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  • Player Character Death

    So, in spite my best efforts to nudge my players into taking a moment to heal up, they barreled through and triggered the next encounter. In preparation, I've been frantically taking notes on the ins and outs of healing in the AGE system. One thing that seems to be becoming apparent is that death is REALLY not trivial in this system. The best I can tell, they would need a master level Miracle Worker to cast Revival within 2 minutes of the character dying. After 2 minutes, it's time to roll up a new character.

    Am I missing another way? These guys are level 1, so they will not be able to get that spell cast within 2 minutes unless I really kludge it. We also only play for an hour every two weeks, so it would be rough trying to have the player roll a new character and get them integrated into the group. I do have a higher-level NPC I could introduce early to help prevent the death, but I don't want to cheapen the story.

    How are the rest of you handling PC death?

  • #2
    Re: Player Character Death

    Originally posted by dcoughler View Post
    So, in spite my best efforts to nudge my players into taking a moment to heal up, they barreled through and triggered the next encounter. In preparation, I've been frantically taking notes on the ins and outs of healing in the AGE system. One thing that seems to be becoming apparent is that death is REALLY not trivial in this system. The best I can tell, they would need a master level Miracle Worker to cast Revival within 2 minutes of the character dying. After 2 minutes, it's time to roll up a new character.

    Am I missing another way? These guys are level 1, so they will not be able to get that spell cast within 2 minutes unless I really kludge it. We also only play for an hour every two weeks, so it would be rough trying to have the player roll a new character and get them integrated into the group. I do have a higher-level NPC I could introduce early to help prevent the death, but I don't want to cheapen the story.

    How are the rest of you handling PC death?
    Dragon Age has always been, at least to our playing group, a dark fantasy. It might be a little lighter than some of the other dark fantasy settings out there, but it's still dark. Templars are drug addicts, an addition that might be deliberate. Mages are feared, loathed, kept prisoner "for the good of the people", and if things don't work out for them - they get the fantasy equivalent of a lobotomy. Racism against elves is not only widespread, but accepted/acceptable pretty much everywhere. The intro adventure even allows for the players to knowinlgy take part in kidnapping children and holding them for ransom.

    So when it comes to death, it happens to everyone including the PC's. Especially to PC's that don't take the time to heal up and prepare. You actually look like you are at a good point to let that lesson be learnt. They haven't levelled up yet. Let the most reckless (or perhaps just first) player die as per the dice gods, tell them that there really isn't much they can do about it - this is Thedas, not Faerun. Then fudge the dice/stats a little to let the other escape should they choose to do so (or if they persist, let them face the fatal consequences of their actions).

    One of the things that I (as GM) and my players like about Dragon Age, at least at the earlier levels, is that there is real risk and reward. They can die, but they can also pull it off with good planning. If they want to survive as murder hobos, they have to be smart about it.

    Edit: Ah, sorry, for some reason thought I was reading this in Dragon Age sub-forum... It might still apply to your game depending on setting. Haven't played FAGE in a "high/light fantasy" setting yet.
    Last edited by BTolputt; 11-05-2018, 07:56 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Player Character Death

      The short version: in most cases, PC death is a group failure and is something to be avoided. PCs are like John McClane in Die Hard -- they are supposed to be bloodied beyond belief but still triumphant. And if a player wants to play a fire mage, and they have to reroll, what are the chances it'll be another fire mage? Especially if that's what's needed?

      To me, it's more important to main the illusion of lethality, rather than actual lethality.

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