Am I dead yet ?


First Post
Ok here's the situation: (hypotetically spoken)

A player built a PC who fits into the campaign quite well. It's a strong character with background and everything it needs to flesh him out. He is not vital to the plot or something but there is no reason for him to leave the group either.
Now the player wants to abandon the character, what would you as player suggest or as DM allow ? Once in a while every group encounters such a situation and I wonder how you handeled them in the past. Usually when one of my players/co-players doesn't like his character anymore he dies (not planned though, it just happens).

If possible I would try and build a point in the story where he can leave the group. But usually our characters don't have a lot of background because our character-rate-of-death is pretty high.

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No flips for you!
Is there not anything else that would/could demand this character's attention? A sick relative that needs care? A call from a childhood friend that the character feels honorbound to heed but isn't something he'd invovle the party with? A romantic interest that would prevent him from accompanying the party on thier next foray?

Any number of personal matters could arise that demand his attention without requiring the party's involvement. Or maybe they might... You could potentially use the circumstances of the PC's departure as a springboard for an adventure.

Perhaps the departed character himself becomes ill while tending his relative and notices a supernatural element of the illness. He summons the party to assist him, but dies or becomes maimed by the disease before the party can help. Now the party investigates the sickness to honor thier fallen comrade and finds a dark secret(tm).

Perhaps the childhood friend was in debt to a local gang boss, and the character is killed or abducted while attempting to negotiate a settlement. The party hears of this (maybe the friend sends them a letter) and now can go rescue their old comrade.

Perhaps the party finds out that the character's romantic interest is not what they appear to be. The character refuses to hear any accusations because they are charmed/dominated/turned into something too and now the party must fight thier old friend to solve the mystery.

Lots you can do here. Try to make the reason a part of the game instead of just a side note. More fun that way!


I do not quite see the problem. As a PC, you could even go suicidal (in a heroic way), or have the PC be recalled by outside forces (his king, his family whatever).

The most important thing to remember is rule zero. DnD is played to have fun. If for some reason this particular player is no longer having fun with the PC (and as you said there is no particular tie in with the plot, so the disappearance of the PC will not detract from the fun of the other players I am assuming), then the character must go. Simple as that...


First Post
@ Piratecat: No no, It's a question that arises once in a while, maybe a new player tried out a concept that is very one-sided and therefore wants to change characters. It's not a pressing issue right now.

I just want to know what you would do in such a case.


(he, him)
We've used everything from custom inserted acid traps to staying behind to administer a new Duchy to nasty attacks of the flu in the past.

Although on one occassion we did have one guy try to get his character killed 'fair-and-square', which of course meant he became indestructible: he passed every save and no monster could hit him. It was funny for a while, but eventually we had to give up and fudge: An orc he had just dropped grabbed him and pulled him of the ledge; it was a long drop. :D



First Post
Normally when we get into this situation the DM and player chat away from the group. They agree on a course of action that seems to appeal to both the story line and character, and this normally gets a better reaction from group when the split happens in game and only the player and DM know the plan.

Rarely if ever is this death. It always remains in the back of the players minds that their comrade could appear at anytime. Granted with some DM's it's always as the ally turned evil, but it could be in any way. Also seen it where the character just fades from the story. Without just killing the character, it gives the DM more options later.

Especially if character death is so common, letting him live is that much better. Using something from his thought out backround is the easiest, and wont seem as random.

The hard part is normally how to introduce and merge a new character into the group. The higher the level the harder this seems to get.
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First Post
Ask him if it's a mechanics problem or a concept problem.

If he likes the concept but feels like his character is weak, you could let him rebuild it. I think there are options for this in the PHBII, although I haven't read them. You could just let him rebuild it from scratch anyway.

If he doesn't like his concept and is bored, yeah, heck, have him mysteriously vanish into the night and come back two months later as a crazy undead or somesuch, while he happily plays whatever PC he wants.


First Post

By level 2 you should have more money than you'd ever dreamt of. By level 5 you should be able to buy a large farm or tavern and set yourself up for life. Why would you keep adventuring until you die?


One of my characters is now retiring at 10th level, quite happy with a manor house and a suit of dragonscale armor he can pass on to his grandkiddies, should he ever have any.

-The Gneech :cool:


The characters belong to the players. If they want to retire a character, it's their decision. A new one still requires DM approval. And I tend to have some light limitations on possible characters in the world, but after that they can play the character however they wish.

If they're adding a new character every session (or more), let 'em know when the extra work starts bothering you.


First Post
Well sure the characters belong to the players I agree on that.
I just want to find a way for me to let characters be able to leave the game without making it obvious or implausible.

Depends on the existing character, the current plots/adventures (since even if you DO say he's not "tied" to the adventure his presence up to this point and sudden disappearance can be of variable impact on S.O.D), the perceived and stated reasons for wanting to change characters, the length of time the character has been played, the length of time the campaign in general has been played, and more.

Sometimes I might even let the player swap out characters in the middle of the adventure, between running Encounter #17 and Encounter #18. Other times I would require that the player at least wait until the adventure is over. We might then pretend that the first character never even existed and the replacement has always been here, or we might want to get into detail about why the old character left and the new one was accepted into the party. Too many variables for a usefully simple answer.


Huw said:

By level 2 you should have more money than you'd ever dreamt of. By level 5 you should be able to buy a large farm or tavern and set yourself up for life. Why would you keep adventuring until you die?
Quoted for truth. You'd think that a lot more characters who are "in it for the money" would play the odds and retire before their number came up!


First Post
once when i wanted to change my char (mostly 'cos the dm and i disagreed on how it should be played which made my char suffer) my dm took over my char on a session i couldnt attent and he suffered a mental breakdown. needless to say i didnt like this solution but it gives a twist on the retired option.


We've handled it a number of different ways.

1) Remodel. The character gets a complete mechanical overhaul. Personality and appearance remain the same, but now the character is custom-built from scratch or tweaked mid-level. This happens a lot when the PC develops without a "levelling plan" and stumbles upon a cool concept, but due to feat, stat etc. requirements won't see it come to fruition until late in their adventuring career.

2) Retire. The PC sets up shop/builds a home/joins the army and disappears from play. Best done at the end of a story arc or planned adventure.

3) Reconsider. Talk with the DM, find out exactly what it is you don't like about the character and work out a solution that will make everyone happy. Sometimes a break is all that is needed; put the PC in a semi-retired state, start up a new PC, and if the player wants to play the old one again it's all ready to go.

3) I'm out of re's, so consider making a character tree. Borrowed from the Dark Sun game setting, the concept goes like this: the PC makes three characters, who all share XP. As one levels, the other two level in kind but are never played at the same time. If/when the PC dies, or gets tired of his character, or wants to try a new concept, he's got two other characters already worked into the story.


You can also try having the character kidnapped. It could make for an interesting diversion for the other characters to go rescue the guy. Afterwards, assuming he survives the rescue attempt he can then go on a journey of self discovery or retire.

In one game where I'm using this the rescued characters will become recurring NPC's and an information resource as they investigate other pieces of an ongoing mystery.

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