How to Cheat Death!

“Yes, there is death in this business of whaling.” 

Adventuring is a dangerous life. There are times when even the most sympathetic GM will be powerless to mitigate a string of rash decisions or disastrous rolls. But it can be hard to part with a beloved PC, especially mid-way through a long campaign. Thankfully, most fantasy RPG settings leave room for a number ways to treat death a little less permanently. By suggesting a way to keep your PC’s “death” a significant, life-changing event, you might just be able to convince your GM to let you hang on a little bit longer. Below is a list of consequential alternatives to flat-lining your PC for good.

  1. Worldly Resurrection
    Probably the most common method to cheat death is to have your character magically restored to life. That said, few parties reach high enough levels where this is an option available amongst themselves – and, frankly, these epic tier parties aren’t at nearly as high a risk of dying in the first place. This means you’ll have to get some help from NPCs. Few GMs, however, will be willing to let NPC support so easily deflate the weight and significance of death. Make sure to propose some heavy debts to the NPC in question for having called in such a big favour!
  2. Divine Resurrection
    Just as with any method of cheating death, your GM will be more likely to allow it if you propose hefty consequences to accompany your second chance. Unlike worldly resurrections, a divine intervention gives you a bit more freedom to be creative with your long-term consequences. Rather than simply owing a favour or a small fortune of gold, consider taking on some deeper complications from having witnessed the awful presence of a divine hand. In addition to the inevitably zealous conversion, your PC may end up suffering from restless dreams, delirious waking fits, or having committed themselves to a vow of poverty for the sake of a nearby temple.
  3. Permanent Injury
    Another way to get around death is to propose that your PC doesn’t quite die in the first place. Instead, propose to have your character afflicted by a permanent, debilitating injury that lasts long after you’ve made your long and slow recovery – missing limbs, staggering limps, partial blindness/deafness, significantly reduced carrying capacity, etc.. For those of you that might hope to sneak around this result with a powerful restoration spell at a later date, remember that your GM might only entertain these alternatives in exchange for substantial, long-term effects.

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One thought on “How to Cheat Death!

  • 5th July 2016 at 11:22 am

    It didn’t really change the dynamic for how the battle would go, aside from how many expendable resources the players would have to consume, but it certainly did away with insta-death problem we were having before.

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