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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Resurrection: My Problems With It

    As a player, I actually kind of dislike how other players are so nonchalant about dying once they reach level 15 (and have all that money that they've built up after 15 levels). It takes part of why I like D&D out of D&D and makes the experience cheap.

    As a DM, I've never had to run a campaign that went so high, but I'm about to send 4 lucky (or unlucky) players on a 1-20 run through the world of Eberron, and I don't want them, when they finally reach that awe-inspiring island continent of Argonessen, to ram the airship down a dragon's gullet just because "We can afford the rez."

    So, I was wondering how I could make it so that, if a player really wanted to keep his character, he could get it back, but at a penalty.

    My ideas so far are to remove true resurrection entirely and move resurrection up to a 8th level spell, to remove true ressurection and double the costs of resurrection as a 7th level spell or to make both ressurection and true ressurection ritual spells of sorts that require a doubled monetary cost and a triple XP cost that the party could split.

    I know that dramatically changes high-level gaming, but that was the plan. Any ideas to help me out?


    "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -Arthur Ashe

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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    There's no rules changes necessary. Why would true resurrection be available for sale at all? (And who's resurrecting the characters anyway?)

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    It does seem to me that resurrection takes a lot of the tension out of the game. maybe if they get killed several times and are kept low on cash they will be more careful. or each resurrection could require a quest to obtain a special very rare component (not that 5 and 10 thousand gp diamonds are just lying around) :0)
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Option 1: Up every resurrection spell (raise dead, etc.) by 2 levels and make true resurrection unavailable. Also double or triple costs.

    Option 2: Change the diamonds to be one gem. So True Res would not be " A sprinkle of holy water and diamonds worth a total of at least 25,000 gp." but rather " A sprinkle of holy water and a diamond worth of at least 25,000 gp.". 5000gp diamond of raise dead might atleast require a big quest, 25k diamond would be very rare (as in, they might find one in the whole campaign by awesome luck, very big reward, spending a level or two looking for it...).

    I prefer the latter. Things you should do is remove death effects completely. No more "save or die" spells. Also, remove death by massive damage if you use them because they really assume that the kind of resurrection magic is unavailable. You might also concider enlarging the death zone (death is at 0-Con score instead so that con 25 character dies at -25 instead of -10.) or something...
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    I like the rising the spell level idea. It's still available, but harder to get, especialy if the group has a high level cleric. True Resurrection could be used only as divine intervention.
    And don't forget, the characters may have a lot of money, but can they find that many diamonds for sale? They'll eventualy grow too poor to rise their deads all the time, and taking off true resurrection, they'll start to drop in level.

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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Seffbasilisk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Well, remember, if there's a TPK, who's going to True Rez the party? If they're eaten, who'll know that they died? And even IF they get NPCs to Rez the cleric or even the entire group, they might not be able to FIND high enough level NPCs, or high enough level NPCs WILLING to do it. That's the material cost, you also have to factor in the by the raw cost of getting the spellcaster to cast it. THEN you have to include a 'generous' donation to the church to even get thier attention, etc etc...
    Life is a gamble, roll the dice. If your life is like cards, rig the deck.

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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    I make my players go get the soul back from whichever plane it has departed to before they can cast Raise Anything. Yes, you can get raised from the dead, but your fellows had better really want you back.
    I have a whole arc of scenarios set up ready, scalable to the PCs undertaking the quest, to deal with this.

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    Khantalas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    All raise dead spells cost over 5000 gp if someone else casts the spell for the party, and such spells are not available for sale save for extreme situations. If they cast it themselves, they would still need to carry diamonds with themselves - diamonds which are hard to find and easily stolen or lost.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Jack Mann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    If you have access to Heroes of Horror, it has several good suggestions for resurrection spells.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Ah. After reading the entire spell entries I realize that my DM is simply lazy when it comes to spell requirements. Also, most of the other players are on their first characters, so I guess he's being easy on them for their sakes. I guess if resurrections are as hard to get as you all say (especially in Eberron, considering that the only NPCs I know of high-level enough to pull off rezes are dragons, and they don't normally do such generous things) I might consider just leaving them as-is.

    Thanks for the help.


    "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -Arthur Ashe

    Villainous Monsters, providing a list of worthy opponents for use in any OGL game: monsters with PC levels

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Exactly so. There's nothing, anywhere, that says PCs should be able to buy them. (In fact, I'm pretty sure the rules for purchasing spells as services indicate that resurrection and true resurrection cost so much that they are explicitly NOT generally available.)

    It's all a matter of the DM bothering to control the game. The rules support it already.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Jack Mann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Indeed. If the cost is higher than 3,000 gold, after spell components and what have you, then it's not generally available, except at DM discretion.

    Of course, if they have a cleric in the party, then it requires more direct intervention.
    I am a poor man, some say Im half crazy,
    son of the sword and the knife
    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
    my heart and my pride and my life
    --Bella Doa, by Joe Bethancourt
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    Alas, poor Draknir. By Mephibosheth

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    You could have just reincarnation available.


    BTW, what is the favored class of badgers?
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Up until epic levels, limiting cashflow works quite effectively to limit the willingness of the party to bankroll a true res. I've found that quite often a chaotic party will sell off the deceased member's stuff to pay for it, which can be quite comical. A lawful party usually includes a Geas/Quest or similar and requires repayment or service, to include also the price of the Geas.

    I haven't actually DM'ed at epic levels so I can't speak to that. I'd suspect that even at a rate of 10 True Resurrections per magic item an epic character would be leery of losing that much cash, but there's the potential for epic divine spellcasting, arranged with the DM, which uses (for example) 500k in diamonds but grants the party of 4 immunity to death effects for 24 hours. Work with your players, engage them - out of character - as your allies in the effort to keep things balanced and therefore challenging and fun.

    Maybe I'm just lucky in that of the 7 or 8 other guys I play D&D with, all but two of them are capable of taking DM duty themselves. Either of that pair probably could anyway, but they'd need the books.
    Don't bother trying to appeal to my better nature; I don't have one.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    resurrection spells are all divine spells given to clerics or other divine spell casters by their dieties. If their diety (YOU) doesn't want to allow them access to the ressurection spell then so be it. However, I would caution you about restricting or removing certain resurrection spells from the game or making them harder to come by. There is no bigger piss off than having a high level character bite the bullet because of one bad saving throw and then having roll up a whole new character. Remember, it can be really easy to kill off pc's at higher levels and at higher levels you shouldn't hold back.

    Personally I wouldn't change anything. Make sure the monsters and villains they're facing are played appropriately, smart and merciless, don't be afraid to smoke them sometimes seeing as how they do have resurrection spells available. Not to mention that no matter how high of a level you are dropping 25K for a true ress really starts adding up.

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    In Eberron, there are almost no NPCs capable of casting a True Resurrection (I suppose Jaela Darran, who can only do it in the Cathedral of Flamekeep, some Dragons, and the couple of Syberis-marked Jorasco heirs), none of whom would cast such a spell for mere money.

    If your party can cast it...well, good for them. I hope they keep their cleric alive. I'd also support eliminating Raise/Ressurect/True Ressurect entirely, especially in Eberron.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    If you want dying to be a penalty, simply remove true resurrection from the game world. That level loss will discourage them from dying.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    There's always the option to go wildly counter... make ressurection so easy that it is socially unacceptable to kill someone permanently (e.g. the Vlad Taltos novels by Steven Brust).

    Another fun option: Simply say that most good people, and those evil people powerful enough to win a worthwhile (i.e. non-food, non-wall-fodder) afterlife, do not want to be ressurected. Oops. Sorry. They're enjoying the afterlife immensly. No desire whatsoever to go back to that life of pain and utter craptitude. Since ressurection requires permission, ressurection becomes difficult.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    (I haven't read everything up to here, but just to state my opinion)

    If you're gonna remove true ressurrection, remove wail of the banshee too. If you don't want them to be so careles about dying, wail of the banshee will be sort of a game breaker.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DeathQuaker's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Aximili has a point: one of the reasons why high level characters can easily ressurrect is because by that point they also potentially face a number of "save or die" scenarios. Although good players are fine with their characters going out in a blaze of glory, no one likes to die due to simple unlucky die rolling (I remember playing 2nd ed and rolling double-zeros trying to teleport away from the Tarrasque... the monster didn't kill me. The dice did. It was humiliating and pointless.)

    Here's an idea: rather than houserule ressurrection, find other ways to bring tension into the game. Lives aren't the only things that have to be at stake. Artifacts, political events, alliances, ideas. If they can't retrieve the MacGuffin of Awesome from the Big Bad, will their entire home continent sink into the ocean? Will the city go into revolt if the Thingy of Whatsification is destroyed, losing their chance to prove the Prince's Innocence? Will they be mocked by the Evil Overlord and lose their chance at Supreme World Domination? They might shrug off dying, but they won't shrug off failure. Make it clear that even if they "true rez" there may be consequences. If you do it well, they'll like it--they'll feel more heroic for accomplishing what they do.

    You can also put other lives at stake--maybe they have enough gold to ressurrect a couple party members, but can they rez the entire village they're trying to rescue?

    Or simply, perhaps the Big Bad is capable of Imprisonment or similar spells (or worse) where a victim may not be easily recovered, res spell or no.

    Other ideas... you could temporarily "take away" resurrection through plot... don't change the rules for it, but, say--maybe the Big Bad is a horrible lich whose mastery of Negative Energy has weakened all positive energy spells in the area. The party might hope that AFTER the lich is killed, they get the ability to res themselves back, but until that point, their survival is uncertain. Then when they do kill the big bad and things return to normal, if anyone has died, they really have earned their res spell.

    Some other folks I know leave the rules as is, but the party has to go on a quest into the Planes to find the dead PC's soul and convince it to return rather than become a petitioner. That assumes, however, that the player of said PC isn't going to get some play time for awhile. But it's another way to avoid having to change the rules while still bringing a challenge into a game where death isn't always permanent.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    well it's from an outside perspective. I'm sure if players could actually feel the pain of the arrows, swords, dragon fire, etc. they'd be less willing to die so many times.
    I would be a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    I really like what you said in that 2nd paragraph, DQ.

    Thanks.


    "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -Arthur Ashe

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Shazzbaa's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    DQ's second paragraph was, in fact, godly.

    My problem with Res. is more the plot issue. It's... just too easy. "My parents/mentor/important person died. Ordinarily this would be turning point in my life, but as it is, they're easily resurrected and I can go on my merry way."
    Swearing revenge on your dying friend's grave is a lot less dramatic when you later have to say "You killed my dearest friend -- but he got better." It's hard to avenge your mother's death when she's peacefully at home knitting you a new scarf.

    It's kind of like when someone posted earlier wanting to play a blind character, and a response came reminding them "be sure to put something in your backstory about being cursed irrevocably with blindness by a deity or something, because otherwise the first good cleric you find could just heal it." Things are just fixed too easily in D&D.

    But then I suppose that's a gripe with the system, isn't it?

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Heroes of Horror has a variant where one of the material costs is the life of someone of the same alignment as the target to be resurrected. It's kind of hard to kill off a Lawful Good character to rez that paladin... especially since the paladin has to be willing. You pretty much need a willful sacrifice of such a character to rez your pally, and that's going to be problematic.

    JaronK

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    I always remove Resurection and True Resurection from the game, make Raise Dead a 9th level spell, and remove all instant kills from the game, save Phantasmal Killer at level 7 and Finger of Death and Cloudkill at 9

    You aren't going to bring many back, but it is a lot harder to make someone just drop dead.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    my dm: resurection? go find yourself a town first boy. then find yourself someone who can. then find yourself someone who will. then beg....

    in the meanwhile, make yourself a new character will you?


    :D


    and yes, i also like the "i can die" effect. whenever an enemy is encountered there is always the possibility that we are way underpowered and should've run/talked/just not opened that door etc.. love it

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Jack_of_Spades's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    It's up to their deity if they can live again, and if the diety isn't happy with them, they're screwed. An ex-paladin who is consider becoming a blackguard may not come back, but the playful rogue who worships Tymora might.

    Least, that's how I do it. It also explains how BBEGs keep coming back, their god is happy with them!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    I agree with Shazzbaa. The biggest problem with ressurection is that it removes all the drama from dying at high levels. IMC, I'll do it like The_Werebear or according to HoH.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Quote Originally Posted by Shazzbaa View Post
    My problem with Res. is more the plot issue. It's... just too easy. "My parents/mentor/important person died. Ordinarily this would be turning point in my life, but as it is, they're easily resurrected and I can go on my merry way."
    Swearing revenge on your dying friend's grave is a lot less dramatic when you later have to say "You killed my dearest friend -- but he got better." It's hard to avenge your mother's death when she's peacefully at home knitting you a new scarf.
    Not to mention inheritance issues. What happens when someone wealthy dies, and their goods and magic items get distributed to their grieving friends and family, and the owner shows up again a week later?

    I like MrNexx's idea. If a good character's passed on, and are now hanging out in the heaven of Selune or Pelor or whatever god they worshipped, they should be happy there. How much are they really going to want to go back to their old life of sleeping in ditches and fighting horrible monsters?

    Another DM I had ruled that any character could only be affected by resurrection spells once. So, the first time you die, you're fine, but the second . . .

    - Saph

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Resurrection: My Problems With It

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevka Palazzo View Post
    As a DM, I've never had to run a campaign that went so high, but I'm about to send 4 lucky (or unlucky) players on a 1-20 run through the world of Eberron, and I don't want them, when they finally reach that awe-inspiring island continent of Argonessen, to ram the airship down a dragon's gullet just because "We can afford the rez."
    Nerd-o-Rama is correct. With Eberron you're fortunate in that there are all of three characters as published that can actually perform a resurrection of any type. One is a 12 year old girl and leader of a major religion, one is so evil you'll never get her to agree, and the last is requires payment up front and will only help those who help her first.

    Functionally, in Eberron if there are resurrections being performed, its the players themselves. At that level I say let them do it, but there is the problem of having a high enough level cleric hanging around to cast said spells. So my advice is to take out the cleric first.

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