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Death – Ep102

Has he survived anything?
Has he survived anything?

Does death matter in the games we play?



If you have some input on this, leave a comment here, via email or on our Facebook page.


Thanks to Brian Scott for giving us this topic to work with.


Cast – Eric, Mike, Shannon, Dan, Mark, Jayson and Shawn

Listen on Stitcher:

Intro: Jayson
Outro: Eric

Items Mentioned:
The Walking Dead, Johnny Depp, Aces & Eights, Oregon Trail, Game of Thrones, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Mutants & Masterminds, Shadowrun, City of Heroes, Champions Online, Lethal Weapon, Twilight 2000, Conan, World of Warcraft, Legend of the Five Rings, Gen Con, 7th Sea, Jenga, Twister


  1. Sam
    Sam March 26, 2013

    Great Episode again! In particular, I love the discussions on after death consequences. The idea of coming back weaker reminds me of Voldemort. He was incredibly powerful, then died (or would have). It took him about 15 years to get back to where he was, and the stages of consciousness and form he took on his way back were not pretty.
    When I GM a game with paranormal elements, my mindset is death only makes a character more interesting.

  2. Brian
    Brian March 28, 2013

    I think the problem with character death in an RPG is the unspoken contract that the DM was obligated to make it meaningful. A challenge definitely, but all good characters deserve a good ending. You have zero such aspect with an mmo. My biggest hope with V:TM MMO (before it basically got shelved) was that CCP would hold the promise of perm character death. Naturally I didn’t want it to be an easy feat, but if you could call a formal blood hunt that removed a character, then there was REAL incentive for political power. I feel that you can’t have real incentive without a real (but fair) chance at failure.

    On the other hand, I always had warm feelings for Mummy 2ed. I loved the mechanic of a character who would be forced to adventure as a ghost periodically to reanimate his corpse. Complicated to run, but the idea was fantastic because you had the epic feel of characters dying and yet didn’t actually loose the character forever. Just a great mechanic.

    • Brian
      Brian March 28, 2013

      Wanted to add a great story from one of the White Wolf writers. He spoke of a DM pulling him aside to inform him that his VERY powerful long term larp character was just assassinated. Naturally upset at first, he quickly changed his tune when the DM explained that months and months of work from all of these other characters had went into this. What better accomplishment can you have with a character then knowing you inspired such a huge dedicated conspiracy?

  3. Dave
    Dave March 29, 2013

    Good show guys. When I think of death in gaming I think Blood Bowl. A very brutal game. I can remember feeling sick at my stomach when my strength 6 minotaur with block died. I’ve seen many high rated teams desimated to the point where there was no other choice but to fold. Keep up the good work.

  4. Robert Sullivan
    Robert Sullivan March 30, 2013

    Surprisingly enough, Sean Bean survives Silent Hill and Silent Hill II.
    I dislike the way Raise Dead makes death a revolving door. If it has to be allowed,t hen it would be something like a Wish, Miracle or Artifacts – or something similar depending upon the system.
    I’ve not read the Game of Thrones RPG, but when people come back from the dead in those novels, they tend to come back fucked up. That is pretty cool.

  5. Argon
    Argon April 5, 2013

    I enjoyed this episode. One of the things I did in my game to make death more relevant is the following. Only a priest who’s deity is a death god can raise the dead. Not only is there a monetary component to the transaction but in order to bring back a soul another soul must take its place. In some instances the character being brought back may require multiple souls to take its place. Many possibilities exist, and one is ever indebted to the god of the dead. Imagine the priest who conducts the ceremony calls out for the PCs stating they need to perform said task or their friends time on this earth will expire. I prefer death to be final, not just another bridge to cross.

    Wizards cannot use clone spells on themselves or knowing have another wizard cast a clone of them. As the nature of the spell dictates once either the clone or the original are aware of the others existence they must seek each other out and only one can remain.

    Reincarnate I have not limited as it is part of the natural cycle. Though the character reincarnated is essentially a new character. I will allow them to start at a third of the level their previous character was at the time of their death. However, class, alignment, and everything else can change. They do not have a full memory of their past life. Though people they encounter from their past life have an uncanny familiarity about them. Otherwise you have a new PC or NPC depends on the player and the DM.



  6. Dmitri K.
    Dmitri K. April 7, 2013

    In our games we’re essentially the same – the death of an NPC (that we liked or was important to the party in some way) riles us up and gets us to seek revenge. The death of a PC, more often then not, barely gets a shrug out of the other players – even in no-resurrection games like World of Darkness or Exalted.
    More often then not, the players care more (or only) about themselves, and a dead PC is just one less pain in the ass to deal with or share loot with.

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