Death and Choices

81 posts / 0 new
Last post
Below is text I placed in the October sticky thread for consideration by the administrators. I'm copying it here for discussion.

Thoughts and/or other alternatives?

***********************************

I am asking the administrators to consider the following option:

If a character dies and is unable to be raised, that the player have an option to start a new character at the same level as the one who died.

1) This is a common mechanism in home games. It allows for established groups of players to continue playing together instead of breaking up such groups.

2) The alternative may well mean that a player MUST replay adventures, effectively just grinding through the adventures, in order to be able to play unplayed mods at higher levels with the new character. This necessity may take place if the player has already played/judged enough existing 1-4 adventures such that he cannot play enough unplayed adventures to reach 4th level.

3) It eliminates the chance of a player leaving the campaign if unable to continue play at higher levels.

4) This is necessary due to the logistics of the architecture of the campaign regarding the designated level range of adventures.

If this request is not entertained, I would ask that an alternative solution be identified, such as mandating that a character can always be raised through the efforts of NPC friends or the like.

Thanks.

David
Any death PC gets raised for free at the end of the adventure. In this case they merely are not allowed to select any treasure bundle and get no story rewards and of course get's no XP and no gold.

The only reason to actually pay for a raise during an adventure is if the group absolutely needs the death PC to continue or the death PC absolutely wanting to select from the treasure bundles / story awards
Any death PC gets raised for free at the end of the adventure. In this case they merely are not allowed to select any treasure bundle and get no story rewards and of course get's no XP and no gold.

The only reason to actually pay for a raise during an adventure is if the group absolutely needs the death PC to continue or the death PC absolutely wanting to select from the treasure bundles / story awards

That's not the point. I'm addressing the situation where the body cannot be recovered, there is a TPK, the body can't be raised due to the nature of the death, that sort of thing. In other words, where there is a permanent death rather than a speed bump style death.

David
That's not the point. I'm addressing the situation where the body cannot be recovered, there is a TPK, the body can't be raised due to the nature of the death, that sort of thing. In other words, where there is a permanent death rather than a speed bump style death.

There is no permanent death in LFR. Even if there is a TPK and all bodies are eaten, all PCs are raised before their next adventure

PS: Yes, I also find that cheapens death
There is no permanent death in LFR. Even if there is a TPK and all bodies are eaten, all PCs are raised before their next adventure

Your assertation is not borne out by the rules presented in the CCG. All characters can be raised for free, but only if the bodies can be recovered (and other conditions).

David
I'm addressing the situation where the body cannot be recovered, there is a TPK, the body can't be raised due to the nature of the death, that sort of thing. In other words, where there is a permanent death rather than a speed bump style death.

I have been working under the assumption that the "Death Charity clause" that is described at the beginning of each adventure could be used any time there was a death, whether or not the body or bodies were recoverable. I can see that the format of the wording seems to imply that the body must be available to invoke that clause. I tried to get a clarification from WotC on what the intent is, but I have received no answer yet. I am going to continue to work under that assumption until I hear otherwise from WotC. You should feel free to work under that assumption as well. I will attempt to get that wording fixed so it is clear that the body is not necessary in invoking the Death Charity clause.

Thanks,

Shawn
LFR Global Admin
Your assertation is not borne out by the rules presented in the CCG. All characters can be raised for free, but only if the bodies can be recovered (and other conditions).

No, the raise death part says that the body needs to be recovered by your party for being raised during the adventure.

The charity of death which follows in a seperate bullet point below the rule covering in-adventure-raise doesn't require anything. It happens automatically after the adventure if your party wasn't able to recover you or they or you were unwilling to raise you.

I guess I would always be unwilling, the costs is just too much given the scare amount of gold one gets from an adventure (unless I know in advance that there is a treasure bundle from this very adventure I absolutely want.
120 gp each (assuming 5 PCs) is too expensive? (assuming you paid an NPC to cast the ritual)

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
120 gp each (assuming 5 PCs) is too expensive? (assuming you paid an NPC to cast the ritual)

Of course.

Let assume you start the adventure with X xp and X gold. After the adventure you are supposed to have X+Y xp and X+Y gold.

If you die are are raised you still have X+Y xp but only X+y gold. So you have less gold then you're supposed to have at your new XP. That's a permanent penalty which can never be recovered (if it's a low game which give at max 100 gold you could even end with X+Y xp but X-y gold!)

Better getting no XP and no gold so you merely lost a few hours of RL time but your char is still at X xp and X gold and after the next mod will be at X+Y xp and X+Y gold.

You better take 0 xp and full gold (yes, I know that's not possible, but if it would be an option it would be the superior option) than full XP and reduced gold.

XP are basically worthless. You level so fast in LFR (actually too fast for single-char players like me, I have to get comfortable with the concept of having several char) that it really doesn't matter if you get the XP now or one mod latter.

But players are kept so low on gold that basically each lost copper piece hurts a lot.
I'd rather not see people intentionally dying in exceptional ways just to start up a new character they'd rather play.

I mean, I'm all for _some_ solution, but that just seems poor.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Don't forget that the Death Charity clause forces PCs to take XP earned up to the point that the death occurred, including the encounter in which the death took place, but no other rewards.

Shawn
LFR Global Admin
The only penalty is really no gold and no cool loot with not being able to go back with that PC....

I can imagine this can really suck if this is a story award chain or specific quest your char. is going after..


One question for the LFR admins.. Is this going to remain true for all tiers of play? I would imagine once we hit paragon or a certain tier this may not be available...
2) The alternative may well mean that a player MUST replay adventures, effectively just grinding through the adventures, in order to be able to play unplayed mods at higher levels with the new character. This necessity may take place if the player has already played/judged enough existing 1-4 adventures such that he cannot play enough unplayed adventures to reach 4th level.

David,
You may not be aware but with the adaptable coming out, there are sufficient adventures to play 3 different PCs (at least) to 4/5th level without using the replay option. Your assumption is incorrect.

I've copied Keith's quote over from the October sticky thread.

I'm aware of the adaptable. I'm aware that it can allow 3 different PCs to get to 4th level. It does not invalidate the general nature of what I've sought to address. The example I provided was a simplification of the general issue; don't confuse it as the only case and then disprove it to suggest the general issue doesn't exist.

Example: I have DM'd something like six adventures of low tier that I never played, and do not plan on playing, thus reducing the count of those that I have available.

Similarly, I have friends who have chosen to play FR1 outside of LFR; those that choose not to replay it don't have it available as an option. FR1 has been described as being of similar scope to RHoD. The table of RHoD I ran took 15 months to complete due to conflicting schedules.

Similarly, a high level unrecoverable death may have this sort of effect in an isolated community. A 15th level adventure results in permadeath, and it could lose a player from the campaign, or possibly the entire group.

David
Example: I have DM'd something like six adventures of low tier that I never played, and do not plan on playing, thus reducing the count of those that I have available.

But it's you reducing the your amount of avaible adventures because of your own choice. The RPGA is not limiting you, the RPGA says you can DM and adventure and play the very same adventure later. So it's a selfmade problem.
Similarly, a high level unrecoverable death may have this sort of effect in an isolated community. A 15th level adventure results in permadeath, and it could lose a player from the campaign, or possibly the entire group.

Only if the RPGA ever introduces an adventure with the option of unrecoverable death which seems very unlikely.
Don't forget that the Death Charity clause forces PCs to take XP earned up to the point that the death occurred, including the encounter in which the death took place, but no other rewards.

well, that changes things a bit. I thought you only get partial rewards if you decide to be raised in-adventure.
The only penalty is really no gold and no cool loot with not being able to go back with that PC....

I can imagine this can really suck if this is a story award chain or specific quest your char. is going after..

One question for the LFR admins.. Is this going to remain true for all tiers of play? I would imagine once we hit paragon or a certain tier this may not be available...

I have heard no indications from WotC that this is going to change for paragon or epic tier adventures.

Shawn
LFR Global Admin
But it's you reducing the your amount of avaible adventures because of your own choice. The RPGA is not limiting you, the RPGA says you can DM and adventure and play the very same adventure later. So it's a selfmade problem.

My choice: True. And irrelevant.

This isn't a "fix my problem" whine. If I ever run into the problem I describe, my solution will likely be to go ahead and replay what I need to; I'm not wedded to the principle. It is a preference.

Only if the RPGA ever introduces an adventure with the option of unrecoverable death which seems very unlikely.

The first two adventures I participated in (edit: CORE1-1 as DM, CORE1-3 as player) featured unrecoverable deaths as played at our tables (same player). It doesn't take RPGA writing in the words "this death is unrecoverable." It merely takes circumstance and a point of view.

David
It doesn't take RPGA writing in the words "this death is unrecoverable." It merely takes circumstance and a point of view.

Actually it does, at least the RPGA needs to make clear whether a unrecoverable death is theoretically possible or doesn't exist at all.

At the moment my understanding of the charity of death clause is that it happens always, no matter the circumstances of the death.

If that's the intend then " circumstance and a point of view" are nothing but either a certain DM's houserule or a certain player's voluntary decission to not have his character raised. Both of which are selfmade problems which would need no RPGA solution because they don't exist as a RPGA problem.

If the RPGA makes clear in the next CCG that the charity of death is not automatic and doesn't apply after an unrecoverable it's DM and player following the RPGA rules and an RPGA problem
I'd rather not see people intentionally dying in exceptional ways just to start up a new character they'd rather play.

I mean, I'm all for _some_ solution, but that just seems poor.

Yeah, I'm not sure I like the solution either.

Shawn is trying to get a reply to the intent of the Death Charity clause. If the intent is for it to be the solution, then all that needs to be done is to fix the wording rather than add this or some other weird rule.

David
As the writer of CORE1-2, I am not sure how there could have been an unrecoverable death. In fact, right in the adventure, I say that the bad guys leave the PCs unconscious but alive if there is a TPK.

Shawn
As the writer of CORE1-2, I am not sure how there could have been an unrecoverable death. In fact, right in the adventure, I say that the bad guys leave the PCs unconscious but alive if there is a TPK.

Shawn

My bad... cited the wrong mod.

1st mod was CORE1-1. I was DM. 4/5 killed, with 5th unconscious. 5th recovered and exited with 3 of the 4 bodies using floating disk. Did not return for remaining body. Edit: in retrospect, he just needed fingers, so this shouldn't have been a problem.

2nd mod was CORE1-3 (not 1-2, sorry). I was player. 3 of 4 killed including self. Survivor recovered two bodies, but chose not to risk recovery of third (deep in complex with baddies near).

edit: removed joke.

David
Actually it does, at least the RPGA needs to make clear whether a unrecoverable death is theoretically possible or doesn't exist at all.

The RPGA has made it clear that an unrecoverable death is possible. At question is whether they want to keep it that way. "..death for your character is usually a temporary situation." (CCG 1.6, p.9; emphasis added) Usually does not equal always.

At the moment my understanding of the charity of death clause is that it happens always, no matter the circumstances of the death.

Yeah, I ignored this the first time because Shawn immediately acknowledged that, "...format of the wording seems to imply that the body must be available to invoke that clause." He's gone on to say we should feel free work with the undersanding that the Charity of Death clause is universally available. I am discussing the systemic issue of the written rule.

Mirtek, read the rule again. The first paragraph says that a PC can be raised under certain conditions. Those conditions are 1) the Raise Dead ritual is available, 2) the group has access to the body, and 3) it is possible to return the body to life. If all three of those conditions are not met, the body cannot be raised. The two bullet points are then the options that can be used if those three conditions have been met.

1) The ritual availability shouldn't be a problem.

2) No body, no raise. You can get by with a part of the body, you don't need the whole thing. A number of DMs have publicly stated that a TPK at their table = no body is available = permadeath.

3) Raise Dead doesn't always work. It has to be within 30 days of death. Some magic traps the soul so it can't return. These generally will happen only if it is designed into the mod, so I don't expect this to be a problem.

If that's the intend then " circumstance and a point of view" are nothing but either a certain DM's houserule or a certain player's voluntary decission to not have his character raised. Both of which are selfmade problems which would need no RPGA solution because they don't exist as a RPGA problem.

If the RPGA makes clear in the next CCG that the charity of death is not automatic and doesn't apply after an unrecoverable it's DM and player following the RPGA rules and an RPGA problem

If that's the intent, then fixing it so that it actually says that makes the problem go away. We agree on that.

David
(1) Keep in mind that "body-recovery" can happen off-screen.

(2) The other penalty for dying and being raised is the -1 death penalty for 3 milestones.

(3) The most important aspect is that everyone is having fun. Perma-death of a character is almost always not-fun.

Even with a TPK, there's nothing wrong with friends/family/organizations related to one or more party members sends a group to recover the bodies and invoking the Charity of Death.

Of the 20+ adventures I've run, the 3 TPKs have all had access to Charity of Death. After all, adventurers have friends outside of the current party they travel with!

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

This seems to be a problem of your making. You say perma-death is a problem. Large portions of the community, including a global administrator tell you that perma-death is basically not an issue. And then you use an example of how you decided a situation was perma-death, basically arbitrarily.

Short of "fell into a Sphere of Annihilation", death basically never has to be perma-death. Even with a TPK or the surviving PCs running and never looking back, death doesn't have to be permanent. Any DM can reasonably decide that some other adventurers find and recover the body or any similar "deus ex machina" approach to body recovery. Death is only permanent if the DM is ignoring the cardinal rule of 4th ed: Make the game fun.

This isn't a huge problem. Everyone else here is dealing with it in a reasonable way. It just seems like you and your group is going out of its way to make a problem exist that isn't there. Don't make the problem and you don't need to solve it.

-SYB
The concept offered in the original post basically boils down to asking for a rebuild at the same level when a chacracter dies and it's player decided he does not want to play it anymore.
The concept offered in the original post basically boils down to asking for a rebuild at the same level when a chacracter dies and it's player decided he does not want to play it anymore.

(1) At the end of the original post, it asks that a character always has access to raise. I think that solution is what is "intended" by the Charity of Death clause.

(2) Making a new character at the same level as a dead character is not in-line with the idea of a "Living" campaign.

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

This seems to be a problem of your making. You say perma-death is a problem. Large portions of the community, including a global administrator tell you that perma-death is basically not an issue. And then you use an example of how you decided a situation was perma-death, basically arbitrarily.

Short of "fell into a Sphere of Annihilation", death basically never has to be perma-death. Even with a TPK or the surviving PCs running and never looking back, death doesn't have to be permanent. Any DM can reasonably decide that some other adventurers find and recover the body or any similar "deus ex machina" approach to body recovery. Death is only permanent if the DM is ignoring the cardinal rule of 4th ed: Make the game fun.

This isn't a huge problem. Everyone else here is dealing with it in a reasonable way. It just seems like you and your group is going out of its way to make a problem exist that isn't there. Don't make the problem and you don't need to solve it.

I think I've said it earlier in the thread. If not, I'll make sure it's clear here. I'm not saying "I have a problem, fix it for me." Rather, I am making an observation, "There is a systemic problem, fix it, please."

I have personally adopted the "always recoverable" solution and have recommended it to others in multiple conversations on this topic. I did so prior to starting this thread; I started this thread precisely because others haven't, due to the written rule. I also, quite frankly, find it to be a non-fun solution. The examples provided represent the decisions made that lead to this point.

Thanks for your input.

David
I think I've said it earlier in the thread. If not, I'll make sure it's clear here. I'm not saying "I have a problem, fix it for me." Rather, I am making an observation, "There is a systemic problem, fix it, please."

I have personally adopted the "always recoverable" solution and have recommended it to others in multiple conversations on this topic. I did so prior to starting this thread; I started this thread precisely because others haven't, due to the written rule. I also, quite frankly, find it to be a non-fun solution. The examples provided represent the decisions made that lead to this point.

Thanks for your input.

David

I don't believe you are making an observation. I believe you are positing a theory. I don't think you have enough data (ie, observed enough games) to declare that there is a systemic problem. Furthermore, just about every response here has disagreed that there is a problem (systemic or otherwise). You have no real evidence of a systemic problem and those most familiar with the system have stated there isn't. As best I can tell, you are positing / assuming / fabricating a problem. A problem is far from systemic if you are the only one who has observed it.

-SYB
I don't believe you are making an observation. I believe you are positing a theory. I don't think you have enough data (ie, observed enough games) to declare that there is a systemic problem.

This isn't a scientific or medical context.

It sounds like we have a difference of opinion about the word systemic. Systemic: of or pertaining to a system. The word says nothing about the frequency of occurance in this context and is irrelevant to observed incidence. The point is to prevent the system from behaving in a manner unintended by the architects.

You are treating the word observation as if I am claiming to have made a scientific observation. No such use is intended. I am making a comment or remark (also known as an observation), "There is a problem pertaining to the rules system; please fix it."

Furthermore, just about every response here has disagreed that there is a problem (systemic or otherwise). You have no real evidence of a systemic problem and those most familiar with the system have stated there isn't.

A number of posters have posted on problems with the new character idea. Those posts have merits, but do not address whether there is a problem.

Mirtek has repeatedly made the statement that the Charity of Death clause, as written, does not require access to the body. He's wrong and I so demonstrated. His position that there is no problem stems from that false premise.

Uthrac has said, effectively, that the body requirement can be worked around. I agree; the DM can do that. This doesn't address whether there is a problem; it describes a work around empolyed by a helpful DM.

As to those most familiar with the system, what they've said is inconsistent with your statement.

Shawn has stated that he understands the problem and has sought resolution to it:

I can see that the format of the wording seems to imply that the body must be available to invoke that clause. I tried to get a clarification from WotC on what the intent is, but I have received no answer yet.

Shawn then goes on to propose a work-around to the problem... to assume my alternate solution (that raise is guaranteed) is in effect.

Keith's post is an argument against the possible consequences of permanent death, or lack thereof. In contrast to what you have said, he effectively assumes that permanent death is possible by addressing the consequence. Elsewhere, he has encouraged DMs to work out solutions to prevent it, similarly to Uthrac's post. In other words, while permanent death is possible, a DM shouldn't feel bound to deliver such a ruling and are encouraged not to.

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/LivingFR/message/7869


As best I can tell, you are positing / assuming / fabricating a problem. A problem is far from systemic if you are the only one who has observed it.

Ok.

Here is a lead post of a thread from a DM who is prepared to declare permadeath on a TPK, with support from another:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/LFR-Tymanther/message/536

Notably the follow-up post:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/LFR-Tymanther/message/543

and, by another DM in support (which lead to the Keith's post up above):

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/LFR-Tymanther/message/550

Cheers!

David
I think the problem here might be understanding the ultimate point of the Original Poster (as they kinda switched gears between their first and second posts) and even though they have tried to make it more clear I think this might be adding to the confusion of what is "theory/opinion" and what is an actual problem.

Here is where I see we are (again trying to clarify):

Is There a "systemic problem" with players needing to replay adventures to level up a new character? no. Plenty of adventures to get at least 3 characters to 4th level. If you have an issue with that it is your own opinion (as the original poster stated).

Is there a "systemic problem" with the "death charity clause"? YES. This is not theory. This is not opinion. The problem is that the way the rules are written you have to have "access to the body", "possible to return the dead PC to life", and the characters either have "access raise dead" or "the characters return back to civilization ". If these conditions are met THEN they have TWO options (which it then lists in bullet points). In a Total Party wipe, the PCs do not return to civilization and therefore no one can envoke the death charity clause.

Here are the rules:

*****
Character Death
If a PC dies during the course of the adventure, the player of that character and the rest of the group have two options, provided that they have 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 the dead PC to life.

• Pay the component cost for the ritual.
• Invoke the Death Charity clause.

*****

I KNOW that MOST people might not be running this way, and are running it as Shawn suggests. But if people are not following the rules set forth in the RPGA docs that is a problem, and either the docs need to be changed or the rules need to be clarified. The OP makes a very good point (he just burried it in some opinions about needed to replay adventures).

BTW I was running that the characters need to meet the conditions in order to invoke the Death Charity Clause (It does say ...two options, provided...), so a TPW would result in no PCs being raised.
*****

I KNOW that MOST people might not be running this way, and are running it as Shawn suggests. But if people are not following the rules set forth in the RPGA docs that is a problem, and either the docs need to be changed or the rules need to be clarified.

I think we're all in agreement that the rules, as written, should be clarified. It sounds as though Shawn is looking into that for us.

I do take exception at "not following the rules set forth in the RPGA docs" dig. ;) After all, the rules are explicit that the judge can make modifications to improve the enjoyment/fun of all those at the table. At my table, that means that someone (NPC) will retrieve the bodies and return them to civilization. Requirement for Charity of Death met! :D

I'd hate to go to a con and permanently lose a character to a DM who makes a mistake running the mod and kills my many months of hard work!

I think it's also useful to note that when reporting a mod, there's no box to check for "dead." Seems that the intent is that you can/should get raised at the end of a mod.

My two coppers. :D

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

Sorry, no dig intended. The point about 4e's "big rule" about FUN is well taken. In reading the past posts, I just wasn't sure we were arguing the same things, and I kinda wanted to through my 2 coppers into the fray.

The death rules need clarification (period)

There we go. That is where I stand.
Hi all. I'm responsible for a couple of the posts Howie linked to, so I thought I'd chime in.

Kildaere has it on the money. As the boilerplate reads now, the two options for returning to life become available ONLY AFTER meeting the three provisions, one of which is "access to the Raise Dead ritual (either by having the ritual or returning to civilization)" and another of which is "access to the body." In the event of a TPK, nobody returns to civilization and thus no one can be raised.

A lot of people seem to think this "isn't fun". While a session that ends in a TPK and a lost character isn't something I'd want to do on a regular basis, the fact that such an ending is even possible adds greatly to my enjoyment of the game. I've never been a big fan of playing video games on "God Mode" because there's no challenge. Knowing that any character I make, no matter how weak he is or how foolishly I play him, is somehow "destined" to make thirtieth level, is similarly lame. I want my character's actions to have consequences, of which the penultimate is permanent death.

Deus ex machina is something I've always always always tried to avoid in any D&D game I ran. I like my fantasy worlds to be internally consistent and somewhat rational, because it makes it much easier for me to suspend my disbelief and helps keep things fair for my players. The idea that "The PCs grandma goes into the frost giant/dragon/aboleth lair and brings your bodies out so you can come back to life" is indescribably lame. You frikkin' died. Why is that such a big deal? Make a new character! It's a GAME!!
I have to agree...

There has to be some penalty in death I truly thing the higher and more perilous the adventures are the greater the rewards but greater risks...
I really would hate to see evetone that plays D&D running around with a level 30 guy... I think getting to 30 should be considered an great achievement on playing your character not just a function of being a time sink that I kept playing and playing....
You know Since everyone is chiming in on what they think.. I'll throw my two coppers in...and to my knowledge nobody is right or wrong. Its the rule that is too open to interpretation.

It is my belief that the intention is to allow characters to return to life at the end of every adventure. With some exceptions. Exception A) is the Player doesn't want to return the character to life. Exception B) Something happens to the character in game the prohibits the character from returning to life. Falling into a volcano or desintigration or something along those lines.
( i believe these will be very special situations and very clearly defined within the text of the adventure)

If I read the raise dead right pg 311 of the PHB. only part of the body is necessary to raise a person and the time frame is quite long 30 days. Clearly the intention is not to overly penalize a player for a character death. i believe the intent if not the wording to mean that as long as the body still exist see exception B above the player may opt to return the character to life using Meathod A or B. I also believe that the DM leeway does not extend into actions outside of the adventure. The DM is free to modify the adventure in a way to make it more enjoyable for the players. His rulings do not extend beyond that arena. There is no provision for a DM to extend himself beyond the written rules of the adventure. He has no official authority within the campaign except as adjudicator and presenter of the story at hand. His authority begins and ends there. There is nothing specifically set aside for the DM to do other than present the module. Everything else and I do mean everything else is specifically up to the player in question. As long as the player stays within the guidelines presented in the CCG. I think hes golden within the eyes of the campaign. I would also like to point to the Chracter Death section of CCG 1.6 to support my claim that as long as its not exception A or Exception B. The character may return to life after death in an adventure. The rules as written there is nothing to prevent the player from taking the dead character to the next table at the end of the adventure and participating with the once dead character after paying the Death or envoking the Charity clause.

I'll go one step farther as for penalty phase. If a character dies one or more. Then the party is responsible for paying the cost to raise the dead characters. I believe this is the point in which the DM steps in. If the character was foolish in his opinion awarding more to the characters... This is no longer an individual game but a team game. I dont believe you can take things from previous Living campaigns and apply it here. This is a totally different animal. It may not appeal to everyone, but I believed it is designed to level the playing field between players and bring more players into the game.
I have a slightly different take, I favor death being an factor broadly, but what about the variation you can see between DMs being a factor? Lets say you play normally with a reasonable DM who pitches hard, but isn't ruthless. Then you hit a con and get Chaz Buzzsaw, the PC headhunter. He plays strictly be the rules, but utterly ruthlessly, coup de graces fly left and right the players are slaughtered and unrecoverable cause Chaz says so. Part of me says this is just a chance you take in the varied setting of a Living Game, part of me says I would be angry if it was character I liked if I was taken down by a headhunting DM, even if he followed the rules. I have run into this type of DM, but it was with pre-gens and I didn't care. Is this what the 'sunshine and bunnies rez' clause is for? My own take is I would retire a character who dies fairly in a no rez situation in a routine game, but I might well take the sunshine and bunny clause if I meet Chaz.

Note: Chaz Buzzsaw is a fictional character, no harm is meant to actual people named Chaz Buzzsaw. 'Sunshine and Bunny Clause' copyright Wizards of the Coast and used without permission.
The cost-free death issue is unlikely to be settled to all people's satisfaction. Through a number of different games tabletop and online, I have found some want to able to play without worrying about their time investment and others feel like they need to have a little something at stake to make things interesting.

I tend to be in the middle ground. I don't like the idea of completely flushing a character, especially a higher level one but, having a level, some treasure or some XP on the line seems about right.
1st mod was CORE1-1. I was DM. 4/5 killed, with 5th unconscious. 5th recovered and exited with 3 of the 4 bodies using floating disk. Did not return for remaining body. Edit: in retrospect, he just needed fingers, so this shouldn't have been a problem.

2nd mod was CORE1-3 (not 1-2, sorry). I was player. 3 of 4 killed including self. Survivor recovered two bodies, but chose not to risk recovery of third (deep in complex with baddies near).

David

Let's look at Howie's experience as an example. These sessions seem to me like they would have been very memorable for the players involved, which, in my book, translates into "fun". The last standing player in each of these had some tough choices to make, with consequences attached. Fight on? Cut and run? Try to rescue his friends bodies? Sounds like tense, nail-biting, exciting gaming to me.

If people came back after TPKs, he would have simply shrugged and kept swinging, safe in the knowledge that nobody was "really" gonna die anyhow. That's laaaaaaaame. It's way more exciting to look death in the face than to look "NoXP" in the face.

I also agree with a post about three up, that you shouldn't make level thirty just by grinding away. When I sit down at a 27-30 table and we're all telling war stories of the reknowned "tough fights", people who LOST those tough fights should not be there. "Oh, yeah, this character fought THIS dragon and THAT demon too! Did we win? Umm, I don't remember..." Weak.

The option to run away is always there. If we change the rules to allow coming back after TPKs, we take away meaningful decision-making from the players, and that sucks.
I am ok with most of what was said above, I have to say you have a very narrow view, and are trying to apply previous campaign settings to the current one.

I do take exception as to the "those who lost the fights should not be there."
and not to start a flame war but lets look at the big picture.

You can replay mods at will. So irregardless of my winning or losing I could potentially be there. I can be the most hapless adventurer and still make the upper levels given time regardless of whether my character is successful or fails. As the team concept is the primary push in the game. My role individually is diminished. We could have failed for a variety of reasons. bad party mix, bad decisions at the table, bad dice rolls for the players or incredible dice rolls for the GM. The DM while given leeway is taken out of the administration picture. With the rules as they are presented. He is there to adjudicate the rules within the game only, Present the game, record successes or failures and award rewards. Thats is all. With the hard cap levels in place, I believe they are taking a hard stance against excluding any player from playing in the campaign. Gone are the days of Looking for a game at APL 8 for example. They have given you the game and hard capped levels. So have character come play. Death does have a penalty in cash an xp. Ydont lose purchased items in death, but loose change is gone. Tke a look at the arguments against the slotted magic items. Oh I want to hold on to the slotted spots in case something really good comes up.. Or I am saving my money for X. Not realizing of course that if you or a party member dies Cha ching... The DM is there to take your money. I think there is a misleading statement in the CCG and the boilerplate. In that the players "should" pay the cost for a character death. But I think that is only in there as DM protection against an inexperienced or incredibly stupid player decision.

I think everyone is correct in saying Death is not the same as it was before, but the entire game isnt the same as it was before. I don't think you can apply what has gone on before and apply it to now. I think the campaign administrators look at a) games played and then successes and failures.
Two points.

First: Even taking "Charity of Death" has more of a penalty than loss of gold. There's the -1 death penalty for 3 milestones - that's roughly 1.5 mods. That character receives no story rewards and cannot replay the adventure. This can result in missing out on major quest bonuses or specific (useful) item bundles unique to the adventure. With a TPK, the group didn't finish the last encounter, and so takes an XP hit as well. All-in-all, not an attractive option.

Second: Strict perma-death rules (or rulings) do not foster the cooperative play for the larger community. At cons, I would bet most players would not want to risk a paragon or epic character with a group of strangers, unbalanced party, a Headhunting DM, or a poorly written mod. Many players who have invested time in developing their characters will not "risk" that investment.

When the rules are updated for clarity, I hope that they remind all of the other penalties of death. More importantly, I hope that they do not institute any hard-and-fast rules that would deter players from playing a game only because they are concerned that they could lose a character that they have invested so much into.

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

You can replay mods at will. So irregardless of my winning or losing I could potentially be there. I can be the most hapless adventurer and still make the upper levels given time regardless of whether my character is successful or fails.

Not really. If, at level 22 in a big fight with some demon lords, your TEAM does not succeed (read: TPK), under the current rules, that character dies and thus does not make level 30. I don't see how replay has anything to do with that.

There is a certain amount of trust that players place in the DM, and one another, when embarking upon an adventure. Knowing that the PCs of the other players at the table have FOUGHT their way to their current level helps to alleviate some of that. Obviously they're good enough to get here...

If you think a particular adventure is too "risky", well, I don't know what to tell you. Have your PC stay home and be a fishwife.

If failure doesn't have some REAL meaning, neither does success.
One of the drawbacks of the rule that you always come back to life is also the loss of heroic sacrifices... I would say that my favorite character I have ever played is marked by his heroic act that he unselfishly sacrificed himself to save the party by taking on a mindflayer. My halfling rogue was able to stealth around allowing him to jump on his back driving a dagger in the back of the creature... The Mindflayer teleports way, with the rogue on his back, where they had an epic battle which left both dead.

Without the risk of this there stories are only halfway there because the dead character always comes back.... Well on the other hand isn't that how TV Soaps work???

Tuning back to Days of Our Lives 4.0....



PS..

KUDOS on a great discussion....