Keith Baker on "Raise Dead"

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For anybody who does not have an ENWorld account, here is a new interesting snippet from Keith Baker's blog. He was discussing Eberron, and the topic of how PC's are special is his rant of the day ;)

Morrus wrote:
Keith Baker talks about effects of the availability of Raise Dead on a fantasy civilization...

The "PCs are special" comes out in other ways. I don't know if this has been mentioned, but I don't imagine it's a vital thing, and it's one of my favorite points: Raise Dead. In 4E, it's specifically called out that you can't raise most people from the dead. By and large, when the fates cut your thread, it's over - you are sent to whatever your final fate may be. You can only be raised if you still have an unfulfilled destiny - and as it turns out, that's something most PCs (and presumably, many major villains) happen to have. This is a HUGE thing for me in terms of dealing with the logical impact of raise dead on a civilization. I've always been bothered by the basic issue of "If raise dead exists, how do wealthy people ever die of anything except old age?" 4E gives the answer: raise dead is a divine gift that can only call back those touched by destiny; while when King Jarot is assassinated, that IS destiny. Bringing him back simply isn't an option.


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Ugh. Just ugh.
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
I'm hoping there's one Raise Dead ritual, rather than a handful of grave-defiers such as Raise Dead, Resurrection and True Resurrection. Which is kind of like having Raise Dead and Raise Dead 2: Raise Harder.

Sounds logical to restrict its use to only characters with an unfulfilled destiny.
I like it, it will actually work well with my homebrew setting.

Where certain individuals are considered "Reality-Deviants" where basically every step they take, slightly alters reality and every major event in their lives has a kind of butterfly effect.

Raise Dead can work into this, as that those who are Reality-Deviants can circumnavigate death (which is still bound to Reality) and return to life.

While the general populace can't, and since obviously major PCs and BBEGs would be amongst Reality-Deviants then works quite well
Hm-umh. This doesn't really convince me. Seems like a handwaving explanation to me, a little to much deus ex machina. Why wouldn't King Jarot have unfulfilled things to do...
Ugh. Just ugh.

Do you have an explanation for this statement, or are you just trolling?
For anybody who does not have an ENWorld account, here is a new interesting snippet from Keith Baker's blog. He was discussing Eberron, and the topic of how PC's are special is his rant of the day ;)

Simple, beautiful, and tied nicely in the concept of 4e characters as heroes from an epic.

Also, certain to give proponents of the "You are not a unique and beautiful snowflake, maggot!" school of gaming hives.
Hm-umh. This doesn't really convince me. Seems like a handwaving explanation to me, a little to much deus ex machina. Why wouldn't King Jarot have unfulfilled things to do...

King Jarot could have things he could fulfil and be raised before his assassination. Perhaps it causes an outcry leading to a war against a neighbouring state, etc. Just your average peasant who will die of disease won't be able be raised because there is no legacy or destiny awaiting him.

While it is centered towards the PCs that is because in your average campaign it is the PCs that you as the DM and as such you who controls Destiny are concentrating on them.
Finally!
I always made it so raising from the dead was only an option VERY SOON after the body dies (like, 10 minutes, max), but I like this better. Power to the DMs!
While it is centered towards the PCs that is because in your average campaign it is the PCs that you as the DM and as such you who controls Destiny are concentrating on them.

Well, of course you're right, but I think this explanation makes every fantasy world a little incoherent. Granted, the focus of any RPG should always be on the heroes, that is, the PCs, but nonetheless I like it better when the background follows some rules as well, preferably the same ones as the heroes.
In any case, everything's always up to the DM, so there isn't really a need to argue If anybody doesn't like Keith's explanation because it doesn't fit his opionion of how the campaign world should work, he doesn't have to use it.
*Nods* Heck, you can make NPCs using PC-mechanics so technically they would be PCs just N(PC)s... Wow, that is getting really specific with being dead-set on using core-rules exactly as written, lol.

But to go forward with that, any NPC that is brought back can be viewed in the same light as having as important or more important destiny then the PCs.
I do like it. And I would love it a lot if in eberron it implied playing a mini adventure in which you fight the pull of dolurrh.
Hm-umh. This doesn't really convince me. Seems like a handwaving explanation to me, a little to much deus ex machina. Why wouldn't King Jarot have unfulfilled things to do...

Instead of reading "The PCs are special",

squint your eyes a bit...

tilt your head 32 degrees to the left...

and stare at it cross-eyed until it reads "The DM decides who's special".

That's what I did and it worked fine for me.

Fairbanks
Fairbanks, level 5 Human, Slayer (Multiclass: Cavalier) Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort Background: Blademaster (Acrobatics class skill) Theme: Neverwinter Noble FINAL ABILITY SCORES STR 18, CON 10, DEX 17, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 13 STARTING ABILITY SCORES STR 16, CON 10, DEX 16, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 12 AC: 20 Fort: 19 Ref: 16 Will: 14 HP: 49/49 Surges: 6/9 Surge Value: 10 [X] Action Point [] Second Wind TRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +10, Athletics +11, Diplomacy +8, Endurance +7, Intimidate +8 UNTRAINED SKILLS Arcana +2, Bluff +3, Dungeoneering +2, Heal +2, History +2, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +2, Stealth +5, Streetwise +3, Thievery +5 POWERS Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack Card Link Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack Card Link [] Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort Card Link [X] [X] Multiple Class Attack: Power Strike Card Link [X] Fighter Utility: Duelist's Assault Card Link [] Fighter Utility: Mobile Blade Card Link [] Level 2 Utility: Honorable Challenge Card Link [] Neverwinter Noble Utility: Take Heart, Friend! Card Link Multiple Class Utility: Defender Aura Card Link [] Paladin Attack: Righteous Radiance Card Link FEATS Level 1: Heavy Blade Expertise Level 1: Armor Finesse Level 2:Heavy Armor Agility Level 4: Squire of Righteousness ITEMS Dagger x3 Adventurer's Kit Aecris Black Iron Scale Mail +1 Horned Helm (Heroic Tier) Holy Symbol of Bahamut 1 Opal 73g 145s 50c
I think the point of the blog was to illustrate the difference between a heroic character and a rich noble. In 3.X if you had enough money, you'd be able to live forever. This is leading more toward, just because you can afford it, doesn't mean you get it.

I think its a way to sweep NPCs under the carpet. I can also see many ways to write this into the plot. Seeing as reoccurring villains never happened in my 3.x games after the first one was raised from the dead. My Players now destroy the bodies and scatter the ashes of more powerful villains. Maybe this will prevent them from using this tactic and giving me some reoccurring bad guys. (Why can't a NPC have a destiny?) I like this fluff. Especially the crunchy part.
Also just another idea for Destiny is inter-linking Destiny.

Lets take King Jartos Destiny of being assassinated, if he was raised before the assassination this is because his Destiny will lead to the Destinies of others coming into being. Just imagine knowing your Destiny and the reason you were brought back was to create and bring about the Destiny of another, now to me that is really fun concept.
Hm-umh. This doesn't really convince me. Seems like a handwaving explanation to me, a little to much deus ex machina. Why wouldn't King Jarot have unfulfilled things to do...

Some people's entire purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others. King Jarot was destined to die, so he remains dead.
Some people's entire purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others. King Jarot was destined to die, so he remains dead.

Kind of like Batman's parents.

Dozens (hundreds?) of individuals in the DC universe have come back from the dead (in some cases, multiple times), but Dr. and Mrs. Wayne stay dead because it's important to the Batman story.

If it's important to your DM's story that Jarot dies (for good), then he dies.

Fairbanks
Fairbanks, level 5 Human, Slayer (Multiclass: Cavalier) Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort Background: Blademaster (Acrobatics class skill) Theme: Neverwinter Noble FINAL ABILITY SCORES STR 18, CON 10, DEX 17, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 13 STARTING ABILITY SCORES STR 16, CON 10, DEX 16, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 12 AC: 20 Fort: 19 Ref: 16 Will: 14 HP: 49/49 Surges: 6/9 Surge Value: 10 [X] Action Point [] Second Wind TRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +10, Athletics +11, Diplomacy +8, Endurance +7, Intimidate +8 UNTRAINED SKILLS Arcana +2, Bluff +3, Dungeoneering +2, Heal +2, History +2, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +2, Stealth +5, Streetwise +3, Thievery +5 POWERS Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack Card Link Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack Card Link [] Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort Card Link [X] [X] Multiple Class Attack: Power Strike Card Link [X] Fighter Utility: Duelist's Assault Card Link [] Fighter Utility: Mobile Blade Card Link [] Level 2 Utility: Honorable Challenge Card Link [] Neverwinter Noble Utility: Take Heart, Friend! Card Link Multiple Class Utility: Defender Aura Card Link [] Paladin Attack: Righteous Radiance Card Link FEATS Level 1: Heavy Blade Expertise Level 1: Armor Finesse Level 2:Heavy Armor Agility Level 4: Squire of Righteousness ITEMS Dagger x3 Adventurer's Kit Aecris Black Iron Scale Mail +1 Horned Helm (Heroic Tier) Holy Symbol of Bahamut 1 Opal 73g 145s 50c
I simply repeat what was said on the ENworld boards.
"Rules enshrined DM-Fiat"
Really, that sentence basically means "PCs and plot important NPCs can be raised (unless the plots requires them to stay dead). Or in other words: "The DM arbitrarily decides who can be raised". Whats that for a rule? And that just because some DMs are so lazy that they can't work with the D&D world and instead want a generic mediveal Britain fantasy world with generic cheap fantasy (or other genres) book plots and always throw a hissy fit whenever a D&D abilities interferes with their railroad.
I simply repeat what was said on the ENworld boards.
"Rules enshrined DM-Fiat"
Really, that sentence basically means "PCs and plot important NPCs can be raised (unless the plots requires them to stay dead). Or in other words: "The DM arbitrarily decides who can be raised". Whats that for a rule?

That was the rule in every edition so far... and every other tabletop RPG that allows Resurrections. Only that in older editions players were tricked into thinking they had control... but as always, their control is only loaned to them by their DM.

There is a reason Deus ex Machina and Dungeon Master both have a D and an M as the first letters of their prominent words... ;P
Good lord..this is still no different from how raise dead worked in 3e, they just gave it some new fluff.

For example, they didn't even bother explain just what "being special" entailed, they left it up to the DM to adjudicate, pretty much the way it worked back then.

Hypothetically, the DM could say that everyone in the campaign has a special destiny and could be raised...:P

And you people are all falling over in awe it like it was the greatest invention ever...
My statement was basically that rather than create sensible rules that both the DM and players could like they put the onus on the poor sap coming up with the adventures.

Either you carte blanc allow characters to be raised or you have to have a campaign where every PC is some destined hero. It is bad enough we have to create all the adventures and try to come up with interesting plots but now we have to justify whether we decide or not to allow characters to be raised. To me it is just a cop out on the designers' part.
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
This may or may not help in your situation Pyke, but... Just an idea I had from ENWorld thread on this:

That could actually mean, that the Destiny to befowl you is loose and only when you begin to step into that Destiny that Destiny begins to become a presence in your life.

Sorta the idea, that one has the opportunity to step into one's Destiny either knowingly or unknowingly or mis-step and become simply a normal adventurer.

The previous post was talking about how, at Heroic it is extremely costly or impossible to be raised, but when you start getting into Paragon and Epic you can. Thus my idea of when your reaching Paragon and Epic your stepping into your Destiny. While ordinary adventurers, etc. who are simply Heroic or just that adventurers.
Hypothetically, the DM could say that everyone in the campaign has a special destiny and could be raised...:P

Or that nobody is special, just like our world!
...

A Challenger Approaches
IMAGE(http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c266/ryukenangel/jesussilhouette.jpg)

And you people are all falling over in awe it like it was the greatest invention ever...

All joking asside, the awe is simply because, at least for me, nobody has ever explained a reason why Raise Dead never happened to "common people" in the world with a reason other than "Because I am the DM and I say so."

Essentially, it does go back to the "STFU, I'm Teh DM" reason, but one must assume that the DM is making the ruling of who is "touched by destiny" based on his honest opinion on the narrative interacting with the rules (like all his rulings should be.)

Honestly, some people get so worked up about Rule 0 abuse :whatsthis
Let your voice be heard! Tell WotC to Publish D&D 4e under the OGL!
Or that nobody is special, just like our world!

Whichever floats your boat, though I agree that raise dead mechanics must nevertheless exist as it is not a question of if a PC will die, but when, so there must still be rules to govern them.

All joking asside, the awe is simply because, at least for me, nobody has ever explained a reason why Raise Dead never happened to "common people" in the world with a reason other than "Because I am the DM and I say so."

Well, for common folk, affording a raise dead is way beyond their meager budget. The recipient must also be willing to come back, so that can explain why some attempts fail.

Do people in your games run around casting raise dead on every corpse they see?
Who can be raised? Protagonists and antagonists. That's what I expect to see as a guide for Raise Dead's usage.

King Jarot stays dead because, well, he's just a king. Monarchs aren't really that important in the grand scheme of things, even if their title has a lot of prestige and maybe some responsibility. But PCs, and the major villains who oppose them - that's different.
I simply repeat what was said on the ENworld boards.
"Rules enshrined DM-Fiat"
Really, that sentence basically means "PCs and plot important NPCs can be raised (unless the plots requires them to stay dead). Or in other words: "The DM arbitrarily decides who can be raised". Whats that for a rule? And that just because some DMs are so lazy that they can't work with the D&D world and instead want a generic mediveal Britain fantasy world with generic cheap fantasy (or other genres) book plots and always throw a hissy fit whenever a D&D abilities interferes with their railroad.

Just because a DM doesn't like YOUR vision of the world does not make them lazy. Just because I favor T.H. White over a world where raising the dead is the last thing you learn before advancing to card tricks on the road to becoming a carnival act doesn't mean I lack imagination.

EVERY DM I have EVER seen has house rules that vary from the books. Generally speaking, death is one of those EVERY time. The 'arbitrary' rulings are not the same, but bring people back from the dead is far more than "pay your gold, sing a hym, and pick me up some rations on your way out of the temple."

It SHOULD be a big deal and it SHOULD be difficult. Now if you have a vision where everyone lives to their assigned maximum age because raise dead is so cheap, run with it. Certainly it would make assassin's lives difficult- almost to the 'why bother' point unless they developed special techniques to circumvent it.

King Jarot dies by assassination. How does he stay dead? The temple wants to ressurrect him. Divination will find the body. Teleport will get the body to them...

The powers in the game are meant to cover a wide variety of abilites in myth, legend, and fantasy. You can be Conan (or Thoth Amon), Lancelot (or Merlin), Skeeve (or Aahz), or something else entirely. To cover all this leaves room for certain 'breaking points' if power gamed by enterprising players (not like we know any of them).

In the end, it is a game and it is supposed to be fun.
Whichever floats your boat, though I agree that raise dead mechanics must nevertheless exist as it is not a question of if a PC will die, but when, so there must still be rules to govern them.



Well, for common folk, affording a raise dead is way beyond their meager budget. The recipient must also be willing to come back, so that can explain why some attempts fail.

Do people in your games run around casting raise dead on every corpse they see?

Why is raise dead expensive? What does it COST to perform? Nothing? Oh, ok... Just have to be a priest of X level, and unlike most religions in OUR reality, you can find a DnD diety to match whatever your depraved mind can come up with. Worship a goddess of money and greed and raising the dead for profit seems quite reasonable.

Churches need money. Competition, supply and demand. There is a certain amount of despartion involved, given the circumstances. Viola. Cheap ressurrections. Commonplace ones.

Of course, now you'll have a tough time finding ghosts to haunt your houses because everyone got to live a full life. That's another matter. No tragic young death, no hero lost before his time. Heck, why not have players carry a "get out of hades free" card so you don't have to sidetrack your hack n slash with the RP drag of finding a priest and having him perform this service? Let players ressurrect themselves mid combat. It will be all the fun of EQ, only YOU get to do all the math.

I know....even better....just not let people die at all!!
Really, all this does is clarify what 3.x meant when it specified that ressing only works if the spirit is both willing and wanting to return to prime. Before one could make the argument that bob the farmer (even though he's now supposedly in some paradise) would come back out of a sense of duty to his family.

Now ressing actually means something. One of my biggest problems with 3.x (especially with FR, ****ing epic npc glut) is that the PCs have absolutely nothing setting them apart from anything else in the world. NPCs many lvls higher than you are so commonplace you often wonder why the hell anybody would ever hire you to even clean the litterbox, much less save the world. Monsters are built using the exact same rules you use, yet they are balanced to fight 4 of you.

Now in 4ed, you ARE the heroes of the story. NPCs aren't 12 lvls higher than you just to show how badass their farming skills are or be able to teach you anything. Monsters are neither built like PCs or most so powerful they can take on 4-6 PCs by themself. People come to YOU to solve their problems, rather than you hoping to catch the scrap jobs the local epic NPC doesn't feel like using one spell out of his Infinite Library of Scrolls (TM). Ressing is something you get to do because you are a main character, not because you have an insane amount of money to blow.

I hate it when it feels like the only reason I'm doing something is because I'm a PC and not a Hero (sometimes I don't even get that, damn DMPCs). Hooray for 4ed putting the Hero back into Heroic Fantasy
This makes me wonder...

If a hero has some great, unfulfilled destiny waiting in store for him, why do we still even need raise dead? Won't the gods just resurrect him on the spot when he gets KO'ed (if they have so much vested interest in him)? Why even bother waiting for day, months, maybe even years for a cleric to chance upon his body (an event which may not even occur) and then, he has to have the desire to raise him?

I dunno - Keith's explanation seems to make sense when you first glance at it, but after some thought, all sorts of inconsistencies appear to start popping up in my mind...:embarrass

(especially with FR, ****ing epic npc glut) is that the PCs have absolutely nothing setting them apart from anything else in the world. NPCs many lvls higher than you are so commonplace you often wonder why the hell anybody would ever hire you to even clean the litterbox, much less save the world.

It is the same concept with the justice league. Even though there are really-super heroes like superman, green lantern and wonder woman, they still can't be everywhere at once and save everyone. Thus, you still have room for less powerful heroes like the green arrow to help out as and when they are needed.

The chosen of mystra are plentiful, but even they can't help all the millions of people in FR, considering that they still have their own duties and responsibilities to attend to (Alustriel and Simbul are queens of their own countries, for example).

After all, you may be strong, but you are not necessarily the strongest. There will always be someone greater than you.
Simple, whoever has control over Destiny, such as the Gods or Fates only has control over your Soul, since when you die as it passes on into the Shadowfell. They can keep it there, stop it from moving on into whatever lays beyond.

However they do not have direct control over the World or any Material Realms, thus they must wait for someone to use Raise Dead. The power, is their only stake in the land of the living and ability to help those with Destinies.
JLA isn't a very good example. A world full of Dr. Stranges would be more appropriate because unlike superman, Dr. Strange CAN just snap his fingers and solve the problem
I simply repeat what was said on the ENworld boards.
"Rules enshrined DM-Fiat"
Really, that sentence basically means "PCs and plot important NPCs can be raised (unless the plots requires them to stay dead). Or in other words: "The DM arbitrarily decides who can be raised". Whats that for a rule? And that just because some DMs are so lazy that they can't work with the D&D world and instead want a generic mediveal Britain fantasy world with generic cheap fantasy (or other genres) book plots and always throw a hissy fit whenever a D&D abilities interferes with their railroad.

Generally I would agree with you, but this isn't just any rule but instead a high power gift from the gods with major campaign altering effects. As such this is one rule the DM should have strong control over.
I don't like raise dead at will, and I was about to make some type of ruling on it for 3.X, but I don't like leaving it up to the DM due to biased DM's. I would at least put some guidelines in like the rules for creating artifact weapons in 3.X.
I don't like raise dead at will, and I was about to make some type of ruling on it for 3.X, but I don't like leaving it up to the DM due to biased DM's. I would at least put some guidelines in like the rules for creating artifact weapons in 3.X.

Those sound like guidelines to me, honestly.

And everything in D&D is DM whim, its just that most play close to the rules to avoid stupid and arbitrary stuff.
That makes me glad; I DM'd Eberron using a similar but more Eberron-specific guideline, suggested by Keith Baker as well: that most people would lose their soul to Dollurh very quickly, but the PC's "just happened" to never have that problem. (Epic destiny or random chance, depending on how you want to play it.)

I simply repeat what was said on the ENworld boards.
"Rules enshrined DM-Fiat"

That's exactly why I like it. I think DM Fiat needs to be explained and enshrined in a few places in the rules. When I first read about "Eldritch Machines" in the Eberron book, I thought it was kind of silly and pointless. "It's just saying the DM doesn't have to flip through books looking for specific spells to justify magical things to annoying players. I already do that." But then I saw that so many DM's on the boards grabbed onto this idea like it was some awe-inspiring new element that would finally let them run the adventures they wanted. "Wow! I could make a villain who has some evil plan that's not in the wizard spell list! And if my players complain, I can just say it's an Eldritch Machine!"

I think 3e inspired too much of an "everything must be within a WotC book" mentality, where players felt compelled to argue with DM's if it sounded like the DM was using something that wasn't an official spell or item. I think it's important for the rulebooks to point out some places where the players shouldn't bother the DM about things, and Raise Dead is definitely one of those things that a consistency-minded DM will always have a problem with if he's not allowed to curtail its availability to the world somehow. The Wish spell was another good example. Of course, it shouldn't go too far; DM's shouldn't be throwing out unbalanced rules and making up combat abilities to kill all the PC's or railroad the plot. That's exactly why the books should point out specific instances where DM Fiat needs to come into play and where it should be avoided.
Of course, it shouldn't go too far; DM's shouldn't be throwing out unbalanced rules and making up combat abilities to kill all the PC's or railroad the plot. That's exactly why the books should point out specific instances where DM Fiat needs to come into play and where it should be avoided.

When you say "throwing out unbalanced rules", do you mean:

1) Creating unbalanced rules? (I agree, the DM should not be doing this)
2) Removing unbalanced rules from the game? (I disagree; as DM, I see one of my primary tasks as keeping the game balanced and enjoyable for everyone involved)
When you say "throwing out unbalanced rules", do you mean:

1) Creating unbalanced rules? (I agree, the DM should not be doing this)
2) Removing unbalanced rules from the game? (I disagree; as DM, I see one of my primary tasks as keeping the game balanced and enjoyable for everyone involved)

I read it first time as 1). It was really the only way it made sense to me. Of course, I've seen wierder opinions on the boards, so...
When you say "throwing out unbalanced rules", do you mean:

1) Creating unbalanced rules? (I agree, the DM should not be doing this)
2) Removing unbalanced rules from the game? (I disagree; as DM, I see one of my primary tasks as keeping the game balanced and enjoyable for everyone involved)

Yes, I meant #1. I meant "throwing out" as in just throwing them out there in the middle of a game without thinking about it. Sorry, I could have been a little clearer.
It's quite simple really.

the new fluff, or at least KB's wording of it shows the player's why the DM who wants an NPC to stay dead, as opposed to being worded as to let the players believe there may be some sort of discussion/argument that would let them prove that the NPC really would want to come back.

Most times that I have experienced this, it involved murder and PC saying "well, we should just raise the guy from the dead to help find out who killed him and why" and then arguing with the DM that the guy would want to come back, because he was murdered and wouldn't every one want to at least finish life?

This new way, the player can see in the book where it says "DM will make ruling" instead of "some people come back, others don't want to" and it is clear as to what is going on when the DM says "no dice on raising this guy, guess his purpose was served"

One of the best ways the book can support the existence of Rule 0 in my opinion. I personally hate arguing the rules mid-session just because the book isn't clear enough that "DM Fiat" is a valid part of the game, and not the DM being unfair or a jerk.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

This makes me wonder if there will be some plot out there where some evil wizard first kills everyone in the world, then tries to raise them all to see who are earmarked by the gods as being someone special...:D
Let me ask all of you guys here a question.

How many of your players asked to or had done a raise dead on just a random NPC, like a commoner. Let's say (in 3.x) you're walking on the road and you notice a band of brigands attacking a wagon. These brigands kill the mother and father, but you are able to valiantly slay these nasty brigands. Do you then take the mom and pop to your local church and have them rezzed? Most (and i stress most not ALL) would not have them raised. Why? Who knows, every party may have there own reasons. All that Keith Baker is saying is that now there is a fluff reason behind this. It's more story and fluffiness to raise dead.