First Character Death

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
My first-ever character death (1982) kinda set the tone: a long story of soap opera, drama and murder led to his being executed by his own party.

My second one (1983) was much more heroic: there's a Frost Giant on a roof where there's only room for one of us to get at it, so (as the party's only Fighter) they load me up with their best magic and out I go. I hurt the Giant badly (it's dying) before it sweeps me off the roof; I fall to my death. The Giant then stumbles and falls to its own death.

The party tried to revive this second guy but he failed the roll; and - I kid you not - the ramifications and fallout from this are still ongoing today (2019).
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
A Rogue Scientist in a game of Rifts.

Some bad guys (I can't remember) were carrying these big glowing boxes. The party Headhunter shot one of these manual laborers and they dropped the box. Which exploded. The Headhunter survived. My Rogue Scientist did not. My armor wasn't as good as the Headhunters.

I think I was 13 or so. I took it hard.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
My first character death was an Elf back in Basic, summer of 1981. We'd fought our way through several of the Caves of Chaos, facing goblins, orcs, the minotaur, etc. But his luck ran out vs the gnolls. :(
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Summoning @lowkey13, who might enjoy this

My first character death was a 1E Paladin. I was the stereotypical AD&D paladin, which annoyed my older brother to no end. He challenged me to a duel to the death, which I accepted, figuring his magic-user was no match for me. The opening round he created a duplicate of me, who seemed to match every move I made. I used my Horn of Summoning to bring berserkers to aid me, but the duplicate did the same, all the while my brother dropped various spells down upon me. Eventually I struck a death blow to my doppleganger, and advanced on my brother, who suddenly dropped a fireball over the entire field. I figured everyone was dead, but my brother then said he calmly walked over and slit my throat.

Turns out, I knew nothing of illusions, and my brother had mastered the use of Phantasmal Force. Nothing in the fight was real, except me swinging at nothing, occasionally hit with magic missiles. In 1E, as least according to my DM, you had to actively choose not to believe in an illusion, which I never did. All of the damage I took was only in my mind, but once I hit 0 HP, I went unconscious. Since my brother knew the fireball wasn't real, he was completely unaffected, allowing him to kill me with ease. It was a rough first character death, but it taught me a huge lesson about the game... both about illusions and my brother :cautious:
 

aco175

Adventurer
My first character death was an Elf back in Basic, summer of 1981. We'd fought our way through several of the Caves of Chaos, facing goblins, orcs, the minotaur, etc. But his luck ran out vs the gnolls. :(
I think the same gnolls killed my elf the first time we played. A set of bars came down and separated the party and killed the rest of the party. I tried to come back and save them, but died just the same.
 
Cyberpunk:

"I want to make a guy who's an expert in hand-to hand fighting!"
spends next 2 hours building tweaked out character
Later, in the VERY first scene of the game


DM: "You are in a dark alleyway and there's a cyber-psycho losing it on someone"
ME: "I tumble towards him so I can punch him to death!"
DM: He shoots you with his arm-mounted gun.
rolls dice
DM: he hits you for this much damage. In the head.
ME: I'm dead.
tears up character sheet
 
The first character death i ever experienced it was actually also the first game i ever played in. I was playing as someone's familiar. It was a homebrewed serval which is a type of african cat related to cheetas lions and caracals taken as an improved familiar for a level 4 or so pc to get my feet wet for the next campaign. It was a way of learning the game that i came up with and proposed to the dm myself. Worked amazingly well btw i would highly recommend this option to others. Was fun too. Anyway, my character's master, myself, and one other pc several arcs into the campaign got assimilated by a version of "the thing" from john carpenter's "the thing" and thats how we died. Sortof. Its actually unclear if you are able to truly die when you are a part of that tortured existance. Also no it was not the deep spawn. It was every ounce as horrific as the "thing" from the movie. It was so metal.
 

pogre

Adventurer
O D&D '75 - thief scouting ahead in the dungeon. He found a trap - the hard way. Game over, but I was hooked.
 

Unwise

Adventurer
My first character death was during character creation. It was Traveller system. I rolled a great spec ops guy, he died in a training accident before hitting the table.

My first in-play death was at the hands of a party member who wanted to see what a magic fountain did. He pushed me in to it. It shrunk me. He then decided he would be blamed by others for that, so he killed me and hid the body. This all happened as I had left to make lunch for the players.

Next death was by the same player. Next death was at the hands of another player. Next was because my character went beserk and killed half the party when they tried to calm him down (Rolemaster - fail a Perception check and you can't tell friend from foe in combat if beserk).

After that I started GMing and took a tougher stance on in-party murder. First items the party found were amulets of retribution that pretty much killed the person that kills you.
 
My first character death was during character creation. It was Traveller system. I rolled a great spec ops guy, he died in a training accident before hitting the table.

My first in-play death was at the hands of a party member who wanted to see what a magic fountain did. He pushed me in to it. It shrunk me. He then decided he would be blamed by others for that, so he killed me and hid the body. This all happened as I had left to make lunch for the players.

Next death was by the same player. Next death was at the hands of another player. Next was because my character went beserk and killed half the party when they tried to calm him down (Rolemaster - fail a Perception check and you can't tell friend from foe in combat if beserk).

After that I started GMing and took a tougher stance on in-party murder. First items the party found were amulets of retribution that pretty much killed the person that kills you.
I love how your first experience taught you to be a thusly prepared dm. Thats a pretty nasty gauntlet you went through.
 

Todd Roybark

Villager
It was in Travelers...circa 1980......died in character creation.
It was so cool. I loved that game. I eventually survived character creation :)
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Magic Missile could have saved my life.

First PC ever, a Lvl 1 Wizard called Eggnog (Red Box) I was 12 years old, I arrived late to my very first session of D&D (I was out racing on bikes) and so the DM kindly stopped the game (the other four players, also 12-14 years old, were moaning like crazy). I only got a place at the gaming table because my brother was in with the other guys. So, approx. thirty minutes later Eggnog is born, all I have to do is get him from the town to the dungeon (and catch up with the other players- at last).

But what's this- a lone Kobold.

The kindly DM gave me initiative, I tried for a spell with an attack roll- the DM kept telling me to use a Magic Missile (or whatever it was called back then) but I wasn't listening. I am EGGNOG THE MIGHTY. I send Gandalf to the shops for my Dr. Who Ice lollies, that's how tough Eggnog is.

Anyway, I missed- thirty seconds later and Eggnog's dead.

The DM, now as fed up with me as the other players (I didn't take Eggnog's death very well), said I could roll up another PC for the next session.

I ran off in rage.

Damn them all.

Damn D&D.

Damn it.

I was hooked.

I brooded for a year or so... reading books, specialist (top shelf) magazines (Imagine, White Dwarf), making plans.

Then I was back.

Aged 13- voice breaking, hair in rum places- in the early stages of noticing girls.

I was ready, I had matured.

I became a DM.

I've been killing PCs ever since.

Cheers goonalan
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
My first character death was during character creation. It was Traveller system. I rolled a great spec ops guy, he died in a training accident before hitting the table.

My first in-play death was at the hands of a party member who wanted to see what a magic fountain did. He pushed me in to it. It shrunk me. He then decided he would be blamed by others for that, so he killed me and hid the body. This all happened as I had left to make lunch for the players.

Next death was by the same player. Next death was at the hands of another player. Next was because my character went beserk and killed half the party when they tried to calm him down (Rolemaster - fail a Perception check and you can't tell friend from foe in combat if beserk).

After that I started GMing and took a tougher stance on in-party murder. First items the party found were amulets of retribution that pretty much killed the person that kills you.
Ouch?
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
My first character death was an Elf, Wizard / Fighter / Rogue. A werewolf killed him.

The death was genuinely traumatic for me as a kid, twelve years old, and I still remember it to this day.

Heh, since then, I have zero interest in ‘lethal’ campaigns, and want campaigns that focus on stories.

I like the 5e Revivify spell!

At some point in the future, I plan to resurrect the character to play him again. I will probably translate him, such as an Eldritch Knight or Bladesinger. Or, perhaps instead of resurrecting, play him as having turned into a werewolf, and play him that way.
 

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