Tell me about a time your character died, and it was either awesome or it sucked. And tell me why.
Why am I asking? Mostly because character death is a frequent and necessary part of curse the darkness, and I want to get some other gamers’ perspectives. For me, it’s happened so very infrequently that I don’t have much to say about it. On the occasions that my characters have died, it’s generally one of two situations.
First is one-shot games. Obviously if I’m not going to play this character more than once, I’m less invested in seeing the character survive. Best example: I played in a Spirit of the Century game at Origins a few years back in which my four-armed green Martian crushed the evil king in the gears of a giant machine, but got pulled in himself, too. That machine, now treated with the blood of a green Martian, started a chain reaction that turned the Sea of Tranquility in a literal sea and revitalized the planet. Pretty awesome!
Second is characters that have tragedy as part of their character arc. That’s not always handled well; I played a sidhe in a Changeling: The Dreaming game who was supposed to be tragically Undone at the end of the chronicle, and the Storyteller pulled some really convoluted shenanigans to give me a “happy” ending. That totally wasn’t what I wanted, and I think I communicated that to him, but I suppose that might have exceeded his tragedy threshold.
The term “tragedy threshold” was one that another GM asked me about in an Exalted game. He had a nasty plotline planned for my character, but wanted to make sure I would be OK with basically getting screwed in the end (not dying, just being horribly betrayed). And for that character, I wasn’t OK with it – that’s just not how I saw the character’s story going. curse the darkness is, I’m sure you’ve noticed, a game with a high tragedy threshold. Everyone stands a roughly equal chance of dying in every Removal Challenge, and that’s deliberate and in-theme. And, I’m finding as I run multi-session games, it means that characters that stick around longer (like Trey in the Severed Bridge game) take on “lead character” roles, just because we know the most about them.
Anyway, tell me about your character’s death. I’m interested in how it happened, and why you liked it…or didn’t.
What are your experiences?