Okay I'm gonna stop right here because you and I seem to be talking past one another. It's entirely possible to have a deep immersive game without mollycoddling the PC's to make sure that they survive an entire campaign.
I hope you aren't taking any of this personal, because I certainly am not. We are talking past each other a bit, but we come from different places and play very differently. As we'll most likely never be in the same game, I really have no problem with you, your play style or anything else.
I'm just continuing conversation from the OP as much as anything else. I fully believe that you can have a game that does NOT Mollycoddle... AND is not an epic Bloodbath of disposable characters. The OP's DM is whacking characters in one surprise round with questionable rules... that doesn't sound like fun to me.
So most of my comments are generalized comments not directly attacking you in any way... but something you said about there not being main characters of the story and what not confused me and I use them as a springboard to my own thoughts and comments.ShinHakkaider wrote:
The PC's in my games ARENT nameless extras. They have motivations. They have families. They have friends and obligations. Sometimes they succeed and other times they DON'T. And the game and their backgrounds are rich enough that when a PC DOES die it's not hard to figure out how a new PC is going to integrate into the story at present.
But yeah nameless extras? NO.
In Epic bloodbath meatgrinders... I have seen this happen. We did a Tomb of horrors Halloween game where everyone showed up with XX characters... and just fed them in. Some of my characters were more developed then others. However when they lasted thirty minutes real time, their hopes and dreams amounted to nothing.
I've had a character last 14 levels or so... only to die and get replaced by a new character for the last 4-5 game sessions. He didn't have the same kind of experience that I would...
No not taking it personal. Just a little annoyed by a 3rd party taking our exchange out of context. I guess some of that annoyance may have spilled over into my response to you but no worries.
We just have very different playstyles is all.
Epic Bloodbaths arent any fun unless that's what the table is going for. But I've never at any point said that's what I was going for. I think that I very clearly say in my post that there is balance to be had. That I dont think that character death should derail a good game if the players and the GM find a way for it to continue. My main issue is the conceit that if you lose a PC or even a succession of them that continuing to play the campaign is pointless. And I find that attitude to be kind of strange considering all the talk I always hear about the game being a story.
Is it a story where everyone needs to stick to the idea that the same group that starts out HAS to finish the mission or it's a failure?
What's the point of playing an RPG with so much leeway if the thinking on how to progress the story is so restricted? And I'm not a big "story" guy. But it seems to me that if the game is fun enough and rich enough that it should find a way to continue.
But only if people want that. Again, I acknowledge that this is my own preference.
In my own game I've had two players actually give up their PC's as NPC's around level 5 or so because they were unsatisfied with them in play. So they both stayed in the city getting involved with other NPC's and situations around their newly created PC's.
Those same two players each lost the new PC later on and created yet two other PC's tied into the previous party. One of them was basically enlisted by the spirit of the previous character (a druid) to carry on his mission. The new PC was made aware of the stakes and agreed to help. The other player's new PC had ties with the city guard and was seen kind of as an annoyance but since the guard was running low on volunteers the allowed him to help out.
Both of those PC's are still around at 11-12th level. One of the players has decided to go BACK to his retired PC for this one adventure and have her rejoin the group.
The whole thing with my particular group of players feels very organic considering what they're trying to do. Yes, people have lost PC's. In our last session a demi-lich killed 2 PC's and an NPC. The two people who lost their 11th level characters had 2 new PC's ready to go and back stories that would tie them to the location and the missions of the previous two and also leaving the window open to raise at least one of the dead PC's later on. (A complication having to do with the current adventure prevent that from happening right away...)
I think the thing is that we think about what we want to do to make the story and the game work for us. I know our group isnt the norm but it is frustrating to constantly hear that character deaths basically ruin campaigns and games when the game itself is SO MALLEABLE and flexible and really is only limited by the prowess and imagination of the people playing the game.