Episode 224 – character death
by Dan Repperger

* (1:27) Fear the Con 4 shirts are now available for order.  A big thanks to Ruben for the design and many other people for getting the project moving again!  Trying to figure out who created an alternate store leads into a discussion about Wayne’s health and medical malpractice.

* (8:48) A listener email announces the birth of a daughter, conceived and born to our show, and we just go further off the ranch from there.

* (14:10) Character death.  We try to bring together our past views, current views, and comments made by forum users as we explore the subject.  We debate when it’s right, whether it’s needed at all, and what a game might suffer if it’s missing.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, John, Pat

Comments (10)

IanMarch 9th, 2011 at 6:30 am

I’m not really sure this episode answered my question. It just seemed to tease it then forgot about it. That’s fine, I know FtB is a discussion podcast and sometimes segments run long or get diverted by other things that come up but I really could use some help on dealing with players that want it too much. Besides that, I really liked this episode. If you’re going to threaten people though Dan, don’t forget its audio and pump the shotgun.

DanMarch 9th, 2011 at 11:18 am

I realized the exact same thing when editing the show. We mentioned your question and then never actually answered it, allowing it to die the death of a thousand tangents.

It will take us a couple of shows — one is already recorded, the second will be FtC’s live recording, and the third is an interview — but we will get back to your question as a banter topic. Could you forward me a copy, just in case it’s a Johann week and Chad isn’t around?

IanMarch 9th, 2011 at 11:42 am

Unfortunately no, since I don’t have a copy of it myself. It looks like for some reason I decided to send it through the form on the contacts page rather than my actual email. As far as I know the only place its stored is in the general mailbox. Sorry.

DanMarch 9th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

No problem! I’m 99% sure Chad still has it. I’ll just have him forward me a copy.

DaveMarch 9th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I really loved the comment about how quick the baby was born. I took 17 minutes, apparently. :P

AntiStateQuixoteMarch 9th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Long time listener, first time poster. Love the show.

How do you “accidentally club[s] a guy to death?” I’m pretty sure you’re doing it wrong. :)

DaveMarch 9th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I seem to remember that the mayor’s son was interrupting and Pat’s character bonked him on the head without thinking of the consequences. The game they were playing in was pretty realistic as well, and in reality, death is actually a pretty plausible outcome of any head injury. Incapacitating people by clubbing them in the back of the head only works on tv.

DanMarch 9th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Yeah, Dave is right. Pat’s character was trying to knock the Mayor’s nephew unconscious with a metal pipe. On the wound chart, that was more than enough damage to result in fatal head trauma.

EthanMarch 11th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

For Chad: Mechanical realism in combat: GURPS is pretty good for this. Arrows will kill you. Just one can kill you. You can be crippled. It’s nasty :-)

LughApril 14th, 2011 at 10:15 am

I realize I’m a bit late here, but I did want to throw out one observation. While you guys did an excellent job of discussing the various *playstyle* reasons for treating character death in different ways, you left out one major component. Different genres *need* to treat character death differently. Post-apocalyptic survival horror is pretty much required to have death lurking around every corner in order to work. Pulp or swashbuckling, though, should have character death be extremely rare (and exceptionally dramatic) to stay true to the style. Even if you are dealing in fantasy, there is likely to be a huge difference between gritty S&S play (e.g., Conan), sweeping epics (e.g., LOTR), and relationship-driven high fantasy (e.g., Mercedes Lackey). Indeed, likelihood of character death is one of the key aspects that distinguishes one such sub-genre from another.

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