Topic: How many have you killed?

I am a GM and have been one for about 20 years (on an on-and-off basis, of course). Since I started playing LotFP I tried to change something about my GM-style:  characters will die if the dice say they do. I fudge this one time already to save a character in the very first introduction game (my players where new to LotFP then), otherwise I had offed a PC right at the start of the adventure due to bricks falling down on his head after he opened a church door (I did not made this trap up, it was part of the module I played).

So, I wonder how many PC die in the sessions and adventures of other PC. Please share your experience with me, dear fellow GM. I am especially interest in how you incorporate "replacement NPC". Frankly, I would hate to have a player "out of game" at the 1/3 of the session, so I began to write up replacements to shoe-horn them in, based on what scenario they are currently in (see this dwarf here for an example).

How often do the PC in your games bite the dust?
How do your players stomach it?
How do you insert replacement PC?
Which level do you let them start with?

With kind regards
My blog

Re: How many have you killed?

How often?

It depends on the module. I had over 20 PCs die when I ran them through the Grinding Gear. I think only 1 died when running a Red and Pleasant Land. I also never fudge dice.


Ranges from laughter to horror. Over time, it has resulted in less character investment for some players, while sometimes they still do get really attached to a particular character. They have accepted it as part of the game (well, those who still keep coming back each week).


I used to have them start making a new character right away and as soon as they were ready we'd figure out how to get them there. Maybe they are discovered by the party, maybe they are exploring the area and the rest of their own party got killed so they're joining this one...whatever it takes to get them there.

The  most popular method is to have one of their hirelings transform into a PC. After this became one of our tropes, the players even claim that all their hirelings wear hoods, so that when they step up to join the party, they pull off their hood and then the player gets to introduce them.

More recently, I have been doing the DCC thing where they make four 0-level characters, so they almost always have one to play if one dies. They can choose to level up 1 that survives, and the rest become followers to help the other character survive a bit longer.


Either 0 or 1st. If I think the adventure will be fun at 0 level, I have them all start off with 0-level characters (who are things like farmers, bakers, ditch diggers). If the adventure needs levels (like it's good to have a magic-user, etc.) then I make sure they each have at least one leveled character with them.

Re: How many have you killed?

How often do the PC in your games bite the dust?

when I first started playing LOTFP we were having 1-4 player deaths per session; Better than Any Man was lethal, Maze of the Blue Medusa was lethal, Deep Carbon Observatory, pretty bad... At one point in DCO we had two total party kills one after the other. When we got into Veins of the Earth players got their footing a bit but eventually bit the dust after a few months.

How do your players stomach it?
It's often a real uncomfortable feeling in the room, but over time, I've found a play group that can stomach it.

How do you insert replacement PC?

There's no one answer. Sometimes it's like, here's your homeless friend, sometimes it's the hirelings, sometimes I just say "this person shows up"

Which level do you let them start with?

Level 1, although there's been exceptions... in the Maze of the Blue Medusa we progressively leveled up the party every TPK, so they eventually were 8th level by the time they beat the maze... in the new campaign they can bring back old characters who may be level 4 or whatever

Re: How many have you killed?

Old post but still interesting questions!
IMC we always create 2 characters, one main and one backup.
Backup takes only half the XP and often go to adventure but stay outside the dungeon (they are in charge of the logistics!) so they can replace easily fallen PC.
Most of the time there is 1 PC death/adventure.
When they level up the new character is often 1 level below the group.
My 2 cents