Boppin’ and Blog Hoppin’: Day Six

First character death. How did you handle it?

I’m struggling to think of a character I’ve played who even died. As the DM, I doled out deaths; but as an eleven-year-old, it was usually due to spite and caprice related to social issues more than anything in-game. If someone on the outer rim of the gaming circle behaved in an unacceptable fashion–of course, as determined by me–then I’d simply dissolve their character, split up his maximum age potential, and dole it out to the remaining players. By the time that first group broke up when I skipped a grade, the two players who’d been with me since the start were playing half-elves who were slated to hit their 700th year.

I was a kid.

think the first character death I had in a DnD/d20 system was my Ebou Dari knife fighter in the Wheel of Time d20 game. That was another game on the Pits of Evil, and was definitely more of a “We’re into this property and thus really want to play in this game, even if the personalities present in this party (in and out of character) are almost certainly not going to work out.” The Pits had a lot of numbers, for the time and place, but it was still very much a community. People knew each other, social groups existed, there was a pecking order…theoretically a meritocracy, in that respect was usually accorded a poster based on the quality of his or her writing.

As I recall, my knife fighter was in a party with a female Aiel warrior and some dude from one of the more central lands. The female Aiel was played by an actual lady, and this being the early 2000’s (I say that, but man, it probably still goes on; I play with married grownups these days if I’m playing coed) the dude tried immediately putting all possible moves on the girl. In and out of character this got pretty oppressive, and when he wouldn’t back down–he was playing in character, he said–I decided my character would take offense and popped off with a couple quickdrawn knives, going for a sneak attack.

A thing to know about me is that I roll low. Independent probablahblahblah, my rolls tend to scrape the bottom of all possible barrels. It’s definitely helped me in terms of mastering the rules of systems (I need every mod I can get) and in terms of improving my rp, because I might as well have fun if I’m not going to necessarily do anything heroic. So my alpha strike fumbled, and the guy gutted my character, at which point the Aiel gutted him, at which point the game ended. I think we were within a week, and 20 total posts, of the game starting.

I was pretty okay with this! Though this was still a few months before Jordan would burn me so, so raw with Crossroads of Twilight, my appreciation for WoT didn’t really extend to the game system, which had some incredible ideas but was fundamentally moored in a fantasy world that lacked the variety I want from my DnD games. I don’t play humans, generally, unless I can do something very unusual with their backstory or need the extra feat and so forth to pull off an unusual class combination. I definitely took a lot of inspiration from the book in terms of building cultural import into campaign and character creation, though, so I guess my dude didn’t die in vain.

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