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Literature
Our Hjemkost
Welcome!  Welcome home, brethren!  Come, sit by my fire and listen.  Warm your bones from Lady Winter's chill.  Tonight is not a night for travelling.
Wipe those sorry looks from your faces.  You will find no condemnation around this fire.  No sour looks, no bitter words.  You left, you came back.  You survived.  God alone knows what would have happened if you stayed.  And who are we to demand answers of him?
Sit.  Eat.  Drink.  But most of all, listen.  Much has changed since you left.  Much there is to tell.  So listen!
The early years were hard on us.  Lady Winter is cruel; this we have always known.  But now worse was upon us.  All the land was divided, and few there were who would come to our aid.  Many of the things we took for granted were stolen away.  The lives we lived,
:iconBanditRingtail3:BanditRingtail3
:iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 1 8
Moon Dance (Commission) by BanditRingtail3 Moon Dance (Commission) :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 23 7
Mature content
The Blue Fox :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 2 2
Mature content
Billy Was Sick :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 1 11
Literature
Conversations with Myself - Ruby 001
"Bandit?  You in here?"
The familiar voice drifts over to my ears.  I'm still not used to hearing things on top of my head when I come in here.  Then again, I don't really notice if I don't think too hard on it.  I notice it now as the sound of her footsteps gets louder.  She's not wearing her workboots.
"Can we talk?"
"About what?"
I'm not really working.  Just huddled over my workspace with several gems of tales cluttered around it.  Or is it clear?  I can't really focus on it hard enough to cement the reality.  Just enough to give the appearance of work.  She taps me on the shoulder and I turn to look at her.  In her hand is something I really don't want to own up to.
"This look familiar?"
"...a little."
"It has your style."
She plunks it down on the empty desk.  Guess even my muse has enough clout to determine what goes on in here.  It's only her right.&
:iconBanditRingtail3:BanditRingtail3
:iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 0 4
Mature content
A Certain Psychopath's Own Version :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 1 13
Bandit Ref Sheet by BanditRingtail3 Bandit Ref Sheet :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 8 25 A Wild Jeweled Fake Appeared by BanditRingtail3 A Wild Jeweled Fake Appeared :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 3 12
Mature content
Project Sunset: ACTIVE :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 1 8
Literature
HISI Fit 001 - Sexual Orienta.
Sexual orientation is a myth.
Oh, sure, people will denounce me up and down for saying so.  These same people have hardly taken the time to really think the matter over much.  And I wish they did.  You have a better chance of learning the more you shut your mouth and open your ears.
Now, granted, I have no scientific studies to back this opinion up.  I've done no real research on anything pertaining to this topic.  All that follows is based upon my own personal experiences and thoughts, which I will display in due time.  Please do keep that in mind as you read.
To start to understand my reasoning, you must know and understand my past.  I was born in 1983 into a middle-class Christian family in North Dakota.  From then on, I've lived something of an "average" life.  I went to public school, I developed my own interests and hobbies, and I searched and yearned for some kind of meaning and purpose in
:iconBanditRingtail3:BanditRingtail3
:iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 4 41
Mature content
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Ready to Go by BanditRingtail3 Ready to Go :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 18 13 By His Strength by BanditRingtail3 By His Strength :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 26 37 Perks of Being Short by BanditRingtail3 Perks of Being Short :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 25 31
Mature content
PM OCT - SE - Raccoon's Sorrow :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 0 6
Mature content
PM OCT - SE - Last Call :iconbanditringtail3:BanditRingtail3 2 14

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Activity


Got your attention, didn't I? Anyway, if you've got time, sit a bit and read. This is gonna be a long one.

Except you! Yes, you! Get your butt back to work! You think they sign your paychecks for you to stand around and read my crap? Come back when you're on break or off the clock. It'll still be here, I promise.

Now, the title of this journal raises a very important question: why must your RPG characters die? To be clear, I've nothing against any of your characters; indeed I wish them long life and happiness, even if they're just fictional. Unless they're evil, in which case I'd rather they be reformed, incarcerated, or killed outright. Nothing personal either way, I promise. However, I think there's a case to be made for your characters dying. Or at least, having the potential to die, in the middle of a campaign, with little to no warning, and very slim chances of getting resurrected.

"But I don't want my character to die! They're too cool! I love them! And I really don't want to go through the mind-numbing character creation process again!"

All of those are good reasons. Except perhaps the last one, which tells me you may need to play a different system or have your GM keep some templates on hand. But let me show you why the risk of character death is worth it, and why you should include it in any campaign you play in.

Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time, too much really, watching some fan animations of people's favorite moments from a podcast, Critical Roll. The majority of them were hilarious moments, showing the strange and quirky (mis)adventures of their party. But a few were spoilers. And the reason most of them were labeled so was this:

People die in their campaign. Not just their enemies or random NPCs, but player characters. It can be quick and sudden, and even quite unfair. Of course, so far as I know, the unfairness lay with the dice, not their GM. And that, perhaps, was the worst part about it. There was no one to blame. In fact, these animated moments rarely had context, but it felt like many of the deaths were senseless or random. One was from a magical trap that gave no warning. She was alive one moment and gone the next. Later, the barbarian of the group, who's usually a source of hilarious shenanigans, found the party around one who was his dear friend. He kept repeating, "Fix him!" Over and over, he yelled it. But for whatever reason, none of the party could heal the fallen. Silence met the accusations of one whose heart was torn open by loss.

Loss. Yes, that's it. Loss. That's what I'm really after. That's what's missing from many a campaign. Or at least, most of the ones I've played in. And I think that's a mistake.

Loss is a part of life. It's something we have to deal with. And there's no one way to do that, though some are healthier than others. Maybe you lose your faith. Maybe you start to lose yourself in booze or drugs. Maybe you vow to bring them back, or improve yourself to stop it from happening to another friend. Maybe you go mad with grief. Maybe you just don't deal with it and start making bad choices until the party has to force you to sit down and mourn. Maybe you seek revenge or someone to blame. Maybe the party splits because the pain is too great.

Loss hurts. And we don't like pain. But sheltering ourselves from pain doesn't do us any favors. In fact, it can make us weaker. At least in an RPG it's fictional, and even if you care for the character, it's still better than having real people you care for be lost. I can't say that it's good therapy, but it might help you toughen up and learn how to deal with grief properly. And if not, you at least get a richer story when death isn't cheap. Whether it's scrounging up an obscene amount of crushed diamonds or a long campaign that stretches across multiple eras of history, the loss must be real, it must be felt, and it must not be cheapened.

Now, that doesn't mean the loss has to come from death. People can be lost in many, many ways. Maybe your boat capsizes and one or more of the party isn't there when you wash up on shore. Maybe your wizard suffers from an early onset of dementia due to his magic use. Maybe an enemy turns one of the party against the rest, making them treat their old friends like the real bad guys.

Or maybe someone just gets hit by a spell that no one can "fix", and you're miles away from any hope of resurrection.

Remember: it must be real, it must be felt, and it must not be cheap.

As to unfairness, it can be unfair within the context of the story, but must never be unfair due to mechanics. Both the system and the GM must give you a chance to avoid the loss. The only exception would be for the sake of humor, as some systems are meant to be played for laughs instead of drama. Even then, there's usually still a chance, however slim, to escape your doom. To simply kill your character by default, or GM fiat, is almost always a sign you're dealing with a jerk of a GM. Either that or you're the jerk at the table, and you haven't listened to their warnings or anyone's advice on how to be a decent human being. In which case, you may just deserve everyone throwing your character under the bus the first chance they get.

(A word of advice to all GMs: Never be unfair to your players. That's the job of the dice and your players' own stupidity and/or foolishness. Being unfair to your players is a one-way track to having your own Old Man Henderson incident. Such things don't just derail your plot, they plunge it into a deep ravine where it crashes at the bottom in a giant, thermonuclear explosion. You really don't want that.)

To sum up, there is a lot of rich character development you're missing out on if you don't let your characters experience loss. And while you can do this with the death of NPCs, like family or friends of your characters, you might learn something from having to write up a new character to continue the campaign. And the victories will be much sweeter, even if they're still bitter, if you've suffered loss along the way.

Don't avoid loss. Experience it, and learn from it. It will help your character grow, and maybe you as well. If nothing else, maybe you'll finally get the hang of character creation and it won't be such a slog for you anymore.

Unless you're playing a really complex version of GURPS. In which case, you might want to consider switching GMs. Preferably before the heat death of the universe.

I hope I've convinced you to risk a little more in your tabletop campaigns. Feel free to discuss this in the comments below. Be civil and keep an open mind. I'll do my best to do the same.

deviantID

BanditRingtail3
David
United States
Current Residence: North Dakota
Favourite genre of music: Country (play it loud, boys!)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional
MP3 player of choice: WinAmp (It whips the llama's @$$!)
Wallpaper of choice: Whatever strikes my fancy
Skin of choice: my own =P
Favourite cartoon character: *shrug*
Personal Quote: Sumptus censum ne superet. - Let not your spending exceed your income.
Interests
Got your attention, didn't I? Anyway, if you've got time, sit a bit and read. This is gonna be a long one.

Except you! Yes, you! Get your butt back to work! You think they sign your paychecks for you to stand around and read my crap? Come back when you're on break or off the clock. It'll still be here, I promise.

Now, the title of this journal raises a very important question: why must your RPG characters die? To be clear, I've nothing against any of your characters; indeed I wish them long life and happiness, even if they're just fictional. Unless they're evil, in which case I'd rather they be reformed, incarcerated, or killed outright. Nothing personal either way, I promise. However, I think there's a case to be made for your characters dying. Or at least, having the potential to die, in the middle of a campaign, with little to no warning, and very slim chances of getting resurrected.

"But I don't want my character to die! They're too cool! I love them! And I really don't want to go through the mind-numbing character creation process again!"

All of those are good reasons. Except perhaps the last one, which tells me you may need to play a different system or have your GM keep some templates on hand. But let me show you why the risk of character death is worth it, and why you should include it in any campaign you play in.

Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time, too much really, watching some fan animations of people's favorite moments from a podcast, Critical Roll. The majority of them were hilarious moments, showing the strange and quirky (mis)adventures of their party. But a few were spoilers. And the reason most of them were labeled so was this:

People die in their campaign. Not just their enemies or random NPCs, but player characters. It can be quick and sudden, and even quite unfair. Of course, so far as I know, the unfairness lay with the dice, not their GM. And that, perhaps, was the worst part about it. There was no one to blame. In fact, these animated moments rarely had context, but it felt like many of the deaths were senseless or random. One was from a magical trap that gave no warning. She was alive one moment and gone the next. Later, the barbarian of the group, who's usually a source of hilarious shenanigans, found the party around one who was his dear friend. He kept repeating, "Fix him!" Over and over, he yelled it. But for whatever reason, none of the party could heal the fallen. Silence met the accusations of one whose heart was torn open by loss.

Loss. Yes, that's it. Loss. That's what I'm really after. That's what's missing from many a campaign. Or at least, most of the ones I've played in. And I think that's a mistake.

Loss is a part of life. It's something we have to deal with. And there's no one way to do that, though some are healthier than others. Maybe you lose your faith. Maybe you start to lose yourself in booze or drugs. Maybe you vow to bring them back, or improve yourself to stop it from happening to another friend. Maybe you go mad with grief. Maybe you just don't deal with it and start making bad choices until the party has to force you to sit down and mourn. Maybe you seek revenge or someone to blame. Maybe the party splits because the pain is too great.

Loss hurts. And we don't like pain. But sheltering ourselves from pain doesn't do us any favors. In fact, it can make us weaker. At least in an RPG it's fictional, and even if you care for the character, it's still better than having real people you care for be lost. I can't say that it's good therapy, but it might help you toughen up and learn how to deal with grief properly. And if not, you at least get a richer story when death isn't cheap. Whether it's scrounging up an obscene amount of crushed diamonds or a long campaign that stretches across multiple eras of history, the loss must be real, it must be felt, and it must not be cheapened.

Now, that doesn't mean the loss has to come from death. People can be lost in many, many ways. Maybe your boat capsizes and one or more of the party isn't there when you wash up on shore. Maybe your wizard suffers from an early onset of dementia due to his magic use. Maybe an enemy turns one of the party against the rest, making them treat their old friends like the real bad guys.

Or maybe someone just gets hit by a spell that no one can "fix", and you're miles away from any hope of resurrection.

Remember: it must be real, it must be felt, and it must not be cheap.

As to unfairness, it can be unfair within the context of the story, but must never be unfair due to mechanics. Both the system and the GM must give you a chance to avoid the loss. The only exception would be for the sake of humor, as some systems are meant to be played for laughs instead of drama. Even then, there's usually still a chance, however slim, to escape your doom. To simply kill your character by default, or GM fiat, is almost always a sign you're dealing with a jerk of a GM. Either that or you're the jerk at the table, and you haven't listened to their warnings or anyone's advice on how to be a decent human being. In which case, you may just deserve everyone throwing your character under the bus the first chance they get.

(A word of advice to all GMs: Never be unfair to your players. That's the job of the dice and your players' own stupidity and/or foolishness. Being unfair to your players is a one-way track to having your own Old Man Henderson incident. Such things don't just derail your plot, they plunge it into a deep ravine where it crashes at the bottom in a giant, thermonuclear explosion. You really don't want that.)

To sum up, there is a lot of rich character development you're missing out on if you don't let your characters experience loss. And while you can do this with the death of NPCs, like family or friends of your characters, you might learn something from having to write up a new character to continue the campaign. And the victories will be much sweeter, even if they're still bitter, if you've suffered loss along the way.

Don't avoid loss. Experience it, and learn from it. It will help your character grow, and maybe you as well. If nothing else, maybe you'll finally get the hang of character creation and it won't be such a slog for you anymore.

Unless you're playing a really complex version of GURPS. In which case, you might want to consider switching GMs. Preferably before the heat death of the universe.

I hope I've convinced you to risk a little more in your tabletop campaigns. Feel free to discuss this in the comments below. Be civil and keep an open mind. I'll do my best to do the same.

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:iconbanditringtail3:
BanditRingtail3 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2018
Don't spam my profile with your crappy marketing.  This is your one and only warning.
Reply
:icongrobir:
Grobir Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018   Digital Artist
Ok. I'm hiding this comment
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:iconblackholeinajar:
BlackHoleInAJar Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Professional General Artist
Out of context [Pinkie Pie] :iconisaydanceplz:HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!:iconcakeplz::party:Rage Mode Gummy 
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:icontaren14:
Taren14 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday, dude!
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:iconcloudedheu:
CloudedHeu Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
honestly wonder if this guy's still around :staranoid:
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:iconbanditringtail3:
BanditRingtail3 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2016
I'm alive.  But until I tame my inbox with over 5,000 Deviations in it, I probably won't be around much.  And even then, not all that much.  DA just doesn't have the tools I need to promote myself as a writer.
Reply
:iconstarfoxfan111:
starfoxfan111 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016
Happy Birthday
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:iconyellovulp:
Yellovulp Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave!
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:iconbanditringtail3:
BanditRingtail3 Featured By Owner May 26, 2015
You're welcome!
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