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D&D 3E
Self injury 
5th-Dec-2005 07:27 pm
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I've DMed for at least three years or so, but I came across something during a session the other day that was totally new. Two of the PCs were fighting--certainly not anything new--and I wasn't too worried because usually they exchange a few blows for some subdual damage and call it good. But, for some reason, this last time it turned into a "real" fight... Once one player finally stopped, the other decided that he was so upset he should kill himself (I really can't figure out what inspired that line of thought ... the player has issues, anyway).

So I had to figure out how to handle what happens when a PC attempts to attack themselves. I decided that, if they're really serious about it, they can treat themselves as helpless and get an automatic critical. Of course, he was a rogue, so that includes sneak attack damage. Luckily, the party cleric blew her only cure crit and stopped him from dying.

Has anyone else had to deal with something like a suicidal PC? How do you (or would you) handle it?
Comments 
6th-Dec-2005 03:46 am (UTC)
I once watched a game session turn into a real fist fight. :)
I grabbed my stuff and left them to kill one another. I know its not the same thing but like you it was the same two players always going at it who started the whole thing.

As for me I would let them do it and be done with it. I really have no time to deal with players who are going to hold up a game often over something like this.
6th-Dec-2005 05:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, if people want to be drama queens they should do it on their own time.
6th-Dec-2005 04:00 am (UTC)
If you want to kill yourself, you kill yourself. Done and done.

By your logic, a PC attacking himself should be considered helpless, so gets an automatic coup-de-grace. And of course can voluntarily fail his fort save. So automatically dies.

Unless someone forcibly restrains you from killing yourself, you can succeed. Hence the idea of straight-jackets and padded rooms.

And honestly, if your player doesn't want to play his PC anymore and wants it to die, might as well let it kill itself. Whats the point in forcing him to live? He can just keep trying anyway.

And if your player has so many issues that they feel the need to commit suicide in game for no good reason, maybe they shouldn't be playing fantasy roleplaying games. They should get some help.

Players like these are game-breakers. More than the biggest powergamer or newb. The people who refuse to play the game entirely are the ones who shouldn't be playing. There isn't any mechanic to help them. You can try to talk them through it out-of-game, but it really goes completely out of the realm of the game (or any other game, really). And even then, why bother?
6th-Dec-2005 04:29 am (UTC) - Agreed;
It's these kind of people who eventually end up having a really horrible hatefilled game of D&D, then driving their car off a cliff. Then the game gets this label for being associated with that, and the rest of us sane folks have to deal with it...

The last instance I know of about people going crazy while playing D&D was 20 some years ago when some college students were high on drugs. And yet I meet people who think we're ALL that way and that it happens ALL the time. :P
6th-Dec-2005 01:56 pm (UTC) - Re: they still like to blame stuff on rpg's
ehhhh maybe not d&d but we had a guy here in philly who played vampire the masquerade who eventually killed some girl stuffed her in his trunk on his way to a goth club. they blamed it all on " rpg's like dungeons and dragons", i had seen this guy around,,and he had allot of issues,gaming was probably the only healthy thing going on in his life
6th-Dec-2005 04:41 am (UTC)
Just let em. I can't stand pc's always fight...same people every character...gets old after a while. I've even banned some for a few games. Most of the time they think twice before waisting everyones time.
6th-Dec-2005 07:47 am (UTC)
I know I'm nimble, but I don't think anyone is so nimble as to be able to sneak up on their own self. That's all I got to say about that.

As for the PC suicide: let them do it. But be sure to roll a percent die or something, with maybe a 1 in 20 chance of the PC messing the whole job up and only maiming his or her self. Under normal circumstances, though, a player better have good reason for killing their character.

If a player is manifesting in the game instabilities of their reality, they should probably get help. There's nothing wrong with roleplaying a character that can see no other way but suicide; hell, it might even be good roleplaying. But a player using a character in a malicious and delusional way is kind of creepy and maybe a sign of worse things to come.
6th-Dec-2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
I don't think it is about being nimble but being able to hit a vital spot. A rogue knows right where to hit someone to cause the most damage, like major arteries and such. That's why you can't sneak attack an undead or construct. They don't have the same vital spots. "Sneaking" is part of it because you really can't hit such areas when someone is aware. I'm going to defend my neck more than say an arm.

I'll add what most people have added: The player has other issues that need to be addressed. If they simply don't like their character, then let the suicide succeed or have the character go out in a blaze of glory. If the character suicide is a foreshadow of player's issues... That's tough. DMs aren't therapists, but ignoring friends isn't the best either.
6th-Dec-2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
I was just being a smart ass, but I guess it didn't work too well. If anyone can kill himself efficiently it ought to be a rogue.
6th-Dec-2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
Wtf? Suicidal PC's?

Screw that. If you attack your own damned self while I'm DM'ing, all of a sudden your weapon becomes a +1 Dancing Vorpal weapon of doom and you die horribly, and then the weapon self-detonates when you're sufficiently mutilated, as if it were an arttifact having just been destroyed.

There won't be any suicidal PC's, it's much too stupid.

Save your death wishes for when you're fighting a Blackguard or a Death Knight. He'll help you out.
6th-Dec-2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
let the player kill his charictor and stop gaming with him.
thats a disruptave cry for atention at best,,and a backwards F&^ked up cry for help at worst.
it seems to me it should be an unwritten rule to gaming that the dm has to "weed out the looneys" im not saying that your friend is,,they may be very well roleplaying there charictor in the only way there charictor could react(altho i cant see being painted into that corner) and if its just good roleplaying then either have an npc whip out an ever so handy calm emotions spell,,,or just let them kill themselves give there annoying dramatic speech to everyone else be a pain in the ass and move on.
Honestly tho,,,, when people start acting really strange in a game which for all intensave purposes is fantasy land you might want to step back and see if there ok,,as a friend .wanting to play out a suicide in front of others is a red flag in my book,,but thats just me
6th-Dec-2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
I would say force him to make a Will save. If he fails, he coup de grace himself.
8th-Dec-2005 08:33 am (UTC)
Once I had a player with some self-killing desires.

You should remember that the player may only act it, so you wouldn't let him die and so keep him safe (and dry) till the end. I hate such cheaters!. If the character wants to die let his soul leave the world. And then tell him what happens to his old body. For example let a bear, lacking mate, find his body still warm =)
9th-Dec-2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Dang guys, way to be harsh!!!

I've played a couple suicidal characters. In one case, it was a character who was herself quite simply nuts; the other was suffering from depression as per Unearthed Arcana rules. Neither case was reflective of anything I had going on, just as neither were characters I *wanted* to die, I love both dearly. However, in each case, it was simply the natural course of roleplaying.
Both DMs considered it an automatic crit, but not a coup-de-gras. {not every real-life suicide attempt works either, you know.} Only one of the characters actually followed through with her desire {the other concieved with her boyfriend shortly thereafter, and gradually came out of her depression-- the dm lifted it as a result of roleplaying}, and the other character was healed by a holy halfling {BoED}, who was trying to help her but then sacrifced himself for the good of the world, which led to her completely losing it... but that's another story.

I'd say it depends on the character. Is the player doing it just to be dramatic, or is it simply the result of fully roleplaying the character? From my experiences as a serious role-player, what seems like a really cool character idea can quickly get out of hand-- I was happy when I found an out for that character that didn't involve her killing herself. So maybe try to open up an exit for the character and let the player make a new one. Or, if it's the player, have a talk with him or her. See what's going on, and if you think it'll be a major issue, suggest they find a new game.
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