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SanusCompleo
2011-09-13, 10:04 PM
In what world... would this make sense to include both. Couldn't any noble with sufficient wealth (Or even those without liquid wealth that could be liquidated) simply put in his will an order of resurrection shipped to a local chapel and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's up to his old tricks again?

Resurrection isn't strict to D&D, it's in all sorts of RPG games. I've not had much experience as a GM having my characters get resurrections, but I do recall house-ruling it in my very first game to have exorbitant costs, (Slightly moreso than that of a very valuable gem, and permission of a deity that's always going to give permission anyway). What do you folks do about it? I'm world/setting building, and I was just working on new grappling/strangulation house rules when I realized this. For those people who enjoy the usefulness of having Resurrection of any sort handy, would you eradicate the usefulness of assassins? Perhaps have people who kill others (And want them to stay dead) have to perform a ritual in order to keep them that way? Or maybe simply burn the body? Are most people in your world too weak to have access to such abilities, save any Player Characters? Perhaps the world is friendlier, and assassins have little use being there? Maybe deities just wouldn't allow those who weren't worthy to be resurrected. In which case, those would those who committed the murder be punished for it, or would they allow the resurrected individual to it? What are the thoughts of the playground?

Analytica
2011-09-13, 10:13 PM
In my opinion, this is an excellent justification for an Assassin PrC. Just make it so that their Death Attack makes non-epic ressurrection impossible. They are expensive, weird cultist things with strange magics, but unlike most others, they get the job done permanently.

Drglenn
2011-09-13, 10:48 PM
Maybe they're just using death as a temporary punishment. Most systems have you come back weaker from a res and it usually costs a lot of money. You'll definitely remember your death so that may be a deterrent from continuing whatever you were doing beforehand.

Marillion
2011-09-13, 11:04 PM
Another thing is that casual resurrection may be frowned upon by the churches. Just because the victim CAN pay to be resurrected does not mean the priest has to accept his money. It may be subject to approval, and even then, not every person that dies is meant to return. If he finds someone less savory to resurrect him, people are going to ask all sorts of questions, seeing as how he was, you know, dead and the church wouldn't raise him.

Zetapup
2011-09-13, 11:28 PM
In addition to all the other points raised by others, why would someone resurrect the nobleman if they receive his fortune when he dies? (I'm assuming a relative is setting up the resurrection and generally ruthless noblemen are more likely to do well and/or be assassinated.) Also, the "assassination" would produce a fairly sizable dent in the nobleman's account.

Xefas
2011-09-13, 11:33 PM
I can't recall any games off the top of my head other than D&D where resurrection is that easy, but-

Another thing is that casual resurrection may be frowned upon by the churches. Just because the victim CAN pay to be resurrected does not mean the priest has to accept his money. It may be subject to approval, and even then, not every person that dies is meant to return. If he finds someone less savory to resurrect him, people are going to ask all sorts of questions, seeing as how he was, you know, dead and the church wouldn't raise him.

This does raise a good point. Even if you're playing in a world where the folks with Raise Dead aren't the epic few heroes already busy saving the world from something or other, if Baron von Twirlin'Stache gets off'd, there's a good chance the Church of Goodfist isn't going to want him running around again, even if he were willing to pay above-and-beyond the money required for Raise Dead.

If he goes to less scrupulous sources, like the Church of Badfist, one, the Badfistites might want a little extra something for their troubles, like your eternal soul, or a Mark of Injustice, or a Geas or something. And, two, once the Goodfistites see you up and about without their aid, don't be surprised when they make a public declaration that you've sought un-Holy means to return to life, and as such, there's a good chance you're objectively Crotchety Mean, or whatever those alignments are.

Even if Baron von Twirlin'Stache is already Lord of Felldarkbloodville, it's at least a nice neon sign over his head saying "Hey, Paladins, you can totally just murder this guy and not get in trouble. He's working with dark gods and such." and there's always some god-fearing paladin out there just waiting to alleviate his manslaughter-blueballs.

If we're assuming the assassin'd person is Duke Hugglesworth, and he's the kind of person that the Church of Goodfist would happily rezz', one wonders why the hell he wants to leave his palatial ecstasy (which is to say that he has his own palace made of drugs) in the afterlife to begin with. If he's some kind of saint in that regard though, then, well, what the hell? Maybe good people should have the perk of being able to piss away small fortunes on a second chance to do good. It doesn't exactly make me weep in injustice.

NichG
2011-09-13, 11:43 PM
There's a distinction between Assassin the PrC, and Assassin the job. I'd imagine that in a world with easy resurrection, assassins would be people who can:

- Kill in very specific and exotic ways, to send a message to the target.
- Kill in ways that are hard to come back from.

The first would be a 'death is just a threat' type thing. Even if a nobleman can bring his daughter back from the dead, they wouldn't want to see her suffer or die and bear the marks of that experience. Worse yet if its some kind of ritual killing that made her soul spend a night in Baator or something else particularly awful.

The second would involve knowing all the sorts of tricks that make resurrection difficult. Use Flesh to Stone instead of killing the target, and then do various things with the not-technically-dead statue. Destroy the body, making it harder to recover the person. Trap the soul in a repository so there's nothing to 'come back'. Trick them into drawing Void from a Deck of Many Things. Animate them as undead, so their physical form needs to be destroyed before they can be brought back. Convince them to take their own life through mind-altering substances and other torments so their soul chooses to refuse resurrection. Kill them with old age somehow (tricky, but how about polymorphing them into a mayfly?)

In principle, there'd also be a third type of job, which would be making sure people are dead during particular important moments. They might come back later, but if the captain of the guard is 'indisposed' while the city is under siege, the damage is done.

Of course, if resurrection isn't universally available, the traditional sort of assassin still makes sense in the majority of cases.

Cespenar
2011-09-14, 12:15 AM
Not to mention price. I don't think no one's going to ask for the material components' worth only - that'd be silly. For a high level spell of such particular importance, I'm seeing at least %100 profits, if not more, making the price a rather hefty 10k+ gp for Raise Dead, 20k+ gp for Rez and 50k+ for True Rez.

NecroRebel
2011-09-14, 12:55 AM
I like the Girl Genius method of handling resurrections: if you die, all of your titles, lands, etc. go to your next-of-kin, even if you are alive afterwards. So if Baron von Twirlinstache dies, well, he's not actually a Baron anymore, and is definitively a usurping tyrant if he becomes the ruler again, so paladins no longer need any excuse to kill him again (since he's not a legitimate ruler by any metric), the people won't respect him anymore, and the other nobles will feel justified in ganging up on and crushing the upstart.

NichG
2011-09-14, 03:34 AM
One thing that should be considered though is, the people who are most likely the targets of assassination are also the people who most likely have written the laws on dead, resurrection, and inheritance. Why would you pass a law that makes your next of kin less likely to pay for your return from death, or a law that causes you to lose your belongings should something unfortunate but reversible happen.

I'd imagine the major power balance would be the churches themselves, but in a setting with multiple gods competition will put the churches at a disadvantage against the secular government. If one church refuses to resurrect nobles who die from various things, another church will offer in exchange for a favor, and will end up getting more support from the nobles. If there were just one church, or one particularly strong church, I could see the church itself trying to get said inheritance laws passed to discourage casual resurrections.

On the other hand, a church could gain a lot of power making resurrection law easy on the returned, but controlling who gets to come back and who doesn't. They essentially get to pick the rulers in charge by choosing not to return the ones they don't like. Plus, I could easily imagine a corrupt church (or a church of a deity that approves of this sort of thing) saying that someone who has gone against them after being resurrected is being 'called back to (deity)', in effect calling for their death in the guise of a positive thing.

Conners
2011-09-14, 04:09 AM
I'd be more worried about the dozens of HP that characters have... I mean, you set up your assassination perfectly, and poison the noble's food: He makes his Fort save against the venom. You try it agian, he gets 4 Strength drained, and has to rest in bed for a while....

Plan B: Shoot him with a crossbow from a window, when he is at the markets without his armour. BAM!! Right in the chest!! You quickly make your escape from the building, proud to have accomplished your mission.
Hour later, you check up on the noble... he's still shoppin, and didn't even notice that 10 points of damage your bolt inflicted. The bodyguards assume it was a childish prank.

And THAT is why ressurection isn't a problem in DnD and similar systems... most assassins can't get far enough to worry about that problem.




One thing that should be considered though is, the people who are most likely the targets of assassination are also the people who most likely have written the laws on dead, resurrection, and inheritance. Why would you pass a law that makes your next of kin less likely to pay for your return from death, or a law that causes you to lose your belongings should something unfortunate but reversible happen.

I'd imagine the major power balance would be the churches themselves, but in a setting with multiple gods competition will put the churches at a disadvantage against the secular government. If one church refuses to resurrect nobles who die from various things, another church will offer in exchange for a favor, and will end up getting more support from the nobles. If there were just one church, or one particularly strong church, I could see the church itself trying to get said inheritance laws passed to discourage casual resurrections.

On the other hand, a church could gain a lot of power making resurrection law easy on the returned, but controlling who gets to come back and who doesn't. They essentially get to pick the rulers in charge by choosing not to return the ones they don't like. Plus, I could easily imagine a corrupt church (or a church of a deity that approves of this sort of thing) saying that someone who has gone against them after being resurrected is being 'called back to (deity)', in effect calling for their death in the guise of a positive thing. ...Good grief, laws already need to take so many crazy things into account. With magic and ressurection added in, legal stuff would become an even larger nightmare...

------------------------


If you have Greek-style pantheons, I can't imagine secular governments. While some DnD gods might let mortals believe whatever self-imaged-reality they want to--most would probably be insulted that people would refuse to accept deities' existence. Combine that fact, with the ability to make your priests control the weather, send curses, and appearances of godly avatars--I doubt there'd be much safety for a secular institution (unless it was so small, it was below the gods' concern).

Also, why would churches not like people being resurrected from the dead? Now, religious organizations in a leftist nation tend to want to get away from anything, "miraculous" because it isn't the "popular orientation" (secularism is the "politically correct" orientation). Note that most rightist nations today, are actually leftist by the past standard, so this'd work to an extent on America and so-forth as well.

Now, if they weren't showing off to the athiests about how "scientific" they were: Religious leaders would probably like resurrection. Quite a good slogan to say, "Get good with our god, and you will live to a ripe old age, garunteed!". The cue would be long to pay homage to such deities, in a modern era where most white-collar workers could afford a resurection--ESPECIALLY since we can make diamonds nowadays ("millions of years" my @$$...).

--------------------------

Yes, the religious leaders - if they did it right - would be the main rulers of the world. I mean, heck, if your priests can send down lightning bolts, as a common thing (as opposed to the RL religious doctrines, where such divine power is considered rare, or made-up), you have a pretty good military to boot. The slogan, "Want epic, cosmic power? Join our cult, and obtain it!" would become much more effective...

So yeah, they ought to be some of the main figures of the world... assuming, that is, that there isn't a lot of in-fighting among the various gods... If there is, political struggles on the mortal and divine plains might take up too much of the religions' time, for them to properly rule the world.

Quellian-dyrae
2011-09-14, 01:11 PM
One way it could work is if there's a much smaller window of opportunity to bring someone back. If most resurrection-capable casters can only bring someone back within, say, a day or so of death, and need the body, the assassin's job becomes harder (they have to either hide the body, conceal the murder, maybe even impersonate the victim for a time), but if they can delay a resurrection long enough, they can prevent it.

Another possibility might be to play up the "coming back to life is a traumatic experience" angle. High-level heroes and adventurers, people who routinely throw themselves into battle against howling hordes of warriors and giant monsters that defy description, can throw it off with little to no lasting impact. But your average person or noble might suffer severe mental trauma that could even be entirely personality-altering or incapacitating.

Tengu_temp
2011-09-14, 01:16 PM
Resurrection isn't strict to D&D, it's in all sorts of RPG games.

Like Xefas said already, I don't recall any non-DND RPGs where resurrection is so easily available. Most of them either don't have it at all or have it as a very powerful, extraordinarily rare ability. Needless to say, I prefer it that way - nothing kills the dramatism of a death scene more than the knowledge the dead character will be back soon anyway.

Arbane
2011-09-14, 01:52 PM
Check out Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos stories - the main character is an assassin in a world with (relatively) free access to resurrection magic. There's three ways to assassinate someone: The first way is just to 'send them a message' by killing them, knowing perfectly well they'll be back. The second way makes them REALLY dead, since resurrection in that world won't work if the brain is destroyed. The third way uses massively illegal magic weapons that eat the victim's soul, and kills them Deader Than Dead.

beyond reality
2011-09-14, 02:46 PM
All it means is that you need a bit of strategy. Sure, just stabbing some guy and running isn't likely to work, so instead kidnap them. Take away the body after they die (which is easy, all it takes is a dimension door spell and you and the corpse are gone) or kidnap them before they die. Hide the body, feed it to pigs, whatever.

Now, you still have to deal with True Resurrection. But that's a level 9 spell so that's really rare. But if you think there's a risk that a wandering level 17+ cleric might come by and happen to resurrect the dead guy then just animate them as a minor undead like a skeleton and bury them in the ground or drop them in a lake. viola!

Madeiner
2011-09-14, 02:48 PM
Nice topic.

Sometime ago, i made a topic about laws, resurrections and death penalty on enworld.
Here's the discussion: http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/278447-laws-about-death-penalty-resurrection.html

That's mostly about the laws, though, but still interesting.

About the resurrection itself, remember that the spells say the SOUL must be willing to return. That is, not YOU as the person who died, but your soul.
In my games, this means that you are either a PC (because of gameplay reasons), or a NPC whose SOUL wants to return because it has something unfinished to do, like a very important quest.
If you are an adventurer about to save the world, you get rezzed. If you are a magician about to uncover the secret of the spell that's gonna make life easier for everybody, you get rezzed. If you truly want to save, or even avenge, someone you love(d), you get rezzed.
In most other cases, the spell simply fails.

Other than that, in my games, returning from the dead is an ordeal. You will probably suffer some long lasting consequences.
I had a PC suiciding himself because he didn't like the result of his Reincarnate (he reincarnated as human and he was an halfling). He was brought back from the dead, but he suffered a mental illness and he tried to suicide every time things weren't going as he wanted. It took a while to cure him.

In another occasion, the government wanted to resurrect soldiers lost in an war. The government invaded a country with an excuse that their enemies were controlled by demons and had powerful weapons hidden in their city. There were no weapons of course, but they found a lot of resources to fuel their engines of war (sounds familiar? :P).
They wanted to resurrect the soldiers to gain more approval from the common people.
However, having tried to resurrect a few dozen, they noticed that more than half of the souls didn't want to return, and those who were resurrected suffered serious mental diseases (paranoia, fear of everything, etc). So they decided against resurrecting any more soldiers.

Arbane
2011-09-14, 03:15 PM
About the resurrection itself, remember that the spells say the SOUL must be willing to return. That is, not YOU as the person who died, but your soul.
In my games, this means that you are either a PC (because of gameplay reasons), or a NPC whose SOUL wants to return because it has something unfinished to do, like a very important quest.
(SNIP)
In most other cases, the spell simply fails.


Makes sense, at least for people who ended up in one of the pleasant afterlives.

Which leads to the worrisome conclusion that Resurrection will work more often on evil people than good ones...

And yes, PTSD sounds like a perfectly rational reaction to _getting killed_.

WalkingTarget
2011-09-14, 03:53 PM
Check out Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos stories - the main character is an assassin in a world with (relatively) free access to resurrection magic. There's three ways to assassinate someone: The first way is just to 'send them a message' by killing them, knowing perfectly well they'll be back. The second way makes them REALLY dead, since resurrection in that world won't work if the brain is destroyed. The third way uses massively illegal magic weapons that eat the victim's soul, and kills them Deader Than Dead.

The brain thing isn't the only method to do that second case. Revivification also won't work after approx. 3 days no matter what and it's also possible to ward a body so as to prevent it from happening (although, a skilled enough sorcerer can probably get around that eventually - although it might be easier to just track down whoever made the ward and... persuade them to remove it). It's also possible to just plain fail at the attempt - spells generally aren't fire-and-forget in the setting. There are relative levels of skill involved in just about any magic use.

It's also worth noting that revivification is a relatively recent development in the setting, along with teleportation - one of a very small number of settings that I'm familiar with that has shown more than the standard fantasy setting medieval stasis.

Berenger
2011-09-14, 05:47 PM
Another possibility might be to play up the "coming back to life is a traumatic experience" angle. High-level heroes and adventurers, people who routinely throw themselves into battle against howling hordes of warriors and giant monsters that defy description, can throw it off with little to no lasting impact. But your average person or noble might suffer severe mental trauma that could even be entirely personality-altering or incapacitating.

George R. R. Martin does this in A Song of Ice and Fire. Ser Beric Dondarrion ist slain no less than six times, but each resurrection seems to hollow out his body and soul alike (to the point of Beric forgetting childhood memories or the face of his wife, losing the ability to savour the taste of a cup of wine, not really feeling emotions anymore, bearing the gruesome death-wounds all over his pale, emaciated body etc.). After the sixth resurrection he is only a shadow of his former personality and begs his priest to "not bring him back again". I haven't read the book for some time, though, perhaps someone else can elaborate.

Mastikator
2011-09-14, 05:58 PM
In a world where money can buy you magic, and magic can make you immortal, the rich are immortal.

Assassins who kill off these rich immortal jerks would probably use some kind of soul binding/destroying necromancy to keep said victim from coming back.

Madeiner
2011-09-14, 06:11 PM
Makes sense, at least for people who ended up in one of the pleasant afterlives.

Which leads to the worrisome conclusion that Resurrection will work more often on evil people than good ones...


Well, if we want to take planes into consideration, then around a third of evil people souls will end up in carceri, and there's no escape from there. Some will end up in the grey wastes, and no escape from there either.

Also, good people i think are more likely to have the driving force to return to the living. Loss of loved ones, wanting to rid the world of evil, etc. I see these drives as "stronger" than "conquer the world because i want to", and thus more likely to return.

Other than that, a part of the souls will return as a ghost, especially when the thing that one MUST COMPLETE is especially evil or twisted.

However, i'd be partial to changing evil people as they return to the living a lot more than good people.
It is true that once you return, you retain no memory of where you have been. But if your soul ended up in hell, then it has probably been tortured by devils and suffered all kind of bad things.
In my games, if an evil one returns, then it will probably become a mad psychopath with extreme mental diseases. That doesnt make him "less" or "more" evil... just different. Like, the only emotions left will be rage, hate, the desire to make suffer anything that is living.

horngeek
2011-09-15, 05:34 AM
In the Pathfinder standard setting, Golarion, there's a group of assassins called the Red Mantis, who treat the act of assassination almost AS a religious calling. They literally worship the God's personal assassin. Which means they don't accept 'secondary objectives: find out what the guy's doing' type stuff, but I digress.

They handle resurrection of their marks this way: the Red Mantis PrC specifically allows them to tell when someone they've killed is rezzed.

They kill that person again, as many times as it takes for them to get the damm message and stay dead.

stack
2011-09-15, 09:10 AM
I believe there are also quieting needles (in PF, not sure about 3.5).
Text:
Quieting Needles

Source Pathfinder #29

A set of quieting needles costs 25 gp. Inserted into a corpse’s heart, lungs, and other organs, the needles can be well hidden inside a slain body with a minute of work and a Sleight of Hand check — the result of this Sleight of Hand check determines the Heal check DC to notice the use of quieting needles on a corpse. This Heal check gains a cumulative +1 bonus for each day the body has been allowed to decay, as the presence of the needles grows increasingly obvious as the flesh rots away. A body pierced with quieting needles can be brought back to life as normal via raise dead, but upon being restored to life, the victim immediately begins suffering from the fact that his major organs are perforated by hidden needles. This grisly fate can even strike someone brought back to life via resurrection or true resurrection if the body itself was intact and the needles were thus hidden. (Casting resurrection or true resurrection with only a fragment of the body or no body, forcing the spell to rebuild the body as appropriate, is a surefire way to avoid having the victim come back to life with the needles still inside him.)

A creature brought back to life with quieting needles inside him is immediately struck with pain and must make a DC 25 Fortitude save each round to avoid being nauseated from the pain and suffering 1d6 points of Constitution damage. A successful Fortitude save negates the nauseated condition and reduces the Constitution damage to 1. Removing quieting needles from a dead body takes 1d6+6 rounds (and a DC 20 Heal check if the process is to leave the body in a condition where raise dead is still viable). Removing quieting needles from a freshly restored living body causes 2d6 points of damage per round the procedure continues, with a successful DC 25 Heal check reducing damage caused that round to 2.

The use of quieting needles is relatively uncommon, meant as much to punish enemies for attempting to raise dead allies and force them to waste the resources on such expensive magic as well as to cause the restored creature agonizing pain—using quieting needles is an evil act that is as illegal as murder in most civilized regions.

TL,DR: stick needles in the body, take CON damage when res'd.

Sith_Happens
2011-09-15, 12:33 PM
I think casual resurrections and assassins go perfectly well together. After all, it vastly increases your chances for repeat customers.:smallbiggrin:

Infernalbargain
2011-09-15, 01:21 PM
I think casual resurrections and assassins go perfectly well together. After all, it vastly increases your chances for repeat customers.:smallbiggrin:

Wow. Just wow.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-09-15, 01:50 PM
It may have been mentioned already, but in Pathfinder they actually address this issue. The greatest assassins in the world of Golarion are the Red Mantis, a cult that worships the Mantis God, Achaekek. They are wholly dedicated to the sacred art of killing, and they have a special policy on resurrected people. If they learn someone they killed has returned to life, they hunt them down and kill them again. And again. And again if need be, to ensure the target remains dead and their professional integrity intact.

However, they also have a policy against killing royalty. If a person is the legitimate ruler of a nation by the divine right of kings, the Red Mantis will refuse to accept hits on them, as Achaekek was created to protect the gods from mortals who would harm them to usurp their power, so to do the Red Mantis defend kings and queens, the mortal equivalent of deities, from harm.

Non-royal heads of state, such as usurpers or democratically-elected leaders, however, are fair game. :smallamused:

HandofCrom
2011-09-16, 06:20 AM
Greyhawk also had the legal system similar to Girl Genius. Nobles lost all titles irrevocably at death so the undead and resurrected could not wield legitimate power as a feudal lord.

Provengreil
2011-09-16, 11:16 AM
It may have been mentioned already, but in Pathfinder they actually address this issue. The greatest assassins in the world of Golarion are the Red Mantis, a cult that worships the Mantis God, Achaekek. They are wholly dedicated to the sacred art of killing, and they have a special policy on resurrected people. If they learn someone they killed has returned to life, they hunt them down and kill them again. And again. And again if need be, to ensure the target remains dead and their professional integrity intact.

However, they also have a policy against killing royalty. If a person is the legitimate ruler of a nation by the divine right of kings, the Red Mantis will refuse to accept hits on them, as Achaekek was created to protect the gods from mortals who would harm them to usurp their power, so to do the Red Mantis defend kings and queens, the mortal equivalent of deities, from harm.

Non-royal heads of state, such as usurpers or democratically-elected leaders, however, are fair game. :smallamused:

the Assassin PrC capstone ability also makes a true resurrection spell necessary to get a resurrection, so they got that, too.

Fouredged Sword
2011-09-16, 02:06 PM
Stab with soul stealing dagger (there is a metal for that) and then planeshift the dagger into the far relms. Even if the dagger gets destroyed, the soul has likely been eaten already by an elder evil.

Douglas
2011-09-16, 02:31 PM
At least in the context of D&D, assuming the assassin and the victim have approximately equal resources, once resources reach the point where resurrection is normally easy they are also at the point where means of making it difficult are available. Bringing a dead king back gets a lot harder when said dead king's soul is held in the murder weapon which is inside a secret vault heavily guarded by the assassins who killed him, for example.

Ravens_cry
2011-09-16, 03:13 PM
Wow. Just wow.
Assassinating's a good job, mate. It's challenging work, out of doors or in doors. I guarantee you'll not go 'ungry. 'Cause at the end of the day, long as there's two people left on the planet, someone is going to want someone dead.

beyond reality
2011-09-16, 10:19 PM
Of course, by that time you've got to be careful because the other one is you.

Dimers
2011-09-17, 02:18 AM
If he goes to less scrupulous sources, like the Church of Badfist, the Badfistites might want a little extra something for their troubles, like your eternal soul, or a Mark of Injustice, or a Geas or something.

Or, given that they just got their hands on a fine corpse, they might decide to cast create greater undead instead of true resurrection. Or go ahead and resurrect Lord deFiler, and immediately have a greater doppelganger kill him and take his memories and face, all the better to control entire nations with, my dear. Seriously, folks. Give Badfist some credit for smarts, here.


Also, good people i think are more likely to have the driving force to return to the living. Loss of loved ones, wanting to rid the world of evil, etc. I see these drives as "stronger" than "conquer the world because i want to", and thus more likely to return.

I believe history is more often made by those who hate -- they have LOTS of drive. People with good hearts tend to be more serene and are more likely to have told their loved ones how much they care shortly before getting ganked ... therefore less likely to come back. In folklore, ghosts are much more likely to result from a burning demand for revenge than they are from martyrdom.

Man, I sound dark all of a sudden. I usually play CG, I swear! :smallwink:

horngeek
2011-09-17, 02:43 AM
It may have been mentioned already, but in Pathfinder they actually address this issue. The greatest assassins in the world of Golarion are the Red Mantis, a cult that worships the Mantis God, Achaekek. They are wholly dedicated to the sacred art of killing, and they have a special policy on resurrected people. If they learn someone they killed has returned to life, they hunt them down and kill them again. And again. And again if need be, to ensure the target remains dead and their professional integrity intact.

However, they also have a policy against killing royalty. If a person is the legitimate ruler of a nation by the divine right of kings, the Red Mantis will refuse to accept hits on them, as Achaekek was created to protect the gods from mortals who would harm them to usurp their power, so to do the Red Mantis defend kings and queens, the mortal equivalent of deities, from harm.

Non-royal heads of state, such as usurpers or democratically-elected leaders, however, are fair game. :smallamused:

I did, indeed, mention this. :smalltongue:

They also will not take jobs if you ask them 'BTW, can you find these documents while you're about it? Thanks!'

Infernalbargain
2011-09-17, 08:44 PM
Assassinating's a good job, mate. It's challenging work, out of doors or in doors. I guarantee you'll not go 'ungry. 'Cause at the end of the day, long as there's two people left on the planet, someone is going to want someone dead.

I was thinking along the lines of a single business that was working both ends.

Cerlis
2011-09-17, 10:34 PM
In what world... would this make sense to include both. Couldn't any noble with sufficient wealth (Or even those without liquid wealth that could be liquidated) simply put in his will an order of resurrection shipped to a local chapel and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's up to his old tricks again?

Resurrection isn't strict to D&D, it's in all sorts of RPG games. I've not had much experience as a GM having my characters get resurrections, but I do recall house-ruling it in my very first game to have exorbitant costs, (Slightly moreso than that of a very valuable gem, and permission of a deity that's always going to give permission anyway). What do you folks do about it? I'm world/setting building, and I was just working on new grappling/strangulation house rules when I realized this. For those people who enjoy the usefulness of having Resurrection of any sort handy, would you eradicate the usefulness of assassins? Perhaps have people who kill others (And want them to stay dead) have to perform a ritual in order to keep them that way? Or maybe simply burn the body? Are most people in your world too weak to have access to such abilities, save any Player Characters? Perhaps the world is friendlier, and assassins have little use being there? Maybe deities just wouldn't allow those who weren't worthy to be resurrected. In which case, those would those who committed the murder be punished for it, or would they allow the resurrected individual to it? What are the thoughts of the playground?


in most games in which Resurrection is easy, the actual resurrection spell/item is usually just a game mechanic. In actual warcraft lore it requires some powerful entity intervention to bring someone truely back from the dead, but in game its a 10 second cast. In Final fantasy you have a system with a healthbar, but no killing? well it would suck to have the game end permanantly because you screwed up your tactics and the main character died. So phoenix down. Many games end up having "dying" as being Knocked out. in fact i'm frustrated with many people who make fun or the Argent Tournament saying its a buncha people killing each other to see who gets to get killed by the lich king. When its pretty well established that when someone gets killed in game its just a game effect and isnt true until its established in the LORE of the game somewhere. The only people who actually died where the horde/alliance that died in that one fight,and thats only cus afterwords the guy made a comment about needless lives lost.

---------------------

Now in the sense of DnD, first of all you have the idea that only in a major big city would you probably relatively easily find a caster powerful enough to cast 4th or higher level spells. (i'm also frustrated with DnD people who act like all campaign settings have lvl 18 or higher level casters running around willy nilly). Secondly those who have that power have an in game lore restriction for it. They are basically all followers of a code, be it the code of their god or a code of the balance of nature. Basically if they are the mind to resurrect everyone who dies of unnatural causes they would be flat out broke. of course you do have a middle ground, someone who is willing to save all he can, but would question "Why did that noble die in this horrible fashion". though he might just ask that of himself after he does the job. FUrther, i forget the exact about, but from what i saw the highest paying job was as a famous sexual messeus in BOEF, which COULD (but not always) garner you a few gold pieces a job. Even people with good reliable jobs (the city blacksmith) would probably have to sell their house and everything they own to bring back their wife who died from the plague (or whatnot)

I dont know, i could go on and on. But in the world of high powered and diverse magic, multiple resurrections are possible. But it weakens you. its rarer than you think, it has roleplay restrictions, and few people are dumb enough to say "I dont care if i die, cus my minions will rez me". You dont ever want to have a plan RELY on someone else bringing you back from the DEAD cus if they fail, your death is permanent.

Its not like their is a vending machine in the outer planes (and even if there was, would someone who you had to worry about be able to reach it, what with being tortured forever in the abyss?) to resurrect yourself.

Its only a problem if you have a high magic high money, high fantasy game going and if you are then you have bigger problems than people not dying permanently (and by that i mean stuff like Cthulu, not "i hate this playstyle" so dont read it that way)

Ravens_cry
2011-09-18, 12:20 AM
I was thinking along the lines of a single business that was working both ends.
Some might consider that a conflict of interest.
'Course, they are generally not the ones being paid.:smallamused:

Arbane
2011-09-18, 12:44 AM
Some might consider that a conflict of interest.


"We prefer the term 'synergy'." :smallamused:

SuperFish
2011-09-20, 07:41 PM
Complete Divine does mention that only truly exceptional souls (like, say, PCs) can be so easily resurrected - most souls meld with their planar destination or deity much faster and as such are harder to reach to bring back.

Welknair
2011-09-20, 10:54 PM
I believe there are also quieting needles (in PF, not sure about 3.5).
Text:
Quieting Needles

Source Pathfinder #29

A set of quieting needles costs 25 gp. Inserted into a corpse’s heart, lungs, and other organs, the needles can be well hidden inside a slain body with a minute of work and a Sleight of Hand check — the result of this Sleight of Hand check determines the Heal check DC to notice the use of quieting needles on a corpse. This Heal check gains a cumulative +1 bonus for each day the body has been allowed to decay, as the presence of the needles grows increasingly obvious as the flesh rots away. A body pierced with quieting needles can be brought back to life as normal via raise dead, but upon being restored to life, the victim immediately begins suffering from the fact that his major organs are perforated by hidden needles. This grisly fate can even strike someone brought back to life via resurrection or true resurrection if the body itself was intact and the needles were thus hidden. (Casting resurrection or true resurrection with only a fragment of the body or no body, forcing the spell to rebuild the body as appropriate, is a surefire way to avoid having the victim come back to life with the needles still inside him.)

A creature brought back to life with quieting needles inside him is immediately struck with pain and must make a DC 25 Fortitude save each round to avoid being nauseated from the pain and suffering 1d6 points of Constitution damage. A successful Fortitude save negates the nauseated condition and reduces the Constitution damage to 1. Removing quieting needles from a dead body takes 1d6+6 rounds (and a DC 20 Heal check if the process is to leave the body in a condition where raise dead is still viable). Removing quieting needles from a freshly restored living body causes 2d6 points of damage per round the procedure continues, with a successful DC 25 Heal check reducing damage caused that round to 2.

The use of quieting needles is relatively uncommon, meant as much to punish enemies for attempting to raise dead allies and force them to waste the resources on such expensive magic as well as to cause the restored creature agonizing pain—using quieting needles is an evil act that is as illegal as murder in most civilized regions.

TL,DR: stick needles in the body, take CON damage when res'd.


Greyhawk also had the legal system similar to Girl Genius. Nobles lost all titles irrevocably at death so the undead and resurrected could not wield legitimate power as a feudal lord.

These are the two points I was going to bring up. Legal ramifications of causual-res'ing and a nonmagical counter to it.

Drakevarg
2011-09-20, 11:09 PM
I kind of like using the system that generally came up when I RPed on WoW; With resurrection preposterously easy for anyone even remotely powerful, murder basically became a warning shot. If Baron von Mustachetwirl was making a scene, you stab him in the face until you run out of face. If nothing else, it shuts him up for a day or two.

If someone is becoming a REAL problem or offends you in some unforgivable way, you just overkill him to the nth degree. You know, chop him into little pieces, burn the pieces in a volcano, then toss what's left into the deepest depths of the ocean. That sort of stuff. Should keep him off your back for a week or so.

Welknair
2011-09-20, 11:26 PM
If someone is becoming a REAL problem or offends you in some unforgivable way, you just overkill him to the nth degree. You know, chop him into little pieces, burn the pieces in a volcano, then toss what's left into the deepest depths of the ocean. That sort of stuff. Should keep him off your back for a week or so.

Yep, True Res can still bring 'em back easy.


Barghest's Feast in SpC makes resurrecting with anything but True Res impossible and True Res only 50% of the time. Fourth level spell I think? Fifth? Right around when Raise Dead comes.

olthar
2011-09-21, 01:04 AM
Now in the sense of DnD, first of all you have the idea that only in a major big city would you probably relatively easily find a caster powerful enough to cast 4th or higher level spells. (i'm also frustrated with DnD people who act like all campaign settings have lvl 18 or higher level casters running around willy nilly). Secondly those who have that power have an in game lore restriction for it. They are basically all followers of a code, be it the code of their god or a code of the balance of nature.

In addition to those issues, there's what's probably the most obvious one: Economics.

As long as it costs enough less to hire an assassin than it does to raise someone from the dead, then assassination is viable. That means the average assassin should be cheaper than the cost of a raise dead spell (5450 if the caster is doing it with no markup from srd cost). So if you assume that 1 in 3 assassination attempts work, then assassins are worth the cost as long as they are 1817 or less to hire. That may still be worth the cost if they are more because of the level or constitution loss given to a raise dead or resurrection spell.

If you're talking crazy crazy rich, then the person can afford a true resurrection to avoid the issue of level loss/con damage, but that costs at a min 26530, so you can afford to pay 8843 per assassin. If you assume a lower likelihood of assassinating someone that rich, then you can still afford 2653 if you assume 1 in 10 assassins will get through. If you hire 10 assassins and 2 succeed (1 kill, true resurrection, then kill again) then you've made money on the deal.

Basically, in a high magic world where resurrection is easy, it gives an economic advantage to kill someone. Not to mention the fact that you can take the x amount of time that the person is dead to do who knows what to them that they would normally be able to respond to. So I'd say that assassins are still worth it in a world where resurrection is easy to find.

Andorax
2011-09-21, 03:30 PM
I would presume that one of the reasons why dying causes your heir to inherit, regardless of the potential availability of resurrection spells, would be because it could become an even bigger arms race/disaster.

"Oh, I see you brought daddy back from the dead so I can't get my inheritance. FINE. I'll pay to have grandpa raised, and have him take it all back from dad."

At some point the madness has to come to an end so that upper levels of society can move forward. I can see placing a time/consent proviso in there, but generally speaking, inheritance would trigger on death.


And just think about the mess it could cause with marital vows? "Until death do you part" becomes a rather messy form of divorce.

ericgrau
2011-09-21, 03:38 PM
Remember any method that can be used against monsters might be used against PCs, which means lots of new characters.

If it's a good assasination and not a quick fight or killing you take the head, or better yet the whole body, burn it, scatter ashes. At 25,000 gp true ressurection isn't cheap, and by the time you can get it cast at all you can also get soul bind (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/soulBind.htm) or trap the soul (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/trapTheSoul.htm). Or a poor man's way is to animate dead and hide the zombie. As long as the method of raising is harder than the method of preventing it you can have meaningful deaths yet without ending carefully built PC careers on a regular basis.

WalkingTarget
2011-09-21, 04:41 PM
I kind of like using the system that generally came up when I RPed on WoW; With resurrection preposterously easy for anyone even remotely powerful, murder basically became a warning shot. If Baron von Mustachetwirl was making a scene, you stab him in the face until you run out of face. If nothing else, it shuts him up for a day or two.

Hell, in Steven Brust's setting (mentioned on the first page), one of the main character's friends has a standing rule for guests to his castle: duels to the death are fine and permissible here as long as revivification is possible - no shots at the head, no soul-eating weapons, otherwise go to town. Dragaerans from certain houses were likely to duel over the tiniest little points of honor anyway - a way to reverse death made it socially acceptable.

GolemsVoice
2011-09-21, 06:18 PM
One thing that should be considered though is, the people who are most likely the targets of assassination are also the people who most likely have written the laws on dead, resurrection, and inheritance. Why would you pass a law that makes your next of kin less likely to pay for your return from death, or a law that causes you to lose your belongings should something unfortunate but reversible happen.


That's one thing I liked about the Unhallowed Metropolis (think zombie apocalypse + steampunk britain in the future-past). Vampirism is a very real thing there, so the nobles, faced with the possibility of being heirs to someone who won't die on his own, pressured the parliament to pas a law stating that anyone who was dead was dead, period. That means title and all go to the next in line, even if the previous owner is technically still running around.

Now, this concerns vampirism, but I can easily see nobles introducing a law that states that your first death is the only one that counts legally, so after you die, you are treated as dead. A lot of families would probably set up some sort of position for ressurected family members, like placing them in other important decisions or making them advisors to the new lord.

The Random NPC
2011-09-22, 07:15 AM
At some point the madness has to come to an end.

There is, it is called old age.

Mark Hall
2011-09-22, 10:57 AM
IIRC, there was also a Pathfinder item (regular old item) specifically to discourage Resurrection. Needles, placed in various organs, so when you were rezzed, you died soon thereafter, and in immense pain.

SoC175
2011-09-22, 12:20 PM
The easiest reason why no one is resurrected wily-nilly is that the mortals have to beg for the favors of the deities and not the other way round.

You want your emperor to be resurrected? Sorry, no the great harvest goddess doesn't feel like granting this request. What can you do about it? Outlaw the religion of the harvest goddess for not resurrecting an unimportant mortal just because he happens to be your king? Well, it's you're crops that will stop growing and your stomach staying empty.

Mark Hall
2011-09-22, 01:04 PM
The easiest reason why no one is resurrected wily-nilly is that the mortals have to beg for the favors of the deities and not the other way round.

You want your emperor to be resurrected? Sorry, no the great harvest goddess doesn't feel like granting this request. What can you do about it? Outlaw the religion of the harvest goddess for not resurrecting an unimportant mortal just because he happens to be your king? Well, it's you're crops that will stop growing and your stomach staying empty.

The problem with that idea is the equality of deities. Harvest goddess doesn't feel like it? I bet the God of Trade will be willing to do so for suitable compensation.

NichG
2011-09-22, 04:56 PM
The problem with that idea is the equality of deities. Harvest goddess doesn't feel like it? I bet the God of Trade will be willing to do so for suitable compensation.

Even better yet, this is how gods become 'evil'. First she refused to resurrect our emperor. Then, when we stopped worshipping her because she wasn't keeping up her end, she beset us with drought, famine, and plague. Now the only worship she gets is from fear and dark cultists, and other gods move in and become mainstream. Might be a bit of an exaggeration, but breaking the expectations of their worshippers is dangerous for a deity in a polytheistic system where belief is power.

SoC175
2011-09-23, 01:51 AM
The problem with that idea is the equality of deities. Harvest goddess doesn't feel like it? I bet the God of Trade will be willing to do so for suitable compensation.Which leads to the problem of having to pay a "suitable compensation" for the gift of live, the deity of trade doesn't need mortal wealth

and other gods move in and become mainstream.Which would lead to the mortal world being a paradise with the deities regularly outbidding each other with the mana they are raining down on the world to garner the mortals favor. Yet even in worlds were deities depend on worship the deities ensure that things work exactly the opposite way.

CoffeeIncluded
2011-09-23, 10:01 AM
In my webcomic I made the following changes:

1. To resurrect someone you need a specific type of diamond called a Divine Diamond; large deposits of these are found in fewer than four or five places in the world.

2. There isn't any True Resurrection. If you want to bring someone back from the dead, you need a body or a piece of it. No exceptions.

3. You can't resurrect someone who's in the Venerable age category, even if they didn't die naturally. And resurrecting a child is a crapshoot at best.

4. Even if you do resurrect a noble or royal, it's still a political nightmare.

Xiander
2011-09-23, 10:18 AM
Assassinating's a good job, mate. It's challenging work, out of doors or in doors. I guarantee you'll not go 'ungry. 'Cause at the end of the day, long as there's two people left on the planet, someone is going to want someone dead.

This just gave me an idea for a cult of assasins, who kill people, then eat the corpses to prevent resurrection... Creepy :smalleek:

BadJuJu
2011-09-23, 12:12 PM
I have nnever let a character of mine be rezed. I just don't like it. Makes the character feel...cheap.

Kelb_Panthera
2011-09-23, 01:05 PM
Let's not forget maruts. A noble comes back from the dead 3-4 times, and a personification of the universal law that all mortals must eventually die comes to put him down.

Douglas
2011-09-23, 01:36 PM
Let's not forget maruts. A noble comes back from the dead 3-4 times, and a personification of the universal law that all mortals must eventually die comes to put him down.
I don't think 3 or 4 ordinary resurrections would be enough to trigger that kind of response. Turning undead, repeated Reincarnation to reset body age, and various other tricks that would prevent death by old age, on the other hand...

None of the standard revival spells do anything about death from old age, so the maruts can just sit back and wait for age to catch up if that's all someone's doing. It's when someone tries to circumvent the age limit that maruts step in.

NichG
2011-09-23, 02:17 PM
Which leads to the problem of having to pay a "suitable compensation" for the gift of live, the deity of trade doesn't need mortal wealth
Which would lead to the mortal world being a paradise with the deities regularly outbidding each other with the mana they are raining down on the world to garner the mortals favor. Yet even in worlds were deities depend on worship the deities ensure that things work exactly the opposite way.

On the contrary, look at what the presence of one moderate level (5th) cleric in a community could do, thanks to the blessings of their deity (without even dipping into Tippyverse stuff or any real optimization tricks):

- Mundane disease is not an issue for anyone with the deity's blessing. Smallpox. Polio. Bubonic plague. Veneral disease. Maybe even cancer, depending on how you run it. The blessed need never fear these things.

- The blessed shall never want for food or water, even in the worst droughts or famines.

- Injury can be healed without lasting damage or infection, on the spot as needed.

- The permanently blind and deaf can be cured of their ailments and restored to perfect function.

With higher level clerics, you get things like raising the dead and regenerating lost limbs. These are things we haven't licked in the modern era. It's pretty much a paradise compared to the real medieval era.

Jayabalard
2011-09-23, 02:38 PM
In what world... would this make sense to include both. Couldn't any noble with sufficient wealth (Or even those without liquid wealth that could be liquidated) simply put in his will an order of resurrection shipped to a local chapel and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's up to his old tricks again?

Resurrection isn't strict to D&D, it's in all sorts of RPG games. I've not had much experience as a GM having my characters get resurrections, but I do recall house-ruling it in my very first game to have exorbitant costs, (Slightly moreso than that of a very valuable gem, and permission of a deity that's always going to give permission anyway). What do you folks do about it? I'm world/setting building, and I was just working on new grappling/strangulation house rules when I realized this. For those people who enjoy the usefulness of having Resurrection of any sort handy, would you eradicate the usefulness of assassins? Perhaps have people who kill others (And want them to stay dead) have to perform a ritual in order to keep them that way? Or maybe simply burn the body? Are most people in your world too weak to have access to such abilities, save any Player Characters? Perhaps the world is friendlier, and assassins have little use being there? Maybe deities just wouldn't allow those who weren't worthy to be resurrected. In which case, those would those who committed the murder be punished for it, or would they allow the resurrected individual to it? What are the thoughts of the playground?
I don't really see a problem. Resurrection doesn't totally negate the effectiveness of assassins any more than banks totally negate the effectiveness of thieves.

Assassination removes leaders from their position, allowing an enemy to take advantage of a lapse (even if it's only a temporary lapse) in leadership. It could, for example, very likely mean the difference between winning and losing a battle. It's also likely to make the political situation very murkey (the minister is assassinated, the deputy minister succeeds him, the minister is resurrected... now what?)

Assassination is still an effective method of draining the resources of the opposing side. Having someone on your side assassinated costs you money and time, which is nothing to sneeze at.

SoC175
2011-09-23, 02:52 PM
On the contrary, look at what the presence of one moderate level (5th) cleric in a community could do, thanks to the blessings of their deity (without even dipping into Tippyverse stuff or any real optimization tricks): The point is the could do, because they are not simply doing it, even if doing so would gather a lot of new worshipers.

Yet the deities are taking great care that the mortals are the suppliants that must pay dearly (not necessarily monetarily) for their clerics magic instead of them having to make sure to rain down mana for free than their competitor deities.

Set
2011-09-23, 06:22 PM
This just gave me an idea for a cult of assasins, who kill people, then eat the corpses to prevent resurrection... Creepy :smalleek:

There's the obvious solution, really.

The assassin just needs to carry a tiny pot with a pinch of living green slime in it. Splash it on the body, and bam, it's a pile of un-resurrectable green slime. Then set the house on fire, on your way out the door. Green slime is a fairly common hazard, not at all hard to keep or maintain, and you can make more by throwing a bucket of butcher's scraps (or a failed apprentice...) into the slime pit in the assassin guild basement. Various other solutions of this sort may also be available, depending on what sort of hazards are available in the specific setting (russet mold, violet fungi, kyuss worms, etc.).

There's also the option of carrying the body away in a bag of holding or portable hole and feeding it to some pigs down at Farmer Bobs.

Or pulling the exact replica of the body from your portable hole, of the doppleganger or whatever that will be taking your target's place, and snatching away the real body. The family resurrects your target, and instead gets your facsimile, in the most hardcore means of getting an impersonator into place anyone has ever seen...

Even a 5th level cleric with animate dead can make someone un-resurrectable by animating their body, and you don't need the whole body, you can just animate the bones, which, if you've got the means to clean the flesh off of the bones on site, you can carry away in a backpack.

Mark Hall
2011-09-26, 07:05 PM
Which leads to the problem of having to pay a "suitable compensation" for the gift of live, the deity of trade doesn't need mortal wealth.

No, but he does want trade. He wants trade deals that help everyone. Maybe giving favored trading status to those who bear his mark.

Of course, there's the other side of trading... like sacrificing your sacred king so the harvest will be good...

Mikeavelli
2011-09-26, 08:59 PM
I would presume that one of the reasons why dying causes your heir to inherit, regardless of the potential availability of resurrection spells, would be because it could become an even bigger arms race/disaster.

"Oh, I see you brought daddy back from the dead so I can't get my inheritance. FINE. I'll pay to have grandpa raised, and have him take it all back from dad."

At some point the madness has to come to an end so that upper levels of society can move forward. I can see placing a time/consent proviso in there, but generally speaking, inheritance would trigger on death.


And just think about the mess it could cause with marital vows? "Until death do you part" becomes a rather messy form of divorce.

Or you go the other direction, anyone with any amount of collected wealth and power in the world got that way because they're practically immortal.

Wealth can buy potions of youth, transformations into long-lived creatures, undeath, or any number of other things. The standard catch for this is the same reason why Elves and Dwarves don't rule the world..

- Immortals inevitably become lethargic. They pass down inheritances simply because they don't want to bother with managing it anymore. The few exceptions maintain a huge amount of power in the world.

- When you're effectively immortal, one of your few real worries is attracting the attention of someone who might actually be able to kill you. A fairly large number of these people would be willing to let their descendants become the public face of whatever it is they're in charge of so that they don't take as much risk.

Roderick_BR
2011-09-27, 07:03 AM
There's a distinction between Assassin the PrC, and Assassin the job. I'd imagine that in a world with easy resurrection, assassins would be people who can:

- Kill in very specific and exotic ways, to send a message to the target.
- Kill in ways that are hard to come back from.

The first would be a 'death is just a threat' type thing. Even if a nobleman can bring his daughter back from the dead, they wouldn't want to see her suffer or die and bear the marks of that experience. Worse yet if its some kind of ritual killing that made her soul spend a night in Baator or something else particularly awful.

The second would involve knowing all the sorts of tricks that make resurrection difficult. Use Flesh to Stone instead of killing the target, and then do various things with the not-technically-dead statue. Destroy the body, making it harder to recover the person. Trap the soul in a repository so there's nothing to 'come back'. Trick them into drawing Void from a Deck of Many Things. Animate them as undead, so their physical form needs to be destroyed before they can be brought back. Convince them to take their own life through mind-altering substances and other torments so their soul chooses to refuse resurrection. Kill them with old age somehow (tricky, but how about polymorphing them into a mayfly?)

In principle, there'd also be a third type of job, which would be making sure people are dead during particular important moments. They might come back later, but if the captain of the guard is 'indisposed' while the city is under siege, the damage is done.

Of course, if resurrection isn't universally available, the traditional sort of assassin still makes sense in the majority of cases.
This is a very interesting point. Since most players don't feel the character's pains (physical and emotional), death is really just a revolving door. Within the story, though, it's traumatic, and common folks, even if brought back, IF they can get someone with enough level to cast the appropriate spells, is not expected to come back unscarred.
A very interesting example I saw was a manga where some bandits take a girl, the wizard's daughter, hostage. The warrior goes on and effortlessly chops the badguys with his new magic weapon, and even gloats about it... when he notices the girl crying in her father's arms, all covered in the bandit's blood and guts, and the wizard scolds the warrior for recklessly disembowing the bad guys in front of the girl.
Yeah, typical "but, but I saved her life..." situation, but still shows how adventurers forget "normal" people are not used to stuff like them.