PC dies at lvl 3 was this unjust.

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Okay I'm coming on here to find out whether or not my pc's just get a little to emotional when a character dies, or was this justified.

The pc's are lvl 3 but that might not be an issue in this case. They were attacked by 4 of these

The pc's are:
Psion
Cleric
Barbarian
Rogue

The barb and cleric approached the ghouls when attacked from there tombstones.

1st round.
Cleric gets paralyzed.
3/4 ghouls are hit my a energy missle from the psion and the rogue jumps out to attack, the barb now slays one.
2nd round
Cleric is COUP DE GRACE'D for 6 damage , he fails his fort save and dies.

The group then breaks into a load of dm abuse.

Was this justified, would the monster not attack the paralyzed pc, i'd assume thats the strat of the creature. Or am I as a dm not suppose to attack helpless pc's?

What's your opinion experienced dm's?
I think that ghouls could have a valid strat in paralyzing everyone and then eating them alive.
Feh.
They're ghouls. They don't usually have intelligence to go after the able-bodied PCs if they already paralyzed another PC that's close to them. You did nothing wrong. They just mad that they got killed by a bunch of ghouls.
As a DM, I try not to well... try to kill pc's unless they do something stupid. this keeps me justified for killing them, as they can't really say i'm unfair for killing them when they ran straight into a room filled with powerful monsters without any actual attempt at strategy.

as for coup de grace, I don't usually do this unless the monster has nothing else to worry about, like, say, if the PC is off by himself when he's dropped to 0 hp without anyone able to help him... then I might finish him off. But, say, if the PC had an ally who could harm, or even just distract the monster in some way, then the monster would focus on the remaining PC's before going out of its way to kill a PC. once again, the PC would have to be an idiot to run off and play hero when he should be a team player instead.

That's just my two cent's worth. I feel that its fair and my players are smart enough not do these things too often.


EDIT:
As an afterthought, it should be noted that you haven't actually done anything wrong, but players don't like it when their beloved character dies. If the dice just happen to fall that way and kill the PC, then it's not your fault. PC's usually have just as good, if not better, a chance of killing a monster than the monster has of killing them. As long as the encounter was not too hard for the PC's to hope to win, there's nothing wrong with showing the players that they aren't immortal. That's what makes the game exciting.
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since the cleric failed a DC 12 fortitude check and a DC 16 fortitude check, i really don't have much pity for the character.

my ghouls would not cdg, as i generally play undeads very dumb. stil, with other monsters i'd have done the exact same.
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The rules gave you the option to coup de grace. You took an option the rules give you.

Your following the rules options perfectly. And in terms of imagination, your not just throwing imagination away and attacking them. This is how you imagine ghouls (not that it matters much cause I don't play in your game, but I can see ghouls doing that too).

Your players may as well be complaining they roll low on an attack - this ghoul attack is a normal part of the rules just as much as rolling low is. THAT is how hard the game is, if they hadn't realised already.


However, if you ever tend to fudge stuff, then your boned. The only reason they should respect this move is if its following the rules. If you throw that to the wind latter, then they get to whine because hell, you don't follow any rules so why should they?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

Why did the Ghoul waste his action attacking an enemy that was already beaten is my problem?

Because the DM decided he wanted to kill the character that's why.

Sugar coat it all you want, but CDGing a PC when actual threatening PC's are still on the field of battle has no excuse. It's the same BS no matter how you say it as those Players that play CN so they can "do whatever they want."
Why did the Ghoul waste his action attacking an enemy that was already beaten is my problem?

Because the DM decided he wanted to kill the character that's why.

Sugar coat it all you want, but CDGing a PC when actual threatening PC's are still on the field of battle has no excuse. It's the same BS no matter how you say it as those Players that play CN so they can "do whatever they want."

They're ghouls. They're like hyenas. One knocked a player down, and the other went for the throat. They are flesh eating monsters. If you get upset when they actually eat flesh, you are playing the wrong game.
I am a: Lawful Good Dragonborn Paladin
I'd like to thank everyone that posted here, i assumed this would be the reasonable response. The Ghoul attacked a helpless creature, due to which i believed this would be its strategy, paralyzing and devouring the corpse.

Remove the words coup de grace, and replace it with the carnivourous creature begins to rip away at your exposed neck. (Which I stated) Things become more creative, and intense.

I don't think players should ever think they are immortal, but I'm not a tpking dm.

The Ghouls themselves have 13 int, and I'm assuming that being 'undead' doesn't make a high int score useless. As in "I'm undead I'm stupid regardless of my int score."

I have an instace where the pc's died due to a stupid mistake, i'll add it after.

Please I could use everyones opinion because i don't think i'll hear the end of this from them
They're ghouls. They're like hyenas. One knocked a player down, and the other went for the throat. They are flesh eating monsters. If you get upset when they actually eat flesh, you are playing the wrong game.

Thankyou, my point exactly!! A cookie for you:D
Cirrus is correct, Ghouls have 13 Int, they're actually very intelligent, noticably more intelligent than the average person and probably more intelligent than several PC's.

They're certainly intelligent enough to pull off a simple trick like this.
I am not a DM, I've played D&D 3.5 for almost a year, and I've played 4.0 for two sessions. My response should be read with that in mind.

I really think it's up to the DM to make character deaths mean something. As long as the death progresses the storyline or character development, then the occasional death now and again isn't such a terrible thing.

...but, if you have a bunch of no-name NPCs that coup de grace a character, only to have the character rezzed with a pat on the butt and a "Better luck next time buddy", that's not fun for anyone.

Make the death mean something. If the player of the killed character feels as though his/her death progressed something, then it isn't so bad.
Cirrus is correct, Ghouls have 13 Int, they're actually very intelligent, noticably more intelligent than the average person and probably more intelligent than several PC's.

They're certainly intelligent enough to pull off a simple trick like this.

Agreed. Elementary tactics (which a 13 Int certainly can operate under) says that it's better to eliminate one opponent outright than damage several. If your PCs paralyzed someone and didn't take the CdG, I'd be very surprised.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Okay I'm coming on here to find out whether or not my pc's just get a little to emotional when a character dies, or was this justified.

The pc's are lvl 3 but that might not be an issue in this case. They were attacked by 4 of these

The pc's are:
Psion
Cleric
Barbarian
Rogue

The barb and cleric approached the ghouls when attacked from there tombstones.

1st round.
Cleric gets paralyzed.
3/4 ghouls are hit my a energy missle from the psion and the rogue jumps out to attack, the barb now slays one.
2nd round
Cleric is COUP DE GRACE'D for 6 damage , he fails his fort save and dies.

The group then breaks into a load of dm abuse.

Was this justified, would the monster not attack the paralyzed pc, i'd assume thats the strat of the creature. Or am I as a dm not suppose to attack helpless pc's?

What's your opinion experienced dm's?

If the cleric player didn't want to die than he should've just stayed in town and preached to the flock instead of spreading the light of his deity to the dark corners of the world.

When your character spends most of his time killing (un)living beings for fun and profit than they have to figure that sometimes they might get killed in return.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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I am not a DM, I've played D&D 3.5 for almost a year, and I've played 4.0 for two sessions. My response should be read with that in mind.

I really think it's up to the DM to make character deaths mean something. As long as the death progresses the storyline or character development, then the occasional death now and again isn't such a terrible thing.

...but, if you have a bunch of no-name NPCs that coup de grace a character, only to have the character rezzed with a pat on the butt and a "Better luck next time buddy", that's not fun for anyone.

Make the death mean something. If the player of the killed character feels as though his/her death progressed something, then it isn't so bad.

I agree with Urshak, in a way. I agree that the PC's death should mean something, so (assuming that his character isn't getting raised from the dead somehow) maybe you can make up something that makes his death seem more... important to the story. I can't come up with a way since I have no idea what the campaign is about, but it's a suggestion.

Of course, dying at the hands of a common ghoul is just so... meaningless. If you really want to make the players happy, have the cleric raised from the dead somehow. what about the cleric's god restoring him (or her) to life in exchange for something? If he comes back to life (just once... then never again. or else they'll start to believe that they can never truly die) then the players will have nothing to complain about. everyone is alive. it might even allow you to make a session about doing whatever the god asked of him/her in exchange for his/her life!:bounce:
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I think the reality is that your players may have come to the table with slightly different expectations than you have. There is no real "wrong" way to play D&D, but different people play differently. And people, for the most part, only get upset when their expectations aren't met.

You came at the game expecting a certain amount of verisimilitude, and played your monsters accordingly. This is correct.

Your players came at the game expecting a certain amount of "fortune favors the bold" PC-pandering based on the fact that they are the heroes of the tale. This is ALSO correct.

Neither side is wrong; the only problem is that the expectations aren't the same.

I had one DM, played under him many times (for he ran great games) that always, always made sure we knew that he had every intent of playing monsters to the best of their tactical abilities, and would pull no punches in that regard. If the enemy's best tactical option was to CDG us, and the monster was smart enough to know that, then they did it. But, he always TOLD us that he would play that way before each campaign. So no one was ever upset when a character died, because death was doled out with a fair and even hand.

In my own games, I tend to err on the side of "make the PCs heroes" and I let my players know this. They can expect that if they die, the death impacts the story and they're fine with this. Both methods are the stuff of great games, as long as everyone knows what's what when the game starts.

So, in my opinion as both a player and a DM, the only thing you should do differently is to keep the players well-informed of your play style, so that they know to expect that fairness. As long as you are true to your word, you can always rely on the fact that you didn't give your players anything they didn't know was coming. And if your players have any objections, it's always better to hear them at the beginning, rather than when emotions are heated due to a dead character. If your players want to play a little differently, they can discuss that rationally at the beginning of a campaign and you can come to an agreement you're all happy with.

Hope this helps!

- Johnny
Agreed. Elementary tactics (which a 13 Int certainly can operate under) says that it's better to eliminate one opponent outright than damage several. If your PCs paralyzed someone and didn't take the CdG, I'd be very surprised.

Yes I agree, but as for the group... its compromised of a metagamer, 1 person that wants to just rp, and 2 relatively new people, one has played 9 or 10 times, and one who's played prolly 13 sessions.

This group likes to think that 'Undead are incapable of rational thought, and would simply attack randomly'. I believe if thats the case then why give it 13! INT

I myself would be upset if my character died, but the kicker is that the dead pc's controller just laughed. Didn't accept it, he thought a "zombie couldn't use the spell coupe de grace" but he was ignored.


Make the death mean something. If the player of the killed character feels as though his/her death progressed something, then it isn't so bad.

This may work for some groups, but story line killing is a big no no for this group.
This group likes to think that 'Undead are incapable of rational thought, and would simply attack randomly'. I believe if thats the case then why give it 13! INT

I myself would be upset if my character died, but the kicker is that the dead pc's controller just laughed. Didn't accept it, he thought a "zombie couldn't use the spell coupe de grace" but he was ignored.

Undead 1
Pretentious Adventurer 0

I let my PCs know ahead of time that I take great pleasure in eviscerating them but that I'll give them a pretty good chance of survival if they play intelligently. For some reason, they still get mad when I kill them.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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Yes I agree, but as for the group... its compromised of a metagamer, 1 person that wants to just rp, and 2 relatively new people, one has played 9 or 10 times, and one who's played prolly 13 sessions.

This group likes to think that 'Undead are incapable of rational thought, and would simply attack randomly'. I believe if thats the case then why give it 13! INT

I myself would be upset if my character died, but the kicker is that the dead pc's controller just laughed. Didn't accept it, he thought a "zombie couldn't use the spell coupe de grace" but he was ignored.

You might actually want to mention that the ghouls have a 13 INT, and may well be smarter than a couple of members of the party, and that coup de grace isn't a spell, it's an action anybody can take.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I am not a DM, I've played D&D 3.5 for almost a year, and I've played 4.0 for two sessions. My response should be read with that in mind.

I really think it's up to the DM to make character deaths mean something. As long as the death progresses the storyline or character development, then the occasional death now and again isn't such a terrible thing.

...but, if you have a bunch of no-name NPCs that coup de grace a character, only to have the character rezzed with a pat on the butt and a "Better luck next time buddy", that's not fun for anyone.

Make the death mean something. If the player of the killed character feels as though his/her death progressed something, then it isn't so bad.

Well, why aren't they/you feeling it progressed something?

Doesn't it progress the feeling of a cold, dangerous world?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

They're ghouls. They're like hyenas. One knocked a player down, and the other went for the throat. They are flesh eating monsters. If you get upset when they actually eat flesh, you are playing the wrong game.

At the same time, ghouls are just a collection of stats that are presented to players as a challenge to overcome. Arguments can be made that it is more intelligent for the ghouls to focus on subduing other possible threats before pausing to eat an already debilitated threat; survival instincts are likely to over-ride hunger.

Honestly, using "it is in character for the ghouls" is not really a good reason, since it doesn't change the fact that the DM killed a PC in a way that the player felt was unfair. The 4E DMG explicitly recommends against having monsters finish off unconscious or helpless PCs (page 40). It instead recommends that a monster drag a helpless PC away to somewhere else less dangerous to feed (which is slow enough for the other players to intervene if they win the combat). In general, I would only have monsters kill unconscious or helpless PCs if the rest of the party is defeated and forced to retreat. That way, the player at least can feel that his character died because the team lost, as opposed to dying on an easy battle because of dumb luck/vindictive DM.

So, I think the player in question has some right to be upset, and that it was a bad move to coup de grace his character.
I think a ghoul would certainly have acted in the way he did. However I also get the feeling that you players will never be happy when you kill one of them. You say storyline killing is a no no but that regular encounters seem to be the same way seems like your players will accept no option but winning. I guess just let them fight dire rats every night then...
It sounds as though, in this case, the PC didn't even really get much of a chance to fight back, and as such it may have come across as an "oops-yer-dead" shtick - something which rarely goes over well.

It has also been my observation that ghouls are problematic, especially for CR 1 creatures. They don't have much durability but their multiple paralyzing attacks are far more dangerous than CR 1 would suggest.
Adventuring's a dangerous bussiness.....

Seriously, why do players always expect intelligent creatures to fight as if they weren't?
I'd like to thank everyone that posted here, i assumed this would be the reasonable response. The Ghoul attacked a helpless creature, due to which i believed this would be its strategy, paralyzing and devouring the corpse.

Remove the words coup de grace, and replace it with the carnivourous creature begins to rip away at your exposed neck. (Which I stated) Things become more creative, and intense.

I don't think players should ever think they are immortal, but I'm not a tpking dm.

The Ghouls themselves have 13 int, and I'm assuming that being 'undead' doesn't make a high int score useless. As in "I'm undead I'm stupid regardless of my int score."

I have an instace where the pc's died due to a stupid mistake, i'll add it after.

Please I could use everyones opinion because i don't think i'll hear the end of this from them

I agree that your use of a CDG was justified from a role-playing perspective but what I usually do with my players is say "the carnivorous creature begins to rip away at your exposed neck" so that the other players have a turn or a half to save each other.

What your players probably heard was: "you are paralyzed and helpless the ghoul begins to rip away at your exposed neck, you are dead." Not very fun.

Edit:
I agree with most that the PCs are partly to blame for the death, it is no secret to anyone that has even glanced at the MM that ghouls can paralyze. Any party should know that you need to stay within arms reach of each other when up against creatures like that so that they can come to each others aid
They're ghouls. They're like hyenas. One knocked a player down, and the other went for the throat. They are flesh eating monsters. If you get upset when they actually eat flesh, you are playing the wrong game.

Ghoul
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 2d12 (13 hp)
Initiative: +2 +3
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d6+1 plus paralysis)
Full Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d6+1 plus paralysis) and 2 claws +0 melee (1d3 plus paralysis)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Ghoul fever, paralysis
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., undead traits, +2 turn resistance
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +5
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con
No Ghouls are NOT like Hyena. They have an above average Intelligence, wisdom and charisma. In fact I'd almost bet unless you used a non-standard stat method, the Ghoul has better mental attributes then your party. Even your Bard, Cleric, Wizard, whom probably dump statted at least one of those two if not both.

YOU as the DM made a totally BS decision to KILL a character. Because the Ghoul if played as his stats are would have paralyzed the other PC's or GOD FORBID escaped so as not to DIE!

But, did it do that? Nope it maybe the video game decision "well since I'm a CR 1, and can't possibly win this battle at all, I'll just perma kill the hero here, cause the DM playing me is a horrible GM."

Yes I said it. That was a horrible call on your part. Your player is right. It was uncalled for an unjust.

You're a wuss who can't stand having a character die. Yes I said it. You're bad.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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In general, I prefer to lay out my campaigns in a general sense before starting, and fill in the gaps after I figure out what everyone is playing and their character's history. I also let them know that they shouldn't expect me to change the way the dice fall to spare their character's lives, particularly if they're doing stupid things. If they die, however, it affects the story, because I have to change it all to fit their new character.

I also am not a jerk like most DMs and I let them make a new character at the level of everyone else, as opposed to having them make a new character at one level lower. If they get resurrected, however, they still lose a level. But that's not something I can help.

Unless they get resurrected by a god, but I'm not one to throw in deities to that effect.
On the upside, now everybody at this gaming table understands why save-or-die effects suck and why they have been removed from 4th Edition.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Agreed. Elementary tactics (which a 13 Int certainly can operate under) says that it's better to eliminate one opponent outright than damage several. If your PCs paralyzed someone and didn't take the CdG, I'd be very surprised.

The player was OUT OF THE FIGHT. The CDG should have happened afterword, not in the middle of combat with other threats. In the real world, if I was charging the line of the enemy and grenade went off near the enemy and blew both his arms off, IE he is no threat to me. I would not stop if their were other combatents near by and shoot this armless guy in the face.

I would not. The average non-sociopathic person would not and if by some deprived out look on life you did. You'd get a court martial asap.

The combat was not over, had the ghoul critting a non-paralyzed player and killed him, npnp. But, you as the GM made the decision not an above average intelligent creature that would want to preserve it's life. If the Ghoul had a 1 intelligence and didn't know it was paralyzed absolutely, but hell even animals with paralyzing venoms, make sure they are in no danger to themselves before they partake of a paralyzed meal. Don't believe me, toss two flies in a spider web, and see if the spider doesn't paralyze them both before eating.
I'm not sure why it is a widespread contention that killing the helpless cleric was the smart, tactical option for the Ghoul.

[INDENT]As an aside, this leaves entirely untouched whether this was a fair or unfair thing to do to the character.[/INDENT]

I mean, tactically, for the DM who wants to do the most damage to the party, killing the PC is a better tactic.

Tactically, for a necromantic overlord controlling the ghouls, killing a helpless party member is a better tactic.

For the actual ghoul, I don't see how this is a better tactic. If you are fighting an equal number of opponents (four ghouls vs. four heroes) and one of the heroes goes down, that means that you are now still fighting three active, dangerous heroes. Why would you spend your time savaging the one who is down and helpless, when you are still vulnerable to attack from three other heroes? Dropping the still dangerous foes, or driving them off, would seem to be a better tactical option for an intelligent monster.

Think about it as a fight between two gangs of four people. If someone in the first gang knocks a member of the second unconscious, should he continue to attack that unconscious guy, or help the other members of his gang "gang" up on the now outnumbered second gang?

If you just knock someone down, or stagger them, it's probably better to take them out of the fight, so you are sure they can't come back. If they are actually out of the fight, like paralyzed, aren't they no longer a threat?

Heck, I suspect that a pack of hyenas, attacking a calf and its mother, would continue to focus on the mother who was attacking them back, rather than eat the unconscious calf (if, of course, they couldn't carry off the calf).

This may have been the source of party anger. The ghoul focused its attacks, not on the active threat of the other party members, but on the completely helpless downed character. The ghouls should probably value their own "unlife" more than the goal of killing a character. If they do, why did they ignore the threat to their own lives, to kill a character? I wouldn't be surprised if many players would think that was because "the DM wanted to kill my character".

I'm not saying you were wrong, but I can see how another reasonable person could think that your actions were unjustified, without being a whiny cry-baby.
What's your opinion experienced dm's?

I think it was rather brutal, but perfectly justified if your aiming for a deadly physically tough campaign. Considering they where under attack by other PCs and the cleric was already paralyzed, it takes a pretty ruthless and cool fighter to stop and finish off the non-threat character.

Most DM's I know probably wouldn't have gone for the kill before killing or driving off the rest of the party. However, as long as the danger level in the campaign was spelled out ahead of time, I would have no problem with it. Though I would expect the players to whine a bit if taken so suddenly in a minor encounter.

Hopefully they learn something about keeping the cleric back in deadly games.

Jay
You're a wuss who can't stand having a character die. Yes I said it. You're bad.

I've retired in my 16 years of playing more characters then most people roll up. The DM asked if it was unjust. Yes it is. I would not do that to a player. The 120 players in my group would not do that to a player.

The player was paralyzed. It was unable to fight, for many minutes. MINUTES. More then enough time for the ghouls to either finish the rest of the party making their meal safe to eat. Or leaving to stalk them later in the night when it made more sense to attack, if they were grossly outgunned.

The DM played the creatures as a throw away fodder, and because he did this, he made sure to "take" out the damn cleric to.
The player was OUT OF THE FIGHT. The CDG should have happened afterword, not in the middle of combat with other threats. In the real world, if I was charging the line of the enemy and grenade went off near the enemy and blew both his arms off, IE he is no threat to me. I would not stop if their were other combatents near by and shoot this armless guy in the face.

I would not. The average non-sociopathic person would not and if by some deprived out look on life you did. You'd get a court martial asap.

Ghouls aren't average non-sociopathic people. Ghouls are average sociopathic walking corpses.

The combat was not over, had the ghoul critting a non-paralyzed player and killed him, npnp. But, you as the GM made the decision not an above average intelligent creature that would want to preserve it's life. If the Ghoul had a 1 intelligence and didn't know it was paralyzed absolutely, but hell even animals with paralyzing venoms, make sure they are in no danger to themselves before they partake of a paralyzed meal. Don't believe me, toss two flies in a spider web, and see if the spider doesn't paralyze them both before eating.

Ghouls have already had death fail to end them at least once. Things like self-preservation and danger suddenly take on new meanings when death doesn't really mean anything to you.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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I've retired in my 16 years of playing more characters then most people roll up. The DM asked if it was unjust. Yes it is. I would not do that to a player. The 120 players in my group would not do that to a player.

The player was paralyzed. It was unable to fight, for many minutes. MINUTES. More then enough time for the ghouls to either finish the rest of the party making their meal safe to eat. Or leaving to stalk them later in the night when it made more sense to attack, if they were grossly outgunned.

The DM played the creatures as a throw away fodder, and because he did this, he made sure to "take" out the damn cleric to.

In my 12 years of playing, I've learned that random arbitrary death is a fact of life in the adventuring profession.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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Well, people that are sore losers will generally throw tantrums when.. they lose. And that is how dying is percieved by most people. And, since a "friend" is the arbiter of the game.. it is a personal attack. Furthermore.. how DARE this person kill my character. He didn't have to.. he could have given me a thousand experience instead.. but, he did it. Clearly, he has a personal vendetta.

Look, scenarios like character death show a picture of what a person is really like. It may come down to the fact that if your players throw tantrums every time they die that you are not the DM for them. Give them the reigns to the adventure.. make them put all the work and effort into it.. and you can relax with your easily made one character.

I have reminded my players nearly every game session that "Death is a possibility." That I WILL let the dice determine a death. That I WILL kill your character if I deem it is what an NPC would do. That I AM willing to allow a TPK. Reminding them of this.. I have had one character death in a monthly gaming session that has lasted about 8 months. And this was due to a character pretty much looking to die (as in, I would have had to come up with a contrivance for him staying alive).

I have found in my experience that computer/tabletop gamers never did the "Losing with Grace" education of the sports players. So, they pout. They've played games all their lives where they always win. Where there is always a save to go back to.. a way to restart. And since video games have been single player for the longest time.. they were always the winner. In something like sports.. doesn't work that way. People lose.. and when you do.. you SHOULD do it with grace.

Anyway.. a PC death at any level isn't "unjust" just because the character died. If I were a hungry ghoul.. and I just tagged my meal.. AND I know it will wake up eventually.. I'd kill it before moving to the next thing. OR, I'd kill it and just start eatting my fill... because who knows, if my other ghoul friends don't take down the rest of the party.. I'll at least have taken a few bites.. and I can flee.

Note: And if "I" the DM were REALLY roleplaying the ghouls.. I wouldn't be thinking "Oh, I'm a nasty devious ghoul.. I have 1DX minutes until he awakens. Thankfully.. my internal clock will inform me of the proper time." No, I would be thinking.. "Food is down. Food CAN wake up. There IS a way to make sure food doesn't wake up."
Ghouls aren't average non-sociopathic people. Ghouls are average sociopathic walking corpses.

Ghouls have already had death fail to end them at least once. Things like self-preservation and danger suddenly take on new meanings when death doesn't really mean anything to you.

Ummmm....what?

All intelligent undead, Int 13 counting as intelligent, have a survival instinct. In fact in any fluff or role-playing sense they should have a magnified survival instinct because no undead creature goes "well I escaped death once, that must mean I am invincible" they either became undead in order to avoid death(liches are an example of this) or "lucked" out and sidestepped fate for a while saying "wheeeew, that was close, I don't want that to happen to me again".
Have none of you people ever heard of the term "Focus Fire"?
I have found in my experience that computer/tabletop gamers never did the "Losing with Grace" education of the sports players. So, they pout. They've played games all their lives where they always win. Where there is always a save to go back to.. a way to restart. And since video games have been single player for the longest time.. they were always the winner. In something like sports.. doesn't work that way. People lose.. and when you do.. you SHOULD do it with grace.

That is a pretty good point you have made. Most of the video gamers who play D&D probably enjoy CRPGs when they play video games. CRPGs are horribly bad for the notion of being designed to have the player win in the end. At least Counter Strike or Madden players lose sometimes.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Ummmm....what?

All intelligent undead, Int 13 counting as intelligent, have a survival instinct. In fact in any fluff or role-playing sense they should have a magnified survival instinct because no undead creature goes "well I escaped death once, that must mean I am invincible" they either became undead in order to avoid death(liches are an example of this) or "lucked" out and sidestepped fate for a while saying "wheeeew, that was close, I don't want that to happen to me again".

You know how many teenagers have this notion that death only happens to other people until someone close to them dies and then suddenly they realize their own mortality?

Well, undead are the opposite.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Have none of you people ever heard of the term "Focus Fire"?

Yeah, but if you want to pull the full weight of logic into this:

WHY WOULD ANY VILLAIN ANYONE EVER BEGAN TO MESS WITH NOT STOMP THE PCs INTO THE DIRT THE MOMENT THEY BECAME A MODERATE THREAT?


Answer it, please. Most evil mastermind type villains that DMs throw at PCs have enough intelligence to go "Instead of just sending a few trusted minions that by any approximation of the do-gooder's strength would be at best a difficult but still possible challenge I think I will send an huge, well prepared force to lay in ambush and maybe come along myself to make sure it goes well."