“Really I`m not dead yet, I have 5 hidden health points, hidden right here in my pants pocket.”
Dan Panamaroff relates this story on being dead:
Actually, I don’t have any tales of _my_ death. It’s not because I’m
smarter than you guys, or in any way luckier. It’s just that in my group
back in Canada, I was almost always the GM.
However, I have two stories that I would like to share from my TORG
campaign. If you don’t know, TORG was about a “Core Earth RPG” being
invaded by 5 other RPG realities. (Fantasy, Pulp, Near Future, Primitive,
Religious/Cyberpunk, & Victorian horror.)
I can’t recall the names of the characters, but that’s not important.
Basically, the characters had tracked down a bunch of kidnapped Core Earth
natives to a temple in “The Living Lands”, the primitive/high spiritual
reality that imposed itself over most of North America (This adventure was
near Eugene, Oregon.)
Basically, the native group of Edinos (Lizard men.) Were going to sacrifice
these 50 people to their God. The Edinos usually worship a Life Goddess,
offering their experiences and feelings to her. This splinter group wanted
to release the Death God, the one responsible for taking the goddess’s
senses in their mythology. (That’s why Edinos offer their experiences to
Lahana, she cannot feel anything else.) The Dark God would take over the
entire reality. and the sections of Earth that were under the alien
The is a huge stone building, basically a stadium that flipped and
transformed into a natural caldera like structure, 50 humans cowering at
the alter, 2000 screaming worshipers. The Edinos priests pull out obsidian
swords, (Heresy! Dead weapons!) and approach the humans.
Suddenly, two of the cowering humans pull weapons from under their rags!
(All humans look alike I guess.) They spend reality points and snap reality
bubbles over themselves allowing them to play by the rules of their
realities. The two heroes at the alter begin to slay the priests. A
cyperpunk hero begins to lazer down the priests, and a muscular pulp Amazon
Warrior Woman ™, begins to wade through the crowd. Her sword arm as
powerful as her heart is pure.
“How many can I attack in a single round?”
At the back, an Alysh mage pumps lighting bolts into the crowd, a 12 foot
tall Aylish giant cleric calls down _his_ God of fire to smite his enemies
and a Edinos (Lizardman) begins to spray the crowd with heavy machine-gun
fire. (He had flipped to Core Earth, and he liked it.)
The fight was amazing! I ran it cinematically. Exploding cultists. Heads
flying off (The Amazon.) and explosions of both tech, magic and raw
spiritual energy! When the God appeared in his Avatar, things really got
bad. The players almost needed a change of underwear.
In the end, to cover the other characters using their “reality skills” to
destroy the Avatar, the Alysh priest was attracting attention and keeping
the (surviving) cultists off the group with his prodigious strength, and
his (Huge!) magical ball and chain.
Think of going through a display of watermelons at your local supermarket
with a baseball bat…
Wave after wave! Finally, he is wounded again, seriously, just as the God
GM (Me): Are you going to spend a possibility to reduce damage?
JIM: I don’t have any left, sorry. (Leans back with a satisfied smile.)
ALL AT THE TABLE: Whoa!!! Wow!!!
GM (Me): That was amazing… I really didn’t think he was going to die…
JIM: That’s OK. It’s was pretty cool though…
That was the HARDEST (Mike’s term.) death I have ever seen and/or
experienced in a RPG. We drank a toast to the character that night.
The reason it sticks in my mind was that
#1 He really did give his life to save the group.
and #2 He (Jim) did it without whining or puling. He was satisfied with how
he went out. He knew the rest of the group was alive because of him. He
went out for his friends and died knowing that they were alive because of
I think that was when I learned that a character death in an RPG is
sometimes just as important as his origin.
The worst death I have seen was of an Aylish mage (No, another one, this
one was a dark elf.). He was hit by a pulp sonic pistol when he was out of
reality points and was unable to buy off damage. Later, (One 1/2 hour to be
exact.) he tried to explain to me that he really had not died…
All of the players had been contributing reality points to recharge a
relic. This “player” had decided to hold out on the group. He told me that
he was going to write in a box on the back of his sheet 5 reality points
that he was going to “save” for himself. I said sure. (Even though I knew
he was being greedy. Skirting the border between role-playing “greed”, and
actually being a greedy player.)
Both of us had forgotten about the saved points. When he remembered them he
reminded me, I frowned and said.
“Your still dead, and now your [stupid] too.”