Another one bites the dust


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hello everyone I just wondered how your players react to sudden character death ?
Are they ok with a bad dice roll wasting there character or do they kick of big time and birch no end about how it's unfair


They just cast Raise Dead. Or at high levels Wish/Miracle duplicating Resurrection to get back a dead member mid-fight.

Death isn't really a big deal in Pathfinder. Honestly the big complaint is the lost gold.


There's two people I game with that have some pretty negative reactions to their characters dying. Nearly told one to leave the table if he was gonna be like that.


Bad dice rolls killing a character are generally perceived as a flaw of the game.

When characters do end up dying I've had players reactions range from okay with it, excited to play a different character or sulking for a while in frustration.

In fact, because one players was known to be such a sore loser (in every game), there was a time when their character was thought dead by the other player characters, but the other players didn't believe it for a moment because the player wasn't sulking.

I generally have restrictions on resurrection magic though. But that can depend on the setting.


@ Anzyr what if the party is unable to cast those spells because they don't have them or are to low level
then how do they feel

Sovereign Court

We love the swingy combat but sometimes you buy it at no fault of your own. We use hero points to help save PCs from bad dice roll situations. Otherwise, its up to the player to play it tight or loose. We have one player that loves to take risks and she is ok if it ends badly often.


My players just cast reincarnate =]

I don't think anyone jumps for joy when their character suddenly dies to a bad dice-roll, but nobody complains, since it's just a part of the game, after all :)

-Nearyn


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I guess, it depends:

If the player had no chance to avoid the death, it is much more frustrating.
If Raise Dead etc. is at hand, it hurts much less.
If he is a oldschool player, he is much more likely to accept character death.
If he has a serious connection to the character, it hurts much more.

Personally, I am against killing PCs, at least if no Raise Dead etc. is available. Everything good that could come from it (lesson, chance for restart, what else?) could be achieved in another way. If a player seriously has to fear death all the time, he will invest less time into roleplay and more into mechanics. Which means less fun for the group...

Finally, killing a PC is trivial for a GM. Simply let a dragon fly by and eat him. Yawn... Letting him desperately fight on the brink to death and finally succeed is a completely different beast - more challenging for the GM and more fun for the player.


Honestly my DM and me (a newer DM) do what we can to make it so that a character doesn't die, especially if the player or other players are very attached to the character. I mean, you can have fun back up characters, but sometimes the one you've been playing for months is the one you love the most.

Thus, if a shambling mound could have just kept constricting Dave the barbarian until he died, he will likely (not all the time) constrict until he's unconscious and dying and drop him, moving on to the next prey. Actually, recently my friend that I'm running a solo campaign for (the DM mentioned above) got caught by a shambling mound, on his own... and he was a rogue. He knew that mounds understood sylvan however, and he attempted to talk and bribe his way out of it. He still had to make good diplomacy rolls, but he did well enough (in my eyes) and the mound put him down to get some of the promised tasty elf meat.

Alternatively, my character died in a campaign to a vrykolakas vampire. Instead of losing the character however, my character was the first (in his world) to have enough will power to turn into one, but not go crazy and kill every innocent thing near him. So he died, but I still get to play him and he now has an objective. Become not a vrykolakas vampire.

I suppose this could take some of the risk and worry about fighting things in a game however, but I feel if we were doing stupid things like say ticking off 5 grown dragons and throwing rocks at them instead of running, we'd probably die. Whether or not we were resurrected by something or someone later, is not known. I'm also not sure what'd happen if there was a full party wipe. No one alive to resurrect and all...

Shadow Lodge

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SheepishEidolon wrote:

...

Finally, killing a PC is trivial for a GM. Simply let a dragon fly by and eat him. Yawn... Letting him desperately fight on the brink to death and finally succeed is a completely different beast - more challenging for the GM and more fun for the player.

I find this sentence very important. That's what we sign up for: the heroics. The feeling when the group succeeds against all odds. Bloody and beaten up, but alive and satisfied that they took a hard fight and won.

I, for one, can only really feel this, only really enjoy such situations in a game if I know that it is *real*.

If I know my GM is pulling his punches, has bosses moving on when they should finish a threat, even when he fudges dice - then the magic is lost for me.

It's exactly as SheepishEidolon says: It's trivial to GM-fiat any character to death which is bad when it's done.
But in my opinion it's equally trivial and bad to GM-Fiat a PC who should have died to live on.


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Maybe I should clarify that as a DM I'm not into killing players if there just unlucky bad s@!* happens in game (as in real life) but I would rather leave a player unconscious and bleeding out giving there comrades a chance to save them than just finish them off.
But I've also seen players acting dumb because they wrongly believe that I won't just kill characters.
In fact in a recent game a second lvl character picked a fight with a much higher lvl npc and for 7 or 8 rounds the npc just toyed with him doing 1 or 2 points of damage each round
The player then got a lucky crit which took about a third of the npc's hit points and he made a smug remark in character to annoy the npc so next round the npc did a full attack which left him on minus 30+ hit points .
The player then kicked off that it wasn't a fair fight and he had no chance when several of the other players all said "but you started it you f%##wit"


tony gent wrote:

@ Anzyr what if the party is unable to cast those spells because they don't have them or are to low level

then how do they feel

Well then it's usually time for the old "drag the body to the next city" for getting Raise Dead. In the event that even that is not an option, then it's time to reroll. This has only happened once though (to a gelatinous cube and failed perception) and that player had no problem trying out a new PC.


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I went out of my way* to kill a PC only once and that because i really wanted THAT TRAP in shattered star book 2 to activate, i felt that the players would like that and add to the campaign.

*when i say out of my way i mean that the incubus continued his full attack (made his second attack) against the female barbarian who dropped after a critical on his first attack.

The one time i was b@#~!ing about my character dying was in a 3.5 game, sure resurrection magic was available but it was the 3rd or 4th death of my character and all of them was because of another very stupid PC who put the party in danger and caused PC deaths over and over.

In general i am ok with character death, i am more concerned about the continuation and the damage caused to the narrative of the story when resurrection magic isn't available or when the player wants to change his character because of a character death (usually mid campaign with no warning).


Anzyr wrote:

They just cast Raise Dead. Or at high levels Wish/Miracle duplicating Resurrection to get back a dead member mid-fight.

Death isn't really a big deal in Pathfinder. Honestly the big complaint is the lost gold.

Yup, that's how I feel.

I grumble, but I can either make a new PC, or lose some gold. No biggy.

Liberty's Edge

In Pathfinder Society play, i've had one of a dozen characters die. It's not enjoyable; but that is the risk a character in the game has to take. I make it a point to refuse re-rolls as well as resurrection or raising of any of my characters. I guess i'm stubbornly old school.


Asurendra wrote:
But in my opinion it's equally trivial and bad to GM-Fiat a PC who should have died to live on.

That's true. But it leaves us GMs with the burden to decide who should have died. Some cases are clear, like an experienced player throwing stones at the sleeping dragon, endangering the entire party. When it comes to newbie mistakes, misunderstandings ('no, that pawn wasn't a young dragon but an ancient one') and in character carelessness, it becomes more difficult.

But I guess I have to live with that. Better than one of my GMs who rolled a die whether my character is finished off or not - with equal chance for both results. Well, my character was lucky, I was lucky - and finally the GM was lucky since I probably would have quit playing with him.


As a GM, I am not out to kill my PC's.

I let it happen, of course, but try to moderate it so that it isn't just due to "a bad night" with the dice.

When it does, it often causes some upset - especially if the campaign has gone on long enough that the player has had the chance to develop that character.

As long as it is seen as "s&&% happens" and not "my GM was out to kill me," it tends to go over better. Not a: "Yippee! I'm dead!" reaction, but more: "S%~+. That sucks!" And then the decisions: try to get them Raised? Reincarnated? Or roll up a new one and work them in somehow? The first 2 options are easier as a GM.

For most players and GM's, death has to be possible in order for success/survival to mean anything.


For my skull and shackles game we suffered 3 deaths. So far at level 5.

I'm also not to kill them. One was due to supernatural drowning, the others due to very piss poor strategy.

They regrouped and adjusted and made plans. Mostly keep those attacks off the right people and keep the buffs going with the freebooter ranger.

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