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.


Unknown said...

My group is currently in the ToH (4th ed, not the Super Adventure) also , being about 1-2 sessions behind the "free the minions" group. I just hope they are not reading that blog !

Anyway, at the halfway mark, my group totals are :

False Acerak destroyed while bitchslapped by the fighter (held to the ground the whole fight!)

XP gained in 5 sessions 20050
Haul of 9300gp + scrolls and magic items

3 deaths, 2 sex changes, surviving the 100 ft drop, the Destroyer and finally opening all 3 the same time !

I've had compliments from a player saying this was the most engaging, non-linear dungeon he went through.

And my once happy-go-lucky group now searches every spot on the floor, ceiling and doors.

:) I'm happy dm'ing this adventure!

Even if its 4th ed, it still has a great 1e feel .. and they didn't even get to the Juggernaut yet..

vbwyrde said...

Far out. Like I said, I admire any GM who does not overly coddle the players by preventing them from the deaths their thoughtless decisions so richly deserve. Its great to hear that your players have learned their lesson, and think about what they're doing instead of just leaping in on the assumption that the GM will not let them perish-by-folly. :)

Carry on, sir.