Skip to content

Alas, poor Keelie. I knew her.

Alas, poor Keelie. I knew her. published on 6 Comments on Alas, poor Keelie. I knew her.

Player Death Culture

The way D&D deals with death is a lot different from when I was wee. Death was given out for the slightest mistake. Deadly traps plagued hallways, and new characters sprouted up like graveweeds. It was a different kind of fun, but it was fun.

This attitude toward death is still around, I think, but I’m not so certain people who hold it play 5e.

At least in my experience, in 4e and 5e both, death has been seen as something that needs earned. I’ve killed exactly two player characters in those editions. One was a valiant Dragonborn Paladin, who died hurling a wounded princess to safety through an open portal as the last volley of arrows sank into his back. The other was a Rogue who stepped into an ooze.

There’s a much more JRPG feel to the D&D groups I’ve found over the past few years, and player death isn’t a huge part of that vibe.

What’s PC death like at your table? I’d be interested to hear, so please, sound off in the comments.

Money Zone

You know what’s cooking down here. If you haven’t seen our paper minis over on Patreon yet, consider subscribing and picking them up. It helps us a ton and it’ll add a splash of color to your game. There are more mini figs coming — a goblin pack is in the very near future — and we’ve got a fun pack of Myconids out based on this arc.

6 Comments

Rolling a new character is fun the first, maybe second time. If you’re constantly dying and making new characters…thats just tedious.

It’s EXTREMELY rare for my party. We’ve been playing for two years on the same characters and only now because we’re in possibly the worst situation possible is the DM requiring us to think about back up characters. With the level of thought and depth and character growth (and, admittedly, using them to process our own complicated traumas and reactions to them), it’d be hard to just drop them after the first 12 sessions.

When I’m DMing it’s kinda the same thing. I haven’t run a campaign nearly that long yet, but I do want my players’ characters to stay alive so we can do the story instead of catching up new PCs all the time. Does it come real close to death sometimes? Do players forget thanks to what they go through that I said I’ll do what I can so they don’t die? Sure, so there’s an element of loss and risk and weight to the game, but them not dying is a firm thing for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Primary Sidebar