As anyone who has given even a cursory read of the rules will know, in Blackpowder & Bloodlines, it is remarkably easy to kill a character.

This is quite deliberate. When it comes to inter-character conflict on that level, the question we want the various players to be asking is “should I kill someone?” not “can I kill someone?”. The question of how to kill a character is asked better and given more attention in many other games, particularly the various battle games.

In order to answer the ‘why’ of character death, we have to get the ‘how’ out of the way, so we made it simple.

Further, the difference between wounding someone and murdering them should be very clear. The act of killing in this game is intimate and deliberate intentional and should never be taken lightly.

This is a game of conflict. The Uruk are hopelessly outnumbered. The colonists are hopelessly divided by nation, religion and class. On top of that, we (the writers) are coming for you – Aksh does mean the Hungry Land, after all.

However it is also a game of cooperation and loyalty. The only way all you guys get through this alive is by cooperating. If you go around murdering people, there will be an associated reduction in the overall survival level.

So, every time you consider killing another character, you should be asking the question “should I do this?”. Consider it in relation to the rest of your story, and to their story.

Before you murder or kill

Is murder the right choice? Would it be more interesting or challenging to:

  • destroy them politically
  • take on their nation, tribe, class, religion, allies
  • to beat them at their own game
  • deprive them of wealth or food, or
  • leave them wounded and bleeding but not dead?

In an out-of-character sense, have a read of the guiding principles for playing. The stuff I want you to think about in the context of you PC murdering another PC are the following things:

  • Playing is winning.
  • You are not the only player.
  • The death of your character is an important part of your character’s story.
  • You are an adult player playing an adult game.

In the context of those principles, deliberate murder of a character is justifiable if the characters of the game demand it, but it is not an act to take lightly.

If it is early in the event, have a second thought and consider what that could do to your friend’s weekend. And yes, I want you to think of them as your friend, even if you don’t know them.

One final note: This is not a battle game. Murder may be justifiable, but a massacre is not.