New Race: Revenant (is FR losing its "setting feel"?)

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The guys over at Fear the Boot have a rule -1 (to continue the trend) that they tend to bring forth when talking about things like this. Paraphrased, it is:

[indent]You are responsible not only for your fun around an RPG table, but also for ensuring that your actions do not diminish the fun of other players.[/indent]

It is in the very nature of RPGs that conflicts in lore will arise. To expect otherwise is to place an unrealistic set of assumptions on the designers and developers of said games.

When we, as players, come across one of these conflicts, we have three options:

  • To hold fast to what has been written before, no matter the troubles that it causes around the table;
  • To hold fast to what has been written now, no matter the troubles it causes around the table; or
  • Accept the conflict between what was written, and what is written now, and make a compromise to ensure that everyone around the table has fun.


In this case, it may be that the player of the revenant tells the kelemvorite player that "My background says that I was raised as a revenant by Kelemvor and that I must take guidance from you and too bad if I get caught by one of your powers with the radiant keyword". The player of the kelemvorite may have to say "OK, my lore tells me that Kelemvor does, very rarely, use said creatures when they have an unfinished task that he wants completed, but if you step out of line...".

There are innumerable ways that the players of PCs that, looking solely at lore, are going conflict with each other. It is up to us, as players, to find a way around this.

Sometimes, the fun of the game must take precedence over the rules of the game.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
so, you would worry about damaging them with a power because it would make them less effective, but you wouldn't do anything to keep them from dying? there seems to me to be some sort of disconnect there.

Those were references to two separate types of characters, as well as shifting between the player's point-of-view and the character's.

As any cleric/avenger/invoker, the fact that it's likely I wouldn't be able to use one of my class abilities, in the very situation where it would be most helpful, without harming the PC would make me prefer some other PC at the table.

Were I playing a priest of Kelemvor, having to choose between roleplaying my character and being a jerk would also make me prefer some other PC at the table.

I should indicate that some posters seem to assume some sort of pro-Kelemvor anti-undead bias on the part of the players themselves. For me at least, I don't have a single PC who worships Kelemvor; as a player, I'm not against any particular race, what I am against is the idea that a pretty substantial chunk of well-established roleplaying needs to be ignored in the interest of allowing every possible player option into a campaign where campaign staff aren't interested in making things make sense.
I suddenly shudder at the thought of a Revenant Bard.

Just name him "Morrissey" ...
Firstly, why bother call it and promote it as "Living Forgotten Realms" if it is NOT the Realms? If your attitude to the basic elements of the setting is so cavalier then why are you here? What next? Wanting to play Lawful Good Worshippers of Lloth?

well, i would like to respond to this (and don't worry wolfstar, i'll even steer it back to the topic ).

First, Living Forgotten Realms is different from the Realms in that is no longer the purview of a small number of players. in a home game, you can control the storyline, the extra content that gets added, even all the way to the characters that other people play. in a Living campaign, the game is the purview of a much, much larger base of players. part of the trade off of an organized campaign is the lack of individual control we have over things. we can make impassioned pleas for some things to be included or excluded in the campaign (like the revenant), but in the end, it's not up to us. that's part of what we give up in the implied social contract of a living campaign. what we gain is a chance to play our characters in many different venues, with many different people than we might otherwise encounter. Some of those people we may not get along with, but if we sit at a table with them, we either have to find a way to make it work, or bow out. Yes, Living Forgotten Realms is set in the Forgotten Realms, but it's not the Realms. In the very same way, Living Greyhawk was set in Greyhawk, but it wasn't Greyhawk. Greyhawk didn't have goliaths, and centaur PCs, and asherati, and warmages, and all of the other stuff that came out and became legal during the 3.5 years. But Living Greyhawk did, and i was okay with that, and it was fun.

The Revenant race as a PC option in Living Forgotten Realms does not in any way hurt the integrity of the the Realms and The Lore. finding a reason for a Kelemvorite PC to adventure with a revenant in LFR also in no realistic way hurts the overall integrity of the Realms. since we don't have a day by day account of every devout follower of Kelemvor, there's no saying that there's not already a precedent for it.

and if making a Lawful Good follower of Lolth became a mechanical possibility, and i had a character concept with which it worked well and would be fun to play, i would do it without blinking.

Secondly, if you really put that much more importance on getting together with your friends over and above the setting....why don't you just go play WoW or something?

i don't play WoW. i've never played WoW, and likely never will. i don't think that i would enjoy playing WoW at all. but you know, there are people who do, and i'm okay with them.

the other reason is that playing WoW isn't the same as sitting around a table actually talking with people and having fun with friends, regardless of whether someone can point at a quote in an old book and tell me that i have to play my character a certain way "because it says right there..."

i don't play WoW because i play D&D. and if the way that i play D&D isn't the way that you play D&D, that's fine by me. but you do not have the right to call into question whether or not someone else is playing the game "right" or if they should be playing something else. there is no right way to play D&D.

now, i could, in turn, certainly ask you (though i'm not actually putting this question to you and never would in a realistic manner): if you put so much more importance on the setting over and above getting together with your friends....why don't you just stay at home and read the novels?

do you see my point?

Thirdly, your attitude is incredibly selfish. Basically its "screw the background and the setting, I'm in it purely for my own fun".

my attitude is hardly selfish. i am in it purely for my own fun. i am also in it purely for the fun of others, which is why i run two weekly game nights as well a twice monthly game night.

i'm not saying screw the background. the lore is great and nice and all that. but when it comes to a point where it's the lore or having fun with other real life humans, the lore loses to me. D&D is a game that is supposed to be fun, and 4th edition supports the ideals of having fun over be slavishly and mindlessly devoted to rules, or in this case, The Lore.

to put it another way, adhering to the setting is good. once it starts causing problems, it needs to be reevaluated.

now, you may (and obviously do) disagree with me, but you know what? that's okay. i'm not telling you that you're wrong about the lore, or having a certain attitude about the sanctity of the lore, or that you're wrong for playing your character a certain way, because it's not wrong. but it could end up being problematic in the venue that you have chosen to play it in. and if your attitude or actions are the ones that are indeed being problematic, others should not have adjust to or put up with them. this goes for anyone playing a kelemvorite being overly vocal or antagaonistic to a revenant, or a revenant being overly annoying to a kelemvorite, or a human being antagonistic to a halfline, ad nauseum.

when it comes down to it, real people should be more important than fictional people.
Those were references to two separate types of characters, as well as shifting between the player's point-of-view and the character's.

sorry, that didn't come through when i read it.

As any cleric/avenger/invoker, the fact that it's likely I wouldn't be able to use one of my class abilities, in the very situation where it would be most helpful, without harming the PC would make me prefer some other PC at the table.

i agree, and in this particular situation, the onus would certainly be on the player of the revenant to either be completely fine with taking the attack, or staying well from the cleric (avenger, iirc, only targets one creature in the area, so it's a non-issue, and i'm afraid i'm not entirely familiar with invokers). that should be the kind of talk that should happen before the mod even starts up.

Were I playing a priest of Kelemvor, having to choose between roleplaying my character and being a jerk would also make me prefer some other PC at the table.

again, this depends on how far the roleplaying goes. if it's in-character bickering that stops once it becomes a detraction from the game, that's fine, if not expected. if it's constant threats, or steadfastly refusing to help out in combat based solely on someone choosing a legal option (revenant, in this case), that is, imho, using lore/ roleplaying as an excuse. i'm sure we'll differ in that opinion, but that's fine. it's not just in a kelemvorite/ revenant situation that i would see this to be the case.

I should indicate that some posters seem to assume some sort of pro-Kelemvor anti-undead bias on the part of the players themselves. For me at least, I don't have a single PC who worships Kelemvor; as a player, I'm not against any particular race, what I am against is the idea that a pretty substantial chunk of well-established roleplaying needs to be ignored in the interest of allowing every possible player option into a campaign where campaign staff aren't interested in making things make sense.

Saying that every follower of Kelemvor holds the same exact opinions on undead as the church's official position is ridiculous. now, if someone chooses to play a character like that, that's fine, but as i've said before they need to be aware that there is a chance that they may end up sitting at a table with a revenant, and using roleplaying as an excuse to make the revenant mechanically suffer at the hands the other character is not cool. on the flip side, players of revenants should be aware that they will likely have to play at tables with divine types that damage undead, and using roleplaying to make the divine characters mechanically suffer is also not cool. in either case, the offending player should find another character, another table, choose not to play, or choose to not use roleplaying as a means to screw with others.
Just name him "Morrissey" ...

*ahem*

(Work-safe images, link goes to google search)
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Its not a pointless example. Its a perfectly valid example. When you play in a preexisting sandbox, you abide by the background of the sandbox.

Yes, it is. You seem to not understand the difference between rules legal and lore acceptable. You CANNOT worship Lloth in LFR. Period. Read the CCG if you have trouble understanding this.


Its like playing in a WW2 RPG and insisting on playing a "Good Nazi".

That sounds like a great character idea to me. No, you can't play a good nazi who casually murders jews and gypsies and is a-okay with concentration death camps. But again, you are taking a generic idea and refusing to accept exceptions. You could play a Nazi who is remorseful and atones for his acts by helping the allied forces.

It is nothing to do with "playstyles" and everything to do with deliberately not facing up to the consequences of your choices. Its like playing a Prince of Shade and walking into Blackstaff Tower and expecting to walk out unharmed.

His character, would per the background, get his powers withdrawn. Just as a follower of Kossuth who started venerating water ahead of fire would do so as well.

Do the rules state this, or just the lore .. worse yet, the lore of previous edition books? Where in my 4E LFR books do I find information on playing a Prince of Shade? Where does my DM find information on the defenses associated with Blackstaff Tower? Where do we find info on a PC losing their powers from Kossuth?

Just because you can spout of some bit of lore doesn't mean everyone who plays can or even should know all of this. You are actually contradicting 4E rules. A cleric, once invested, doesn't lose their power. You can be a paladin of Kelemvor who becomes undead and you will still retain every single power you have, even Kelemvor's judgement. Save it for your home game if you want to start inventing rules based on lore.

The lore is there for a reason. If you're going to act all Rabelaisian and start ignoring lore at a whim just to suit you, then *that* is selfishness personified.

I'm not ignoring lore on a whim. My decisions to play my character the way I want to is no more whim that you playing yours. Furthermore, I don't have to use lore from a previous edition. I can, in fact, ignore it completely if I wanted to because nowhere in the LFR rules does it state that my charcter must be consistent with previous edition lore.

I don't have to buy the much lauded by you 3.5 Faiths and Pantheons to play my cleric of Kelemvor. I don't have to run my character by you to see if it meets your lore requirements. All I have to do is make sure it fits within the rules. I'll try to make it fit within the lore of the books that I have and that is more than enough to play LFR.
Be nice to someone IC just because you want to be nice OOC? What is the point of Roleplaying then? What is the point of having character concepts, decisions and consequences if you can never act upon them because you're under some sort of fatwa to "be nice" *in character*.

The point of roleplaying is to have fun. The point of be nice it to make sure that your roleplay doesn't lessen the fun for someone else. I never said you had to be nice to everyone in character. Some players may enjoy the conflict. Some may not. Don't be an elitist gamer and expect everyone to play the way you want, just because if they don't, you somehow lose the immersive nature and simulationist fantasy you expect the game to be.

Some people just want to roll dice and kill stuff. Simple as it may be, their playstyle is no less valid than yours.

IC and OOC can be (and are) completely different things, you know.

This is the kind of quote that leads to one being called a snob. You're assuming a superior air by implying that the other party isn't smart enough to understand what you find to be simple.

I've been gaming for easily twenty years and have seen many different playstyles and many different players. In LFR, you will see all kinds of players. Some of them might have a hard time telling the difference between your character's relentless hatred and desire to attack them IC from you being a jerk OOC. If your IC actions are causing someone to have less fun OOC, then you should respect that and tone it down.
Be nice to someone IC just because you want to be nice OOC? What is the point of Roleplaying then? What is the point of having character concepts, decisions and consequences if you can never act upon them because you're under some sort of fatwa to "be nice" *in character*.

IC and OOC can be (and are) completely different things, you know.

no one has said you have to be nice in character.

however, if you are purposefully antagonistic in-character to the detriment of the other pc or the table as a whole, and you use role-playing or lore to justify that, then you can't also say that you're being nice out of character.

again, some amount of tension should be expected in a story with a revenant and a kelemvorite having to work together. however, that story shouldn't come down to them surreptitiously trying to off one another instead of fighting against a common enemy. surely kelemvor has enemies more dangerous and powerful than revenants...
2) On the off chance that a normal PC recognizes me for what I am, I'd expect them to spread the word or not based on their character decisions.

Off chance? You've got the undead keyword. Religion check is DC 15 to know what you are. And almost all divine characters will make that check on the passive. Many untrained characters will make that check higher up in tier.

if we need a fluff text, lore, or rules to justify playing nice with others, we are a sad, sad lot.

No, it isn't about justifying it. Not every player of a cleric of Kelemvor is going to be reading the boards or a DDI subscriber. It isn't fun having your character concept put on the spot with a bunch of people you don't know at a convention. I've been in mods where I was another player at the table and it was usually incredibly disruptive. The player sometimes has to think for a few minutes about whether or not it is better to play another character or leave the table. The mod as a whole usually isn't all that fun after that.

Having something which gives the cleric of Kelemvor a reason to be able, in character, make the decision not to attack the Revenant means that won't happen.
Having something which gives the cleric of Kelemvor a reason to be able, in character, make the decision not to attack the Revenant means that won't happen.

i do agree with you that it would be a great thing to have. however, i don't think it's something that should need to be required. if it's something that people can't do without having it written down for them, i find it disheartening.
Off chance? You've got the undead keyword. Religion check is DC 15 to know what you are. And almost all divine characters will make that check on the passive. Many untrained characters will make that check higher up in tier.

As well, according to the article Revenants look like Undead. They have pale skin and glowing red eyes. The article even calls them out as recognizable. Even if the PC's don't immediately recognize them the first time they do a Knowledge check in an encounter the DM should mention the fact that they have identified the monsters as Chillborn Zombies and their fellow PC as a Revenant.
No, it isn't about justifying it. Not every player of a cleric of Kelemvor is going to be reading the boards or a DDI subscriber. It isn't fun having your character concept put on the spot with a bunch of people you don't know at a convention.

Actually, I think this whole situation is unfair to both players who have characters that follow Kelemvor and players who have Revenant characters. Someone who is playing either one and does not follow the forums is asking for a rude shock the first time they play in a public event. The Renevant article does not provide context or warning that such characters might be a source of conflict or might not fit well with many situations. In the same way, any Kelemvor players who don't follow the forums or subscribe to DnDi (which I'd say is probably the majority of D&D players) are going to be in for a really bad shock when they show up for GenCon or PAX this year.

The entire Revenant situation has been poorly thought out and presented by WotC.
This little signature is my official and insignificant protest to the (not so new now) community redesign. The layout is lousy. The colour scheme burns the eyes. The wiki is a crippled monstrosity. So many posters have abandoned this site that some major forums are going days without posts. The 4e General Discussion board regularly has posts on the front page from two or even three days ago. This is pathetic. Since I have to assume Wizards has a vested interest in an active community I wish someone in charge would fix this mess.
As well, according to the article Revenants look like Undead. They have pale skin and glowing red eyes. The article even calls them out as recognizable. Even if the PC's don't immediately recognize them the first time they do a Knowledge check in an encounter the DM should mention the fact that they have identified the monsters as Chillborn Zombies and their fellow PC as a Revenant.

Where does it say that?

Under appearance, it says:
[indent]Revenants in your game might look exactly like their former selves or even like true undead.[/indent]

Also:
[indent]The rarity of revenants results in few having much knowledge of them. Experts in religion or those who encountered revenants in the past might know of them, but for most people revenants are strange and alien.[/indent]
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
To Quote bgibbon's quote
Appearance:
Show
Revenants have the same range of complexions as humans, but a revenant’s skin is ashen and the features are sunken. Eyes are most commonly solid black with a single point of red light in place of a pupil, but other eerie eye colors—including yellow, white, silver, and gold—are not uncommon, although they always share the same fiery red pupil. In most cases, the eyes lack an iris and pupil, and some glow with a ghostly light. Revenant hair typically ranges from black to white. They can grow facial hair, and males often have beards or mustaches that accentuate their dreadful countenances.

A revenant’s face and skin clearly set a member of this unique race apart from other humanoids. A revenant’s visage has a masklike quality that can be disturbing to normal mortals. Rough, dark scales appear on the flesh near the ends of a revenant’s limbs, marking the revenant as one of those the Raven Queen allowed back into the world of the living. Revenant digits end in strong, black fingernails or toenails that resemble claws.

As I do not have a DnDi subscription myself I am basing this off of what other people are quoting. It is entirely possible that I am misinformed. However, this seems pretty blunt to me.
This little signature is my official and insignificant protest to the (not so new now) community redesign. The layout is lousy. The colour scheme burns the eyes. The wiki is a crippled monstrosity. So many posters have abandoned this site that some major forums are going days without posts. The 4e General Discussion board regularly has posts on the front page from two or even three days ago. This is pathetic. Since I have to assume Wizards has a vested interest in an active community I wish someone in charge would fix this mess.
No more blunt than other strange races. Stick him in the middle of a bunch of Shadar-kai and he won't stick out as much as if he was among a group of Halflings. Go back to Mudbunny's post where he linked to images of Keith Richards. There's a Revenant if there ever was one. :P
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Yeah but everyone is assumed to be able to recognize Shadar-Kai on sight.
This little signature is my official and insignificant protest to the (not so new now) community redesign. The layout is lousy. The colour scheme burns the eyes. The wiki is a crippled monstrosity. So many posters have abandoned this site that some major forums are going days without posts. The 4e General Discussion board regularly has posts on the front page from two or even three days ago. This is pathetic. Since I have to assume Wizards has a vested interest in an active community I wish someone in charge would fix this mess.
Where does it say that?

Under appearance, it says:
[indent]Revenants in your game might look exactly like their former selves or even like true undead.[/indent]

Also:
[indent]The rarity of revenants results in few having much knowledge of them. Experts in religion or those who encountered revenants in the past might know of them, but for most people revenants are strange and alien.[/indent]

Bad form to quote suggestions for house rules as though they were the actual rules.

The "Physical Qualities" section of the race is unambiguously clear about what a revenant looks like, as well as the fact its features "clearly set a member of this unique race apart from other humanoids."

The sentence you quote is prefaced by "This article describes the assumptions about how revenants work for official D&D® products, but it might be different in your game. Here are some suggestions for how you can change things."

Yes, the campaign DM is free to change the way a race works in their world. Indeed, we'd be quite happy if they did.

And, yes, revenants may be quite rare (or even unique); that doesn't change the fact that it's only a DC 15 Religion check to know that they're undead, merely that it might be tougher to determine further details.
Actually, I think this whole situation is unfair to both players who have characters that follow Kelemvor and players who have Revenant characters. Someone who is playing either one and does not follow the forums is asking for a rude shock the first time they play in a public event. The Renevant article does not provide context or warning that such characters might be a source of conflict or might not fit well with many situations. In the same way, any Kelemvor players who don't follow the forums or subscribe to DnDi (which I'd say is probably the majority of D&D players) are going to be in for a really bad shock when they show up for GenCon or PAX this year.

The entire Revenant situation has been poorly thought out and presented by WotC.

I have to agree.

The system has set up a situation where you basically have opposing factions, but the system also does not allow faction vs faction conflict.

You end up having to compromise. You roll your eyes and pretend your characters have some reason to get along even if they should by the lore be at each other's throats. And the system doesn't even TRY to provide any kind of solution, we're being told, "you're on your own". So you compromise and more than likely sacrifice immersion for the sake of nice-nice with the table.

It's more than a little frustrating as a roleplayer.

The saddest part is it wouldn't take THAT much effort to put in the tools to avoid faction conflict, since the RPGA seems hell-bent on avoiding player vs player activities. Brief "how to integrate this into the Realms" sidebars, as was suggested. That sort of thing. But instead we get basically brushed off like these concerns are unimportant.

There's a couple of levels of "roleplaying" that you're likely to run across. One is a casual sort, what I call beer-n-pretzels roleplay. The other tends to be much more involved and tends to be where you hear words like "lore" and "canon" bandied about.

I hate it, but WotC increasingly seems to prefer supporting the former, while compromising on the latter whenever there's a conflict.



-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
And, yes, revenants may be quite rare (or even unique); that doesn't change the fact that it's only a DC 15 Religion check to know that they're undead, merely that it might be tougher to determine further details.

I'm not sure where you're pulling a DC15 Religion check to know they're undead from.

Given that they're half alive (eat, breathe, sleep), quite rare, and the article calls out
[INDENT]"Experts in religion or those who encountered revenants in the past might know of them, but for most people revenants are strange and alien."[/INDENT]
I'd rule that one might even need expert knowledge (master level check DC25) to pick them out as undead.

Again - in no small part because even though they're partially undead (and have the undead keyword) they won't exhibit purely "undead" traits.

I may simply be missing something from the article or PHB however that makes it simpler.

I'm also not convinced that the section about:
[INDENT]"A revenant’s face and skin clearly set a member of this unique race apart from other humanoids."[/INDENT]
is enough to convince me people can just point and go "Oooh, look! Revenant."

An orc's green skin, tusks, and porcine nose set them apart from other humanoids - but one still has to have heard of an orc, seen a painting, etc to know them for what they are.

If a Revenant is a fairly unheard of creature - yes, they'll be set apart and not mistaken for any of the other races, but that just means they're an oddity you can't identify. It doesn't mean you know they're a Revenant.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

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My apologies. The part about the appearance (Revenants in your game might look exactly like their former selves or even like true undead.) is a possible house rule, I missed that when reading the article earlier.

However, the second part:

[indent]The rarity of revenants results in few having much knowledge of them. Experts in religion or those who encountered revenants in the past might know of them, but for most people revenants are strange and alien.[/indent]

is not part of "Revenants in your game".

Are PCs considered "experts in religion?" That is what is important as the article states that experts in religion might know of them. Personally, a DC15 check is a might bit low for a piece of info that requires one to be an "expert" to know.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
To clarify, I'm actually of the agreement that players should be nice to one another.

What I'm lamenting is that in order to do this, in these cases we have to compromise the quality and immersion of the roleplay.

The fault is squarely on WotC's shoulders for this, because they are responsible for setting up groups that hate particular other groups, and then allowing the opposing groups freely as option in a campaign that does not allow player vs player conflict.

News flash: If you are getting complaints, it's important, even if you don't personally think it is. Brushing off the issue like it's unimportant seems callous and uncaring. Not exactly the best image to be projecting to customers who you want to buy your books.


-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
I have to agree.
The system has set up a situation where you basically have opposing factions, but the system also does not allow faction vs faction conflict.
You end up having to compromise. You roll your eyes and pretend your characters have some reason to get along even if they should by the lore be at each other's throats. And the system doesn't even TRY to provide any kind of solution, we're being told, "you're on your own". So you compromise and more than likely sacrifice immersion for the sake of nice-nice with the table.

i don't know why people see compromise as a negative thing. as has been brought up before by myself and others, "Living" campaigns usually involve losing some of the "immersion" that you would normally have in a home game. this is just the way it has to be with a world-wide campaign of this size. when introducing people new to the concept of organized play, this is the first thing i try to get them to understand. this is not your home campaign.

is it really a big deal for you (or anyone) to be expected not to be overtly antagonistic and disruptive in or out of character at the table? you seem to talk it up as if it is, but due to the number of lfr characters in your sig, i'd imagine it isn't. i see a few character descriptions in there that might cause some people to roll their eyes (not me, btw, heavy metal bard? awesome. ) and pretend there's some reason to get along...

It's more than a little frustrating as a roleplayer.

The saddest part is it wouldn't take THAT much effort to put in the tools to avoid faction conflict, since the RPGA seems hell-bent on avoiding player vs player activities. Brief "how to integrate this into the Realms" sidebars, as was suggested. That sort of thing. But instead we get basically brushed off like these concerns are unimportant.

first, who knows what might change between now and the compiled issue? also, who knows what might be included in the new CCG? maybe it won't directly address this issue, but it may address it indirectly. honestly, i think the saddest part about the whole debate is that there are D&D players, supposedly very creative and imaginative people, who feel that they need to struggle to find reasons to play D&D with one another.

There's a couple of levels of "roleplaying" that you're likely to run across. One is a casual sort, what I call beer-n-pretzels roleplay. The other tends to be much more involved and tends to be where you hear words like "lore" and "canon" bandied about.

I hate it, but WotC increasingly seems to prefer supporting the former, while compromising on the latter whenever there's a conflict.

let's not forget the level of "roleplaying" where you must be dressed in costume and speak every moment in character.

you seem imply that your kind of roleplaying is superior to others. there's absolutely nothing wrong with what you (somehwat derisively) call beer-n-pretzel roleplaying. some people have some just as derisive names for the "more involved" roleplaying. neither camp is better than the other.

WotC themselves do not prefer or exalt either style. they provide a set of rules to base the game around. yes, the rules are largely combat-oriented, but do you really need rules on how to talk with npcs? if they did come out with structured rules from immersive role-playing, people would be complaining that the rules were too restrictive. OD&D did just fine as a set of combat rules. there were still very involved and immersive roleplayers, and there still are in 4E and will continue to be.
Yaknow..all of ya is missin the point.

The RPGA isn't about roleplaying. It's about fighting and skill challenges...if anything gets in the way of fighting npc's and skill challenges...just ignore it.
The RPGA isn't about roleplaying. It's about fighting and skill challenges...if anything gets in the way of fighting npc's and skill challenges...just ignore it.

Yeah. Please ignore all those character problems, inconsistencies, backgrounds races and everything else. Oh, but please care deeply about NPC problem/McGuffin/Conflict of the week based on two paragraphs of text. Oh, except when caring about those problems would involve any conflict with the above mentioned character problems, inconsistencies, backgrounds races or anything else
This little signature is my official and insignificant protest to the (not so new now) community redesign. The layout is lousy. The colour scheme burns the eyes. The wiki is a crippled monstrosity. So many posters have abandoned this site that some major forums are going days without posts. The 4e General Discussion board regularly has posts on the front page from two or even three days ago. This is pathetic. Since I have to assume Wizards has a vested interest in an active community I wish someone in charge would fix this mess.
Are PCs considered "experts in religion?" That is what is important as the article states that experts in religion might know of them.

When articles state something is rare, that doesn't mean it won't be recognized if it gets seen. An expert on religion might know what a Revenant is without actually seeing one in the slightly rotten flesh. A character trained in religion gets the general idea upon seeing one.

Personally, a DC15 check is a might bit low for a piece of info that requires one to be an "expert" to know.

It isn't a question of whether or not they're an expert or not. Revenants have the undead keyword and at heroic tier, they're heroic tier. Keyword triggers the Religion check and it is only DC 15 to know name, type, and keyword(PHB 180 and 187 are the specific pages for reference)

Even if someone won't know it is a revenant based on some sort of RAI decision, they're going to know that the person standing before them is undead. Which is less than helpful.
Yeah. Please ignore all those character problems, inconsistencies, backgrounds races and everything else. Oh, but please care deeply about NPC problem/McGuffin/Conflict of the week based on two paragraphs of text. Oh, except when caring about those problems would involve any conflict with the above mentioned character problems, inconsistencies, backgrounds races or anything else

stafir's comments were fairly obviously (to me, at least) sarcasm. albeit there is a grain of truth.

by design a living campaign has certain elements that just have to be accepted. one of these is that it is episodic in nature, and PCs should have reason to participate in the scenarios, more or less as written. if you sit down to play a mod, then refuse to take the plot hook for roleplaying reasons, you've chosen not to play the adventure. the dm or the rest of the party should not have to go significantly out of their way to cajole your character into accepting the hook. certainly, some amount of this is fine as roleplaying, but if you take it a point where you steadfastly refuse to participate, it's no one else's problem but yours.

just because a bicycle and motorcycle are somewhat similar doesn't mean you should expect that both should work the same way.
When articles state something is rare, that doesn't mean it won't be recognized if it gets seen. An expert on religion might know what a Revenant is without actually seeing one in the slightly rotten flesh. A character trained in religion gets the general idea upon seeing one.

You aren't reading the phrase right. An expert in religion might know of revenants. In other words, if you are an expert in religion, you might know what a revenant is. Otherwise, you have no idea what this thing is.

It isn't a question of whether or not they're an expert or not. Revenants have the undead keyword and at heroic tier, they're heroic tier. Keyword triggers the Religion check and it is only DC 15 to know name, type, and keyword(PHB 180 and 187 are the specific pages for reference)

Specific trumps general. The case for the revenant is a specific case, and the restrictions placed on it (only an expert even knows that they exist) trumps the generic DC15 skill check.

Even if someone won't know it is a revenant based on some sort of RAI decision, they're going to know that the person standing before them is undead. Which is less than helpful.

It is interesting how the fluff gets used sometimes.

The fluff says that kelemvorites "hate" undead and try to destroy them on site. And that is held up by some people as holy gospel that cannot be changed. Yet when the fluff says that only an expert "might know of them", all of a sudden the fluff is to be ignored and the DC 15 skill check is held up as the standard that is being held to.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
so, thinking it over, if i ever do play my kelemvorite paladin and i sit at a table with a revenant, here's how i'm going to handle it:

yes, a revenant is undead. but it is also living. as a devout follower of kelemvor, it is my duty to help the revenant embrace his living side and turn away from his supernaughtybad undead-ness. this could even extend to helping him discover why he has been brought back, and helping him find his ultimate rest or actually being returned to life.

now, am i going against The Lore and ruining the the Realms? and if i am, how so?
Specific trumps general. The case for the revenant is a specific case, and the restrictions placed on it (only an expert even knows that they exist) trumps the generic DC15 skill check.

Let's quote the actual sentence...

Experts in religion or those who encountered revenants in the past might know of them.

i.e. those who encounter revenants clearly got to make a Religion check at some point or otherwise, how exactly did they figure this out they were undead...

The fluff says that kelemvorites "hate" undead and try to destroy them on site. And that is held up by some people as holy gospel that cannot be changed. Yet when the fluff says that only an expert "might know of them", all of a sudden the fluff is to be ignored and the DC 15 skill check is held up as the standard that is being held to.

Fluff by itself without any opposing fluff or mechanics. Relevant. Kelemvor.
Fluff vs mechanic? Not so much. Might be okay in some situations, though I'd be leery of using it in a Living Game. Name of creature.
Using Fluff that's addressing something else to override a mechanic? Please...blocking identifying a creature's keyword on the basis that PCs might not know its name.

Regardless of whether or not the PC knows what a revenant is, the simple fact that a revenant has the undead keyword means a PC with Religion is going to be able to identify the revenant as undead. It doesn't even hint at Revenants being able to hide their undead nature to observers except by not being noticed in the first place.

They're rare. Very few have seen them. That doesn't make a heroic tier undead not a heroic tier undead.
i.e. those who encounter revenants clearly got to make a Religion check at some point or otherwise, how exactly did they figure this out they were undead...

Yes, if you have encountered a revenant before, it gets easier to recognize one again. I never said otherwise. However, they are so rare (according to the article) that an expert *might* not even know that they exist or what they are.

Fluff by itself without any opposing fluff or mechanics. Relevant. Kelemvor.
Fluff vs mechanic? Not so much. Might be okay in some situations, though I'd be leery of using it in a Living Game. Name of creature.
Using Fluff that's addressing something else to override a mechanic? Please...blocking identifying a creature's keyword on the basis that PCs might not know its name.

Not just that they don't know it's name, but that it is something that is living as well. If it was *just* undead, it would be cut and dried to identify them as undead. But they aren't just undead. They are also considered alive, so the identification of them as undead is non-trivial, hence the line that an expert "might know of them".

A PC, who is *not* an expert in religion, would know that there is something not quite right about the other character. We can see the keywords, and know that the revenant has the keywords "undead; living" attached to it. Characters don't. They see "hmm, it has some things that make me think that it might be undead, but it is alive as well. If you are alive you are not, by definition, undead." (From the point of view of the PC)

Regardless of whether or not the PC knows what a revenant is, the simple fact that a revenant has the undead keyword means a PC with Religion is going to be able to identify the revenant as undead. It doesn't even hint at Revenants being able to hide their undead nature to observers except by not being noticed in the first place.

They're rare. Very few have seen them. That doesn't make a heroic tier undead not a heroic tier undead.

Of course, they are living creatures as well, hence the phrase

[indent]You are also considered a living creature.[/indent]

That, to me, says that it isn't quite as cut and dry as it is being presented in this thread.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
You aren't reading the phrase right. An expert in religion might know of revenants. In other words, if you are an expert in religion, you might know what a revenant is.

Indeed. The average person has no idea what a revenant is, what its specific powers or vulnerabilities are, and may have never even heard of a revenant before.

But DC 15 is still going to tell you that whatever it is that just sat down at your table, its type is undead.

I'm not entirely how this helps things--PCs knowing "Oh, so he's a dark tortured soul sent back from the afterlife for mysterious purposes" would be a good deal better for group harmony than "He's undead, but of a type you nothing about."
Indeed. The average person has no idea what a revenant is, what its specific powers or vulnerabilities are, and may have never even heard of a revenant before.

But DC 15 is still going to tell you that whatever it is that just sat down at your table, its type is undead.

I'm not entirely how this helps things--PCs knowing "Oh, so he's a dark tortured soul sent back from the afterlife for mysterious purposes" would be a good deal better for group harmony than "He's undead, but of a type you nothing about."

As I mentioned above, if their type was undead (and only undead) it would be easy.

But it isn't that easy:

[indent]Undead: You are considered to be an undead creature for effects that relate to that keyword. You are also considered a living creature.[/indent]

Now the common knowledge that PCs have is that you are either undead, dead or alive. There is no mixing of the choices. Saying that PCs would be able to look at it, and immediately dismiss it as "undead", despite the crunch that says it is also alive, is to look at the character sheet and use your metagame knowledge of the race and pass that on to your PC.

(Not, all uses of you and your are general, not specifically directed at anyone.)
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
If you're considered to be undead for effects (like Turn Undead), are you _actually_ undead for things that are not effects (say for things like Religion checks)? Is this going to be like warforged and reparation apparatus? Well, you're not _actually_ undead after all. No keyword.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
If you're considered to be undead for effects (like Turn Undead), are you _actually_ undead for things that are not effects (say for things like Religion checks)? Is this going to be like warforged and reparation apparatus? Well, you're not _actually_ undead after all. No keyword.

If you take the feat that removes the living creature designation from you it actually gets kind of interesting. You are rendered immune to several aura's and a handful of monster attacks simply by no longer being alive.

As far as undead keyword, yeah you would be subject to turn undead and rebuke etc. I don't think there is any way to get around that short of a feat being introduced.
Blah blah blah
1) I would expect that most people wouldn't know what I am. Someone who's undergone some horrible accident? Some albino humanoid that's been living too near the underdark?

And then, we also need to consider what people would think about his PC's appearance...



(I mean, really, what IS a WolfStar? Underdark exposure is possible, but warlock with a yet-to-be-named Pact is also possible.)

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You're clearly affected by Turn Undead and Rebuke Undead, yes. But are you a 'I made my Religion DC 15, what's its type' undead?
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
And then, we also need to consider what people would think about his PC's appearance...



(I mean, really, what IS a WolfStar? Underdark exposure is possible, but warlock with a yet-to-be-named Pact is also possible.)

:heehee

i would be willing to bet on a longtooth shifter star pact warlock... that would make sense to me...
You're clearly affected by Turn Undead and Rebuke Undead, yes. But are you a 'I made my Religion DC 15, what's its type' undead?

The whole thing strikes me as, whatever your view of it, a shambles, tbh. Its not been clearly thought out at all.
Now the common knowledge that PCs have is that you are either undead, dead or alive. There is no mixing of the choices. Saying that PCs would be able to look at it, and immediately dismiss it as "undead", despite the crunch that says it is also alive, is to look at the character sheet and use your metagame knowledge of the race and pass that on to your PC.

Huh?
The Player's Handbook says that a knowledge check of 15 gives you Name, Type and Keywords for anything. Not "tells you either dead or undead". So, in this case, any PC with trained religion (or any PC with 18 INT at level 2) has a minimum of +5 to their knowledge checks. This gives them the name of the race, the type and all keywords. In this case, both 'Alive' and 'Undead' and anything else applicable.

Now, this doesn't tell them any sort of background or associated information. The knowledge check for expert level knowledge on a given specific subject is 20. So while they may know absolutely nothing else any Divine or Int based Arcane class is going to recognize 'undead' on sight.
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