Are players really traumatized by the deaths of their characters?
I mean, I never really thought they were...but then, perhaps, I've spent a little too much time in the DM's chair to have an adequate perspective on the subject.
For example, it appears Gratuitous Saxon Violence still thinks about the death (and eating) of his fighter at the paws of a grizzly (judging by the comments he makes every time I post something about bears)...and that happened more than a year ago! And every time things start looking grim in our Baranof game, Randy is apt to say, "here comes the manticores," an obvious reference to the death of his first character, Sweet Tito. And, of course, everyone seems to hate goblins (which have been responsible for more character deaths in my games than any other monster...except maybe owlbears).
Ah, well...I suppose it doesn't matter all that much. I mean, if they keep coming to play, any RPG-induced PTSD must be minor right?
In honor of Memorial Day, I hereby commemorate this post to all the poor player characters that have died at the Baranof gaming table. Unfortunately, there are far too many NPC henchmen, hirelings, and random adventurers to list them, too...but those we can bother to remember (on occasion) will be thought of with fondness.
[the list includes only B/X player characters]
AB: Meaty, Shmutzy, Caindong, Lando, Gene, Unnamed Character, Pope, Clownman
Steve-O: Thundarr, Joachim, Jacques
Luke: Hensvik, the Elder Muir, Allster, Kvarkel
Matthew: Gustav, Stump Ryewater, Younger Brother Ryewater
Matt: Unnamed Elf #1
Randy: Sweet Tito (x3), Sexy Kevin, Hickory, Borf the Dwarf, Clem
Josh: Borgnine, Fletcher Jr.
Vince: Sly, Sly Jr.
Heron: Terril, Unnamed Elf #2
Dave: Frezlie, Warwick the bugbear, Milby
Greg: Murillo, Thane, Bono, Edge, Hexmann
[all "unnamed" characters will killed in a single session during the Goblin Wars campaign when a delve into a goblin warren turned into a total clusterf**k, killing seven of eight PCs. Most of the players erased their old character sheets to make new PCs, preventing me from recording their characters' names for posterity]
Happy Memorial Day, folks!