Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mortality: Inevitable Yet Terrifying

latest in a series of guest posts by The Tavern's patrons.

We accept that we have a limited lifespan on the planet.   No big deal, in a few decades, we'll fade from existence.   Such is life and the natural course of affairs.   Right up until it hits you smack in the mouth or when someone you loves lapses into forlorn silence.

As gamers, mortality is something we deal with day to day.   For OSR folks, we can lose a handful of characters without more than a nodding of the dead to indicate death has once again defeated the living. Occasionally, one grabs our soul and plays out a life not as a shade of ourself but something superior, something far different, than the original idea.  The character springs to life amid the whims of a game master but is truly born in the soul of the player behind it.  There are few characters that reach that inspirational level but when they do, it is agonizing experience for not only the player but for the game master.

Game masters are the embodiment of life for the characters.   Certainly they pull strings, but I, they, want to make characters flourish.   To do so is to them alive and along with them a string of others. The world opens, play expands, and those characters, those players, continue to make memory after memory.  But it has end.  No one can live forever.

Game masters come and go.   Groups wither and die.  What once was, can be no more.   Characters are bound to us but have lifespans far shorter than desired.  A character's lifespan can be as short as the game master's

Mithirill & Mages


  1. Just like real life, we need to appreciate when our games are good. Even the best characters die or are retired eventually. I think it is easier to do this is less rules heavy OSR games, where one doesn't need to focus on anticipating the next few character advancements.

  2. Fearlessness is better than a faint heart for those who would go out of doors; for the length of your life and the day of your death were written long ago.

    1. True, but stupidity can shorten and prudence can lengthen those days. Of course there is no accounting for misfortune which can touch both the wise and the stupid.

    2. When your time is up your time is up, wise or stupid, brave or cowardly. Live bravely all your life and you will die bravely.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition