It is just part of the adventure. You have played with your character for a long time. Levelled up, been close to death, defeated enemies, monsters have fallen and some have got away. Magic items have been found, some have been sold, you have improved, learned and, in one word, grown.
Now you are tired. It’s been months with the same role. A new supplement has come out that interests you. Or you have just got a new idea for a character.
Whatever the case, you want to change character and you’re thinking of letting it die. But what are the consequences?
One of the things you have to think about is your GM. He/she has probably spent a long time preparing everything. If you have been playing the same campaign for a while, then your character probably has a level high enough that it can influence the world around. The storyline has probably been warped a bit to give your character the chance to shine and interact with the powerful and wealthy and maybe even had a say in how the politics of the area have been played.
Then there are your friends who have characters. They have probably learned to trust your character. Befriended him/her and learn about the powers and abilities so you could work as a team. Feared when you were near death… and healed you when you needed it!
We had that situation in our group a couple of days ago. Two of my friends decided their characters, a Warforged and a Paladin, had been played enough and they wanted something they could enjoy a bit better.
Although the Warforged wasn’t killed, he was just retired, and the Paladin hasn’t said he wants to die right away, the GM was rather annoyed that so much of his work had gone unappreciated and the prospect of having to change a lot of the campaign really pissed him off.
So what to do? It is a rather tricky situation. If you the GM protests and asks you to keep the character, you would be annoyed and probably play recklessly so you get killed and then have no choice than to roll another character.
If the GM agrees and let you roll the character, then he probably won’t make as much of an effort to adapt the campaign to the characters since, after all, they won’t last as long as the campaign and there is a strong chance the players will get tired of them.
So what is the solution?
There are a few options you can explore, but the first is to talk to your GM about your character. Discuss why you are thinking of retiring it. Maybe the GM can give you an alternative about how to run the character. Maybe a “change of career” would suit the character and levels in a new profession will give it a new lease of life.
If it is the personality you don’t like, or are struggling to make the most of it, maybe some enhancements in the shame of some armour, or some god intervention that would help your character live up to your expectations.
It you really want it to die, don’t play reckless. Don’t be a suicide. Maybe talk to your GM and give some ideas about how your character should die. How to integrate it in the whole campaign and let your character go in a blaze of glory.
Communication is one of the greatest assets we have in RPGs, and endings is just another great way to enjoy the game if you can communicate with your GM and your friends to make sure your character follows a path that’s fun for everyone, even if it is a path to die for!
How about you? How have you retired characters in the past?