Playing the game is about having fun and being part of a fantastic story. Of course, all stories have an end, and the character you play is no different. There are several ways that your character can meet his or her end.
The simplest and most obvious end for a character is death. Once your character has died and passed on, they can no longer be played. See “Fate” for more details.
You can choose to have your character written out of the story at any point. This may involve a scripted death or other permanent story removal, or your character may simply wander off into the world never to return. In any case, choosing to write a character out is a permanent decision and should be treated the same as death. You will no longer be allowed to play a character who has been written out under any circumstances. Note that some players do this in tandem with a full character revision using karma, in which case the rules below about starting over do not apply.
Between 19th and 20th level, your character will be retired. Storytellers may craft a field battle centered around your character as a final tribute. This story may include an out-of-play vote for your character to ascend to immortality. Whatever the outcome of the vote, ownership will become involved to ensure your character becomes a permanent part of world lore in some satisfying way.
Even if you lose your character, the story (and the fun) goes on. You will be permitted to start a new character at half your previous character’s XP, to a minimum of 12. You’ll also gain fortune equal to half your old character’s total treasure value, a fortune cap equal to half your previous fortune cap, and gold equal to half your old character's gold total, which can be used to purchase your new character’s gear. If your character retired, you are also permitted to unlock one prestige (for which you meet the mechanical requirements) or stigma of your choosing (see Prestiges & Stigmas).