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To Kill or not to kill a canon


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I think a legitimate threat of a character dying adds a tangible consequence to a player's actions. I don't think as a game master that it is advisible to go into the mindset of killing a character lightly. The death of an important NPC, or PC should mean something. Horror is not just the crazy guy with the chainsaw running after the party- he's that building sense of dread, that fear that the shadow behind you will come alive and attack; that perhaps someone in the party is not themselves. Tension should build in horror- it's scary because you don't know what will happen. Dead is the ultimate consequence. 

 

For any story, you should consider what could actually be gained by the character dying. Did they sacrifice themselves for the greater good? Did it inspire a shining moment of courage? Was it just another body into the meat grinder to prove just how powerless the party is? Is it a rallying point? Is it a point to make the party break? Gore for the sake of gore is the fun of a spatterpunk campaign but is it going to be fun for the person being smeared across the dirt?  I find that you have to compromise sometimes- what will be the best for the story and what will be the most fun for your players. No one likes having to reroll a character on a bad GM day but they will not be as angry if they felt like they actually had a good run.  

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"Being a knight is being a soldier that leads others. You are a soldier. All the noble ideals in the world can't be preserved without someone dying. There are people that need to be protected from those evil motherfuckers running around. You can't walk from this fight. Not after you went for him directly. He will pursue and tear everything down, you made this personal." Lukina twirled the claymore in her hand in the way Creature had showed her, mimicking his stances. "You don't get to drink tea or save kittens. You kill people to keep other people safe." ~ From Ch 1. Episode 10: Recovery and Restoration- of Knights of Kowloon

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I love killing characters. Mine and others, but only if it feels right for the plot. Most people don't. (We've had one on-screen death in the year I've been an admin).

 

We have forms to fill out that the player consents to a level of mauling/ death in certain threads. Otherwise, the player has to explicitly say they're killing a character and plan for it.

 

I've never played anywhere where I didn't have some sort of control over my character's death. I imagine there's a thrill to putting your character in the hands of an admin though that could be really fun!

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