The Epic Death Scene

When you gotta go, go in style!

Sometimes characters die. It is tragic, but there are many ways to “kick the bucket” romantically and dramatically in your narratives. Try some of these ideas:


When a character dies in a narrative, they have an opportunity to speak their parting thoughts in dramatic fashion. Here are some ideas of things to say…

  • famous last words, advice,
  • pass the torch,
  • bequeath, give last will and testament, pass on an heirloom or prized possession,
  • bemoan, regret,
  • apologize, ask forgiveness, forgive,
  • curse, damn, hex, burden, bedevil, put a pox on someone,
  • possess, haunt,
  • warn, caution,
  • utter last request, beg, plead, beseech,
  • share a secret, reveal the truth, unloose a plan,
  • propose,

If you’re roleplaying, be sure to accept any words uttered by a character in true improvisational spirit and work the ideas into your ongoing story.

If you’re writing, use the death monologue as a chance to introduce new elements or to tie up some loose ends… shape it however you need to.

Deliver a Death Blow

As a character dies, they get one last final swing of the axe, shot from the gun, throw of the spear, flip of the switch, release of a spell, or… whatever it is that they do well.

Remember, this is a character’s last move so make it count. Try some of these final actions…

  • cast a spell, release a bolt of energy,
  • fire a ray gun, projectile, missile,
  • press THE button, pull the pin, crank the lever, hit the switch,
  • swing your axe, sword, cleaver, mace,
  • rattle off your last ammunition,
  • charge into the mass of enemies, leap into the fray,
  • fight through all pain, call forth one last surge,
  • invoke the power of your god, shatter the evil around you,
  • pull the pin on a grenade and let the enemy come,

See the Light (or Darkness)

When a character dies, they awaken to a whole new world of possibility… that’s right, the after life (or whatever)!

  • see old friends, family,
  • go to heaven, hell, paradise, Valhalla,
  • become a ghost, spirit,
  • reach new level of consciousness, an awakening, enlightenment,
  • reincarnate, respawn,
  • follow a light, tunnel, beacon,
  • cross the river, stand before gates,
  • begin a new journey,
  • become godly, divine, angelic, demonic,
  • join the undead,
  • realize that the afterlife is full of paperwork, bureaucracy, and red tape,
  • float above the scene,
  • grasp an invisible hand,
  • hear the voice of god,
  • get judged, face the final combat arena,
  • “level up,” become a master of their art, achieve the enlightened echelon of their order,

Become a Ghost

When a character dies, they can still be part of story by playing a spiritual, guiding, nurturing role… or a belligerent, frightening, destructive role. It’s up to you, really.

  • become a ghost, spirit, poltergeist, haunt, spectre, shade,
  • deliver words of wisdom and guidance,
  • throw stuff, move chairs, slam doors, rattle things,
  • assist with pottery projects,
  • write on mirrors with blood… or lipstick… or gooey ectoplasm,
  • frighten children,
  • emerge on halloween, full moons, eclipses, solstices and equinoxes,
  • wait around for a seance,
  • possess someone (or something),
  • save people with your invisible force of good,
  • get hired on as an angel or some other divine messenger or servant,
  • become one with the universe
  • speak through animals, on the wind, in the whisper between the strings of a harp (ooooh, I like that).
  • respond to the summons of witches, warlocks, shaman, spirit callers, Ouija Boards,
  • spell things in the Alphagetti,
  • meet others on their vision quests,
  • leave signs for loved ones (nickles),