Adventuring - Permadeath

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Ronan
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby Ronan » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:31 pm

Permadeath, I feel, is something that is extremely situational based upon the setting the PR in question takes place in.

For TER, I like the current system. It's quite possible for a player to very easily kill their own character off if that is their desire..... and it's quite possible for someone ignorant of the system to die as well. You have to remember that the setting is FR, and in FR there exists magic and priests and gods and the raise dead spell. Death is not entirely invalid, as permadeath would be very, very likely for the less wealthy (npc's) of the kingdom, but we all play adventurer's who are quite a bit more well off financially than your average citizen. Even my character, who does not dungeon as much as he should or used to, does not spend his coin on really..... anything and could afford a resurrection four times over. It only makes sense in this setting that adventurers and warriors who face death on a continual basis would build up a reserve to cover their eventual demise.

A three strike system worked on Legacy, as Poison mentioned, because the server was set in a less fantasy, more realism based setting. There was not magic to a high enough degree to raise the dead.

As to the morality of the issue, I'm far more in the favor of permadeath being the result of the character's players decision, rather than being forced upon them to any degree. For some, it's quite easy to part with a character, but I am one of those who gains a great bit of emotional attachment to anyone I play (hence my inability to create alts or any other character while my main is still alive, I focus one at a time). Having experienced being forcibly parted from.... one of my favorite characters I've played, I'll admit it was a very trying experience, nearly resulting in my deciding not to return to the server in question at the time. It's much LESS traumatic if it your choice to undergo it, I suppose is what I'm saying, as is the general weal of the system here.

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ljuslek
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby ljuslek » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:01 pm

Ronan wrote:Permadeath, I feel, is something that is extremely situational based upon the setting the PR in question takes place in.

For TER, I like the current system. It's quite possible for a player to very easily kill their own character off if that is their desire..... and it's quite possible for someone ignorant of the system to die as well. You have to remember that the setting is FR, and in FR there exists magic and priests and gods and the raise dead spell.
I agree very much with this. That permadeath outside of player choice or circumstances extraordinary feels somehow questionable to me in a setting and a campaign where the abilities to raise the dead have been firmly entrenched. In regards to circumstances extraordinary we've an interesting predicament on the server now with the Abbott of Tyr in Sarshel having been slain and such higher forms of divine magic being less than readily available, at least in theory.

In practice however, there are still two places for characters to be revived; Outentown and Thelnam*. Which is why I'd like to ask the DM team if that is as intended? During a recent event my fallen PC was asked to make a fortitude save under the auspices of an NPC that in the recent past performed the rites of raise dead without any more fuss than the departed high priest in Sarshel's triadic temple would have. It's not that I mind the fact that a save had to be rolled. No, ample warning was given before the event and there were plenty of chances for me as a player to guide my character's frail body out of harms way. What our characters as a party were getting into was made more than clear. I simply think the following questions are valid ones: Are we to expect more instances like the one mentioned above now that we've seen the Triadic powers wane? Are more brushes with death of the more permanent variety to be expected, both inside and outside the auspices of DM events? If at least the latter is true, how is that to mesh that with the fact that consequences of death following more 'mundane' dungeon runs go without the risk of permanent death?

*Only seen it happen in Outentown, but the Thelnam priest has the service listed.

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EventHorizon
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby EventHorizon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:32 pm

I've only read the OP so far, but I want to immediately weigh in. How selfish of me.

I am a player who prefers to play only one character a time, becoming incredibly, probably insanely intimate with the character, and very connected, to the point where I notice my very own personality and behaviour starts to shift slightly due to the character's influence. Playing more than one character at a time distracts me, and dilutes my roleplaying ability.

With that said, I am also a player who prefers a very real risk of permadeath, sometimes slow and painful, sometimes quick and unexpected, sometimes with fair... or less than fair warning, but always with the probability that it is out of your control excepting, obviously, how you play your PC to prevent it. I prefer this because it makes my roleplaying experience with that one character a much more real, personal, and visceral experience. Granted, I am more inclined toward permadeath if I can fairly quickly (essentially, by default, with a modicum of effort) get my character "up to par" in terms of levels (not equipment, but levels), so that I don't have to (feel like I have to) spend a long time "making" my character who they are. That said, in TER, I think PCs should be "who they are" from level 1, so this shouldn't be a problem in theory, but considering the human mind's fiercely protective attachment to "effort" and "progress", I probably couldn't help but be more dismayed than I should be at the permadeath of, say, a level 4 character, if I spent the first three levels (and however many months) feeling like this isn't really who the character is "yet."

So! With that said, I will more specifically address the topic.

No adventure should be irrelevant, but, when it comes to player-initiated adventures, some are more singularly relevant to the campaign plot, or have more potential for real, significant intra-adventure PC-PC interactions that result in long-term consequences, even if subtle. When a player goes out on an adventure and permadies, they might feel really shitty if it was (to them) just some stupid treasure hunt, OR they might feel amazing if, on this adventure, their party stumbled upon some brewing evil, had to escape, and the permadead PC died covering the retreat. Furthermore, that latter case would be far less important to anyone if the permadead PC didn't die and stay dead. Of course, the PCs might be able to attempt - attempt a rescue, and they might succeed, but if the default fate for that PC wasn't already "you're ****ed, mate, don't die retreating from things that are killing you", even the rescue would be less meaningful.

So, the acceptability of permadeath on "Adventures" depends, in my opinion, on the perceived relevance and importance of the adventure. Players don't like their PCs dying irrelevantly, and only sometimes like dying relevantly, adventure or no. However, the problem is that not all players have the same feelings about any situation, ever. What could be a monumental, career-styling death for one PC could be the most buzz-killing, plan-ruining, pointless bummer for the next, and you'll NEVER know, because you can never know everything going on in every player's head, and you can't ask them, because people can deceive you even when they don't want to.

Where I think permadeath shines is under semi-routine DM supervision, whether it is a (well-)spiced adventure or a highly pertinent plot event where Sarshel is under siege, people are dying left and right, and the consequences are proportionate to the failure and success of all involved. Again, however, the problem here is that TER's player numbers aren't quite high enough for those extraordinarily fatal (and not lightly-run) events to be so ultimately deadly. And while players in TER typically have multiple characters, it could be considered unfair to those like me who only really play one PC at a time - not that I mind, myself.

In the end, I think permadeath is an absolutely mandatory, essential element to not just TER, or even NWN, but any game/roleplaying environment where stories are being told and there is a sense of reality, but not in the sense that a character must be dying every day, or every week per se.
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Talisman
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby Talisman » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:47 am

I hate to be a filthy necromancer, but having just discussed this recently, and after reading through all the posts--I realized there's something I am supportive of when it comes to permadeath that nobody else has suggested. Foremost, I am a proponent of permadeath--particularly when it's of the player's own design, whether it be a happy, surprising, or tragic ending. On my last RPing arena, all but one of my characters met a very satisfying end. However, when it comes to TER, my greatest hesitation with considering an RP permadeath is that I simply don't have the time these days to create a new character and level them.

I hate that this is my roadblock because it's entirely OOC and unrelated to my character's arc, but I OOC have to consider what RL time I have to allot to TER, and these days it's not much. Back when I did have more time it took me over a year to level a character, and while I enjoyed this pace at the time, today it would probably take me multiple years to level a character and to me that's just unreasonable. To this end, I think an RPed permadeath and ending of a character's arc should be rewarded with the option of being able to recover half of the deceased xp into your new character. We shouldn't have to be so risk-adverse to making COOL Rp decisions that lead to great storylines because we're too worried about the RL time cost attached to having these cool storylines.

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booksarefun666
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby booksarefun666 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:19 am

Begone, necromancer! *Blasts with critical healing*

Personally I can not fault a person for having compunctions about dropping a character because of all that time invested. I think a lot of people feel this whether they admit it or not, and I do think some kind of mechanical reward they can cash in for a veteran player would be nice.

I'm not sure about exp though, tbh, but gold or a custom item fitting (with approval and guidelines, obvs) with rewards varying on how much that character contributed for that new character isn't a bad idea from my point of view. Would that work out for you, Talisman?

Loreweaver
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby Loreweaver » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:47 am

I would invite players to contact the DMs if they want to irrevokably retire a character and receive some bonus towards the next one.
No points are given for retiring low level PCs, PCs in a (near) unplayable state, ones who leave the stage unnoticed and unmourned, prepare for their deaths by giving their goods away and so on, but if someone's planning or looking for a suitably dramatic, good honest demise voluntary then we'll be happy to explore the options with them.

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EventHorizon
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Re: Adventuring - Permadeath

Postby EventHorizon » Sat May 06, 2017 7:58 am

Happy to chime in again since this thread was foully resurrected:

In practice, permadeath's always going to end up working a little differently on each server. Perhaps even if they technically have the same system. I haven't really witnessed permadeaths on TER firsthand, but I might be able to measure it by the gravestones scattered about the world (awesome touch, by the way). And from what firsthand experience I do have of that permadeath, it seems that most routinely players only let PCs permadie when they've lost them beyond immediate rescue deep in a dungeon somewhere, and (presumably) didn't feel the drive to have them recovered and resurrected. In other words, the death was thrust upon them, in a way, but probably for various OOC reasons, the player couldn't afford or didn't want to invest in the effort to have the PC returned.

If I'm right about that, then... while I don't really have a problem with that (as it's the player's own choice), I can imagine such PC endings leave behind a lot of disappointment. It's really an unceremonious abandonment than a proper ending. So, my suggestion is, if y'all decide to make a thing out of 'accepting a permadeath' / retirement benefits, maybe you ought to target that audience, get their attention, so they can redeem that loss of their PC or otherwise be inspired to pick the PC up again after all.
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