Death and Krendel

What happens when your character hits zero Health (aka hit points, life, meat shield factor, etc.)? In almost all games the character is at least temporarily taken out of play, and in quite a few it means its time for a new character. More importantly, the player is now forced to sit out. They can comment from the side lines, but they don't have any real impact on the game. Quite possible they are sitting in a corner rolling up a new character and then need to distract the GM to get final approval. This can suck. Like so many other things, Krendel handles death a bit differently. 

In Krendel, you've got a Health score. Its not novel. Hit points have been around since the beginning. When your character's Health hits zero, he falls unconscious. A character doesn't actually die unless his Health reaches the negative of his Health or its time for his story to end and the player willingly gives up the character. 

Something else also happens then you hit zero Health: You start gaining karma boosts. In Krendel, all characters have Karma. You gain it by acting in your nature, and you can spend it to affect actions you perform or that are performed against you. Karma boosts are karma with an expiration date and specific usage. Here, the character can spend their gained "death karma" to affect anything in the encounter, instead of the normal restriction. Think of it as your spirit guiding your friends or them rallying to avenge you. No matter how you imagine it, as the party gets beaten down, they find a surge of strength. 

I give full credit for this idea to Sentinels of the Multiverse, a great card game. There folks get a choice of actions they can use to make still standing allies more effective. The best part about this is that it keeps everyone engaged in the game. That's the most important part. We're all at the table to have fun, and when I first saw it, I couldn't believe how such a simple idea had been overlooked for so long. So it got incorporated into Krendel, and since then some playtesters even co-oped it for their D&D games.