This week I've been talking a lot about death in our games and how to handle it. We've talked about the types of death, the meaning behind death, and the tendency for some people to just throw their character's life away when the situation didn't necessarily demand it. Today I figured I'd open up the discussion to talking about specific character deaths. Some prompting questions lie below.
What is your favorite character death you've seen at the gaming table? Which was the funniest? Which was the saddest?
Furthermore, what counts of needless sacrifice have you seen? Have you ever seen someone actually pull off the hero's sacrifice successfully? If so, how did it go?
As a GM one of my favorite incidents of character death was when I killed 5 PCs because they jumped into a freezing, rushing river in full gear when not one of them had the swimming skill. Why did they do this? Because the 6th PC had shattered a frozen river to win a fight he wasn't good enough to win fairly and had fallen into the freezing water. The kicker? The 6th PC could swim and had already made the checks to survive his encounter with the water. Why is this one of my favorites? Because it is a near perfect anecdote to share to players to show them that I'm serious when I say that if they do something stupid and the consequences kills them that I will kill their character. Even if it means ending the campaign with a TPK.
As a player it is harder. If I had to pick one it would be the death of a Matsu character whose name I forget. But he died in mass battle trying to take the enemy standard. He was killed before he could strike the opposing captain but managed to spend the void for a final strike. His final strike did more than enough to one shot kill the enemy captain and secure him the flag. His dying words were to turn to another player and say "Mission completed, sir" before dying with the enemy flag in his hand. I wish I could explain how bad ass it was in the moment, but I really can't. You'd have had to be there.
How about you?