by Delos

PC Murder

It’s been a while since it has come up in one of my D&D games but there were a few times when one of my players had enough and decided to kill another player. Well his character at any rate.

A while back I picked up this silly/epic game about god killers called Mythender. There was one chapter that caught my eye titled “Murdering Your Friends” or something to that affect. The whole system for murdering your fellow PCs is super simple. Once someone declares that they are going to kill someone else, all action stops. No one can prevent someone from dying at this point. Now Mythender uses pools of d6’s and when you murder a PC you roll 3 or 5d6. The two bonus dice are gained if you can convince the GM that a special bond that you had with your fellow PC was broken. If the GM buys it, then you get two more dice. If other people want to get in on this they can throw their lot in with one or the other. Then both sides roll the dice. Which ever side gets more successes wins and loser dies. If it is a tie then both sides die. No chance to come back from this or stop it once the action is declared.

Now in Mythender, everyone is at the same power level just about all the time, but even if someone has more power than another it doesn’t matter. Both sides get the same chance at success. Now imagine transferring this to your d20 game. Normally the meat shields are way more powerful than your casters at early level, and the opposite applies at late levels. Well let’s say that the wizard of the group decides to raise the village back to life as an army of undead, and the barbarian yells at the wizard to stop. Neither sides is backing down. The barbarian declares, “Then I kill the wizard.” At early levels it would be no contest and the barbarian would win, but at late levels the wizard would just hit the barbarian with a quick charm and melt his brain. Now imagine instead that both sides just roll 1d20. High number wins, or if you want more chance for a tie, have them roll 3d6 with 5s and 6s counting as successes. First off this would make killing off your fellow PCs way more dangerous because you can’t use the system to your advantage. They are on equal footing and the action is darn near instant. No one can stop it.

If you are thinking of putting this into play there are a few things to note.

  • Not everyone at the table might like this
    • Because they don’t want PvP
    • Because they want to be able to interfere with stuff like this
    • Because they want to be able to use their class abilities to “cheat” their victim out of a fair fight
  • You need to discuss this up front with everyone at your table.
    • If you are allowing PCs to murder each other and it can/should happen, everyone at the table should be aware of it
    • Everyone should understand how the new system works so they understand how dangerous trying to kill your fellow PC is

I’ve only got to use this system once while playing Mythender and let me tell you, it made things really tense. If you really want to surprise your group with this rolling convention, go for it, but expect someone to not be happy (probably the person who thought they could cheese their way through murder). If you do use this or plan to let us know how it went over. Thanks for reading.


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