Killing characters in a long-term action horror game is tough. It’s not that they shouldn’t die if they do something stupid, but that if a character dies it takes time to introduce another one and the player is sidelined, at least temporarily. Not fun.
But there are ways to do awful things to characters that still leaves them breathing. Here are some I’ve used in my campaign, in no particular order:
- Cannibalism. Archive, after being poisoned by tcho-tcho, had a dream of eating a crunchy hand served on a dinner plate. He woke up missing his pinky.
- Insanity. Guppy’s schizophrenia accelerated to such a degree that he started seeing aliens in the streets and was convinced that they were trying to poison him (for once, he was wrong).
- Mutation. Archive, after becoming one with Yog-Sothoth, started growing tentacles out of one of his hips.
- Cult of Personality. Guppy became the de facto leader of a cult after they came to believe that his schizophrenia was divinely inspired. Even after Guppy got treatment, the cult continues to operate without him.
- Surgery. Jim-Bean was kidnapped by aliens and his organs replaced with protomatter. He no longer excretes.
- Addiction. After witnessing too many horrors, Blade lapsed into alcoholism.
- Infamy. After Guppy was filmed dangling from a building in Eastern Europe, journalists keep popping up asking him questions about his past.
Your Turn: What fates worse than death have you inflicted on characters in your campaign?