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General Typical procedure after character death?

AngryTiger

Explorer
Depends if the party is high enough level to be able to have some sort of resurrection magic.

If they are, then the dead character is immediately resurrected.

If not, then they usually head off into closest town and try to find someone to do it for them. If they don't have the money to pay for it, then i usually allow the dead character be raised at a friendly temple anyway, in exchange for a future service. Gives me a easy plot hook for a future quest.
 

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Funny enough, every time someone has been fired from my job their desk sat untouched for days, usually weeks, like some strange silent memorial. It's almost always our office manager who ends up clearing everything away, and even he usually waits until we're in the process of hiring someone new. It is almost like people are afraid to disturb the "corpse" for fear of being cursed by it. Personally, I'm happy with my setup at work and have no interest in "looting" someone else's desk.

In the one office in particular Im thinking of, doing mechanical design and drafting sitting at a desk the better part of 8-10 hours a day two things were a premium, chairs and monitors. So when someone got the axe you had to move quick. If you were lucky you could get both the monitor and chair if you did it on the sly but usually as you were unhooking the monitor someone else was wheeling away the chair. Once the chair was yours it was yours, if you were fortunate enough to end up with two monitors within a few weeks IT usually came and took it.
 

Depends if the party is high enough level to be able to have some sort of resurrection magic.

If they are, then the dead character is immediately resurrected.

If not, then they usually head off into closest town and try to find someone to do it for them. If they don't have the money to pay for it, then i usually allow the dead character be raised at a friendly temple anyway, in exchange for a future service. Gives me a easy plot hook for a future quest.

When I played characters I always chose a patron deity no matter what race/class I played and tithed portions of my treasure be it gold or a minor magical item when I was in a village, town or city. This way if I needed to be resurrected or get another party member raised it was a lot easier. As a DM I always encouraged my PCs to do the same because if they just showed up at a random temple out of nowhere expecting to throw around some gold to get someone raised I usually to them to get lost if they've had no previous relationship with the clergy. I always looked at it as them closing the barn door after the horse already got away, too little, too late.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
In the one office in particular Im thinking of, doing mechanical design and drafting sitting at a desk the better part of 8-10 hours a day two things were a premium, chairs and monitors. So when someone got the axe you had to move quick. If you were lucky you could get both the monitor and chair if you did it on the sly but usually as you were unhooking the monitor someone else was wheeling away the chair. Once the chair was yours it was yours, if you were fortunate enough to end up with two monitors within a few weeks IT usually came and took it.
I work in software development, and the owners are fairly understanding that you need to spend money to make money, as they used to write the software themselves. On at least two occasions I've had IT come by my desk unbidden to ask me if I wanted a third monitor (I declined, as two monitors are perfect for me, but some of my co-workers took them up on the offer).
 

I work in software development, and the owners are fairly understanding that you need to spend money to make money, as they used to write the software themselves. On at least two occasions I've had IT come by my desk unbidden to ask me if I wanted a third monitor (I declined, as two monitors are perfect for me, but some of my co-workers took them up on the offer).

The places Ive worked in manufacturing went one of two ways. They only upgraded software or hardware only when absolutely necessary, and even then a monitor here, tower there or a license for a new hire. Or they were on a subscription plan where everything was upgraded for everyone every year or so. Regardless, Id have loved to have a third monitor, more places to minimize the screens of the things I wasn't supposed to be doing when the boss came by, like buying concert tickets, or reading a D&D book.
 

J-H

Explorer
I find this interesting as I have never thought to do this as, see above usually its looted, and realistically I couldn't justify a new character showing up with all the gear the last player that just died had. Is this an OOC house rule?
There's no difference between that and "New player shows up with just the base starting gear, and loots the dead guy's body." The party works well together, so equipment went to where it was most useful.

What I was not going to do was introduce new "free" magic items that had not been collected by the party during the campaign.

One dead PC body was not retrieved by the party in a timely fashion (they had to run away). They found some of his gear soon after in the treasury. His two most iconic items (Ring of Protection +1 and Wand of Lightning Bolts) were still on the corpse when they fought the Avatar of Death later on... said corpse was a minion during the fight, casting his most commonly-used spells and using the wand.

This is all of course if Raise Dead doesn't happen. The cleric was gone the week one of the two PC deaths happened. The other one got killed by Finger of Death, and the party didn't use Revivify during that one-round "pre-zombie" window.
 

pming

Adventurer
Hiya!

The player pulls out his/her backup PC, which will almost always be 1st level unless they've played the character before. If the player creates a new PC, he does it right then and there. The PC will be at the average party PC level, -2, maximum starting level of 3rd. (e.g., 2nd if average PC level is 4th, 3rd if it's 5th or higher, and 1st in every other case). That said, it's the OPTION TO, not a requirement....a Player is always free to create a level 1 PC, even if everyone else is 5th level, 7th, or whatever (for the record, nobody has cracked the 7th level mark in any of our 5e games).

Creating a higher level PC just seems like cheating. It also doesn't seem "fair" to players who have managed to keep their PC alive up to whatever level they are. Lastly...starting at level 1 is just the coolest level! Why wouldn't someone want to start a new PC at level 1? :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Creating a higher level PC just seems like cheating. It also doesn't seem "fair" to players who have managed to keep their PC alive up to whatever level they are.

We used to do this in the 1E & 2E days, it was mandatory. But 9 out of 10 times it spelled certain doom for said 1st level PC if the party was any level over 3. Compound that with the fact that in order to stay alive you had to play pretty cowardly and stay out of combat most of the time which meant less XP so it took forever to advance I think its probably alot more feasible in 5E and maybe even 3E.
 

Our campaigns generally include resurrection magic - or at least raise dead, if the cost of a resurrection or true resurrection are out of scope for the still-low-level PCs. But there have been a few times when a player wished to "abandon" a PC (sometimes after being slain, once because the entire character concept had been an experiment that hadn't really worked), in which case they brought in a new PC at the same level.

In my last campaign, each of the five players ran a single PC and we had a sixth character, an NPC cleric, who got passed around from session to session as to whose turn it was to run her as a second character. She was the default "spare PC" if your PC got killed, in which case whoever had been running the cleric handed over the cleric's folder so the player with the dead PC had somebody to run to finish off the adventure, and then hopefully we could get the dead PC back to life before the next game session.

In the campaign before that, each player had two PCs and decided each session which one they wanted to run. The two PCs each had magic rings that would allow them to teleport to each other and back again, so the "spare" PC was back at Guild HQ and if the "adventuring" PC ran into trouble (or got himself killed), by activating the ring the two PCs could switch out, allowing the game to press on without a PC death causing much of a delay in action.

I just started my current campaign, but so far I haven't made any special provisions for PC death. (There are two clerics in the party of five; hopefully between them they can keep everyone alive.) We'll have to see how it goes.

Johnathan
 

jasper

Rotten DM
This has varied during my 40 years of gaming. I changed the order of the questions.
1 New PC. Rolled Or Backup? Then and now this varied with the player. If someone was playing 2 PCs generally, they brought a new pc the next session or after chow break. Most players had a binder of pcs.
2.Joining? Then and now they are slotted in before the next combat and as soon as possible. How they got in did not matter. They just popped in.
3. Level of new pc? Then 1 level below the lowest level PC. Changed to 1 level below average level. Now same level as old pc. Never at first level.
4. Equipment? Then full equipment for their level and some magic items. Changed to full equipment and 1 magic item. Now. Full equipment base on level of pc.
5. Dropped Loot? Varied with group but BEEP wills.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
We used to divvy up treasure but then we'd get
Player 1: "Gee looks like Bob's in trouble."​
Player 2: "Huh. Too bad we couldn't help him" looking forlornly at the healing potion in their hand.​
Player 1: "I get his ring."​
Player 2: "Dibs on his cloak."​
 

jaycrockett

Explorer
Personally I think it's important that a player can keep playing their character if they want. There isn't a way to stop it mechanically, since they can just roll up a clone, which leads to a lot of dissonance. I would just knock out/defeat/capture the character instead of killing, until a raise dead mechanism was available.
When I ran 3rd edition and a character was raised, I just gave him a negative level, less complicated than actual de-leveling. Then they could lose the negative level after a few sessions, at an appropriate time.
I personally don't like bringing in new characters over first level, as characters created at a high level are very different than characters developed from scratch and grown over time.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
We used to do this in the 1E & 2E days, it was mandatory. But 9 out of 10 times it spelled certain doom for said 1st level PC if the party was any level over 3. Compound that with the fact that in order to stay alive you had to play pretty cowardly and stay out of combat most of the time which meant less XP so it took forever to advance I think its probably alot more feasible in 5E and maybe even 3E.
We used to do this as well, although we were more forgiving with respect to XP (a character standing WAAAY back with a bow or sling or tossing rocks was considered to be "participating" and would therefore get a full share of XP). While this could have been admittedly abused, I can't recall that it ever was, and was really just reserved for characters who were significantly below average level.

Ultimately, though, the newbie would level up very quickly (assuming they survived) to somewhere within the vicinity of party level and mostly stall out at that point. In the interim the party members were stuck babysitting this lowbie until he was leveled enough to be relatively competent, which wasn't much fun for either the "babysitters" or the "baby". The character would remain below party level for a long time, making it likely that one death would result in a spiraling series of deaths for that player.

The fast leveling, babysitting, and "death spirals" were undesirable. For us, this culminated (during 3.5) as an arms race between the DMs and the players, where players would try to create unkillable PCs, and the DMs would then come up with even deadlier ways of challenging those PCs. In the end, we just decided to stop doing things that way, which lead to characters coming back at the same level.

Mind you, that only applies to PCs. If someone wants to bring Wilhelm the stable boy along on adventures, he's going to have to start from scratch. Bringing PCs along, however, isn't really optional.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Per the thread title: What is your typical procedure after a character in the group has died?

Does the player immediately roll up a new character and join right away or do they sit out until an "appropriate point?" (or something in between)

Do players typically have backup characters?

Do characters joint the group at the same level, a lower level, 1st level?'

What about equipment?

These questions are just guidelines/suggestions - the main question what does your group typically do after a character has died?

The players in my games almost always have backup characters which are already written in such that it's easy for them to be brought into play if their other PC falls.
 

Draegn

Explorer
The extremely ugly cleric/wizard takes the "beautiful" parts of the body to make a flesh golem. It's how he gets his romantic dates without having to go to the old Roll a D12 inn of the Shady Lady.
 

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