As players we take great care in protecting our characters. We develop them over the span of many sessions, raise their hit points, increase their skills and attain more spells. We want them to survive at all costs!
Question, would you let your character take one for the adventure? In my experience characters more often than not die to player mistake or a bad roll. Would you put your character in harm's way to save, not your fellow party members, but the adventure itself. Would you risk your character for a greater more exciting adventure?
I'm not only talking about that split second decision that ends with your character's death to give the adventure a grand finale. Not the going down in a blaze of glory ending. I mean taking the road less traveled. Developing a character who might have an early, and foreseeable death.
I'm currently working in a prehispanic RPG called Itza. The gods, the calendar and the horoscope were important elements in mesoamerican cultures. To the point that there could be a set path at birth that would be followed through out life. If you character rolled a bad destiny, would you be willing to pay it to it's fullest? Not the "fuck it I'm going to die anyway" attitude that either makes your character foolhardy or unloved/underdeveloped by the player, or both. I mean really playing the character to its fullest potential knowing the end is near. To live an epic life worthy of the gods.
I'm considering putting in game benefits to the player that promote this type of play. Have the gods benefit the player with bonuses usable on the next character. A type of posthumous medal from the character that the player may invest on the next character.
Would you find this stimulating enough to go all in on your character's destiny and play to the fullest? Do you think this just opens up more doors to abuse and min-max issues?