It's better than dying!

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3rd Ed D&D tends to punish bad play. By this I mean that once you make a few bad decisions and get in over your head it's really difficult to get out again.

For a heroic game, I think a "panic button" mechanic is highly desirable. A "panic button" allows heroes (only) to recover from a really bad position, though at a significant cost.

To some extent, raise dead is a posthumous panic button in 3.5. It allows you to recover from a really bad situation (death) by sacrificing a large amount of XP and gold. Fate Points ("you should die, but spend a fate point instead...") are a similar mechanic in other systems. For 4th Ed, a mechanic that allows a hero to save their life (and perhaps the encounter) for some significant cost feels to me like a better alternative to resurrection. Even if some form of resurrection mechanic remains.
Of course you're right. The raise dead/resurrection thing is absurd, just because it happens so infrequently in heroic fiction (and when it does, it's either an evil ancient necromancer being brought back, or a once-in-a-lifetime thing requiring the grave be fed if a body is snatched from it (the Conan movie)).

Given a choice between "I use a fate point to avoid this death" and "I do die, but I'm resurrected by the friendly temple priest, for the eighth time," I strongly prefer the former. Either way, we're talking about a kludge to get around the fact that dying is far more likely in a game based on odds (and the murderous Law of Large Numbers), and if a kludge is to be had, let's keep the kludge to "I called upon my inherent destiny to avoid that death," rather than "I paid 5000 gold to be resurrected yet again, same as usual."

One thing I'd like is a mechanic where evading death was not guaranteed, but was based upon a roll (say, Charisma-based) to avoid it, so avoiding death was never quite certain (though could be avoided most of the time through a roll). Perhaps give characters one, and one only, special re-roll or automatic success per level; the rest of the time they're protected by luck and destiny, most of the time, but have to rely upon good fortune to avoid death.

As Nom says, either way we're breaking basic "rules." We can either break a rules-rule (special roll that is literally a "saving throw") or a flavor-rule (routine raise deads?); I think it's far better to break a rules-rule than a game-world-fictional-integrity rule.

Real death should almost always be permanent, as it is most of the time in fiction. So let it be permanent, but offer chances to avoid it through the rules that don't involve routine resurrections.
I think this is the way they're going, by the way. In a recent podcast, they talked about how much of a better game experience it made when ALL ROLLS were real (no fudging by the DM!), putting characters on edge, knowing everything turned on their decisions plus luck.

A mechanic of fate points they can spend to avoid (most of the time) death helps permit a true the-dice-read-as-they-read no-fudge system. Yes, bad rolls will happen, but most of the time, they can be countered by a precious, but limited and well-defined, mechanic (a fate roll, a fate point). So much less depends on whether the DM feels, at his whim, if a High Priest would *really* waste his limited ability to raise the dead on a fourth level ranger. Would he really petition his deity over such a minor-league hero?

Less DM whim, more player control, and more of a feeling of everything may depend on this die roll or my limited "fate" -- win, win, win.
You don't necessarily even need fate points or anything. You can just say that heroes don't necessarily die from various effects.

The -10 hit point thing should just be erased. When you go to 0 or lower hit points, you merely become incapacitated. It doesn't matter if you're at -10 or -100. Heroes only die if someone does a coup de grace to you.

What was a death effect might just reduce a hero to -5 hp or something similar.

In a recent podcast, they talked about how much of a better game experience it made when ALL ROLLS were real (no fudging by the DM!)

This is really odd if they're converting to the Saga defenses system over saving throws, because that system is practically built to fudge die rolls. It seems designed such that the DM can say any NPC arbitrarily fails at something. Where before if you got hit by slay living and rolled a 1 on your save, you knew you were dead.
I think this is the way they're going, by the way. In a recent podcast, they talked about how much of a better game experience it made when ALL ROLLS were real (no fudging by the DM!), putting characters on edge, knowing everything turned on their decisions plus luck.

To be fair, a roll can also be "real" if the DM fudges and the players don't know it.;)

I dunno - the fate thing sounds kinda cheesy, arguably even moreso than resurrection.

If I understand it correctly, this fate point thingy won't really be played out flavourwise. Ruleswise, you spend the fate point to avoid death at a particular event. Storywise, you somehow survive death, be it due to pure luck, sheer preserverance, force of will, divine intervention or whatever.

For example, when the enemy fighter would otherwise reduce you to -10 hp with that crit, you instead spend a fate point. Now suddenly, his attack somehow missed, or he suffers a heart attack at that very moment, or a lightning bolt strikes him from out of the blue or something....:P

Isn't this now exactly like DM fiat, just that it is covered/supported by the rules rather than subject to DM's discretion? Heroes should be heroes exactly because they are tough enough to survive whatever is thrown at them, IMO, without having to rely on these "panic buttons". That would be what truly weeds out the truly strong ones from the wannabe heroes.

Or am I missing something?
There are two issues / ideas here.

The first is "spend a fate point to cheat death", but that's already somewhat handled by a mechanic that allows "point of death" revival. If you win, you can bring your comrades "back from the brink", so to speak.

But I'm actually thinking earlier in the process. At the "Oh (expletive of choice), we're all gonna die!" stage. Something costly that gives you enough strength to get back in the fight, or, probably better, run away and live to try again. And the cost has to "hurt", such that you'd only want to pull this trick when there didn't seem to be a conventional way to get out of trouble. I'm currently thinking a sort of deux ex machina, though invoked by the PC not the GM. A short-range teleport might also work mechanically, but flavour-wise only works for some classes and feels like an odd "last ditch escape".
In theory I like the idea of luck or fate or whatever points to help players out in a Jam, but after playing the old Star Wars for a long time with the force points rules they had I have come to the conclusion that miracle points, no matter how they are implemented, are mainly a crutch for bad DM's.

If you are DM'ing the worst thing you can ever do is put in monsters that can insta-kill players when you are not prepared for what will happen to the campaign if the attacks actually work. I've been a player in a lot of campaigns where I could feel a DM had brought out the big guns with some monster, then have the monster go stupid or start miraculously missing when the players are being decimated and I can tell the DM realized he went too far.

I'm fine with a DM fudging a dice roll from time to time when something truly bizarre happens, but DM's need to try harder to avoid forcing players to rely on fate points to save them, or they run the risk of the players realizing that their characters are only a single stat - their fate points, and nothing else matters much.
I'm not so much worried about insta-kills, but situations where the PCs get in over their head and don't have an obvious way to disengage. "We could scatter, but it will chase us down and kill someone". In some ways, disengaging is the worst option if someone is already down or dead, since you forfeit not only the battle but the ability to revive your lost comrade.
That's sad, but that's the way it is. I think the game would lose the very last trace of exitement when you know you'll never in danger because you can get to safety evry time you want.
Lands of the Barbarian Kings Campaign Setting - http://barbaripedia.eu
Action points?
For example, when the enemy fighter would otherwise reduce you to -10 hp with that crit, you instead spend a fate point. Now suddenly, his attack somehow missed, or he suffers a heart attack at that very moment, or a lightning bolt strikes him from out of the blue or something....:P

No, playing SWSE, you spend a force point if you've been reduced to 0 hp and the attack exceeds your damage threshold - something that would kill you instantly. You can only be reduced to 0 hp, and you have to make a save to stabilize, no more of this: Hurry up and win the fight guys, i'm bleeding here. You spend a force point to not die instantly - the drawback is that many powers also require force points - so if you save yourself from dieing, you don't have these points for later. A fair trade off. Now, as to the attack, well the fighter makes it thinks your dead and moves on - he doesn't die, his attack hits drops you, and he moves one. But, through sheer luck, fate, etc.. you survive (assuming the rest of your party does)

Basically fate is left in the hands of the player - if the player has blown all his action points, he could still die - and you get new ones every level (this is how SWSE handles force points) you are encouraged to spend them. So you have to always weigh the pros and cons. The GM shouldn't have to weaken an opponent that intends to do the party harm - but the party should have a chance to survive.

Think of this - with an action mechanic a DM/GM's campaign would not end necessarily with a TPK - A party is hunting the BBEG on behest of a small village that they are moving to destroy; the villain could drop the party and leave them for dead, moving on to his goal. The party eventually comes through, only to find because they failed to stop the villain, the village was destroyed save for a few survivors. The party heals, and decides to track down the villain for a rematch. Now this may not work for all encounters, but it at least it gives an option for a DM/GM's game to continue after some disastrously bad rolls - and at behest of the players. The GM/DM shouldn't have to hold back, as if the party knows this they will take stupid risks because they know the DM will always let the survive, but if survival can be an option for the pc's if THEY choose, that is a good thing.
You don't necessarily even need fate points or anything. You can just say that heroes don't necessarily die from various effects.

The -10 hit point thing should just be erased. When you go to 0 or lower hit points, you merely become incapacitated. It doesn't matter if you're at -10 or -100. Heroes only die if someone does a coup de grace to you.

What was a death effect might just reduce a hero to -5 hp or something similar.



This is really odd if they're converting to the Saga defenses system over saving throws, because that system is practically built to fudge die rolls. It seems designed such that the DM can say any NPC arbitrarily fails at something. Where before if you got hit by slay living and rolled a 1 on your save, you knew you were dead.

Very interesting Idea it has my vote.
Of course there does need to be danger, but I can understand the idea of such a "panic button".

In a game I once ran, I had a mechanic where a player could blow all of his action points to get a chance to escape from a jam. It was based somewhat on Call Upon Fate from Al Qadim. For each action point spent, the player rolled a d20 on a table. They would take the best result of all the dice. 20 was a miraculous escape of some sort, 8-11 was nothing, and 1 was certain doom. Some numbers produced mixed results.

So the more dice you rolled, the better chance you had of getting a good result, and the fewer dice you rolled, the more chance that things could actually get worse.

Oh, and when I say all, I mean ALL. They player had to spend ALL of his action points, whether he had 2 or 30. That drove home the idea that this was not to be used lightly. And it was fun to see a player roll 7d20 when surrounded and already hurt badly. He rolled a mostly good mixed result, so I had him saved by someone whom he knew would collect on the debt someday.
So player characters never die unless someone deliberately says "I'm gonna kill you".

Player characters don't have to worry about their bad decisions because they can use a "fate point" to wangle their way out.

Sounds like bad role-playing to me.

--

Hm, live in a consequence-free environment where you can do anything you want. Even Britney Spears can't do that.

If you really wanna be invincible, just go play a video game and turn all the invincible cheats and unlimited ammo cheats on. D&D shouldn't be like that.
So player characters never die unless someone deliberately says "I'm gonna kill you".

Player characters don't have to worry about their bad decisions because they can use a "fate point" to wangle their way out.

Sounds like bad role-playing to me.

--

Hm, live in a consequence-free environment where you can do anything you want. Even Britney Spears can't do that.

If you really wanna be invincible, just go play a video game and turn all the invincible cheats and unlimited ammo cheats on. D&D shouldn't be like that.

No, it of course should not be taken to that extreme.

I think my mechanic had a sufficient deterrent to abuse built-in.
Hm, live in a consequence-free environment where you can do anything you want.



This sounds a bit like posting in an online forum to me actually.

I guess it depends on play stile. Me, I like emulating action movies such as Indiana Jones and Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or much of the fantasy fiction out there where the hero's can still find something difficult but they don't die in the first fight they have.

Dying in a bar fight, that's not heroic. Now, dying in bar fight while trying to keep the BBEG occupied while everyone else pushes it off a cliff into a pool of lava, well that's improbable, but heroic none the less.
Personally I like Archtyrant Terevoth's idea. Important characters (PCs Bosses, etc.) don't die at zero hit points. They are just taken out of the fight. Then someone has to give up an entire action to kill them (coup-de-grace). My reasons are far more metagamy for it though I think. I as a DM dislike having a person die and then watching them have to roll up a new character in the middle of the game. Then I have to usually come up with how come Joe the 10th level fighter showed up. With this most likely if one person has to roll up a character than everybody does.
I'm not a big fan of action points, at least as they are implemented in Eberron, nor do I think Force Points are that great.

I'd prefer something a little more organic. The whole 'on deaths door' thing with negative HP right now is a bit non-sensical to me.

They just need to balance encounters and characters better in the base rules. Even in the 'sweet spot' of play it is still relatively easy to get 1-shotted depending on circumstances. A level 7 wizard has 25 HP on average and a flat-footed AC of 10. There isn't really a lot of room to wiggle there when monsters are scaled in ability to be a challenge to the fighter with 50-60 HP and 20+ AC being healed by a cleric.

The problems right now with constantly rezzing goes deeper than just the dying mechanics in general. It is possible to make an exciting encounter that is challenging to the PCs, but a lot of that is a burden on the DM to create this smoke screen, that just gives the illusion of danger. Being aware of everyone's AC, damage output, and hit points, and tailoring the fight specifically only around what they can take, and what you want them to take. This eliminates a lot of the actual randomness from the game for the DM, while the players think otherwise usually.

If they could make the system a bit more robust and really let the DM beat up the characters, without finely detailed encounters custom built to each particular party, never have to modify monster stats or fudge die rolls and in general make DMing not a time consuming endeavor if that isn't the DMs desire.

If this is the case, I don't think the death rules would be so bad because such events would be a lot more in the hands of the DM and not the dice rolls, out of the box, and without careful pruning.
It's amazing how people will argue on the lack of reality of one part of the game and are willing to suspend reality in another part.

RPGs whether in a sci-fi, fantasy, or 'modern' setting are suppose to mimick life, which always the players & GM to have fun playing out an adventure that we can only live vicariously through comics, TV, movies, or books. We have some control over the action, but not complete control, just like life.

Adventuring is a hazardous profession. The characters we play in the game tend to be through choice or fate thrust into a life of great danger and great reward. We use our PCs abilities in concert with other PCs to have the best chance of survival & fun (it's why we play the game)

Death is a part of life, and when you go off looking for fame & fortune through adventuring, then death is always nipping at you heels. All of us on this mortal plane will die. Your characters will too. How glorious or mundane your PCs death is dependant upon the decisions you make and luck of the die rolls.

I do sympathize with trying to keep a favorite character alive. The two I'm playing now have been the greatest gaming experience of my life. If they were to die in the current story line now, I would be heart broken since I brought these two up from 1st level (in 2ed AD&D) to the current manifestation in 3.5e they are in now, but the luck of the roll and the actions of the characters will be the master of the fate of either of them.

Now, could the DM fudge die rolls and keep them alive? Sure. It's happened before, and will happen again (even in 4e). There are two things that will never be removed from RPGaming: house rules & DM fudge rolls, because sometimes the rules and the dice just don't make the plot of the adventure flow to the best conclusion - for the good or bad guys.

So, if you die, suck it up and warm up the d6's. And if you don't, enjoy the luxury of your luck (or the DMs good graces). It may not last.
Being aware of everyone's AC, damage output, and hit points, and tailoring the fight specifically only around what they can take, and what you want them to take.

This is exactly what I don't want to do in my game. I don't want the players to think that the baddies are just trying to give them a hard time. I want my players to think that the people they are fighting are out to kill them. If they can't handle the baddies double-teaming the healer and nuker in melee after the fighter has been wrapped in hostile vines, they need to work their tactics and preparations out better. This isn't even an MMORPG perspective. I pulled this habit from Warhammer. There's no reason why a group of thugs won't go for the best tactic they have.

I'm all for "Hand of God" saves, but only after they've exhausted their resources and I've already killed one or two of them, just to show them that I mean business. Throwing in Action/Force Points just means I don't have to save their butts as much, which means I can pull even fewer punches.

This method of playing brings two things to the table. First, it forces players to think about their actions. What side of a thug they are standing on can often affect the battle a fair amount. Second, the members of the party become reliant on each other. The fighter failing in his duties of keeping melee combatants off the second line people can have devastating consequences, and the back line people can cause the same devastating failures. Usually, the players will screw up only once or twice before they learn their lesson.

I know this isn't realistic. Thugs will rarely work together that well. In reality though, heroes won't be able to sit around a table and discuss what actions they are about to perform, so it balances out. And then, in between combats, I have plenty of time for story.

It worked for Final Fantasy Tactics, why can't it work for D&D?
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
This is exactly what I don't want to do in my game.

I doubt that is what anyone wants to do in their game. It is tedious work for one, and the whole idea is that the PCs don't realize when you are doing it and when you are not doing it so they sense of danger is ever present.

However, currently this seems to be a paradigm of encounter development. They can redesign encounters in general to not be as lethal, while remaining a challenge. Challenging doesn't necessarily entail that any random hit or crit can kill you. Not to mention there are a lot of "I cast X" and the encounter is no longer challenging.

A group of 10th level PCs fighting a giant most likely can bypass it or pelt it from range with a single casting of Mass Fly. A little higher level than that, they can endlessly spam save or die type spells.

These kinds of things break encounter development just the same way that the giant can deal just about a wizard/sorcerer/rogues max HP in a single crit killing them instantly. One of those archetypes is a melee combatant to boot.

I agree that monsters should fight with all of their intelligence, but doing so is often lethal to the party; and it shouldn't be. Encounters shouldn't rely on PCs focusing down the most dangerous monsters first while monsters totally ignore the casters.

Not to mention the snowball effect of having a single PC die early. Often a challenging encounter can be a total wipe if the character you were counting on to turn the tide of combat goes down quick. This becomes especially evident at high levels now, where the game turns into rocket tag and encounters are balanced around an arcane spellcaster doing the brunt of the work.

The problems with the death mechanics aren't strictly with the death mechanics. If you add action points into 3.5, like Eberron I'm not sure that is really a good "fix" to the problem.
I'm seeing some good points here. First, action points and saved from death mechanics can allow the DM to fudge less.

That's also a good point about encounter-breaking elements. Save or Die, for example, is a problem for both monsters and PCs.
The problems with the death mechanics aren't strictly with the death mechanics. If you add action points into 3.5, like Eberron I'm not sure that is really a good "fix" to the problem.

I wonder if this will end up as a poorly designed mechanic in order to stay "middle of the road". A compromise designed to make both sides of the line somewhat happy, that ends up being usable by no one, begging all DMs to house rule it one way or another. There's at least a few of those in the rules already.

I agree, those throwaway, single monster encounters need to be improved, as they are either worthless (your giant example) or overpowering (dragon with many attacks) for their "CR". I've had players get upset when my bad-guys get inventive (a la, that Giant throwing rocks into the skies, and then the players taking damage from the rock plus fall damage when it knocks them out of the clouds) because they say that it's not part of the stat-block for the monster that they have so studiously memorized.

As for the snowball effect, if they can come up with a way to prevent that, I would commend them. Once one or two guys are down, it's very difficult to overcome that competitive advantage without doing something drastic or trying to cheat. And since there's no way to film defensive signals in D&D, that party becomes very SOL. The only thing that comes to mind is "motivational bonuses" that trigger upon the loss of a party member, and that would have to be some sort of bonus arranged ahead of time, similar to a bardic music/barbarian rage ability. Perhaps that will be one of the abilities of the Warlord.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
I'm seeing some good points here. First, action points and saved from death mechanics can allow the DM to fudge less.

The DM would be fudging less only because the onus of fudging would be placed on the players themselves.

It would be like claiming that crime rates can be lowered by ruling that certain crimes are no longer crimes, IMO. You haven't really resolved the key problem, just swept it under the carpet.
The DM would be fudging less only because the onus of fudging would be placed on the players themselves.

Fate points or whatever are actually part of the rules, therefore it's not fudging, it's just making use of a mechanic. It'd be no different from someone activating moment of prescience to automatically make a save.
As for the snowball effect, if they can come up with a way to prevent that, I would commend them. Once one or two guys are down, it's very difficult to overcome that competitive advantage without doing something drastic or trying to cheat. And since there's no way to film defensive signals in D&D, that party becomes very SOL. The only thing that comes to mind is "motivational bonuses" that trigger upon the loss of a party member, and that would have to be some sort of bonus arranged ahead of time, similar to a bardic music/barbarian rage ability. Perhaps that will be one of the abilities of the Warlord.

In my opinion such a situation would be a better use for a "panic button" mechanic. A panic button used to save me from bleeding do death once I'm already a bleeding carcass yet I may still be CDG after the party wipes isn't as appealing as a panic button that keeps me on my feat or allows someone to keep up the fight while I'm down.

I don't think there needs to be a conditional event that allows players access to these abilities. They could be action points; although not as they exist in Eberron, as I feel they are doled out to freely. Enough to get you through every encounter in an adventure or enough to blow one every encounter per adventure all the way till the next level when you get more action points at higher level.

If they were rare and were a significant sacrifice on the part of the player using them it could be up to them to use them. I think the key of a "panic button" is to use them when the character might be panicing and not the player. My character doesn't need a panic button when he is unconscious bleeding to death on the ground. I'm pretty sure that is about as panic free as you can get.
Fate points or whatever are actually part of the rules, therefore it's not fudging, it's just making use of a mechanic. It'd be no different from someone activating moment of prescience to automatically make a save.

On a side note, do you see DMs ratcheting up the difficulty of the encounter somewhat to take into account the benefits of these fate points, which allow the players to cheat death. In theory, this makes them last longer, which in turn means they can take on more encounters, meaning that those very encounters should be tuned up to present a greater challenge.

I mean - it seems pretty much like a quick fix to poor planning. If these fate points had some other uses, maybe not, but as it stands, the idea is to use them to prevent you from dying, not at all unlike the "insert a new token to continue" feature of arcades...
Action Points and the Second Wind mechanic from Saga go a long way towards helping this scenario.

And for what it's worth, I too agree that they should drop the clunky, -10 dying rule that is a crappy holdover from 2nd edition (just like Turning…).
I think part of the problem is DMing to the players' level too much. The common line of reasoning goes like this:

1. My players are a group of 4 level 7 characters that have good stats, good hp, and decent equipment.
2. My players like levelling up relatively often.
3. I should have the players fight CR 7 or more encounters all the time, until they level up, then I up the monsters to CR8+ only. This lets them level up pretty fast and makes the game challenging.

But I don't think this is what the game designers intended, nor does it fit with a realistic campaign. Just as Captain Kirk asked "What does God need with a Starship?" I ask, "Why does every orc we fight have bonus Warrior levels?" I think if you get into a habit as a DM of making the players fight some challenging battles, some moderate battles, and mostly easy battles it solves a lot of these problems.

Sure, a group of 6 standard orcs is nothing to a group of 4 level 7 characters, but so what? If roleplaying is involved and it advances the story, I say fine. The characters will level up slower, but the integrity of the campaign world is maintained more, and it gives the players a sense that their characters actually are getting tougher as they level up.

When you want the players to have a challenge, or a boss battle, have them fight something truly challenging, but still designed to fit their level. An encounter where every swing of the enemy is potentially lethal is only fun in very rare instances. At the same time, when the players see that the DM is roleplaying an enemy stupidly (ie not tag-teaming when they should, or forgetting to use their best attacks or whatever) so they have a chance of surviving it's even worse.

And if you rely on action/fate points to save characters, and think this is a good thing so you won't have to pull your punches as much, I think you should probably quit D&D and play Warcraft or something like that.
You don't necessarily even need fate points or anything. You can just say that heroes don't necessarily die from various effects.

3rd Ed D&D tends to punish bad play. By this I mean that once you make a few bad decisions and get in over your head it's really difficult to get out again.

For a heroic game, I think a "panic button" mechanic is highly desirable. A "panic button" allows heroes (only) to recover from a really bad position, though at a significant cost.

Both of these ideas are addresses, to some extent, in the Raising the Stakes d20 hack.

Note how the "death flag" works: by default, being brought to negative hit points won't kill a protagonist. You can choose to waive that in exchange for a big chunk of extra Conviction points (a metagame resource like Action Points) -- in other words, it's up to you to decide when your character's in the spotlight and her life's on the line.

(The stake-raising mechanics are actually more powerful, overall; the death flag's really more like a special case that you know you can always count on.)

-- Alex
Quit crying about your beloved what ever and pick up a fresh character sheet. Enough games already have this sort of oh no I'm gonna die crap, play one of them. When it comes to D&D though...you should have been more careful.
3rd Ed D&D tends to punish bad play. By this I mean that once you make a few bad decisions and get in over your head it's really difficult to get out again.

For a heroic game, I think a "panic button" mechanic is highly desirable. A "panic button" allows heroes (only) to recover from a really bad position, though at a significant cost.

To some extent, raise dead is a posthumous panic button in 3.5. It allows you to recover from a really bad situation (death) by sacrificing a large amount of XP and gold. Fate Points ("you should die, but spend a fate point instead...") are a similar mechanic in other systems. For 4th Ed, a mechanic that allows a hero to save their life (and perhaps the encounter) for some significant cost feels to me like a better alternative to resurrection. Even if some form of resurrection mechanic remains.

this sounds similar to what action points in Eberron accomplish, and I am given to understand a slightly modified concept is going to be incorporated into 4e...if you make more than a few fatal bad decisions you deserve to go through the bother of creating a new character is my opinion...always give the players the benefits of all doubts, but at the end of the day, they are in an extremely deadly profession they entered with eyes wide open...
Just going to add my two cents here:

The basic concept of this is a good idea. But should not be a core mechanic.

Perhaps a suggestion in one of the sidebars of the DMG with a few varying ideas of how to do it, if it suits their game style.

The last game I was running was a very dark and realistic post apocalyptic setting. People died. Resurrection wasn't an option. It was the way that world worked best.

The current game I'm running, it's less serious and more.. friendly. Death doesn't even happen often, I have a mechanic in place that prevents the PCs from dying on most of their adventures.

... Not that I really care much either way how they do things. I doubt I'll get 4E any time soon, and I'm one of those DMs who is a very firm believer in rule #0: The DM IS the rules. I'll throw things out or change them as I see fit, regardless of what people say.
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