Bubbly Fizz. Mmmmm.
Spoilers follow–no, honestly, serious spoilers–but it doesn’t matter unless you game. I’ve been reading The Dead White World from Pelgrane Press. It’s a post-apocaylptic RPG, set in the Mythos, a few years before World War II. The Investigators wake up to find that nearly everyone is dead, the world is covered in delicate white flowers, and the situation deteriorates from there. Oh, does it ever deteriorate. Anyway.
At the end of the outlined scenarios, the players are put in a position where the only way to keep Britain from being overrun by the Deep Ones was for one of them to choose to die.
I’m reminded of The Unity, which was the end of the Deadlands story. (I mean, in general, this is not surprising. Deadlands is Cthulhu & Six-Guns in a lot of ways.) There’s a point in the story where someone has to die; it’s essential to that combination of “success” and “survival” that you aim for in Deadlands stories.
I am not sure about how one would go about setting this up. Although these are settings where you can expect your character to die, that is rather different from one of your characters being required to die. I’m not complaining about the story–I think that sacrifice is potentially an incredibly powerful story element–but…
John talks about the concept of a game contract; when you run a game, you agree to its basic conceits. If it’s a heroic fantasy game, then you do not create a character who reacts to seeing someone about to fall off a cliff by stopping, giggling, and saying “Gee, I wonder how high he’ll bounce.” Your character doesn’t need to be happy about the fact that they’re going to go save the guy, but they are by-god gonna go save the guy, because you do.
The Storyteller agrees to these conceits as well. And one of the near-universal ones is that you will have a chance to survive. And I’m not sure if simply telling players straight-up that yes, one of them is going to die in this story is the best way to handle it. I’m not even entirely sure it’s better than not telling them.
 I suspect there are a very few people who will get that. To them, I apologize. To the rest of you, humour me. No, it does not have anything to do with Pepsi, no matter what Google tells you.