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Thread: New raise dead. thoughts?
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 12:19 AM #1
Gallant (Lvl 3)
New raise dead. thoughts?
Okay so the topic of death as a revolving door is a continous complaint among gamers with seemingly everyone disliking how newer editions have done it but without really being able to agree on a better way.
With the current RAISE DEAD you have a 1 hour casting time, material cost, limits on the condition of the body and pretty serious penalties for the first few days after being raised.
To me this doesnt completely solve the problem but does go a good bit to giving a serious penalty to dying now, at least for a while. Thoughts?
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 05:04 AM #2
Lama (Lvl 13)
This is one of those things that different groups are going to disagree on.
Some people would prefer that there be little or no penalty for dying. They would argue that it isn't fun to lose a character because of a bad roll, and they don't like the idea of players being penalized for days on end afterwards, either. This only encourages extended periods of downtime and just isn't fun, they'd say.
On the other hand, some people think the dead shouldn't be able to be raised at all. They perfer for actions to have serious consequences and feel that the ability to be raised to life cheapens the risks of adventuring and ruins setting immersion. After all, it's pretty annoying when the big bad guy you killed comes back again and again. And it does kind of ruin the setting for simulationists. Surely kings and emperors can afford to be raised back to life no matter how expensive the ritual is, so that pretty much makes it impossible for anyone to ever commit regicide.
And then there's many different preferences inbetween those two extremes. There just isn't a right or wrong answer on this. I think this is something that should be modular. Several different options should be provided and people can choose which one works best for them and their game world.
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 10:59 AM #3
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
Casting time is irrelevant but the rest sounds good; I'd like to see some sort of permanent penalty as well e.g. the loss of a Con. point as per 1e.
Lan-"once upon a time my Con was 16"-efan
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 11:11 AM #4
Superhero (Lvl 15)
I still think 500 gp is way too cheap for raise dead.
My group will likely carry on with our tradition of banning it. Most of us prefer death to be... well, final.
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 11:16 AM #5
Gallant (Lvl 3)
In our Pathfinder group we totally ignore all death penalties. There is no level löss, the rest of the party only needs to find a cleric/druid/oracle of high eough level and convince him why he should ask his god to intervene and bring your character back to life. Dying is preety much "flavour" without any mechanical asides other than spending the required amount of gold. This is in part due to our unique party compositionm, though: Human Druid 6(Caster Spec, Elven Rogue4/Sorcerer 2(Face and Skillmonkey), Halfling Dragonblood Sorcerer 6(blaster), Human Wizard4/Cleric2(supporter), Halfling Ranger 6(Archery Style), Human Invulnerable Rager 6 (tank and killing machine combined, the only melee decent combattant).
What I dislike about death penalties is that they can lead to circles of death(die once, take a hit to your saving throws and hit points, face a similar challenge to that which overwhelmwed you in the first place and you will fall all the easier.) Also some classes, like casters with a delayed progression such as sorcerers suffer more than others. It is already hard enough to be behind one level of spells, but being two levels behind kind of blows.
I kind of like the 4E approach, where you simply suffer a fixed death penalty without losing clas abilities or the like.
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 11:24 AM #6
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
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Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 08:11 PM #7
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
Another edition-neutral way of looking at it: expense vs. share. After each adventure the treasury inevitably gets divided down into shares, one way or another depending on group, and each character gets a share. Over the long run you'll get a vague idea what an average share from an average adventure is going to amount to in your game. (this holds true regardless of edition or other considerations as you're only looking at your own game)
So, in regard to shares, how much should a raise dead cost? Ditto resurrection, a higher-level spell that should cost more?
'Round here, a raise puts a dent in an average share but that's it; you've still got some left over*. A resurrection puts a big hole in your share and might, where an adventure isn't as lucrative as some, wipe it out entirely.
* - which is handy, as we also have training rules - and training ain't cheap either!
Lan-"party treasurer, most of the time"-efan
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 08:32 PM #8
Lama (Lvl 13)
The problem with Raise Dead isn't the spell itself. It's when it's available.
In the days of 1E and 2E, D&D campaigns typically went from level 1 to somewhere around level 9 or 10 at the end. So, Raise Dead was something that was available for the PC cleric to cast only at the very end of the campaign, as you needed to be level 9 to be able to cast it. Heck, you might have only just gotten to level 9 and the campaign is ending, so even if a companion dies, you're at the finale and any Raise Dead would take place after the finale.
And, in keeping with that theme, there were probably not too many NPCs of that level, either. And, you'd need to either convince them to raise your fallen companion, or else make a sizable donation to the church in order to get it done. In short, Raise Dead was generally pretty rare in old D&D.
In 3E, the game was retooled so the typical campaign went from level 1 to level 20 at the end. However, Raise Dead was still something that was available to the PCs at level 9. However, level 9 was now just before the typical campaign got to the halfway point. So, Raise Dead lost its rarity because it was just another mid-level cleric spell. It wasn't special anymore. It's now similar to a wizard casting Fireball in old D&D in terms of level equivalency. However, if you took it out of the game, you're also nerfing the cleric and one of their best mid-level spells.
Then, in 4E, the game was retooled again, and this time the typical campaign was supposed to go from level 1 all the way to level 30 now. However, Raise Dead was made even easier to cast - it was now a level 8 ritual. So, you're not even into the second "tier" of the campaign and you can still bring a PC back from the dead. It's the campaign equivalent of a cleric being able to cast Hold Person in old school D&D - nice, but is it really that special?
So, my thought would be to still allow Raise Dead, but push it back to when it's available to the players. Make it still special and available towards the end of the campaign only - not in the beginning or even in the middle.
To get rid of the deadliness, I'd use something like Revivify, which was from the 3.5E Spell Compendium - you can stabilize a dead companion at -1 hit points if you can cast it within one round of their death before the soul completely departs the body. Edited to add - Revivify means the "dead" but saved PC is still out of the combat, and it also penalizes the group because the cleric has to take his or her turn to cast the Revivify. So, the cleric is not casting Flame Strike to smite his or her foes, he or she is saving a fallen companion who won't be able to help anymore in the combat, anyhow.
Going by 1E to 3.5E guidelines, I'd make Revivify a level 5 spell, as before. Then, have Raise Dead/Slay Living as level 7, Resurrection as level 9 and True Res be an epic level type spell.
Last edited by NewJeffCT; Saturday, 17th November, 2012 at 09:11 PM. Reason: adding more on Revivify
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 08:35 PM #9
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Saturday, 17th November, 2012, 08:48 PM #10
Lama (Lvl 13)
deleted - double post
Last edited by NewJeffCT; Saturday, 17th November, 2012 at 08:49 PM. Reason: double post
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