Death of a Hero is an indie game, a Micro-Rpg according to its author's definition Samuel Mui, which I came across by chance while reading about the support campaign "for Racial Justice and Equality".

Before starting to talk about this game, I would like to say a few words about this funding campaign that offers, to those who have the heart or the interest in subsidizing it, the beauty of over 1400 games divided between role-playing and videogames. All proceeds will be donated to charity in support of two realities that are linked to the #blacklivesmatter: Community Bail Found e NAACP Legal Defense and Education.

We have already had the opportunity to talk about issues related to this particular historical moment, in this one article, which we are experiencing, especially with regard to a video game disclosure site that has held a deeply negative, and verbally violent, attitude towards many companies, products of pop culture and inclusive reality.

But now is the time to talk about Death of a Hero.

When does the hero's journey begin? When does he leave the safety of his home?

Viking funeral image

Play Death of a Hero

How many times, during our adventures, have we seen one of the characters in the group fall? Too often, however, this event is not experienced as a moment of growth of the group, but as an event that leads to the inclusion of a new character.

Or when does he feel the battle is about to begin? Perhaps when he senses that he is so tiny in the face of immensity that it threatens to destroy him?

Have we ever given proper weight to death in role-playing games?
How many times have we said "but so much with resurrection it returns”And how many times have we competed to divide up our possessions?

When do you understand that the journey is not a journey made in solitude? And who doesn't have to face the darkness alone?

With Death of a Hero the death of one of the characters is a moment that must be explored and lived. It can be a stepping stone to a deeper narrative, a way to tell the new party member something about the previously fallen hero.

The feeble-minded lose heart and lay down their swords, but a champion is ready to take any risk for the greater good.

Obviously, it is not mandatory that the story occurs at the very act of death. The moment that triggers the memories could be an evening in the tavern listening to the song of a bard, or the moments of respite from a social revolt, or perhaps even years later, in the distant future, perhaps on the anniversary of the character's death.

The death of a travel companion is the focal point on which the game Death of a Hero is founded. Who would have thought that, right?
Aside from the jokes, this game could be classified as a story game, or storytelling game, where the important thing is precisely what is narrated by the players.

May this thought be of comfort: true heroes never die. The sun rises and sets, but we are all called to cross the river one day ...

Like many narrative games, this too hardly needs many dice rolls to establish the narrative themes.
The game is divided into four phases:

  • The hero, the villain and you
  • Time
  • I remember
  • Conclusion

In each of these four parts, participants will be asked to create and tell what led to the character's death. The first point is self-explanatory: you have to describe what happened, who killed your partner and your role.

From there it will all begin. You will be called to deepen the relationship you had, the emotions within you, before and now, and to discuss your point of view on that person, until you come to ask yourself a question: the feelings you feel and feel are justified and commensurate?

Image of Legacy memory for death of a hero
Art by D. Alexander Gregory

Conclusions

Surrender to your glorious destiny. Sooner or later I will come to claim what is due to me ...

Sometimes I wonder why, myself, I find myself talking about a Micro-RPG, spending more words than the creator used to describe and explain it. I think it is for the emotional aspects that such a game could lead to deepen.

The more time passes, the more I see role-playing not only as a form of entertainment, but as a means to achieve a goal. It is too easy to play for fun, even if it is a fundamental part of the game itself. The act of telling a story could have useful implications for every person at the table. Telling and telling oneself could even help to externalize something deeply hidden.

Psychodrama, as already discussed in my previous article on a epistolary role-playing game, whether done in a group or alone, it is useful to alleviate trauma of various kinds, be they physical or psychological.

Let's think for a moment about the loss of a relative. Possibly he was a person whom we esteemed or who even inspired us to create our own playful alter ego. If you haven't been able to say goodbye, this may be the right time to do it. Being able to externalize what you had inside and finally move forward with a new awareness.

And then remember, it is always useful to take a break from your game and propose a new genre of narration in the game itself to allow everyone present at the table to breathe and tidy up ideas