View Full Version : Character Death
29th October 2011, 4:48 PM
Character Death: Get Yours Here
Good morning, everyone! Welcome to the Character-Death thread, a place where you can confront the concept and implementing of the dreaded "character death and defeat" in a safe, constructive, and (most importantly) consequence-free and totally-impermanent environment. It's a chance for you to explore the idea that your character is fallible and "killable". This is your chance to go all-out! To break out of your comfort zone! To bend that "no killing PCs" rule; and it can be as funny, or serious, or dramatic as you want. Remember, what you write here has no bearing on your actual character or the actual RPG. This is just a giant "What If?" thread, a fun writing activity where you can give your favorite characters that ultimate ending. If it helps, treat it like a comic book: death is a revolving door, it's rarely permanent there (the only comic book characters who stay dead are Uncle Ben Parker; and Thomas and Martha Wayne). But characters are still "killed-off" because it adds a different kind of layer and tone to the story...even if we all know Captain America would be back in time for the movie.
Just a bit of history: The idea for this thread spun out of a discussion in the "To PVP or Not to PVP" thread, which brought up the notion that RPGers hesitate/refuse to allow their characters to be defeated and/or killed. And while we all recognized that as understandable and inevitable, the idea was planted, and some of us wondered just what would happen if we were less wrapped-up in the "ego" of the character, and more interested in executing a proper and solid character-story. In writing a story, it's not always satisfying if the character survives. Sometimes the most fitting end to a character's story is that character's death.
So here we are! This thread is all about confronting the idea of character-death and tackling it head-on without having to worry about how it affects whatever RPG your character is currently in. There are very few limitations on what you can do here (if any at all). The character can be from any RPG, past or present (I ask that you only post here with existing characters), and the death scene (or defeat scene) can be from the RPG, or it can be entirely out of context, or it can be an alteration of a scene in the RPG. You can even request a situation here from other forum-goers and RPGers. It's all up to you.
That's about it, really. I suggest that you provide a short (1-2 paragraph) description of what has happened to the character up to that point, and maybe even provide a link to the character's signup sheet. But that's up to you, and it isn't required.
1. Please follow RPG Forum standards of posting behavior.
2. Please only post with an existing (past or present) character.
3. (Suggested) Please provide a brief character-summary.
4. (Suggested) Please provide a link to the character's signup.
Here are some writing prompt requests and suggestions. Feel free to use one of these as a starting point or go off on your own!
(As prompts are suggested, they'll be added here)
29th October 2011, 5:23 PM
Hmm. I see this is back. Interesting. I think I'm going to wait for some writing prompts/suggestions from others, because for whichever my characters are actually going to die in the RPGs, I don't want to do post their pending death scenes/anything what their death scene is actually going to be like ahead of time. So yeah, I'd be more comfortable with writing out-of-context stuff since I'm an anti-spoiler nut.
29th October 2011, 6:14 PM
I've actually dealt with this many times before (on another site before coming here), and trust me, I strongly recommend everyone tries it at least once in their RPing careers. It's really not as bad as you may think it is. Oddly enough, you may even find it rewarding, something to learn and reflect on.
First and foremost, a character's death has to be timely and stand for some kind of meaning. Don't think of it as a video game, where if you die, it's just game over and that's it. Think of it more in terms of a book or movie. Harry Potter is a great example for this (spoilers ahead). Look at how much significance there was when Cedric Diggory dies. And then Sirius Black, the only family Harry had left. And then, bam, Dumbledore himself gets killed, leaving Hogwarts in shambles. The impact of their deaths left many characters stricken, afraid, concerned, and in grief about what was going to happen next. For others, it created a newfound determination and strength to keep going and keep fighting. The effect it had on the storyline was fantastic, and created so much depth.
Now... if your character died, wouldn't it be a little interesting if they had THAT much of an impact on the other characters and the storyline? Thing is, if all the characters refuse to die, you'll never create that kind of an effect. If none of the good guys died in Harry Potter, the story wouldn't be nearly as strong, believable, or likable as it currently is. If the good guys never take a loss, or never face any real dangers and never take even so much as a single injury, the storyline loses so much, and looks like there was barely even a struggle or a real conflict to begin with. NPCs in this situation might as well have been cardboard cutouts for people to shoot down.
Every RPG that has the potential for character death (obviously no characters are going to die in an academy-style RPG) have a mission, an objective, and some kind of goal that needs to be accomplished. Your character is doing what they can to accomplish that objective, using their various skills, abilities, and resources to do that. But the fact they would die and give up everything to try and accomplish that makes the mission so much more meaningful and important. Now, I'm not saying to everyone left and right to start killing off their characters, because that's just inane. But let your character be open to injury and loss, and if you really feel the situation and moment is right, open the possibility of them dying to protect others and/or to help the mission reach it's success.
Alex Waters (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=13455882&postcount=12)
This character is from the Chimera series, Black Alpha - Orre Shadow War, but also appeared in Escape from Silph Co 1 & 2. As a basic background, he's an Orre mercenary who has skills in hacking, sabotage, and stealth, and just happened to be assigned on a mission that went far deeper than he ever thought it would, one involving mad science that allowed for the creation of mutagens, specifically, ones that allow a human to become a three Pokémon mix called a Chimera, or as one person described it, a "Pokémorph on steroids." Later on, even more mutagens are designed to be allow these Chimeras to evolve, so you can kind of imagine how fierce the combat can get in this.
Heights, the General that directed Alex Waters in the first two RPGs, becomes the villain in Black Alpha. Alex ends up fighting a war in Orre, and it gets pretty ugly. The RPG is still going on, but if I made the call to kill off Alex (a lot of characters follow him right now), I imagine he would probably go down fighting, working off of adrenaline. Best example to compare how I would imagine it is Boromir from Lord of the Rings. The way he gets killed in Amon Hen is he gets shot by a huge arrow trying to fight and protect Frodo and Sam, but he finds the strength and determination to keep fighting. He gets shot again, and he slows down a bit, but still fights on, taking out a few more orcs and Uruk-hai. However, after being shot a few more times, he simply can't continue. However, before dying, he tells Aragorn he would have acknowledged him as king, even despite the ranger's shady past.
In truth, Alex's character would probably go down fighting like that, since the last thing he would want was for it to be all for nothing. He would also do something that at would at least help the other characters put an end to Heights's campaign, if it wasn't to inflict a crippling blow against Heights himself. A lot of it depends on what he's doing, where he is, and who he is fighting, but I would probably end it with something like this.
29th October 2011, 7:40 PM
So I guess I'll start things off with one of my more recent examples of In-RPG Character Deaths. It comes from the end(ish) of Digimon: Unholy Crusade and regards Svarog, an Apollomon. Just a quick summary: The RPGers' characters had been fighting an 800+ post-long war against the Royal Knights, and they had finally taken the advantage in several battles. Artorius (Alphamon) lost his sh*t and unleashed the embodiment of Primordial Chaos, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, Chaosmon, in hopes of using it to turn the tide. But Amatsu-Mikaboshi wasn't too keen on being used, and slaughtered most of the Royal Knights. The PCs decide to make a strategic retreat after A-M kicks their butts a little bit, and Svarog decides to hold it back until then. Here's the scene: Amatsu-Mikaboshi had just given Thor (Imperialdramon Paladin Mode) the beating of his life.
"No!" Svarog roared, flashing from the sky, wreathed in fire. He drove his burning fists into the Mikaboshi and drove him away from Thor's battered from. "You will not!" Phoebus Blow. "Find victory!" Phoebus Blow. "Here! Sol Blaster!"
Svarog's flames speared into the Mikaboshi and washed over the ground, but amidst the fire, the chaos seethed. Once again, it let loose a cannon blast that pierced through the inferno and slammed into Svarog. The sun god howled in agony as the blast struck and smashed him to the ground.
"I know too your blood; son of Phoenix, son of war; your end comes today."
"Keep it in your pants," Samael snarled as he raked his claws across the Mikaboshi's back. He followed with a blur of motion, slashing with claws and swords. The blood-red lightning that accompanied his X-Evolved movements danced across the Mikaboshi's form, seeming to hinder his reactions.
"And...goodnight!" Samael roared, thrusting his hand into the Mikaboshi's chest and out through his back. A smug smirk settled on the fallen angel's face as he waited for the monster to dissipate. "Wait. That doesn't feel right," he muttered, warily withdrawing his hand from the Mikaboshi. "You don't have a digicore!"
Nightmare exploded from the Chaosmon and ripped into Samael, driving him back. Amatsu-Mikaboshi raised his blade and slowly stalked towards him; the runes along the blade's length lit with burning power.
Power streaked from the sky and sang towards the Mikaboshi, who blurred from view and easily avoided the attack. Michael dropped from the sky, his Seraphimon form cloaked in holy power. He raised the solidified Excalibur and roared towards the Chaosmon. But the Mikaboshi readied his blade and met his charge. The chaos-thing was but a blur of movement, and slashed his sword across Michael's chest before the archangel could react.
"Thus comes the empty; void of life, death, and being; the Dark Prominence." A dark cell of power erupted from the Mikaboshi's cannon and slammed towards Michael, but the stoic archangel raised his holy sword and battered the blast away.
"Everyone!" Michael called out. "Get behind me!" He raised his sword to the heavens, and with a quick prayer, he brought it down. Michael carved a path in the still-burning air, and as the massive holy structure was quick to form. He thrust his hand against the golden metal of its back.
"Gate of Destiny!"
The door ripped open, pulling all matter of things into its vortex. Unfortunately, the Mikaboshi was not among them. His body pulled towards the open gate, but he remained firmly rooted, and Michael was losing strength.
"Giga Crusher!" Thor roared, pouring forth his power. The darkmatter blast slammed into the back of the Mikaboshi and hurled him into the Gate of Destiny, which promptly slammed shut. With a clenched fist, Michael's will held the gate closed, and the attack began to dissipate.
"Is it done?" Thor wondered.
"Yes," said Michael. "It's--"
Suddenly the gate cracked, and the golden metal warped and twisted. The Mikaboshi tore his way from the other side and destiny was shattered in his wake. The backlash of energies tore through the air towards Michael, ripping through his Seraphimon form and reducing him to a mere Angemon.
"Impossible," Michael gasped.
"You rise defiant; cockroach lost against the night; the hurricane's eye," he said, his burning eyes moving over to Thor's battered form.
He rushed the thunder god, and Thor could only barely manage to raise his sword in time to block the Mikaboshi's strike. But the second knocked the weapon from Thor's hands. Thor reached for the blade, but the Mikaboshi's foot stood atop it, and he found the monster's cannon pointed at his face.
"Chaos-ordered life; these things must exist alone; End of Paradox."
The Mikaboshi's cannon fired a burst of distortion that swept over Thor and ripped a scream from his throat. But it did not kill him instantaneously as it had done to Artorius. In his pain-addled mind, Thor wondered why for a moment; before he saw the faint glow along the edges of the White Sword and understood that it had protected him.
"Father," he rasped in prayer, knowing that it could not protect him from another.
"Get away!" Svarog roared. He slammed into the Mikaboshi, grabbed him by his waist, and hurled him through the air. Samael rushed up beside him.
"Let's kick his *ss," Samael hissed.
"No," said Svarog. "Get the others away. Get them back! Far from here; far from Avalon! We cannot stop him alone. And we cannot let him raise his underlings. You go from here, Samael, and you find every. Single. Digimon. In this damned world and you call them to arms. Open the Inferno, call the Dark Gods...do whatever you must to stop him before he reaches his full power."
"Go now!" Svarog charged forward, drilling his burning fists into the Mikaboshi with every ounce of power he could raise. He crashed against the chaos, even as its sword cut deep gashes in his body; even as it broke his bones with cannon blasts.
"As the shore atta--"
"Shut up!" Svarog roared angrily. "I have had quite enough with your prattle."
"Svarog," Thor groaned desperately as the truth of Svarog's actions dawned upon him.
"Go, Brother," Svarog said softly. "And I will give your regards to Odin. Michael, now."
Michael raised his staff high to the heavens and he cast his light upon the assembled Peacemakers and the remaining Royal Knights, and they disappeared beneath the glowing shroud. Svarog stared into the unblinking eyes of Amatsu-Mikaboshi. There was that ceaseless relentlessness; he could not stop it, but he could give the others a chance to escape and warn the rest of the world.
"Father Praamzius, Grandfather Rod," Svarog whispered in prayer. "Give me strength, give me rage, give me honor, give me glory."
His body lit with flame, burning gold and white. He let out a roar that shook the earth and sky, that echoed from the halls of Asgard to the ruins of Svarga, to the shining spheres of Heaven to the blackened circles of Hell. All would know of Svarog's strength; all would know of his rage; all would know of his honor; all would know of his glory. Even the Mikaboshi cocked its head to the side in mild curiosity.
"Join me, Amatsu-Mikaboshi," Svarog snarled. "You desire Oblivion so much!? Join me in it!" The threat was an empty one, but Svarog's intent was clear. The god of sun and fire and war seared a liquid-fire path of the ground. He grabbed the chaos-thing, wrapped his arms around it and held tighter than he had ever held anything in his life. Then he shot into the air with the beast in his arms, and as he reached the edge of the sky, he shouted--with the last of his breath--
Cosmic fire and cosmic winds roared out over the sky and exploded into space. Svarog's body was instantly vaporized by the attack, but as the fires burned at the Mikaboshi and edges of the atmosphere, the sun god's laughter continued to echo across the world.
Of course, being a fiery firebird-phoenix sun/war-god, Svarog comes back on last time in the final battle, but when the battle is over:
"Farewell, Thor," Svarog said wistfully as he too watched the sun set. Thor didn't understand. "When the firebird dies it wreaths itself in flame and lets out one final flash. I came back only to see this through, for there are some doors that should not be left open too long. But now I too must return Nav. I wish you well, god-brother, and all of you, Peacemakers. Live lives of honor and glory, and may we one day meet again."
Svarog spread his wings and, laughing heartily, he hurled himself into the air. Fire trailed in his wake until he reached the first evening star to appear, and then he was gone.
He came back again in the sequel, twisted as the vessel for "War", the Horseman of the Apocalypse, and in his first appearance actually kills Thor, who is then made into the vessel for the Horseman "Conquest".
"Corona Sanctions!" a voice roared out. Something swathed in fire streaked from the sky and slammed into Thor with the force of a meteor. Power exploded from the collision, ripping the sky in two and tearing a scream from Thor's throat.
The thunder god crashed to the ground, smoldering from the contact. His armor was cracked and broken, his skin lacerated, and his body burned. He coughed, spewing blood onto the ground, a sign of severe internal bleeding. Thor tried to reach for the White Sword, but it was too far away, and his injuries were too severe. He looked up as a second burning form dropped to the ground.
The hulking Marsmon, the Horseman War, stalked ever closer to him.
"No," Thor whispered past bloodstained lips. "You--it can't be. Svarog, why? What are you-?"
"Mugen Hadou," War said, his voice barely a whisper. He exploded forward, moving as little more than a fiery blur. He struck Thor, rocking him with more than one-hundred blows in the span of two seconds. His last strike drove Thor to the ground and erupted a pyroclastic maelstrom around them. The flames swirled back into the Horseman's core, revealing the beaten thunder god at his feet.
War wrapped his mighty hands around Thor's throat and then hurled him high into the air as if he were little more than a ragdoll.
"Corona Sanctions!" War shouted. He wreathed himself in flame and split the sky once again; he arced through the air, intercepted Thor's flight, and drove the King of Asgard into the ground with a meteoric blow. War watched the fallen king with burning eyes, waiting for him to fight back, to stand, to move.
Thor did not.
1st November 2011, 3:34 AM
Halloween seems like the perfect time to talk about the death of my character! Ironbeak Swiftclaw (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=12486470&postcount=34) is a female Skarmory I made for an RP ages ago, and got to finally use for Niihyl's Memento Mori. The Skarmory was once a great warlord who controlled half the Johto skies with her huge flock of bird Pokemon followers. I intend to explore this for my NaNoWriMo fic.
In the RP, her days as warlord were past, so I got to explore a little bit of her character in the latter part of her life. Over the course of the RP, where Ironbeak was so much older than the other teen-aged characters, though she hated having to egg-sit such unseasoned warriors, it got her reflecting on their naivete and youth, like any baby bird. She was starting to think about motherhood (despite having some family issues). I don't know who Ironbeak might take for a mate, but I'd like to explore the theme of family in her death.
Ironbeak Swiftclaw had relished her time as a warlord. Her days as the Shearer of the Skies had been wonderful ones, full of plunder and riches, birds who obeyed her every command, and others who feared her beyond all else. Nothing had been above her. Anything below her was not worth her concern. She got all she wanted and ensured the contentedness of her mighty flocks. She provided the power and wealth they craved, and they had served her well, though she still enjoyed a routine execution to keep her birds in line. Truly wonderful times.
Then there came the fire Pokemon, and they had set all her dreams aflame. Everything she had worked for, all she had accomplished, was turned to ashes. Exile was a most vile thing. Here, in these silent mountain peaks, she had degraded. She was nothing, here. And the Shearer of the Skies knew that she, too, was turning to ashes.
Ironbeak barely had the energy to leave her nest, now. She was weary, from the crest of her head to the tips of her claws. Her wings ached. Her metal body had lost its glorious sheen; now it felt heavy, weighing her down. It was enough. She gazed upon the mountain range, upon the clear, crisp blue skies, upon the bristling, untouched forests, and she wanted to fly there. She wanted to spread her wings and to have them encompass it all. Everything the earth had to offer she wished she could still be wrapped in her wings.
It was then that Ironbeak weakly turned to the tiny, shining, twittering little mess that shared her nest. The chick had only recently hatched, and was still new to this world. It was a delicate little thing, with a gleaming coat, a hooked beak, small talons, wings that would become like blades, and gleaming amber eyes. It was full of a new energy, one that was swiftly leaving the great bird.
"Krrrrrra," it squawked, flapping its weak little wings and looking imploringly up at its mother without shame.
Instinctively, with the small amount of energy she could muster, Ironbeak reached into a corner of the nest, dragging out a Bellsprout carcass. The chick began squeaking and squealing as its mother prepared the food, then delivered it into the little one's gaping beak. It beat its wings as vigorously as it could before settling down. Closing its sharp eyes, it tucked its head under its wing and took to sleep.
The chick would remain there in the nest of bramble bushes; this was how its wings would grow strong and hard, the same way the former warlord's had as a chick. Someday, after enduring much pain, it would learn to fly. Such was the way of their species, cruel as it was. But nothing in life came easy; the chick faced a difficult future, to be sure. For now, there was enough food in the nest that it would survive. It would overcome the obstacles and challenges. It was, after all, the daughter of the Shearer of the Skies. And so this was the little chick's name.
"Shear," Ironbeak croaked contentedly, watching her daughter's satisfied sleep. She nuzzled her beak against the young hide, which rose and fell gently. Tiny, helpless, new to the world. Shear would get her chance, someday. Ironbeak did not know. She could only hope for the best.
It was then that Ironbeak realized that, while she wished to spread her aching wings to encompass all she saw from her mountain perch, she wanted only to give it all to her chick. She wanted to give the little thing everything. Its mother had once had it all, yet she had nothing left to give the little one. Ironbeak could only chuckle hoarsely.
"Fly fast and fly strong, little one," she said in the traditional bird blessing. "I cannot give you much. I have only the strength for speech, now. This is all I have left, all that is left of me." Ironbeak paused, still watching her daughter, who yawned and gave a small chirp.
"But then," she smiled wryly. "Perhaps I should tell you of your mother's accomplishments. Of your mother's life. Most have forgotten me now, but my story shall live on through you. I only wish I had something more to give you. Do not remember me only for this - I am more than just a former warlord." The last bit she added on without even thinking. Ironbeak realized then that she had never thought of herself as anything but a warlord. Yet, in these last moments, she hoped that she had still made a good mother. Good enough that her chick would live on, and live well.
"This, Shear, is the story of your mother. Listen closely. Learn from it. Do not become what I became, but rather learn from this story all that you can. There are many ways to fly through the sky, and I hope you shall choose your own. But this, this is the tale of Ironbeak; Ironbeak Swiftclaw, the Shearer of the Skies..."
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