13 thoughts on “So here is an interesting question.”

  1. I think that depends on what kind of entity Death is in your campaign world–but here’s my take.

    If they want your life, they’re going to get it eventually; all they have to do is wait. So coming up and claiming it just like that? My Death is more patient than that.

    That said, two things. First if they sent you back up instead of just claiming you, they must have a vested interest in whatever bargain they struck with you. Second, that vested interest won’t necessarily be in that bargain’s fulfillment. I mean, they’ve seen your soul laid bare; they know what kind of person you are, through and through. If you’re the kind to risk welching on a bargain with friggin’ Death, they’d know that–and whatever you do instead of what they asked may very well be what they wanted in the first place.

    Or maybe, even the act of breaking the bargain itself creates some kind of fallout that aids Death. So whether you do what they ask or do the exact opposite, Death still benefits. They play the ultimate long game, and every move is in their favor.

    Tl;dr: ask who Death is, and when someone breaks a bargain make an appropriate hard move.

  2. I would send them nightmares to warn them, maybe an hourglass as well to indicate there is still time to honor the bargain. Every time they see a reflection of themselves they see a skull, food they eat are full of maggots (only visible to them) and their drinks turn to ash the second they swallow. Eventually Death will claim them…

  3. Depends on the story you are telling. Depends on the bargain. Death could also take someone else, or even the hamster. The only rule imho would be that it should really hurt.

  4. So thinking about my world, it seems like Death is a connection/another embodiment of people’s gods that gives the m the choice.

    The actual bargain one of my players did was that she couldn’t save another player anymore because in previous sessions she was all about saving that character and it made sense that Death would be a little annoyed that the natural order of things is not being done in its eyes.

    It is one of those things that will be interesting to play out but will eventually happen that the player will probably choose to break it

  5. I’m leaning towards abstracting the near-death experience as something that causes derangement and insanity (for which I’m still writing rules).

    All inspired by the Death’s Door mechanics and quotes in Darkest Dungeon.

    “As life ebbs, terrible vistas of emptiness reveal themselves.”

  6. Intriguing question, and good answers so far.  

    I’m thinking maybe Death would refuse to take you.  And would then move to draw forces against you.  Perhaps others who he has spared, making YOU their mission.

    When they’ve hacked your corpse into bits and eaten their fill, they leave.  As they walk off screen, the camera zooms in on your severed head laying in the dirt, mouth gulping for air you’ll never breathe, eyes twitching back and forth feverishly as the looming madness of your eternal suffering begins to sink in….

    Yeah.. make another character.  This one ain’t “done,” exactly, but you can’t play it any more….

  7. Stephanie Bryant Sounds like a compendium class!

    When you have lost your body, you can take “Not in the Face”

    Tell the party how your head is picked up, cared for, and carried around.  Is it a friend, a pack of wild dogs fighting for their new toy, or are you shoved on the tip of a savage’s spear and carried into combat?

  8. I’ve had death become a court to where the soul is judged to belong to 3 deities. This usually won’t stop the player character from dying, but it allows his life choices to land him a reward or torment after life. It also helps if the party ever communicates to his spirit or travel to his plane.

    -If your impact on the world has promoted life

    -if your death was glorious and with great purpose

    -you squandered your purpose, drive, will to help others

    -any bond or covenant to a deity may also affect the sentence


    *Eternal peace of a motherly deity’s kingdom full of empathy and free from self want

    *Prestigious permanent guest of a prideful deity to relive and share your great exploits to legions of the glorious

    *Discarded to be claimed by the collector of the lost, bound forever to have all purpose die.

  9. Foolish mortals, one does not simply “break” a deal with Death. At first He sends a gentle reminder. Food will taste like ash, drink like the sourest vinegar, then with each bite you take will not be filled, in fact your hunger will grow. If his subtle hint is not heeded you will find animals will shun you or attack you outright, sensing Death has turned his back on you as you have He.

    The Fae, The Celestial and the Infernal will begin to sense this now. The Fae seeing you as an unnatural abomination will shun you. Since your soul will not move on to it’s Divine reward (or Infernal torment) those spheres will greet you with equal animosity, as you are robbing them of a soul. Divine healing will no longer work.

    The next time you are dealt a killing blow you will not die, instead an appropriate attribute point will be lost, permanently and your body will simply cease to live. No longer breathing, no beating heart and no healing. Disemboweled by an Owlbear? How unfortunate.

    You will however continue to age, growing older with each passing year until your task is completed, then you will likely beg Death for His sweet embrace, understanding that His sweet relief is a gift to be cherished.

    You don’t ask Death to meet you half-way.

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