[CONAN] Would you quit if....

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Supplement Four
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[CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:00 am

I've picked up a new player that's never gamed with me before. So far, I've got a good impression of him. He's a good role player and is fitting into my game well.

One thing he says bothers me, though. He says that, (he's warning me up front), if his character dies, he will quit the campaign. He's says he does this because he's got so much invested in his character that he just can't have fun running a different one in the same world. "Conan doesn't die," he says. "James Bond doesn't die. And, when I play Skyrim, if my character gets killed, I get to reload and keep playing with the same character."

This is utterly foreign to me. I don't like it when PC's die. I want my players succeed.

But, I'd feel like a sellout if I promised my players that they would never die. I don't think the game would be the same without that edge in there.

My players says that I should keep that in mind when designing encounters--not to make them so hard that the PCs dying becomes likely.

While I do understand that scaling encounters is necessary, I feel like my integrity will be tarnished if I ever made a pact with the players to not kill their character and only design encounters where the PCs always win.

So, I've decided that, if I lose this player, I lose him, no matter how much "fun" and "good" he's bringing to the game. I refuse to do what he asks.

I won't do what he asks. I'd rather not play at all than do that.

And, this thing about not playing if his character dies really irks me. I mean, what if he, as a player, does something phenomenally stupid with his character. I'm supposed to scrap the entire campaign because his character is dead?

No, that's not going to happen.

Am I alone in my opinion. Do others agree with him?
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Spectator » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:47 am

I feel for him.
Character death totally sucks.
I think to be fair you should tell him that Death is inevitable, but you do have some control over it.
If his unarmed character tries to take on 10 bloodthirsty picts instead of hiding until they pass, then let the Dice fall where they may.
If the PC roleplays well tell him that it will be taken into consideration as well, but its not a save-all from death.
If the PC understands that discretion is the better part of valour and does not haphazardly wade into a gore fest then that will be taken into consideration.

#1 Essentially, tell him to not force your hand!
#2 Tell him that Fate Points are allowed.
#3 If he charges into a raiding party of picts, have him get clubbed, his gear stolen, and have him wake up from a club-induced coma 2 days later covered in blood so much the Picts thought he was dead and left the body for the wolves.
#4 OK my 1st ed DnD rant: I never had a character I played get Killed for playing wisely, yet valiantly (at the appropriate time), nor killed for playing in character well, nor for loosing a silly dice roll. The beauty of your GM position is that stripping your pal's 5th level barbarian of his goods, saddle, horse, and sword is a fate worse than death for most.
So many good conan stories begin with him impoverished and having only 2 coppers to rub together.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Jeraa » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:43 am

Sure Conan or James Bond didn't die - but they were smart enough to know when to avoid a fight.

Whats the point of playing if you don't risk death? Why bother playing if you know the PCs will always survive, and succeed? The game has fate points for a reason. Death should always be a possibility.

If I had a player tell me "If I die, I quit.", then I would just tell him to leave now. I won't change anything just to coddle a player. If he can't handle loosing a character, then he needs to play some other game.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Ichabod » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:37 am

To answer the question, no. I wouldn't quit because I got killed.

It is possible to remove survival as a factor of success, but only certain genres would make sense with such. Failure would be determined by what happened to your friends, your riches, your pride, etc. but not to your life.

More genres could incorporate a "death" rule with the same results above about losing something you care about rather than your life, where "dying" (mechanically) means forfeiting something. I'd avoid XP as a cost of death as that leads to some of the logistical problems of a character actually dying, but it has to be something the players care about. Note that this ends up being somewhat similar to games where resurrection is the norm with the cost usually being wealth, only without the implausibility that comes with resurrection being the norm (and with the implausibility that players have to buy into the idea that death is always substituted for).

This genre, Conan, is one to me where I don't see why people would be all that bothered by the idea of character death. Okay, there are plenty of problems with character death logistically, but investment in a Conan character is not nearly the same problem with investing in a character in a different campaign, and it's always possible to invest in a new character.

So, for Conan, just man up and realize it's an unforgiving world.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby LucaCherstich » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:16 am

Nialldubh wrote:Naw, he is a idiot, GET RID OF HIM!

We know the risks in any RPG, Characters die, this is what makes it better that Computer games, etc, where they reload and keep playing same character.

He obviously been brought up in a world of reload and has no idea of what true RPG is about. It probably best for the both of you if you part company NOW, unless you can convince him of the RPG Structure. Someone is going to be hurt!

I sympathies with your dilemma, bad players can be annoying and this one is trying to make the rules to suit himself, good luck!
I TOTALLY agree with Nialdubh.
And I would like to add something: if you know your player will never die, you'll never enjoy the risky thrill of a Sword&Sorcery game.
Maybe Conan never died, but I'm sure his hypothetical "player" should have never known whether he was about to survive any of his adventures.

Do you want a suggestion?
Do not get rid of this player.
Simply try to kill the PC in the most explicit and ludicrously stupid way, just like an obvious trap.
If he jump on it since he believes he can "Save & Reload", get rid of the idiot soon.

Furthermore in Italian we call players & people like that a "STRONZO" (which is a special shape of poo!).
He cannot try to coerce you or intimidate you saying "I'll leave the campaign if you kill me."
That's pure bastard and spoiled behaviour.
Not fair to you and not fair to the other players.
He is simply not an adult gamer, but just a child which will spoil your games.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Pascalahad » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:55 pm

I agree with your player, and no, he's not an idiot. Some players, including me, don't play for the "thrills of combat", which is an utter nonsense to me. You're seated on a chair. If you want the thrill of combat, put on some boxing gloves and jump on the ring. I have never, ever, felt the "thrill of combat" during a roleplayong session.

Some play to emulate the sensations of being a character in a novel or in a movie. The important thing to them is not the finality of it (life/death), it's the journey, the beats of the story, the interactions with the GM's world, which is approximately 99,9% of all gaming sessions anyway. They want to get invested in their character the way a novelist gets invested in theirs. I understand that perfectly.

That doesn't mean heroes always win, they can be defeated, injured, restrained. There are so many ways to handle them instead of killing them outright. I expect from my GMs a kind of "scenaristic immunity", which doesn't mean either I can do anything stupid and get away with it.

I don't think Indiana Jones/James bond/Conan are less interesting characters because we know they will succeed, the important part is HOW they will succeed. Roleplaying games can emulate that, too. To each their own thrills, and they're not necessarily incompatible.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby LucaCherstich » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:13 pm

Pascalahad, your line of reasoning is clear, people want to be Conan in a Conan story.
However there's one major flaw in it: you do not consider the MEDIUM through which this Conan story is told.
We are not speaking of a Conan novel or a movie, this is a rpg.
A rpg is played by more than 1 player, each one who want to have his own time of fun, and you'll never know what will happen next.

Do you really want to play as Conan?
You must risk your skin.
When you read the book Conan does not know he will survive.
You, as a reader, you know Conan will survive, but Conan does not know it.

Furthermore there's one point about RPGs that is not considered by Conan novels.
In about 60-80 % of the novels Conan is the only survivor in a story, and he is always the absolute main character.
You cannot do that with rpg.
You have a group and you need to be fair with everybody.
But if this means that EVERYBODY will survive, whatever the dice will roll, this will kill your games in the long run, or at least it killed my games when I tried that method so many years ago.
No thrill = no pure S&S play.
"Safe gaming" to me is pure boring in the long run.
But if you like it, do it.

In any case, what S4 was describing looked to me more like a childish intimidation attempt vs the GM, rather than a sophisticated line of reasoning...

S4, I'm with you.
Hyborian Age is a tough world, teach them the hard way if they do stupid things.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Jeffreywns » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:26 am

That this new player is both " a good role player and fitting into into my game " makes me wonder why he chooses to play in a low magic setting like Conan.
But it is your sand box. You either will or wont placate him. I've noticed that many players just dont enjoy the genre.
In the end your game will go on. Who knows? The issue might never come up or he will have such a great time in your world he will accept the risk as part of the experience.
For myself I've gained unlikely converts and lost the interest of others in a game that lasted several years.
And it's time I started running it again.
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Spectator » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:50 am

I think the best response is DONT PLAY LIKE A STUPID CHUMP
Elaborate and say:
1. well reasoned actions should not be OVERLY punished.
2. well timed Heroics should be balanced and not overdone (ie: leaping headfirst to fight a dragon to fight the dragon will (in the very long term) have a survival rate of zero.
3. make em use their fate points if they DO#2 above.
4. reward good roplepalying anteamwork and punish individualistic actions.
Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] Would you quit if....

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:29 am

Jeffreywns wrote:That this new player is both " a good role player and fitting into into my game " makes me wonder why he chooses to play in a low magic setting like Conan.
He's playing in it because we met, and I told him the game I was running. He decided to try it.

I think, at first, D&D is more his choice, since he likes getting goodies all the time. But, after several sessions, he seems to be really enjoying the game. He's certainly in love with his character. And, out of the group of us, he's the one that never wants to quit the game and always wants to play next weekend.

I think each game session, he's enjoying the game more and more.

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