Thoughts on killing PC's?

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So I've gotten myself into an odd situation with my campaign. One of my players is playing a completely broken homebrew class, and highly outmatches the others at every turn. This is my own fault, I know. I was under the assumption he was playing a class of a similar name, which is much more balanced, and failed to check it out beforehand. Once we got playing and discovered just how powerful he was it was too late to change anything. The others all agree that this character has to go, I just need to figure out how to do it without making the death TOO increadulous.

I don't kill players often. The only death this campaign thusfar has been from a player trying to make a deal with the enemy and the deal going south. To cut to the chase though, I want to influence this other, OP player into causing his own death rather than me just killing him. That would be no fun.

The situation I'm probably going to throw at the party is this: There is an invincable golum locked away in a temple, a red herring for the current quest they are on. I know they will go for it without hesitating. After pushing past a myriad of defences, they will find the golem trapped behind a one way mirror. Things can enter but not leave, and it is breakable only from the outside.

My initial thought is to get the player to jump inside alone and of his own accord, getting killed after a small battle. There are two problems with this. First, how to get him to go in. Second, and more importantly, he has a pet dragon. Who can baleful polymorph at will. Like I said, broken class. So I know the dragon will just bust him out. I need BOTH of them inside, or at least keeping the dragon occupied long enough for player to die.

If anyone has any suggestions or questions, I would greatly appreciate them!  
Why don't you tell the player that his pc is making the game less fun for the other players because it isn't balanced for your campaign? Then let him help you figure out how his pc can die or be retired. If he chooses his end he might get into it and role play it with gusto.

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have the other pcs grab him and push him through
put a patch of ice so he slips in
have a trap that pushes the both in
ask him for the good of the group change his character  
The other players and I have all talked to him about it. He keeps claiming his character isn't broken, he just knows how to "play it right". As I said, I don't like killing players on purpose. But it must be done. So I wanna do it in a way that will be fun for everyone and doesn't involve a random falling boulder. Basically I want it to make sense in the story
have the other pcs grab him and push him through
put a patch of ice so he slips in
have a trap that pushes the both in
ask him for the good of the group change his character  



I was thinking something along the same lines as the ice. He had a hand in the death of the first character, so I'm thinking a curse from some random god of revenge that will make him autofail a check and fall in. Normally this would be a streatch but the dead character's mind survived, making it a bit more feasible. Absorbed by a shapeshifter, don't ask. Anyway, it would be completely in character of him to pray for revenge. So that might be an option
have the other pcs grab him and push him through
put a patch of ice so he slips in
have a trap that pushes the both in
ask him for the good of the group change his character  



I was thinking something along the same lines as the ice. He had a hand in the death of the first character, so I'm thinking a curse from some random god of revenge that will make him autofail a check and fall in. Normally this would be a streatch but the dead character's mind survived, making it a bit more feasible. Absorbed by a shapeshifter, don't ask. Anyway, it would be completely in character of him to pray for revenge. So that might be an option


so does that me he did something that actually killed one of the other pcs off?
you could also have a shady looking character chalenge him to a duel with a poisoned blade or something 
Any chance we can see this class and maybe give you some more specific pointers?
Any chance we can see this class and maybe give you some more specific pointers?



www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dragon_Rider_(3.5e_Class)

(you have to type in the link rather than click on it)
YEOWTCH!!! Yeah, maybe kill his dragon companion? Have him get framed for it so that no new companion will take up with him.
Yeah, I'm not sure why this is in the Playtest forums, but if you (the DM) and the rest of the players have a problem with this homebrew class, then the player needs to own up and retire the character. All characters should require DM approval--as the DM is the arbitrator of the rules--and if it's causing problems it needs to go.
NEVER solve problems with players ingame. This is a player problem since you said nothing about the behavior of the character.

Tell him that you have a problem with the character being that strong and ask him to create the character new using the class you assumed he would have and retcon that this "new" character was the old character the whole time.
If he does not want to play the weaker class but agrees to change character, do the same with another class ("A dragon rider? No good sir, I was a bard all along. Your memory seems to be faulty." - no harm done here)
If he does not agree and you can't live with him playing that powerfull class, ask him to leave your group.

If you solve it ingame by killing him or the like, everyone will end up offended and your group will suffer.
NEVER solve problems with players ingame.
Yes, this doesn't belong in this particular forum. But that being said, take care of this outside of game, then in game, his character leaves due to family matters or whatnot.  You can't have one character that powerful unbalance your entire campaign.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...
Hey Guys,

I'm going to move this to What's a DM to Do? because that's a better home for it. This forum is strictly for DM feedback on the playtest of D&D Next.

Thanks,

Monica


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Yes, this is an out-of-game problem. You'll only frustrate yourself and everyone else by trying to solve it in-game. It's time to retire the character if it's out of whack and any team player would not hesitate if it's harming everyone else's experience.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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"NEVER solve problems with players ingame. This is a player problem since you said nothing about the behavior of the character.

Tell him that you have a problem with the character being that strong and ask him to create the character new using the class you assumed he would have and retcon that this "new" character was the old character the whole time.
If he does not want to play the weaker class but agrees to change character, do the same with another class ("A dragon rider? No good sir, I was a bard all along. Your memory seems to be faulty." - no harm done here)
If he does not agree and you can't live with him playing that powerfull class, ask him to leave your group.

If you solve it ingame by killing him or the like, everyone will end up offended and your group will suffer.
NEVER solve problems with players ingame."

Totally agree with Ksorkrax 
Thanks for moving this thread, whoever did!

I've talked it over with the other players, actually, and they all agree an in-game solution would be best. I wouldn't do it in game if they weren't ok with it but they seem to be supportive. Basically all I'm looking for is something that will be a satisfying death for the player in question. Nobody really seems to think it'd be good story-wise to just have him retire. Thanks for all your advice though!
Thanks for moving this thread, whoever did! I've talked it over with the other players, actually, and they all agree an in-game solution would be best. I wouldn't do it in game if they weren't ok with it but they seem to be supportive. Basically all I'm looking for is something that will be a satisfying death for the player in question. Nobody really seems to think it'd be good story-wise to just have him retire. Thanks for all your advice though!

Have you asked the player what would make a satisfying death for him? Find that out, and then arrange it, so that when it comes up the player sees his opportunity and takes it.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Thanks for moving this thread, whoever did! I've talked it over with the other players, actually, and they all agree an in-game solution would be best. I wouldn't do it in game if they weren't ok with it but they seem to be supportive. Basically all I'm looking for is something that will be a satisfying death for the player in question. Nobody really seems to think it'd be good story-wise to just have him retire. Thanks for all your advice though!

Have you asked the player what would make a satisfying death for him? Find that out, and then arrange it, so that when it comes up the player sees his opportunity and takes it.




Hmmm I have not. I'll try that and see what comes of it! I may ask the other players their opinions on if the player will willingly send his character to his death. Knowing him he may not

Hmmm I have not. I'll try that and see what comes of it! I may ask the other players their opinions on if the player will willingly send his character to his death. Knowing him he may not

If he won't, then there's no point trying to kill the character. Remember that even if the character wouldn't sacrifice himself, or self-terminate (accidentally or otherwise), the player might deem it appropriate. Find out the circumstances in which the player would find that appropriate, and arrange them in game.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

The other players and I have all talked to him about it. He keeps claiming his character isn't broken, he just knows how to "play it right".


You have talked to him about it(sounds more like asked politely).  Now you tell him to change the class.  Don't ask.  If he says it isn't broken, say that it doesn't matter.  He either changes the class, or his character will die.  He already knows everybody doesn't want the character in the game.  If he huffs and puff, tell him that you already asked nicely.
Simply tell him that as Dragon Rider is not an official D&D Class (not published in any book or Dragon Magazine issued by WotC), he cannot play the homebrew class. Regardless of whether he sees it as broken or not (which he's saying to try and defend his class) he is making the game anti-fun for the others. This is one of those times as a DM that you NEED to put your foot down. If he refuses then simply point out that you can continue the game without his character.
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To the OP, listen to the other posters in this thread.    I think it's a huge mistake for a DM to set out to kill a PC intentionally.    Tell him the character has to go, don't ask.   If he wants to kill him off in a blaze of glory, so be it.   But there could be better ways to resolve it.  

Why not secretly arrange with that player to have events transpire that would turn him into a foe of the party?   Perhaps a recurring one?   Then have the player create a new character, and maybe several adventures later, this former PC shows up as a villain.   Then the whole party can kill him off, including the original player.
The wiki starts with :

This page is of questionable balance. Reason: lets give a class the full attack advancement 9th level spells and a pet dragon!

That's enough for me to tell a player to switch his character! Tell him you accepted to try this class but In-Game, it is not fair for all players!

Or, all your players could say:"OK, let's all play a Dragon Rider!". The other players taking your side might help you!

The way I would do it...I would not kill him in-game for sure. I would just ask him to retire his character and turn him into a NPC. The group could still go to see him and talk with him. You could find a creative way to make him retire! ( He might get and arrow to the knee, or something like that! )

Even if he's playing is class well...It's still OP. A monkey playing this class would still kick @$$ !
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The other players and I have all talked to him about it. He keeps claiming his character isn't broken, he just knows how to "play it right".


You have talked to him about it(sounds more like asked politely).  Now you tell him to change the class.  Don't ask.  If he says it isn't broken, say that it doesn't matter.  He either changes the class, or his character will die.  He already knows everybody doesn't want the character in the game.  If he huffs and puff, tell him that you already asked nicely.



This.

Reading through this thread, my immediate thought was unless the player is a willing participant in his character's death/retirement he is going to take it VERY badly.

You've asked nicely, now as the DM, you have to "make a ruling." If the player does not like that ruling he has the option to leave the group.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
And now its time to hear from an evil bastard.

while I agree that characters should not be punished for out of game assery.  Sometimes you really need to kill off an OP character.

Not only must this be done, but must be done with style. 
To that end we will take an example from Star Trek(... I think this happened in ST perhaps it was Bab 5,)
 
The characters come across an artifact.

This artifact promices the secrets of eternal life and great fortune to anyone who can solve its three challenges.
But if any of these challenges are failed, or you refuse to attempt  the artifact will vanish forever.

after they finish reading the inscription an illusion of a hourglass starts counting down.
A sucessful check says that it is counting down from 4 hours.
Also an illusion appears in front of each character with a yes/no option

any who say yes are teleported into a dimi plane for the challenges ( your munchin min maxer will propbibly talk himslef and others into it. ) 
Failure simply returns the characters back.

each challenge hints that the creator who made it is an evil lich who uses the tool as a means to eradicate any heros strong enough to defeat him. 
*cough cough* 
If too many of your PC's pass you can have them challenge each other for the promiced reward. 
eventually the OP character wins and is killed then turned into an undead brute to fight the other PC's 
If you are very evil you can have the player play the monster in the battle. Letting the other players enact thier own form of punishment. 

As a final insult all his items are destroied in the process. 

Yay.

If they ask you why you did this Quote wargames.
"sometimes the only way to win is not to play"

57189838 wrote:
It may be late to post this suggestion, get a small booklet and write PC Rules on the front, and then inside start making up PC Rules to counter DM rules. Remember to use Ink, it's official if it is in Ink. If he says "it is DM's rules" then consult your PC rulebook for an appropriate rule such as "When the DM is railroading you then a PC may transfer to a train of his own choosing" ... ...If cash isn't an issue, have your rules Notorized, ussually this only costs about $20 or so a page, obviously Notorized rules will trump his rules, and most courts of law would agree, plus think of the entertainment value of presenting these rules to a Notary Public.
I agree with what seems to be the general consensus.  He should not be playing this overpowered character, as it is not only throwing off the balance on your side of the table, but also it sounds like it is taking away from everyone's fun.

However, forcing a planned death on his character will cause more problems than it fixes.  Talk to him out of game again, make sure you have your other players backing you up.  I like the idea of keeping the option of bringing the character back as a BBEG.  It might go even more easily if you offer to keep the character as a friendly but occasional NPC instead.  If you think you could ever work with this character in another campaign, one that is balanced for stronger characters, you could even keep the option open for the player to take him back over at that point.
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I've actually found an in-game solution that will solve all my problems without having to kill him, thankfully. It's hard to explain, as it involves lots of story elements, but knowing this player he will be ok with everything that'll happen. It makes sense in story, and actually helps move the quest forward. It will also allow me to set his power level pretty close to the rest of the party.

(For those who are curious, he is a 400 year old Elon, and I am going to have a god-child they are protecting turn him human again. Then the child turns into the Main Baddy! Yay!)

Again, thank you everyone! I feel as though I have grown as a DM haha