Friday, January 5, 2018

Legacy of Lethality

When we started our current  Labyrinth Lord campaign, I decided to keep details on every character, adventure, and death. The "Annual Report" of all these stats has become a popular feature with my players. I'm currently compiling the stats for the end of 2017, but thought I'd share here a few tidbits from last year.

A few notes about the campaign for background:

  • This campaign started in December of 2011 and we play every other week (alternating with other games).
  • We're using the Advanced Labyrinth Lord rules, with all options in place (including increased hit dice and multi-classing). So we have the "Dwarf" class and "Dwarf" race as options.
  • All characters are rolled using 3d6 in order and start at 1st level. I allow Hit Point rolls of 1 to be rerolled.
  • Characters are dead at 0 hit points No negatives hit points or bleeding out rules. You hit 0, you die. 
  • Most of our adventures are pre-written TSR Basic and AD&D modules (they're currently in the Vault of the Drow).
Stats as of Dec. 2016
Sessions Played: 111
Total PCs Played: 112
Total PCs Deaths: 112
Kills Per Session: 1.01
Mortality Rate: 100%

Now, at a glance, you'll be thinking "holy hell, this guy's a killer GM". Well, yes and no. Yes, I don't hold anything back- when the players finish an encounter, they know they've earned it.  But typically, every player has 2 characters going and every time they lose party members, they're quick to replace them with new 1st level characters. Most of the deaths are from those newbies. There is a core group of PCs currently in the 7th level range that have survived for a very long time (only a couple vets died during the Giants series). When one of them dies, the party will typically go out of their way finding a way to bring them back (they've developed a very good relationship with the Paladin Lords of Verbobonc...). 

Most Survivable Race/Class Combo: Human Thief
Least Survivable Race/Class Combo: Multi-Class Halfling

I'll talk a lot more about survivability when I post the updated 2017 stats, but a few comments on last year's numbers. Humans have consistently been among the most survivable races, due in no small part to their pervasiveness (48% of the total characters are humans). Thieves have been seeing a resurgence of survivability due to a couple tenacious characters- prior to 2014, they were one of the least resilient classes. Halflings have been on an inverse path: once one of the most survivable races, the last few years have been very hard on them. And multi-class characters have never had much luck. 

I'll post the 2017 stats in the next few weeks (after I get a chance to present to the Fiend Club, of course).

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