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Yuven

List of dead characters

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So I am the Keeper of Masks of Nyarlatothep for my local group. And the first character just died. The player is pretty bummed out after getting Shriveled to death instantly by a sorcerer. Im guessing he will get over it, as I have said it is a pretty lethal campaign. 

 

Well on to my actual topic:

I wanted to make a list of all the dead characters of the campaign, and started wondering if there are already some available on the web. Prefferably one with cause of death, date of death and such.

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I haven't seen any. I have a list of the times that Soltak Stormspear died and how he came back (Divine Intervention, Resurrection, etc) but I think I stopped when I reached 50, it isn't on the web though.

You might be able to find obituaries on the web and take the format from those. Date of birth and death, how they died, whether they left any spouses/issue, a picture and a brief biography, that kind of thing.

 

 

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First of all, it's Call of Cthulhu, so players shouldn't grow too attached to their characters. It actually sounds like a good, memorable death. My favorite character in a moment of foolish curiosity entered a dimensional gate and was immediately, and to his great surprise, snatched up by a winged abomination and carried off, never to be seen again. A bit annoying at the time but I do still remember it.

Second, I have tried recording character fates with varying success. I try to keep a binder of dead characters with character sheets, each with a leading 'tomb stone' page. There, I record date of death and its cause, especially if important/heroic (e.g., "killed in ambush by goblins" or "killed in duel by Echermet Dead-Eyes while holding the bridge in Siege of Tanelorn". You can elaborate with an obituary if you like, though in my case it seldom happened. 

In CoC, you could also now and then hold a service over party members recently lost. It could add a quite gloomy feeling. 

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We lost a lot of characters in Classic Traveller, too, but never felt the need to keep a mortuary list.  Of course, burial in space may put the kibosh on such things.

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Maybe I'll post a pdf of an obituary if I get the time (and skill) to make one ;)

It turned out I had not killed his character after all. I am blaming it on not being fluent in 7th yet, and having to close out the session asap to keep a deadline. I misread the shrivelling spell and thought it was a POW roll, not an opposed POW roll. So we had to turn back the time to the start of the combat at the beginning of the following session. As expected they shot the sorcerer to bits with an elephant gun and a shotgun. poor guy.

Also, I think the player who lost his character might have a miserable time after a while in this campaign, seeing as he has a tendency to become overy attached to his characters :P He once sanctioned a GM due to a campaign end which he didnt feel was up to par with the rest of the campaign (I personally thought that ending was perfect, as it showed how vampires in world of darkness descend into paranoida). He deals with character and campaign deaths like other people deals with breakups 😅

Edited by Yuven

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8 hours ago, Yuven said:

Maybe I'll post a pdf of an obituary if I get the time (and skill) to make one ;)

Somebody posted an online tool to make Newspaper Headlines, but I have lost the link. It could have a picture and some text. You could use something like that to make a short obituary.

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If you are running a campaign with the players in an organisation, I suggest passing this responsibility onto the players. When I was a player, we kept a running journal of adventures (we had a volunteer for this, but if there isn't a willing volunteer, perhaps a different player each session would keep 'events and movements' notes?), so the dead PC's achievements were 'preserved for prosterity', so to speak. This gave the PCs a sense of immortality which helped soften the blow to the player. Also, dead or permanently insane PC's would end up in file (with DECEASED or INSANE writted in red texta across the front, as a record and keep-sake) again as a legacy... New players coming into the group would find this resource quite amusing, especially when the means of death was colourful (which they usually are in this game). And finally, we always had a second PC for each player...in this way, an untimely death wouldn't mean that the player was left with nothing during a playing session...and in a longer gaming session, the back-up PC could be introduced and join in. This also helps soften the blow of a PC loss because the players eggs are never all in the same basket!

Oh, and at the front of the journal, space was left for a list: PC's names, date of loss, type of loss (death/insanity), means of loss (brief comment e.g. went insane at sight of a dark young)...

Edited by Son-of-the-Furies
typos

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On 11/23/2018 at 11:11 AM, soltakss said:

Somebody posted an online tool to make Newspaper Headlines, but I have lost the link. It could have a picture and some text. You could use something like that to make a short obituary.

I use this

 

 

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On 11/22/2018 at 6:04 PM, seneschal said:

We lost a lot of characters in Classic Traveller, too, but never felt the need to keep a mortuary list.  Of course, burial in space may put the kibosh on such things.

More likely the tone of the game. In most RPGs the odds are usually with the PCs and their survival is the expected outcome. In CoC the PCs are extremely lucky if they can hold their own and survive long enough to go permanently insane! 

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For one long-running campaign I participated in, we'd write the cause of death on each investigator sheet and keep them all together.

But I like some of the suggestions here--Son-of-the-Furies' idea is quite cool.

Most character deaths occur at very memorable points in scenarios. It's nice to have some sort of way to track those, if only to give players something to see and reminisce about past adventures.

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