Related to the in-game death of a player's character in an RPG.

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67
votes
18answers
3k views

How do I not cheapen death, while also respecting my players' time?

I DM for a group of very busy people, for whom the commitment of several hours a week is a real sacrifice: that’s a sizeable chunk of their free time for the week that I’m asking for. ...
39
votes
7answers
821 views

How can I quickly get a player back into a session after their character dies?

As a GM, what kind of techniques could I use to help a player re-join the gaming session after their character dies? I want to avoid any major interruptions to the flow of the adventure. I would also ...
36
votes
10answers
2k views

Techniques for allowing character defeat without character death

Character death can be extremely disruptive to an ongoing RPG, particularly in a game where character agendas are the driving force behind the plot. However, for a good story with a sense of conflict ...
31
votes
7answers
1k views

What to do when a player character does something suicidal?

Every now and then a player character does something extremely risky because "it would be fun." What are some good ways to handle this as a GM, for the different styles of play? I like playing ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

A PC dies every session - bad tactics or the normal outcome of adventuring?

In the campaign I'm currently playing in we have had a lot of character deaths occurring recently, almost (if not every) session. The party are 13th–14th level and are taking on significant ...
19
votes
2answers
990 views

Is it acceptable for the GM to attack a recently-stabilized character?

I was playing the Scales of War campaign with a group of friends, and my character was getting absolutely destroyed in an encounter. I had failed two death saves, but fortunately for me, the fight ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What about character death should be included in a social contract?

For a D&D (4e, primarily) game what about player-character death should be included in a group's social contract? What are some options for best reaching consensus about the possibility of death ...
18
votes
7answers
840 views

“Retiring” a maxed-out party

This question has a specific and a general sense. Eventually, if your game runs long enough, a party will be pretty much maxed out - reaching level caps, wielding top-level powers and abilities, ...
17
votes
8answers
777 views

How to get players to care about their and each others characters and play them like they are actual people

This question made me think about a problem I have been having that was brought up last night during a session. This session was the first of a new campaign I was running, with the party meeting ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

What happens to you after you die in D&D 3.5?

I'm playing an assassin-ish rogue in a 3.5 with Nerull (the god of death) as his deity and decided to build his essential character around the internal struggle of justifying his chosen profession to ...
15
votes
5answers
620 views

Memory After Death

A recent campaign started with the death of the party and reincarnation of the party with the premise of "we brought you back to find those who killed you". One player was concerned that these people ...
14
votes
3answers
543 views

What HP does Finger of Death leave you at when it kills you?

Let's say you're at 23 HP and your CON score is 15. You're hit by Finger of Death cast by a 13th level Wizard, and as a result suffer 130 damage. Are you left at -107 HP, or does it simply drop you to ...
13
votes
6answers
798 views

Alternatives to death in a character and narrative-driven campaign?

I'm currently running a Pathfinder game where the characters make the decisions and shape the plot. However, I'm worried about what will happen if one of the characters dies, simply because the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

My players almost die in my encounters every time. Does this mean my encounters are too hard?

I'm running my first campaign with three friends. This is the first time any of us have done any table-top role-playing. I'm working the party through the H1: Keep on the Shadowfell campaign using ...
11
votes
9answers
810 views

How do I help my players figure out how to stay alive in a realistically-deadly sandbox campaign?

Related: What to do when a player character goes suicide and How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D? I like playing sandbox-style RPGs (whether pen and paper or ...
10
votes
3answers
293 views

How do you handle an early death in Dread?

Starting prep for a game of Dread. I am wondering what is the best way to handle an early exit for a character in the game? I understand the ghost or doomed method of allowing the player to continue ...
8
votes
1answer
300 views

Can you start your turn when you're dead?

In my epic game, I am playing a level 30 Keeper of the everflow. Keepers have a level 24 feature: Life Overflow (24th level): Once per day when you start your turn at 0 hit points or fewer, you ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

How to reintegrate players who had their characters die in AD&D 1e?

Just wondering how it would be possible. Say for example, the party is level 5 and one player is killed in battle. What is to be done? Does he roll a character at level 5, or level 1? What are your ...
7
votes
1answer
241 views

Counting milestones for the death penalty

When a character is resurrected using the Raise Dead ritual, she gets a death penalty: The subject returns with a death penalty: –1 to all attack rolls, skill checks, saving throws, and ability ...
7
votes
1answer
510 views

Death odds in Deathwatch

We have played 3 games of Deathwatch now and are getting the hang of it. But my players seem to get hurt a lot. An example of this is a PC that has 21 wounds received 18 wounds from one enemy ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Is Iron Kingdoms too non-lethal?

I've been playing Iron Kingdoms as a player for a few months now and one thing I have found is that it is incredibly difficult to finish off a player (or a NPC who the GM has decided to make use the ...
4
votes
3answers
666 views

How should treasure parcels be adjusted to account for permanent character death in Dungeons and Dragons 4e?

In a D&D game I play, the party has had a 200% character turnover rate due to character death at low levels. Spawning at higher levels provides the incoming players with gear appropriate to their ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Spells similar to Unconcious Agenda for 3.5 without certain restrictions

I'm after a spell i can have cast on my character where on a certain condition (in my case, character is bitten by a vampire) he will conscious or not, be made to perform an action (in my case, slug a ...
0
votes
3answers
256 views

Is rolled death during character creation ever OK? [closed]

Is it ever Ok to have a Diceroll made during character gen kill or cripple a character before they are played? I know in certain Systems, this is almost true if you are really unlucky at rolling. (Eg ...