View Full Version : character death and the game....

10 June 2002, 08:13 AM
OK. While this question is more d6 specific, it cna apply to ANY game....

Say you have a combat session go bad for your players, and 2 or 3 of the 6 (maybe 7) character 'kop the bullet'. When they make up their new ones, do you have them make base characters starting from scratch, or do you give them a 'boost'..

EG. After going over all the other characters, the lowest 'powered' character has a total of 12+2 above his base attributes, worth of skills all around, while the average 'power' rating is around 14-15d. DO you have the player start fresh with only the 7d they normally get, or would YOU!!!! start them highter, say 10d, so they are not too weak compared to the others on the table, but also still not as high as the lowest surviving character?!?!?!!?

10 June 2002, 08:36 AM
I see your dilemma, I would probably give them about 10D for gamesake, unless they did something to make me pretty mad, like play incredibly stupid etc. in that case 7D is what I would give them...

10 June 2002, 09:25 AM
Most of the time my players are very close to the same power level. Some players miss games, and thus miss out on experience and advancment, but if a player's character dies, I let them make a new one at their old characters level.

evan hansen
10 June 2002, 01:08 PM
It really depends on what kind of game you're running and how you want to address the issues of that game. Here's a few scenarios and how I might address them as a GM. I'm using examples because I think it will explain the different ways to handle this situation pretty well.

1 - Group of PCs is a military squad: Let players advance in rank and such. One guy becomes squad leader, et cetera. If anyone dies, he or she gets replaced by someone else. That someone else becomes the little newbie in the group and, accordingly, has to climb the ropes. This generates a unique and interesting role-playing situation for the person playing the new member as well as the commander. You obviously can't play in this style with a novice group of RPGers, or some power hungry kid is gonna abuse the position as commander. You could do the same thing with an all-Jedi scouting group of like 3-4 people: a master or two and a couple padawans.

2 - Group of bounty hunters: A group of players is contracted for a job. One of them bites it, so the guy replaces him with another guy of that skill-level. In game terms, the GM would give him a rough bonus -- perhaps with skill restrictions to fit some of the qualifications the now missing player has.

3 - Group of pirates: Someone dies. No one cares what the replacement person is good at, just that they're good and can help in some way and can fire a blaster when necessary. Again, give the player a bonus -- either almost or all the way up to the current players' levels.

Those scenarios give some of the times when it mightbe appropriate or not appropriate to give a starting bonus due to death. It's really something that depends on the game you're running, as I think these examples show. Hope it helps!

The Admiral
10 June 2002, 04:21 PM
If there's a serious difference, I total up the character points in each living player, average the number, and give new players 80% of that figure. Seems to work.

10 June 2002, 11:11 PM
The way I handle D6 character death is by character point awarding to the newly rolled characters. After each session I write down my PC's character points. I keep this running log of how many they get per session for two main reasons:

1) In a group of large players, I use this to backtrack possible cheaters (caught them too). I hate to admit it, but I have had to keep track of some tricky people. I never expected to have to police players from cheating, because they are only cheating their own character's reality.

2) I mainly use this as a way to keep track of how characters role-play and interact with the group. Good sessions usually grant everyone between 10-15 character points, mediocre sessions (people argue and get off track) 4-9 is the usual for the group, and for bad sessions (had only one of these so far), 0-3 is what most get. However, there are times when some people get 15 and others get 4.

Lets suppose that Ralph gets killed by jumping on a grenade in order to save Crusty, another player in the group. Though it was a heroic attempt to save a comrade, it failed, and both were killed.

Over 6 sessions, Ralph had totaled 66 character points, while Crusty was awarded 47.

Ralph's character is given 33 character points extra to add to bumping up skills for his new character. No skill can be bumped up more than 2D at this beginning addition of points. In otherwords, after the 7D are added to the skills, the character has the 33 character points added to skills (this usually is put into dodge first :D). He can also keep them in reserve and start as a beginning character.

Crusty's character is given 23.5 points (24). He has the same options as Ralph, but Ralph is awarded a better starting character for playing better.

Some people may not think this is a big bonus, but allowing a new character with half their last character's experience is better than nothing. There has to be a price for death, besides the loss of all money, equipment and weapons, however this keeps players from getting too upset or being too outclassed by the surviving party members. It is a stiff price, but that is the way it works. Next time they will have to be more careful.

10 June 2002, 11:39 PM
I would say it depends on the circumstances of death, and how their characters are being brought back in, as per the scenarios evan mentioned.

If the character died out of PC stupidity and was asking for it, I would say bring him or her back in at a lower power level. Maybe not right back at the start, but somewhere below the others.

If the character died a dramatic death, as part of the storyline, or for some other reason, I would allow them to come back in at the same place as the other characters, or very similar.

It all depends on the context.

28 July 2007, 08:28 PM

With all the new folk we have had over the 4 yrs since this was first asked, i figured it was good time to bring it back up...

One of the things i love about the Sparks D6 Starwars campaign, is how we handle this type of situation.
Each game (or 7cp worth of Gming/authoring etc) is worth one "line item" for your update sheets. 7 Such line items, gets you 1 full Sheet worth. Starting out at sheet 1. So if you only did the base module of playing, no authoring and no freebie bonuses (eg win first place on a table and get 3 extra CP) you have earned 49cp by the start of your second sheet.
When your character dies, or you choose to retire them (for what ever reason), your next character comes into play with 25 character points.. basically half value, for every FULL sheet you had.

So lets say, i played 18 games, had 2 modules premier (each worth 10cp) and one full Conventions worth of gaming. This would give me:
18 line items for playing, 1 for authoring (the module), and 1 for the gming. Totalling 20 line items. I would be ranked as 2 full sheets, with one game session away from being 3 full sheets.

if i die in that session, i still only have 2 full sheets, so my next guy gets 50 CP to add to my character creation.

28 July 2007, 09:39 PM
Wow... yeah, this definitely qualifies as digging up an old thread.

My campaigns have a tendency to be a little... easy on player characters. Hardly ever does a player character die, and when one does, it's usually because the player chooses to sacrifice that character for the greater good. There are times when a player does something so stupid that there's no way to justify leaving the character alive, but those are only in extra-special circumstances.

With that in mind, we're generally not into "punishing" players by making them start all over with a new character. We have a tendency to get a little attached to our characters, so it's a pretty big deal when a player decides to give one up. In those situations, we generally let the player bring in a new character that's pretty close to the level of the other character. Probably not exactly the same level, but enough to compete at the same level.

That's another thing, too - it helps the story a lot when all the characters are at about the same level. If there's one beginning character among a bunch of advanced ones, than the noob will either hold the rest of the group back, or get left behind. Giving the player a character that keeps the group balanced just works out better for everyone in the long run.

13 August 2007, 06:45 AM
I like running complex multi-oriented games. It keeps players on their toes for one, but it can be alot of fun. If a player has more than one character going on at once, they generally don't mind losing one in a blaze of glory.

As for "Regeneration" I start the replacements off at 3/4 the average score of the "Veterans".

Of course, that's the Veteran's scores at time of death, not when the character is finished and able to be "creatively brought into game."

13 August 2007, 04:52 PM
I'm with Ubiqtorate here... my games are not a cake walk by any means, but it is rare for a character to be killed. It's not much fun.

I don't have any penalty for dieing... I don't really see any reason to.