View Full Version : Adventurers in the Afterlife (Idea)

2007-12-11, 05:30 PM
During my time surfing TV Tropes, I discovered a wonderful little device called "Dead to Begin With", where, essentially, the characters are dead and buried, but are still kicking in some form, albeit ethereally. Being the fan of maverick plots that I am, I thought "This would be a wonderful kicker for a planar campaign" (Actually, I had come up with the idea beforehand, but Tropes gave me the incentive to post it up here). So here's the cinch:

PCs were a perfectly normal low-level adventuring party of berks until they tread on the metaphorical toes of some BBEG. He, having a colossal ego, doesn't take this too lightly, and because he was both particularly grouchy and geographically close to the PCs that day, decided to handle it personally. Needless to say, the PCs are cremated before the funeral. However, during the transit to their respective afterlives, something goes terribly wrong with the guidance system and they end up in the Japanese "Makai" version of Hell if it was in D&D (mixed in with some Disgaea, but that's just because I am a smartass). That, or maybe they just discover that there's a common area that their respective afterlives share, and they meet up in it. There, they discover that in order to get back to the Prime, they have to become Yokai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yokai) themselves through, you guessed it, doing errands for various planar entities. Though admittedly, these errands are a lot more dangerous then "Take this box to that guy" (Depending on which part of the cosmos you're in, that can be dangerous too), but still... Along the way, they discover a few important plot points (the aforementioned BBEG really isn't the main villain after all, demons aren't all evil, the tofu they eat is really a sentient bio-form, the cake is a lie, excetera...), try to deal with the fact that they, you know, lost, and of course, try not to strangle every member of the infamously convoluted and ineffective Celestial Bureaucracy (How so? It has Bureaucracy right in the name!), who take every opportunity to be as much an obstruction to the players as a help. Probably more of the former.

So what do you guys think? How would you go about creating a campaign where the players are dead? What would be some good, ie sympathetic villains? What powers should they gain as they become more "Yokai" then "demihuman"? How horrible should their homeworld be when they finally do get back? How much humor should be in such a campaign, given that as you already know, I am a comedian?

A villain idea that's been kicking around my head is a guy who was NE in life, and as such was taken in by the yugoloths upon death. What the 'loths didn't know was that this guy, by sheer force of will, was able to retain his memories and powers. He breaks out of the Tower of Khin-Oin's containment cells, overpowered the acanaloth who was about to sell him to the Abyss, and literally devoured the essence and life force of the fiend. Since you don't eat a being of made of pure evil and only get a stomachache, he was reborn as a half-yugoloth with all the powers and knowledge of the acanaloth he ate, as well as his fully intact mortal side. Needless to say, he was immediately given a job by the loths (partially because they were impressed with his abilities, mostly because they were scared s***tless of him, mainly beacuse of afromentioned abilities). Offically, he's on par with your average nycaloth. Unofficially, he can boss around some of the ultroloths, let alone the arcanaloths (that's no small feat, given that I use the more powerful versions with class levels)! Of course, I want him to be sympathetic, but I'm unsure about how to do this. May I ask for your help (and as a side note, how should I desribe his appearence)? And no, you are not allowed to say, "his loth half controls him". That would subvert the point of the villian, that he was able to overcome and outwit a yugoloth, and made him even stronger beacuse of it. The arcanaloth is dead, dead, dead.

And about those "plot twists" you saw earlier in the thread...Except for the first one, I was joking. Though now that I mentioned the tofu...

Anyway Let's Begin!

2007-12-11, 06:37 PM
I love the idea, I might actually steal it.

Yokai's are incredibly diverse, and therefore the PCs should decide what type they become. In order to individualize their choice, I think it would have to be either take up half or all their class levels. If you are up to it, I'd make five or six homebrew classes, so that their level progression is directly related to their spiritual progression. Here are some ones I found off of wikipedia:

Animal Obake/Bakemono:Tanuki(racoon),Kitsune, (foxes), Hebi, (snakes), Mujina (badgers), Bakeneko and nekomata, (cats), Ōkami, (wolves), or Tsuchigumo (giant spiders). Perhaps they gain aspects of the creature, than shape-shifting for longer and longer periods of time, with the power of the creature increasing from normal to dire to legendary.
Oni: Ogre-like with increases im strength, size, consitution
Tsukumogami: intelligent Magic item with inceasing power
Kappa: Turtle-apes, who learn Koppo, bone breaking martial arts
Tengu: Dog/Bird like Creatues, light, improved trip, flight, gust of wind, sonic and chaos abilities, travel in meteor form, ability to chew weaponry
Several other bizarre forms...

It appears a lot of the legends vary, so you are free to take advantage of all or none of the fabled abilities. If you are creative or a PC doesn't like the options, create your own in the same spirite

2007-12-12, 02:23 PM

If you are up to it, I'd make five or six homebrew classes, so that their level progression is directly related to their spiritual progression.

Yes, I would love that!

Thank you.

2007-12-12, 02:58 PM
I love the idea and I can certainly use it in my own campaign, so I will do it, but I might feel bad if I didn't preface this with some cautions however:
a) I am currently doing exams, therefore, work may be slow (Exams end the 20th).
b) I have very little knowledge of Japanese culture, so I will be googling the vast majority of it, and may get some of it wrong or more obscure than is typically the case.
c) I am moderately experienced with home brewing, but as with any homebrew, the DM should step in if things get unexpectedly unbalanced.

2007-12-12, 07:03 PM
Wow, this sounds excellent. I would love to play in this world, or DM this kind of game.

2007-12-12, 08:09 PM
I have made a thread in homebrew for the classes (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66344). As of this post, I only have the Oni, but plan on adding more later.

2007-12-12, 08:30 PM
Before you go homebrewing too much, consider Oriental Adventures. It has the Hengeyokai and Spirit Folk races, not to mention Oni, Spirit Centipedes, and several other like monsters.

2007-12-12, 10:50 PM
Oriental Adventures would be a perfect source of character races and monsters alike. However, if the goal is to transform into Yokai, I think there still has to be some homebrewing in order. I was able to use the Common Oni as an inspiration for some of the abilities however.

2007-12-14, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the Oni Class, Prometheus.

I look forward to more of your work.

Emperor Demonking
2007-12-14, 11:45 AM
To make him more sympathetic you could say he got a bonus to his will save because of his true love. Who was killed when he was and he can't find her.

Plus brilliant campaign idea.