let's face it death in pathfinder is not the end


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Following on from another thread I posted just a quick question how afraid are your players of character death ?
I ask because it appears from these boards that most view it as a speed bump on the road of adventure rather than the cliff it should be

Sovereign Court

tony gent wrote:

Following on from another thread I posted just a quick question how afraid are your players of character death ?

I ask because it appears from these boards that most view it as a speed bump on the road of adventure rather than the cliff it should be

Obviously it shouldn't be... or Raise Dead would be harder to pull off.

That's part of what makes it a high level game. Death isn't too much more than another debuff with a somewhat costly fix.


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Early levels, I'm afraid of my character's death because I tend to create involved backstories. Almost like I become invested, you know? However, I do understand that it's not the end of the campaign for me.


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We don't allow Raise Dead at my table, at least not for PCs. If I wanted that, I'd find a Dragon Ball game. We don't want it to just be an inconvenience when you die. Either you f!@~ed up hard or had some really bad luck and that's how it is (and we really never ever want to think "oh, doesn't really matter, we have 5000gp to spare"). And it's just boring if you don't get to take hard consequences.
We wouldn't want to go down two levels anyway, much better to bring a new character at equal level, get to try something new.


once you can pull the money for a raise dead and the restoration to remove the negative levels it's just a condition like blind that you need to fix.

The Exchange

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It really depends on the players and campaigns. I've had great players in the past who either refused to come back with reincarnation/raise dead. Or players who in-character would claim that raising souls from the afterlife would cheat them of their final reward.

It really depends on a few factors.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Dead is just another condition to be removed.


tony gent wrote:

Following on from another thread I posted just a quick question how afraid are your players of character death ?

I ask because it appears from these boards that most view it as a speed bump on the road of adventure rather than the cliff it should be

Should is a strong word for almost anything.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

At low-level, you worry about character death. At high-level you worry about party death.

Heck, I'm in a Wrath of the Righteous (currently 17th level, 8th tier) game and I'm still nervous many encounters because a TPK spells the end of the campaign. We're massively overpowered compared to a typical campaign - and it's really fun, by the way - but we're not untouchable, and if things go down just the wrong way... the story is over.

So hey. One man's speed-bump is another man's awesome cleric ability. Doesn't mean players don't worry.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

The importance of death as part of the narrative changes over levels, in the first 5 it can be, well fatal, 6-10 it is a high resource drain, and so becomes a judicious choice on if you should come back or not, after 10 it is more of a debuff, while death effects are more serious still, after 15, it is just a condition, when applied in combat, seriously affects your allies...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It certainly is the end if either the body or soul are unrecoverable. Assuming of course, we're talking about an average game, not one at the superhero/mythic level.


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Hmmm, why do we need to "face it", were we not facing this before? Wait, there is no facing in this game so I guess we cannot "face it" after all...

As for the question, even without raise dead, a slain PC is just replaced by a new PC. Sometimes the new PC has the same character sheet if the player really liked his race/class/abilities enough that he doesn't want something new - just change the name and maybe a bit of an equipment adjustment. Sometimes the new PC is found in the next room of the dungeon, or some other fortuitous circumstance so the player doesn't have to be a spectator for very long.

So in a game where we can cast a couple of spells, or hire someone to cast them, or simply find a nearly identical replacement character in the next room, yeah, death is not the end, it's not supposed to be the end, it's not even terribly inconvenient.

Now, TPKs on the other hand are quite inconvenient. Moreso if there is a story and the group wants to continue the story. It can be a little awkward when:

GM: "OK, last week the orcs and cave troll massacred Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, and Frodo as well as his three cohorts. This week a new group of adventurers, Goodgulf Greyteeth, Arrowroot son of Arrowshirt, Bromosel, Legolam, Gimlet son of Groin, and Frito (with three new cohorts Spam Gangrene, Moxie Dingleberry, and Pepsi Dingleberry) are making their way through Moria and with great luck, they find the battle scene and even find the One Ring that Frodo conveniently accidentally dropped when the cave troll devoured him. So what do you do?"

Sovereign Court

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Death is entirely up to the group. There is no should be about it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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tony gent wrote:
it should be

Herein lies the root of some of the darkest parts of this community's history. It's not the theorycrafting or the FAQratta or the rules lawyering or the poor editing or the optimization; the nastiness produced by all of those put together pales in comparison to the simple application of "should".


Jiggy wrote:
tony gent wrote:
it should be
Herein lies the root of some of the darkest parts of this community's history. It's not the theorycrafting or the FAQratta or the rules lawyering or the poor editing or the optimization; the nastiness produced by all of those put together pales in comparison to the simple application of "should".

So... would it be accurate to say that you believe the community should not be this way? :P

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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There's a difference between healthy and unhealthy ways for a community to operate, and right and wrong ways for a game to be played.


Pathfinder's a system where death is fairly easy to inflict (want to kill PCs? just run enemies that hit like they do) and fairly easy to fix.

You usually need to be 13th level plus or have a pretty generous GM to be able to fix death conveniently, but being able to fix it easily is the system working as intended.

As opposed to 4E, where death is fairly easy to fix but nearly impossible to inflict past 1st level =P

Or Paranoia, where death is so easily inflicted but also so trivial that everyone has 6 clones.

Or Call of Cthulhu, where a character can be made in minutes and can be expected to die just as quickly.

Or FATE, where PC death requires the Storyteller and the player to agree to it =P

Dark Archive

I recently finished running Book 6 of Kingmaker where the current king (the party's Arcanist) is becoming rather distraught about how their NPC allies regard death in the field. Kesten has died 3 times, Akiros has died 2-3 times, and one of my added NPCs has died at least 3 times himself. I try to run them as shocked and somewhat frightened at first, but after dying and being brought back so many times they don't see death as a threat anymore - just part of the job. So much so that the phrase "If you get killed, walk it off" has been turning up about once a session (we're still in the Epilogue phase).

I think it's true that Pathfinder rules are very lenient towards bringing the dead back to life, but only in certain scenarios. I feel like part of the reason is that players in a long-term campaign may get very attached to their characters, and losing them can break people's enjoyment. The problem is that overuse of these spells leads to a setting where death isn't permanent and being killed just means you lose some gold. I personally think it's a very intriguing design, but I can see where my players disagree.


The thing I find interesting is this means that assassins have to do a lot of work to stop their rich targets from just coming back the next day. It explains why the party keeps fighting and killing the same BBEG. There's lots of interesting world stuff if you realize that rich people have access to this stuff too.


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Our group doesn't do any returning from the dead. But we have hero points that allow us to scrape by from sure death if we don't get stupid or unlucky too often.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
The thing I find interesting is this means that assassins have to do a lot of work to stop their rich targets from just coming back the next day. It explains why the party keeps fighting and killing the same BBEG. There's lots of interesting world stuff if you realize that rich people have access to this stuff too.

It also lets assassins kill people just to send a message: We could get to you and next time it could be permanent. (Or at least permanent barring True Resurrection)

The Vlad Taltos books are a good example of how a world with easy raise dead could work. Though there are easier ways there of causing permanent death.


This isn't the case of a tpk though. That's the real scary possibility. Once you get raise dead or reincarnation, the game becomes like Final Fantasy as opposed to Lord of the Rings. You start throwing around Phoenix Downs and such


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Rub-Eta wrote:

We don't allow Raise Dead at my table, at least not for PCs. If I wanted that, I'd find a Dragon Ball game. We don't want it to just be an inconvenience when you die. Either you f%!*ed up hard or had some really bad luck and that's how it is (and we really never ever want to think "oh, doesn't really matter, we have 5000gp to spare"). And it's just boring if you don't get to take hard consequences.

We wouldn't want to go down two levels anyway, much better to bring a new character at equal level, get to try something new.

I find this funny, as a new character at the same level is much less in the way of 'hard consequences' than the gold loss and negative levels. If death is just hot-swapping characters, that is flatly an advantage, as the new ones on rotation can be hand-tailored to current needs.

And that is without taking into account the propensity (now active encouragement) for the party to loot each newly minted corpse for a net gain in gear.

As for the OP, I also find the 'should' dubious at best. Rez magic is true to the source material. Opting out of it can be an interesting thing in its own right (or, at many tables not different at all, given variations in DM lethality) but as designed, intended and in harmony with a lot of source material, back from the dead ready to fight again doesn't seem weird to me at all.

If it seems too casual, I'd suggest more interesting penalties for raising the dead. "The spirits of this place exact a heavy toll."


My view as a player is that I'm fine with death happening. It's part of the game after all. The thing is though, if I'm invested in this character, I mean really having fun RP-ing them, put a lot of time and effort into them and all, I'd honestly rather have them resurrected then bring in a new character. More so because it can and probably would be both jarring, deeply disappointing and unfun to switch gears into another character that I may not be nearly as excited to play (cause I'm starting their RP from scratch essentially).

Really, if a DM of mine said "we don't have resurrection or reincarnation, if you die, you can bring in a new character" I might play that game, but I wouldn't invest any real effort into their background, RP'ing them and such. No reason to go all in if they die in a few sessions and I they're never seen again. I'd probably treat the campaign as a character build tester, rather then a full on game. Or, at the very least, full on RP the first character until they died and just bow out of the campaign instead of bring a new one in.


Some DMs rule that the late PC's equipment is buried with them or gets 'donated' to late family members unless another PC wants to buy them with their cash.

Some deaths are pretty much for reals even if the party can scrape up enough. Get STR drained by a shadow/wraith/spectre and only a True Ress will bring you back and even for mid/high levels, it would just be easier to have a new PC wander in.


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There is a should for death. Death should not ruin the player's enjoyment of the session.

Game design has been studied enough that we can now say what's important: If death is to have a real presence, the player must be able to get back into the game with minimal delay. I'm not aware of any serious tabletop RPGs that do this well, but GMSs looking at gritty realism through rose colored glasses are making the game worse for anyone playing with them in system game that doesn't have simple player re-entry.

D&D 3.x/PF do not have simple player re-entry. Making anything but a template character can take hours. Dieing at low level doesn't reduce the problem unless the character will be discarded after a oneshot since most classes need to plan their builds ahead or run into prerequisite walls. Coming up with a new character identity and backstory can be an equally involved process. Fitting a new character into an old group is yet another serious hurdle for anyone who cares about roleplaying.

There's a reason story-centric CRPGs never have permadeath.


I'd say the current death mechanics are decent, it's a lot easier to do a ritual to resurrect an ally than it is to make a backstory that explains why your randomly letting a new person join your very exclusive adventuring party.


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For the people who ban rez spells, I have a question. How does banning rez spells make the game more fun and immersive in the scope of a campaign's story? How about punishing?

I mean, you've got two options. 1) Dock the player 7000 gp (raise dead + 2 restorations) and let them back to playing the character they want to play, or 2) have them lose that character forever, and make a new one.

So with option 2, there's suddenly a stranger that's exactly as strong as the character that died, with thousands upon thousands of gold he just happens to be carrying around (WBL). And the party has to justify bringing this stranger into their group, trusting their lives to him, and he to them. I.E. the party has to use metagame knowledge to realize that this stranger is controlled by a PC, and not simply treat him like any other NPC. The stranger has to quickly find reasons to care about all the problems and plot points that the rest of the party has experienced from the beginning of the campaign, and the player has to find reasons to become emotionally invested in their new character after the loss of their old one, the one they wanted to play to begin with. In terms of punishment, the character didn't get punished at all, because they didn't lose 7000 gp like the old character would have if they'd been allowed to get rezzed. In addition, the new character could be built more optimally for the level they're starting at, compared to a character that had been in the game since level 1. The only punishment happening here is that the player doesn't get to have fun with their original character.

So with that in mind, I'd love it if someone could explain to me why option 2 makes the game more fun, immersive, and punishing of death.


Voss wrote:

I find this funny, as a new character at the same level is much less in the way of 'hard consequences' than the gold loss and negative levels. If death is just hot-swapping characters, that is flatly an advantage, as the new ones on rotation can be hand-tailored to current needs.

And that is without taking into account the propensity (now active encouragement) for the party to loot each newly minted corpse for a net gain in gear.

You would think that, but it's not about the stats. We make characters we like and that we want to do things with. When it dies, you're cut off. And most of the times it means that we need to bring in a new character that isn't as tailored to the party as the last.

And we've of course already thought about the "net gain in gear".

This also results in us playing in ways to avoid death, instead of it being another negativ status effect. We don't want that.


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Rub-Eta wrote:
You would think that, but it's not about the stats. We make characters we like and that we want to do things with. When it dies, you're cut off.

Making perma-death mandatory just encourages characters being "about the stats" though. If you make a character you like, you want to be able to play it.

To be able to play it, it needs to live.

To live, it needs good stats.

If it can come back when it dies, maybe the stats don't need to be quite as good.

But if you institute a cycle of:

I want this character to live ---> To live he needs to be strong ----> He died, which means he wasn't strong enough ----> The next one needs to be stronger

Who is that fun for? Not the player who needs to swap to a new character when, as you say, you're just making characters you like and want to play.

Not the other people at the table (at best, it doesn't even affect them at all).

Probably not the GM, who now needs to figure out how to introduce a new character AGAIN.

TBH the whole idea seems pretty counter to your other idea of making "characters we like and that we want to do things with". It's just spiting yourself out of the thing you say you want to do.


tony gent wrote:

Following on from another thread I posted just a quick question how afraid are your players of character death ?

I ask because it appears from these boards that most view it as a speed bump on the road of adventure rather than the cliff it should be

That varies very much.

From player to player and from PC to PC.
I for one will not have a pc raised again at low levels because I had a pc once who died during the end fight of a first book of an AP. The group never recovered from that financial blow and was far below WBL from that point on. Should it happen again I'd most likely reroll instead, because I do not want to be the reason the party suffers. That's not fun for me.

Apart from that I like reincarnate much better than raise dead or resurrection. And having raise dead be easily available yet BBEGs staying dead most of the time is immersion breaking for me.


Castilonium wrote:
So with that in mind, I'd love it if someone could explain to me why option 2 makes the game more fun, immersive, and punishing of death.

We're not looking to punish anybody. If we wanted that, we'd switch out the player, not just the PC.

We just don't like the concept of beings snatched of our deaths, if there's no risk there's no glory. We also find it a problem when this also means that many who dies, just don't die. I like stories much more when dead means dead and not just "may come back at any moment if convenient".
Paying 7000gp feels less like a consequens than just being dead. 7000gp is a set back, death is a permanent consequens. So if you want to play your character, don't f!*~ around, don't be stupid about it. Play smart and make sure it survives, if it's a character you want to keep alive.

EDIT

@Rynjin: I see your point. But I don't agree. The stats don't matter more, almost every (if not every) death we've had is due to decisions, not weakness in character.
While we don't think it's fun when a character dies, we actually find it more boring when we don't when we should have (one of my players didn't even like it when I saved his character's life with an NPC, he saw his character as dead so playing it feelt really off, he said).

But this is just how we play at this moment. I'm not saying that we'll never change that or that anybody doing it now is doing anything wrong. There are plenty of percs to allowing it, just not the kind of game we want to play right now. We're just not in the mindset for it.


Rub-Eta wrote:
Castilonium wrote:
So with that in mind, I'd love it if someone could explain to me why option 2 makes the game more fun, immersive, and punishing of death.

We're not looking to punish anybody. If we wanted that, we'd switch out the player, not just the PC.

We just don't like the concept of beings snatched of our deaths, if there's no risk there's no glory. We also find it a problem when this also means that many who dies, just don't die. I like stories much more when dead means dead and not just "may come back at any moment if convenient".
Paying 7000gp feels less like a consequence than just being dead. 7000gp is a set back, death is a permanent consequence. So if you want to play your character, don't f*@~ around, don't be stupid about it. Play smart and make sure it survives, if it's a character you want to keep alive.

The GM kinda has to play softball for this to be something that's actually fully in the players' control.

As a GM I like to make challenging encounters, especially for boss fights, and as a player I like to be similarly challenged. Death is very much a possibility even if you do play smart, because the adversary will play smart as well.

Doesn't stop me from grumbling when there's a tactic that takes me out of the fight for several rounds (f*+% you mindflayers), but I like the challenge.


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Rub-Eta wrote:
Castilonium wrote:
So with that in mind, I'd love it if someone could explain to me why option 2 makes the game more fun, immersive, and punishing of death.

We're not looking to punish anybody. If we wanted that, we'd switch out the player, not just the PC.

We just don't like the concept of beings snatched of our deaths, if there's no risk there's no glory. We also find it a problem when this also means that many who dies, just don't die. I like stories much more when dead means dead and not just "may come back at any moment if convenient".
Paying 7000gp feels less like a consequens than just being dead. 7000gp is a set back, death is a permanent consequens. So if you want to play your character, don't f~$# around, don't be stupid about it. Play smart and make sure it survives, if it's a character you want to keep alive.

Unfortunately playing smart isn't really enough to guarantee PC survival in Pathfinder. All it takes is a natural 20 on a polearm or a natural 1 on a save and BAM, dead PC. Sure, playing smart decreases the chance of death, but it is still going to happen sooner or later. It also greatly decreases the risk of death in dangerous situations. Smart characters are more likely to die to a random longspear crit from a mook than to the final boss unless the GM is ok with a high likelihood of a TPK. Maybe if PF wasn't so binary permadeath wouldn't be such an issue, but PF is binary. And it gets worse as you go up in levels, where the difference between conscious and dead is disturbingly small, and where more and more save or die effects start cropping up.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Castilonium wrote:

For the people who ban rez spells, I have a question. How does banning rez spells make the game more fun and immersive in the scope of a campaign's story? How about punishing?

I mean, you've got two options. 1) Dock the player 7000 gp (raise dead + 2 restorations) and let them back to playing the character they want to play, or 2) have them lose that character forever, and make a new one.

So with option 2, there's suddenly a stranger that's exactly as strong as the character that died, with thousands upon thousands of gold he just happens to be carrying around (WBL). And the party has to justify bringing this stranger into their group, trusting their lives to him, and he to them. I.E. the party has to use metagame knowledge to realize that this stranger is controlled by a PC, and not simply treat him like any other NPC. The stranger has to quickly find reasons to care about all the problems and plot points that the rest of the party has experienced from the beginning of the campaign, and the player has to find reasons to become emotionally invested in their new character after the loss of their old one, the one they wanted to play to begin with. In terms of punishment, the character didn't get punished at all, because they didn't lose 7000 gp like the old character would have if they'd been allowed to get rezzed. In addition, the new character could be built more optimally for the level they're starting at, compared to a character that had been in the game since level 1. The only punishment happening here is that the player doesn't get to have fun with their original character.

So with that in mind, I'd love it if someone could explain to me why option 2 makes the game more fun, immersive, and punishing of death.

The thing is... D+D/Pathfinder is one of the very few RPG's that even allow bringing a character back from the beyond. In just about every other game out there, Death IS the end of a character's story, at least that brought forth by his/her own actions. So in every other game, players generally manage to make the transition. Why is this particular one so different?


We actually have some really hard battles, more so than easy I'd say.
But we do often avoid SoD abilities as DMs (and players) in our group (guess I should've said that as well from the start, it changes a lot. If we'd used them as often as they're prompted in the books we'd have much more PC deaths).
We don't use them because those spells/abilities aren't fun, even if you could pay 7000gp to undo it. Most of the times you can't do anything about them more than hope that you roll good enough, while the rest of the combat is much more tactical and fun.

I think only once during the last year of gaming we've had one death not caused by bad decisions. But I can't say that they couldn't avoid it either.


We keep a percentage of all treasure as "Party Loot" for this... if we have enough for True Res for everyone, we usually spend the extra on something fun.

I hate having characters die, and may not opt to have them come back (if they meet their god/go to 'heaven' etc), but usually try to get them raised.

Dark Archive

tony gent wrote:

Following on from another thread I posted just a quick question how afraid are your players of character death ?

I ask because it appears from these boards that most view it as a speed bump on the road of adventure rather than the cliff it should be

Levels 1-6, character death is pretty much definitive, as the group lacks resources to perform/pay for a res. I take care to present dangerous but not outright deadly situations, for this very reason.

Levels 7-12/15 (range varies on the campaign), character death is something that can be dealt with, usign group resources or paying enough money, but I run low to medium fantasy games - no magic shops outside consumables, usually low-level NPCs even on big cities, etc.
Also, bringing someone back from the dead has consequences, the kind you don't like (angry ghosts, vengeful spirits), as the passage between worlds can be abused by others, and is something that can be performed only in certain places (hotly disputed between nations and religions) and/or days of the year.

Levels 14+ (approximated on the above range), character death is less frequent than ever: PCs have strenght and resources to avoid most immediately lethal situations, and in case of character death, it has a deep meaning on the campaign, and it costs way too much in money or potential danger - the bad things that tag along in the passage from the afterworld scale up with the character level.

Overall, a character death is something reasonable and definitive at low levels, something that can be dealt with at middle levels if it' really really really worth it, and something rather rare and too costly to be considered at high level.
Character death stays in the reasonable range, both in frequency, meaning, and player consideration.


LazarX wrote:
Castilonium wrote:

For the people who ban rez spells, I have a question. How does banning rez spells make the game more fun and immersive in the scope of a campaign's story? How about punishing?

I mean, you've got two options. 1) Dock the player 7000 gp (raise dead + 2 restorations) and let them back to playing the character they want to play, or 2) have them lose that character forever, and make a new one.

So with option 2, there's suddenly a stranger that's exactly as strong as the character that died, with thousands upon thousands of gold he just happens to be carrying around (WBL). And the party has to justify bringing this stranger into their group, trusting their lives to him, and he to them. I.E. the party has to use metagame knowledge to realize that this stranger is controlled by a PC, and not simply treat him like any other NPC. The stranger has to quickly find reasons to care about all the problems and plot points that the rest of the party has experienced from the beginning of the campaign, and the player has to find reasons to become emotionally invested in their new character after the loss of their old one, the one they wanted to play to begin with. In terms of punishment, the character didn't get punished at all, because they didn't lose 7000 gp like the old character would have if they'd been allowed to get rezzed. In addition, the new character could be built more optimally for the level they're starting at, compared to a character that had been in the game since level 1. The only punishment happening here is that the player doesn't get to have fun with their original character.

So with that in mind, I'd love it if someone could explain to me why option 2 makes the game more fun, immersive, and punishing of death.

The thing is... D+D/Pathfinder is one of the very few RPG's that even allow bringing a character back from the beyond. In just about every other game out there, Death IS the end of a character's story, at least that brought forth by his/her own actions. So in every other game, players generally manage to make the transition. Why is this particular one so different?

And even at low levels in PF, death is basically permanent. Without GM fiat at least. If you don't have 7000gp or it would be a crippling expense or if you don't have access to a high level divine caster.

I don't think most of the other games that lack some form of resurrection have mechanics that make death more likely as you get get more powerful, so that may be part of it. Without more SoDs and without the relative margin between unconsciousness and death shrinking to well under a single blow, death doesn't become more of a problem.

Still, for me and for the groups I've played with, low frequency of death is more important that whether we can get a rez or not. To some extent that's good play, to some extent it's the GM softballing it. Sort of. Even in games like CoC, it can be more fun to leave the characters alive to torture than just to kill them quickly.

In the other extreme you get Paranoia level silliness or the old school "don't bother naming a character until 3rd level" vibe of Dungeon Crawl Classics.


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We don't have res spells - we do have hero points, and we RP our use of hero points, to save dying characters.

If a character dies we RP the intro of the new character, and new characters just don't show up.

We had a character death about 8 sessions ago, the battle was epic we had all used our hero points (props, spell recalls, re-does for saves and so on) and the Druid who had turned the tide for us got isolated and killed by the big bad.

We still talk about the character and how much they are missed, the character death has made the party harder and edgier we aren't soft when we are interrogating prisoners. It's personal.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

We don't have res spells - we do have hero points, and we RP our use of hero points, to save dying characters.

If a character dies we RP the intro of the new character, and new characters just don't show up.

We had a character death about 8 sessions ago, the battle was epic we had all used our hero points (props, spell recalls, re-does for saves and so on) and the Druid who had turned the tide for us got isolated and killed by the big bad.

We still talk about the character and how much they are missed, the character death has made the party harder and edgier we aren't soft when we are interrogating prisoners. It's personal.

Hero Points do help. And yes, you can RP new characters joining up. It's still disruptive and often awkward working them in.

Minimizing the number of times you have to do it helps. It's awkward to return to the guy who originally sent you off on the mission and realize none of the original characters are left. :)

It also matters whether you want a harder and edgier game or not. I've played characters who circumstances drove to be hard and edgy enough that I didn't enjoy playing them anymore.


Hahaha, I find it funny people who are saying that death should be a penalty and final. Because I assume that means that a new character joins in. Thus there is no actual penalty for dying.
"Oh Bob just died? Well here's his Identical twin brother Bobby! He had the same stats, gear, and everything. And he was receiving letters from Bob so he knows what's going on."
If I understand correctly this situation is viewed as "more penalizing and makes death more final" when it really is just saving you 7000gp. Having to pay for a rez is far more penalizing than bringing in a new character.


thejeff wrote:

And yes, you can RP new characters joining up. It's still disruptive and often awkward working them in.

Minimizing the number of times you have to do it helps. It's awkward to return to the guy who originally sent you off on the mission and realize none of the original characters are left. :)

I actually don't find it too hard to find a way to play in a new character without making it awkward. There just needs to be a door in where anybody can spontaneously enter without being suspicious. But yes, it's harder if you need to do it too much as you'll start to exhaust the alternatives (how many times can your employer conveniently send a 1 man backup team about one day after one in the party died?).

And I do agree that it's weird when entire parties can be replaced successively during the same mission. In my current game we have one left from the start (all the others didn't die, half of them where replaced by other means). It's a running joke that he'll be the only one left after the apocalyps.

Chess Pwn wrote:
"Oh Bob just died? Well here's his Identical twin brother Bobby! He had the same stats, gear, and everything. And he was receiving letters from Bob so he knows what's going on."

It would be a problem if this was how it happens.

To trivialize your point of view the same way you do to mine: my DM doesn't pack my school lunch with an extra 7000gp to get rez'd if I die. "Thank you mum-mum-DM, I wuve you".
Though I guess that's not how most games where you're allowed to resurrect your character goes either.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

It depends how your table is and the campaign. It can be "another condition to be removed". It can be the end of all until the spell is cast (IF it's cast).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:

Hahaha, I find it funny people who are saying that death should be a penalty and final. Because I assume that means that a new character joins in. Thus there is no actual penalty for dying.

"Oh Bob just died? Well here's his Identical twin brother Bobby! He had the same stats, gear, and everything. And he was receiving letters from Bob so he knows what's going on."
If I understand correctly this situation is viewed as "more penalizing and makes death more final" when it really is just saving you 7000gp. Having to pay for a rez is far more penalizing than bringing in a new character.

In a murderhobo campaign, what you say is definitely true. In a roleplaying campaign, Bobby will have problems. He won't have the trust built with NPCs that Bob had, because no one knows him. He won't have the accomplishments that Bob had either. Nor the relationships and the resources they provide.


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LazarX wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Hahaha, I find it funny people who are saying that death should be a penalty and final. Because I assume that means that a new character joins in. Thus there is no actual penalty for dying.

"Oh Bob just died? Well here's his Identical twin brother Bobby! He had the same stats, gear, and everything. And he was receiving letters from Bob so he knows what's going on."
If I understand correctly this situation is viewed as "more penalizing and makes death more final" when it really is just saving you 7000gp. Having to pay for a rez is far more penalizing than bringing in a new character.
In a murderhobo campaign, what you say is definitely true. In a roleplaying campaign, Bobby will have problems. He won't have the trust built with NPCs that Bob had, because no one knows him. He won't have the accomplishments that Bob had either. Nor the relationships and the resources they provide.

Bob told all the NPCs about his awesome brother, and Bobby has traveled the world about as much as Bob and done similar things to Bob, cause remember, they are the same level, meaning they've done comparable things to get that much EXP and GP.

But be real here, in a game if you bring in a new character the game isn't altered that much at all. The rest of the party is probably the same, so they have the original contacts, and now Bobby has his own separate slew of contacts to add to that pile. "Oh we're going to a new town? Well it's a good thing Bobby was BFFs with the mayor here while we made friends with the other mayor. Maybe he'll give me some money to help with the loss of my beloved identical brother."
Oh and of course this family happens to have 20+ identical siblings if needed.
So again, I fail to see how this scenario is more penalizing and "final" than paying for a rez.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Personally, my ideal would be a system where raising the dead is difficult/impossible/complicated/etc, but where death never comes from a single d20 roll (no save-or-die, no low-level insta-gib crits, etc; death would have to require either astounding stupidity, heroic sacrifice, or a dramatic escalation of negative events).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Hahaha, I find it funny people who are saying that death should be a penalty and final. Because I assume that means that a new character joins in. Thus there is no actual penalty for dying.

"Oh Bob just died? Well here's his Identical twin brother Bobby! He had the same stats, gear, and everything. And he was receiving letters from Bob so he knows what's going on."
If I understand correctly this situation is viewed as "more penalizing and makes death more final" when it really is just saving you 7000gp. Having to pay for a rez is far more penalizing than bringing in a new character.
In a murderhobo campaign, what you say is definitely true. In a roleplaying campaign, Bobby will have problems. He won't have the trust built with NPCs that Bob had, because no one knows him. He won't have the accomplishments that Bob had either. Nor the relationships and the resources they provide.

Bob told all the NPCs about his awesome brother, and Bobby has traveled the world about as much as Bob and done similar things to Bob, cause remember, they are the same level, meaning they've done comparable things to get that much EXP and GP.

But be real here, in a game if you bring in a new character the game isn't altered that much at all. The rest of the party is probably the same, so they have the original contacts, and now Bobby has his own separate slew of contacts to add to that pile. "Oh we're going to a new town? Well it's a good thing Bobby was BFFs with the mayor here while we made friends with the other mayor. Maybe he'll give me some money to help with the loss of my beloved identical brother."
Oh and of course this family happens to have 20+ identical siblings if needed.
So again, I fail to see how this scenario is more penalizing and "final" than paying for a rez.

I'm not going to account for how other people run their games. That's their lookout, not mine. In my games though, things matter, the passing of a character matters, and I don't invite the quality of players who replace a Bob with a "Bobby". In fairness, the only time I've seen that kind of behavior was with players who had a DM who gleefully boasted of a player kill count of at least one PER SESSION. They had gotten to the point where they were running their character off of mimeographs because he also mandated inventory according to what was displayed on the figures used.


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LazarX wrote:
I'm not going to account for how other people run their games. That's their lookout, not mine. In my games though, things matter, the passing of a character matters, and I don't invite the quality of players who replace a Bob with a "Bobby". In fairness, the only time I've seen that kind of behavior was with players who had a DM who gleefully boasted of a player kill count of at least one PER SESSION. They had gotten to the point where they were running their character off of mimeographs because he also mandated inventory according to what was displayed on the figures used.

The only time I remember actually seeing that was in one of our early CoC games and a family of amusingly named archaeologists. I suspect that may have been part of the reason we gradually shifted to a less fatal approach to the game. Slowly driving the characters insane rather than killing them off quickly.


LazarX wrote:
I'm not going to account for how other people run their games. That's their lookout, not mine. In my games though, things matter, the passing of a character matters, and I don't invite the quality of players who replace a Bob with a "Bobby".

If you would care to give an example of having a death causing a penalty in your games I'd appreciate that. Also a brief rundown of what type of new character would be allowed into the party, since, if I understand you, you said you "don't allow" people to bring in a character that does the same thing as their old one. Because even in the most Roleplay heavy campaign I'm having problems seeing how bring in a new guy will cause any serious effects, especially 7000gp worth of effects.

But if you don't want to that's fine. I can't force you to share, but I seriously am curious as to what you do.

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