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 Post subject: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:43 pm
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Has anyone finished that first zero level adventure and had one player with no characters left?

Do you just give him 4 more level zeroes and hope they survive the upcoming first level adventure? :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:46 am
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Does anyone have an extra PC? Perhaps he'd be willing to part with one of them. You could make him roll more zeroes, or you could let him roll a new level one. It's up to you as the judge.

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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
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Shadewest pretty much said it all, but I am adding my echoing opinion to the discussion - I am very fond of players with spare characters (meaning more than just the one) shifting one of theirs over to the now character-less player, as I find it to be more suitable to most stories being told that no new recruits are brought in until numbers truly dwindle (like when there are 5 surviving characters among 8 players).


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:46 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Many low-level Goodman modules include a spot with villagers or prisoners or other zeroes who could be drafted into the group as PCs. If not, adjust the module so that such zeroes are there.

If everyone has lost all of their characters, start over. :lol:

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:28 am 
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screenmonkey wrote:
Has anyone finished that first zero level adventure and had one player with no characters left?

Do you just give him 4 more level zeroes and hope they survive the upcoming first level adventure? :twisted:


At first I was letting those with no survivors and new players roll 3 or 4 0-level characters, and pick one to level to match the lowest level character in the party. Now I'm making them start with those 0-level characters. The XP to Level spread is so wide, they'll catch up pretty quickly. They also have the added benefit of adventuring with higher level characters, and will be able to accumulate their throw-away items. Plus, as a Judge, if you're not offing one of the higher level characters or two, you're doing it wrong.

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(Dungeon) Master In Chief of Crawl! fanzine. - http://www.crawlfanzine.com/

"[...] there is no doubt that Dungeons and Dragons and its imitators are right out of the pit of hell." - William Schnoebelen, Straight talk on Dungeons & Dragons


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1088
reverenddak wrote:
At first I was letting those with no survivors and new players roll 3 or 4 0-level characters, and pick one to level to match the lowest level character in the party. Now I'm making them start with those 0-level characters. The XP to Level spread is so wide, they'll catch up pretty quickly. They also have the added benefit of adventuring with higher level characters, and will be able to accumulate their throw-away items. Plus, as a Judge, if you're not offing one of the higher level characters or two, you're doing it wrong.


I had two players in the TA/TG 0-Level Sample Adventure finish with no characters left. I also had one player finish Portal Under the Stars with no characters left.

For the TA/TG game, the other players had their choice of 2 characters so the survivors were spread out. All the survivors were interesting enough that the party wanted to continue their stories into 1st level. So that's encouraging. One player wanted to try a specific class (Charger) and rolled an Occupation until he found one that fit the theme (it took two rolls on the Occupation table). So that's kind of the first thing reverenddak mentioned with a bit of a twist.

For Portal Under the Stars, I did the first thing reverenddak said -- had a player roll up 0-Level characters and choose one to level up. But I think the latter thing (having a player just restart with 4 zero levels) is a better idea. I will try that next.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:51 pm 
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I also let them keep the extra 0's as henchmen and followers. They become trap finders and meat, usually.

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(Dungeon) Master In Chief of Crawl! fanzine. - http://www.crawlfanzine.com/

"[...] there is no doubt that Dungeons and Dragons and its imitators are right out of the pit of hell." - William Schnoebelen, Straight talk on Dungeons & Dragons


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:04 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:43 am
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I just say that the last one left alive becomes level 1, or if somebody else has multiples they can give one to the player without any.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:38 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Dark Lord wrote:
I just say that the last one left alive becomes level 1
That's an interesting idea!

Of course, this could lead to a rash of self-inflicted wounds or reckless actions by the player's other zeroes to help determine which one levels up. :lol:

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:52 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:12 pm
Posts: 108
Once all a players 0 level guys are dead there are a few choices.

A- Let them take control of a few o level characters from other players if all agree.

B-Let them create more 0 level characters.

C- Let one of the characters have been only mostly dead! I think a lot of people overlook those rules in the game that can save a dead pc. I don't have the rules in front of me at the moment but there is one at least that even after a character has died,if another character finds him and turns him over there is a chance he is still alive.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:23 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:05 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Northern WV
Well the rules as written say that any 0 level character that hits zero hit points is irrevocably killed, but I like the idea of giving them the chance to try to make a Luck check to recover the body if it's the last character. To me, it's a little less disruptive to the story line than having 4 more guys suddenly show up.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:29 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:12 pm
Posts: 108
I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:40 am 
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Devil Swine wrote:
I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.


No you're right, that's the Luck check rule on page 93, but it states that only characters above zero level are able to be recovered.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:05 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Eyeball360 wrote:
Devil Swine wrote:
I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.


No you're right, that's the Luck check rule on page 93, but it states that only characters above zero level are able to be recovered.

True.

But if it's someone's last 0-level character, I can't see a reason to not stretch the rule to keep the player in the game -- especially if other players are all down to their last 0, too.

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:23 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:12 pm
Posts: 108
I did once have a pit full of dead characters all look at me and ask" Can I check to see if he is alive and he check to see if I'm alive?"

Made me laugh.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:03 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
GnomeBoy wrote:
But if it's someone's last 0-level character, I can't see a reason to not stretch the rule to keep the player in the game -- especially if other players are all down to their last 0, too.
I can see a reason - it's that "everybody down to their last zero" is a perfect moment for those characters to become 1st level, even if their original group just got really unlucky with a single encounter.

The point of the funnel is to whittle down the zero level guys to an acceptable number of 1st level characters, not to insist you remain 0-level until a predetermined number of encounters have passed... doesn't the book even say pretty much that? I swear I remember being given the impression that you don't go from 0 XP to any number other than 10.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:52 pm 
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A messy mid-encounter option, but viable, if you like. 8)

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:45 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Eyeball360 wrote:
Devil Swine wrote:
I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.


No you're right, that's the Luck check rule on page 93, but it states that only characters above zero level are able to be recovered.

FWIW, at the 12-person funnel we played at Pacificon (link here), Goodman would allow a zeroth-level downed PC a luck check if someone tried to revive him the same round that he was reduced to zero. If the player rolled the PC's luck or under on a d20, then he was at 1hp but stunned/groggy for the following round. Burning luck to subtract from your die roll was also allowed (using pre-burn Luck score as the target). This all may have been a house-rule for the Con, however, since everyone had only 1-2 PCs per player.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:47 am 
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It sounds like most of us agree that's an acceptable way around the situation, and it's good to see that Goodman himself took that approach. Of course you can still blow your luck roll, but at least it substantially reduces the likelihood of TPK.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:18 pm 
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In our first DCC adventure, my first four funnel characters died almost before anyone else in the group had lost one. I was down to one and lost that one in a battle where we did free some villagers. With that, I rolled up 4 new level 0's (since they were villagers) and used those. I did end up having 2 left out of those 4 and like was mentioned before.....those that survived the first adventure were immediately put at 10 XP and level one. Now if someone loses all of their current characters, we would just roll up 4 new level 0's (more rescued villagers/new recruits from another village, etc) and go with them. it just makes the story line go alot easier and more fluid.....plus it gives some of those surviving characters the ability to tell stories about some of the former characters :)


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:12 am 
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I ran Sailors on the Starless Sea when I was on vacation for my younger brother, his son, and his son's girlfriend.

Spoilers, Sweetie: Their first time out, they had a near-TPK after encountering the beastmen in the tower. The two survivors had hung about outside the keep; they attempted the fallen tower (killing one in the resultant slide) and the other found the beastman leader (the only survivor on the other side) dumping bodies down the well. I thought, hey, if the beastman leader falls, they can replenish their characters from within the tower! Nope. Not to be. The TPK was complete.

Not to be dismayed, the players made new characters that approached the keep a week later. They avoided the causeway (and thus the new vine horrors created from their fallen) and came up through the collapsed tower. A dwarf noted the revealed passageway, and all but one of the PCs all squeezed in as the door was opened. Poof! No party. After nearly freezing to death, the survivor high-tailed it out of there, and we called it a night.

This was not enough to dismay them. In fact, they quite enjoyed the game. It took two attempts to get together to play again, but they were persistent in their interest. So.

A day from the last disastrous attempt to explore the keep, the survivor and his new team approach. They discover some treasure in the upper works, and then descend. I ruled that, after the first failure, all of the townspeople were taken below, so there is no one hanging in the tower, the upper works beastmen are now gone, and bad things are happening below.

The players ignore the mosiacs and the pool, they find the robes, and, when they get to the Starless Sea, they have only the four PCs with the robes go across to the ziggurat. Now, me, I am preparing for the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth that will occur when the cavern floods and everyone left on the shore is drowned. Well, the one 1st level PC left there will get a Luck Check when/if his body is recovered.

But, I needn't have worried. Even taking control of several of the townsfolk being sacrificed doesn't help the players win their battle against the beastmen, the cultists, and the manifest avatar of the Chaos Lord Molan. They had actually guessed correctly about using the censor and incense to subdue the Chaos Leviathan, but now they were toast. There was no great flood. There was no victory. Molan was restored, to plague the world once more.

But it wasn't a TPK, because characters skulked out of the caverns, and they were carrying some pretty good treasure at the time, including a certain magical axe......


Now, you might think that this would be a real disappointment to the players, and that they might turn away from DCC back to their 3.5. And, of course, they will continue to play 3.5. But, they also appreciated losing, and knowing that whatever they walked away with was earned. And, as my brother pointed out, losing now didn't mean that they would never have a chance to oppose M in the future. Nobody was crying because there were consequences to the adventure. Instead, there was some talk about next year's visit, and maybe getting a game going via the Interwebs.

2e and WotC-D&D both train GMs to fudge player failure. As a player, I find this enormously unsatisfying. As a GM, I find it equally unsatisfying. My position is that the best GMs root for the players, but don't force them to win. It's okay to have a TPK or two. It's okay to lose. It's okay for the remaining PCs (if any) to slink away with their tails between their legs.

SotSS indicates that other villagers have tried before the PCs (see the first encounter!), so it is okay if other villagers try after the first group doesn't return.

We had fun, anyway, and I have introduced three new people (living in two US States) to the joys and perils of DCC!

RC

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:07 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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Excellent post, RC.


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 Post subject: Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:35 am 
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Thanks.

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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