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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    I've said more than once that I hate resurrection magic. I just don't want death to be cheap, and I don't want to deal with the implications of resurrection common enough for PCs to utilize. On the other hand, I also don't want to put the players in a situation where a few bad die rolls will take their favorite character away forever. I think I have come up with a workable compromise between these two desires. This was written with Pathfinder in mind, in which you die at negative HP equal to your constitution score. It should work fine in 3.5, with the requirement that the healing spell return the character to -9 HP or greater, with a maximum HP at revival of -5 instead of half the constitution score.

    If a healing spell is cast on a corpse that has died within 1d3 + 2 minutes, and this spell raises the corpse's hit point total above its constitution modifier in negative hit points, the corpse returns to life. The corpse may not have more hit points that half it's constitution score in negative hit points when it returns to life, and resumes the dying condition normally, though it does not get an attempt at stabilization until losing a hit point. After 1d3 + 2 minutes, this can still be attempted, but it will likely fail to revive the corpse, and if it succeeds there will probably be brain damage. Whether or not such a late revival attempt fails, whether it does brain damage, and what this brain damage does is up to DM fiat. Once a person has been dead for 1d3 + 7 minutes, the individual can no longer be brought back to life, as resurrection magic does not exist.

    This system is inspired by IRL emergency resuscitation, the idea being that, if we can pull it off at times in the real world, why couldn't magic pull it off more consistently? This system makes it so that a fallen PC has a very good chance of getting back up (especially since every spellcaster can heal), yet at the same time there is a sense of urgency involved, as the intended healer only has a few minutes before it's too late. After that, you have either crippling brain damage or, more likely, permanent, irrevocable death. The risk of death is still there, and the revolving door afterlife I despise isn't, but dead PCs will still probably get back up. I can tolerate it under this system, because there is a short timeline in which it can be done, and because it is also possible (though much less reliable) in the real world.

    Any thoughts on this system? Any balance issues I haven't noticed?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    What happens if the character dies to an effect that isn't HP damage? Is he treated as -con mod, or is it just not possible to resurrect him? This is the biggest issue, as it makes the very big assumption that death is primarily coming from hit point damage.

    Is there any particular reason for making the time table random? Why not just say "within 5 minutes"?

    Why is it after the first 1d3+2 minutes you start incurring 'brain damage'? How is this handled in game? Is it a roleplaying handicap? Or are there stat penalties? Or is it like a permanent confusion effect? Is the brain damage reversible with a spell?

    Why is it after being brought back with a healing spell, the character is still dying? Any amount of healing stabilizes a character at negative hit points. All making them still be dying does is make the cleric waste a cantrip to stabilize.

    Similarly, why is a character being brought back in this way capped in how many hit points they get brought back to. If a character is dropped to -17 with a 16 con, and then gets healed for 150 hit points from the Heal Spell, why wouldn't he go up to 133 hp rather than -8? What happens to all the extra healing? Seems like you'd be better off spamming cure light wounds to try to get closer to the exact number than using a single big heal where most of the healing is wasted.





    On the note of balance, I'm not really sure how this makes death less cheap. Resurrection costs a lot of gold, and usually has penalties associated with it. Here, we have free resurrection without penalties, as long as it's done within a short timeframe. If anything this feels to me like it's making death cheaper, because it's much easier to reverse in the majority of cases, it just becomes impossible in the niche case that the body isn't available to their allies within the first few minutes.

    As an aside, are you familiar with the Revivify spell? It's a spell in the Spell Compendium that allows a character to be resurrected within 1 round of death, without the normal penalties for resurrection, but still costs 1000gp.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    What happens if the character dies to an effect that isn't HP damage? Is he treated as -con mod, or is it just not possible to resurrect him? This is the biggest issue, as it makes the very big assumption that death is primarily coming from hit point damage.
    I'd treat non-HP death as -con -5 HP, unless it should logically be more (such as getting decapitated [which will make revival harder, but not impossible). A couple spells, such as disintegrate, wouldn't leave a corpse behind at all, but those are few and far between and I don't plan to throw them around much.

    Is there any particular reason for making the time table random? Why not just say "within 5 minutes"?
    I wanted to add some uncertainty.

    Why is it after the first 1d3+2 minutes you start incurring 'brain damage'? How is this handled in game? Is it a roleplaying handicap? Or are there stat penalties? Or is it like a permanent confusion effect? Is the brain damage reversible with a spell?
    The brain damage is from lack of oxygen to the brain. I took this from real life, where trying to resuscitate someone after a few minutes can bring them back with brain damage do to part of the brain being already dead. The brain damage may be a physical diagnosis like partial paralysis or a mental stat penalty dropping the mental stats into crippling levels, depending on what I fell like doing at the moment. I don't think I'd make it a confusion effect. I would not allow it to be healed.

    Why is it after being brought back with a healing spell, the character is still dying? Any amount of healing stabilizes a character at negative hit points. All making them still be dying does is make the cleric waste a cantrip to stabilize.
    Dramatic effect. I wanted to borrow from ER shows where a resuscitated patient is still in trouble, even if only for a little bit. I also don't enforce the rule that magical healing stabilizes automatically (unless it brings you above 0 HP).

    Similarly, why is a character being brought back in this way capped in how many hit points they get brought back to. If a character is dropped to -17 with a 16 con, and then gets healed for 150 hit points from the Heal Spell, why wouldn't he go up to 133 hp rather than -8? What happens to all the extra healing? Seems like you'd be better off spamming cure light wounds to try to get closer to the exact number than using a single big heal where most of the healing is wasted.
    Same reason as above. Dramatic effect. Also, it's quite possible for a corpse to be damaged badly enough that the large amount of healing from something like Heal is what it'll take to revive it. This is most likely with sustained damage such as catching fire (which will continue to damage a corpse after death), critical hits, or extreme damage such as decapitation.

    On the note of balance, I'm not really sure how this makes death less cheap. Resurrection costs a lot of gold, and usually has penalties associated with it. Here, we have free resurrection without penalties, as long as it's done within a short timeframe. If anything this feels to me like it's making death cheaper, because it's much easier to reverse in the majority of cases, it just becomes impossible in the niche case that the body isn't available to their allies within the first few minutes.
    Yes, but the reason it works is because the brain isn't dead yet (the same reason it works in real life), and the soul does not depart the body until complete brain death. While that may be functionally more lenient than the current system, from a flavor perspective it isn't, because those who's souls have moved on can never come back by any means. That is the flavor change I wanted to implement. My issue with resurrection isn't that it makes things easier for the PCs, it's when people can move on to the afterlife, come back, and do it all over again several times. Under this system, the revived never go to the afterlife in the first place, because the brain hasn't shut down out quite yet. As long as those revived never moved on to the afterlife, and as long as, once somebody is really dead (as in, brain dead and soul moved on), they can be expected to stay that way forever, I can tolerate it.

    As an aside, are you familiar with the Revivify spell? It's a spell in the Spell Compendium that allows a character to be resurrected within 1 round of death, without the normal penalties for resurrection, but still costs 1000gp.
    Don't have the book.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    The way I'm doing it in my new campaign is to invent a new status condition 'KO' which lies between 'unconscious' and 'dead'.

    You are unconscious starting at -1. You are KO starting at -10. You are dead at -MaxHP.

    Someone who is KO can be magically healed, but only has a 10% chance of regaining consciousness per round regardless of their hp total. Basically, it means that even if you are taken out, you can't be quickly brought back into the fight if you were KO. It prevents death as being a necessary condition in order to actually end the fight (since otherwise, healers could just keep bringing people back up).

    Low levels can still be pretty lethal in that system though. A greataxe crit from a raging barbarian will still kill anyone with under ~20 MaxHP in one shot.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacAilbert View Post
    The brain damage is from lack of oxygen to the brain. I took this from real life, where trying to resuscitate someone after a few minutes can bring them back with brain damage do to part of the brain being already dead. The brain damage may be a physical diagnosis like partial paralysis or a mental stat penalty dropping the mental stats into crippling levels, depending on what I fell like doing at the moment. I don't think I'd make it a confusion effect. I would not allow it to be healed.
    Depending on the character class, that means they might as well start drawing up a new character sheet. Playing a paralyzed Fighter or a 2 Int Wizard is not going to work out well.
    On a quest to marry Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells, or die trying.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    Depending on the character class, that means they might as well start drawing up a new character sheet. Playing a paralyzed Fighter or a 2 Int Wizard is not going to work out well.
    I think at that point, thats intentional: outside of the 'it works if you're within X time' interval, you need a new character.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF PEACH] My replacement for resurrection magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    I think at that point, thats intentional: outside of the 'it works if you're within X time' interval, you need a new character.
    Correct. A brain damaged character should be replaced.

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