|Hey Y'all, How's bout a hug?|
The players were not happy. No one complained, and I don't think anyone felt I'd cheated them, but the Grell dominated the fight and the only thing worse then players having to run without victory, is that they lost one of their number.
|Depending on setting, most|
dead player characters find
themselves an audience with
this lady. So, you know,
Not all bad.
At any rate removing a character from any story by Death creates a hole. Bad storytellers (and Dungeon Masters looking to get on with the story) ignore that hole, worse storytellers make that hole dominate the story. But a great storyteller recognize this "Death-hole" (wow, I need to work on my word-smithing) for what it is and what it represents in real life, a challange, a lesson, and a mark.
Grief is a force to be overcome. Not ignored, not fought, but to embrace and resolve. This is obvious to anyone who has ever lost a loved one, you mourn, you allow yourself to feel the pain of loss, and when you've felt the requisite loss, you let go. The pain of that loss doesn't just end, you carry it with you, but you resolve that loss, you reconcile your feelings, and you move on. Only the unhealthy seek to not resolve their feelings and stew in them. They use that pain as a barrier to defend their actions as opposed to taking responsibility for their actions that hurt others because they were overcome with grief.
A healthy person goes to someone they lashed out at (eventually) and says "I want you to know I was overcome with sadness and pain when I hurt you, but that is no excuse. I'm sorry."
An unhealthy person says "I want you to know I was overcome with sadness and pain when I hurt you, it's not my fault."
...can you tell I've had "Unhealthy people" issues in the past? Also, sadly, unhealthy characters seem to be popular (those characters who seem to lack insight on the issues they're suffering from, and stumble their way through a happy ending without learning any real lesson). Death is a very real thing, and should be felt and dealt with the same whether the person is fictitious or not. No one is stoic enough to say "my friends are dead, well, better just suck it up", if that is the case something is wrong with them (and you should run with it). Should the death of a character enter into your story, I recommend that the impact of their death be balanced with the resolve of those they left behind. But, I digress.
|Dead Player characters never really |
disappear, they're just used as monsters in later
campaigns. Here's some having a party.
Under any other circumstances I would point the story in a fresh direction, allow players to roll new characters and see if I couldn't salvage ideas of what I took from this story and this cast. But what my players don't know is that their storyteller has learned a thing or two about Death and how to handle it. There will be no new story, no new cast characters (well, except maybe in the case of one of them), or new setting. Resolution will come to my players and their characters the way it always does in Swashbuckling, Spell-slinging, Tales of High Adventure...