Had a tense game last night, where at one point one of the party dropped to 0 hp and had to roll last breath.

Had a tense game last night, where at one point one of the party dropped to 0 hp and had to roll last breath.

Had a tense game last night, where at one point one of the party dropped to 0 hp and had to roll last breath. He managed to pull out a 10 though. Death sent his character off on his merry way and the game moved on.

Afterwards he had said that it was a bit disappointing though, because the bargain outcomes for that move are so interesting it was a shame to avoid that entirely. The GM had just followed the rule as written, but all of us felt like it was less impactful than it could have been.

How have other people handled this? Do you try to make this complete success more interesting? Or do you rely on “not dieing” being reward enough.

6 thoughts on “Had a tense game last night, where at one point one of the party dropped to 0 hp and had to roll last breath.”

  1. Perhaps in the future, the narrative could be built a little more.

    Maybe death as an NPC saw something in the character they liked.

    Maybe death marks them with a physical scar/tattoo to remind them of how they owe death a debt.

    Or maybe just seeing the face of death is haunting in and of itself.

    A 10+ could be something where the character has more autonomy in the situation than when they roll worse, but they are still impacted by seeing death face to face.

  2. I have my players roll Last BREATH before they ever head to the Black Gates, so usually on a 10+ I narrate it as their character is unconscious and on the brink of death. Then I ask someone else what they do in response to keep everything moving. My group is usually ok with that, but everyone is different.

    I can get behind the idea of giving them some sign of near death or maybe they are haunted or fascinated by the very brief flash of death they saw. I usually forget about the text that says they are always marked or scarred by the event, opting for more narrative involving deals and whatnot.

  3. I usually ask players to describe what the afterlife looks like to their character. On a 10+ I usually have Death, their anscetors, or some spirit give a cryptic clue “you must protect the red lady!” or something similar before they are returned to the world of the living.

  4. Maybe the GM could offer the player the chance to initiate a deal with death. Like, “Your vision goes dark and you see the Black Gates form in your mind’s eye. Roll Last Breath. A 10, sweet! You can hear your companions shouting around you, but the Black Gates are still there and you can feel the power of Death behind them. Do you open your eyes or open the Gates?

  5. Much like if you get a 10+ on a Hack&Slash and can put yourself in danger for an extra +1d6 damage, I would have the option of “Putting yourself in Danger” with death on the Last Breath roll. While the character is safe and can come back, the character doesn’t know this and Death is a greedy sort. Roleplay it. Describe the Black Gates, the journey and maybe a cup of tea with death. Have the player interact with death and strike their own deals to get back. Or even Death is overidden by a god that has a claim on the character now.

  6. when a character hits 0 hp I usually describe it as a killing blow… for example: the dragons claws tear up your side, blood and bone fragments flying as your arm is pulled from its socket and most of your organs tumble to the floor. roll last breath. on a 10 + the armless hero wakes up lie in on the ground arm missing ribcage torn apart and he has 1 hp. pretty interesting.

    at the next oportunity the dragon fills the room with flame boiling the fat in his body and turning his skin to crispy bacon removing that 1 hp. roll last breath. on a 10+ he wakes in agony, disfigured for life but he stands and stabs at the dragon at which point he fails his hack and slash, the dragon bites off his head and removes that 1hp again…

    roll of 10+ on last breath and the headless armless burnt corpse stands. animated by the pure will and determination of a soul that refuses to die… a body that denys death a warrior standing beyond the shroud. Un-beatable! unkillable!

    the dragon wips it’s tale at him. he fails defy danger and then fails last breath… he dies.

Comments are closed.