Poor Bard. Dude’s just trying to work his day job. There he is providing light ambiance at some m’lord’s estate, when all of a sudden splorch-gurgle-slump. How he manages to constantly find himself roped into The Heroes’ murderhoboing I’ll never understand. But then again, it does make for an interesting study in contrasts.

When the reaper rears his head, there seem to be two courses of action. You can either make that fallen PC the lynchpin of an ongoing narrative (“I swear that I shall see you avenged!”), or you can opt for a The Gamers approach.

For my money, the key difference lies in timing. If death comes calling in the early levels, there’s still plenty of time to bring in a new guy. If you happen to croak in the first combat of the first dungeon, it’s worth a laugh and a quick reroll. But by the same token, a perma-death near the endgame is cause for much weeping and gnashing of teeth. That’s a character with history, and we’ve had plenty of time to fall in love with ’em. Their death likely deserves a little gravitas.

If you happen to be in the middle of a campaign, however, then it’s time to plot and plan with your surviving party-mates. That’s what happened last time I was obliged to bow out of a campaign.

It was an Old World of Darkness game, and I was alpha of an oddball pack of werewolves. After a bit of colluding with the GM, my pre-planned death scene went exactly as I’d hoped. I had the chance to pull my successor in close, whisper a few last words, and treat him to a parting quest hook.

You see, that whole campaign my guy had followed the Simba storyline. His father had been murdered by a treacherous lieutenant, and my poor heir apparent had to escape after he’d been framed.

“One day, Gaia willing, I’ll return and reclaim my birthright.”

Or at least, that’s what I claimed. In reality my guy had murdered the shit out of his father, seeking to claim the throne ahead of schedule. Thanks to bit of GM hand-waving, I got to give my successor all the gory details with a spirit vision. And let me tell ya: Nothing makes for a more dramatic funeral than the sudden revelation that the dearly departed was a right bastard. Or that you’ve inherited his enemies.

How about the rest of you guys? Have you ever seen a dead PC’s legacy carried on in a campaign? Do you have any special rites or rituals to commemorate the fallen? Or do you take a more pragmatic loot-the-body-and-hire-a-replacement approach? Tell us all about your own funeral rites and PC memorial services down in the comments!


GEEKY GREETING CARDS For a limited time only this holiday this season, we’re bringing back our dice ornament X-mas cards over on Laurel’s Etsy store. We’re also rocking our ever-popular d20 Class prints, now updated to include designs for the Artificer, Warlock, and GM. So come one come all! Whether their alignment is Naughty or Nice, give a geek in your life a happy holiday.


THIS COMIC SUCKS! IT NEEDS MORE [INSERT OPINION HERE] Is your favorite class missing from the Handbook of Heroes? Maybe you want to see more dragonborn or aarakocra? Then check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. You’ll become part of the monthly vote to see which elements get featured in the comic next!