Remembering dead PCs

Having just gotten back from Dave Arneson’s visitation and funeral, I hope you will forgive me if my mind wanders just a little. It was a decent funeral, and I was glad for having Michael and Jean Mornard there, as well as connecting with all sorts of old friends and making a few new ones.

I started to think about how we honor our fallen, and then that got me thinking about dead PCs in role-playing games (I warned you my mind was wandering). I mean, in Boot Hill, fallen gunslingers have a place and even a little ritual to go along with the exchange of lead in the middle of the street. But what about in D&D? Did or does your party have ways to deal with their dead? Maybe it is just me, but I have a hard time remembering any sort of ritual or practice of giving the dead a decent burial (“Out of the boat/And into the dark/Goodbye, Jenkins/Hello, shark”), except perhaps after they had achieved some sort of rank or recognition – and maybe this lacunae says something about the games I have played in.

How do you honor your slain party-members? (“Looting the body” is not quite what I was thinking of, okay?)

2 thoughts on “Remembering dead PCs

  1. Loot the fallen is definitely the usual modus operandi in the one-shots I’ve played! At the moment the campaign I’m playing in has a revolving door attitude toward death, so the chief ritual when a PC dies is tracking down a Resurrection.

    I believe Jeff Rients has a house rule regarding XP for party members who gave a fallen friend a proper sendoff. If I end up running a game I’d adopt something like that.

  2. I have the "Dead Folder," a tattered folder that I have carried with me since 1977. It contains the character sheets of all the PCs who have gone to the great gaming table in the sky. Two very yellowed sheets detail the first four characters in my first campaign, who were taken out in a TPK in the very first room of an unnamed dungeon at the hands of four card-playing kobolds.

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