Content of the article: "I saved a PC last night and regret it."
Players are just getting their legs under them, doing a series of 1 shots (that are never one shots) as we've been character building and aligning our schedules for ToA. It's clear that we've been fudging the rules, resetting HP and spell slots at the start of each session and even letting people class swap to try new mechanics. It seems understood that all of this will stop when we're 'in it.'
The party followed some missing children to a massive tree, home of a witch who tried to bargain with them- it being a one shot- the deals didn't take- so they began hunting her inside the tree.
2 sessions 3 stories and 6 weeks later, the rogue is being dissolved in a Gelatinous Cube and the rest of the party, after using a devine intervention to bind the Cube in place (or else it would've fled up the wall) is just hacking away to get her out. She goes unconscios at the start of her turn and then fails her first save. On its turn she fails the second. At the start of her turn she's going to be dead. The Monk wants to keep hitting it, I invite wisdom check* he balks but rolls a 16- so I explain in story, that he can tell that without intervention she's gone. Pop Pop, he attacks anyway- fine- better. The Paladin though, the last turn before the Rogue, heard me lay it out- so he drops concentration and dives headfirst into the cube grabbing her foot and lay of hands; pretty great. Conscious, she survives the acid damage, pulls herself out, and on her next turn carves the cube to death- saving the Paladin who traded places with her; kinda epic.
The Rogue wasn't put out by the thought of death, sure she was saying 'I can't believe I could die like this after coming all this way' but she wasn't heart broken. She has another character we just finished rolling that she's really excited about, and she knew we could've just printed her a new- anything, and dropped her back into this story; it's a throw away.
Sure there are lessons they could've learned: I will kill their characters if they're not careful, or if they're truly unlucky, character death is real in this game. But the thought that kept me awake, was the image of the Witch projecting herself near the partially dissolved still steaming corpse of the Rogue- offering to undo their carless mistakes. Surely their temporary miseries are nothing compared to an entire life's future happiness? Maybe she doesn't have to be dead.. maybe we can make a deal..
And it likely would've happened, if I hadn't offered and answered a free wisdom check mid combat.
How do I shake off this lingering thought- this epic could have been? How do you keep yourself from speaking up too much in game? Am I being too harsh, was offering the check a fine thing to have done?
- The Giant Relic Scavenger hunt part 2, and the time we spent 2000 gold on resurrecting our dog
- Just had something uncomfortable happen in my campaign.
- The Bitcthy Banshees and Zentha’s Freedom
© Post "I saved a PC last night and regret it." for game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
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