Questions tagged [character-death]

For questions about issues related to the in-game death, or threat/fear of death, of a player's character in an RPG.

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20
votes
8answers
2k 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
50
votes
9answers
18k views

How to kill a character without making their player too angry

I have been DMing a game for a group of friends. In between two sessions, which ended with them facing a few enemy NPCs, I realized that these intelligent opponents had a very good way to kill one of ...
32
votes
12answers
5k views

Tried all the existing advice, but players still never roleplay fear

I've read some other posts on here about how to telegraph danger to my PCs and how to make them flee. The problem is, I believe I am actively using all the strategies in both of the posts and my PCs ...
22
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
550 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
100
votes
18answers
9k 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. Now,...
11
votes
1answer
440 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
103
votes
18answers
14k views

How can I make my PCs flee?

My players never run away or avoid conflict. Ever. I throw them ridiculous encounters, they will stay and fight. If I tell them, "You know you're not gonna make it, just run," they stay and fight and ...
17
votes
9answers
3k 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 does something that seems suicidal? and How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D? I like playing sandbox-style RPGs (whether ...
51
votes
9answers
7k views

What to do when a player character does something that seems 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 non-...
46
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
11k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
12k 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 opponents....
55
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
866 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
135
votes
14answers
17k views

How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D?

There are some play-styles of D&D in which the spectre of player-character death is considered a feature of the game rather than a bug. For my own reasons (which aren't the point of the question), ...