Just had this question come up in my last session, but are bonds with a character who dies automatically resolved?

Just had this question come up in my last session, but are bonds with a character who dies automatically resolved?

Just had this question come up in my last session, but are bonds with a character who dies automatically resolved? My original thought was yes because since the player is deceased the relationship is no longer relevant or active. But then say the bond was something like “I stole something from the Wizard”. Once the Wizard died, the fact that something was stolen could continue to be relevant in the fiction, for example there might still be other’s in the world who desire the stolen object and would do anything to get it. In that case it would seem that the bond would not be resolved via character death, although the deceased character would no longer be able to offer input on the matter. Thoughts?

7 thoughts on “Just had this question come up in my last session, but are bonds with a character who dies automatically resolved?”

  1. To take it a step further: if a player had a bond, “I will protect X” and then X died, that bond is resolved, but could that player create a new bond with the deceased character (“I will avenge X”)?

  2. He potentially could. I would resolve those bonds one per session as the memory of the comrade lingers on. You could also write bonds about resurrecting the poor fellow.

  3. I like holding onto the auto-resolution of bonds as a dramatic tool to represent a sudden (and often forceful) shift in character. When a Paladin I was GMing was returned to life with demonic magic, I had him resolve and re-write all of his bonds in the context of his new, darker self. This is particularly nice as a tool, since the huge burst of XP can soften the blow of such a dramatic event.

    In this light, I’d say no to an instant resolution of a bond with a dead character unless it represents a huge shift for the person doing the resolving. Instead, the players would be encouraged (but not required) to choose their now-obsolete bonds with the dead for resolution.

    Though if a player thinks that their relationship with a deceased PC is fertile grounds for development, then go ahead and let them keep/make a bond. There’s all sorts of interesting ground you could cover there. (Talking with their spirit? Avenging their death? Returning their body to their homeland?)

  4. Ask about the resolution of the bonds on the fiction. How did they resolve their thoughts and feelings towards their dead comrades? Have them do something to say farewell to the fallen.

  5. I don’t think there’s anything in the rules about it, which just means it’s ripe for a custom move. How about:

    When a character with whom you have a Bond dies, you may also do either of these things in addition to resolving Bonds as usual at the End of Session:

    – Say how you let go of your comrade’s memory, erase the old Bond, and write a new one. Mark XP.

    – Give the Bond to the GM, who will tell you how it resolves with strings attached. Erase the old Bond, and write a new one. Mark XP.

  6. Some great responses so far guys, thanks!

    Travis Scott looking at your custom move, to me it seems that the two choices aren’t really equally balanced. Describing the resolution yourself results in no fowl consequences, while allowing the GM to do so does?

    I’ll be the first to admit that since I’m still new to DW and tabletops in general I may be misunderstanding the mechanics of custom moves, or perhaps I’m just misunderstanding yours, but I feel that if a move presents choices and one of those choices includes undesirable consequences then all of the choices should in some way represent differing undesirable consequences?

    I guess what I’m really saying is I think you present an interesting suggestion with your custom move, I’m just a little caught up on what “with strings attached” really means for the GM option. Could you possibly give an example?

  7. It’s not a very pushy custom move. (Moves don’t always have to be.) The choice is basically left up to the player: do you want to just say this Bond is over and done with, or do you want to kick it to the GM? If you want to include a harder choice, just change it up a bit: you can resolve the Bond and write a new one, but don’t mark XP, or you can give the GM a bit of history with strings attached, also rewrite the Bond, but now mark XP, too. This version incentivizes causing complications for your character. Depending on the culture at your table, you may not need that incentive, which points up the beauty of custom moves: you can design them just for your table.

    Some examples of possible strings attached:

    “I stole something from the wizard.” We already established that it was this ring with some kind of emblem on it. Kick it to the GM, who fleshes it out: the emblem includes what looks like the measuring rope and depth-checking stick that canal-builders use. In fact, it is from a cult that worships Dodron a god of agricultural fertility and civilization. For the most part, they’re pretty helpful, but they harbor a dark secret…

    “I have sworn to protect ____.” Some promises go beyond the grave, not because of some kind of wicked necromancy, but because Fighters maintain memberships in guilds, cults, and secret societies of their own. The promise of one brother or sister of the sword is equal to a promise from all of them, though not all of them share the same opinion about what it means “to protect.”

    In other words, you’re giving the GM some plot fuel, maybe the makings of a future Front/Threat.

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