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Old 10-12-2018, 02:22 PM   #31
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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Originally Posted by pestigor View Post
Things like Dungeon Fantasy, Monster Hunters or Gurps Action which by their very nature tend to have high body counts.
Really? I've never seen it. With the high point builds most Characters are so shockingly competent it takes real effort for them kill themselves. Or extremely bad luck.

My Action games have a very low PC body count.



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Originally Posted by pestigor View Post
On the other hand, If I spent a half an hour painstakingly creating a character from scratch and while pouring over optional rules only to have it die from dumb luck or random chance...I'd be pretty put out and not very likely to make another character with that amount of care again.
Half an hour??!? That's impressive.
I know right!

I've spent the last 2 weeks agonizing over 30ish points on a Character fro an arena game! (Okay, truthfully once I stopped just thinking about it and sat down and put points on the page, it was somewhere around 45 minutes of checking, and double checking, and triple checking to make I didn't miss something)

The last character I made (including backstory) probably took about 2 hours all told (I'm not counting the character I've incrementally toyed with for the last year trying to get points to line up... we'll just ignore that bit of 'madness').
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:06 PM   #32
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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The general "rule" is that reduced randomness favors players, and increased randomness favors monsters.
Reduced randomness favors the stronger side, and also reduces the chance of suffering fatalities in a fight that you win. That is usually beneficial to the PCs, at least in combat heavy games (a combat heavy game where the PCs are regularly actually the weaker side is likely to be short), though it sometimes screws up plot device encounters that the PCs are supposed to lose or where a particular NPC is supposed to get away.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:50 PM   #33
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Default Re: Killing PCs

Plot devices in my games tend to be significantly more powerful than PCs and possess two levels of Luck and two levels of Serendipity. Their minions tend to be equal to my PCs, so combat tends to be quick and heavy.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:58 PM   #34
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
The third should never be done.
Why?

If the GM and Player have agreed that the character should die, and they set up the scenario to help drive the story and give the character a meaningful death, then why shouldn't you plan a death?
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:12 PM   #35
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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Plot devices in my games tend to be significantly more powerful than PCs and possess two levels of Luck and two levels of Serendipity. Their minions tend to be equal to my PCs, so combat tends to be quick and heavy.
Plot devices in my games tend not to have sheets or stats.

The actual stats for Asmodeus, the Cosmic Will of the Macroverse, Eessa, Mella, Mr. Smith, the Source, et al. simply don't matter. These are plot devices and, as such, only exist to fulfill a narrative element. In order for the players to do something that directly affects them in any meaningful way would take dedicated effort and could never just happen by chance.

As Hand of Bobb stated (coming in, bearing my kitty): "If you give something stats the PCs will try to kill it."
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:15 PM   #36
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Default Re: Killing PCs

It doesn't happen often.

It has happened on occasion, including that time when:
I'm sure that even after I matured somewhat as a GM and player death became rare that there have been others, but those stand out in my memory right now.

At the power levels that I tend to play, enemies with the damage output where a one-shot kill on a regular hit is likely are very rare. Combine this with the system "settings" that I use, where players have many opportunities to use traits and impulse buys to avoid death, and death, while possible, is quite rare even without using the heavy hand of the GM.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:18 PM   #37
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Default Re: Killing PCs

Oh, there was one time I deliberately killed off an entire party of PCs, but it didn't really count -- they were on a vision quest to find out the details of a bad thing that happened years ago, so I had them playing historical analogs of their PCs. Who of course all died horribly, because it was already established in setting that no-one made it out.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:01 PM   #38
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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Players may really like dealing out critical hits and hitting brains, but they don't like critical failures, being the victim of a critical hit, or the frustration of failing multiple attacks... only to finally land a minimum damage attack and have it all soaked by DR.
It depends - in the day my guys liked Rolemaster, despite having to take the crits as well as dish them out. "Those who live by the crit, die by the crit", we used to say.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:15 PM   #39
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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It depends - in the day my guys liked Rolemaster, despite having to take the crits as well as dish them out. "Those who live by the crit, die by the crit", we used to say.
Those critical hit tables sure were fun, weren't they?
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:18 PM   #40
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Default Re: Killing PCs

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Those critical hit tables sure were fun, weren't they?
They certainly appealed to us at the time. "Foe's skeleton turned to jelly. Try a spatula."
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