HomeGates & GlamoursUnreasonable Reactions to Character Death?

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Unreasonable Reactions to Character Death? — 5 Comments

  1. I think that characters would mourn even if the dead party member hadn’t been with them long. People do feel sadness even when a stranger dies.

    For someone to be almost family in a tight-knit group should evoke much stronger reaction. And if you’re facing death together all the time, you’re pretty tight-knit.

  2. Very sorry to hear about your dog. 🙁

    I imagine a party of adventurers in D&D would be somewhat like a platoon of soldiers in a war (eg. WWII, Vietnam, etc). Although it does depend on what kind of game you're playing, and the players and DMs ideas about whether the characters should have script immunity or not.

  3. Indeed… the loss of a pet is a hard thing. You have my sympathies.

    As far as character death goes, I’ve never encountered the phenomenon you describe, but one of my current players has told me in no uncertain terms that if her fairy dragon companion should come to grief, she will become most distressed. It’s okay if her character buys the farm, just not the fairy dragon.

  4. I guess it depends on style. In some hack-n-slash campaigns where there is inherently less attachment to people, I guess it might make sense in that context.

    I’ve always tried to lend such things appropriate weight. And I’m not big on ‘script immunity’ – any situation is survivable (err, the story is survivable. Not the characters) so long as the players – and the GM – are ok with things going off the rails.

    I mean, Aragorn can’t die in LOTR, right? He’s integral. Unless he dies, in which case, there’s still political turmoil, even if the ring is destroyed, evil defeated, etc.

    The effects of loss can be huge moments that take stories into memorable places – so long as they’re given the gravity they deserve.

  5. I’m also sorry to hear about your dog. 🙁

    I have also never seen characters mourned overly much in character (oddly enough, this has been the case even when the characters were mourned out of character)
    I think the underwhelming reaction to a fellow PC’s death has partially to do with the fact that the player is still sitting right next to you. Maybe the inherent level of removal between players and character makes it difficult to roleplay. (But then again, you could say that about anything that happens to the characters) Perhaps most people just don’t like to roleplay “difficult” emotions like grief. (Or for that matter, love… I can probably count the number of in-character romances I’ve seen in the last 16 years of gaming on one hand)