Best Character Deaths


Best Character Deaths

My tastes in character deaths may be a little different from the rest
here, but take it for what it’s worth…

Best Character Death: …of course requires the character be
appreciated. Kagck was a kobold: lowdown, shrimpy, scurrilous, pridefully
brave, a pickpocket and a priest of his race’s god. Being thrown in with
adventurers of other races who were taller, stronger, and had better teeth
gave him more opportunities to cause trouble than it did to show off, but he
polished his pride regardless in one field where he excelled: scouting.
Kagck would compulsively slip ahead of the rest of the group, see what was
about to be faced, and bring back a few trophies on his own when he could
manage.
I don’t remember what lead to Kagck’s last dungeon plunge. (It was an
AD&D game, if ye hadn’t already guessed, so there were no shortage of
these.) Undoubtedly it was another spoke on the wheel of the dire quest we
had to complete. The caves we were spelunking were natural and live, and we
had yet to encounter any guardians or artificial construction as we proceded
down. The party was in cautious travel mode. Around a few corners and down
a few declines we came across a cliff edge, 40 feet down and no visible
means of descent.
Naturally Kagck climbed it.
Well, he tried.
Kagck’s rather unexpected but very decisive death was a poignant little
reminder that you never write off any danger. Sure, Soul Sacrificing Evil
Lords in Grimy armor may be good for getting a heroic death at the hands of,
but if sheer slopes and trapped chests weren’t meant to be exciting as well,
we wouldn’t bother rolling for them. Strange as it is to say, my favorite
character death wasn’t noble or heroic, but just served to remind the whole
group that Shit Happens.
Then that idiot wemic in the party set of a rockslide and reduced my
dogfoodised character to a dogfoodised character under several tons of rock,
because overkill happens too.

My Worst Character Death would have to have been in another AD&D game.
This one was a tournament, so all around us were a dozen other tables
running the same module with the same party fighting the same monsters and
so on. I got the party mage, possessor of the little useful “wand of
fireballs” for the dungeon crawl we were facing. (For any reader who has
never been an AD&D player, the fireball serves to be one of the defining
points of the game. It does tremendous damage to everything in a huge area,
including the players, if they get caught in the backblast. In ye olde
narrow winding dungeon, you generally don’t find a safe place to fire one of
these off.)
Well, halfway into the dungeon, the party opens yet another nondescript
door. On the other side a HUGE cavern glitters and gleams, filled with
jewelry, gems, coins, and the swelling form of an inhaling Very Old White
Dragon getting ready to turn the entire group into very heroic & noble
popsickles with it’s lethal breath.
The DM informs us that we have time to declare one action before facing
our fate, and my response is to fire off a blast with my fireball revolver.
The GM makes a satisfied grin and rolls up damage for the party. No, of
COURSE there wasn’t actually a huge cavern there to absorb the blast. The
whole thing was an illusion covering a 10’x10′ room. Wasn’t it OBVIOUS how
set up it was? Sorry, mr. gm man, i just came here from playing low fantasy
for the last many years; we don’t design traps for any inevitable area
effect boom spells into our dungeons. Natch, not only was the DM looking at
me as the idiot that i obviously was, but the rest of the players were too.
Crimy.

S.

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