PC suicide

So Dick Dock's player got pissed off when he was wasted by a giant robot for thought-crimes.  The exchange went something like this:

1. Dick Dock states "Bank Inviolable?  That sounds like a challenge!"
2. I describe big doors, giant gold robots
3. D.D.: "I'm scoping them out"
4. I describe the mini-guns spinning up
5. Me: "What are you doing?"  D.D. "I'm checking out the robots"
6. I describe crowds screaming and running away.
7. Most other players describe running away and hiding
8. Me: "What are you doing?"
9. D.D.: "Looking at the robots"
10. I start counting down slowly from 5 to 1
11. Remaining players state they are fleeing
12. D.D.: "But I'm not doing anything!"
13. Me: "What's your AC?  You're hit, red mist, etc etc"

At the time I had no idea what that was all about.  There wasn't any need for PC death there... I figured I'd let the mind-reading robots be a bit slow to fire and the thief, looking for ways to rob the place, can run off.  But he just stood there.

So my theories:

a. Maybe he wasn't in the mood to put up with crap from NPC's.  That's happened before with him, and it gets him into trouble.  At first level you're not going to be pushing anybody around.
b. Maybe he felt like I was dicking with him on purpose.  Of course it's all published, just going by the material I wrote months ago.  Giant mind-reading psycho-killer robots in the bank.
c. Maybe he felt like there shouldn't be danger just walking into a bank, and that the home town should be safe
d. Maybe he perceived it as a contest of wills?  If so I missed that entirely at the time
e. Maybe something else?

I have had players get seriously bummed out on PC death before.  I'm not fudging dice, though - while it's nice to see the players succeed, if there's no penalty for failure what's the point?

This death was more like a PC suicide though.

I expect he'll be back at the next session - I'll know in 2 weeks.

The party also finally got the bug back for the sacrifice, so I tossed in some more gods stealing Nisus' thunder at the ceremony and bitching at Gutboy for wasting his time with such a minor goddess.  It's been 2 months or so of attempts to get that bug, I'm glad they're done with that.

The return expedition foundered almost immediately, with the giant centipede fight.  Mongo was taken out entirely for a 10 day stretch.  So much for a triumphant return to the dungeon.  I'm hoping they'll notice that the first level is a bit treasure-empty and head down to the lower levels.  No risk, no reward, people...

I almost introduced Dr. X - they went to see the doctor at the academy, so I rolled some dice.  1-2=good doctor, 3-4=incompetent hack, 5-6=Dr. X.  The dice were good to them, and they got the good doctor - cranky Dr. Howse.


  1. We've all had that player on occasion. Heck, I'll cop to having been that player a few times. I can't speak for your player, but for me when a DM would present an unwinnable situation where we had to run some switch would flip in my brain and I'd get all pigheaded. I'd just have to rebel against what the DM was "making" us to (i.e. the sensible thing). I'd still feel that my inevitable end was unwarranted. I'd stew for a while and then roll up a new character.

    Still, can't hurt to check to see if you DM'd the situation fairly. Was the robot a railroad? Was his only purpose to make the players go left when they really wanted to see what was right? Doesn't sound like it, but couldn't hurt to ask the player what he expected to happen.

  2. He was just in a bad mood. All's well.