When Players Die

So, I for one, HATE when my players die.
Anyways, that’s not the point. The point is when your players are almost dead, how do you make it so that they don’t die so fast?
(I’ve had 2 players die already and I’ve been running this campaign for 2 months once a week)

1 Like

Can you explain in more detail how they died?

The critical system pretty much prevents a surprising sudden death. The PCs and you should have a warning coming. Without a narrative death (PC falls from a 1000’ cliff), the critical injury system requires a total crit roll of 131 to begin to die, or a 151 to suddenly die. Since you roll a d100, that’s gonna require several criticals or one heck of a Vicious rating before you or they need to worry.

In more detail, a 126 roll gives you several rounds before dying (so easy to receive medical aid and survive). A 141 gives you a round. A 151 is immediate death. Thus, you need at least a +50 critical modifier to even begin to worry about the PC suddenly dying on the next attack. That doesn’t come until the PC is on his/her 5th critical injury or is being attacked with an extreme Vicious quality (or combination of both). Thus, once a PC takes his/her first critical, it’s good practice to begin looking for an exit plan. If they are waiting until they have 5 criticals, that’s on them. If they are commonly fighting opponents with high Vicious ratings, then you might be a tad Vicious yourself? :laughing: <— Smiley to ensure that was taken as a joke.

5 Likes

First of all, I hope we’re talking about the player’s characters dying… not the players. (Yeah, I know; I’m hillarious, I am! :smirk: )

Major character death would cause big problems in my games. I write very hero-centric story-driven campaigns, with each character deeply entangled in the story’s themes, NPCs, beats, locations, etc. etc. Basically, a major PC death is a big crisis in my game that I need a long time-out to process and reorganize the story around. Some of my campaigns have not survived the first major PC death… So, I try to avoid major PC death if I can, and luckily, FFGSWRPG is very forgiving and virtually begs you to cheat, heh heh.

My best advise, if your campaign, like mine, aren’t designed for the heroes to suddenly go away, is to:
a) avoid character deaths;
b) have the player take on an NPC relevant to the struggle and run that one as a PC;
c) design a new PC to fill the hole left by the deceased hero (this is the “enter the unknown twin brother” solution from bad Soap Operas);
d) restructure the campaign around the hero fallen (this is by far the hardest solution but can sometimes reinvigorate a tired story or even open up great new avenues for the story to blossom through)

Best of luck!

2 Likes

A fairly common point of confusion is that you die when you pass your Wound Threshold. This is not the case. You are merely incapacitated and suffer a Critical Injury.
As Sturn said, dying takes a very, very high Critical roll.
Does this solve your problem?

1 Like

There was no vicious involved. I as the GM mostly used a Triumph and spent that to activate a crit like every time I had one. So I guess it was more of me… :frowning_face:

Exactly. They would pass their threshold and take a crit, adding to their total crit count, then take another crit later and die.

That can’t happen. If I’m reading that right, your final crit roll would be +10. That means your maximum crit on that roll would be 110. Without vicious you are going to need to be hit by 6 crits at a minimum to get a result that leads to the PC dying immediately or the next round. 1st crit roll d100 for 1-100 on crit table (no death possible), 2nd crit roll d100 +10 for 11-110 on crit table (no death possible), 3rd crit roll d100 +20 for 21-120 on crit table (no death possible)…6th crit roll d100 +50 for 51-150 (146-150 finally gets you the die next round result which still is only a 5% chance to die quickly).

1 Like

Yeah, if you activate a crit every time you get the opportunity, they’re more likely to die, but even then it seems to be happening too frequently.
Are they just not taking the time to try and heal their crits?

They are, and what I could do as a GM is not use a Triumph for crits, only using the advantage. At least until the characters are more powerful.

To be fair, I was adding the total crit results together, instead of adding +10 to the roll. This was corrected in my previous session and I now know that’s how you do it.
So, in short, I was messing up the crit system or just activating crits whenever I could.
My bad.

1 Like

Well there’s your problem. If you fix that, you shouldn’t have any problems. Even if you activate crits whenever you can, it shouldn’t frequently kill your characters.

2 Likes

Now I have a different question concerning critical injuries.
Now, say a PC (not in a vehicle) is hit by an AAT’s heavy cannon, and he takes 60 dmg because of planetary-scale damage.
Because most players don’t have more than 12-17 WT, would I add any extra critical rating because of the excessive damage?

The book says you can add +50 to the critical injury. I don’t have it in front of me to say which page.

3 Likes

What Rich said, but I add a number based on how many wounds past double WT (which is the point where you stop counting).
So if your player has 15 WT and takes 70 damage, then you add +40 to the crit (70-15*2=40).
So an Autoblaster does significantly less critical damage (+10) than a light turbolaser (+70).

3 Likes

Hmm that makes sense, thanks!

Oh boy, that’s one nasty game you have right there! :smiley:

1 Like

This was my thought, too.

In the decades of playing, I’ve seen hundreds (thousands?) of characters die, but only a few players… and none of them actually during a game. Quite a difference between the two. e.g. I have no problem plotting events that cause a character death… :upside_down_face:

3 Likes

My Campaign has been running for a year and a half now, and so far just one character death has occured. Wampa’s are insane :sweat_smile:. My players know I’m not out to all out murder them but that I want it to be a real possibility they have to keep in mind and so play accordingly. I’m not one to shy away from using crits, I believe it’s a great game mechanic that all GMs should make good use of, just not overly so. But I’m sure that changes from GM to GM.

2 Likes

I do crits as much as I can, everyone loves the crit roulette, amiright? :smile:

1 Like

I like them for how they can ratchet up the tension and the flavor they add to the scene. Depending on what they inflict, you have to adjust your approach. Sometimes such limitations can introduce unexpected creativity.

But probably I would choose some other use for a Triumph if it was rolled against a PC already carting around five crits…

3 Likes

I recommend not following the book rule of stopping the damage count at 2WT because doing so leads to screwy cases when healing is considered. Take two characters, one with WT 12 and another with WT 24. Shoot them for 70 damage from a concussion missile, and now the first has taken 24 wounds and the other has taken 48 wounds. Now someone comes along with 10 stimpacks (every group should have pockets stuffed with these healing potions) and uses 5 on each character. The first character’s wounds are reduced to 9 so the character is now up and doing whatever foolish things characters do. The second character’s wounds are reduced to 33 so the character will continue to lay there as a piece of scenery. Why does the same hit of a concussion missile wash off of the ‘puny’ WT 12 character so much more easily than from the ‘old shoe leather’ WT 24 character? Only because of the stupid “don’t keep counting wounds past 2WT” rule. Get rid of that and both will still feel the hurt, with the tougher character taking less time to revive than the puny one.

4 Likes

Yep, I actually stop counting at twice WT of the PC with the highest WT. But for the purpose of planetary-scale weaponry, I count any damage past double the character’s actual WT.

1 Like