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Character Deaths


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#1
PeteySödes

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With the upcoming campaign and story pushing forward what are peoples thoughts on the *final* deaths of named characters? It's been coming up more and more that a character should die  crossing the Rubicon yet I just don’t see why anyone at this point needs to die to show how dangerous it is. They said it was dangerous when Calgar went through it. He DID die during the process.

 

Keeping in mind everyone discussed here is somebodies favorite character so let's be respectful, how do people feel about this or other situations where a character with or without a model is or should be killed? 

 


#2
Wispy

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when we were talking about in the Space wolves sub forum, i made the bold claim that i don't think characters with miniatures should ever die. here is my reasoning:

well, in my edit i say *i think* it's the wrong choice.

i work in game development as a game designer, so i can't think of any thing worse than taking a character a player has bought, assembled, painted, perhaps built their whole army around modeled, played games with and had their own narratives built around them... and then for me, mr designer/writer with a god complex, to take that character from the player and then tell them that no, your character no longer leader leads your army and he is in fact now dead.

the captain tycho thing may be a fine story arc for those of us who aren't invested in the character, but i gurantee there were folks building armies with captain tycho who were disapointed by this development.

this may make for less spicy storytelling but i think it's the right way to go about things. this isn't merely a narrative setting like Game of Thrones, what agency your players have playing games with your product matters.


that's true but a lot of fans engage through those characters and i think designers/writers should strive to respect that. edit: i mean, hell, i would be rioting if anything happened to harald deathwolf. i'd not be happy.

funny you mention DOW2. was a time early in my career where i stomped some player agency and i actually really regret it.


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#3
Bryan Blaire

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Given how many characters have crossed now, no, no Space Marine character should die undergoing the Rubicon Primaris.

Should characters die now that we have true Edition-independent meta-story advancement? Sure, and some already have. Frankly less gloriously than a named character really should, at that.
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#4
Wispy

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also to reply to one of bb's posts in that old thread...

I guess I just don't understand getting wrapped up enough in someone else's creations to the point of "rioting" if the character died. They aren't mine and the creator can do with them what they want, regardless of my feelings on the subject - treat it with some respect, don't just discard them, etc.

i have trouble engaging with characters i make for myself - because they aren't cannon i consider them mere fanfiction and they feel less real to me than someone like Ragnar Blackmane does. he is real in the setting that makes him easier for me to grapple on and get invested in.

Edited by Wispy, 11 September 2019 - 02:08 AM.


#5
Son of Sacrifice

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Kill em all I say! This is a war game after all. That's easy for me to say as I'm not a fan of named characters.
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#6
Marshal Loss

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I'd love to see some characters permanently bite the dust.

 

One of the (many) problems with GW's lore-writing when it comes to campaigns is the lack of any real consequences; duels cease to matter because we know that neither will perish, worlds cease to matter because we know they aren't going to change hands. This wouldn't necessarily be an issue if they utilised their sandbox more effectively, but when GW insists on having the same old faces appear again and again it turns into an ever-present pillar of the setting and makes the universe feel small. Permanent deaths can help alter that, and their models/rules can still be usable for historical games, ala Tycho.

 

Example: I'd loved to have seen Calgar, rather than crossing the Rubicon, die at the hands of Abaddon holding Vigilus in the face of unstoppable odds. This would have

  • Boosted Abaddon's stock, letting him kill an icon of the setting
  • Brought a conclusion to Calgar's arc in the context of new Primaris history (see his internal monologue in Dark Imperium)
  • Allow for a new Primaris Chapter Master to rise and lead the UM into a new era
  • Provided an example of a Pyrrhic victory with real, tangible consequences
  • Been genuinely shocking for the fanbase

Where killing off a character may become problematic, however, is where factions only have a single special character with a model - is it fair to kill a character who has been the most prominent (sometimes, the only prominent) representative of an army for years/decades? Fans may feel aggrieved, even if the exit is done well, and any replacement character will not have the history behind them that their predecessor had. This is especially notable with someone like Calgar who has been a fixture since the very beginning. I disagree strongly with this stance but understand why some people hold it.

 

As for the Rubicon: no character will die crossing the Rubicon. GW doesn't really kill people off as is, so you can bet that they aren't going to kill someone off-screen.


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#7
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I feel invested in my own characters, so much so for my DIY chapter that I decided for it to just to be primaris as having failed rubicon is actually pretty good for lore for DIY mixed chapter. I think a bigger question is the geneseed still viable after a rubicon attempt that failed? Marines kinda living past death via legacy through their geneseed. I think Uriel Ventris had his geneseed from an important UM commander/vet as an example. There was also the short story of a BL chaos lord killing essentially the same captain he did on Terra 10k years ago as torment from the chaos gods. I think his name was Scavolla (?). I recommend that short story if you have that compilation book. 


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#8
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As for the Rubicon: no character will die crossing the Rubicon. GW doesn't really kill people off as is, so you can bet that they aren't going to kill someone off-screen.

Fifth Company Master Balthazar would like to argue with you on that one, but sadly, he can't since he was killed off in a FOOTNOTE for a new Primaris Master to be added to the Dark Angels' roster.


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#9
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As for the Rubicon: no character will die crossing the Rubicon. GW doesn't really kill people off as is, so you can bet that they aren't going to kill someone off-screen.

Fifth Company Master Balthazar would like to argue with you on that one, but sadly, he can't since he was killed off in a FOOTNOTE for a new Primaris Master to be added to the Dark Angels' roster.

 

yeah i think even a minor named character like Balthazar deserved betters. certainty not cool to people who built 5th company.


Edited by Wispy, 11 September 2019 - 02:32 AM.


#10
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I'm just a sucker for a good death and I'd always prefer a character to die well than run out of things to do. The fact that my favorite characters are Boromir, Hoban Washburne, Shepard Booke...I guess either I like to see characters die, or me liking a character is really bad luck for them.
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#11
Marshal Loss

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As for the Rubicon: no character will die crossing the Rubicon. GW doesn't really kill people off as is, so you can bet that they aren't going to kill someone off-screen.

Fifth Company Master Balthazar would like to argue with you on that one, but sadly, he can't since he was killed off in a FOOTNOTE for a new Primaris Master to be added to the Dark Angels' roster.

 

 

A model standing in for a minor character isn't at all the same thing as what I'm describing. To be clear, I'm referring to a character like Belial or Asmodai - a model that is a character - not a generic DA company master that stands in for someone like Balthasar.


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#12
Bryan Blaire

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i have trouble engaging with characters i make for myself - because they aren't cannon i consider them mere fanfiction and they feel less real to me than someone like Ragnar Blackmane does. he is real in the setting that makes him easier for me to grapple on and get invested in.

See, I have the exact opposite reaction to GW's characters - they are generally so archetypal to me that they are the ones that don't seem real. They almost seem plug and play to me, you could have any character named anything in that slot and it would still be the same character - Ragnar Blackmane is no different than Aleksandar Steelclaw, he's the young, up-n-comer, rush to the fore, almost still a Bloodclaw, but so much better in combat than he should be at that age, Wolf Lord, etc. Logan is the Thordin, the Lion (and for that matter basically all the missing Primarchs prophecied to return) is the King Arthur, Azrael is Conan, etc. Some of this probably comes from seeing characters very early on, making them have less gravitas since the game at the time was much more couched in some pop-culture allusion and still had a touch of that tongue-in-cheek flavor - to some extent, 40K almost had a "mash of everything" fan-fiction feel (when things were really even starting to build up the idea of fan-fiction).

The stories forged with my characters are much more real to me than anything GW will ever write for their characters.

Canonicity means little to me, because I got into the game to run my Commander, my Farseer, my Ork Warlord, etc., and I had a lot of fun creating stories with friends about war torn sectors/planets and the like so that our battles were never set in any GW property other than the 40K backdrop (until partaking in the 13th Black Crusade event). It meant even less when GW's own stories showed that their own authors had different interpretations of 40K itself such that there really wasn't a lot of 'canon' involved and you should 'make your own adventures' in the setting.

A model standing in for a minor character isn't at all the same thing as what I'm describing. To be clear, I'm referring to a character like Belial or Asmodai - a model that is a character - not a generic DA company master that stands in for someone like Balthasar.

Well, truthfully the models are the same age. It's not like Belial the model has any substantial weight, so I wouldn't say that model is Belial - there were numerous custom Belials for the Dark Angels long before he had a model.

Balthasar's model was specifically him, but it was also a good stand in for those that wanted a plastic Azrael as well.

Even Asmodai isn't a good example, I had an Asmodai back in 2nd Edition, the new model wasn't him, at least not to me.

At this point, it's the weight of time we've had these names in the game that makes them important to people.
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#13
Ugolino

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The problem being GW would naturally show favoritism towards their preferred chapter when it comes to deaths so it would just be another slap in the face to fans of all of the others as GW continues to go through their rosters like a blender while the poster children continue to skip unscathed.

 

Why does Ixion still live? Corpus Helix? Antilochus? Literally most of the Ultramarine captains? Even Agemman had his role in the Ultramarine succession arc neutered and now is basically the Chapter's appendix storywise. Axe him off and give people a reason to care about him and his replacement because of the tragic death of the former and the fact the latter has the illusion of being in mortal danger now.

 

At this point, they really should just axe off every named Ultra supporting character without a modern model or book series to shield them from consequences, and make that tie into the Chapter's nature and development after Calth 2.0 against a threat of the week- this both clears the way for new Primaris characters with models to hawk to the fans and gives them story-wise a tragedy to recover from and undergo character development in response to.

 

Make it the Ultramarines's new Calth/Battle of the Polar Fortress. Go into detail about the heroic last stands and the fate they averted through their sacrifice. Have a novel or two for it. But make it a scar on their history and a disaster narrowly averted. In other words, make the risks and the sacrifices seem real.

 

I don't think GW will ever kill characters with models, and maybe rules, ever again, but that still leaves a massive list of targets to act as narrative fodder. When Istvaan and the Iron Cage seem to happen every other week for the Raven Guard and the Fists, what's good for the goose is definitely good for the gander.


Edited by Ugolino, 11 September 2019 - 03:37 AM.

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#14
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Tigerius should of bite the dust. Introduce a new psyker character for White Scars along with korsarro ON A BIKE!

Cronus should never of been Ultramarine. Makes no sense. Kill him getting stomped on by a warlord titan of chaos flavour and introduce an iron hands tank character.

Telion should never of been an ultramarine character. Kill him with a back hand from a genestealer (because he deserves nothing). Introduce a new Raven Guard "Scout" character

Cassius is fine, he is actually very cool and is the OG "oldest marine" bar those of chaos influence (if my dark angel brothers want to confess something we don't know about ;P).

Calgar has been around for ages and is awesome. Personally, he is imo as iconic as marines themselves.

 

Bring back Cortez and Xavier. Sorry Yellows, not sure what to do with you lot. I can offer a Devastator Sergeant at best...oh wait I have something sorry. Kill Cato Sicarius proper and give the Imperial Fists a unique captain character. And kill Cato is the most unglorious way possible, failing the rubicon. There, that solves it for me.

 

I don't mind characters being around for long periods of time (wibbly wobbly timey wimey silliness that is the warp) as Yarrick, Straken and Creed are also icons of their faction. Chaos is fine, got a good mix of characters though could do with some bolstering the lesser legions (Iron Warriors, Word Bearers, World Eaters as examples). Abbadon has had run of the litter by himself too long and Ahriman is just the go to in a comical way for anything warp related to chaos ("oh no, massive warp energies, must be that Ahriman Rascal doing one of those heretical rituals...oh he's such a tike!")

 

Tyranids have some nice thematic characters that are quite cool. Necrons are doing good too though again just a case of bolstering the other legions. (and hey, throw in some more named C'tans now yea? And maybe more C'tan models?)

 

Tau could REALLY do with some variance in characters...for real. There is like 4 characters for one sept then 1 for two other septs (one for FSE...guess who and one for Vior'La, the butt kicking melee master Etheral Aun'Shi).

 

Orks would be nice to see some of the old ones make it back. The biker boss was cool and I would like to see a Big Mek character (none of those yet for some reason...would be fun).

 

Eldar are fine. They have a good mix of named characters between craftworlds and then they have their full cast of lords.

 

Dark Eldar I think could do with some...fleshing out...uh...is that wise to say about them? Anywho, would be nice to see more named characters from them other than vect this vect that...he's as much a meme as Ahriman is (pretty sure they drink at the same bar because of this!)

 

Sisters we will hopefully see them get new characters that are good. In before female version of Cato Sicarius pops up.

 

 

Mainly would like GW actually widen who they give characters to and give spot light to other chapters. I agree with what someone said about making 40k feel small...this is meant to be huge, not a casual 5 minute drive down the road! Give weight to characters by putting them in key theatres of war and making them appear as appropriate for it. When we see yarrick, we think Armageddon, I would like to see this more. Might actually help define goals and aspirations for the characters (like even having some characters hate where they are and seeking to end the campaign soon as).


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#15
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I like a lot of characters in 40k. I still would MUCH rather they killed some off than have one guy be at every battle in the last hundred years and somehow survive them all. It runs the immersion.

Blood Angels were my first army and I always am tempted to pick them back up, in part because of the characters they have. But it's just not compelling to have them constantly set on the cusp of defeat/victory without ever landing on one. Corbulo would be so much more interesting if he found a cure but died before implementing it, leaving others to try and piece together what he had in mind.

The Devastation of Baal would have been much more exciting a concept had Dante died gloriously in some suicide mission so the chapter could survive. It's just boring having the same fights over and over without anything ever happening. Deaths shouldn't be common, but they should happen sometimes.
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#16
Ugolino

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It's inevitable that characters with modern models can't die for various reasons- codex blurbs, sales, fan backlash. That may stifle the story somewhat but it's a simple reality now.

 

That doesn't mean there can't be deaths in a roster or background lore, and lots of them.


Edited by Ugolino, 11 September 2019 - 03:48 AM.

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#17
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As always, I'm all aboard on the kill 'em all train. The suspension of disbelief on the survivability of all these characters ended after a century or more time skip where they spent the entire time in front line combat.

A model standing in for a minor character isn't at all the same thing as what I'm describing. To be clear, I'm referring to a character like Belial or Asmodai - a model that is a character - not a generic DA company master that stands in for someone like Balthasar.


As a DA player let me volunteer Asmodai to be the first on the chopping block. "Is THIS a fallen?" is his entire personality.
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#18
Marshal Loss

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A model standing in for a minor character isn't at all the same thing as what I'm describing. To be clear, I'm referring to a character like Belial or Asmodai - a model that is a character - not a generic DA company master that stands in for someone like Balthasar.

Well, truthfully the models are the same age. It's not like Belial the model has any substantial weight, so I wouldn't say that model is Belial - there were numerous custom Belials for the Dark Angels long before he had a model.

Balthasar's model was specifically him, but it was also a good stand in for those that wanted a plastic Azrael as well.

Even Asmodai isn't a good example, I had an Asmodai back in 2nd Edition, the new model wasn't him, at least not to me.

At this point, it's the weight of time we've had these names in the game that makes them important to people.

 

 

I said as much re: the importance of a character's place in the lore in my original post above. Your personal perspective in the 90's on whether an Asmodai model represented Asmodai in the context of your personal army is not at all a rebuttal of anything I was saying. My phrasing wasn't great, so simply put: a character that can be represented by a model is not at all equatable in importance to a character that is represented by a model. There are exceptions to every rule (Vect's current circumstances spring to mind) but the contrast is stark. The reason for a character like Asmodai having a model is largely because of his aforementioned importance, longevity, and role as an exemplar of his class in the lore. A character like Balthasar ticks none of those boxes.

 

That being said, I totally agree with you on how important your personal characters are to you. I'm much the same. You make a fair point about models not having to represent particular characters, but I never saw it that way; to me a model of Abaddon is Abaddon, and so I would never use it as my own figure on the tabletop, I'd only ever make my own. Boils down to perspective I suppose, but this is straying away from the topic at hand.

 

 

As always, I'm all aboard on the kill 'em all train. The suspension of disbelief on the survivability of all these characters ended after a century or more time skip where they spent the entire time in front line combat.

A model standing in for a minor character isn't at all the same thing as what I'm describing. To be clear, I'm referring to a character like Belial or Asmodai - a model that is a character - not a generic DA company master that stands in for someone like Balthasar.


As a DA player let me volunteer Asmodai to be the first on the chopping block. "Is THIS a fallen?" is his entire personality.

 

 

I think that's a problem more reflective of GW's entire take on the Dark Angels than it is of one bloke if I'm honest, but as with above, that's straying way off topic.


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#19
toaae

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One of my major problems with the new fluff (which, for the most part, I think is just poor) is that there are no real consequences of the setting "moving forward". The same characters are running around, increasingly with fresh model, which in an endless war, just doesn't feel believable. As such, their accomplishments aren't interesting, as there was no chance of them failing. It's all too safe for my liking.

I get not wanting to kill a character that you're currently selling a model for (though, for real, nothing to stop you from playing with it; people still used Eldrad even after his apparent death during the now-retconned 13th Black Crusade and Eye of Terror campaign). But when replacing the model, a la the primaris rubicon characters, why not use that opportunity to replace the character with a cool story that sets some stakes in this post-rift galaxy, and replace them with a fresh character?

Instead, we get a setting that is no different than if it hadn't been moved forward.


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#20
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Imo some characters are actually worth killing while others actually have some narrative depth to them and shouldn't be axed. Azrael, Ezekiel, Lukas, Pedro, Dante, Grimaldus, Dante, Mephiston, Seth, Crowe, Shrike, Calgar, and Cassius have some interesting things going on or very important arcs (Dante) that cannot and should not be interfered with at all. They're the ones with some real value and meat to their characters. But others like Belial, Asmodai, Cato, Draigo, etc? Could be killed off to no real narrative loss. IMO on the chopping block I'd axe Asmodai and replace him with Sapphon, axe Draigo and put Crowe in his place (hell toss Primaris versions of Grey Knight units their way, god knows they need a buff), bump off He'stan and put Dak'ir in his place as the main Salamander character, kill Sicarius and replace him with Ventris, etc.


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#21
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I'm fine with character deaths if they die in meaningful way (like the Knights of Blood sacrificing themselves to give the Flesh Tearers time to retreat after their Chapter Master revealed his secrets to Gabriel Seth). However I think that iconic and rather unique characters like Mephiston for example shouldn't get killed off just because they've been here for a while. It's kinda impossible to replace him without some hair pulling and he adds a lot to what Blood Angels are.


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#22
Volt

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I'm fine with character deaths if they die in meaningful way (like the Knights of Blood sacrificing themselves to give the Flesh Tearers time to retreat after their Chapter Master revealed his secrets to Gabriel Seth). However I think that iconic and rather unique characters like Mephiston for example shouldn't get killed off just because they've been here for a while. It's kinda impossible to replace him without some hair pulling and he adds a lot to what Blood Angels are.

No, Dante can and should die, but it is fated to occur in the Second Battle of Terra where he will likely play a part in some resurrection of Sanguinius.


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#23
Reinhard

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I've argued this before, the rubicon is not a worthy end for anyone and shouldn't be used for ANY special character with a model. Do not waste these characters. That's not saying they can't be killed, but if you do kill them actually put in the effort to get something satisfying. Just bumping them off to satisfy some numbers game doesn't qualify. And if you kill off the one single character that's the case for several chapters, for whatever reason, you better damn well have a replacement ready. Prefferably two. On the flip side I don't really think any chapter needs more than three, or at most, five?, but that's another discussion.



#24
sfPanzer

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I'm fine with character deaths if they die in meaningful way (like the Knights of Blood sacrificing themselves to give the Flesh Tearers time to retreat after their Chapter Master revealed his secrets to Gabriel Seth). However I think that iconic and rather unique characters like Mephiston for example shouldn't get killed off just because they've been here for a while. It's kinda impossible to replace him without some hair pulling and he adds a lot to what Blood Angels are.

No, Dante can and should die, but it is fated to occur in the Second Battle of Terra where he will likely play a part in some resurrection of Sanguinius.

 

 

I didn't say anything about Dante and whether Dante should die or whether it has anything to do with a resurrection of Sanguinius is not just highly speculative it's also something I doubt we'll see anytime soon, if ever.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#25
Guzzlrr

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There are characters even the ones that are pants that shouldn't die good example, Mephiston hes got some interesting story, which I don't think has been completed, got characters like belsarius & Fabius that now will probably be imortal due to their nature. But there are a few who should die.

A big Death would be awesome if like to see Dante Bite the Dust, Sicarus and Calgar. Ss mentioned above there aid a few Ultra Characters left that haven't been upgraded maybe they shouldn't.

The amount of times Abaddon has been stabbed in the heart I'm suprised they haven't killed him yet 😂

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