When Character's luck runs out, dealing with PC death.
First a quick announcement - I have 1-2 spots left in my Play by Post game that officially launches this week. We are currently in "soft start" mode exploring Daggerford as we start the journey of Storm Kings Thunder from level 1. I have mashed this adventure up, created an alternative start, and PC race and class options are wide open for a light hearted but Giant adventure up and down the Sword coast. If you would like to join check us out here
This week's newsletter topic is a bit... dark. But hey its all in good fun. Unless otherwise agreed upon the games I host will have some difficult situations, victory is never guaranteed and the PC's ride a razers edge in combat where they might not make it out alive. Not every fight mind you but it does happen. I have seen conversations in forums that some DM's have a rewind button or a "skyrim" style save point where PC's can rewind to to avoid such situations, or worse yet some random NPC comes through and saves the day negating the consequences of flirting with deaths door. I take the position that this cheapens the experience. When death of a PC isn't an option, the stakes go way, way down narratively and it also opens the door to wreckless PC behavior that they would not realistically do if they thought for a minute that this could possibly kill them.
The flip side to all this of course is that PC's that you work on, dump time and emotions into being taken out by a disintegration ray is a real bummer. It stinks losing a character and I've actually had some pretty strong feels when it has happened.
We had a few PC's not make it out of fights lately and I want to thank the players for being good sports about it and take a little time here in our newsletter to memorialize their short existence in our worlds.
A quiet dwarf working for Cal'al, effective at communicating emotions with his sheild. We knew him for a short time but we loved him. His time with us as short as it was will be remembered fondly. Dioltas, "Wyvern God of Goblins" puts it this way: "Though he was a man of few words his death scream will love forever in our minds. His beautiful visage forever imbued on his sheild. To know him was to love him."
Balrock the Magnificent
Always one to put on a good show his final trick was revealed as his hat fell of and revealed him to be not halfling or dwarf, but a goblin in disguise. "The only person I tricked was myself" were his last words after a polar bear mauled him in a cloud of fog on the frozen tundra in Icewind Dale. HE was a showman at heart and will be remembered for all time for his "magic mouth" spell cast on the door of the Northlook Tavern. "Close the Door!"
PIFONS have been busy! After a visit to Mirabar they have found themselves in a very distant place deep under the sea. Diplomacy was never an option. Or was it? We find out how they get out of a giant mess this week on our Storm Kings Thunder family table!
Monday night mad mage finds our team under a statue of a creature on an island in a grotto. Its dead silent now and the water is starting to clear up. The team has defeated a mighty aboleth who was messing with their heads and killing creatures here in the Mad Mage's dungeon with their poisonous mucus and sick mind. What will the adventurers find as they continue on to the next dungeon level?
Tuesday nights in Thay has been interesting to say the least. The party is an unlikely mix of adventurers as they find themselves in the middle of power struggles, cult activities, and who knows what else in the Thayan city if Nethentir. The team is lucky to have a resident Red Wizard with them but they have to deal with his inflated ego and arent always keen on taking his advice. The good news is Uugghh the barbarian has a new drum.
Wednesday Mad Mage has been battle after battle as they continue their way down the dungeon. They befriended some minotaurs and have found themselves in the middle of a power struggle in the maze like tunnels that have given way to a very large castle. They breach the walls this week!
The Rangoon Platoon stand at the precipice of resolving the central tension to the story of Storm Kings Thunder. We had a few folks missing this week so we ventured off into the Astral Sea for a bit of a one shot adventure that teased some of the upcoming Spelljammer setting. (It is no secret I love Spelljammer stuff) We had an absolute blast! We face the Doom of the Desert this week in their lair!
Saturday evening I had the extreme pleasure of hosting a group playing DnD for the very first time. I ran a one shot out of Daggerford for them called the Rogue Knight and it was AMAZING fun. The players all got around a table turned the camera on and rolled some dice with me to celebrate one of the players birthday. It was a great time and I hope for many many more sessions in their future. They seem to be hooked!
Saturday night in Icewind Dale has been dark and horrific, and an absolute blast. The team found a really neat gem in the mind but paid for it as one of the heroes has aged 40 years right before their very eyes. Age has not been kind to Oziro the ranger, he is crotchety and foul mouthed lets hope we can find a cure at the House of the Morninglord next week!
Thanks for playing everyone, adventure in courage friends!