CCG 2.0 Request - TPKs

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Forgive me if this has been addressed before (and I'm sure it has).  For the next update for the RPGA Character Creation Guide, can the following issue be addressed?

Regarding PC death...


 Looking at the current (ie: new) RPGA Character Creation guide, looking specifically under the LFR section concerning 'Character Death':


"...If your character dies during the course of the adventure, you and the rest of your group have two options, provided that the group has access to the Raise Dead ritual (either a PC has it and can use it or the characters return back to civilization) , they have access to the body, and it is possible to return your character to life."

 

  • Pay the component cost

or

  • Invoke the Death Charity clause

Under the sub-heading Invoke the Death Charity clause:
"If the group cannot afford to pay for the ritual, doesn't desire to pay for it, or doesn't have access to the body, the PC can choose to return back to life at the end of the adventure."

The problem you run into with this is with TPKs (Total Party Kills).  First:

The first statements appear to be umbrella requirements.  In other words, you have to meet those particular requirements (including having a body) to choose either pay the component cost or invoke the Death Charity clause.  Then, later on under the Death Charity clause, it says you DON'T need a body.

Second:

The Death Charity clause does not invalidate the need to find someone who can cast Raise Dead (such as an NPC).  With TPKs, that is an issue (no one is alive to go GET the NPC to help out).  It would appear that with that in mind, TPKed groups could NOT come back to life.

One of two things appears needed in the next update.  Either:

1. Remove the umbrella requirements before the two options are met.  That would allow PCs to almost never be fully unrecoverable.  They could always enact Charity of Death.

or

2. Remove the contradictory 'doesn't need the body' statement from either the umbrella statement, or from the Charity of Death statement, as well as removing the 'PC can choose to bring himself back to life' statement.

Right now, it can be interpretted either way.  For consistancy, particularly with TPKs, it would be better to clear up the issue.  Can TPKed groups bring themselves back to life?  If so, the umbrella statement needs to be fixed.  If not, clarity needs to be made to the Death Charity option.

 


 
With TPKs, a choice to pay for a Raise Dead may still be viable, but it depends upon the scenario.  If it is plausible that NPCs would find and retrieve your bodies, I don't see a problem with that.  If you are lost in the Abyss, maybe not.  But in all cases, the charity death clause is an option.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
But in all cases, the charity death clause is an option.

Ah, but as pointed out by the OP, that is only one of the two perfectly reasonable interpretations of this rule. The other interpretation says that, if the body is irretrievably lost in the Abyss, you absolutely cannot make use of the death charity clause and your character is forever dead.

If the admins have a preference for one or the other of these two perfectly reasonable interpretations, they should make the necessary amendments to the CCG as described by the OP. Until then, we are left with ambiguity.
DCI Level 2 Judge WPN Advanced TO RPGA Herald-Level GM

...But in all cases, the charity death clause is an option.

Keith



As the previous poster mentioned, this is not clear in the current rules.  Currently, for EITHER option clause to apply, ALL of these rules apply:

1. The Raise Dead ritual has to be available (either through PC or access to NPC caster).
2. Dead PC body has to be available.*
3. It is possible to return PC to life.

*However, this criteria was reversed in the Death Charity clause statement.

One could assume either...

NONE of the rules apply to the Death Charity clause (by assuming the rules are mistaken by not listing ALL of the requirements be reversed - not just the 'dead body being available' requirement).
or
ALL of the rules apply to the Death Charity clause (by assuming putting the 'dead body not being available' under the death charity clause was a mistake).

Only one of the bullet points is currently reversed in the clause.  The original 3 criteria do not allow for TPKed groups to come back.  Even ignoring the dead PC body issue, the 1. Raise Dead ritual is not available (ie: who goes back to town to get someone to bring the PCs back to life?).  A DM could assume that some nameless faceless other adventuring group that magically knows the PCs died could ask someone to do that - but then, what's the point of the requirement to begin with, if we're just going to assume someone else will save them no matter what?

I'm just saying the rules need to be clarified, so DMs and organizers don't have to 'interpret' what the Admin staff was trying to get at.  Currently, they are contradictory and people are ruling on them differently.

 
I'm just saying the rules need to be clarified, so DMs and organizers don't have to 'interpret' what the Admin staff was trying to get at.  Currently, they are contradictory and people are ruling on them differently.



Oh, they are? Is this something that's actually been a problem for you? Can you tell us more about the details?
This is another one of those issues where I think the admins have an impossible job trying to make things clear enough for everyone.  Could it be worded differently? Certainly.  Is the intent clear?  I think it's very clear. 

The character can always invoke the death charity clause.    If the group doesn't have access to the Raise Dead ritual or the body, paying the component cost for the ritual is not an option.

This goes back to the other thread -  Rust_Monsters_and_MYREs.  The admins can probably never satisfy 100% of the people.

Allen.
I'm just saying the rules need to be clarified, so DMs and organizers don't have to 'interpret' what the Admin staff was trying to get at.  Currently, they are contradictory and people are ruling on them differently.




You have two options provided you have access to the Raise Dead ritual.
That's not saying: If and only if you have access to the Raise Dead ritual, you have two options.

It is saying,
If you have access to the Raise Dead ritual, you have two options. If you don't, you have the option that doesn't involve using the Raise Dead ritual.

In any case, I'm not sure what DMs and organizers are doing making rulings on this as that's expressly forbidden by the CCG. It really isn't up to DMs or organizers to be deciding this...Character Death is a rule element listed in the CCG. And the CCG says this about rules elements and DMs:

The DM cannot specify what rules elements are or are not allowed for characters. This Character Creation Guide determines the legality of player resources for characters, not the DM. 



This is another one of those issues where I think the admins have an impossible job trying to make things clear enough for everyone.

This is nowhere near an impossible job. In fact, it is quite easy.

Step 1: Hire someone who actually cares about rules and is good at writing them (possibly someone from the Magic: The Gathering rules team).
Step 2: Have the person hired in Step 1 edit the CCG.
Step 3: Release a new version of the CCG as edited in Step 2.

There, that wasn't very impossible, now was it?
DCI Level 2 Judge WPN Advanced TO RPGA Herald-Level GM

You have two options provided you have access to the Raise Dead ritual.
That's not saying: If and only if you have access to the Raise Dead ritual, you have two options.

It is saying,
If you have access to the Raise Dead ritual, you have two options. If you don't, you have the option that doesn't involve using the Raise Dead ritual.

In any case, I'm not sure what DMs and organizers are doing making rulings on this as that's expressly forbidden by the CCG. It really isn't up to DMs or organizers to be deciding this...Character Death is a rule element listed in the CCG. And the CCG says this about rules elements and DMs:

The DM cannot specify what rules elements are or are not allowed for characters. This Character Creation Guide determines the legality of player resources for characters, not the DM. 




 

MwaO has a good point.  That is the issue that is being 'interpretted'.  Listing 'you have two options, provided...' before listing the options confuses things.  Making a ruling is all a DM or organizer can do.  The issue is that this is not clearly 'expressly forbidden'. 

A better way to show this would be:

"When a character dies during the course of an adventure, you have two options:

Pay the Component Cost (then list the criteria)

Invoke the Death Charity clause (then list the criteria)"


Mentioning that to have the 'two options' available, you must meet certain criteria suggests the criteria is for either option (at least to some people).


I don't think this is an impossible task, to make things more clear.  This one alteration will help a great deal.


As to cases where it has been interpretted differently:


Last year, I watched a DM who TPKed a group adjudicate the deaths of the PCs.  They were all killed in a 1-4 level module, and while the players weren't happy with it, most of them went on to make new characters.  The ones that died were 'written off as dead', which was how most of us saw it.  There was no one to return to town to get the PCs raised, and the players and DM alike saw the PCs as being unable to use the Charity of Friends option (because of no one surviving to meet the other requirements).

Just last weekend, the same thing happened, but in this case, the group was all told their characters could come back to life using the Charity of Death clause - no one had to go back to town to get access to someone with Raise Dead.

A week or two ago, I played a module that went south quickly during a DDXP module.  Towards the end of one encounter, everyone except 2 PCs in a 6-person group was either dominated, petrified, or dead.  I saw a good possibility that we would all be dead...and I would be working on a new dragonborn cleric.  Luckily, the remaining 2 PCs were able to defeat the remaining foes - but I would have removed my character from the campaign based on the rules as I understood them.

Some people see it one way, some people another.  That is the issue.  I think it is clear that the wording on this section could be cleaned up and clarified.  I am not trying to bash anyone one way or another - simply to suggest an improvement on the current published CCG rules.  I hope this suggestion will be used, to help with clarity.

I guess I read it a bit differently than all of you. As I read it, the options for raising a dead member apply why the module is still in play a.k.a. the adventure is still going on. Death Charity is the option for when the adventure is over with. I know that might seem obvious but it seems a lot of you are reading the two bullet points inclusively while I read them as being exclusive.

I agree, if read inclusively there is a bit of trouble in the case of a TPK. If read exclusively then there a TPK is easily covered by by the Death Charity clause. So, all in all, yeah. We need one of the big dogs to clarify for us.

However... If TPK is the absolute end of a character then there are some DMs I will be avoiding in our group as they have a tendency to wipe groups out on a regular basis.

 
Yeah, I can see how that's confusing, and given that there's already a rule for it I don't see any reason why it couldn't be clearer. I'm convinced.
I got a feeling this is a little to late but I was looking over the Interm rules for building higher than 1st level character and I was looking at the magic item rules.  you can choose only Common items of your level+1, level, level -1.  The problem is that common items are actually few and far between. I don't think there is even a common item at all 30 levels.  Please change this uncommon.
I got a feeling this is a little to late but I was looking over the Interm rules for building higher than 1st level character and I was looking at the magic item rules.  you can choose only Common items of your level+1, level, level -1.  The problem is that common items are actually few and far between. I don't think there is even a common item at all 30 levels.  Please change this uncommon.

1) There are in fact, enough common items.
2) This has been debated a lot at the new community site - community.wizards.com/lfr
I've long held the belief that death should be a skill challenge based around Wis, Int, and Con, 
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