Using Conviction with DW

  • 2 Replies
Using Conviction with DW
« on: August 06, 2012, 11:36:36 AM »
There has been a lot of discussion about how lethal DW can be and I generally like the way the conversation is trending (that death is not a player "mistake," but just an expected part of the game). However, this almost requires the referee to allow plentiful opportunities for resurrection. I am not against resurrection in principle, but rather than make it a standard thing one can purchase in any major city, I'd rather follow Dungeon Crawl Classics assumption that any such far-fetched effect (like bringing the dead back to life) should be a new adventure every time (DCC recommends, for instance, making the players adventure into the pits of hell to rescue their comrade's soul, or play a game of chance with Death himself etc).

These adventures should be different every time, and probably more rare than the lethality of DW allows right now, so has anyone tried using the Conviction and Death Flag variant rules from E6 to make death more a narrative decision? Those rules can be found here:

I would not use Conviction points to modify die rolls (as I think it is critical that one makes a risk and lets the dice fall where they may in games like DW), but I would let Conviction be spent in the place of hit points to resist damage, or they could be spend as points of Hold on any roll. Lowering the Death Flag would require spending 6 combined points of Conviction/HP.

Re: Using Conviction with DW
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 02:12:42 PM »
However, this almost requires the referee to allow plentiful opportunities for resurrection.

Why? When I got back into rpgs about a year back I started in on playing 4e with a group. I died at around level 3 or so and being able to come back after paying 500 gold really turned me off of the game. I felt like anything I did in the game just didn't matter anymore.

I have that same group in Savage Worlds right now and so far 1 PC has died and another one has had his face terribly scarred when he took a 30 cal round to the head. The game is pretty lethal and there's 0 ways for a PC to be raised in the current campaign. It's really not a big deal, a PC dies and a new one just comes in.  It's an opportunity for the player to create something new, play with some new ideas and even try out a new class or power set.

I don't make them start out at "level 1" again though. In Savage Worlds that'd be too much of a penalty since advancement is pretty static(2-3 exp per session). I'm not sure how I'd handle starting in replacement PCs in DW.

Re: Using Conviction with DW
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 02:33:08 PM »
Take into account that death is always something that the player chooses to risk, since the GM always has to be clear and fair about what a character is risking. There's no "sudden unexpected death". The GM always does soft moves before hard ones. Besides, even if a character goes to 0 HPs, he has a 58.33% chance of surviving on Last Breath.

That said, I'm quoting the beta 2.3 rules:
If your character dies, you can ask the GM and the other players to try and resurrect you. The GM will tell them what it will cost to return your poor, dead character to life. If you're all willing to pay that cost and succeed at the goal set before you then your character can cross back over to the land of the living. The Resurrection spell is a special case of this: the magic of the spell gives you an easier way to get a companion back, but the GM still has a say.
While this quest is underway you can play a new character. Maybe a hireling becomes a full-fledged adventurer worthy of a whole share and a part in the real action. Maybe the characters in the party find a new friend in a steading, willing to join them. Maybe your character had a vengeful family member who now seeks to take up their blades and spells to make right what happened. In any case, make your new character as you normally would at level 1. Add Bonds with the other player characters and join in the quest to resurrect the fallen. When the price has been paid and the quest is done, you can choose which character to play. You can then retire your new character to safety or simply have them vanish into the background. At the start of any given session, choose which character you'll be playing that time around and set the other aside. Make sure this change makes sense in the story you've created—characters can't just appear out of nowhere without a good excuse.
GM, when you tell the players what needs to be done to bring their comrade back, don't feel like it has to derail the flow of the current game. Weave it in to your fronts, steadings and prep. This is a great opportunity to change focus or introduce an element you've been waiting to show off. Don't feel, either, that it has to be some great and epic quest. If the character died at the end of a goblin pike, maybe all it takes is an awkward walk home and a few thousand gold pieces donated to a local temple. Think about the ramifications of such a charitable act and how it might affect the world, give the character back his sweet, sweet life and remember; Death never forgets a soul stolen from his realm.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.