Dead Adventurers
rating: +1+x

The death of a Player Character is a special moment. It's something that should never be planned for and should only really happen when it would have the most impact.

That said, however, I'm not the kind of DM to hold back on a death, however, especially when combat goes awry or a player massively fucks something up.

DM: You're alone in this room, the door has locked firmly behind you. Looking up, you notice that there are neatly-arranged spikes lining the ceiling of this small chamber. The ceiling is approximately twenty feet high, and the spikes look to be at least five feet long. Three of the spikes have what appear to be skulls lodged onto them. What do you do?

Player: I sit down in front of the door and wait for my party to get me out of here!

~ three rounds later ~

DM: One of the spikes wedges itself into your skull as the other spikes are slowly driven into you. You are dead, no save.

In this example, the PC could have done any number of things to try to save himself. However, he merely sat down and waited for the spiked ceiling to crush him. The player took no interest in the life or death of his character. Of course, the player got immensely pissed off when this happened, too, as if he interpreted some kind of personal grudge between myself and him.

After the session, I explained to him that all he had to do was make a perception check looking upward, and he would have seen a very obvious lever slightly recessed into a wall with easy hand holds.

All that said, there exist a few ways to get your character killed before even having the chance to play. In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, players could roll so poorly on their Constitution that it could strip the character of the very few HP he or she may start with. Also, there was no starting with a maxed-out Hit Die, either. If you rolled your health and ended up with a single hit point and had a 5 Constitution, you didn't have any hit points.

Yep. Dead before he even got the chance to buy his first dagger. Shit, dead before even figuring out how much money he would receive. Sorry, buddy. Here's a fresh character sheet… unless you want to play a zombie with a single hit point? Didn't think so.


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