Death and permanent injuries - Help

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Hi guys


I'm fairly new as a DM. I just start to playing 4D (and D&D for first time) last year, just like my PCs. Becuase it  was my first time DMing and it is a big group (6 PCs sometimes 7). At first, I had some trouble making proper encounters and challenges to keep the game interesting.


I started running published adventures just to learn to how play the game, and after the second adventure, I took the risk  of making an Open world long term campaign. It worked. My group always prefered PC story development over just random encounters. So it was easy for me to know what to offer them, but my lack of experience made me too flexible with the rules making the game too easy for them. I tried to fix it taking the rules more seriously, like no more flexible DCs (just when it was needed). They like it.


Still at this point the game sometimes felt like slow-paced, sometimes because the encounters were really difficult for them, or because everybody wanted to do something different. So I start pushing the game, putting some pressure on the PCs, making the encounters smaller but memorable.



...long story short.



Because we don’t really play that often (once a month), I have time to prepare the game. So this last encounter I did this epic fight with a Demon who possessed one of the PC and destroys a village, so the other PCs decided to kill him to stop the Demon. So yeah... now he is dead. I didn't expect that. After the game they asked if there was a way to revive this PC.  I was planning to send them to the underworld to try to rescue his soul or something. I would like some help here.


Oh and another PC lost his “off-hand” arm in the fight. A this third PC ended with his back broken. I've been reading about permanent injuries in game, and how they can affect the mechanics. This was planned but the PCs (again) reacted in different way and now one of them wants a magical prosthesis and the other one wants to take "vacations" (yes, ingame) to heal his broken back. I just did it to give it a more violent, dark and serious touch to the story, now I need to offer them some options for these.



What do you think or permanent damage on the PCs and how do you deal with a dead PC who didn't what to die?

I am White/Black
I am White/Black
What do you think or permanent damage on the PCs

Permanent injuries can work as long as the players are OK with it and/or there are ways to revert the damage should it get tiresome. If the injuries are truly permanent, nothing is stopping the player from just rolling up an identical PC to get rid of them anyway.

You can make it an interesting choice if you pair the injury with some permanent advantage, that way the player will have to think twice before removing it.

Loss of a hand and broken back sound like way too serious injuries in my opinion. I usually go for minor penalties to certain skills or very situational combat drawbacks. But if your players are fine with it, there's absolutely no problem.

how do you deal with a dead PC who didn't what to die?

The Raise Dead ritual comes to mind.

Read through this recent thread, specifically taking note of my comment about the alternate Injury systems from Dungeon magazine.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... 
Because we don’t really play that often (once a month), I have time to prepare the game. So this last encounter I did this epic fight with a Demon who possessed one of the PC and destroys a village, so the other PCs decided to kill him to stop the Demon. So yeah... now he is dead. I didn't expect that. After the game they asked if there was a way to revive this PC.  I was planning to send them to the underworld to try to rescue his soul or something. I would like some help here.

Oh and another PC lost his “off-hand” arm in the fight. A this third PC ended with his back broken. I've been reading about permanent injuries in game, and how they can affect the mechanics. This was planned but the PCs (again) reacted in different way and now one of them wants a magical prosthesis and the other one wants to take "vacations" (yes, ingame) to heal his broken back. I just did it to give it a more violent, dark and serious touch to the story, now I need to offer them some options for these.



What do you think or permanent damage on the PCs and how do you deal with a dead PC who didn't what to die?


On a more general note, I'd advise you to think ahead a little more next time. What did you think would happen to the PC when you possessed it with a demon? Was the player even okay with it or was he pretty much forced out of the battle? The dominate condition is already in the rules for situations like this, and doesn't require the party to kill their teammate in order for it to end.

And what do you think would happen when you broke a PC's back and chopped off an arm!? I'm just really unclear on what you're trying to accomplish or what you expected to happen when you thought these things up. There are no real rules for that sort of thing in 4e, so you shouldn't even try it unless you have an idea about how to resolve it.

Honestly I think you should probably look for another system that better fits your playstyle if you want to continue inflicting major injuries or taking over PCs completely. If you want to continue with 4e, I'd reccommend you stay within the rules as written until you're more comfortable with dealing with the consquences of such drastic decisions.

And what do you think would happen when you broke a PC's back and chopped off an arm!? I'm just really unclear on what you're trying to accomplish or what you expected to happen when you thought these things up. There are no real rules for that sort of thing in 4e, so you shouldn't even try it unless you have an idea about how to resolve it.



You are right. Sorry I was really unclear with what I wanted to do with this situation. As I said the permanent damage thingy was already planned by me. The idea of the PC suffering the broken back was becuase the player wasn't going to be able to play for a long time so he ask me to think of a plotwist to keep his PC out the main story for a while.

About the lost off-hand situation (to be clear his injury wasn't the entire arm, was somewhere below the elbow), I read somewhere in these forums about a DM who did the same to one of his PCs. For a while he decide to punish PC with penalties to some of his checks because of the arm (nothing really serious, just to make clear he had a disability). Later on they find a Titan's hand (Stonefang grasping hand) and with some magical binding they attached the hand to this PC giving him back all his abilities plus some flavor to his story.

I really liked that so I took it for my campaign.  It may work only if I push the PCs to this plot.  But they may look for other options I just wanted some opinions of how to handle it. Or if you had some experiences with this kind of situation. Hope this has been clear enough.
I am White/Black
I am White/Black
Well that's not so bad then if you had reasons and consquences in mind. The main thing to do next time is just talk it over a little with the players before you do something so serious, and build some trust so they know you're not permanently weakening their characters.

I'd still recommend staying a little more within the rules as a new DM though. You can have a voilent and gritty atmosphere without actually hurting PCs that much. For example, the PC who will be missing a few sessions might have heard his whole hometown was massacred or something, and he has to go look for survivors/bury his family. 4e is just made to assume characters are generally healthy and battle-ready throughout their careers, and messing with that can cause frustration or feeling picked on when some characters are significantly weakened while their allies are still at full strength.