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I see a few red flags. Now, red flags aren't evidence you shouldn't do this, but are evidence you should be cautious.

The first, of course, is planning to kill a player's character for the sake of plot.

The second is the fact you considered just putting them in a death trap. Not "having a death trap" that they could enter; putting them in it.

The third is that, after considering that, you rejected it because they could beat your death trap. If the player's characters are capable of defeating the logical in-game consequences (the death trap), why is that a problem?

I mean, you don't end up with a dead PC. But, if the logical in-world consequence of their deal with the devil is that death trap, and in-world they are capable of avoiding that death-trap, then the consequence of their deal with the devil is ... the PC not dying.

The PC being dead is not a logical in-world consequence; the PC being threatened by thing that could kill the PC is a logical in-world consequence.

Your decision that, regardless of what the players can or do do, that a particular PC will die does not appear unfair, it is unfair. It is "rocks fall, everyone dies".

As a DMGM, you don't get to unilaterally decide on what happens in an RPG. You can set things up, but if the players decisions are nullified by fiat, they are just listening to a story, not participating in it.

I get that you have a many-advanture payoff you'd love to pull out. And you should keep it available.

Threaten said PC; make it clear that said PC is now marked for death, possibly by starting off with someone trying to kill said PC. For dramatic effect, telegraph said threat; don't have a sniper bullet take the PC out on the first shot, but rather have the first bullet miss or graze the PC. Then start a fight where a bad guy (or set of bad guys) focus on said PC, ideally for understandable reasons (at least on the surface; there may be deeper reasons you keep secret).

That is an in-game consequence of a deal with a devil. A serious, substantial threat, targetted against a particular PC.

Next, make both results interesting. You already have a long-term plan for that PC dying; augment it with a short-term plan to make the death interesting. (Maybe a revenge adventure against the apparent, but not actual, people who killed the PC. An old friend of the PC showing up to help (played by that PC)).

For the PC living, have a short-term and possibly long-term way to make that interesting.

You can also foreshadow it. Either out of character (tell the players "today, the gloves are going to be off, one of your characters may die"). Or even in-character (an orcale states "one of the people in this room will not live to see the sun rise in 7 days"; note that the out is that the oracle herself, or someone else in the room (possibly hidden), will die if none of the PCs do.

It is great to have long term plot plans. Don't force it.

I see a few red flags. Now, red flags aren't evidence you shouldn't do this, but are evidence you should be cautious.

The first, of course, is planning to kill a player's character for the sake of plot.

The second is the fact you considered just putting them in a death trap. Not "having a death trap" that they could enter; putting them in it.

The third is that, after considering that, you rejected it because they could beat your death trap. If the player's characters are capable of defeating the logical in-game consequences (the death trap), why is that a problem?

I mean, you don't end up with a dead PC. But, if the logical in-world consequence of their deal with the devil is that death trap, and in-world they are capable of avoiding that death-trap, then the consequence of their deal with the devil is ... the PC not dying.

The PC being dead is not a logical in-world consequence; the PC being threatened by thing that could kill the PC is a logical in-world consequence.

Your decision that, regardless of what the players can or do do, that a particular PC will die does not appear unfair, it is unfair. It is "rocks fall, everyone dies".

As a DM, you don't get to unilaterally decide on what happens in an RPG. You can set things up, but if the players decisions are nullified by fiat, they are just listening to a story, not participating in it.

I get that you have a many-advanture payoff you'd love to pull out. And you should keep it available.

Threaten said PC; make it clear that said PC is now marked for death, possibly by starting off with someone trying to kill said PC. For dramatic effect, telegraph said threat; don't have a sniper bullet take the PC out on the first shot, but rather have the first bullet miss or graze the PC. Then start a fight where a bad guy (or set of bad guys) focus on said PC, ideally for understandable reasons (at least on the surface; there may be deeper reasons you keep secret).

That is an in-game consequence of a deal with a devil. A serious, substantial threat, targetted against a particular PC.

Next, make both results interesting. You already have a long-term plan for that PC dying; augment it with a short-term plan to make the death interesting. (Maybe a revenge adventure against the apparent, but not actual, people who killed the PC. An old friend of the PC showing up to help (played by that PC)).

For the PC living, have a short-term and possibly long-term way to make that interesting.

You can also foreshadow it. Either out of character (tell the players "today, the gloves are going to be off, one of your characters may die"). Or even in-character (an orcale states "one of the people in this room will not live to see the sun rise in 7 days"; note that the out is that the oracle herself, or someone else in the room (possibly hidden), will die if none of the PCs do.

It is great to have long term plot plans. Don't force it.

I see a few red flags. Now, red flags aren't evidence you shouldn't do this, but are evidence you should be cautious.

The first, of course, is planning to kill a player's character for the sake of plot.

The second is the fact you considered just putting them in a death trap. Not "having a death trap" that they could enter; putting them in it.

The third is that, after considering that, you rejected it because they could beat your death trap. If the player's characters are capable of defeating the logical in-game consequences (the death trap), why is that a problem?

I mean, you don't end up with a dead PC. But, if the logical in-world consequence of their deal with the devil is that death trap, and in-world they are capable of avoiding that death-trap, then the consequence of their deal with the devil is ... the PC not dying.

The PC being dead is not a logical in-world consequence; the PC being threatened by thing that could kill the PC is a logical in-world consequence.

Your decision that, regardless of what the players can or do do, that a particular PC will die does not appear unfair, it is unfair. It is "rocks fall, everyone dies".

As a GM, you don't get to unilaterally decide on what happens in an RPG. You can set things up, but if the players decisions are nullified by fiat, they are just listening to a story, not participating in it.

I get that you have a many-advanture payoff you'd love to pull out. And you should keep it available.

Threaten said PC; make it clear that said PC is now marked for death, possibly by starting off with someone trying to kill said PC. For dramatic effect, telegraph said threat; don't have a sniper bullet take the PC out on the first shot, but rather have the first bullet miss or graze the PC. Then start a fight where a bad guy (or set of bad guys) focus on said PC, ideally for understandable reasons (at least on the surface; there may be deeper reasons you keep secret).

That is an in-game consequence of a deal with a devil. A serious, substantial threat, targetted against a particular PC.

Next, make both results interesting. You already have a long-term plan for that PC dying; augment it with a short-term plan to make the death interesting. (Maybe a revenge adventure against the apparent, but not actual, people who killed the PC. An old friend of the PC showing up to help (played by that PC)).

For the PC living, have a short-term and possibly long-term way to make that interesting.

You can also foreshadow it. Either out of character (tell the players "today, the gloves are going to be off, one of your characters may die"). Or even in-character (an orcale states "one of the people in this room will not live to see the sun rise in 7 days"; note that the out is that the oracle herself, or someone else in the room (possibly hidden), will die if none of the PCs do.

It is great to have long term plot plans. Don't force it.

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I see a few red flags. Now, red flags aren't evidence you shouldn't do this, but are evidence you should be cautious.

The first, of course, is planning to kill a player's character for the sake of plot.

The second is the fact you considered just putting them in a death trap. Not "having a death trap" that they could enter; putting them in it.

The third is that, after considering that, you rejected it because they could beat your death trap. If the player's characters are capable of defeating the logical in-game consequences (the death trap), why is that a problem?

I mean, you don't end up with a dead PC. But, if the logical in-world consequence of their deal with the devil is that death trap, and in-world they are capable of avoiding that death-trap, then the consequence of their deal with the devil is ... the PC not dying.

The PC being dead is not a logical in-world consequence; the PC being threatened by thing that could kill the PC is a logical in-world consequence.

Your decision that, regardless of what the players can or do do, that a particular PC will die does not appear unfair, it is unfair. It is "rocks fall, everyone dies".

As a DM, you don't get to unilaterally decide on what happens in an RPG. You can set things up, but if the players decisions are nullified by fiat, they are just listening to a story, not participating in it.

I get that you have a many-advanture payoff you'd love to pull out. And you should keep it available.

Threaten said PC; make it clear that said PC is now marked for death, possibly by starting off with someone trying to kill said PC. For dramatic effect, telegraph said threat; don't have a sniper bullet take the PC out on the first shot, but rather have the first bullet miss or graze the PC. Then start a fight where a bad guy (or set of bad guys) focus on said PC, ideally for understandable reasons (at least on the surface; there may be deeper reasons you keep secret).

That is an in-game consequence of a deal with a devil. A serious, substantial threat, targetted against a particular PC.

Next, make both results interesting. You already have a long-term plan for that PC dying; augment it with a short-term plan to make the death interesting. (Maybe a revenge adventure against the apparent, but not actual, people who killed the PC. An old friend of the PC showing up to help (played by that PC)).

For the PC living, have a short-term and possibly long-term way to make that interesting.

You can also foreshadow it. Either out of character (tell the players "today, the gloves are going to be off, one of your characters may die"). Or even in-character (an orcale states "one of the people in this room will not live to see the sun rise in 7 days"; note that the out is that the oracle herself, or someone else in the room (possibly hidden), will die if none of the PCs do.

It is great to have long term plot plans. Don't force it.