LESSON To TPK, or not to TPK, that... is the problem. A GM tip

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY SKILLBUILDING' started by Natural 20, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Alrighty, so today we talk about the dreaded Total Party Kill, or TPK for short. Even killing a single player can be seen as Taboo in a game or roleplay, and here are some tips to get through it. Say a player/character died by something small in combat, like a goblin or something, even a rat, try and dramatise it. This is early game so they can die from plenty. Especially in a dice based roleplay you need to be ready for the random chance of players being slaughtered by small enemies. If this is a high magic world, Hooray, you've got a way to bring them back, otherwise, try and help them bring in a new character.​

    However, this isn't a single party member dying we're here to talk about....We're here for the hellish, game ending TPK, with no way back from it. Sometimes, it's just overwhelming numbers taking down the characters, and try and make it seem sadder, as if they're back to back with one another, fighting and protecting one another as they are swarmed by the beasts, or the BBEG enacts his ritual and darkness reigns. If this does happen, hype the shit out of it. Talk about their noble sacrifice and how it will inspire future heroes and whilst they failed they crippled the dark king/god figure. Try and make it emotional for your players, and if they are killed off one by one, make the big bad yell at them in anger for all that character had done. The TPK is a game ender, the bad guys victory and the crushing of the party's dream. If they have family in the game, tell them their experiences, like if a child never gets to know their parent, a lover is left alone, a mother loses her child and so forth. The world becomes a darker place for those people, even at low levels.

    In the end, the TPK is the end, from "Rock falls, everyone dies" to "And your body falls as the small rats swarm over you, devouring your still living flesh" and not limited to "And so, as the dark god raises his hand, you are all filled with despair as it falls... and so does the world as it was known". It's a thing that's could happen and you should be ready for. Don't treat it as taboo or something that shouldn't happen. It's a part of the game/ the role play, these things will happen. Bad choices can influence this (I'm looking at you rogues who don't check for traps) but in the end, make sure it is memorable and even emotional.

    Thank you all for coming to read my GM tip. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me or post them below.

    Natural 20 signing off.​
    #1 Natural 20, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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