Old Ma Death

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Submitted NPC.png This article covers a submitted NPC.

Submitted non-player characters have been fleshed out in detail and are ready for review by the other developers. Once they have been reviewed and agreed upon, they become accepted NPCs.

Old Ma Death (Submitted NPC)

"Not a problem, lovie. I quite understand. You think there's hope - not for mankind, perhaps, but for you, because there's always been something special about you - and you want to go on living. I don't mind. But I can make you a guarantee. Six months from now, a year, ten years - you'll be freezing to death out in the snow, or you'll be lying on the dead earth with some savage's knife exploring your intestines as he takes your last hunk of bread from you, or you'll be twisting and turning on your cot as the TB makes you spit out blood...and you'll pray for Old Ma Death to come with her long-barrelled revolver and make it clean, and make it quick. And I'll come. But I'll take my time." Old Ma Death (if the player refuses her services)


On the very edge of the player's starting town, unconsciously, quietly shunned by the rest of the people there, is the house of Old Ma Death. The house itself is quaintly decorated, in an old, chintzy style, hung with the photographs of long-gone family members. And, sitting in the corner in a matronly black funeral dress, is Old Ma Death. She'll offer her guests a cup of tea - and ask them if they're certain they want to die.

If her visitor agrees, Old Ma Death will let them finish their tea, and then quietly lead them into the parlour, sit them up in the chair facing the plastic sheeting pinned up on the wall, and shoot them in the head with her long-barrelled revolver. No patient of hers has ever been known to die anything other than immediately. Afterwards, she'll drag the body outside, break a hole in the ice of the frozen river at the back of her house, and shove the body under, letting the currents beneath the ice carry it away.

Old Ma Death remains cheerful about her occupation, reasoning that she is helping her patients out of a terrible place. Her only fear is that she may run out of the components for making her bullets before she has a chance to 'do herself'. Because that would mean she has to learn how to use the knife. Her services, she argues, are indispensable to the town...because if you kill yourself, how can you be certain you're going to do it cleanly?


A way to foreshadow to the player, from the very beginning, using character rather than exposition, the theme of mortality and the probability of his own death. And a way of doing it that's blackly funny, as well as bleak.

Could it be possible to give the player an option to *actually* let Old Ma Death take his life? Say he can come in, talk to her, explain why he wants to die...and he does, indeed, get shot and gets a game over screen?

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