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In Memoriam

Written by Darkwarren - Published on May 27, 2013

As it is Memorial Day in the United States we here at Dungeonmastering.com would like to extend our gratitude to all those men and women who serve in our military. We would especially like to extend our deepest sympathies and even more gratitude to those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the families and friends who mourn their loss.

Our Armed Forces protect our rights and freedoms – including the freedom to game whenever and however we choose – and in light of the holiday, through the lens of our roleplaying , we got a little reflective. We reflected on our characters, especially those who died in service to a greater good. Everyone loves a good hero (some of us prefer anti-heroes) and many heroes die protecting the innocent, defending freedom, and saving the world.

One such hero was the first character I created for our first ever Paizo Adventure Path campaign: The Shackled City. It was 3.0/3.5 and I wanted an uncomplicated hero. I chose 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.

Care to share the glorious deaths of your characters who died in service to a greater good?

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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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  1. […] 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: […]

  2. […] here at DungeonMastering.com & we hope it was a good ‘long weekend’ for everyone.  Previously we’ve written a somewhat solemn tribute to those in the Armed Forces, past & present.  Since we’ve talked about death so much […]



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