Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Death anyone?

I like this GMs treatment of death in his game. NO bones about it, and no mincing during the chopping.  Just ... you made a big mistake - you're dead.


Tomb of Horrors Session

I have to admire a GM who is perfectly willing to let the PCs get mowed down like so many blades of grass.  Of course there's a lot of angsty Players out there who will feel horribly crushed if their Characters die.  I know.  But there's another side to the argument which is that ever-present-possibility-of-dying-stupidly makes for smarter better players over time.   Sure, you lose a few while you get the hang of how to Be Careful.  But that's part of the fun of the game.   Somehow, in my experience, those games where we all knew we stood a good chance of getting chopped into tiny bits if we didn't pay attention to what we were doing, and plan carefully, were the more exciting (and oddly educational) experiences.

Most GMs I've played with were too wimpy to let PCs die. So whenever we made a mistake the GM would one way or another find a way to save us from our stupidity.   A hint here, a fudged die roll there, a modified result over there, etc.   After a while we got the idea we were not going to get killed because the Great GM in the Sky was looking out for us.   So we just kept playing stupid.   And in some cases we even played stupider, just because we knew we could. After a while we got bored and those worlds shriveled up and died the death of wimpy worlds.

On the other hand were those Worlds where the GM did not pull punches or save us from ourselves.  And those, as it turns out, were the most exciting, and memorable experiences of all.

So I admire the GM who has the balls to let the Player Characters get themselves killed. Its fun.
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