All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

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screenmonkey
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All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by screenmonkey » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:17 pm

Has anyone finished that first zero level adventure and had one player with no characters left?

Do you just give him 4 more level zeroes and hope they survive the upcoming first level adventure? :twisted:

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by shadewest » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:29 pm

Does anyone have an extra PC? Perhaps he'd be willing to part with one of them. You could make him roll more zeroes, or you could let him roll a new level one. It's up to you as the judge.
...unless the judge rules otherwise.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by TheNobleDrake » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:10 pm

Shadewest pretty much said it all, but I am adding my echoing opinion to the discussion - I am very fond of players with spare characters (meaning more than just the one) shifting one of theirs over to the now character-less player, as I find it to be more suitable to most stories being told that no new recruits are brought in until numbers truly dwindle (like when there are 5 surviving characters among 8 players).

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:46 am

Many low-level Goodman modules include a spot with villagers or prisoners or other zeroes who could be drafted into the group as PCs. If not, adjust the module so that such zeroes are there.

If everyone has lost all of their characters, start over. :lol:
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by reverenddak » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:28 am

screenmonkey wrote:Has anyone finished that first zero level adventure and had one player with no characters left?

Do you just give him 4 more level zeroes and hope they survive the upcoming first level adventure? :twisted:
At first I was letting those with no survivors and new players roll 3 or 4 0-level characters, and pick one to level to match the lowest level character in the party. Now I'm making them start with those 0-level characters. The XP to Level spread is so wide, they'll catch up pretty quickly. They also have the added benefit of adventuring with higher level characters, and will be able to accumulate their throw-away items. Plus, as a Judge, if you're not offing one of the higher level characters or two, you're doing it wrong.
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:10 pm

reverenddak wrote:At first I was letting those with no survivors and new players roll 3 or 4 0-level characters, and pick one to level to match the lowest level character in the party. Now I'm making them start with those 0-level characters. The XP to Level spread is so wide, they'll catch up pretty quickly. They also have the added benefit of adventuring with higher level characters, and will be able to accumulate their throw-away items. Plus, as a Judge, if you're not offing one of the higher level characters or two, you're doing it wrong.
I had two players in the TA/TG 0-Level Sample Adventure finish with no characters left. I also had one player finish Portal Under the Stars with no characters left.

For the TA/TG game, the other players had their choice of 2 characters so the survivors were spread out. All the survivors were interesting enough that the party wanted to continue their stories into 1st level. So that's encouraging. One player wanted to try a specific class (Charger) and rolled an Occupation until he found one that fit the theme (it took two rolls on the Occupation table). So that's kind of the first thing reverenddak mentioned with a bit of a twist.

For Portal Under the Stars, I did the first thing reverenddak said -- had a player roll up 0-Level characters and choose one to level up. But I think the latter thing (having a player just restart with 4 zero levels) is a better idea. I will try that next.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by reverenddak » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:51 pm

I also let them keep the extra 0's as henchmen and followers. They become trap finders and meat, usually.
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Dark Lord » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:04 am

I just say that the last one left alive becomes level 1, or if somebody else has multiples they can give one to the player without any.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by finarvyn » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:38 am

Dark Lord wrote:I just say that the last one left alive becomes level 1
That's an interesting idea!

Of course, this could lead to a rash of self-inflicted wounds or reckless actions by the player's other zeroes to help determine which one levels up. :lol:
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Devil Swine » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:52 am

Once all a players 0 level guys are dead there are a few choices.

A- Let them take control of a few o level characters from other players if all agree.

B-Let them create more 0 level characters.

C- Let one of the characters have been only mostly dead! I think a lot of people overlook those rules in the game that can save a dead pc. I don't have the rules in front of me at the moment but there is one at least that even after a character has died,if another character finds him and turns him over there is a chance he is still alive.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Eyeball360 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:23 am

Well the rules as written say that any 0 level character that hits zero hit points is irrevocably killed, but I like the idea of giving them the chance to try to make a Luck check to recover the body if it's the last character. To me, it's a little less disruptive to the story line than having 4 more guys suddenly show up.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Devil Swine » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:29 am

I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Eyeball360 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:40 am

Devil Swine wrote:I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.
No you're right, that's the Luck check rule on page 93, but it states that only characters above zero level are able to be recovered.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:05 am

Eyeball360 wrote:
Devil Swine wrote:I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.
No you're right, that's the Luck check rule on page 93, but it states that only characters above zero level are able to be recovered.
True.

But if it's someone's last 0-level character, I can't see a reason to not stretch the rule to keep the player in the game -- especially if other players are all down to their last 0, too.
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Devil Swine » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:23 am

I did once have a pit full of dead characters all look at me and ask" Can I check to see if he is alive and he check to see if I'm alive?"

Made me laugh.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by TheNobleDrake » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:03 am

GnomeBoy wrote:But if it's someone's last 0-level character, I can't see a reason to not stretch the rule to keep the player in the game -- especially if other players are all down to their last 0, too.
I can see a reason - it's that "everybody down to their last zero" is a perfect moment for those characters to become 1st level, even if their original group just got really unlucky with a single encounter.

The point of the funnel is to whittle down the zero level guys to an acceptable number of 1st level characters, not to insist you remain 0-level until a predetermined number of encounters have passed... doesn't the book even say pretty much that? I swear I remember being given the impression that you don't go from 0 XP to any number other than 10.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:52 pm

A messy mid-encounter option, but viable, if you like. 8)
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Pesky » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:45 pm

Eyeball360 wrote:
Devil Swine wrote:I'm almost certain there is a rule in there somewhere about a character getting a chance to be not dead if killed and then checked by a player. Now I guess it could have been in the beta and not in the finished rulebook and we never noticed. Let me go check in a few min.
No you're right, that's the Luck check rule on page 93, but it states that only characters above zero level are able to be recovered.
FWIW, at the 12-person funnel we played at Pacificon (link here), Goodman would allow a zeroth-level downed PC a luck check if someone tried to revive him the same round that he was reduced to zero. If the player rolled the PC's luck or under on a d20, then he was at 1hp but stunned/groggy for the following round. Burning luck to subtract from your die roll was also allowed (using pre-burn Luck score as the target). This all may have been a house-rule for the Con, however, since everyone had only 1-2 PCs per player.
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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Eyeball360 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:47 am

It sounds like most of us agree that's an acceptable way around the situation, and it's good to see that Goodman himself took that approach. Of course you can still blow your luck roll, but at least it substantially reduces the likelihood of TPK.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by gator » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:18 pm

In our first DCC adventure, my first four funnel characters died almost before anyone else in the group had lost one. I was down to one and lost that one in a battle where we did free some villagers. With that, I rolled up 4 new level 0's (since they were villagers) and used those. I did end up having 2 left out of those 4 and like was mentioned before.....those that survived the first adventure were immediately put at 10 XP and level one. Now if someone loses all of their current characters, we would just roll up 4 new level 0's (more rescued villagers/new recruits from another village, etc) and go with them. it just makes the story line go alot easier and more fluid.....plus it gives some of those surviving characters the ability to tell stories about some of the former characters :)

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:12 am

I ran Sailors on the Starless Sea when I was on vacation for my younger brother, his son, and his son's girlfriend.

Spoilers, Sweetie: Their first time out, they had a near-TPK after encountering the beastmen in the tower. The two survivors had hung about outside the keep; they attempted the fallen tower (killing one in the resultant slide) and the other found the beastman leader (the only survivor on the other side) dumping bodies down the well. I thought, hey, if the beastman leader falls, they can replenish their characters from within the tower! Nope. Not to be. The TPK was complete.

Not to be dismayed, the players made new characters that approached the keep a week later. They avoided the causeway (and thus the new vine horrors created from their fallen) and came up through the collapsed tower. A dwarf noted the revealed passageway, and all but one of the PCs all squeezed in as the door was opened. Poof! No party. After nearly freezing to death, the survivor high-tailed it out of there, and we called it a night.

This was not enough to dismay them. In fact, they quite enjoyed the game. It took two attempts to get together to play again, but they were persistent in their interest. So.

A day from the last disastrous attempt to explore the keep, the survivor and his new team approach. They discover some treasure in the upper works, and then descend. I ruled that, after the first failure, all of the townspeople were taken below, so there is no one hanging in the tower, the upper works beastmen are now gone, and bad things are happening below.

The players ignore the mosiacs and the pool, they find the robes, and, when they get to the Starless Sea, they have only the four PCs with the robes go across to the ziggurat. Now, me, I am preparing for the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth that will occur when the cavern floods and everyone left on the shore is drowned. Well, the one 1st level PC left there will get a Luck Check when/if his body is recovered.

But, I needn't have worried. Even taking control of several of the townsfolk being sacrificed doesn't help the players win their battle against the beastmen, the cultists, and the manifest avatar of the Chaos Lord Molan. They had actually guessed correctly about using the censor and incense to subdue the Chaos Leviathan, but now they were toast. There was no great flood. There was no victory. Molan was restored, to plague the world once more.

But it wasn't a TPK, because characters skulked out of the caverns, and they were carrying some pretty good treasure at the time, including a certain magical axe......


Now, you might think that this would be a real disappointment to the players, and that they might turn away from DCC back to their 3.5. And, of course, they will continue to play 3.5. But, they also appreciated losing, and knowing that whatever they walked away with was earned. And, as my brother pointed out, losing now didn't mean that they would never have a chance to oppose M in the future. Nobody was crying because there were consequences to the adventure. Instead, there was some talk about next year's visit, and maybe getting a game going via the Interwebs.

2e and WotC-D&D both train GMs to fudge player failure. As a player, I find this enormously unsatisfying. As a GM, I find it equally unsatisfying. My position is that the best GMs root for the players, but don't force them to win. It's okay to have a TPK or two. It's okay to lose. It's okay for the remaining PCs (if any) to slink away with their tails between their legs.

SotSS indicates that other villagers have tried before the PCs (see the first encounter!), so it is okay if other villagers try after the first group doesn't return.

We had fun, anyway, and I have introduced three new people (living in two US States) to the joys and perils of DCC!

RC
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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by jozxyqk » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:07 am

Excellent post, RC.

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Re: All my funnel characters are dead, now what?

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:35 am

Thanks.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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