How do you Handle the Embodiment of Death in Your Games?

As the title suggests, how do you guys handle the embodiment of death in your campaign and its setting? Is it an actual physical entity, is it more of a spirit, is it an abstract concept that vaguely takes on a visible form?
What is your Embodiment of Death Like? Are they bored with their job and just want to get this whole reaping thing over so they can hang out in the rec room in the afterlife, are they stoic and despise those who attempt to cheat them, or are they good sports that live humanity?
Also, general thread for posting cool art of the Grim Reaper and similar Death Embodiments, starting with one of the best modern ones

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I like to go with a sandman type death, they show up as whatever a person wants/needs to see as they're dying.

    Death itself is only semi-sentient, enough to play the part of whatever it's manifesting as but not enough to say be tricked into letting a soul go or that sort of thing.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >they show up as whatever a person wants/needs to see as they're dying
      I have no idea how a cartoon crossover smut comic pulled this off so well

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Props for simulating Discworld Death's leaden
        ALL CAPS WITH NO PUNCTUATION
        voice by not using a speech bubble

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >How do you Handle the Embodiment of Death in Your Games?
    Not today.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I generally don't.
    It's been years since I ran a game with personified stuff like death.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Best modern ones?
    The guy is too hands on. Death doesn't kill, it takes. Having him actually hunt down and be defeated by the cat shits on the futility of avoiding death.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >
      In the movie, it's established that it IS cheating, and that he's only doing this because Puss wasted his other 8 lives. So in Death's view, if Puss wants to piss away all his lives, why should Death wait?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >be defeated by the cat
      Hes not defeated, hes convinced puss deserves to have his last life.
      I also wouldnt so much say it defeats the point of "you cant run from death", because running didnt work. Its only by facing and accepting death - and coming to terms with his contentment regarding his limited time.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Pus didn’t really beat him. All he managed to do was disarm him for a second. We saw earlier that he threw his scythe and got it back pretty much instantly and during the fight only one of his weapons got kicked back to him even though he had both at the end, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he can just summon them to his hand. If so disarming him is even less impressive. It was pretty clear that he could of killed pus if he wasn’t trying to fuck around. The only reason he was there in the first place is because Pus pissed him off by not respecting his 9 lives so Pus actually caring about what happens and standing up to him took away the fun. I also think that this was kinda what he wanted to happen but that’s a bit more headcannon.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >be defeated by the cat
      Hes not defeated, hes convinced puss deserves to have his last life.
      I also wouldnt so much say it defeats the point of "you cant run from death", because running didnt work. Its only by facing and accepting death - and coming to terms with his contentment regarding his limited time.

      Pus didn’t really beat him. All he managed to do was disarm him for a second. We saw earlier that he threw his scythe and got it back pretty much instantly and during the fight only one of his weapons got kicked back to him even though he had both at the end, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he can just summon them to his hand. If so disarming him is even less impressive. It was pretty clear that he could of killed pus if he wasn’t trying to fuck around. The only reason he was there in the first place is because Pus pissed him off by not respecting his 9 lives so Pus actually caring about what happens and standing up to him took away the fun. I also think that this was kinda what he wanted to happen but that’s a bit more headcannon.

      Something else to keep in mind that adds onto the theory that he wanted Pus to learn a lesson. He didn’t come after Pus during the who knows how many months he was living at the cat lady’s house. He considering he followed him into a magic pocket dimension, walked through a magic insta kill barrier, and appeared multiple times while other people were around without them seeing him I think it’s safe to say he could have found him any time he wanted. There just wasn’t any point in killing a literal scary cat because he was at least respecting his last life at the time.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >anon can't grasp a simple message in a children's cartoon

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >be defeated by the cat

      Death spares Puss after he finally accepts his mortality and admits he cannot defeat death you fucking dumbass. It was only Puss coming to terms with dying that even enabled him to face death again without running away again.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >It was only Puss coming to terms with dying that even enabled him to face death again without running away again
        And then defeat him in combat. This death felt too personal, too much of a character and not the force of nature death is.
        He does just come off as a strong bounty hunter that comes to respect his quarry and lets him go for now which is just mediocre.
        I've also not felt the fear of the character a lot of people have mentioned, the whistling reminds me more of Blue's whistle in MegaMan than something terrifying like El Silbon.
        Gato also loudly explaining the whole character arc at the end felt forced to me. Granted I saw it in Spanish but I'm not sure Puss calling himself a "gatito faldero"(whatever the fuck that means) really detracts from the wolf guy.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      death respects life, and those that waste their life and disrespect it piss him off. Seems a neat idea. Death isn't a detached emotionless entity like in Discworld with a passing interest in mortals, but he has character instead.

      Also notice how they used his character narratively in this movie. He appears to confront Puss only when Puss is faced with reflection on his life and mortality, he instills fear and makes him run. His other appearances are as a figure far off or the whistling, but only when Puss is in some sort of mortal danger. He's a threat hanging over the character's head, getting closer and closer.

      The final fight was optional. The choices were to wish for more lives and live them like a coward, or fight and respect the life he had. Because he didn't fight for the other lives. He stated he couldn't win the fight but would never stop fighting for his life, and so death left promising they'd meet again, just not right then.
      '
      It's funny because Death said he wasn't metaphorically death, but his role in the story was metaphorical.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You've already been dogpiled but I'm just gonna add, holy shit anon how do you even breathe?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Are you five?

        Not him, but that “dog pile” comes across as a bunch of furry edgy teenagers obsessing over le cool edgy wolf man, without realizing they come across as cringe anime-furry hybrid losers. You think a combat Death is cool, when Death shouldn’t fight period. Death isn’t some ninja martial. He doesn’t even have a scythed staff.

        Just my five bucks. This Death sucked.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death is a giant autistic being that just wants to gather all the souls to make sure none of them go missing.
    The Reapers are the actual psychopomps that collect the harvest of souls, and while they start as generic skeletons in robes with scythes, the longer they exist the more human concepts they begin to display, which means if you want to cut a deal with the reaper, you want one of the old weird ones that outgrew the blind obedience of their original form.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I dont. If I give death a personality that means it can be subject to egodeath (PC bullying). Death is but a state that all things can undergo. A Rock, a Squirell, a King, even a God.

    It shouldnt even be confrontable. Thats why i take resurrection magic out of the game too.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    During a more fabtastical game, whenever a character was knocked out and bleeding out, I'd have them see a garbage man pointing at a gargane bag and saying "get in here". I stopped doing it because it made players absurdly stressed.

    You should try it once.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous
  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I don't embody death.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Same here.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He's dead.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Lord Mortarion is a metaphysical force and conceptual power which manifests itself with physical form whenever its meta-cognition deems it either interesting, changing its shape both according to its will and the regional limiters of cognition, both in written and thought form.

    For a very agrarian community, he or she can appear as a typical black cloaked entity with a long scythe, here to harvest their souls and to depart as the work never ends on the wheat plains of the mortal realm. For a warrior culture, Death may come as a medic, a traveler with the symbol of their curatives and yet only packing a dagger and a waterskin full of wine, giving the fallen one final drink as the dagger pieces the heart and captures the soul within it, going from one injured abandoned man after another and congratulating them on dying like warriors instead of cattle, a less peaceful death.

    Some consider it a wanderer like them, a burly man or woman dressed in mostly rags and not even a pair of shoes, wandering across the land with a shovel by their shoulders and meeting upon them as they lay dying or dead, with it offering some advice as you tell them your tales of your travels, Death always waiting patiently and with a smile as they hear your life, offering a hand to cross to the other side. And for some, of course, its a vile awful thing which hunts you endlessly, stalks you in every single way from the moment you are born and refuses to leave you be for you have a soul it wants to take, and it can range from a vile spider, a bloodthirsty wolf or an abberration wanting to murder you and just missing the chance but that one day will come and destroy everything of good you ever had.

    These are all true and these are all false. Cognition, understanding and belief inevitably alter the shape it manifests on, assuming it even does, being much more likely to collect souls on a later date as the living tend to cling on to the material plane But it does happen.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Oh and naturally it has a personal interest in stalking and fucking with Liches and similar creatures who try to outsmart it. If you ever start trying to fuck with a Lich, you might find yourself getting some aid from a cloaked entity with a long ass scythe or a very ragged wanderer, or even multiple kinds of Death just split into different interpretations so your entire party sees at least one of the "correct" ones. Keeps their souls as nice coins and has amassed a pretty penny collection over the eons but sadly it usually can't intervene too much due to the Myrmirdon Accord, needing local plane people to do its bidding or follow its rules to get it done.

      Frankly, it's about as Neutral as an entity gets. It just does its job, keeps mortals from going immortal except for the very select few ways of Apotheosis and has an infinitely steady job with an infinitely steady conceptual existence. Eliminating it as a Concept is impossible and the variance in its representations across written word and cognition keeps it ever changing depending on the location and people he's going after. Doesn't really go for the concept of "fun" like most humanoids but at least it doesn't get bored.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Old, tired, and a bit looney.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death itself doesn't have an embodiment. It's a force and a process, not an intelligence.
    There is a god of death. Depending on the religion, she leans more towards "god of the dead" than a "bringer of the end" type. In no religion does she actually hunt down individuals.
    Archons often serve as psychopomps, protecting the souls of the recently deceased from devils (who want to drain them for power) and demons (who want to consume them outright) on their journey to the edge of the known cosmos, but they only serve as guides. Nobody know where a soul goes after that initial journey, though several religions have differing guesses. But, again, these archons are mere guides--they aren't responsible for the actual moment of death, nor do they "reap" in any way.
    Now, the fact that death is a force does mean that one could effectively conjure an entity made purely of death, a sort of death elemental. But, while such a creature would be an embodiment of death, it wouldn't be THE embodiment of death, and it would likely be very limited in capacity for abstract thought.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In my setting, the embodiment of Death actually doubles as the embodiment of Life. In addition to being the reaper of unclaimed souls, she's also in charge of the reincarnation cycle, and is the only god capable of creating new life.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How can there be something to embody what is just the lack of life

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I want to FUCK that WOLF

    Also, that fancy ass, dual wield sickle-spin thing he does is so fucking cool to watch

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous
  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The Eternal Loom is the ultimate engine of fate and death is subordinate to fate. The actual act of carrying souls to the Other Side is done by mortal Psychopomps for it doesn't matter if you live 1 year or a million years as all things will die eventually.

    Another Servent is a mortal called the Watcher who sees the actual threads of the Loom and acts as the Loom's voice. How it chooses a new Watch is only known to the Loom

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    For the personification of death this guy sure came across as … just another guy to beat. Jack probably could have sat on him.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Mother Mountain watched this
    >And saw everyone freezing
    >Father Cloud wouldn’t fix it
    >But she knew what to do

    >She snatched up this sister
    >In her stony arms
    >She plunged her in a lake
    >And held her under

    >“What is this?”
    >Asked the sister
    >"I don’t feel anything
    >I don’t see anything!”

    >Back then there were things
    >We don’t have now
    >But other things
    >Hadn’t been thought of yet

    >She had to figure out
    >What happened to her
    >She was the first
    >She was dead

    The Drowning Girl just sits underwater (metaphorically) and waits for people to sink into her grasp.

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    my setting user regular cold laws of phisics, but with magical and supernatural stuff added on top that modifies them. so while there are gods of death (one of which is considered the manifestation of death itself), they arent an inherent part of reality and killing one or more of them doesnt break the concept of death (in fact it would do the opposite, it would stop many supernatural phenomena associated with death)

  20. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Um. Death is not something I usually anthropomorphize in my games. It’s usually just a thing that happens. Then again I usually run sci-fi games so it’d be weird to include anyway.

    Closest I’d probably come to that is the inclusion of a grim reaper type psychopomp who honestly had fuck-all to do with your actual death, it’s just here to ferry your departed spirit to whatever afterlife it’s earned for itself. And honestly in that regard I’d probably take inspiration from Terry Pratchett and make the grim reaper be someone who sees this task more like a disagreeable job than a career, a job it will responsibly carry out to the best of its abilities, but nevertheless a job it’s not thrilled with.

  21. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's not something that comes up in D20 games often. Most characters are too low level to really face something like that. There are rumors/whispers/hints as they level that their may be powerful Gods of Death and their machinations may be a little more clear, but, in general, only super high level games run into any potential encounters with that kind of stuff.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      > Most characters are too low level to really face something like that.
      Well… that depends on the nature of the encounter. If they’re just supposed to talk to it then the massive discrepancy between the entity’s power level and the PCs’ power level isn’t really important, might even help encourage civility in your players. But for a combat encounter? Yeah they should not be running into something like that.

  22. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In my setting Death is a collection of the spirits of paladins of a fallen death god, they take on the roles of guides to the well of souls and slayers of undead. The reason undead gods get so much worship by necromancers is because they act as safeguards against these paladin spirits.

  23. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >constantly tired
    >despises the undead & immortals
    >other gods ain’t to fond of her
    >worshipers can become reapers/death-dealers if chosen
    Basically a force of nature given shape like fire or time. Her “worshippers” are very rare but are sometimes chosen to kill immortal beings that are being a pain. The gods don’t like her on account of her also viewing them as un-natural and annoying immortals that disturb the balance of life and death.

  24. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >how do you guys handle the embodiment of death in your campaign and its setting?
    Its essentially the evil buddha. The "apex killer" who was so good he reached the celestial mantle which carries that title and now watches the world in judgement.

    Although reaching "enlightenment", as the name implies, comes with a different perspective. And being "the end" carried with it an appreciation for what is, after all those things are very finite and temporary. So now he mostly just observes and meditates on his nature. He doesent need to interfere or get hands on, hes an inevitable aspect of the universe. He does silently judge though, since he has some ideas about how someone should live their life (its what he did after all!)

  25. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    As in other concepts, it is an (Jungian) archetype. If a certain entity fits the mold, it becomes a god or goddess of it. His or her will on the matter isn't relevant.

    The current god was a gladiator which killed himself at the arena, and the impression he left upon the public triggered his apotheosis. Now his divine instincts don't allow him to commit suicide again. So he has a Tartarus pit-arena where the worst souls are forced to kill and die, again and again and again. He secretly hopes to create someone capable of killing him. He also became the god of revenge, as being a slave is lawful, but slaves everywhere sacrifice to him in need of justice against their owners.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is a super cool concept, I like the idea of a god being a person who had the job thrust upon them due to them perfectly embodying the concept.
      Being the God of Revenge, how does he see his revenge carried out? Does he go down there as some avatar to cause mayhem by himself, like some weird Freddy Kruger or Cenobite type deal, or does he manipulate things more subtly?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Slaves and priests perform funerary rites in the empire, preparing bodies for the necropolises they maintain. Slaves also are the ones to maintain cisterns and sewers. Many of these public slaves are also Maganchos, a boogeyman for children and a vigilante for adults. They execute necromancers, murder murderers, exacting revenge in the shadows untouched by the light of the sun-god's justice. The worst cases are captured and taken to the haunted swamp whose loams hide the arena-purgatory where they are forced to fight and die, over and over and over, never granted the relief of death and reincarnation.

  26. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I have had a few personages of Death in my games.

    My current/most developed is Death as a Hades/Osiris style deity, he rules the underworld & his servants collect souls for him, his authority is so strong that all souls will be drawn to him eventually. Every soul is brought to him & judged. Those he deems unfit or sinful he makes purpose for as servants to his will. Slaved & shackled as penance for their immorality. The darker the sin, the longer their service as they toil in his fields, some are hunted for sport by him & his hounds to be devoured. Those who are good & those who aren't terribly sinful he gifts to his lady wife, Life. She plants some of these souls in the fields, to grow & develop until they bloom in the material world to live again as new life (Not reincarnation exactly, a soul is used as a seed for new souls to be grown, the old soul does not get sent back out). Truly pure souls she keeps as guests or favored servants in the Halls of the Dead, who spend their days in peace & comfort.

    One version of Death I had in a game came to the player dressed in motley, "for life is a joke & I am its clown" he told them. It was quite unnerving for the player to occasionally see a brightly liveried man jugglingor mining his death with sock puppets in the corner of his vision as he faced peril. I had a scene I was describing once, where I was really setting the mood of them in this deep dark pit, with things scurrying in the shadows as they were all low on health & resources, trying to avoid a TPK as they limped through a dangerous meat grinder of an adventue, as I was describing stuff I was walking around the room, trying for some somber gravitas, all but painting their fate as completely fucked, when I stood behind said player, popped on a fake clown nose, got right up to his ear, & honked it whispering "Knock knock". The player skyrocketed out of his seat & beat me with his clipboard for scaring him, it was great.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The player eventually started trading jokes with clowndeath & greeting him when he popped up. Clowndeath eventually told him "Now you see why they use the phrase 'laughing in the face of Death'?" which really effected how the player viewed things as a whole, he got super invested, when at the end of the campaign he died heroically saving the party & killing the villain, the player met with Clowndeath one last time, he pulled a jinglebell out, which he had taken to secretly brininging to every game night in case this exact situation happened & said "who would have thought that when the deathbell rang it jingled?" which made Clowndeath absolutely delighted, clapping & reacting like a stage performer bowing & making adeu. I didn't really go in to detail of what happened to him after that, but I like to think the character joined deaths troupe or something & became eternal buddies.

      Another Death, was a generic dark lord of the dead & darkness, he only showed up once when the party view the outer reaches of the world where he stole among the black of the void, & watched hatefully at the Sun.

  27. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death must really be petty if they get physical form only to harass One (1) person.
    Like, what the fuck, you go after one guy specifically and the let all necromancers in the land get away with it?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      To be fair, I made up Clowndeath to get my player to develop a bit roleplaying-wise. He never really did much, even in other games, so I gave his fatalistic merc a bit of a way to have the situation playing off of him in a way other players couldn't interact with, & in a way that would give him consequences. It was perhaps my greatest achievement as a GM. The player really embraces stuff now, & to think it started with Clowndeath doing a carnival caricature of a cartoon pig in plate harness, dying to bandits (the merc used boar heraldry, & was fighting said bandits alone)

  28. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    That's a toddler movie. What are you doing watching that literal baby slop?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      NTA but I watched it cause I have children. I'm sorry you've failed to breed

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You do? Not for long. I am in the need of new spirit wives.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >exposing your only legacy to the electric garden gnome
        You fool.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >he let his kids watch a gay hollywood movie about adopting mixed species mutts and giving women whatever they want when they want it.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Go outside

  29. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >play exalted
    >oh there's the god of death, coming for you
    >seduce/sodomize/slay
    >why not all three?

  30. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Chill ass dude who likes to play games. If you ask him to let you live longer he will ask you to beat him in any game you choose. I as a DM use this to bring games to a grinding halt but everyone enjoys it. By the lore it should be that death is the best gamer out there so only real way to beat him is at a game that 100% RNG

  31. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Well there was this one Cyberpunk 2020 game where the GM rather ill-advisedly decided to use the version from Discworld. It really didn't go down well, partly because it was at odds with the tone of the campaign.

    To this day I have no idea why he did that. At least he didn't also have a little rat skeleton going "SQUEAK SQUEAK"

  32. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this
    bro
    been
    doing
    nothing
    but
    posting
    about
    piss in boots since he watched the movie a week ago

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      the Shrek side character got his own story?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        he got a movie
        a four season cartoon spin-off
        and then another movie in which he grapples with mortality.

  33. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I tend toward the Discworld version of Death myself. Polite, professional, can come off as a bit cold at times, but not unkind and actually kind of fascinated by mortals.

  34. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I DM Cyberpunk RED. If a cybered up character is far on their death save, I like to make them see a Cyberdaemon pixelated grim reaper inviting them to join ''pandemonium''. It's up to the players to do with that as they wish. Sometimes I also like to include previous characters close to the players, or even previous PC's inviting them into pandemonium too. If they are hallucinating this, seeing digital net stuff trough their cyberoptics or if there's actually paranormal stuff going on is entirely up to the player's interpretation of it.

  35. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Why, I makhim the Angel of Death of course!

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Hi Makhim, Angel of Death

  36. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Last time I did it the embodiment of death took her job somewhat seriously, and referred to herself as La Grande Mort, but was personally obsessed with la petite mort.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Gross did she at least wash her handa before going out on the job.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Why bother? What's the worst that could happen? You die?

  37. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I took some thematic notes from League of Legends' Kindred. I don't care for it as a game but some of their character designs and lore is pretty sweet.

    Death is a predator/hunter that catches living things and brings them to the afterlife, where his beloved Life, often taking the shape of a corresponding prey animal or a lady shepherd, hides. They sleep until it's time for them to be born anew, and the cycle continues.

  38. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Depends on which Death-God handles the dying.

    One of them manifests Death as an "Avatar" which is a high-level monster. If the PC can kill it in single combat and without external aid, they get to come back to life. This can be done as many times as they want. The stat block for the avatar is alterable, but the threat of overcoming death in this manner is meant to become mundane and routine. In fact, it's required to gain the Favors (skills, feats, spells) of said Death-God thus turning the Champion into an Avatar.

    Once you go that far, you lose your PC as it becomes yet another wandering shade seeking the strongest souls to test. Good job, you maxed out the Favor of a God. Now you belong to them.

  39. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm not playing a high concept game, so death as a concept isn't embodied.

  40. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The God of Death (not to be confused with the God of the Dead) is a skeletal figure in a black cloak and carrying a scythe. If asked he states that it is the most effective means to convey to a newly deceased soul that it is dead and to keep further questions to a minimum.
    He does not appear for every death, as it would be unworkable, but has outsourced such work to other psychopomps with much the same imagery. However he does personally appear to guide souls to the afterlife for particularly important individuals and events, if nothing other than to ensure they meet their timely fate.
    He is largely amoral and emotionless, and carries out his purpose with a resigned sense of duty, with the exception of the undead and immortals whom he despises for making his job more difficult (He also dislikes elves for being longlived, and not being as willing to get themselves killed like dwarves).
    He does not play games or accept bets to avoid death. He does however accept debt to forestall ones demise, under a heavy compounding interest for as long as one remains alive, with the knowledge that death will come eventually and payment of the debt will ensure that the soul spends longer in the underworld, delaying reincarnation and thus reduce his workload.

  41. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I like the idea of the Ankou as a psychopomp who takes bodies in a squeaky chariot advanced by two horses, a starving one and an obese one. Personality-wise he's an old simple-minded peasant with a love of tradition and theatrics. He likes making things a bit dramatic but sees his job and souls just like any other job and enjoys a good drink if you arent the one dying.
    This is generally the case even tough the Ankou changes each year when the last person of the year dies.
    They say if you hear the Ankou's squeaky chariot during the day, you or a family member will die tonight.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What happens in cases where the last person to die is a jerk? And why have it switch off like that at all?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Its the OG myth. I generally interpret it that being a psychopomp tends to mellow someone out and change their view of life and death's worth. Sure, you might meet a frustrated asshole tossing you into his cart with a shovel in january but after that...

  42. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The Lady of the Dead is also the known as The Lady of Rebirth. She welcomes all who die like an old friend who's watched them grow, or punishes those who squandered and wasted their lives given to them. She's not good, she's not evil, she just IS, and that's all she ever will be.

  43. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I like the idea of death being an omnipotent being so beyond the comprehension of power that he never has to exercise it. Comforting, because it's inevitable so why be mean spirited about the whole thing?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I agree, death being a nice guy just trying to do his job while bringing comfort to people before the end is a high tier version of the character

  44. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    My death is a harassed & anxious bureaucrat, voiced by James Hong

  45. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He was one of the first men, from a time forgotten by history. He committed some manner of crime, for which the gods punished him. They turned this natural, automated process into something a single man is responsible for.

    And so Death spends eternity doing paperwork in Limbo. For the first few centuries, it was torture-- but he came to really enjoy the process. The gods have tried to separate him from his role, but found that Death as a concept no longer works without a person to embody it.

    Personality wise, he's fairly stoic, professional, tired. He likes hearing how society advances and changes through time.

  46. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death is a god, multiple reapers that work for her.

  47. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I either rip off discworld Death, or make it a god of the harvest as well.

  48. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    For me?
    Death is SEXOOOOOOOOOOOO

  49. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death is akin to a planetary parasite. It's part of the metaphysics of the setting, while also being a place not unlike a plane of existance.

    When something dies, it's soul is consumed by death. There is no reaper or any such thing, it simply happens. Trying to communicate with it would fry the brain of a mortal being, beyond "BE NOT AFRAID" levels. Not to say there aren't people who discovered the truth and tried.

    Necromancers have to essentially astral project into death to reclaim souls to stuff into skeletons or zombies, and grabbing specific souls is really quite difficult due to how alien and disorienting the process of "travelling" through death is.

    All the races are becoming shorter lived over time, and eventually there will be no sapient life remaining. Death will then move on.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So there’s no way to stop it? Why is it even doing this besides being hungry?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        There is one being in the setting working on a solution (Quasi-Immortal dragon, long story) who sort of backpathed his way into realising what was happening.

        Unfortunately it requires manufacturing a process to create other beings such as himself who cannot die from simple aging, and either directly controlling it, or trying to mold it to eschew violence. This doesn't really defeat death, but could theoretically starve it to the point where it might cut it's losses and move on. This character is also an antagonistic force to players characters, typically, because he's manipulating events to try and make certain things happen, and his failures have made him somewhat despondant.

        It terms of motivation, being something akin to an entropic parasitic plane, it's primary motivation is simply to end life, and anything that could create life. It derives no pleasure from the act, it simply does.

        Wore the inspirations derived from the heat death of the universe on my sleeves, but the goal in the origination of the setting was that the world would eventually be consumed. It's simply so far off and long in scope that the players generally won't think about it, or can't really be made to care about it.

        Something for max level characters to consider, maybe, if nothing else in-setting can challenge them, or a player party kills the dragon, which would lay the problem at their feet.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Quasi-Immortal dragon, long story)
          I’d like to hear more about this story. How did they become immortal and realize the truth? Also, how long does Death take to “digest” a soul?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            There is one being in the setting working on a solution (Quasi-Immortal dragon, long story) who sort of backpathed his way into realising what was happening.

            Unfortunately it requires manufacturing a process to create other beings such as himself who cannot die from simple aging, and either directly controlling it, or trying to mold it to eschew violence. This doesn't really defeat death, but could theoretically starve it to the point where it might cut it's losses and move on. This character is also an antagonistic force to players characters, typically, because he's manipulating events to try and make certain things happen, and his failures have made him somewhat despondant.

            It terms of motivation, being something akin to an entropic parasitic plane, it's primary motivation is simply to end life, and anything that could create life. It derives no pleasure from the act, it simply does.

            Wore the inspirations derived from the heat death of the universe on my sleeves, but the goal in the origination of the setting was that the world would eventually be consumed. It's simply so far off and long in scope that the players generally won't think about it, or can't really be made to care about it.

            Something for max level characters to consider, maybe, if nothing else in-setting can challenge them, or a player party kills the dragon, which would lay the problem at their feet.

            In terms of "digestion", there isn't necessarily a defined timeframe. Resurrection magic exists, though it operates similarly to Necromancy; the caster must venture into Death's embrace to pluck the soul, like Orpheus descending into Hades. A sufficiently powerful spell may allow you to bring someone back, and even help embolden the faded souls closer to true oblivion. The process is fraught with dangers however, and untrained practitioners are more likely to get themselves trapped with Death, functionally dead themselves.

            Even after coming back, the resurrected will need to spend quite a while resting/on the mend, and may have other carryovers from their time spent dead (ex: memory loss, lack of sensory abilities, loss of abilities, etc).

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            [...]

            In terms of "digestion", there isn't necessarily a defined timeframe. Resurrection magic exists, though it operates similarly to Necromancy; the caster must venture into Death's embrace to pluck the soul, like Orpheus descending into Hades. A sufficiently powerful spell may allow you to bring someone back, and even help embolden the faded souls closer to true oblivion. The process is fraught with dangers however, and untrained practitioners are more likely to get themselves trapped with Death, functionally dead themselves.

            Even after coming back, the resurrected will need to spend quite a while resting/on the mend, and may have other carryovers from their time spent dead (ex: memory loss, lack of sensory abilities, loss of abilities, etc).

            The Dragon's story is a long one, and I'll spare you the bulk; dragons/dragonkin in the setting aren't naturally occurring entities, they're biological war machines created to wage wars on behalf of ancient genies. (Shortly after discovering this process, their societies basically collapsed into seasonally warring fiefdoms, akin to sengoku period japan)

            Our boy was the first created in this process, when it was still half theory and not fully tested. The act of his creation consumed the life energies of his creators, and stiched together a composite soul out of theirs (rather than just shaving off fragments as they intended). His quasi-immortality comes from two factors - his use of blood magic (distinct from necromancy as the manipulation of the energies of life) and the composite nature of his soul.

            Lots of character development and backstory later, our boy has entered the "play area" of the setting so to speak, and checks in the ancient enemies of his creators, only to find that they've devolved into lesser beings that don't match the records he has access to. He spends time among them in assumed forms, and is able to tie tigether the historical throughline that over innumerable generations, each of them has become what they are (playable races). He takes on some followers, and sets out to figure out the cause. He teaches them magic, and eventually has no recourse other than to descend into Death himself. This allows him to sus out certain things, piece together half forgotten memories of long dead civilizations, and so on, but because Death is akin to Time (time isn't recorded until things begin to die, after all), he returns to find his little group has long since split into factions and gone rogue, with his original "mortal" apprentices inserted themselves into power across the setting.

            Most of this is self-indulgent DM wank, adding color to the history of the setting, mind. Even that last bit happened ~1600 years before modern day.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        There is one being in the setting working on a solution (Quasi-Immortal dragon, long story) who sort of backpathed his way into realising what was happening.

        Unfortunately it requires manufacturing a process to create other beings such as himself who cannot die from simple aging, and either directly controlling it, or trying to mold it to eschew violence. This doesn't really defeat death, but could theoretically starve it to the point where it might cut it's losses and move on. This character is also an antagonistic force to players characters, typically, because he's manipulating events to try and make certain things happen, and his failures have made him somewhat despondant.

        It terms of motivation, being something akin to an entropic parasitic plane, it's primary motivation is simply to end life, and anything that could create life. It derives no pleasure from the act, it simply does.

        Wore the inspirations derived from the heat death of the universe on my sleeves, but the goal in the origination of the setting was that the world would eventually be consumed. It's simply so far off and long in scope that the players generally won't think about it, or can't really be made to care about it.

        Something for max level characters to consider, maybe, if nothing else in-setting can challenge them, or a player party kills the dragon, which would lay the problem at their feet.

        Tl;dr, No. Death will gorge upon the souls of the living and any undead who have escaped it, then move on to the next meal.

  50. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I just use the discworld Death because I'm a shitty and lazy DM and at this point am basically just running Ankh Morpork Dragon Heist

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Well, there are less based examples that you could use. Has anyone figured it out?

  51. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Too many people die every second for the angel of death to see to them all, and death is a natural enough part of life that it can be left alone most of the time.
    But when God wants someone or someones in particular dead, that's when Death himself is dispatched.

  52. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    *phone static*

    >Hello! Thank you for calling Death Inc.!
    >We are unfortunate to announce you that none of our agents are currently available. Their important duty in the Mortal Realm prevents them from recieving your calls.
    >Still, you are entitled to our service! After the beep, you might be able to enter any specifications related to your death. Such specifications include, but are not limited to :
    >The exact hour. Your clothing. The destination of your soul. The recycling of your soul. The destination of your spirit. The Extraction tool used for your timely demise. Etc.
    >If you wish to speak with our upper management, please refer to those who could potentially murder you.
    >Have a great day~!

    *phone static*

  53. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In my setting, Death is generally considered a universally hostile force. Gods are constantly in a battle with the god of death in order to ensure their followers' souls reach the afterlife once they pass on, otherwise they'll be snatched away by the god of death and essentially annihilated.

    In terms of the god himself, he's like a weird invisible force that just wants the entire universe silent and completely dead, including all the gods. He can't really do much in the land of the living, so he waits on the other side like a gigantic primordial thresher trying to catch everything that comes through. In the setting, angels and even a few Gods themselves are made for the sole purpose of guiding souls into the right afterlife and protecting them from getting subsumed.

  54. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Three of them
    >One being the first death, self-explanatory, you died
    >The next being the second death, you've faded from memory after dying and nobody remembers your name or grave anymore
    >The third being the end of all life, the heat death of the universe has arrived

    They each get bigger and scarier, but at the end of the day they're all more or less function the same. No malice, no kindness, no words, just the inevitable has come. No way you can defeat, outsmart, or bargain with them, the same way you can't defeat, outsmart, or bargain with an earthquake or gravity.

  55. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Currently I'm only running Demon the Fallen, and psychopomps there are demons, and you can play as one. Although currently there's none in the party.

  56. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Does the Embodiment of Death in your setting also rule over the Underworld?

    Also, besides Disease, Time, Darkness, and/or War, what are some other domains/spheres of influence Death gods can have, maybe Life could work in a duality thing?

  57. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In my setting, the goddess of Death is also the Goddess of Life. She is the Earth itself, so we both spring from her and leave her. She doesn't actually kill anyone, merely takes their souls into her embraces as they die. Thoughts?

  58. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Looks like cringy furry shit.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That's kind of the point. If you look closely, he doesn't fit either archetype of design for animal characters in the Shrek franchise, further emphasizing how he's not a natural being.

  59. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >As the title suggests, how do you guys handle the embodiment of death
    I body him
    Then the wizard comes from behind with a metal chair
    After the bell we all go out for drinks, its an annual thing.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      nice

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you sunk my battleship!

  60. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >How do you Handle the Embodiment of Death in Your Games?
    I roll to seduce.

  61. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What about the Embodiment of Life? What are they like in your setting, and how do they get along with the Death Embodiment?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Life and the Death are working together. Life's job is to intervene and protect living beings from premature/overly cruel deaths, while Death comes to collect people when it's their time and essentially shepherds them through the process of reincarnation, upon which she hands them over back to Life. When something gets in the way of the system, they both take great offense and remove the obstacle with great prejudice.

      Also because it's that kind of game, Life and Death are a tomboy and a goth gf who are implied to be fucking.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You do reincarnation? Why? Okay, can you tell us more about how Life and Death are depicted (as in, what do they look like) and worshipped? How do they deal with these threats, and what are some common ones?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I can dig that. Tell us more about them please. What are their relationships with the other gods like?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Life and Death are a tomboy and a goth gf who are implied to be fucking.
        Based

  62. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  63. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Pretty laidback. It always wins eventually, and even the universe will die eventually.
    While it's true form is that of an eldritch horror, it usually appears in the form of various corpses, perhaps wearing the faces of dead party members or NPCs.

    I think a big thing I try to include is that it actually seems entertained or interested by players that "live a good life" and is annoyed by people trying to cheat it or living in fear of it. It excuses itself by saying "How would you like it if everyone you meet is terrified of you?" But the reality is it sees its job as basically turning the lights off, locking the door, and cleaning up after one awesome fucking party. It wants the party to be as fun as possible, and that isn't gonna happen if everyone is depressed over the fact it'll end eventually.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Huh, neat take. So, what actually happens to a person’s soul after he takes them?

  64. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
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  66. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    My pathfinder game is set in a world where the gods discarded the corpse of the god of death. Rather than a physical embodiment, the world has started to rot and die under the influence of this divine corpse that fell from the sky. Everything that hastens the demise of the world is crawling out of the woodwork, necromancers are on the march, dragons are torching the countrysides etc. The players are essentially going from hotspot to hotspot, putting out the fires. Sooner or later they'll have to go to the realm of the gods and find out what happened and why.

  67. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  68. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >my death is a neutral entity or its even friendly and just does its job
    boring as shit. death should be a badass murderous monster

  69. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In the main religion, Death has two aspects: the Reaper and the Hunter.

    The Reaper appears in the classic skeleton in cloak getup, though sometimes in special cases like a young child dying or a suicide, he’ll take the form of a comforting figure. His job is to simply guide souls to the afterlife, and his default personality is that of a kind, understanding, and empathetic old man.

    The Hunter, on the other hand, goes after people trying to cheat Death. He rarely outright kills his targets, instead, his worshippers, a secret cult within the church, stalk and taunt them for an extended period of time, before summoning an avatar of the Hunter to confront them. This where you get The Seventh Seal type stuff; deals, bargains, and chases. The game will always end the same way, though: the tool they use to escape the Hunter will lead right to Him.

  70. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  71. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If Puss didn’t get to the wish first then wouldn’t that mean Death would be enslaved by Jack, being a magical fairytale creature? Was he just retarded?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Death
      >a magical fairy tale creature
      I envy the reality you live in.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Um, Death is literally a fairy-tale character. Yes he is magic.

        Not that magic isn’t relative/semantics.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Name five fairy tales where death is a character and not an event.

          Besides, death does not play by their rules anyway, like how it nosells the barrier. It's not a magical creature, it's a god/cosmic force. Kind of like the star.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            A Christmas Carol, Deathly Hallows, Masque of the Red Death, Bible, Death Note

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              None of these are fairy tales and you know it, smartass.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                They are though

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            No, Death appears to be a humanoid wolf man, not a god. He’s Death, but it appears he isn’t as conceptually absolute.

            Since he himself is not a Metaphorical Death, as he says in the movie, you can take this to be a flaw in the narrative, since Puss should now be immortal after beating him.

            If someone killed Death, that should retroactively erase mortality period, from the beginning of time to the very end, no memory of death - but I doubt the creators thought that far.

            But we know there are multiple versions of the same fairytale characters, so maybe there’s an actual (skeletal) Bigger Death somewhere in this universe. There are two Rumpelstiltskins on these movies after all…

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Except, as others had pointed out, Puss didn't beat Death. He just spoiled his fun, Death got salty and left because a)Puss had undergone the character development and learned the lesson Death wanted to impair which fulfilled the arc writers set out to do; b) it's a comedy film so it's funnier that way; c) it's not the right genre - in a different type of a film with the same arc of accepting mortality and appreciating life Death would have killed the MC; d) there's the cliched cop our of Death not fighting seriously, for all we know he is as conceptually absolute, he just likes to play with food.

              In other word, Puss walks away due to his plot armour.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Puss beat Death deal with it

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Son, I cannot be baited. Cope.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Death is just a wolf man capable of being bested cope. I bet Jack or just Shrek could sit on him.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >the reasons the story gives and the character arc are plot armor
                That's some next level bad media literacy, god damn.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Godfather Death
            The Prince Who Wanted to Live Forever
            The Soldier and Death
            Death in a Nut
            Tia Miseria

  72. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In one of my games, the BBEG made a deal with Death for ultimate power before double crossing them by becoming a Lich and hiding their soul away. The party couldn't beat this empowered villain and instead had to go on a quest to find the phylactery and perform a ritual for Death to come and collect. Death's arrival was heralded by a swarm of insects appearing, rapidly aging, and dying, their corpses covering everything in the area. Then the figure of Death emerged from a nearby pool of water, invisible, but still seen due to the layer of insect bodies.

  73. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  74. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    A mixture of the Many Face God from A Song of Ice and Fire, Death from Sandman, SCP-4999 and Instrumentality in the End of Evangelion but less sexual.

  75. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How does your death react to a defeated Lich? Phylactery is destroyed, their physical form beaten, and nothing keeps them anchored to the material plane. After all the atrocities and mockery they have made to become immortal, what does your death do to them?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Wipes his ass with their soul

  76. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I established in the genesis of the world that death did not exist until a god claimed this domain which floated dormant in the ether. Once taken the once immortal race of Immortals, started birthing mortal humans who aged and died of unknown causes. The immortals could die of course due to unnatural causes like starvation or death but this was rare since knowledge persisted among them for hundreds of years.

    Once "The Supreme Judge" settled in, he started to feed his domain (another aspect is that domains dissipate if not fulfilled and managing a small domain makes you a lesser god). Over the eras the domain of death has been succeeded to another lesser god who started utilizing it for malicious purposes (he also was the god of accidents and bargains before that). The "Cheating One" employed three beings for his service in collecting "overdue patrons" in exchange for a share in the energy collection from the souls.

  77. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In my current campaign it's the Scarred Lands setting, where one of the Gods is the Lord of the Underworld. If someone of great importance dies in the campaign then he'll be there to witness the death, collecting the soul personally (players are stopping a world ending prophecy etc, you know the drill). In greek mythology style he appears as a robed old man with a beard. The players have spotted him twice now and think he could work for the villains.

  78. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  79. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He's a Jamaican Skeleton in a black robe with a scythe.
    Always.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So, Billy and Mandy style then. How did that show ever get aired, especially back then with censorship being a lot more prevalent?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Empty time slot and a funny idea. Apparently one of the executives fucking despised the show, despite its popularity.

  80. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  81. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Same way I handle Emrakul. With 20 squirrels or in this case with high enough action economy. If it's only 'Death' against party of two druids, two spellswords and one Paladin. He doesn't stand a chance.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >squirrels
      Death has absorb 1

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Who’s your character? Are they supposed to be a fantasy squirrel girl or something?

  82. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I play games with hard reality. Death as an entity doesn't exist.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >hard reality
      >Death as an entity doesn't exist
      Choose one and only one.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So you're a nogames, got it.

  83. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Death in my setting is more or less the repoman of life who hunts down creatures who have lived far to long past their natural expectancy whether it be a curse or some arcane ritual. death isn’t even a humanoid it takes the form of an oversized white firefly. Entities that get touched by the firefly and meet its requirements are dusted and absorbed into the firefly where there power is used as fuel for a battle form which is the standard hooded figure and the soul getting properly sent to the afterlife. Does accursed with immortality spend their lives looking for the mercy of Death while those who willingly chose it spend their lives fleeing from death.

  84. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I know you’re not supposed to take this franchise seriously, narratively speaking, but is Death the most powerful Shrek-verse villain besides maybe Runpelstiltskin (who the fuck makes those contracts??) or post-wish Jack?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Jack’s wish literally had him standing on top of the world destroying it / sucking up all the magic.

  85. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I don't

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