Restricting the raise dead ritual

42 posts / 0 new
Last post
Looking for a little bit of advice about restricting a specific ritual from PC usage, the raise dead ritual.

Background: Eberron slightly homebrewed campaign, players are level 4 at the moment and have 2 ritual casters 1 Wizard and 1 Bard. This is my first time DMing a campaign

Reasons for restriction: Firstly I want player death to be a real hurdle not just 'lol cast raise dead' which I feel takes a bit of the danger out of adventuring.
Secondly it makes House Jorasco (healing house/megacorp)  and some other factions seem more powerful if they are the only ones who have anyone able to do it
Thirdly raising the dead is meant to be very hard at times in Eberron given the way the planes work there and the story is occuring at a time when Dollurh (plane of the dead) is at its maximum 'distance' from the material plane. This is actually getting worked into the plot as a reason for a powerful necromancer turning to outside force to maintain/gain power as his power source becomes weaker.

My problem is the fact that Wizards (and I think bards) gain free rituals every so many levels and I'm not sure how Kosher it is to simply say "no you cant pick that, desnt matter what the PHB says" and point to my story reasons.

Any advice oh old ones?
I think that if you explain it to your players as well as you did to us, they're probably fine with it. Especially if you add an "I won't arbitrarily kill your character" to it (which you shouldn't do anyway)

I see no real issues with restricting this kind of thing unless the players are really, really, really opposed to the idea, which they probably aren't. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Call me crazy, but I'd probably go a different, more surprising direction with this. I'd allow raise dead, but I'd have whoever sells them the ritual tell them that raising the dead is dangerous and that IF it works, the person might come back... changed. And that the more changed they become with repeated application of the ritual, the less and less like themselves they become until they go insane and try to kill everyone they've ever loved OR they melt into an unstable puddle of goo. Let the PCs dismiss the crazy old coot's warnings and have their ritual scrolls (or whatever).

Then I'd grab my deck of Gamma World mutation cards. A PC that gets raised comes back with a weird bio mutation - a third arm, a thick carapace, nasty quills, etc... something brought back "from the other side." (queue scary music) They'd get the cool power associated with it. The second time that PC comes back from the dead, he comes back with another strange mutation, this time probably psi or dark. But if they are raised a third time, they are completely altered. They become a monster or NPC and the character is lost forever. It attempts to attack the other PCs, flee into the hills, or crumbles to dust before the PCs' very eyes.
 
I'd do this because it meets the players half way - they can raise dead, but it costs. And the cost is cool and a little beneficial... for a while. It makes raise dead impactful, dreadful even. And what player is going to forget the time he played a goliath bard with a third arm?

Give it a shot. If you don't have the Gamma World materials, support your local gaming store, or simply make it up on your own. Who cares if it's too powerful as well... it won't come up often enough to matter.  

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

yeah, i'd never just kill their characters, I did ask them to put a lot of creation into them and that would be a total dickmove on my part.

One of the PC's actually already knows that there is something wrong with raising the dead in Eberron as his love interest PC is actually a disguised Revenant  who was subject to raise dead and came back 'wrong' .

Screwing with/mutating returnees has promise but I think I'd have to give them some sort of way of undoing it, nothing easy of course but something fun. I wish I had a local gaming store, depending on your definition of local the nearest one is near 200 miles away
I personally wouldn't allow them to be removed because (1) it gives death some "teeth" which is what you wanted and (2) the player will probably love having the mutation and won't want to get rid of it anyway (at least from the player's perspective if not the character's). It also gives you as the DM a neat way of limiting raise undead which is what you want to do anyway - 3 strikes and you're out.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I personally wouldn't allow them to be removed because (1) it gives death some "teeth" which is what you wanted and (2) the player will probably love having the mutation and won't want to get rid of it anyway (at least from the player's perspective if not the character's). It also gives you as the DM a neat way of limiting raise undead which is what you want to do anyway - 3 strikes and you're out.




True, my worry is either the mutation will be too negative and the player will tank their character or too positive and I'll end up with players going kamikaze so they too could have an awesome mutation

A strike system might work, Eberron fluff does mention that souls sort of dissolve after death, maybe I could work that in with some post-death aberrations
Yeah, I can see how you might think that. It's easy to focus on how the potential negatives might affect the campaign overall. But the truth is, death doesn't happen that often, especially if as you say you aren't out to kill anyone. I think it would come up only once in a very long while, enough to be interesting, but not enough to be game breaking. And the three strikes allow them to have a fun time "in the margins" yet knowing that their next death could be their last. Anyway, fun to think about even if it's not implemented.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Remember that the character must have a strong desire to live in order to be raisable. If they suicide themselves they're pretty much lacking in that regard which means they can't be raised anymore Tongue out

Other then that playing out the ressurection and adding a lasting after effect to it sound pretty cool, I intend to let my players have a little adventure in order to bring someone back to life, but so far none of them have died...
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
They best way to restrict it is to go with the 4th core ways of death, if you want them dead, make sure raise dead wont bring em back.  Drop the caracters in a boiling pit of mythril anyone?
I took it to the other extreme ... I adjusted the death/dying rules to make it much harder for a character to die, but once they're dead, they're dead.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Raise Dead can be plenty hard to pull off as it is. Look at it this way, the PCs are a man (or elf, or whatever) down, most likely in enemy territory, need 500 gp (or much more) of ritual components, and an uninterrupted 8 hours. Just like the illustration at the beginning of the Rituals chapter in the PHB, there's nothing requiring the DM to let things go off smoothly.

Just bring up these sort of details like "who is carrying the body back to town?" "who has the ritual components?" (that one can even be the source of a mini sidequest), and bringing back a dead PC won't be a minor detail.
That's Someone, with a capital S. "Cat's out of the bag on that one, isn't it? Who puts cats in bags, anyway? Cats hate bags." -Sheogorath, Oblivion
I took it to the other extreme. The point of my games is not to kill the characters but to defeat them.

Looking for a little bit of advice about restricting a specific ritual from PC usage, the raise dead ritual.

Background: Eberron slightly homebrewed campaign, players are level 4 at the moment and have 2 ritual casters 1 Wizard and 1 Bard. This is my first time DMing a campaign

Reasons for restriction: Firstly I want player death to be a real hurdle not just 'lol cast raise dead' which I feel takes a bit of the danger out of adventuring.

Does it really, though? If a character dies in combat, that's a major problem. If you're gunning for a TPK, it just became that much more likely since the party has just lost a major resource, be it damage output, leadership, defense or... whatever it is controllers are supposed to do. If you're just trying to keep them from accomplishing a goal, you've cost them 4 to 8 hours of downtime or at least more limited effectiveness.

Don't forget the penalty to rolls that you get for three milestones after raise dead. You can't just sleep that off and it effectively drops a character by 1 to 2 levels in a lot of ways. That's got some bite to it.

But, look, what if a character couldn't come back at all? It might be a little sad, but surely you'd just allow the character to roll up another character. Do that enough and you're back to having death not mean anything more than just casting a ritual. By the way, I recommend having the new character also suffer the -1 penalty for three milestones, to represent initial trouble integrating with the new group.

Secondly it makes House Jorasco (healing house/megacorp)  and some other factions seem more powerful if they are the only ones who have anyone able to do it

Who says that has to be the case? Even if it is the case in basic Eberron (and I don't think it is) you're already homebrewing so it wouldn't be that much extra to say that Jorasco might be better at it, but they don't have a monopoly. They can certainly sell scrolls, and hey maybe if you use a Jorasco house or product the death penalty only lasts for two milestones.

Thirdly raising the dead is meant to be very hard at times in Eberron given the way the planes work there and the story is occuring at a time when Dollurh (plane of the dead) is at its maximum 'distance' from the material plane. This is actually getting worked into the plot as a reason for a powerful necromancer turning to outside force to maintain/gain power as his power source becomes weaker.

So, make it harder. State that sometimes the players will have to take the body to a specific location that is "close" to Dollurh year round in order for the ritual to work, the component price is higher, the death penalty lasts longer, or all three or even worse. Just don't do it is as a retroactive penalty, but make the situation clear beforehand.

My problem is the fact that Wizards (and I think bards) gain free rituals every so many levels and I'm not sure how Kosher it is to simply say "no you cant pick that, desnt matter what the PHB says" and point to my story reasons.

It's kosher, but it's the cheap way out. Resist it.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

If you want NO rasise dead ritual access, then simply remove it. I'd at least inform the players well ahead of time, and be prepared to receive objections.

But...

If you simply waant it *harder*, then require a few more hurdles:


  • Location: The ritual only works at feylines, or temples of the Raven Queen (or any other limited-access place). The idea is that raising a dead PC becomes an adventure in itself!

  • Timing: The ritual only works during a full moon, during solstices, or after the body has lain in state for three days. An added advantage is that this can make gentle repose a much more important ritual to have and use.

  • Price: Jack each tier price up tenfold. This might not have much impact at higher levels.

  • Feat: Require an extra resurrection feat to be able to cast it. Although a ritual, bringing someone back from the dead takes a little extra.

  • Tier: Ritual caster must be of a higher tier than the dead guy. Epic deaths require something even more impressive.This also results in a mini-adventure to find such a person.

  • Station: Require that a very select few individuals on the planet / realm can successfully perform this ritual. This also results in a mini-adventure to find such a person.


Mix and match as you see fit.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I dunno, I guess my answer to everything D&D these days is "Do something nobody expects." I kind of feel like I've seen all of these suggestions before (no offense - it doesn't mean they're not perfectly viable and meaningful). Every campaign I've ever played in has either allowed raise dead straight up, not at all, or put hoops out for the players to jump through. I think we can do better than just those three options. I think we can set it up where raise dead can be jazzed up to be the miracle that it really is or darkened a bit to make it both a blessing and a curse.

In essence, if you want to make raise dead impactful, the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to increase its rarity. Following that logic, the conclusion then would be to do what's already been suggested, which is something everyone's already seen before. Whether it's my mutation idea or something more crazy, if you give your players something new and interesting, they will run with it. It's also easy to be intimidated by throwing a curveball in your campaign, but you'd be surprised the interesting directions a little chaos can make a campaign take.

Go new, go weird, go memorable - not just for raise dead rituals, but every chance you get.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I took it to the other extreme ... I adjusted the death/dying rules to make it much harder for a character to die, but once they're dead, they're dead.



I'm currently playing in a campaign where something similar to this is going on; we occasionally have to do major fights 'outside of time', where we get all sorts of special bonuses becuase we're fighting to free the god of time and she's helping us.

But if we die when outside of time, that's it, you're done.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
That said, Raise Dead is pretty restrictive as it is. Its cost is nothing to sneeze at at any tier. And if you're worried about trivializing it when used on NPC's for example, then also start looking at the suggestions above.
Heroic Dungeon Master
That said, Raise Dead is pretty restrictive as it is. Its cost is nothing to sneeze at at any tier. And if you're worried about trivializing it when used on NPC's for example, then also start looking at the suggestions above.

NPCs are easy. The person has to choose to return, and they just... don't for some reason.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

NPCs are easy. The person has to choose to return, and they just... don't for some reason.




Most people who make it to heaven (or some variant thereof) wouldn't choose to return to Earth (or some variant thereof).



It takes a particular sort of personality to give up eternal bliss for limited suffering, in order to protect others.  And very few NPCs have that personality (though granted, a lot of people like police officers and firemen probably would).
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Just to mention as well; I heavily restrict Raise Dead in my own campaign. I leave the choice of whether the character comes back or not to the player himself. If he really wants his character to return from the grave, we come up with a plausible story reason.
But mostly, my players take death in stride and create new characters. They like the variety.
Heroic Dungeon Master
NPCs are easy. The person has to choose to return, and they just... don't for some reason.

Most people who make it to heaven (or some variant thereof) wouldn't choose to return to Earth (or some variant thereof).

It takes a particular sort of personality to give up eternal bliss for limited suffering, in order to protect others.  And very few NPCs have that personality (though granted, a lot of people like police officers and firemen probably would).

Exactly. Being a fantasy setting, there could be any number of other reasons. Maybe the Raven Queen convinces the NPC to become a revenant, or offers some other deal. Maybe death was so horrible that it doesn't want to go through it again.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

NPCs generally don't have a special destiny (or at least a potential special destiny), so they don't come back, period - it doesn't matter whether they'd be willing to.

Raise Dead is already burdensome enough on the PCs and mainly exists as a safety valve in case something goes wrong.

Likewise, trying to remove/restrict it on the basis that it will "enhance roleplaying" or "make the players care about their characters" may well end up having the opposite effect. Apart from being a dubious premise to start with, the lack of that safety valve is at least as likely to result in the players feeling LESS attached to their characters - it's not worth putting much effort or energy into a character that's subject to arbitrary demise without recourse.
I dunno, I guess my answer to everything D&D these days is "Do something nobody expects."

[...]

Go new, go weird, go memorable - not just for raise dead rituals, but every chance you get.

I feel like I wasted my time commenting in this thread. Your opening post said:

Looking for a little bit of advice about restricting a specific ritual from PC usage, the raise dead ritual.

But your last post seems to tell me you weren't looking for any advice at all.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I dunno, I guess my answer to everything D&D these days is "Do something nobody expects."

[...]

Go new, go weird, go memorable - not just for raise dead rituals, but every chance you get.

I feel like I wasted my time commenting in this thread. Your opening post said:

Looking for a little bit of advice about restricting a specific ritual from PC usage, the raise dead ritual.

But your last post seems to tell me you weren't looking for any advice at all.



I wasn't the original poster...

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Hey guys and gals, sorry about my lack of response here, my windows install decided to shoot itself in the head about 10 minutes after my last post.

I suppose my other issue with the raise dead/speak with dead rituals is the lack of um, creativity when trying to capture important NPC's...theres a lot of 'we'll just brutally stab the guy to death and question his spirit and/or raise him' . Just made it feel like death wasnt a big thing in the world.

Either way I am reading your responses and sort of distilling my own ideas out of them: aberrations upon rezzing, specific locations, possibly doing favors for Jorasco, minor quests to do the raising.

Maybe have the party go into Dollurh and pull the spirit out...
Why not incorporate that into the campaign? Have House Jorasco try to have a monopoly on the ritual. They have a way of detecting people who use it and put pressure on them to either join the house or stop using the ritual. If not, well strange accidents sometimes happen.

If you let the PCs know about it in game, it gives them a heads-up but also gives them the choice to use it or not. This also could lead to interesting adventures.

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

Why not incorporate that into the campaign? Have House Jorasco try to have a monopoly on the ritual. They have a way of detecting people who use it and put pressure on them to either join the house or stop using the ritual. If not, well strange accidents sometimes happen.

If you let the PCs know about it in game, it gives them a heads-up but also gives them the choice to use it or not. This also could lead to interesting adventures.



That's a good idea, too. PCs who cast rituals like raise dead - or really any healing rituals - might well have Jorasco chirurgeons and halfling cancer mages after them for infringing upon their livelihood. Running afoul of the houses, especially ones filled with "innocuous" halflings, is fun.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

 If not, well strange accidents sometimes happen.



Accidents involving the subject of an illegal Raise Dead coming back as a Vampire intent on sucking the caster's blood, for example. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
I wasn't the original poster...

Damn this middle-aged memory of mine! I offer my apology to both you and the original poster.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I wasn't the original poster...

Damn this middle-aged memory of mine! I offer my apology to both you and the original poster.




I'm not sure what's worse, your middle-age memory that thought I was the original poster, or my middle-age memory that forced me to double check to make sure I wasn't. No worries!

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

On the subject of death/resurection as a plot device, a great example was in the PAX Celebrity Game with Chris Perkins. The party goes to resurect one of the party members and . . .it doesn't work. The priest does a little of this and that and determines that he has already been resurected! So the resurection turns into a quest to rescue the other PC who is now a prisoner in hell. Or something. Absolutely worth watching if you haven't already.
True, my worry is either the mutation will be too negative and the player will tank their character...


Going back to my 3.5 days, I was a player in a long term campaign that had been killed.  First time for the party.  The group did have a reincarnation scroll.  My dwarf, orcs killed my parents, dungeon delver came back.. randomly... as an orc.

He was given a glimpse of a way out of being an orc, a vial at the bottom of the dungeon.   Suffice it to say, the now orc had a death wish and just ran trough the dungeon as fast as possiable.  He was already the group's rogue, but he was disarming all the traps like a barbarian and surviving.  Totally foiled the numerous traps to the DM's dismay.

What I am trying to get across, sometimes what you worry about the most turns out to be a great oppurtunity.

Oh, and the DM did get his revenge.  Upon opening the chest that contained the vial, he downed it in one gulp.  The rest of the group had to then cut open the dead orc's acid desolved body to retreave the ring of wish that was contained within.  


Looking for a little bit of advice about restricting a specific ritual from PC usage, the raise dead ritual.

Background: Eberron slightly homebrewed campaign, players are level 4 at the moment and have 2 ritual casters 1 Wizard and 1 Bard. This is my first time DMing a campaign

Reasons for restriction: Firstly I want player death to be a real hurdle not just 'lol cast raise dead' which I feel takes a bit of the danger out of adventuring.
Secondly it makes House Jorasco (healing house/megacorp)  and some other factions seem more powerful if they are the only ones who have anyone able to do it
Thirdly raising the dead is meant to be very hard at times in Eberron given the way the planes work there and the story is occuring at a time when Dollurh (plane of the dead) is at its maximum 'distance' from the material plane. This is actually getting worked into the plot as a reason for a powerful necromancer turning to outside force to maintain/gain power as his power source becomes weaker.

My problem is the fact that Wizards (and I think bards) gain free rituals every so many levels and I'm not sure how Kosher it is to simply say "no you cant pick that, desnt matter what the PHB says" and point to my story reasons.

Any advice oh old ones?



Depends on the players. Some may balk. Plus what are you going to do about Epic Destinies?

NPCs are easy. The person has to choose to return, and they just... don't for some reason.

Most people who make it to heaven (or some variant thereof) wouldn't choose to return to Earth (or some variant thereof).

It takes a particular sort of personality to give up eternal bliss for limited suffering, in order to protect others.  And very few NPCs have that personality (though granted, a lot of people like police officers and firemen probably would).

Exactly. Being a fantasy setting, there could be any number of other reasons. Maybe the Raven Queen convinces the NPC to become a revenant, or offers some other deal. Maybe death was so horrible that it doesn't want to go through it again.


This particular game is in Eberron, so no active gods. And I can't think of many reasons a soul wouldn't want to escape Dohlurr, the plane of the dead.
But maybe their soul can't come back because it's been taken by the Dreaming, or by those nifty chaos beasties, or they've already been raised by some other group?
Chandrak's awesome solutions to the 5-minute workday 'problem'
97183719 wrote:
Seeing as there is a disconnect between balance (quantifiable) and fun, (subjective and personal) discussing fun in a thread about balance because you find one system more enjoyable than another is as helpful as discussing religion in a thread about architectural engineering because you think cathedrals look prettier than outhouses.
Or maybe they want to escape Dohlurr, but the journey is too dangerous and they are held back every time they try. Only a true hero possesses the fortitude and the cunning to find his way out.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
I'm one of those people who is not a big fan of the raise dead ritual.  I went the route Salla did and made it harder for the players to die.  I did this by making it where failing the death saving throws do not mean you die.  

I essentially made it where if you fail them you can't come back in the current encounter and when you are back on your feet your are taking the penalties normally applied to someone who was raised.  I also have it where the character gains some type of scar depending on how they were taken down.

I had a player die by failing his throws and it sucked for me as well as the player.  It wasn't satisfying for anyone.


I essentially made it where if you fail them you can't come back in the current encounter

Has anybody ever been able to come back in the current encounter? I know 4e combat takes a while to resolve each encounter, but the ritual takes 8 hours to perform.

(Or is this reflecting the relaxed death rules you have in place after removing the ritual?
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I think he means that you can't heal someone with a Word after he failed 3 saves until the end of the encounter. That's the same rule Salla uses I think. When  you fail 3 saves, you don't die, but you are "out" until the end of the encounter, and then you can be healed normally.

Also you can certainly come back during the same encounter, there's a bunch of powers and items that allow emergency ressurection. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
This thread kinda inspired me, along with a great fairytale by the Brother's Grimm, to make my entry in the new XDMC. Feel free to check it out, it contains alternate rules for Death and Dying.

Godfather Death 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
NPCs are easy. The person has to choose to return, and they just... don't for some reason.

Most people who make it to heaven (or some variant thereof) wouldn't choose to return to Earth (or some variant thereof).

It takes a particular sort of personality to give up eternal bliss for limited suffering, in order to protect others.  And very few NPCs have that personality (though granted, a lot of people like police officers and firemen probably would).

Exactly. Being a fantasy setting, there could be any number of other reasons. Maybe the Raven Queen convinces the NPC to become a revenant, or offers some other deal. Maybe death was so horrible that it doesn't want to go through it again.

This particular game is in Eberron, so no active gods. And I can't think of many reasons a soul wouldn't want to escape Dohlurr, the plane of the dead.

No active gods that anyone knows about for sure. And there are other planes, so there are other beings that to your average NPC might appear to be gods and might have an offer the NPC soul might not be able to refuse.

But maybe their soul can't come back because it's been taken by the Dreaming, or by those nifty chaos beasties, or they've already been raised by some other group?

Exactly. Try not to limit yourself, or let the setting limit you too much.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

If you want to add a bit of comedy, whatever transports the dead back to life gets tired of making return trips. Eventually the players have to make a deal with him/her/it.

Just imagine the Grim Reaper coming to you with your friend, "This is the last time, I can't keep doing this. I knew mother was right. I should have been a dentist, but no I wanted to make a difference. Helping the dead pass on." 
Ant Farm
I essentially made it where if you fail them you can't come back in the current encounter

Has anybody ever been able to come back in the current encounter? I know 4e combat takes a while to resolve each encounter, but the ritual takes 8 hours to perform.

(Or is this reflecting the relaxed death rules you have in place after removing the ritual?

Right now I am playing it that if you fail the 3 throws then you are out but as Pluisjen stated there are other ways to bring people back.  If you had those ways and they would allow someone to come back then I would allow them.

What I posted above was the basic idea and how I was implementing it in my game.  When other stuff comes up I'll add to it.  I'm hoping to avoid problems by keeping it as simple as I can and then add to it when I come across things I didn't realize.

I actually think I need to up the level of the encounters i'm throwing at my players.  My players haven't had too much trouble the last few.  It makes it kind of tough for me to test my ideas when I don't get the PC's down.   

One thing I was thinking of adding is the ability of someone trained in heal to make a check that would reduce the amount of time the person was taking the -1 penalty for coming back.  For instance instead of reaching 3 milestones they would only need to reach 2 if the check was successful.
Sign In to post comments