Has one of the people in your campaign ever died in real life?


First Post
I'm curious to know what peoples' experiences have been because a friend of mine who was in a couple of weekly campaigns with me passed away the day after our session a week ago.

So far, it's been a little strange to continue campaigning with his PC's. Different people have run his characters. We tend to go back and forth between gaming and discussing the loss of our friend.

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Dr. Confoundo

First Post
Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I had a gaming friend in college pass away, but we had stopped playing together a little while before.

I'd suggest putting his characters on the back-burner, rather than using them on a regular basis. Let his characters get happy endings and an appropriate sendoff. That would probably be more helpful in the long run than continuing to use them, like your friend will be back next session to play again.


First Post
Wow, I have no idea how I would handle something like that. My heart goes out to you.

There's a tradition in TV that when an actor dies during a show's run, his or her character dies in the show. This allows them to deal with the death on the show, and not have another actor step into the role. Perhaps this could be applied to gaming as well.


First Post
Yes. I still have his character sheets. I still have the miniatures that I was painting for him when he died, I never finished them. Ten years later there are still times when I start talking about the time his martial artist tried taking on a shuggoth in hand to hand to hand combat, took two swings, yelled 'what the HELL am I doing?!' and ran like a bunny.

In the weeks before he died he was having medical difficulties, and had missed several games. Among my last words to him were 'so what's going to be your excuse for not showing up this week?' He died the next night.

We ended the campaign when he died. It just would not have felt right continuing.

His death was avoidable, he did not like the way his anticonvulsants made him feel, and assumed that the doctor had over prescribed, and was taking half the recommended dose.

He had a convulsion while face down on his pillow and suffocated.

I was left with a mix of sorrow and anger, wishing to hell that he had talked to his doctor about the dosage, rather than adjusting his own dosage without the needed information.

I still miss you Charles.

The Auld Grump


I have had two great friends and fellow role players pass away in my life. I still have every character sheet, doodle, book, etc of theirs left in my possession and its been years for both. I can't bring myself to part with them. Better than photos.., more like looking at photo's with their favorite song playing. Brings me right back to great moments. RIP Gary and Andrew.


yep just about a year ago my best friend and permanent gaming guinea pig, he would play anything under the sun if I wanted to try it out, passed away. i ended the campaign we were running. finally getting ready to run a new one but it won't be the same i think.

we played anything and every thing together. many a summer day has been spent with some guiness in the backyard playing shadowrun duels, carrying on like we were 13 again.

RIP Mark, hope you got a seat at Gary's table.


I've known several people who had gamers in their group pass away. I haven't experienced it in my personal group, but several acquaintences that I've gamed with online have passed away; I still regret the fact that I never got the chance to meet them in person, because they seemed like such genuinely nice people.

If it were me, I would suggest that the group get together for something other than gaming for a while, maybe some board games or card games, or just take in a few movies together, something to commiserate, and bond for a bit and get a chance to talk about the person a bit, just share some happy memories. To me, gaming puts too much of yourself out there for it to be a good activity after a close friend's passing like that. I would come back to the regular RPGing after everyone has had some time to process, some time to seek a bit of closure, and if it were me I'd definitely suggest retiring any of their old characters, and depending on the mood of the group possibly retiring the whole campaign and starting something new. Each group will grieve in their own way; it's best to feel out your own group to find which avenue is best.

By the way, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's never easy for a group of friends to adjust when one of them passes away.


I think that would be tough.

I do think this would be one of the occasions where the campaign just might draw to a close with efforts to end it on a positive note. Might be a good time just to meet up as friends even before starting up a new campaign.

If that doesn't seem appropriate for your group, I would certainly make efforts to retire the character of the player that died as a great hero as I think trying to have someone else play him would be just too tough.


Yes. It's happened to me. One of my best friends died in a bike accident the day he was doing some errands before driving to the local convention. We (his closest friends) learned about the accident while sitting at the convention waiting for him to arrive. We were the organizers of the actual convention, and we had to keep the show running while grieving. I was monitoring tables of Vampire the Masquerade which were actually running an adventure I and this friend wrote together. It was both a great way to pay homage, and a moment that broke my heart.

He was 19 years old. One of the smartest people I've ever met. And kind. And GOOD. You know. Always the best leaving first and all. Can you tell I'm still grieving over this? *sigh*


So far, it's been a little strange to continue campaigning with his PC's. Different people have run his characters. We tend to go back and forth between gaming and discussing the loss of our friend.
If it works for you that's great. I know that running any of my friend's characters in the game would be like stealing something from him, personally, unless it was specifically set up as a moment to think about him, using one of his characters as an NPC. Still, I have never done so. Maybe will, one day.


Knight of Solamnia
I'm curious to know what peoples' experiences have been because a friend of mine who was in a couple of weekly campaigns with me passed away the day after our session a week ago.

First, let me offer my condolences on the loss of your friend.

I've never had a regular in a group pass away, but I knew a local lady who was involved in the local gaming scene pass away. She was active in Living Rokugan, and I think some of the events that the Roleplayers Guild of Kansas City put on. So I would game with her off and on.

I once invited her to my house to game with me and a friend. We were playing 3rd edition together. I remember how she was being a bit of a rules lawyer that night. Not in a bad way. She was trying to be helpful. But some of what she was saying was turning into a lot of math and I was getting frustrated at that.

I didn't continue the game, and when I saw her next at GenCon, I didn't go out of my way to say hello. It was a short time later that she was in a fatal car accident.

I am still ashamed to this day that my last thoughts of her were of me complaining about rules lawyering and avoiding her. In retrospect, it was all silly.

So no, I didn't know her well. But, I wish I had taken more time to get to know her better. Maybe we would have had many more adventures together.

So far, it's been a little strange to continue campaigning with his PC's. Different people have run his characters. We tend to go back and forth between gaming and discussing the loss of our friend.

I would also like to recommend that you bring the story of your friend's player characters to a close, preferably in a way to honor them and the memory of your friend.

It will be up to you and your friends on whether you feel okay continuing on without your friend. Try to get everyone's opinion on that. If it feels weird, you might consider trying a different setting or game. Or you may just take a break for a while.

I'm sure, though, that your friend wouldn't want you guys to give up gaming. If your group is okay continuing on, that's great.

Godspeed, and the best of luck to you and your friends.


I had a female friend who I played Vampire with who passed away (just prior to her wedding, sadly) a few years back. We had not played the particular campaign in some time, and it was actually a few years before I could even contemplate playing Vampire for a while. When I eventually started back up Vampire games, her character sometimes shows up as an NPC, but it tends to be cameo appearances. Her character's establishment, The Crypt - a vampire nightclub - has figured prominently in the game.

When a co-DM recently approached me about a plot that would leave her NPCed character basically destroyed, I got angry inside. I managed to keep my cool, but it somehow felt like a slight against her memory. Luckily, the plot was never used. Still, it presented me with the dangers of emotional attachments we tend to still have with friends long gone - and how we react to the threat of degradation or destruction of what memories we still have.


I think the only person I have gamed with regularly who has passed away was Angelsboi. Many of the posters in this thread likely remember him, as he was active on EN World. He has left our group before he passed. No idea how we would have handled it if he had been an active player. I think I like the idea of having the player's PC retire to a happy life.


First, I'd like to offer my condolences on the loss of your friend.

My experience with a gamer death happened about 10 years ago. A good friend of mine (also a regular gamer with us) passed away very suddenly and unexpectantly at age 16.

We stopped the campaign and didn't resume for a few months. As most in our group were very close to him, the new campaign became a very therapeutic way of dealing with our grief. It grew into the longest lasting, most memorable campaign any of us has played.

I remember sessions of very emotional roleplaying. We ended up discussing beliefs in the afterlife and the meaning of our existences all in the framework of D&D. And when the campaign ended in its natural climax, there was a catharsis reached, and we stopped playing for quite a while.

So I guess that my advice would be ... it depends on your group. I would ask them what they would want to do. Are they feeling comfortable with it?

At any rate, I hope that you can continue to celebrate the life and memories of your friend at the gaming table and beyond.


Mr. Wilson

A friend of mine died from complications to an assault he suffered earlier this year. We were playing in a skype 4E campaign with various friends who had scattered throughout the world since college.

The important thing is to remember and honor your friend the best way you know how. In my case, my 11 year old homebrew world has a new statue dedicated to his longest running character in his homeland. Corny, yes. Imaginary, heck yeah.

But meaningful to those of us who knew him.

I think it's best to discuss amongst yourselves how you want to proceed. You know your group far better than any of us. Personally, we just stopped and started a new game. I think it would have been too painful to continue on.
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A long-time player in many online PBEMs I ran died last December. It was quite a shock, I had known him for years, he was a nice guy, and he had helped another online long-time friend with her IRL issues. I did not feel able to continue the current (Wilderlands) PBEM, actually I haven't PBEM'd since. One of the other PBEM players, who is also a friend IRL, has since transferred his PC from that defunct game to a new text-chat Wilderlands campaign I'm running.

Peter Lee

First Post
Back in 2000 I lost one of the gamers in my group to a heart attack. I was working at the University at the time, and he passed away one morning on the way to work. Things were never the same without him being there, and we never restarted the same campaign. Some of us would get together in other campaigns, but when we tried to play again as a group, it just didn't feel right and we didn't last more than two sessions. We try to gather for a board game night once a year in Madison, but I wasn't able to make it this year. :(

Played together in a tabletop game? No.

Five years ago, someone I had gamed with on many occasions, and still regularly larped with died in a car crash.

Her character was presumed to have died between games. As her character was (in D&D terms) a high level chaotic-evil cleric of a god of fear with an almost Lovecraftian madness from interacting with the creatures she had summoned (and that had summoned her in response), we all assumed in-game that her character had finally gone way too far over the edge and been consumed by something she had summoned or traveled to the plane of fear and never came back. We didn't talk about it much in game, to be honest, just a handwaved acknowledgment that she wasn't coming back.

I've never had someone in my gaming group pass away. All I can add is that I'm sorry for you loss (and for those other posters in this thread who have also lost friends. To be honest, reading this thread has made me a little sad, but at the same time thankful that I still have my gaming group here with me today.

Olaf the Stout

questing gm

First Post
I had a player in my highschool AD&D group which was the first edition that I played and got me into D&D. He stopped gaming with us when he dropped out.

Several years later during my college/university years, I somehow bumped into him and he still told me that he would like to get a chance to play again some day but we just got so busy with our lives.

About two years ago, I was shocked to hear that he had passed away due to some complications from an infection. :(

He was not only the first person that I gamed with who passed but was also the first person to have passed on from our batch.

He was a great guy and was one of my best players. :.-(

Epic Threats

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