Failing in RPGs - Page 8 - Myth-Weavers


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Failing in RPGs

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Actana View Post
All in all, in Torchbearer death is not random. It's a negotiation between the players and GM, with mechanics to set it in place and see how the failure plays out.
Well, right, there are systems like that, (Legend of the Wulin is my example where not only is death not random, almost every consequence from a fight can effectively be player decided by setting post-battle ripple rolls at appropriate difficulties). It just strikes me weird to claim that it's a failure of the system to not include those kinds of rules. Although I'm not familiar with Torchbearer or why it's designed that way, LotW does battle consequences that way because Wushu genre pieces sometimes have very strange consequences for battle that would be difficult to adjudicate without player input, and the pieces are almost entirely more about the righteousness/virtue of a folk hero than western fantasy. Random death has no place there.

By comparison, earlier editions of D&D were effectively war-games. Roleplaying back then was more about the story that rose from mechanics and battle occurrences, not the other way around. As roleplaying conventions have changed over the years, different kinds of ways of thinking have come up, hence why new kinds of tabletops are developed, but there isn't anything inherently wrong with 2e/3e/PF methods of death and, even if there was a personal preference for one type, it's not a failure of the system so much as a difference in personal choice.

Besides, there are compromises where random death is extremely minimal, but being taken out of the fight is extremely common. See 5e. Have you seen how forgiving those death rules are? If you die under 5e, you must have had an extremely bad day with the dice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silveris View Post
It just strikes me weird to claim that it's a failure of the system to not include those kinds of rules.
It doesn't need to be those rules, it just needs to be something so that no one who plays the game has to wonder how to keep enjoying it and keep it moving forward despite failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silveris View Post
By comparison, earlier editions of D&D were effectively war-games. Roleplaying back then was more about the story that rose from mechanics and battle occurrences, not the other way around.
Don't be so sure. Some people must have seen it as the other way around, or why would there have been a shift in the design of the game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silveris View Post
As roleplaying conventions have changed over the years, different kinds of ways of thinking have come up, hence why new kinds of tabletops are developed, but there isn't anything inherently wrong with 2e/3e/PF methods of death and, even if there was a personal preference for one type, it's not a failure of the system so much as a difference in personal choice.
What "methods of death"? I honestly don't know what "methods" those games are expecting I'll use. Raise Dead? Sure if my GM didn't houserule that out, and if I don't mind not playing my character for as long as it takes that spell to be obtained and cast. But that and similar spells are all D&D gives us in terms of guidance for dealing with character death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silveris View Post
Besides, there are compromises where random death is extremely minimal, but being taken out of the fight is extremely common. See 5e. Have you seen how forgiving those death rules are? If you die under 5e, you must have had an extremely bad day with the dice.
Right, and think about why that is: because enough people who might buy the game find death to be a boring way to fail that the game had to shift toward that in order to make the game enjoyable for those people. If the rules had instead just said "Your characters are expected to die frequently if they engage in combat, but here's why that is, why it's expected, and how you can make it fun...." then there would never have had to be a shift.

Then again, maybe the shift toward just getting to play a persistent character instead of having to risk starting over if combat ever broke out would have happened anyway as people tried to play the game in a way that emulated movies and books. Lots of people want to be the hero, not the schlub, and many of them don't have time to wade through playing schlubs.

(And, yes, I know that a lot of people play to avoid every engaging in combat. I can see that, and I enjoy games with goals other than killing everything, but combat is presented on equal terms with other aspects of the game so it's reasonable to assume that engaging in it isn't going to bring the game to a screeching halt.)

Beta, I have indeed experienced PC deaths - both personally as a player and as a DM - many times. Some are epic and heroically glorious; others, not so much. Some happen how I tend to imagine they should; some don't. But I have never, ever found a character's death boring.

So, to answer your question, what happens is the story rolls on, whether the death is one the bards will sing about or whether a PC just happens to plop down unexpectedly - just for the hell of it - on an ancient, dusty, creepy, Detect Magicable throne in the middle of the lower levels of a massive dungeon crawl that just so happens to be the eternal prison of a wildly powerful but stubbornly chained demon lord. Someone dies, we all have a chuckle or a lament, we sing our dirges on the OOC, and then a new sheet is sent to me and on we go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raistlinmc View Post
Beta, I have indeed experienced PC deaths - both personally as a player and as a DM - many times. Some are epic and heroically glorious; others, not so much. Some happen how I tend to imagine they should; some don't. But I have never, ever found a character's death boring.
Okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raistlinmc View Post
Someone dies, we all have a chuckle or a lament, we sing our dirges on the OOC, and then a new sheet is sent to me and on we go.
Do you do anything to explain the appearance of the new character?

Oh sure. I wave the magic wand, make up something half-mad/half-necessary, and get the player back in the game as absolutely soon as possible. So yes, I tie that new PC in, always. Everyone, living or dead, becomes part of the lore of the shared world my players and I are creating together, no matter how improbable their race/class/backgrounds might make them seem.

I had one of my characters die taking a well needed bath after a long adventure.... PC's die, PC's can be brought back to life, new characters can be introduced to the game, etc...

agreed I will have encounters where if the tide is in the PC's favor then yes their opponents are gonna try and flee or even surrender. then again I will also have encounters where the raving monster will fight to its death, especially if its cornered or something and then yes, I'm trying to kill characters, just like the monster would do.

however, I will also agree that if the players always feel that they might die, then the game is no longer fun. introduce a high level spellcaster to allow for resurrections, these things cost diamonds and diamonds are not cheep and don't lay around waiting to be used for spells. creates loads of mini adventures....

its good for a dm to watch characters who know they stand no chance in a fight to sit their and still try to continue the fight, helps to strengthen you as a dungeon master. a critical hit with a longbow can kill a low level character, stuff happens and you shouldn't fudge the dice to prevent their death, the pc's need to rethink their tactic.
idk, I didn't read the entire thread.
edit if your a dungeon master and have yet to have a PC die, I suggest you attempt to kill one, honorably and not with an assassin who was paid by the son of the villain they just killed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsunami1768 View Post
I had one of my characters die taking a well needed bath after a long adventure.... PC's die, PC's can be brought back to life, new characters can be introduced to the game, etc...

agreed I will have encounters where if the tide is in the PC's favor then yes their opponents are gonna try and flee or even surrender. then again I will also have encounters where the raving monster will fight to its death, especially if its cornered or something and then yes, I'm trying to kill characters, just like the monster would do.

however, I will also agree that if the players always feel that they might die, then the game is no longer fun. introduce a high level spellcaster to allow for resurrections, these things cost diamonds and diamonds are not cheep and don't lay around waiting to be used for spells. creates loads of mini adventures....

its good for a dm to watch characters who know they stand no chance in a fight to sit their and still try to continue the fight, helps to strengthen you as a dungeon master. a critical hit with a longbow can kill a low level character, stuff happens and you shouldn't fudge the dice to prevent their death, the pc's need to rethink their tactic.
idk, I didn't read the entire thread.
edit if your a dungeon master and have yet to have a PC die, I suggest you attempt to kill one, honorably and not with an assassin who was paid by the son of the villain they just killed.
I agree with almost everything you said. Except for the content below.

Quote:
however, I will also agree that if the players always feel that they might die, then the game is no longer fun. introduce a high level spellcaster to allow for resurrections, these things cost diamonds and diamonds are not cheep and don't lay around waiting to be used for spells. creates loads of mini adventures....
Maybe it is just me, but I like a challenge. And I feel PCs must be in a perpetual state of near death. Harder challenges are more interesting to overcome, and they give a sense of accomplishment when they are beaten.

That state is, of course, artificial. Everything looks difficult, but not always they are. I actually increase or decrease stats (but I never fudge rolls) as necessary to make challenges to look easier or harder when necessary, sometimes even helping the PCs. A random death can occur and that's entirely part of the game. But I try to save possible deaths to the climax of a part of the story.







 

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