Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In Praise of Killing the PCs

Total Party Kill by JD Webster

So, Referee.  You've got a group of player-characters, and you want to know what to do.

Kill the player-characters.

Kill them often. Kill them with gusto. Delight in their demise!  Crush them with huge slabs, dash them against sheer cliffs, cook them with dragon breath, dump them in a pit of cold water and watch their plate mail drown them! Sic giant weasels on them. Pummel them with Hill Giant boulders. Pull them under with waves of kobolds. Frag them with Magic Missiles.

Just, for Gary's sake, be fair about it! Always give the players clues that something dangerous may lurk nearby. "Bang! You're dead!" is bad because then nobody is playing, you are just taking their character sheet. The way I say it at my table is, "I don't kill you. The dice kill you." It's the way I tell them that they're going to die and it's going to be preventable.  It's not always, or even usually the dice - the player so are quite capable of blundering their way into danger themselves!

Tomorrow, I'll talk about what this looks like from the other side of the Ref's screen.

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