31
\$\begingroup\$

This facet of RPGs is the thing with which I have the least experience/comfort level.  I'm sanguine about the idea that Dungeons etc. are inherently dangerous places, and that the PCs behavior is generally risk-take-y, and that sometimes PCs ignore hints, and bad rolls happen, and that death is sometimes an expected part of things.  I get all of that.

My players do too. This Q&A is the closest thing I can find to my question, which is similar, but not the same; I've experienced death as a player, and all of the players in my group have too. We all understand that some outcomes are final, and that sometimes death is one of those outcomes. No one gets mad about it. I'm NOT asking about the Social Contract, the philisophical and hypothetical discussion that a good Session Zero should cover. I'm asking about the practical, the AFTER, while still in-session. What happens after, "You're dead?"

The adventure goes on, and the Player is presumably still playing, but now -- unless the story calls for it, or the DM whips up an Instant NPC for them to use, which isn't always fun -- they no longer have a character to animate, or a say in the fate of their party, or a stake in the outcome of the adventure.

Should they leave? Should they just sit quietly and watch? What can they do? What should I, as DM, do?

I know that's a lot of question marks, but they all boil down to the title question: What are the DM's responsibilities when dealing with a character's unplanned death?

\$\endgroup\$
14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Two questions to clarify here: 1. Is this in a long-running campaign, or one-off dungeon crawl? 2. How long are your sessions, on average? (having someone sit around for 30 minutes while the game wraps up is very different from spending several hours doing nothing) \$\endgroup\$ – L Cooper Jun 9 at 16:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. This is a good question, and I'm certain that advice is forthcoming, but is that what you're looking for? Or are you looking for RPGs have said about what to do in these situations? Also, I think the title should specify character rather than player. (The question's title made me think the question was going to be an even bigger downer!) Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 9 at 16:50
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @LCooper This is a long-running campaign. Sessions are usually held weekly and last 3-4 hours. \$\endgroup\$ – Vokrug Jun 9 at 16:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It's wild how much clarification is necessary on this forum to clarify all of the questions you're not asking. But it is often very necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – Pink Sweetener Jun 9 at 22:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "I'm sanguine about the idea that Dungeons etc. are inherently dangerous places" I think you may misunderstand what "sanguine" means because this sentence doesn't really make sense \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Jun 10 at 14:11
48
\$\begingroup\$

This is about Best Practices, not responsibilities.

You ask about responsibilities and there aren't any, formally.
Informally, the objective of the DM is to facilitate the play experience for the players. There is a practical need to work with the player, once the session is over and before the next session, to get their next character set up and ready to fit into the game world. I've done that literally dozens of times, probably hundreds. I have also been the player in that situation dozens of times.

  • Good DMs have always opened up some time to help me get my new PC ready for the next session with the group.

Should they leave? Should they just sit quietly and watch? What can they do? What should I, as DM, do?

It depends on the player.

What I usually do when it comes up during a session

I usually have the dead character's player, for the rest of that session, do all of the die rolling and movement for the monsters that the party is fighting. I've been doing this since I started DMing in the late 1970's. Very few players don't enjoy this. Most of them jump right in - when they do it relieves the DM of a lot of detailed work, and (importantly) keeps the player engaged for the rest of the session. (This was very important for pre teens, I found).

For those rare ones who do not embrace that option, I have generally put them to work in creating their next character. They can stay in the room, or, if they don't want the distraction of the session going on while they do that, move to another room.

For those who get upset and / or rage quit

Yeah, it happens. Some people get very upset about their character's death. I don't see it that much anymore, but I saw it a lot among teenaged players and a very few adults.

For those cases:

  1. Express condolences. (I did this even in old school games. I never took joy nor pride in the PC dying - some DMs seemed to ...)

  2. Remind them that this is a game.

  3. Ask them to make a new character, and encourage them to start right now. Sometimes this does not work, and that leaves ...

  4. Ask them to come back later, or for the next session, when they have cooled down.

Those are DM best practices that I've seen, and implemented, over a lot of D&D years. @DaleM offers more excellent recommendations in the "practicalities" section of his answer. I have seen all of those used at one time or another.


The Impromptu Funeral - a group option if your players like this

I was in one very memorable group in a high lethality campaign (AD&D 1e) who would, after a battle where a PC died, put together an impromptu funeral pyre and each player would say something nice about the dead PC before the flames burned out - unless hot pursuit was an issue. In a few cases of the latter, we had memorial services at a local tavern during the session wrap up, or at the beginning of the next session.
I (a player) maintained the "Hall of Heroes" notebook where the char sheets of dead PCs was kept. (about a dozen). That small three ring binder is still in a box in my pile of old D&D stuff in the attic.


Proper Prior Planning

DMG p. 236 offers this:

Multiple characters can be a good idea in a game that features nonstop peril and a high rate of character death. If your group agrees to the premise, have each player keep one or two additional characters on hand, ready to jump in whenever the current character dies. Each time the main character gains a level, the backup characters do as well

If you all are running a campaign with a high lethality rate, or have embraced that tone of a campaign, then having a back up character already put together(one for each player) is a best practice. You still have the matter of what to do 'for the rest of the session' or 'until I can fit in a Meet the New PC situation' which takes us back to "run the monsters" as a good way to keep the player engaged until the session ends, or the meet up scene arises.

Bonus: this approach is also useful if a player gets tired of a PC and wants to retire (or suicide) the PC and bring in a different one. We've had five instances of that in my current shared-world campaign that I DM with my brother.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would definitely recommend all players, regardless of campaign style, have at least a backup character more or less formed in their head, if not put down on paper, just in case of a death... that way as soon as there's an opportunity in the session, the group can take a 5-10 minute break while the DM (and possibly the affected player) can quickly brainstorm a way for the new character to re-join the session using that new player as soon as possible. Might not be immediate, or even that same session, but at least it gets input from the affected player and takes some of the onus off of the DM. \$\endgroup\$ – TylerH Jun 10 at 18:16
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @TylerH For experienced players, sure; for newbies, that is sometimes a case of overload. "Depends on the Player" and "depend on the group." \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 10 at 18:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sure, that advice is couched in the knowledge that we're talking about long-term campaigns here. For first time sessions or one-shots, it's not really necessary or even necessarily a good idea. \$\endgroup\$ – TylerH Jun 10 at 18:59
9
\$\begingroup\$

Nepene Nep offers a good answer if your campaign is more of a combat-focused dungeon crawler, but if you're more roleplay and character focused, there's a handful of things that need to happen here:

As part of your preparations, make sure your players have a backup character concept. They don't need to have a full sheet, but having that concept waiting in the wings can help prevent the "random magic NPC" issue. This gives the player something to do while the rest of the session wraps up, and, crucially, gives you as the DM an idea of where the new character can be plopped into the story! If all the stars align, the player might be able to get back into the game within the same session, or at least early in the next one, although I don't always recommend this.

I try to keep things short and sweet after moments of emotional intensity, and a situation where a PC dies is almost always going to be emotionally intense. Even if your players aren't really roleplaying the grief of losing a friend permanently, they've still probably been through some brutal combat. That takes it out of a person! This is why I especially recommend giving the player whose character died space before getting them back into the game; it can be a bit of an emotional ride for the players!

Give the living party members time to escape the danger and a bit of time to process the loss, and let the player whose character just died stick around to observe (and potentially to start filling out the sheet for their next character, if there's not a lot of tearful eulogizing going on). Players, in my experience, tend to be nosey and to want to know everything that's going on; even if the bereaved player is just watching the rest of the party, they're unlikely to be bored. (Assuming that your players are generally a cohesive and friendly bunch and don't have any other problems floating around.)

Again, I really emphasize the importance of giving players a relatively quick wrapup to a session where things go horribly wrong! In my experience, trying to continue with too much gameplay in the same session as The Awful Bad Event is exhausting to invested roleplayers. Get them to relative safety and then give both the characters and the players a moment to recover. This might mean cutting a session a little shorter than you'd normally go, but it's worth it to make sure everyone is in the right headspace to continue adventuring.

\$\endgroup\$
9
\$\begingroup\$

Player Elimination

Player elimination is a game mechanic with legitimate uses. However, IMO it works best in games with a quick turn-around - hand-based games like Love Letter and Coup work well because a game takes minutes and an eliminated player can still be invested in the outcome. It sucks in games like Monopoly (which sucks for many other reasons) because the eliminated player is out for a long time and is unlikely to be invested enough in the outcome to act as a cheer squad.

There are Role-playing games that use player elimination and use it well: for example 1. However, the whole point of that game - "in Ten Candles there are no survivors. In the final scene of the game, when only one candle remains, all of the characters will die. In this, Ten Candles is not a game about "... winning" or beating the monsters. Instead, it is a game about what happens in the dark, and about those who try to survive within it. It is a game about being pushed to the brink of madness and despair, searching for hope in a hopeless world, and trying to do something meaningful with your final few hours left."

This is not the like and particularly not like .

What are you here for?

When you go to a birthday party you expect presents, a cake and candles. When you go to a football match you expect to watch people playing football, or play yourself. When you meet for dinner, you expect food and drinks will be involved.

When you meet to play a role-playing game, you expect to play a role-playing game - not watch other people do it. There is a reason that, unlike football, role-playing games have never caught on as a spectator sport.

Enable the player to play

The adventure goes on, and the Player is presumably still playing, but now -- unless the story calls for it, or the DM whips up an Instant NPC for them to use, which isn't always fun -- they no longer have a character to animate, or a say in the fate of their party, or a stake in the outcome of the adventure.

Because if they don't; they aren't playing.

You need to find a way to get the player a character to play as soon as possible. Real people in the real world are more important than a dissonant note in an imaginary story.

Practicalities

Finish the encounter where the character(s) died to the point where the survivors are no longer in immediate danger.

Take a break while the dead character's player makes a new character. The other players can do bookkeeping or make coffee, smoke or consume the stimulant of their choice. If it's near the end of the session you might want to wrap early.

The player should work as quickly as they can to make a PC that can function in the game. You should be able to whip up a mechanically complete PC in less than 10 minutes. This is not your forever character - if the player wants to change anything they can do it before the next session. Up to and including throwing it away and starting again - "Wait, I thought you were a wizard?" "Can't imagine why you thought that: barbarian and always have been." Or, you can take your eraser and rub out the dead PC's name and write a new name in its place. Or, if you're really lazy, add a "Jr." or "II" to the end.

As for introducing the foundling: ASAP and at the latest by the next encounter. Here are some ideas:

  • They were always there; they just didn't do much.
  • They are found bound and gagged with the treasure of the monsters you just killed.
  • They are fighting the next encounter.
  • They come running to the room pursued by the next encounter.
  • The cleric's diety manifests and says "I have brought this one to help you on your quest."
  • They suddenly appear as a result of a misdirected Teleport.
  • They are the magical fruit of a nearby tree.

Look - the reason doesn't have to be good, it just has to be quick.

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've just got to chime in here; I can't help but feel that Actual Play shows, such as Critical Role for instance, have brought TTRPGs into the "spectator-sport" landscape. On a more relevant note, a quick turnaround approach has its uses but it's also important to consider the tone of the game and group dynamics. If a dissonant note in a story is going to adversely impact the fun of the other people at the table in order to accommodate one person's it's worth considering. I for one, would probably not continue playing a game where the DM trivialized death to such an extent as you suggest. \$\endgroup\$ – InternetHobo Jun 11 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ While, as a player, I fully understand the need to quickly introduce a new PC, my characters don't always do. If the party is down somewhere in a dungeon, and something comes running into the room, the first reaction is "Can we kill it? Better safe than sorry", not "Oh, this could be a welcome new member to our party". \$\endgroup\$ – Abigail Jun 11 at 15:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @InternetHobo I mildly disagree: group dynamics should have been taken into account before the campaign started, making sure all players are on the same page. If everyone agreed that sudden, unexpected death, with no "last resort help" from the DM, is good even if a player gets no fun for hours, well, that's OK. I agree that there are people that prefer a more immersive and coherent story continuum. However, if the main point of playing is "having fun by playing", I think Dale M is right. ... \$\endgroup\$ – Lorenzo Donati -- Codidact.com Jun 12 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @InternetHobo ... Especially when the player did nothing stupid and has done great roleplaying, their character's death by bad luck or (say) a traitorous party member (who the player had no way to discover as part of the plot in-game) is not fun at all. And it is even less fun when the campaign is (has been) long and/or the session was carefully planned by carving some free time out of real life. A little deus ex-machina to introduce the player in the game as quickly as possible is the least of the evils (IMHO). \$\endgroup\$ – Lorenzo Donati -- Codidact.com Jun 12 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LorenzoDonati--Codidact.com I agree it's situational, sometime the quick fix is the correct solution, and at a convention game or a pick-up game at your LGS I've got no issue with that approach. This answer to a question about DM responsibilities where the OP indicates that they understand the importance of a Session Zero and that the players are all onboard with death as an accepted part of play feels heavy-handed at best though. \$\endgroup\$ – InternetHobo Jun 13 at 0:34
7
\$\begingroup\$

There are three facets to this that are worth considering:

Prepare your players ahead of time

This largely comes down to four things. The first is setting up expectations during session zero. A core part of session zero for any campaign I run is what many of my recurring players refer to as my ‘Crit happens’ speech. I go over the general expectations for anything that could directly remove player agency from the game, including not only player death, but also things like various mind-affecting spells and abilities, covering both how likely they are to happen, and then covering how I handle them as GM. For player death specifically, it largely amounts to what I’ll be covering in the rest of this answer. Setting up expectations like this helps ensure the players know what they’re getting into and aren’t caught unawares by how I handle any such issues that arise.

The second is to have the characters establish general plans for the handling of these situations. I generally insist upon this as part of session zero, with the assumption being that the party would talk through such things in-character off screen shortly after coming together. I also have them have this discussion again whenever the party composition changes. The idea here is to make sure the players know what to expect from each other in a situation like this, and also to avoid cases where the party wastes resources on reviving someone who would rather just create a new character.

The third is to establish a way of warning players that they are doing something risky that their characters would know is likely to result in one of the situations covered in the aforementioned ‘Crit happens’ speech. My norm for this is that when a player does something that I estimate has a higher than 50% chance to result in such a situation based on information the character would have, I ask pointedly ‘Are you sure?’ before narrating the results of their declared action. In most cases, this results in them thinking for a few minutes before realizing they missed something that makes what they said an obviously risky choice, and then decide to do something much more sensible. Many more hardcore gamers are not enthusiastic about this when first told about it (and some will even actively ignore it), but most other players, especially newer ones, actively welcome this safety net, and even those who did not like the practice at first come to accept it when it ends up saving their character once or twice.

The fourth is something I’ve not personally seen many GMs do, but I would argue more should do. Put simply, I ask all of my players to have backup characters. As part of character creation, we go through creating a second character without equipment who will be held in reserve, and who gains levels in parallel with the main character. When their main character dies and they choose not to attempt revival, I give them the wealth total they have to work with for gear and have them kit out their backup character while the rest of the party finishes out the session, and then narrate their backup character joining in near the start of the next session. Having this fallback both helps ensure they can continue playing, and also helps to soften the blow of losing a character they enjoyed.

Handle things politely but efficiently in the moment

Put simply, keep things efficient when a player dies, but don’t skim over it either.

My ‘normal’ protocol for a character death is as follows: When the character actually dies (either they fail their last death save, or something else), I make sure I have everyone’s attention, then hand off to the player to narrate their own final moments (I have a handful of rules I hold them to, but it’s mostly just common sense stuff like being polite) before formally announcing the cause of death (I have a special voice that I use only for announcing character deaths) and finally recording the character in my ‘folio of fallen heroes’ (a running list I keep of every character who has ever died in any campaign I have run). Then, I usually call for a five minute break, and afterwards we jump right back into the action where it left off.

The idea here is to make the death feel impactful to the whole party, preserve player agency to the very end, and then make sure that the game can keep going so we don’t get too bogged down by it all. We’re there to have an adventure, not to play a funeral simulator (even though, most of my parties actually hold funerals in character after the fact for their fallen comrades).

Help the players continue on after the fact

Once the immediate danger is dealt with, I politely remind the party of the plan they agreed upon for such situations, including any relevant knowledge the characters might be expected to know for such contingencies (for example, if the player absolutely wants revived if possible, I inform the players of the required conditions for this and the nearest places they know of where they can get what they need to actually do it). I also gently nudge them in the required direction for any narrative cleanup needed (such as adding a player’s backup character to the party), and if I know the player is open to feedback I usually give them some (privately) about the events leading up to their character’s death.

The goal is to again not dwell too much on the character's death and keep the game moving while still supporting the player whose character died.

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

First, if you expect a lot of deaths, make sure they have backup sheets. See p236 of the dungeon master's guide.

Multiple characters can be a good idea in a game that features nonstop peril and a high rate of character death. If your group agrees to the premise, have each player keep one or two additional characters on hand, ready to jump in whenever the current character dies. Each time the main character gains a level, the backup characters do as well

They can then jump in when their current character dies. Note that that is the default assumption. While death in general isn't mentioned, it's expected that the player should be able to jump back in. Being dead is pretty boring most of the time, and players should be alive.

As you mentioned, you expect dungeons to be generally dangerous places. As such, follow the dungeon master guide. Have them have a backup character to join at the same level as their main. You can do this by having them randomly meet this NPC, fate summoning them, or through mysterious circumstances, but the default assumption is you get them back into play and dungeon delving quickly.

\$\endgroup\$
6
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Why is it "expected" that a player jump right back in to the game with a new character sheet? Why is this the "default" assumption? This has not been my experience, and it seems more like something that will vary from table to table, and something I have always discussed at Session 0. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jun 9 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Designer intent for rules is generally considered off topic from what I know of the rpg meta, so I didn't comment on why Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, and James Wyatt did this. These are RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – Nepene Nep Jun 9 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did, and quoted the page. \$\endgroup\$ – Nepene Nep Jun 9 at 17:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The DMG quote says: "If your group agrees to the premise". This means it is not the "default". Really, it probably means something like "there is no default, you should discuss it with your table". \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jun 9 at 17:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @NepeneNep I have no expectations around the quantity or frequency of deaths. Read my question again. I disagree that "that is the default assumption," and I disagree that it is "expected that the player should be able to jump back in," as these two assertions are not anywhere in the RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – Vokrug Jun 9 at 19:04
1
\$\begingroup\$

I think of 2 broad categories of tabletop rpg related to Player Character Death...

  1. Player Character Death is a part of the game and to be expected.
  2. Player Character Death is rare and usually mitigated with various "bring 'em back' mechanics.

I avoid intermediate or unspoken paths as these seem to create the most displeasure in a rpg tabletop group.

If we decide to play #1, then have everyone generate a roster they can call from...and always keep one or two of your roster leveled to the current party so substitutions can be made quickly...which can be fun when someone feels 'tired' of their main character as well.

If we decide to play #2 then I would still have players create an alternate...for the rare case of perma-death. In this pattern I would always take into consideration the desire of the player to have his main character die permanently. Alternate Characters can also be called on for special needs such as adding more flesh to some situation where a players input can enrich the story.

The idea is to establish what everyone wants BEFORE it comes up in a game so no one is blind-sided and feeling slighted...especially in small group dynamics where ugly things can readily arise...such as scapegoating, ostracization, favoritism, etc...

If this is being handled 'after the fact' without previous conversation(sounds like it is), then I would treat it as a session zero revisit...and get consensus from the crowd(ha ha) about how the game should move forward with respect to perma-death...then mold the game to the group consensus.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPGSE. If you have done this at your tables (as player, as GM, or as both) please clarify that. The tour, help center, How to Ask and How to Answer provide guidance on how this site's constraints can best be worked within. It's not a discussion forum. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 10 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @somebody -- I explicitly mention that this IS being handled before gameplay: "I'm NOT asking about the Social Contract, the philisophical and hypothetical discussion that a good Session Zero should cover." Meaning, it has already been covered. -1 \$\endgroup\$ – Vokrug 2 days ago
1
\$\begingroup\$

It entirely depends on the situation, but usually the adventure will pause for a while when someone dies as the players and characters will have to deal with it both in and out of game (after the current fight if they die in a fight) unless there is a pressing time reason it cannot.

The first question is "is raise dead an option?" most fantasy RPGs have one or more ways to come back from the dead, it does depend on level and resources of the party, but I find 9/10 times if the player really wants to keep the same character there is a way to make it work.

I suspect unless the PCs are under a time crunch, this should be standard operating procedure:

1. Finish the current fight (run away or defeat the monsters, taking the dead PCs corpse with you if you run).

2. Decide OOC if raise dead or some other way of coming back is feasible (even if the players don't have the spell themselves, they can probably get back to a town where someone does). This mostly comes down to if the PCs have enough money. Even if they don't, maybe they can owe someone (either in money or a favor). As a GM there are options for this. Also ask the player if they want to be raised. If they want to play another character that's fine too.

3. If the player wants to be brought back and the party has the spell and material components they cast it. If they don't have the spell they go back to town to get someone else to cast it. If they can't afford it maybe they can find someone to get a loan from or owe a favor too. If the player doesn't want to be brought back or can't be (you are level 1 and there is no way you can afford raise dead, for example), the characters instead go back to town to resupply for the fight they now know how to better prepare for, or if they won, to prep for the rest of the dungeon, including looking for another adventurer to help them. They might also hold a funeral for the dead PC. New player rolls up a new character ass soon as they die while the party is finishing the fight. Alternatively new character can show up in the dungeon right after that fight and they don't have to go back to town at all.

4. Continue with the adventure. If they travelled back to town, they need to travel back to the dungeon where the PC died, hopefully more prepared with the raised PC or new character with them. If the PC rolled a new character, finishing the fight or travelling back to town to shop, etc., should have given the PC enough time to roll a new character or at least enough of one to continue with the session, or you can end the session early. In any case everyone is ready to jump back into the action.

For example:

In a pathfinder game I am playing in, my druid got hit with a phantasmal killer and rolled a 1 and a 2 failing both saves so I instantly died. Instantly dying is one of the worst ways to die, especially when you have good saves and its terrible luck, nothing you did wrong. In this case the PCs were losing the fight (most were affected by fear and the one character that wasn't was on half health). My animal companion knew the rescue trick so it carried me out of the there and the rest of the party ran. We sailed for 3 days back to city and the players asked me OOC if it would be ok to cast re-incarnate on me as it was cheaper than raise dead and I said sure because as a druid it made sense my character would be ok with that. I got really lucky and came back as a gnoll, greatly increasing my combat effectiveness (1% chance). Suddenly something that initially sucked (being killed) turned into a plus side for me. Then we sailed back and continued with the mission. I was "there" (it was online, but I would have stayed in room in person) the whole time. It was not awkward for me because I was either actively doing things (rolling on the re-incarnate table, figuring out how to pay the PCs back for re-incarnating me, etc.) in game, or doing things out of character (letting the other players know that I wanted to be brought back, that re-incarnate was fine, etc.) The game tends to revolve around the dead character for a little bit after a character death until everyone gets back into the action.

\$\endgroup\$
-1
\$\begingroup\$

Death as a Character Developer

Your responsibility is to continue managing the game being played.

The loss of a comrade is a major life event!
How do the others in the party respond?
Do the players play their characters IN character ?
Follow their alignments?
Follow their normal game play?
Does the thief loot the body?
Does the Cleric perform last rites?
Does it affect the characters emotionally at all?
Does the berserker go into a rage and start cleaving every creature in sight?
This is GREAT for character development!!!
What could they busy their time with?

If they are young players, then , I say let them roll for NPC actions against the party.

Do not let them play if they died. Even if the cleric resurrects them, make the player wait until next session to come back. It's part of the learning curve.

Advice- do not ask them what they do if they should see their comrade fall.
They need to reflect on how better to play the character. Trust me -

Nothing sucks more than spending a week w/ the DM creating an awesome credit character, only to hear 20 minutes into the night - " you take 4 points of damage"
'four points eh?'
"yes, and you're dead"
(laughing)
'dead. funny. o.k., 4 points.'
"No, Bill , you're dead, you missed your saving throw."

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ How often have you done this in play? Has this worked the same in all of the groups that you have played in? Have all of your players found this to be fun? Welcome to RPGSE. The tour, help center, How to Ask and How to Answer provide guidance on the best way to interact with this site's limited format: it's not a discussion forum. Supported answers are desired; experience at the table is a form of support. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 10 at 12:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.