D&D General On PC Death

Oh no! The dice turned against you and your character is DEAD! How do you respond?

  • "?&$# this! I quit!"

    Votes: 2 4.8%
  • "Fine!" ::write "The Second" after the character's name::

    Votes: 3 7.1%
  • Sobbing, rocking, pleading and general misery.

    Votes: 6 14.3%
  • Crumple up character sheet, throw it at GM and dare them to say something.

    Votes: 2 4.8%
  • "I hated that character anyway!" ::happily roll up new character::

    Votes: 21 50.0%
  • "Well, achtually..." ::pull out rulebook and proceed to argue rules to reverse death::

    Votes: 4 9.5%
  • Beat GM unconscious with 300 page character backstory.

    Votes: 4 9.5%

Reynard

Legend
The poll is tongue in cheek, but I am curious how folks actually feel about their PC dying due to "no one's fault" -- that is, bad luck.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Should be multiple choice.

Both
"Fine!" ::write "The Second" after the character's name::
"I hated that character anyway!" ::happily roll up new character::

are my choices.

And these are not mutually exclusive.
 


prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
tenor.gif
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Provided the game is presented fairly, players mostly make their own luck by way of their choices so I think blaming it on the dice is a cop out. This is a game about bold adventurers confronting deadly perils. You mitigate luck as much as you can with smart decisions before ever relying on the dice.
 

Reynard

Legend
One thing I see pretty commonly is players who do not want the chance of essentially random character death. They want it to MEAN something, either in the context of their personal character story, or the larger campaign story. And I get that because a lot of people view TTRPG play as a form of narrative. I don't actually view it that way very often, especially as a player, and I am more interested in seeing what emerges out of play. So unless I feel like something was abjectly unfair, when I lose a PC as a player I find it interesting and then I move on. As a GM, I try not to hinge the campaign on the PCs all surviving...
 






Matt Coleville has a great story about killing a PC. He said the player (also his boss IIRC) was FURIOUS....for about 30 minutes. Then he sat down with the rulebooks and started working on a new PC. The player later stated that he just needed some time to be mad, get over the character death, and then he was excited to move on with a new character.

I think this is exactly the right reaction - having a PC die should be upsetting. It is that emotional attachment that makes the game exciting. But if you are a grown-@$$ human being you should also be able to get past the disappointment in a reasonable amount of time and get back to enjoying the game.

So #1 for like 30 minutes, then #5.
 


Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
You missed: "Throw cursed dice across the room. Prolific profanities. Vow never to use those crap dice again. Then, go pick them up to roll up next/replacement character." I click that one.
I had one player throw the d20 at me once after character death. I had to duck or be hit. The die was incrusted 2" deep in the basement styrofoam... needless to say everyone shouted at him for about 2-3 minutes.
 

I will rules lawyer the hell out of a death if there's anything as small as a missing Oxford comma to lean on.

Then I look for way to resurrect the character, because no one keeps the no resurrection rule in place after stupid deaths of beloved characters.

But if the character wasn't beloved (or a poor fit for the campaign), I take a few minutes to collect myself then start making a new one based on the slew of ideas I have floating in my head.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I had one player throw the d20 at me once after character death. I had to duck or be hit. The die was incrusted 2" deep in the basement styrofoam... needless to say everyone one shouted at him for about 2-3 minutes.
There is a key difference between "throw the dice" and "throw the dice at the GM." One is not acceptable, at all, ever; the other might be.
 

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
I don't recall any character death after we switched from Basic to AD&D. We did use death at -10. Most of the time I retired a character or the campaign folded.

My reaction would probably depend on how it happened, that would determine if I wanted to continue playing with that group and/or DM.
 

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