RPG a Day – Day 13: Most Memorable Character Death

Day 13 of #RPGaDAY.

13. Most Memorable Character Death.

As a habitual GM, I don’t actually have that many characters to draw on for this, and my characters have a tendency towards being consummate survivors through luck of the dice at critical moments. The only one I can think of is Vincent Halliard, Sabbat thug, and confused Brujah who really wanted to be a Gangrel. He died shortly after diablerising a traitor to the sect at the hands of a Pentex employed vampire to cover up their involvement. Well played on the part of the player of the Pentex vampire in question.

As a GM, not many of the characters I’ve been running games for have died. The one exception to this is my Shackled City D&D game (spanning 3rd and 4th Editions) where pretty much every member of the party died at some point due to some reasonably harsh encounter design choices in the adventures as written. In each case, the characters were resurrected, but it gave a good opportunity to run a short scene for the deceased PCs spirit as they had crazy visions of their respective afterlives and returned marked by their god. The dwarven fighter was perhaps the most obviously changed, with his hair and beard transmuted to living steel on returning to the land of the living.

The game in question used the Book of the Righteous, the best treatment of D&D style religion I’ve seen.

I’ve always found it difficult to make death a meaningful matter in D&D because of how (comparatively) easily characters can come back, but it really worked well in the Shackled City game.  Partly because all of the PCs had religious ties to give me a strong hook to their afterlife experiences, and partly because all of the players took it seriously, it proved to be an important milestone for each of the characters.  Which, really, it damn well should be…

Links:

For anyone wanting to relive the adventures of the Northern Wolves, the Shackled City Adventure Path is available from Paizo.

The Book of the Righteous is available from DriveThruRPG, and contains a wealth of ideas.  I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to any DM wanting to flesh out religion in their game.

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