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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Breaking a Death Curse

    This is spinning off the "A New Take on Resurrection" thread.

    Simply put, you have a character whose backstory includes that he only can be killed by a red dragon.

    How do you break this? What suggestions do you have for things that can kill him that will fulfill the curse?
    The Cranky Gamer
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    You can make a dragon statue, paint it red and throw it over the guy?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    I say that anything can kill him, but his spirit would then become a ghost, doomed to linger on this mortal coil, in never-ending torment for having failed to fulfill his destiny. The only way he can be released from his eternal, incorporeal agony would be to be destroyed by some sort of red dragon exorcist.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Yeah, it's kind of like Eugene - he gets stuck on a boring stupid cloud forever, or until one of his descendants finally gets eaten by a dragon.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Remove curse?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Several good answers were suggested in that thread: a Red Dragon Clan of assassins and such things: Killed by a collapse in the Red Dragon inn! Killed by local red-haired crime boss known as the Dragon! Executed by the government which has a red dragon on the ruler's coat of arms! Someone slips him poison in a mug of the brew that locals refer to as 'red dragon!' Hit by a ballista bolt fired from an elaborately carved siege weapon! If you want to make a player paranoid, have half a dozen things in as many encounters that could be creatively interpreted in this fashion.

    Also the 'not dead != in good shape' argument posed in this thread. He hangs around as a spirit or his body can't repair itself and he becomes a shambling zombie-thing. Really SLOW healing also works fine for most purposes; assuming he stays alive below -10 hit points but only heals at the natural rate means that he can be captured or taken out of action just about as easily as anyone, and it may make things much worse for him in the long run while still giving him the benefit of being alive.

    Petrification is presumably a workaround.
    Last edited by Lapak; 2008-12-17 at 11:48 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    As I said in the other one:
    Small Child with a red dragon plushie. "Nom Nom! You're dead now, Mister!"
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    It's D&D. So what if he's fated to be slain by a Red Dragon? You pick up a bloody scrap and True Ressurrect it. I fail to see how this is so difficult.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Prometheus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    1) Talk to the player and arrange for the death to happen at a predetermined time (along the specified method) when it plays a major part in advancing the plot.

    2) The BBEG qualifies. He probably goes a little heavy on that character. Should he die, I tell him it could be no other way and the fact that he showed up is a noble sacrifice. Should he survive, I tell him his courage (or some other relevant family attribute) stared down death and that he has broken the curse forever. If he decides not to show up or focus extraordinarily on defending himself, I let it slide for the encounter but describe that is death does indeed follow the pattern - in a very arbitrary way. For example, an elephant from the Red Dragon circus get unruly, and accidentally tramples over the PCs house, stomping on his head while he is sleeping.

    3) Somewhere along the plot, it is the PCs quest to find a way to break the curse, such as performing a certain ritual, righting the familiar wrong, or an elaborate mechanism to set the prophecy off, but not actually be held to it thereafter.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Let me take this moment to point you in the direction of Mandible Bones' curse.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Make it into a real curse. The PC's soul is trapped in a dead body. The PC has no choice except to take the first lifegiving effect applied to his body - raise dead, resurrection, true resurrection, reincarnation or the like, even if it reduces Con.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Oh look, that random person who killed you had the nickname "Red Drake"
    GNU Terry Pratchett

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Eaten by Hannibal Lector. From the movie "Red Dragon" of course.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    I see this less as "A red dragon will kill you" and more as "nothing can kill me but a red dragon" and except for the suggestions here, at face value it seems really like a boon, and not a curse.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    One could also look at it as "a Red Dragon will be the thing that finally finishes you off once and for all" in the sense that after this Red Dragon is through with you, True Ressurrection is impossible.

    You can die all you like up to that point. It's pretty well expected you'll come back over and over to eventually meet your doom from a Red Dragon.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    You also have to question how that curse/prophesy was established. Maybe (hello Harry Potter) part of the prophesy is missing. It could have gotten lost, misremembered, or interrupted.

    Another possibility is that the 'curse' is fake. For example, this character is destined to play a crucial role in a fight against a red dragon. If he believes he's destined to die, he might avoid the fight, and the dragon will win. The other way around: this character is naturally a coward, but believing he'll die at the hands of a red dragon all his life, living with that constant fear for years, gives him the time he needs to overcome that fear and save the day.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    ~considers the thread based on the title~

    Breaking a death curse..... Copy the red dragon, and pass the copy on to someone else before his time expires?

    >.>

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    horngeek's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    This was mentioned in another post, and the trick is that it does not nessecarialy have to be a literal *Red Dragon*. You could have so many different ways of killing him. Or, just have the BBEG summon a red dragon. Right over the character.


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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    The major villain is a gnomish sorceror who has been occupying the party for quite some time. One thing leads to another, including a variety of dragon fights that are not themselves red dragons, leading to the big boss fight with said gnomish sorceror, who opts for an illusion of a red dragon. The morale effect is enough to keep the cursed person from maintaining the force of will required to withstand a slay living or equivalent.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Mark, I seem to think I heard about this from the other side via some post in some forum. Am I right in thinking that you are no longer playing the character in question?

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Mark, I seem to think I heard about this from the other side via some post in some forum. Am I right in thinking that you are no longer playing the character in question?
    I was never playing the character in question; someone mentioned it on another thread, it reminded me of something, and I decided to start a thread on it.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Mewtarthio's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    He dies, and his sould somehow gets lost in transit to the afterlife, ending up in Tiamat's domain. Tiamat then devours the PC's soul in a single bite.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    1) The Curse was wrong/a bluff
    2) Kill him with a red dragon

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Grail's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    No curse should last for ever. There must be something that will lift it, maybe this has been forgotten. Maybe some other person affected by the curse undertakes the task to lift it. Maybe it no longer is valid, perhaps the curse was only for a couple generations and it has now expired. Maybe the god of Death says, you know what - I really want that soul, no mortal curse is going to keep it from my realm.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Seffbasilisk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    All of the magic weapons in this area have been crafted by the red dragons, and weilded by thier minions. Due to adventurers, over time, these have trickled into the hands of merchants. From this, almost any +1 or better weapon has a good chance of being forged a red dragon.

    Hence, he's 'slain' by a 'red dragon'.

    If you want, can even have a number of these weapons have small dragons worked into the designs (they do have to be masterwork).
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Just in the nick of time when someone else would have killed you if not for the curse, a red dragon teleports in and eats you.

    Also, stuff like being petrified/paralysed/imprisoned forever doesn't count as dying.
    Last edited by Mastikator; 2008-12-19 at 03:46 AM.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Quote Originally Posted by Britter View Post
    I say that anything can kill him, but his spirit would then become a ghost, doomed to linger on this mortal coil, in never-ending torment for having failed to fulfill his destiny. The only way he can be released from his eternal, incorporeal agony would be to be destroyed by some sort of red dragon exorcist.
    I like this one.

    I'm not sure I'd allow a backstory that was moderately clever at best to influence game mechanics at all. I think I'd just reply with:

    'Well - you know, nothing ever really lasts forever. The magic of that curse of yours? Well, only now you realize that your fathers generation was the last to be affected. As death grips you, you realise the futility of the fear you always had of the curse - you could have lived out your days in peace, instead of always running from you thought was your inescapeable fate. As the pain of your wounds recede, you suddenly have a brief and startlingly clear vision of an ancient crone, laughing and laughing - you were the only one who had a chance to escape the curse, but she won regardless. Then you die - and with you dies your line, and your family.'

    THE END.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Waspinator's Avatar

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    Quote Originally Posted by Britter View Post
    I say that anything can kill him, but his spirit would then become a ghost, doomed to linger on this mortal coil, in never-ending torment for having failed to fulfill his destiny. The only way he can be released from his eternal, incorporeal agony would be to be destroyed by some sort of red dragon exorcist.
    Maybe bust out the Ghostwalk rules and have him be compelled to find someone to resurrect him so that he can be killed to die in the correct way and be released from undeath.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Breaking a Death Curse

    A book with a dragon on the cover, and explosive runes written in it? Killed by a "read" dragon.

    Or maybe just any dragon with an extensive library. A well-read dragon.

    *awaits pummeling*
    Last edited by Moriato; 2008-12-19 at 04:39 PM.

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