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Old 10-16-2018, 02:25 AM   #91
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Killing PCs

I never plan a fatality
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:03 AM   #92
Purple Snit
Join Date: Jan 2011
Default Re: Killing PCs

Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
A lot of players have the mindset that "anything with stats is just a source of XP for me to kill."

As an example: In D&D 3.5, their Planescape book gave the Lady of Pain (basically a plot device for keeping the gods out of the central city, Sigil) stats. At a convention, a table of power gamers made epic-level characters designed to defeat and destroy her. They succeeded because the GM was going "by RAW", which meant going by her stats.

The PCs basically decided to go up and defeat "God", and won because they gave God stats.

I've met dozens of players that are "if it has stats, I know how to counter those stats and kill it." Half of them are able to back that up. This is why for the high-level plot device characters (like Death!) I don't give them stats. Someone somewhere will decide "removing Death from the world/universe will be a good thing", and if Death has stats they will try and half the time succeed! If Death doesn't have stats, then the GM is free to say "okay, you killed a physical manifestation, but Death still lives" when the PCs try the stunt.
The response to this, really, is "the GM is in charge of the campaign, and not the players." So, no, just because something is there, stats or not, that doesn't mean that it's a legitimate target. The GM also shouldn't show/tell the players which things get sheets and which ones don't, and isn't obliged to use stats as written in a published supplement. And frankly, if my players created a group of PCs just to kill some powerful entity, I'd tell them they wasted their time, because I'm not running that type of game. You aren't writing up NPCs for use as targets; you are creating them to add elements to your story. And the GM is ALWAYS free to say "you didn't kill Death", regardless ofnumbers on a page, if the PCs try something dumb or contrary to the spirit of your game..
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:59 PM   #93
ak_aramis's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Killing PCs

Originally Posted by Bengt View Post
That blurs the line of notes and stats IMO. :)


Another problem that I see with detailed stats for big guys (like a Duke of Hell) is that it's easy, as a lowly human, to forget something. And if you add stats on the fly anyway, what was the point of making detailed stats to begin with?
In several of John's game designs, the stats are added as part of the process of play. The GM introduces some elements, and the players can add others as part of their actions. These include somethings other game designs would treat as immutable - like the underlying motivations.

In one Blood & Honor campaign, my 50' Giant went from being the threat I intended him to be to being an allied jolly green giant in one set of rolls.
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