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D&D Blog Hop: Day 6

Written by Darkwarren - Published on February 6, 2014

dnd40hopbadgeDay 6: First character death. How did you handle it?

I don’t remember my first character death but I probably threw a tantrum, claiming that it was not fair of the DM or blaming the dice. See, that’s how I played when I was young, all over-sensitive ego, so I couldn’t really handle the death of a character. Remember how I claimed to have killed Nerull and Elminster? Yeah, I wouldn’t let them kill my character because I couldn’t let them kill my character. I cheated, and I bent the rules, and I hastened their demises with ridiculous rationalizations. Because at that age I couldn’t handle death in the real-world; if I projected myself into every piece of college-ruled loose-leaf character, then there is no way in the nine hells that I could even conceive of me dying.

Now that I’m matured and I can handle real-world death, I can handle a character’s death much better. I remember when my first 3.0 character died. It was after getting blasted by a blue dragon’s breath, It was a good death, he was doing something extremely risky trying to tumble by the dragon and the dragon had anticipated him doing that. When he was resurrected I played him bald as an effect of the lightning – and because I wanted to remember the death. He died doing something heroic but I knew that I as a player was going to be much more cautious – and so I roleplayed him as much more cautious. But my most favorite character death so far, was this one:

“…a half-orc barbarian named Grimjaw. I created him with a highland flair – he shared the red hair of his human mother and wore her family’s tartan into battle. But after his escape from the orc tribe (where his human mother was enslaved and had told him endless stories of her people’s heroes) and meeting his grandfather who trained him in highland battle, he had been captured and enslaved himself. He was freed by another member of the party – a transmuter named Cinder – whom he owed a life debt. They started the campaign as friends and he looked to her for wisdom and leadership.

Relatively early on the party was in a dungeon complex and found that one of the villains was a half-dwarf/half-troll slaver named Kazmojen. The party wished to parley but Grimjaw could not suffer slavers. He flew into a rage and one punched a henchman – instant kill. The battle was joined and he waded his way to the terrible beast of a slaver. The two of them grappled and Grimjaw was rended almost in two by Kazmojen’s claws. Grimjaw lapsed into unconsciousness and the rage stopped…

It was a good and honorable death.

It was so good that I just couldn’t, in good conscience to the character, raise him. I rolled up a new character – even when the party would promise the funds to raise him.”

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Written by Darkwarren

Matt W., aka Darkwarren, has been roleplaying ever since his older brother introduced him to the red box set when he was 7 years old. Since then he has game-mastered SSDC’s Battleords of the Twenty-third Century, WEG’s Shadowrun and Star Wars, and of course Dungeons & Dragons in a variety of forms. At thirty-four years old he takes turns on both sides of the screen with the group that he helped found in 2000 when 3.0 hit the stands and has met every week fairly regularly ever since. Currently they have been running a variety of the Paizo Adventure Path scenarios, so that’s his wheelhouse. He was almost famous when two of his adventures were green-lighted for possible publication right before Paizo relinquished the rights to publish Dungeon magazine.

Matt also has years if experience in improvisational comedy, fiction, and non-fiction writing. He is currently working and studying to attain a master’s degree in theology, to enhance his career as a religious studies teacher. Lastly, his greatest passion is his family, especially the three sons and dog that he shares with his wife in upstate New York.

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