Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dungeonspiration: Epic Death

Sergeant Loronzo by The Boy -

When I was but a wee role player, I really didn't like the whole character death thing.  It was something to be seriously avoided - going so far as to sit behind a DM screen and never risk a PC by never having one.

But when you come down to it, some of the most memorable moments in role playing are the deaths.  Case in point - The Boy.  While initially horrified by the concept, he is getting quite good at them.

In my Stars Without Number campaign, the characters were contracted by some shady underworld types to shut down a casino.  Not forever, mind you - just for a bit.  Actually, the party never asked - or even seemed to wonder - as to WHY someone would shut down a casino for a bit.  It just enough that they got to cause some chaos - and get paid for it.

The session turned out to be one of those long-ass planning ones.  You know those types.  The players get so interested in the planning aspect that it seems like they never get to the execution.  But several hours later, they had their plan and went ahead.

The plan was to blow up an intra-building sewer main in the casino's hotel and have millions of gallons of raw sewage flood the casino proper.  Actually, the plan was not a bad one at all.  The big problem was that the party's hacker was AWOL (an actual date with his girlfriend!) and so they had to hire a retainer.

The hacker henchman screwed the pooch on his computer and security rolls.  Badly.  Worse than bad. The hacker was particularly nice about the whole thing, calling the party up and letting them know he had miserably failed and had not only NOT prevented the security systems from detecting their activities, but had actually helped the casino security zero in on their nefarious activities.

Ron and Crazy-ass Tim were in the getaway car.  The second they heard the alarm go off, they were out of there.  Completely.  Utterly.  Gone.  Not even a post card.

The Boy, playing Sergeant Loronzo, and Kaye (yeah - the guy who plays Torvalds in the 2e game) were on the third floor, attaching explosives to the sewer pipes when the first security guard arrived, gun in hand.

Sergeant Loronzo picked up a huge plumber's wrench, swung it the guy, and grabbed his Order of the d30 Brand d30, choosing to use it at that moment.  The massive wrench did so much damage it cut the guard in half, showering everything in the room with blood.  They finished setting the charges and high-tailed it out of the plumbing room, racing to get to their long-gone getaway car.

They ran down the hotel hallway to the elevators, but they were too late.  Three security guards stepped out of the elevator firing.  Kaye was hit and died like a punk at zero hit points even.  Sergeant Loronzo wasn't having any of that, so he pulled out his stash of Lazarus Patches. The patches help dead character's come back to life.  Well, very recently dead characters.  And it takes a medic to really apply them well.  Sergeant Loronzo was not a medic.

But damned if he didn't try.  He slapped patch after patch onto his dead buddy, trying to shock him back into life, all the while dodging a hail of bullets.  The other players began a count down to when the timer would kick off the sewage explosives.  Eventually Sergeant Loronzo ran out of patches and the guards - none too happy with all the missing going on - ran up and began to pummel him.

Sergeant Loronzo ran out of patches.  He was very upset that his buddy has died for good.  He mowed down the security guards and proceeded to leave - but more security guards were coming out of the elevators.

The count down to sewage explosion was getting woefully close - like about one round.  Then the boy had an idea. He busted down the door of a hotel room, dove onto the bed, snatched a pillow, shot the glass out of the window with his laser, and leapt out of the building.

The explosives detonated.

Sergeant Loronzo had some hope that the pillow would soften the impact into the ground, but when the true gravity of the situation hit him, The Boy turned, fired his bright blue laser pistol in the air, yelled 'Sayonara,' and made his peace with the universe.

We all thought it was a very epic death - a very inspiring end - and one which should be remembered in the annals of RPGdom forever.

So if you know your character is going to die - think for a second.  What can you do to make the Valkyries sing loudly of that death in their meady halls until Ragnarok comes?  Do something cool - and inspiring.  The skalds will appreciate it.

- Ark