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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    My players have...... well they promised to get the miniboss out of jail and take her to give the boss a proper burial. About three months after killing him.

    And it doesn't stop there. Oh boy...

    We have a bone collector in the party.

    I have a plan to deal with him, but what about the corpse?? Any suggestions on walking the line between "you're taking someone who you joked was married to the former occupant of this three-month-dead body to see this, and not even as an intimidation like they're trying to be nice?" and "ya'll it's a three-month-dead body and this is my payback for your ridiculous character stat rolls."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Vinyadan's Avatar

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    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    Maybe this is the wrong section? Anyway, it depends on what you want to do exactly. It sounds like a morbidly funny situation, but, if it's too morbid, you can get them to perform a closed casket funeral.

    OK, to be honest, I would have the miniboss resurrect the boss (use an item if needed), and fight them again. Or maybe not even fight them, just go "well, we made it" and have the two bosses leave. Or have the miniboss get some satisfaction from turning the boss into an undead in her service, if she had issues with being the subordinate.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Maybe this is the wrong section? Anyway, it depends on what you want to do exactly. It sounds like a morbidly funny situation, but, if it's too morbid, you can get them to perform a closed casket funeral.

    OK, to be honest, I would have the miniboss resurrect the boss (use an item if needed), and fight them again. Or maybe not even fight them, just go "well, we made it" and have the two bosses leave. Or have the miniboss get some satisfaction from turning the boss into an undead in her service, if she had issues with being the subordinate.
    Yeah I looked around, but this seemed like the best spot?? Because of the forensic aspect??

    Thanks for the ideas.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    I reckon you are asking for what the state of a corpse that old would be.

    I found some basic info on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpse_decomposition

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I reckon you are asking for what the state of a corpse that old would be.

    I found some basic info on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpse_decomposition
    Yeah i finally broke down and looked at that one. And a couple others to get actual times and stuff. Yuck! So basically the worst stage. Emoji I'm fine, this is fine.

    Any advice how to do the description and suggestions how they would potentially move it?

    Edit: and thanks for replying!
    Last edited by RittenRemedy; 2020-09-15 at 01:45 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    Quote Originally Posted by RittenRemedy View Post
    Any advice how to do the description and suggestions how they would potentially move it?
    Hmm... depending on the exact setting... if D&D and they have a Bag of Holding or something similar, that could greatly simplify things, although I forget the space confines of such. Some sort of waterproof bag or treasure chest could approximate the modern idea of "put it in the trunk of a car".
    I didn't read the full descriptions on that Wikipedia page, but if it's been sitting for 3 months and they are only now moving it, I reckon it might be mostly solids that are being carried, so less concern about icky leakage? Maybe even old enough that the smell is starting to fade?

    If needed, the body could be left out where small carrion-eaters would finish off some of the remains. Like, not in the wild where a big animal might take the body away and you lose it, but somewhere with scavenger birds and rats and such.

    ----

    Regarding the RP thing: if IC the person is geniunely trying to keep up their end of the bargain and be nice, I'd play it straight as long as the character continues to play it straight. Even if OOC the player thinks it's funny and payback for bad stats.
    But "play it straight" could range from thankful to offended to something in between ("oh, they were keeping a promise... but... yuck, this is gross and offensive"). And also matters a lot of if the PCs admit they killed the mid-boss or not, I reckon.

    If this is just a horrible idea that's going to backfire in multiple ways, I think you should at least give a "are you sure?" question-warning.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Hmm... depending on the exact setting... if D&D and they have a Bag of Holding or something similar, that could greatly simplify things, although I forget the space confines of such. Some sort of waterproof bag or treasure chest could approximate the modern idea of "put it in the trunk of a car".
    I didn't read the full descriptions on that Wikipedia page, but if it's been sitting for 3 months and they are only now moving it, I reckon it might be mostly solids that are being carried, so less concern about icky leakage? Maybe even old enough that the smell is starting to fade?

    If needed, the body could be left out where small carrion-eaters would finish off some of the remains. Like, not in the wild where a big animal might take the body away and you lose it, but somewhere with scavenger birds and rats and such.

    ----

    Regarding the RP thing: if IC the person is geniunely trying to keep up their end of the bargain and be nice, I'd play it straight as long as the character continues to play it straight. Even if OOC the player thinks it's funny and payback for bad stats.
    But "play it straight" could range from thankful to offended to something in between ("oh, they were keeping a promise... but... yuck, this is gross and offensive"). And also matters a lot of if the PCs admit they killed the mid-boss or not, I reckon.

    If this is just a horrible idea that's going to backfire in multiple ways, I think you should at least give a "are you sure?" question-warning.
    Oh, they are aware. When they decided to take Cragmaw as home base, I made them clean out the goblin bodies first, about two weeks after they were killed so in the absolute height of yuck. If they really plan on doing this, I'm for sure going to give them an explicit ooc warning.

    The body is actually in a cave and had a massive amount of magic put through it, so I have a fair amount of leeway with... stuff. One of them went back right after the battle finished and moved the body from the temple, but none of the others know this. So I love the idea of "You enter the temple... Body's gone" as a gag. For rp/plot reasons I really like this whole thing as an opportunity for them to get an information source from the miniboss. Like, they did the work of not killing her, and if they do the work to get her at least willing to work with them, I think that's very smart.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Tail of the Bellcurve
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    Default Re: A Terrible Question (CW Corpse Stuff)

    One of the fun perks of growing up around animals is a certain familiarity with decomposition.

    The major determing factors here are the environment, which mostly breaks down into temperature, humidity, oxygen availability, and the size and diet of the local animal life.

    If the body is not protected by burial or something similar, and there's a reasonable amount of wildlife, then it will be very thoroughly scavenged after 3 months. This will tend to complicate retrieval to an extent, because of the chances of pieces having been pulled off, or bones cracked for marrow.

    If its winter in a colder part of the world, or the body ended up in a glacier or peat bog somehow, decomposition will be pretty minimal, although scavenging may still occur. In the winter case, there can be some tissue damage due to repeated freeze/thaw cycles, if the temperature isn't consistently below freezing.

    If the weather is warm through hot, then after 3 months you're probably looking at a pile of bones covered in dry, blackened skin and assorted bits of leathery tissue. There will be a significant smell up close, and the contents of the skull are likely to be quite unpleasant. I would recommend boiling everything clean, and not standing downwind.

    If you're supremely unlucky, then you'll only have a couple weeks of warm weather since the spring thaw. Now you get to have fun with a wide variety of insect larvae, and vastly worse smells as most of the soft tissue is still rotting. I suggest a shovel, followed by boiling. Or consider a nice rock cairn on mounded over the top.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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