where they can't or don't want to add a new adventurer... giving something to do to the player could be a way of incorporating him into the game.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Hywaywolf
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Re: When a character dies

Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:08 pm

I still like letting the PCless player play the monsters in the encounters lol. My daughter LARPed a lot and during their weekend events people were required to do non-PC activities part of the time - cooking, running scenarios, and dun dun dun Playing NPCs in the scenarios.
Snarkythekobold
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Re: When a character dies

Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:31 pm

Hywaywolf wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:08 pm
I still like letting the PCless player play the monsters in the encounters lol. My daughter LARPed a lot and during their weekend events people were required to do non-PC activities part of the time - cooking, running scenarios, and dun dun dun Playing NPCs in the scenarios.
Now, I like this idea!
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AlMan
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Re: When a character dies

Post Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:00 pm

I started playing when I was 19, many, many years ago in a city far, far, away. One night I had two characters die from poor rolls, the orcs got critical hits and I failed my saves. During a break in the action, I rolled up a third character, the group then found this poor fool in a cell, I introduced him as "3" he could barely speak common and was born a slave of the orcs that controlled the dungeon. I chalked it up to "win some, lose some".

With younger players I would probably go with Dimiraq's KO/no death idea.
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