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D&D 5E [+] Questions for zero character death players and DMs…

Panzeh

Explorer
My experience with very easy-death campaigns is that people tend to treat the characters mostly as game pieces and you get "Bob the fighter died- here's my new fighter, he's Bob with the letters reversed." unless the player wasn't vibing with what the first character could do. It's a totally valid way to play, but it's not my style.
 

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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
As has been said, there are many ways for a character to suffer setbacks in their story than just dying-- especially when those other ways allow the character to build themselves, the party, and the story on the whole back up from that crushing defeat.
Great point. And I’ll add that, in these types of games, the deaths of friendly NPCs, due to failures by the PCs, hit almost as hard as a PC death. There’s real feeling of, ”Oh we f’d up horribly :( “ and from a story angle that’s pure dramatic gold.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Great point. And I’ll add that, in these types of games, the deaths of friendly NPCs, due to failures by the PCs, hit almost as hard as a PC death. There’s real feeling of, ”Oh we f’d up horribly :( “ and from a story angle that’s pure dramatic gold.
Absolutely. But to achieve that the players have to actually care about something outside their own characters. That's not always a given.
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
Resurrection being easy is…very strange, to many of us. Better to just avoid it unless the narrative actually makes it interesting.

I've been tempted to (but haven't) do a world like in the Vlad Taltos novels.

Getting killed is usually no big deal - resurrection is easily doable (and common among people with means). But there is ONE specific way to permadeath - and anyone who's serious knows it and will use it if necessary.
 



JiffyPopTart

Bree-Yark
I've been tempted to (but haven't) do a world like in the Vlad Taltos novels.

Getting killed is usually no big deal - resurrection is easily doable (and common among people with means). But there is ONE specific way to permadeath - and anyone who's serious knows it and will use it if necessary.
Morganti weapons is a staple in all my campaigns because that series deals well with the idea death is only suffered by the poor.
 

Panzeh

Explorer
Also, resurrection makes it easy on EVERYBODY and while I don't like killing PCs in general, killing NPCs and people helping them as well as those they love is something i really want to have in the holster.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Absolutely. But to achieve that the players have to actually care about something outside their own characters. That's not always a given.
Nope, you are correct. I think oftentimes this will come down to players who not only care about the story of their characters, but also the story of the entire campaign on the whole. I know there's always jokes about how certain players should be just writing novels rather than playing RPGs in order to get their stories to come out the way they want them to... but the truth is a lot of players want to see the entire "novel" of the campaign work as a complete story, with a narrative beginning, middle, and end... in addition to whatever stuff their personal character does and can contribute to it.

In a situation where the party has done something (either purposefully or were framed) that results in them being hunted down by a king's guard (for example)... only a certain percentage of players would voluntarily submit their character for being arrested, because it makes sense in the overall narrative of the campaign. In their mind it doesn't matter that their character level and game mechanical stats are such that they could easily overpower any guardsman who showed up to bring them in... instead, they give their character over to the story and willingly submit. Because if nothing else... the story coming out of being imprisoned and maybe put on trial and who knows what else would all be an interesting and important development for both character and plot.

But other players? They'd just have their characters kill the guards and then move on out of town to go on the next adventure, because their concern is just what their characters do and accomplish... not what the overarching world sees in them. Anything outside their character bubble doesn't exist. So it wouldn't matter that they were now persona non grata in that kingdom that they just left... all that matters now is wherever they are going to next.

There's nothing wrong with that way of playing... just like there's nothing wrong with putting all of your stock and emotion in yourself as a player, with your character(s) just being vessels and avatars for yourself. No one way is better than another. It's just you have to make sure you find groups for whom you all agree with the style that suits.
 
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