Many “traditional” RPGs incorporate the possibility of the irrevocable death/disabling injury of a player character into their basic mechanics, yet often skirt the issue of what happens to the game in such a case, instead encouraging the GM to “fudge” the results if the GM doesn’t want a given PC or PCs to die.
How has your gaming group, current or previous, handled character deaths due to system-legitimate causes, i.e. combat or traps (assuming no intent on the part of another GM/player to kill a given PC or PCs)? Which methods worked well, and which didn’t?
I’ve actually had a fairly high rate of PC death during the DnD game — I think Whisper’s been killed two or three times… Gebbet two or three… and Grim was basically vaporized like a baloney roll in a Hellraiser movie, just last session.
The group as a whole has been pretty okay with such things when they come up — to use Grim’s death as an example, I really couldn’t have asked for a better bit of in-character decision-making leading to his untimely demise — it was pretty brilliant (assuming you can can be “brilliant” while playing someone who’s INT just dropped to 2… anyway).
In a system like DnD, where you’ve got multiple pet-doors leading back through Death’s Gate, it really doesn’t have a huge amount of impact. Gebbet’s running about a half-level behind the rest of the group, maybe, but that’s it.
I think the group’s putting off resurrecting Grim for about two or three more encounters, because then Whisper will be able to do a resurect with no downsides (she’ll have access to level 9 stuff) — mechanical OOC motivation, but I do like the fact that no one’s in a HUGE hurry to get him back on his feet (or, considering how he went down… I guess that would be “get him feet to be back on”).