When a character dies, what level is the new character


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GM Rednal wrote:

Again...

Downtime Rules wrote:

Earn XP

If you've missed a campaign session or otherwise fallen behind in XP compared to the other characters, you can spend downtime adventuring to help catch up to the other PCs. Usually downtime adventures feature encounters that are much easier than you'd normally expect as part of a group. For example, a 5th-level character might clear zombies out of a crypt or assist some lower-level adventures with a problem that's a little too difficult for them.

Spending 1 day of downtime adventuring earns you XP as if you had defeated an opponent whose CR was equal to your character level. For example, if you are a 3rd-level character, you would earn 800 XP. You do not earn any treasure or other capital for downtime adventuring.

If using this downtime activity would increase your XP above the highest XP value among all the PCs in your party, it increases your XP to that value instead; any XP earned beyond this amount is lost. This activity allows you only to catch up, not to get ahead.

By downtime rules, you're not going to be behind forever if you invest the time, and may even be able to catch up fairly quickly. XD There's no reason to be permanently behind unless your GM demands it, and since it's downtime, it's not even particularly hard.

Not a standard rule, you cannot assume downtime rules are being used, or even that sufficient downtime is available even if they are used.

And as mentioned by another, that is downtime you are not using for something else that your allies are gaining - it is by no means an equaliser.

It is quite simply unfair and unfun however you justify it or try and put a pretty dress on it.


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Frankly, you can't assume any rules will ever be in use... XD Gonna be honest, though, I think you'd be gaining more than they would. Most people who are behind in XP could probably catch up with 1-2 weeks of downtime, which is a relatively small amount of gold if earning income, and only moderate progress on most crafting. And the difference is even less if downtime income is shared with the party, or items being crafted are for the party and/or non-crafting party members.

I think the relevant point is that there is a system in place to catch up if you're behind in XP, so it's not like officially-published options aren't available. I would... strongly encourage GMs who have an XP penalty to allow this, or some other method that works at their table, instead of making death a permanent loss.


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dragonhunterq wrote:


It is quite simply unfair and unfun however you justify it or try and put a pretty dress on it.

That said, "fair" is irrelevant and fun is subjective.

I'd bet you could find players on these boards who'd find it fun. Who'd rather start out behind because it gives them more of a feeling of earning their levels or something.
I'd bet you could some who'd rather start over at level 1 and try to survive.

Which brings me full circle: What do the players want? Talk to the group. Try to reach consensus on how you want to handle things. That could even be Alice, Bob and Carol all want to come back at the same level, Dan wants to be a level down and Ellen wants to prove how bad ass she is by starting at level 1. As long as that's all cool with everyone, go for it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Putting a new character behind in levels/XP makes it more difficult for him to pull his own weight in combat and thus bond with the rest of the party.

Putting a new character behind in wealth does the reverse, because they are more likely to pick up items that he can use than that they can use -- he will see that joining this group is profitable, and everyone else can see the value of helping the new guy catch up gear-wise if they have some assurance that he will stick around for the long haul.


thejeff wrote:
Which brings me full circle: What do the players want? Talk to the group. Try to reach consensus on how you want to handle things. That could even be Alice, Bob and Carol all want to come back at the same level, Dan wants to be a level down and Ellen wants to prove how bad ass she is by starting at level 1. As long as that's all cool with everyone, go for it.

Agreed. I think there could even be separate rules for TPKs or near-TPKs versus single PC deaths. If the entire party dies, do all characters come back as the same level as the old characters? Personally I would prefer all new level 1 characters in the event of a TPK.

If there is only one surviving PC (and no ability to raise dead, etc.), I'd probably prefer that the one surviving PC retire that character, start with fresh characters, and then when the new group catches up, if the player wants, he can reintroduce his old character back to the group.

But the most important part, as thejeff has explained, is to make sure everyone is on board with whatever new character rules you choose to put in place.

The rules should also address new players that join the group - do they get to create a character equal to the other PCs? Some players would be okay with that, others might feel cheated that the new player didn't have to face any risk to earn their character levels.


It depends on who is running the game - one GM starts all new characters at level 1 no matter what. However, since we changed to 'story point levelling' in 3rd the standard has been to start replacement characters (or new characters for the case of people joining the group) at the same level, just with slightly lower gear (not so much for new players, they tend to start about equal).


We generally plot level (no xp, level when appropriate to the campaign)

I'm with everyone who said don't bring them in lower level, it's not punishing just them, but the party. The punishment for dying is losing the character you have invested in (both emotionally and time) so there isn't a need to punish further.


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Yeah, I've personally found that losing all of a character's current plot hooks, unique little perks, and all the RP benefits of being an established figure in the story/group is punishment enough. When I GM most of my PCs get lots of little side benefits that aren't the kind of thing that can be quantified on an XP or WBL table.

Plus, as lots of folks have already said, being stuck behind the rest of the party can ruin the fun for a lot of players. Not everyone minds it, but enough people do that I wouldn't want it to be my default policy.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GM Rednal wrote:

Frankly, you can't assume any rules will ever be in use... XD Gonna be honest, though, I think you'd be gaining more than they would. Most people who are behind in XP could probably catch up with 1-2 weeks of downtime, which is a relatively small amount of gold if earning income, and only moderate progress on most crafting. And the difference is even less if downtime income is shared with the party, or items being crafted are for the party and/or non-crafting party members.

I think the relevant point is that there is a system in place to catch up if you're behind in XP, so it's not like officially-published options aren't available. I would... strongly encourage GMs who have an XP penalty to allow this, or some other method that works at their table, instead of making death a permanent loss.

IF you are allowing downtime rules AND providing sufficient downtime then that does change the equation. But at the same time, in general people add downtime rules for a reason. Whether its to allow players a chance to do something they want, or to build connection to the world by creating something in it (like an organization or business). The player whose character died would still be missing out on that.

Regardless of how you cut it, taking a level away from a player (which is precisely what you are doing, and nothing else) is going to deny them some portion of the game. You arent making them 'earn' their levels, they already did that. With the now dead character. And while some people may like the idea of clawing back after being killed, to drive home the feeling of loss for the character, this should only be done with unanimous consent of the group. A gm should (in my opinion) never impose this without the enthusiastic consent of his players, and only if he is going to give some opportunity for the player to make up the ground in a reasonable amount of time.

Because again, all you are doing is fostering competition among the players and GM. If there is even the slightest bit of resentment over this, players will start to see options to 'get ahead' and 'fall behind', and they will start seeing the GM as the obstacle to overcome rather then a companion in a cooperative story telling game. Unless you want to foster that kind of antagonism and competition, it is strictly a bad idea without unanimous agreement.


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...And that's why I just level at story points instead. ^^


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I played in a game that used 'new characters come in at one level lower than the lowest-leveled member of the party'.

By the end of it, I had a level 11 character. The next highest was level 6. The lowest was 4.


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...I don't know how that ended, but I'm going to guess "not the way we would have preferred".


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It was a long-running campaign with a lot of character deaths and retirements, players leaving and new ones joining (and old ones coming back... to characters unleveled since leaving). Mine was the only member of the starting party to make it to the end.


There's a lot of the word "game" and "story" being used, and it depends on how you see this. There is a story, but it's also a game, one that doesn't have a save file. Of course it's just my perspective, but I prefer the idea of a real consequence. Everyone makes it seem like the GM can't adjust the story at all for changes in level or disparity. No one here is locked in by what they've written or the AP they're running.

Easier, that is probably the best reason not to incur a penalty. Though I'm just probably getting old and don't like awards for participation.

Liberty's Edge

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Niztael wrote:
Though I'm just probably getting old and don't like awards for participation.

I think a lot of people feel the same way. The problem is creating a penalty to death that's still balanced, and won't create an un-level playing field that spirals into a chain of deaths because of the exponential effect of penalties causing death and death causing penalties.

Pretty much the only reasonable thing I've found so far is either a prestige or vanity type system that's nice, but doesn't affect character balance.

There's also the fact that sometimes death can be completely arbitrary, and the fact that some characters are more likely to be in danger than others, meaning death is more likely. It's not really a good idea to punish someone for standing in front of the squishier teamates, or for 2 really good dice rolls in a row with a high crit weapon. These aren't really indicative of poor play, but can have certain players unfairly handicapped for something that's, for the most part, beyond their control.


You just have to create a minimum bar. Take the example that all characters are currently 3rd level and if one of them were to die they would make a 2nd level character. The bar would have been brought up to 2nd level, were he unfortunate enough to die a second time, he would still come back as 2nd level.

Now the party consists of all 3rd level characters and one 2nd level character and everyone gains two levels without a character death. Everyone is now 5th level and perhaps one is still 4th level, though it's possible that character is now 5th level as well. The bar would be set at 3rd, unless the character who died previously made it to 5th, raising the bar to 4th.

With a minimum bar, there is no downward spiral.


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Sundakan wrote:
Generally when a GM feels the need to apply an arbitrary level penalty, they're not inclined to allow a way around it.

Especially one that works this fast.

At every level in the game except 17->18 (which is 400xp too high), the amount of days needed to level up once using the downtime rules is 4 days. That's not really worth bothering about unless the campaign is ridiculously fast paced (gardener to god in a fortnight type fast).


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If you really need a penalty for death, there are more than enough vengeful spirits and demons that would love to use the corporeal form of an adventurer for their various shenanigans.

Dark Archive

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thejeff wrote:
I'd bet you could find players on these boards who'd find it fun... I'd bet you could (find) some who'd rather start over at level 1 and try to survive.

I'm one of those who would rather start over at level 1. For me, D&D / Pathfinder is about the journey from level 1, not the destination.

However, depending on the level of the other characters, chances are I wouldn't survive (and it gets harder and harder with each failure), and it wouldn't be fair on the other players to have to "carry" my character. So it is not a practical solution.

However, I don't understand the "we need to make death meaningful" problem. I am generally invested in my character's story, his relationship with the other characters and the NPCs he has met over his career. Death is always meaningful.

If you offered me the chance to have my character commit suicide, and come back as a higher level character, I wouldn't take it.


amethal wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd bet you could find players on these boards who'd find it fun... I'd bet you could (find) some who'd rather start over at level 1 and try to survive.

I'm one of those who would rather start over at level 1. For me, D&D / Pathfinder is about the journey from level 1, not the destination.

However, depending on the level of the other characters, chances are I wouldn't survive (and it gets harder and harder with each failure), and it wouldn't be fair on the other players to have to "carry" my character. So it is not a practical solution.

However, I don't understand the "we need to make death meaningful" problem. I am generally invested in my character's story, his relationship with the other characters and the NPCs he has met over his career. Death is always meaningful.

If you offered me the chance to have my character commit suicide, and come back as a higher level character, I wouldn't take it.

Whereas I'm also about the journey, not the destination, but don't care at all about it being from level 1. I'd rather come back as a character of the same level, because that's easier to fit into what's going on.

I'm also perfectly happy starting campaigns at higher level if that fits the kind of opposition the GM has in mind. Or prolonging our stay at
lower/mid levels if that works better. Going up levels and getting cool new abilities is a nice bonus, but it's not the point.


Snowblind wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Generally when a GM feels the need to apply an arbitrary level penalty, they're not inclined to allow a way around it.

Especially one that works this fast.

At every level in the game except 17->18 (which is 400xp too high), the amount of days needed to level up once using the downtime rules is 4 days. That's not really worth bothering about unless the campaign is ridiculously fast paced (gardener to god in a fortnight type fast).

Which makes it almost irrelevant. Why even bother putting the penalty in, if the reaction is likely to be, "Let's take a couple of days off to let Bob catch up."

I guess it might mean something if Bob joins up in the middle of an adventure (rescued from the dungeons or some such), so that he actually has to be in a couple of fights with the level penalty. Otherwise, what's the point?

Edit: Might as well start at 1st level, right? It'll only take a few weeks (or months at most) to catch up.

Edit again: OTOH, you don't get money from downtime adventuring, so what this really translates to is a WBL penalty.


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I will say that recently I was playing an Unchained Rogue Eldritch Scoundrel. While the Unchained Rogue is miles ahead the Core Rogue, it's still lacking. Of course that was what I wanted to find out, how the new rogue really faired in play.

In the combat where my character died it was mostly due a long hit point attrition combat with several Frost Giant zombies, vampires, and a couple ghouls.

Things were going okay, but every little (okay not so little, every hit was ~20 damage and my 10th level rogue had ~75 hp) hit added up. One of the vampires was focused on finding an artifact in the room and ignoring us, but we also needed the artifact and couldn't let him get it. So we were pouring everything we had into trying to stop him. My HP slowly whittled away and I thought I would be knocked unconscious, but a lucky crit took me from 15 hp down to -17. Insta-death.

After my experience with this rogue I've decided I don't want to further punish myself and I'm going to play a thrown weapon specialist warpriest (yes, it's actually good don't worry I've been working on this for weeks). The new character is actually one of the old character's 6 sisters (established well before character death) and I've been working with the GM to have an interesting character that will draw the whole group further into the campaign and it's possible that my old character will re-appear as an Undead enemy in the future.

While I did let my character be killed to a certain extent (didn't go into perseveration mode at low HP by casting Dimension Door) this provides me an opportunity to retire a character that I'm no longer interested in playing without damaging the storyline and I'm using the previous character's story as a way to integrate the new character within the greater storyline.


thejeff wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Generally when a GM feels the need to apply an arbitrary level penalty, they're not inclined to allow a way around it.

Especially one that works this fast.

At every level in the game except 17->18 (which is 400xp too high), the amount of days needed to level up once using the downtime rules is 4 days. That's not really worth bothering about unless the campaign is ridiculously fast paced (gardener to god in a fortnight type fast).

Which makes it almost irrelevant. Why even bother putting the penalty in, if the reaction is likely to be, "Let's take a couple of days off to let Bob catch up."

I guess it might mean something if Bob joins up in the middle of an adventure (rescued from the dungeons or some such), so that he actually has to be in a couple of fights with the level penalty. Otherwise, what's the point?

Edit: Might as well start at 1st level, right? It'll only take a few weeks (or months at most) to catch up.

Edit again: OTOH, you don't get money from downtime adventuring, so what this really translates to is a WBL penalty.

Actually, depending on level, while the WBL-thing is a solid part of the point, another point is story - being higher than first level means it makes sense for the adventuring group to accept the new character in the first place, to see potential there - being level one would generally be in, 'don't bother' territory, considering how many level one mooks a mid-level or higher party can mow down without thought.

This is not to say that I penalize new characters with lower levels (I do not), but to point out where and how, exactly, the logic functions within itself.


Tacticslion wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Generally when a GM feels the need to apply an arbitrary level penalty, they're not inclined to allow a way around it.

Especially one that works this fast.

At every level in the game except 17->18 (which is 400xp too high), the amount of days needed to level up once using the downtime rules is 4 days. That's not really worth bothering about unless the campaign is ridiculously fast paced (gardener to god in a fortnight type fast).

Which makes it almost irrelevant. Why even bother putting the penalty in, if the reaction is likely to be, "Let's take a couple of days off to let Bob catch up."

I guess it might mean something if Bob joins up in the middle of an adventure (rescued from the dungeons or some such), so that he actually has to be in a couple of fights with the level penalty. Otherwise, what's the point?

Edit: Might as well start at 1st level, right? It'll only take a few weeks (or months at most) to catch up.

Edit again: OTOH, you don't get money from downtime adventuring, so what this really translates to is a WBL penalty.

Actually, depending on level, while the WBL-thing is a solid part of the point, another point is story - being higher than first level means it makes sense for the adventuring group to accept the new character in the first place, to see potential there - being level one would generally be in, 'don't bother' territory, considering how many level one mooks a mid-level or higher party can mow down without thought.

This is not to say that I penalize new characters with lower levels (I do not), but to point out where and how, exactly, the logic functions within itself.

Agreed. As I said above, I prefer bring them in at level.

Still, it could work, with only a little bit of metagaming, if the new character was a rescue who managed to survive making it out with them. Probably got a level right there. Then uses a couple of weeks of downtime to catch up and comes to join his saviors and help them out.


Way back in the day house rules and such it depended a lot on different factors.

A PCs death is only ocassionly 100% their fault. The entire party failed!

At early levels we always put back 20% into a party fund to bring back a fallen comrade.....

At higher levels we often had henchman that could be promoted to PCs....
...usually by leveling up to party average..


Way back in the day, the party or people seeking someone to be raised from the dead in any fashion required more than just money. From Raise Dead to Resurrection, a service was required to be performed for the church or entity using such magic. At the 3.0 and on is when it only became a matter of money.


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Niztael wrote:
Way back in the day, the party or people seeking someone to be raised from the dead in any fashion required more than just money. From Raise Dead to Resurrection, a service was required to be performed for the church or entity using such magic.

This was a really bad idea, which is why 3.0 and later justly abandoned it. Basically, you're forcing the player of the dead character to sit out one or more adventuring sessions (just sit there reading a book or something, or simply tell him "don't bother coming next Wednesday"), which is pretty much a textbook example of "not fun."

To modify an example from earlier:

Quote:


"All right, Ted, your rogue died last week, so you will have to just sit in a corner and not do anything this week."

"Sit in a corner? This will be AWESOME!" -- who, in history, ever said that?


Just shift the order of operations, the church will raise the character but then geas/quest both the raised and the requesting party to perform some duty in lieu of or in addition to a regular fee. Boom, plot hook.


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Hope its not the Knights of Ni.


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Kryzbyn wrote:
Hope its the Knights of Ni.

I do too. Gives the players an excuse to create an enchanted plant-bane herring.


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Torbyne wrote:
Just shift the order of operations, the church will raise the character but then geas/quest both the raised and the requesting party to perform some duty in lieu of or in addition to a regular fee. Boom, plot hook.

Not a bad approach. I'm hesitant to have it as an official mechanical requirement, but as an possible alternative or addition it could be cool.

With plenty of latitude for GM fiat. :)
The faithful cleric might be raised by his own church with no additional requirements. The atheist mage might need to pledge an extra duty. If the character was lost on a mission for that church, there's no need, etc. Or the low level broke character might get a rez without the full cost if the party agrees to some mission.

It also depends on whether the GM is looking for plot hooks or if the party already has enough on its plate. If it's a hard rule and it leads to the party needing to spend a week or two doing something completely extraneous to its time sensitive AP-style grand quest, that's not what I'd want.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Niztael wrote:
Way back in the day, the party or people seeking someone to be raised from the dead in any fashion required more than just money. From Raise Dead to Resurrection, a service was required to be performed for the church or entity using such magic.

This was a really bad idea, which is why 3.0 and later justly abandoned it. Basically, you're forcing the player of the dead character to sit out one or more adventuring sessions (just sit there reading a book or something, or simply tell him "don't bother coming next Wednesday"), which is pretty much a textbook example of "not fun."

To modify an example from earlier:

Quote:


"All right, Ted, your rogue died last week, so you will have to just sit in a corner and not do anything this week."

"Sit in a corner? This will be AWESOME!" -- who, in history, ever said that?

You could always make it so they need to open something like a death gate and the others need to fight something to keep it from getting out, while the dead PC needs to escape from the other plane and possibly acquire unique weapons like the gun from "Drive Angry" along the way... then everyone has their own objectives.


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Apupunchau wrote:
Same level always. I despise level disparity, it is the devil. I don't even hand out XP anymore. All character level at important plot points at the same time, no one is ever a different level.

We also do progress-based leveling. It works particularly well when it comes to adventure paths which explicitly tell you what level to be at certain points. It also helps to remove extra paperwork.


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Snowblind wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
Generally when a GM feels the need to apply an arbitrary level penalty, they're not inclined to allow a way around it.

Especially one that works this fast.

At every level in the game except 17->18 (which is 400xp too high), the amount of days needed to level up once using the downtime rules is 4 days. That's not really worth bothering about unless the campaign is ridiculously fast paced (gardener to god in a fortnight type fast).

So, a typical Adventure Path?


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I can understand wanting to make death matter.

When you think about wanting to penalise the character, consider this:

Do you want to penalise the player?


Yes, yes I do, it's called losing in a game. It's alright to lose and deal with loss. You don't change the rules of Monopoly because someone might lose. You play with grown ups who can handle losing and continue to play/play another round.


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Niztael wrote:
Yes, yes I do, it's called losing in a game. It's alright to lose and deal with loss. You don't change the rules of Monopoly because someone might lose. You play with grown ups who can handle losing and continue to play/play another round.

When you lose a game of monopoly the game is over.

You're not waiting around 6 months of having no money stuck playing a s%*+ty (by comparison) game for yourself because you have no money. When you run out of money you're just out of the game.

You don't bring people back into the game with half of the normal starting money (and most of the properties already bought) do you?

No. No one would even want to do that.

Losing a character isn't losing the game in Pathfinder.

There isn't any "winning" or "losing" in Pathfinder. This is a cooperative role-playing game, not a race to a finish line and it is supposed to be a competition between players (though sometimes turns into one).


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Niztael wrote:
Yes, yes I do, it's called losing in a game. It's alright to lose and deal with loss. You don't change the rules of Monopoly because someone might lose. You play with grown ups who can handle losing and continue to play/play another round.

Usually when some facet of a game is adjusted for someone who just lost, it's to make it easier for that person, not harder.


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Niztael wrote:
Yes, yes I do, it's called losing in a game. It's alright to lose and deal with loss. You don't change the rules of Monopoly because someone might lose. You play with grown ups who can handle losing and continue to play/play another round.

But by analogy with Monopoly, you'd continue playing without the player who lost until you only have one winner left.

Then, if you want, you start another game with everyone equal again.

I guess you could just kick the player out every time a character dies, until there's only one left and declare him the winner. But that's how I've ever played an RPG.

RPGs are games, but they're not like any other kind of game. There's no real competition. There isn't a winner. There don't have to be losers.


Niztael wrote:
Yes, yes I do, it's called losing in a game. It's alright to lose and deal with loss. You don't change the rules of Monopoly because someone might lose. You play with grown ups who can handle losing and continue to play/play another round.

RPGs aren't games you win or lose.

There is no mechanic in Monopoly where you punish a loser by making them start with fewer resources in the next game.

I don't see anyone suggest that we change the rules of the game because "someone might lose". I do see people suggesting a few changes to reduce paperwork (progress-based leveling) and a few people suggesting changes might be made to enforce the punishment of players (eliminating the downtime rule).


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Reasons why most penalties for death are bad:

1) The "loss of level" penalty
At best, you now suck compared to your fellow party members.
At worst, enjoy standing in the back and twiddling your thumbs while you are unable to have a meaningful impact on the encounter.

2) The "loss of wealth" penalty
At best, you now suck compared to your fellow party members.
At worst, enjoy standing in the back and twiddling your thumbs while you are unable to have a meaningful impact on the encounter.

3) The "sit out and wait" a few sessions penalty
Why even show up? Why not go play another game? Isn't the purpose of this game to have fun with your friends? Seems pretty contradictory to that purpose.

3.X lessened many of the penalties for horrible things that happened to PCs and Pathfinder has (rightly) continued that trend by removing or further lessening many of the penalties that still existed.
Most of those penalties were a detriment to fun and resulted in a PC that was at best, a tag-along dead-weight character and at worst, a so unfun to play that you might as well suicide and make a new character.


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Gauss wrote:

Reasons why most penalties for death are bad:

1) The "loss of level" penalty
At best, you now suck compared to your fellow party members.
At worst, enjoy standing in the back and twiddling your thumbs while you are unable to have a meaningful impact on the encounter.

2) The "loss of wealth" penalty
At best, you now suck compared to your fellow party members.
At worst, enjoy standing in the back and twiddling your thumbs while you are unable to have a meaningful impact on the encounter.

3) The "sit out and wait" a few sessions penalty
Why even show up? Why not go play another game? Isn't the purpose of this game to have fun with your friends? Seems pretty contradictory to that purpose.

3.X lessened many of the penalties for horrible things that happened to PCs and Pathfinder has (rightly) continued that trend by removing or further lessening many of the penalties that still existed.
Most of those penalties were a detriment to fun and resulted in a PC that was at best, a tag-along dead-weight character and at worst, a so unfun to play that you might as well suicide and make a new character.

For which the obvious solution is to bring in new characters with a penalty, which is actually what we're discussing here. :)

That said, there is no wrong way to do it. If a group and a player find fun in the challenge of bringing new characters in at first level and earning their way back up, more power to them. Not my cup of tea, but as long as they're into it, it's cool.

GMs, listen to your players. Figure out what they actually want and give it to them.


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Yes, I know that is what we are discussing. That is what I am referencing too.

Bringing in a new/replacement character with an experience/level/wealth penalty is the same thing as such penalties for death.

Grand Lodge

My Home groups Bring in New PCs at the same level as the group. Being levels behind can lead to more death. We also do not track EXP to speed up play. We use the mile marker or the GM says you gain a level (sometimes Exceptional play is rewarded with earlier level or unique and flavor items.)

The way we play it is all the dead players gear magically crack (gaining broken condition) and become worthless (unless a revive happens) this helps us to keep WBL in check.


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Niztael wrote:
Way back in the day, the party or people seeking someone to be raised from the dead in any fashion required more than just money. From Raise Dead to Resurrection, a service was required to be performed for the church or entity using such magic. At the 3.0 and on is when it only became a matter of money.

As I posted before:

For all those complaining Raise dead is too easy:Oh yeah.
Players: “Hey Bob, we have to go on a quest for about 4 nites of gaming in order to raise you, so I guess you can just stay home or you can play my Mount.”

Bob: “yeah, sounds like real fun. Look, instead- here’s Knuckles the 87th , go ahead and loot Knuckles the 86th body. He's got some cool stuff."

The whole idea of “death should mean something” becomes meaningless when we all realize that D&D is a Game, Games should be Fun, and in order to have Fun you have to Play. Thereby, when a Player’s PC dies either you Raise him or he brings in another. Raising is preferable story-wise, and costs resources. Bringing in another costs continuity and actually increases party wealth. Not to mention, instead of an organic played-from-1st-PC we have a PC generated at that level, which can lead to some odd min/maxing.

The third alternative is “Sorry Bob, Knuckles is dead. You’re out of the campaign, we’ll let you know when the next one is starting, should be in about a year or so.’ Really?


You need to bring the new PC in at the same level and same eps in PF. Period.

Now wealth, that's another issue. What happens to the old PC's loot?


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DrDeth wrote:

You need to bring the new PC in at the same level and same eps in PF. Period.

Now wealth, that's another issue. What happens to the old PC's loot?

This is why I'm so glad for the idea of magical encumbrance. Solves the problem quite easily.

From my house roles document:
Automatic Bonus Progression Rules (Unchained) will be used. You are effectively allocated half WBL in magical encumbrance per level. Crafting is available, but keep gear in line with the Magical Item Encumbrances Rules as outlined here and modified as below:
a. Non consumable magical items take 1 minute of concentration to attune to you before you can use them. An item can be unbonded from you after a 1 hour ritual followed by 8 hours of rest.
b. Cursed items count against your encumbrance if they provide benefits and you ignore the penalties. Trying to find a cursed item that is useful to you but doesn’t inhibit you significantly is trying to find a way to game the system.
c. Artifacts and Intelligent Items do count against your Magical Item Encumbrance.
d. Crafting feats do not in any way increase your Magical Encumbrance (For more crafter friendly version 1 crafting feat adds 25% to magical encumbrance and 2 add 50%. More crafting feats don't increase the limit. This was the same suggestion as provided by the devs in Ultimate Campaign, IIRC).

Sure characters have more gold, but that can't use that gold for more items to make their character stronger (which is the real problem). Instead players can buy houses, or castles, or other crazy items that don't really make them stronger in a fight. Which I see as a positive improvement. The fighter can buy an alchemical blimp to fly in. He might not be able to fly magically or teleport places, but at least he can travel faster than "by horse".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My games, everyone levels at the same time, and that time is when the GM says to, based on the module we are running. If a character dies or a new player joins, they make a character equal to the party level. Simple and easy.


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Dead character's loot is shipped off to their family, to pay for funeral expenses and as a compensation - except for quest items.


Wow, really got caught up on Monopoly there. That was not the point. It may be a cooperative game, but the point was to give an opinion. There is no "period" in Pathfinder, D&D, AD&D, AD&D 2nd., D&D 3rd, Vampire, Shadowrun, etc. My feelings about the whole situation are similar to awards for 20th place in a 20 man race. Everyone wants to feel equal in some fashion. Everyone is not.

As far as an equal playing field, it's when you start the campaign. Don't like being in a long story where death has a setback, play modules or one-shots. Should the GM adjust the story for some setbacks sure. If death or TPK just means reload the game and try a different tactic, I have video games that mimic that style of play better.

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