Best (or Funniest) Character Deaths

edited June 2007 in Actual Play
I am in a "noise rather than signal" mood today, and if Andy thinks this thread is too frivolous by all means shut it down!

But I always laugh at those silly RPG.Net threads about character death. I figure: Story-Gamers, tell me about the Big Sleep. One anecdote per person, please. TPK's a plus but not required.

Game: AD&D 2e + Dragonlance
Character: Zan-Caff, the Minotaur Ranger

GM: "Okay, you guys are on your boat, and you're attacked by this other boat!"
TIM & HOLLIS: "Fight-fight-fight!"
GM: "Okay, but it's the boat of the Minotaur Empire!"
ME: "Minotaur Empire?! They're probably the lawful authorities. I surrender!"
TIM & HOLLIS: "?!?!?! Agh we're getting killed without James's guy, we'll surrender. James, you suck."
GM: "Okay, y'all go to the capital, and they make you fight in an arena! James, it's minotaur vs. minotaur!"
ME: "Okay, I climb up on this platform, and when the guy passes near me, I jump down on his head and get a leg-lock around his throat!"
GM: "Umm - okay. So, you jump, thighs first, onto a minotaur's head... roll damage."
TIM & HOLLIS: "How could you forget you're fighting a minotaur? You play a minotaur!"
ME: " :( "
GM: "Okay, because you lose, they make y'all go on a quest to the desert. There are draconians! A lot! You get wounded, but there's a temple. Do you stop to rest?"
TIM & HOLLIS: "Yes, we rest!"
ME: "No, dudes, come on! We have a deadline to save the world! GM, we don't stop to rest."
GM: "Oh.... okay. These draconians surround you!"
ALL: "Fight-fight-fight!"
GM: "James, Hollis, your guys go down. Tim, it's all up to you: a duel against the Boss Draconian."
TIM: "Aw man, I've got 5 HP. If I don't kill him now, it's all over."
ME: "Dude! Don't swing your sword: throw it right through his chest! Like in Ladyhawke! It'll be awesome!
TIM: "Uhhh... okay."
GM: (looks up sword-throwing rules) "Okay... and, you miss. You all die. Um, and I guess the quest fails and the world is destroyed."
ME: " :( "


  • We were playing this wild west game and it had turned into a running fight when after his character was called a racial slur, Jay's PC lit a piece of dynamite and tossed it at the NPC's sitting and spitting in front of the saloon.

    I think all three of us white boys were playing minorities in that game, actually. Odd, that. Maybe we had just seen a movie...Young Guns or some shit. I don't remember.

    So, we were on the run and the posse was after us because we all worked for the same railroad company and its a total mess. We're pissed at Jay's character, probably a little pissed at Jay but generally enjoying the drama and the running. We had talked about racism in the wild west before play started and knew there would be difficulty. Y'know, I think we were playing GURPS, so we might've even all taken some kind of disadvantage to show that society was going to be giving us trouble.

    We meet a Native American tribe and their leader says they can help us with the posse and get us out of the area if we offer a sacrifice.

    Doug and I don't even say anything; we just rolled our 3d6 for our quick draw and then rolled to hit.

    We both shot Jay's character in the head to offer as a sacrifice. He died right quick.

    At which point the GM, shaking his head says, "...a gold sacrifice..."
  • From a 1st ed. Ars Magica game:

    GM: rolls dice, several dice. "Uh, soak a 52."
  • Posted By: JuddWe meet a Native American tribe and their leader says they can help us with the posse and get us out of the area if we offer a sacrifice.

    Doug and I don't even say anything; we just rolled our 3d6 for our quick draw and then rolled to hit.

    We both shot Jay's character in the head to offer as a sacrifice. He died right quick.

    At which point the GM, shaking his head says, "...a gold sacrifice..."
    LOL. Now that is funny.
  • edited June 2007
    d20 group, couple years ago. The players have made these guys up for some kind of Team-based RPGA challenge where you take the whole group into a long-ass scenario, then kill it and take its stuff with TEAMWORK!

    They wanted a test run with the team, so I told them I'd run em through some kind of standard WotC module of their level as a test run.

    I find some little short module, because I didn't want to take a ton of time on the thing -- they just wanted to test out combat tactics. Anyway, it's a big-ass lighthouse. It's been taken over by a bunch of well-armed ogres and I think some kind of aquatic troll pirate up at the top. I don't remember the boss, because they never got that far.

    I don't distinctly remember the whole team, but I do remember that they had an Evocation (read: fireball) specialized mage, a Priest that memorized Wall of Flame and then like 3 copies of Flame Strike, and a pyromaniac bard who mixed and used molotov cocktails as her primary method of attack. The group liked the Fire, I remember that.

    So they go into the tower, and the first floors fine. Quick fight. Look around. One room is full of buckets of sand. Another one's full of loose sand, and empty buckets. Another's full of barrels of oil.

    One of the players figures it out pretty quick: the sand is to fight oil fires, and the oil is for the huge lamp in the lighthouse. Interesting.

    Next floor. Bigger fight, and this time the group is split between two rooms, both of which are pretty full of more oil barrels. Everyone's really really careful: "No fire spells! Look at all that oil! *shudder*. Right. They beat the ogres down and move forward: slowly, cuz the ogres are coming down from above, and there's a patrol that just got back and are entering the tower down below.

    Third floor. The priest and another guy are holding the rear in another room full of sand buckets. The main group is fighting another force in a large room with two HUGE copper tanks in it. The tanks are oil slicked on the outside. There's empty oil barrels next to both of them, and copper pipeworks that lead up through the ceiling to the next floor. The "figured it out" player nods to himself -- this is the main oil supply mechanism to the lights up above. Right. The four of them fight carefully.

    The priest (who was the leader) and the other guy in the back finish off the rear attack in the sand room with a flamestrike and some other stuff.

    On the next round, the priest moves into the other room. The player studiously looks over the room, examining the miniature placement.

    "What are the big square things taking up all the space?"
    "Big copper tanks with pipes leading out of them up to the next floor."
    *nod* "Okay, I'm going to buy us some time to get a plan together." He grabs a red vis-a-vis and scribbles a jagged red line between the group and the advancing ogres (and touching both tanks). "Wall of flame, right here."

    This part kills me: everyone just nodded.

    The tower went up like like Cape Canaveral. The module actually mentioned how many gallons of oil both tanks contained, and how many 50 gallon drums there were -- the damage from it all going up at once would have been something like 250d6 or something, had we bothered rolling.

    My one and only TPK.

    There were a few "save for half damage" jokes, and everyone packed up and headed out. They didn't even argue; I think they were too embarrassed. :)

    I believe they painted up a wooden lighthouse with flames coming out the windows and carried it with them as a totem during the RPGA event, as a warning to themselves.
  • D&D campaign, mostly set around a city (though we occasionally ventured dungeonwards). I rolled up a fighter, and got really solid stats across the board, and one 18 (which I could assign where I wanted). I just didn't [i]feel like[/i] playing an optimaxed STR18 fighter, so I dumped it into charisma instead and reached for the splatbook with the swashbucklers. Soon, I was playing an unrepentant fop, working the living heck out of the social setting of the city, and getting into duels of honor and all that great shit. It was a gas. People would spend all night memorizing spells and building components, and my guy (Arthur) would wander in come dawn, stinking drunk, missing half his clothes and covered with lipstick in intriguing patterns.

    And then we encountered The Mirror. Some wierd-ass high magick thingamazoo which was (for no apparent reason) just hanging out in a dungeon, waiting to trap people. You walked down a corridor with this mirror, and as you walked your [i]image[/i] looked cooler and cooler (like, gained new equipment and abilities and all that jazz) while your actual character withered away and weakened (losing levels, that kinda stuff).

    To this day, I don't know what the GM expected Arthur to do in response to that. I'm guessing that he didn't think about it too hard. The exchange went sorta like this:

    Tony: So ... I look more and more beautiful?
    GM: Yes ... but you feel worse and worse.
    Tony: But I LOOK GOOD.
    GM: Yeah ... but you're dying.
    Tony: That's just the price I'll have to pay. What matters is that I look great!

    And that's how Arthur died, walking forward to become an insanely pretty corpse. He would have wanted it that way.
  • I had a 3rd level ranger that was scythed in half by a blade trap. The rest of the party decided to lug him through the dungeon in case they ran into a high level healer that could resurrect him. One room was full of barrels of salt, so they just grabbed poth pieces of him and packed him into the barrels and off we went.
  • This may not really qualify as character death, since it's more of a retirement, but here goes.

    We were playing a 1920's pulp game with D20. One character, playing the hard boiled detective named Steve Bradford, had missed some sessions. Naturally I decided his character was captured to be the sacrifice at the bad guys underground temple. The PCs charge in and stop the sacrifice only to find themselves in a stone chamber rapidly filling with water, attacked by hordes of killer rats, and accompanied by the comatose body of Steve Bardford.

    So the characters stuff Steve into a stone coffin for safety. After they fight off the rats, they start trying to think of ways to get out. The mad scientist freezes a sheet of water in front of the door with his ice ray. "Now all we need is a battering ram!" They ended up attempting to batter down the door with the stone coffin containing the body of Steve Bradfor. The moral? Never miss a pulp session!

    The player never did come back to the group, so Steve was left in a coma in some British run hospice in Zanzibar.
  • All too many years ago my SpaceMaster character was being held at gunpoint by a villain who wanted to hijack our ship. I was outside, gun pointed at my head, villain using me as a human shield, while my partner was inside, frantically trying to come up with a solution to the problem in the ten seconds allowed by the villain. Then my partner calls through on my comm unit, "Hang on, I think I can pick him off over your shoulder!"

    And he tried.

    Using twin turret-mounted Meson cannons.

    Which have a fifty metre burst radius.

    There was no burial.
  • I actually have 2 stories, one funny, one just cool.

    1) A bunch of us were playing the Warhammer RPG and I had come into the character creation session a little late. The majority of the party was made up of fairy type characters while I made a holy inquisitor (don't ask me why, it was a long time ago). Anyway, the game progressed and there was a bit of suspicion and tension between my character and the rest. At one point, a group of us found ourselves in a boat rowing across the lake when the DM informs me that a sword just went through my head and I was dead. Turns out the rest of the party conspired against me and murdered me. From that day on, any time someone made a character that was diametrically opposed to the rest of the party we refered to him as a boat ride character.

    2) This second story is more a character suicide. We were playing "My Life With Master". My character was a playwrite whose "less than human" trait was that he could only speak in shakespearean quotes. His "greater than human" trait was that be could write brilliant plays, but they must be written in the blood of the actors playing the roles. At the end of the last session, he wrote a one man play staring himself. This resulted in him bleeding to death. He knew this would happen and devised a series of pullies, weights and ropes which he attached to himself in such a way that once he died his corpse would act out the play.
  • Posted By: MattgwinnHe knew this would happen and devised a series of pullies, weights and ropes which he attached to himself in such a way that once he died his corpse would act out the play.
    AWESOME! The show must go on!
  • edited June 2007
    Cambridge, England, 1996. Homebrew D&D setting, with an evil elven empire ruling iron-fisted over the lesser races, drifting strangely into cyberpunk as our characters fled deeper and deeper into the underdark and found an army of rebel elves with magi-tech implants, flying tanks, and a plan to release an army of Beholders on the surface world to bring down in the dictatorship in a catastrophe of blood and fire.

    My character, Gally, was the estranged daughter of the elven High Theocrat who had found Imperial propriety suffocating, cropped the points off her own ears, and run away to hang out with scummy lower-class humans. Through the whole story, her father's efforts to recapture her -- including a tactical mage-nuke blowing up an entire town she'd been hiding out in -- drove a great deal of the plot, but we never actually saw him or the high-falutin' palace circles she'd grown up in.

    In the climactic session, my character convinced the party to reject both the rebel elves and the imperial elves for the heartless bastards they were and screw 'em both -- which, since I was getting my master's degree and heading back to the US in a few weeks, was my character's swan song. She was knocked out and captured.

    Me: So where does Gally [my character] wake up? Does she wake up?
    Alden (the GM): When you come to, you're lying on a divan in a beautifully appointed room, with a balcony overlooking the capital city, far, far below. A refined male voice is saying, "Awake, my dear?"
    Everyone: Uh-oh.
    Alden: Remember when the rebel elves did surgery on you? You feel a strange lump in your belly, as if they left something behind....
    Me (smiling): Father?
    Alden: Yes?
    Me: Come closer.
    Alden: And then the bomb they left in your stomach explodes, taking out the entire palace....
  • edited June 2007
    Posted By: James_NostackI am in a "noise rather than signal" mood today, and if Andy thinks this thread is too frivolous by all means shut it down!
    These are the threads that bring me joy. "Too frivolous" is not something that I would never (conceivably) hold against a thread. :-)

  • Mine is not my own, but rather it's an infamous story of my gaming group right before I joined. They were playing a d6-based Vikings game.

    At one point, all the PCs were being hunted by a big swarm of baddies. They ran into a large 2-story barn, barred the doors and locked the place so that they couldn't be attacked. They realized that the baddies were not going to go away, that they'd just wait until they came out.

    So the PCs, to frighten off the baddies, decide to scare them away with a huge fire by setting fire to the barn they were trapped inside.

    They all perished, choking, in flames.

    The story continues that Eric (the player who came up with the idea) was getting ribbed mercilessly by the other players (despite having gone with the plan at the time with no objections), so he later made an "in character tale" that was "passed about for future generations" that basically was a long viking poem about how his character was brave and how setting the barn on fire with his friends inside of it made sense and was the right thing to do at the time.

  • Last night's D&D game:

    Sorcerer player: "I ready a fireball to counterspell for when the drider casts another fireball."
    Another player: "The drider probably only gets one fireball per day, you know?"
    Sorcerer: "I don't have any ranks in Spellcraft, man."
    Player Three: "Then how will you know the drider is casting a fireball?"
    Sorcerer: "I'll just cast it whenever the drider seems to be casting soemthing."

    (Eventually we get to the drider's turn.)
    GM: "What happens if you cast as a counterspell and there's no fireball to be countered?"
    Player three: "I think that means you just cast the fireball."
    Another player: "Yeah, I think so."
    Cleric with only 9 hit points left: "Hey, am I included in that radius?"
  • ...the heck is a drider?
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRoby...the heck is a drider?
    They're mutant Drow Elves. Upper Body of a Drow Elf, lower body and legs of a spider. They're a punishment for Drow Elves that don't make the cut. Which I've never understood. Wait, I displeased my god, so I get to be a badass half spider man?

  • edited June 2007
    (Does anyone else remember the episode of "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" where the mad scientist turns himself into a drider? That was my favorite episode.)

    Also: I think the drawback of turning into a bad-ass spider is that chicks won't like you as much. That seems to have been the lesson in the "Spider-Man" episode.
  • True: the trade-off between badassery and sex is not a tough choice to make.
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