So, it is Friday, and that means I want to do a discussion. Some of these have prompted some good discussion, mostly offline, but hey I can always hope people will sound off on things. For today I want people to sound off on their feelings on plot mandatory heroic sacrifice. When is it ok to do? When should you try to avoid it? Is it ever ok?
So, what do I mean by mandatory heroic sacrifice? Well, I think the best way to explain the type of scenario is the standard bomb scenario. The PCs have to blow something up, something big. Let's say an alien warship. So, they get the bomb, get it set up, and a big fight breaks out. During the fight the bomb takes a few rounds, destroying the timer and the remote receiver. The choice? Either you abandon the mission, fight through the rest of the ship for some other way to blow it up, or someone has to stay behind and detonate the bomb - killing themselves to get the mission done.
Now, on the one hand, this could happen. It could even be a fail condition for the battle, or just the cost of taking cover in front of the important item - and an enemy/or ally shooting in that way.
SO, what do you think? Is this ok to do as a GM? Is it too railroady? Or in certain situations is it ok to give the PCs the hard choice? I'm personally against it I think, at least for most games. I just don't see many situations where 'forcing' a PC to ditch their char is a good idea.
So how about you? What do you think?