What is Dead is Dead?

Dead is Dead is a type of role-playing gaming style that adheres to only one rule: If your character dies, they're dead. No reloads. No using an earlier save. No second winds. This is a play-style reminiscent of the old paper and pen role-playing game days where your characters only had one life. Playing Dead is Dead can make your game more exciting, more immersive, make you think more stategically or tactically, make you play more with more caution, with more attachment to your characters and even breathe new life into a game you thought you'd played until it had no more to give.

The Good Ol' Days

Back in the days of paper and pen role playing games, it was always understood that characters had only one life. Your Dungeon Master or Game Master probably made that clear to you from the start. If you took a triple damage shot to the head from an Ogre, it was just your bad luck. Or bad character build. Regardless, if you died, that was it for that character. You put that character record sheet away and rolled up a new one. Most Game Masters would never allow a character to be resurrected. Many would not even allow you to create a similar character, or a clone, even if you claimed it was the deceased character's sibling out for sweet revenge. They wanted you to try something new. It has even been said there were Game Masters that would ceremoniously tear up your character sheet and force the remaining members of the party to dispose of the body or even give them funerary rights and bury them. This is one facet of the old style paper and pen role-playing games that never seemed to make the transition to the newer computer role-playing games. There are many, many computer role-playing gamers that have never experienced the absolute death of a character. Dead is Dead aims to rectify that.

How Is It Done?

That's the easy part. There's only one basic tenet to playing Dead is Dead. Death is permanent. Other than that, given the wide scope of role-playing games, their mechanics and their features, everything else is up to the individual player. Since gamers come in varying levels of skill, and games (and their associated add-on content or user-made content) come in varying levels of difficulty, each gamer must make the decision for themselves how they wish to tailor the game's difficulty to their tastes. Casual gamers may wish to turn the difficulty down or utilize other means to make the gameplay cater to their abilities, while hardcore gamers may wish to play the game at maximum difficulty or even utilize user-made content that raises the difficulty even more. Some gamers even “self-gimp” themselves in an effort to contravene the inherent difficulty of the game to a drastic extent. Only the individual gamer knows what level of difficulty makes the game an enjoyable experience with just the right level of difficulty for themselves. So the intent is to play the game, in whatever style makes it enjoyable for you, but with the caveat that if your character dies, that's it, they're done, start a new one.

Surely There Must Be Some Rules?

Well, of course there are. Aside from the obvious, that being if your character dies it's a permanent death, there are certain situations that you may find yourself in that are in need of clarification. One of those is character death caused by uncontrollable circumstances. Computer games can be very glitchy. If your character dies because of a glitch, bug, crash or other uncontrollable software/computer problem, it is advisable to allow a reload. Sometimes real life gets in the way. If the baby is about to pull a table lamp down on their head and you leave to game to save the day, there's no reason your character should die a permanent death while they stand there unattended. Anything that is a reasonably uncontrollable circumstance should qualify as a reason to reload a save.

Why Do Gamers Play This Way?

Each gamer may have their own reasons to experience a role-playing game using Dead is Dead rules. For some, it's the added challenge to try to keep a character alive for the entire game. For others it may be they desire a more immersive gaming experience, one where every character action has to be carefully considered lest it lead to circumstances that puts the character in danger they may not be able to handle. Some just play Dead is Dead because that's the way they've always played, and prefer it that way. Whatever your motivation to play Dead is Dead, it is common for gamers to claim that the play-style makes their gaming experience more enjoyable. When your character could die at any moment, you tend to plan things out more carefully, think more strategically and be more cautious. It adds a more visceral sense of danger to one's gaming experience. A greater immersion in one's gaming experience is never a bad thing.

Dead is Dead Pros and Cons


Let's open up this page's talk page and get some Pro Dead is Dead reasons listed. I'll update them here.

  • Makes the game more realistically intense.


Same goes for Cons. Get 'em listed on the talk page and I'll put 'em up here.