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5E Perma Death in 5e?

S'mon

Legend
What do you think are some of the best ways under 5e rules for an evil level 20 Wizard (who might be called Runelord Karzoug) with near-unlimited resources to ensure the permanent demise of slain & Disintegrated level 20 PCs (whose surviving comrades also have access to level 9 magic, including True Resurrection)? Asking for a friend. :D
 

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In an epic level one shot, we managed to "kill" Halaster permanently. The hexblade killed him, causing him to rise as a spector, then we cast Demi-plane. Undead Halaster was ordered to enter the demi-plane, and we each chose a hidden item to include in the demi-plane so that no one could know the full contents (preventing anyone from ever opening the demi-plane). Since the body still existed, just completely unavailable, this would prevent True Resurrection from working. In theory a Wish could return him, but that's because Wish and theoretically break any rule.
 


The Wish spell counters pretty much any method of preventing resurrection.

If the arty have access to wish, as far as I'm aware, the only way to prevent the party being able to bring back their comrades is to not kill them in the first place, just to imprison them.
 

Even True Resurrection explicitly requires touching the body and for the soul to be free to enter the body. This means you can either contain the soul, hide the body, or even resurrect the victim and either Mindwipe them or cast Imprisonment.

As far as I know the only canon spell to trap the soul is Soul Cage in Xanathar's - that must be cast straight after the victim dies. If the victim is dead then you'd either need a custom spell or to use Wish to summon then Soul Cage. Once you have a soul trapped then you can pretty much torture them into accepting resurrection.

Best place to store the victim? I can't agree it's a demi-plane. It's a nice shiny gem literally worn by the possible Runelord. Or rather a gem within a gem so the gem made from compressing the dust (coal -> diamond style) can't actually be touched. And the runelord gets to taunt the PCs at the next meeting.
 


In an epic level one shot, we managed to "kill" Halaster permanently. The hexblade killed him, causing him to rise as a spector, then we cast Demi-plane. Undead Halaster was ordered to enter the demi-plane, and we each chose a hidden item to include in the demi-plane so that no one could know the full contents (preventing anyone from ever opening the demi-plane). Since the body still existed, just completely unavailable, this would prevent True Resurrection from working. In theory a Wish could return him, but that's because Wish and theoretically break any rule.
Wouldn't Gate also work to enter the demi-plane?
 

Wouldn't Gate also work to enter the demi-plane?
Upon reading Gate, that might work depending on the DM. The question becomes if a "creature" includes the corpse of said creature. I'd allow it, but others might not. I guess it isn't a perfect perma-death, but I can't think of anything closer in 5E (besides using a Wish to cheat).
 

S'mon

Legend
Even True Resurrection explicitly requires touching the body
Yeah, I think the group has agreed on this - helps that another player GMs and he just made the same ruling in his own game - which keeps it simple. I think some confusion arises due to 3e True Res spell not having that limitation, and some people think the 'creates new body' line abrogates the 'touch a creature' line.
 

I think by using demiplane (as described above), then imprisonment spell's burial option and some form of delayed death (poison, etc.), a creature could be permanently killed.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Does your campaign have any means of destroying or unmaking the soul/spirit? If yes, True Res comes off the table.

Does your BBEG Wizard have access to Wish? If yes, depending what you allow Wish to do in your campaign, problem solved: simply have him Wish that the spirits of the deceased can never again inhabit a body on the Prime Material plane under any circumstances.
 


jgsugden

Legend
There is no perfect stop - and I believe there should not be. The PCs are heroes. They are intended to be able to stop the villainy. If you create a foolproof method to stop them, you're taking away their heroic place in the story.

A major villain should look at the situation and come up with a good plan, but I always make sure there is something the PCs can exploit to save the day - often multiple ways.

When faced with your concern, I might immediately follow the death by telling the PCs to make a very high DC Wisdom saving throw (the result of a wish style magic). Those that fail are told that their memory has been modified and that they no longer remember the fallen figure, and that any attempt to convince them the figure exists should be seen as ridiculous. If all fail, I'd have an NPC try to convince them of the truth. Then I'd have a path for them to correct their memories. You get a moment of near victory by the bad guy, but there is a comic book path back to heroics for the PCs.
 

Yeah, I think the group has agreed on this - helps that another player GMs and he just made the same ruling in his own game - which keeps it simple. I think some confusion arises due to 3e True Res spell not having that limitation, and some people think the 'creates new body' line abrogates the 'touch a creature' line.
I think it's more the 3e True Res thing. I think the intent of "creates a new body" means that you can touch the disintegrated dust of a body or the equivalent and they get a nice shiny new body of the right age.
 

What do you think are some of the best ways under 5e rules for an evil level 20 Wizard (who might be called Runelord Karzoug) with near-unlimited resources to ensure the permanent demise of slain & Disintegrated level 20 PCs (whose surviving comrades also have access to level 9 magic, including True Resurrection)? Asking for a friend. :D
Follow the disintegration with a gust of wind and no more body, so no True Resurrection, leaving only Wish as an option. Now, if the DM were silly enough to allow Wish to be found and learned by a PC, that DM will have to live with the fact the dead PC can be wished back.
 

S'mon

Legend
I think it's more the 3e True Res thing. I think the intent of "creates a new body" means that you can touch the disintegrated dust of a body or the equivalent and they get a nice shiny new body of the right age.
I think so. That's how I'm running it, anyway. With the proviso that Karzoug isn't just scattering the dust since he worries that if someone finds (likely through magic) even a single speck they might be able to use it to bring back his enemies. So he's having them stored in a demiplane; not in as foolproof a manner as Shiroiken's description, but similar idea.

Karzoug has access to Wish, the PCs don't AFAICT, but I wouldn't let a Wish exceed the power of another level 9 spell like True Res.
Karzoug ruled Shalast for nearly 500 years, has INT 28 in 5e rules, and is very good at eliminating enemies including liches, plus he has a grudge against these guys - so bringing them back not easy. :)
 

Because I'm the DM and I say so? If I have an idea and it will make the campaign/adventure, one-shot better for it and cant find a rule to support it I just make it up, its effect and how it can be overcome. I'll give the PC a very clear idea of what they are up against and so they can try to plan accordingly. We are a rather rules light group so none of us have an extensive knowledge of the mechanical rules therefore no one really cares or even knows when I do this,
 

Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
Since they are already disintegrated, he should take the fine grey dust and bake it into a nice meal for his Barghest friend. As per the sidebar in Volo's when the the Barghest eats a corpse it devours both body and soul, and after 24 hours the latter is irrecoverable by mortal magic. This eliminates Wish and True Resurrection, though a cleric might still throw a Divine Intervention at it.

So, for good measure the Barghest should do his business in a bag of holding for several days and then they should slash the bag so that the Barghest droppings containing the party member are randomly scattered across the Astral Plane. If they have the time they should Nystul's Magic Aura some more Barghest leavings to also register as being the remains of the party member and do the same with them.

If there is enough time the Wizard should instead get his Barghest friend to do his business in an ornate toilet used as a Leomund's Secret Chest. In 60-100 days the contents will be "irretrievably lost".
 

MarkB

Legend
One way to prevent almost any form of resurrection is for the target to have died of old age. A quick way to achieve this is via use of a plane or demiplane where time passes very fast - years go by inside within the space of a few minutes on the material plane.

First, hit the target with Feeblemind until they fail their save. Then sovereign glue a Ring of Sustenance to their finger. Then drop them into the demiplane.

You may need to set up some method of periodically re-casting Feeblemind on them - otherwise they'll eventually roll a natural 20 on their monthly saving throw, and might figure out a way to either leave or commit suicide. Otherwise, just leave them for a few days until they've lived out their whole life inside a featureless pocket dimension and died of old age.
 

the Jester

Legend
Now, if the DM were silly enough to allow Wish to be found and learned by a PC, that DM will have to live with the fact the dead PC can be wished back.
By the time a wizard is 20th level, he's been able to add six 9th level spells to his spellbook just from leveling up. So he doesn't need to find wish at all- at least by RAW.
 

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