The pride of Gabriel

edited April 2012 in Story Games
One of my players; Gabriel (age 11), had a character; the knight Xandras, who sacrificed himself to kill a dragon.

Xandras died, and his soul went to heaven and became a star, in the firmament right over the spot where the battle with the dragon took place. This is what happens to the souls of heroes and heroines in the word of Fabula (my frpg game)

It happened some weeks ago. We play once a week.

In the session this week another player mentioned "The Star of Xandras", and I looked at Gabriel just then; he beamed! His face shone with pride over his former character; the knight Xandras, and what he had done; his sacrifice. It was beautiful!

We try to play death as a significant and holy thing in my game. To see Gabriel shine with pride, confirms for me how meaningful such a praxis are. Burial, eulogies, and reminiscence gives something extra to the death of a character. They are important facets of the life a character live in the mind of the player.

Do you have positive experiences with death in role-playing games?


  • In Hitmen for the Snake God the priest Nargem who was the one to recieve the holy command and their hit list from Kaa did a suicidal attack versus a general of a siege. The players had failed several plots against that character already (including sewing shards of poisoned glass into his saddle) and nobody liked Nargem anyway. When the assassination succeeded and the generals bodyguards cut Nargem down everyone was relieved, including Nargem's players, that the obnoxious, crippled and insane priest had passed on to the sunny and rodent filled paradise.
  • In Last Judgment the wealthy and hypochondriac mold smuggler Jafaar had rejected his personal doctor and adopted son. The martian inquisition had just gotten green lights to murder them and realizing this the son/doctor seeks him out and they forgive each other and Jafaar repents his ungodly mold handling ways moments before being incinerated. This was at the very end of the scenario so it felt like a perfect ending.
  • In Apocalypse World the hocus Lost Rabbit leads a cult based around drinking his intoxicating blood. The cult is driven from Enough to eat and all but a handfull including Lost Rabbit's pregnant concubine die assaulting a small compound which declines sharing their food and water. That kid and its blood became an incredibly sought after McGuffin the rest of the campaign and it probably wouldn't have felt so important if it hadn't been generated spontaneously through play.
  • The experiences in our D&D campaign are generally good. Many characters die with little fanfare, while others get plentiful meaning and attention to their deaths. Depends on player skill. This is a good example of an epic death.
  • I played a game with jenskot at Dreamation where he (and the other GMs at the table) got me so worked up against the big bad guy that I was happy to kill myself in order to kill him. It may have been fueled by vengeance, but it was still a very positive experience with death. I think being able to narrate your own end makes it much more enjoyable than "the kobold hits you for 12 points of damage. You die." Anything that makes it seem more like an event in a story than a random accident helps.
  • Posted By: BlazmoIntoWoweeI think being able to narrate your own end makes it much more enjoyable than "the kobold hits you for 12 points of damage. You die."
    Of course! A character death is an opportunity for character-play. Missed opportunities are never good for the game.
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