Thursday, February 6, 2014

[D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop] Day Six

First character death. How did you handle it?

I wrote about the death of my favorite character yesterday, but he certainly wasn't my first death. To the best of my recollection, that would have been Fiona Greenleaf, an elven mage/thief played with all the nuance and subtlety that my 14- or 15-year-old unleashed id could muster, which is to say: none. She started bar fights and then responded with deadly force, stole, cheated, lied, and swindled her way across Cormyr and the Dalelands, finally ending up master of her own pirate ship on the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Her career in piracy didn't last long, however: in the best D&D tradition, she copped it (probably somewhere around level 4 or 5) thanks to a random encounter, in this case a randomly-generated storm. I had to make a percentile roll for the ship's seaworthiness and somewhat impetuously declared that, despite owning a cloak of the manta ray, Fiona would rather go down with her treasure-laden ship than flee to safety if the vessel sank.

Which it promptly did, putting an end to the brief and colorful career of a renegade elf maid.

Unlike the death of Utgar, I handled this death just fine. I think I was getting bored with her one-dimenionality anyway, and was ready to move on to something else. Back in those days, we didn't like to end campaigns unless the PCs died, so we had a lot of character suicides and killer GMs. Gods know I wasn't innocent of the latter and I have my share of cruel deaths that I inflicted on my players for the sake of ending a campaign I'd grown bored with...but I suppose that's a tale for another day.
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