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Ahab
2009-10-04, 10:49 AM
My players have become reckless because they believe they'll just be able to have their friends rez them if they die. Has anyone homebrewed a rule about a rez limit or negative repercussions (beyond level loss) after being raised?

Yora
2009-10-04, 11:09 AM
We had a threat about that just yesterday. Should be easy enough to find.

Temet Nosce
2009-10-04, 11:14 AM
I generally disallow most of the resurrection spells (I do allow one whose name I forget which only works on the round after the death). If the players want to resurrect their companion, they can put in the effort of going and retrieving them.

That said you appear to have already allowed resurrection, and really it doesn't work so well to introduce this kind of thing in play, since your players won't have prepared for that kind of game. You could either make the kind of limit you're discussing... but cut way down on the lethality of your mobs (which would probably negatively impact your game), or just deal with things as are and plan for it next campaign if it bothers you. If you simply implement some kind of serious penalty or limit at this point without a corresponding reduced lethality rate all that's going to happen is you're going to have unhappy players.

Zeta Kai
2009-10-04, 11:18 AM
Oh, your solution is simple: Inevitables. Your players are flouting the laws of life & death, so a marut (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/inevitable.htm#marut) should be knocking on their door, seeking to rectify this unnatural situation.

jokey665
2009-10-04, 11:25 AM
Oh, your solution is simple: Inevitables. Your players are flouting the laws of life & death, so a marut (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/inevitable.htm#marut) should be knocking on their door, seeking to rectify this unnatural situation.

This. I loooooove inevitables.

Gnomo
2009-10-04, 11:26 AM
I enforce the usage of material components, diamonds are really hard to come by in my games.

A 10,000 gold pieces diamond is not something they will find in a jewelry store, it's probably something a very rich noble will have in his/her own vault, a 25,000 gold pieces diamond is something adventurers can get a hold of very rarely, I have only give 3 of those in my 6 years of DMing, so you can imagine how players feel about dying.

I do allow the creation of a 25k gold pieces diamond with miracle or wish, but of course it will cost the caster 5,000 experience points.

DracoDei
2009-10-04, 12:21 PM
3.5 RAW it is multiple diamonds whose values ADD UP to 25,000. (In 3.0 it was a single one, worth 5,000 gp or more).

Zaydos
2009-10-04, 01:26 PM
Me in my high level game I house ruled that DEATH was such that it took direct divine intervention to raise someone who had died too often. What too often was depended upon who you were, the more important you were (i.e. PCs) the more lives you had. This was enough to keep my players careful although one of them complained constantly about it (partially because his animal companions kept dying). I set it at 0 resurrections for your average commoner, up to 3 for your heroes and allowed "events that shaped the world" to grant more. This happened once over the course of the campaign when they beat the original BBEG and the campaign would have ended but they wanted to continue with these characters. I didn't make Revivifies count at all, ruling you used the spell to bring them back before they were truly in the hands of DEATH who may have been an Elder God (the most powerful deities in my cosmos) or an actual Overdeity since the other Elder Gods didn't know who he was or interfere with him except with utmost care and necessity.

King of Nowere
2009-10-04, 01:57 PM
This. I loooooove inevitables.

I hate them. Sounds too much like "rock falls, you die"

Anyway, my players have easy resurrections, but they're not eager to die. Losing a level and 5k gold (or 25k gold and no level) is serious business. I'm surprised this isn't enough to tech a little safety to your players. Maybe when they need resurrection you give them extra gold to stay in the whealt per level? That would explain a lot

Or, for a change, you may shape your world around resurrection spells. I plan for the future to have my player work for some powerful organizations that are willing to rapay at least party for the resurrections, and have them killed on a regular base.
I stated that in my campaign world almost every adventurer who went beyond level ten died at least once or twice, and always come back. I have a powerful NPC, now retired, priding himself "ten years of adventuring, and I never needed a resurrection spell! I was the only one of the party".
I suggested to the players that killing the bad guy is not enough because he will probably have arranged things for his resurrection, they need him captured and safely locked. And if they capture him, he'll probably ty suicide, since it would get him free - with a monetary loss.
Nations have abolished death penalty because it is to easy to "jailbreak" from the grave, and churces offer "life insurances" stating they'll resurrect you in case you dies. Going from the cheapest forms, where a single cleric will get a teleport to your place and try raise dead on you when notice of your death reches them, to the most explensive, where they regularly cast divinations on you to make sure you're well, and will get their most powerful cleric cast a true resurrection the moment of your death.

Obviously the common people can't afford all of that, but for all the important people death is only a temporary inconvenience and an unexpected expense.
Still, I don't expect my players to get reckless. They still need to pay for the rezzing.

Samurai Jill
2009-10-04, 02:41 PM
Anyway, my players have easy resurrections, but they're not eager to die. Losing a level and 5k gold (or 25k gold and no level) is serious business. I'm surprised this isn't enough to tech a little safety to your players.
This. Loss conditions for (gamist) combat need to be significant, but they can't be so large that they remove a PC from play for substantial periods. The suggestions people are proposing here strike me as solutions in search of a problem.

Zaydos
2009-10-04, 03:03 PM
Mine worked fairly well. The PCs worked together, made sure that nobody died, and generally had a healthy fear of death without it coming up except with an NPC cohort (MH Healer who got disintegrated twice) and an animal companion. This might have been because I targeted NPCs in preference to PCs. One PC died once and had to be True Resurrected.

Then again I doubt my group would have thought death was meaningless regardless, but we had conversations on it and except for my little brother who felt death should be meaningless like in a video game, the players agreed that it gave death meaning, made them more careful with their characters, and wasn't just a you rolled a 1 you die. Although come to think of it the first character to die under it was a PC which I made for a one shot my little brother ran in the world (with my help in design and a warning to put the boss out of melee reach because the cleric's harm spell could 1 shot him on a successful save; he didn't listen) which left me having to get them back and ended with a beholder battle where he rolled a nat 1 on a save.

thegurullamen
2009-10-04, 04:33 PM
I tried to one, once, but the game ended without any deaths.

The rule was an upper limit of the total of the (natural!) Con and Cha modifiers. The way I saw it, the process took a toll, so you'd need a strong soul and a strong body. The more you do it, the harder it becomes until it just won't work any more. Conversely, if you're too weak one way or the other, you couldn't manage it at all.

PinkysBrain
2009-10-04, 04:51 PM
If preparation always removes risk and you always allow preparation/flight then you have essentially removed risk from the game ... it allows you to make death irreversible (or so annoying people will generally just retire the character anyway) which will make the noble sacrifice a little more noble, but is it worth removing risk from the game? If anything this would make me fear death even less, knowing that I can avoid it at all times.

As long as there's significant risk there will be death, with 3 encounters a day the law of averages is against the PCs.

I could see a system shock roll for a 5% chance to lose another level (even on True Resurrection) working ... but I wouldn't even scale it beyond that. Painful enough as is.

Zaydos
2009-10-04, 04:55 PM
The rule was an upper limit of the total of the (natural!) Con and Cha modifiers. The way I saw it, the process took a toll, so you'd need a strong soul and a strong body. The more you do it, the harder it becomes until it just won't work any more. Conversely, if you're too weak one way or the other, you couldn't manage it at all.

That reminds me of the 2e rule: each time you were ressed you lost a point of Con, it could be healed but you could never be ressed more times than your starting Con stat. Also every time you were ressed there was a chance it would fail (based on your Con) and you could never be brought back. The second isn't as much like it but the theory is similar.

Randel
2009-10-04, 06:37 PM
After reading the Neil Gaiman story Neverwhere, I got an idea to limit resurrections.

In order to be resurrected, the person must undergo a ritual that seals a fragment of their soul into a jar. This pretty much replaces the magical use of the Raise Dead spell and uses up the spell components for the casting.

Then, after the person dies, the body (or whats left of it) must be reunited with the soul jar and the jar broken open to reanimate the body. They get reanimated just enough to be able to walk around and heal, but are still pretty weak. (the character in Neverwhere who got revived this way had to tie a scarf around his neck to speak... since his throat had been slit). This weakness is pretty much equivalent to the level drain or penalties that resurrected characters get anyways.

All in all, I think its more that a character has to get the magical preparation done before they get killed to really get resurrected and getting a new body doesn't mean you get a nice clean body with all your scars magically gone. You could probably get resurrected with just a finger or bit of ashes for the 'body'... but don't expect to win any beauty contests for a while until you get some extra healing magic to patch up the obvious missing limbs and appendages.

Milskidasith
2009-10-04, 06:49 PM
After reading the Neil Gaiman story Neverwhere, I got an idea to limit resurrections.

In order to be resurrected, the person must undergo a ritual that seals a fragment of their soul into a jar. This pretty much replaces the magical use of the Raise Dead spell and uses up the spell components for the casting.

Then, after the person dies, the body (or whats left of it) must be reunited with the soul jar and the jar broken open to reanimate the body. They get reanimated just enough to be able to walk around and heal, but are still pretty weak. (the character in Neverwhere who got revived this way had to tie a scarf around his neck to speak... since his throat had been slit). This weakness is pretty much equivalent to the level drain or penalties that resurrected characters get anyways.

All in all, I think its more that a character has to get the magical preparation done before they get killed to really get resurrected and getting a new body doesn't mean you get a nice clean body with all your scars magically gone. You could probably get resurrected with just a finger or bit of ashes for the 'body'... but don't expect to win any beauty contests for a while until you get some extra healing magic to patch up the obvious missing limbs and appendages.

So your solution is to make players resurrect beforehand, but otherwise have it work exactly the same, except with more inconvenience because they will be missing limbs when they get rezzed? That makes getting rezzed a greater mechanical annoyance without solving any of the problems of "you can get rezzed whenever."

Rezzes the way they normally are may not fit your storytelling ideals, but they allow the player to get back in the action without waiting around for multiple sessions and still have a fairly large cost.

Temet Nosce
2009-10-04, 09:06 PM
I hate them. Sounds too much like "rock falls, you die"

Anyway, my players have easy resurrections, but they're not eager to die. Losing a level and 5k gold (or 25k gold and no level) is serious business. I'm surprised this isn't enough to tech a little safety to your players. Maybe when they need resurrection you give them extra gold to stay in the whealt per level? That would explain a lot

Or, for a change, you may shape your world around resurrection spells. I plan for the future to have my player work for some powerful organizations that are willing to rapay at least party for the resurrections, and have them killed on a regular base.
I stated that in my campaign world almost every adventurer who went beyond level ten died at least once or twice, and always come back. I have a powerful NPC, now retired, priding himself "ten years of adventuring, and I never needed a resurrection spell! I was the only one of the party".
I suggested to the players that killing the bad guy is not enough because he will probably have arranged things for his resurrection, they need him captured and safely locked. And if they capture him, he'll probably ty suicide, since it would get him free - with a monetary loss.
Nations have abolished death penalty because it is to easy to "jailbreak" from the grave, and churces offer "life insurances" stating they'll resurrect you in case you dies. Going from the cheapest forms, where a single cleric will get a teleport to your place and try raise dead on you when notice of your death reches them, to the most explensive, where they regularly cast divinations on you to make sure you're well, and will get their most powerful cleric cast a true resurrection the moment of your death.

Obviously the common people can't afford all of that, but for all the important people death is only a temporary inconvenience and an unexpected expense.
Still, I don't expect my players to get reckless. They still need to pay for the rezzing.

That... is awesome. It seems kind of like a fantasy version of Morgan's Altered Carbon world. I may just steal this idea from you next time I run a campaign.

Milskidasith
2009-10-04, 09:09 PM
It honestly sounds kind of like the Tippyverse, which is, quite frankly, either going to be awesome or terrible to play in depending on how much you want your world dependent on magic.

waterpenguin43
2009-10-04, 10:54 PM
I think the raise limit for a character is 3, so after one or more of the PC's has flouted that rule, there can be one of four sollutions:
#1: Remember, for raise dead, the corpse needs to be mostly intact, also, a lot of monsters attack PC's out of hunger, so you can expect that after killing one PC, they take it's body and eat it, and you need true ressurection to bring them back.
#2: Get some powerful spellcaster to kidnap them and either use imprisonment or kill them and use soul bind.
#3: Three words: Kill the cleric, if they try to get somebody to bring them back, send them on a big fat quest for diamonds.
#4: If all else fails, get Maruts to drag there sorry asses down to Mechanus to spend eternity imprisoned for flouting the laws of balance.

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-10-04, 11:54 PM
This is something my friends and I have been working at, off and on for a while. To be fair, we've never used these in a game, but we've been playing at lower levels since we came up with the idea.

We eventually decided that a limit of 3+/-Cha mod times (minimum 1) would be fine, with spells like Reincarnate that can recreate bodies whole-cloth reset this limit, but only True Resurrection capable of resurrecting someone who has hit his limit.

Sudduth
2009-10-05, 12:39 AM
Did you ever think of just reminding them that they aren't RPing if they are just throwing their lives away? I mean even as a real person, if I knew that I could be ressurected I wouldn't throw myself off of a cliff. Make them role a will save to see if they are bold enough to take the jump that has a 99% chance of killing them. Most people would frighten at the thought. :smallconfused:

Bogardan_Mage
2009-10-05, 01:45 AM
Did you ever think of just reminding them that they aren't RPing if they are just throwing their lives away? I mean even as a real person, if I knew that I could be ressurected I wouldn't throw myself off of a cliff. Make them role a will save to see if they are bold enough to take the jump that has a 99% chance of killing them. Most people would frighten at the thought. :smallconfused:
I disagree. If it really was possible to bring someone back from the dead with no repercussions beyond a down payment that is easily affordable people realistically would value their lives less. And keep in mind that PCs are adventurers, risking their lives on a regular basis as a matter of course. They're bound to be even less careful than regular people. People are afraid of death because they fear the unknown beyond it. Make it known (you get resurrected) and the only fear is the pain of dying (which, depending on the cause of death, may be less painful than some things to which adventurers regularly expose themselves).

Ashtagon
2009-10-05, 02:21 AM
Create a short adventure arc.

The king dies, and the local cleric's raise spell fails, as do several other clerics' attempts. This is followed by other notables with such life insurance policies also finding their resurrections failing.

Finding out WHY they are failing can be an adventure in itself.

King of Nowere
2009-10-05, 07:27 AM
Create a short adventure arc.

The king dies, and the local cleric's raise spell fails, as do several other clerics' attempts. This is followed by other notables with such life insurance policies also finding their resurrections failing.

Finding out WHY they are failing can be an adventure in itself.

This could be an idea for a campaign. I only need to figure out WHY they are failing myself, and how the pcs can intervene in it.

Anyway, I feel that the fights get boring if there is no chance of death for a pc. Not only the oc needs to be stronger than their foes, they need to be so strong that they can defeat them in perfect, even if someone tanks a save or an enemy scores a critical and a couple other lucky rolls.
A fight so one-sided seems boring to me, so I make the opponent a bit stronger, which in turn means that if the pcs do something stupid or get unlucky they may die.
I made clear with them that the price for death will be much higher if they get killed in a stupid way. If they get killed for bad luck (never happened until now) I'd try to give them a raise without giving them too much inconvenience (maybe I'll give them a mission in which they have to find a scroll of true resurrection), while if they do something stupid (like try to climb a 30 meters pit with spikes on the bottom, needing an 11 to the climb check, knowing that if they fail there would be no way of helping them except hoping in low damage rolls) I have them buy the spell at full price, and lose a level.
It worked, my players are pretty scared by death even if they know they can reverse it, and are careful. Except one, who died twice and rolled a new character, and keeps risking even now. At worst he'll roll a new character again.

onthetown
2009-10-05, 07:50 AM
There's no limit in the game that I'm playing... at least, not in the basic sense of the word. My characters can be, and have been, brought back -- it just depends on the circumstance of their death.

Spells that completely destroy the body (such as Disintegrate) already require a full-out Wish, but if I don't have the means of paying the Cleric then I really have to pull strings. If my character died doing something really, really stupid, then I have to start convincing the DM that I really, really need that character back. For example, my evil Enchantress lost her temper with a higher-level Archmage and decided to attack her; just hit the Archmage with the Enchantress' staff, more or less just to take out her anger on her. What I (and my Enchantress) didn't take into consideration was that the Archmage had a whole boatload of protection and contingency spells cast on herself. The Enchantress died a horrible death for that one attack, and I spent a few minutes trying to convince my DM that the attack was in-character and something that my Enchantress would have done no matter who it was, and could I pretty please have her back and she'll know to never do it again :smalltongue: If I hadn't managed to convince him (I have failed with another character), I wouldn't have gotten her back.

That alone has made me overly cautious about doing reckless things, so... if your players are overly reckless... make 'em beg. :smallbiggrin:

Lysander
2009-10-05, 08:34 AM
Here's another simple solution. Make creatures that turn their victims into undead minions much more common.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-05, 11:10 AM
My players have become reckless because they believe they'll just be able to have their friends rez them if they die.

Then they'll get what's coming to them without any houserules. You don't get friends to resurrect you when there's a TPK. Even if there are survivors, a mere defeat will leave the enemies in possession of your body - which, even if you have a piece of flesh for Resurrection, is a fast ticket to infinite-torture-ville with smart villains. And the best-case scenario still leaves you down a level, and resurrecting likely without your armor on.

As for homebrew suggestions, I'd advise a spell or two. Put a scrying sensor on a dead body that ties to the soul, such that when the guy is resurrected you know when and what the place looks like. After that, standard teleport->kill->teleport away methods.

Obrysii
2009-10-05, 11:23 AM
In my modernesque campaign, casting Resurrect or Raise Dead actually just summons the Gate to Hell (complete with the poem that ends with "abandon all hope ye who enter here"); the players must go in and drag out the soul of the person to be returned to life.

True Resurrection is so rare that only the Pope and a few select leaders of the various religions from around the world can really use it.

Lapak
2009-10-05, 01:48 PM
If it's a problem, then bring back the 2e System Shock Survival roll. It wasn't exactly a difficult hurdle, especially if you're not dinging CON every time you get raised - IIRC even people with an average constitution had an 70-80% chance or so of making the roll, and having an 18+ would make it nearly certain.

But even a 5-10% chance of NOT being able to return might make them a lot more cautious about getting killed.

Lvl45DM!
2009-10-05, 01:58 PM
I have a chart and every time they die i roll on the chart to see what injury they have, thats permanent requiring the god of fate, the only god more powerful than death, to reverse it
So if thye have a wounded left arm, minus to strength checks and penalty to dual wield, needing lighter shields
If its wizards pissing you off, grap a sword of sharpness and cut of a hand or two, lets see em spellcast now.
there are worse fates than death

King of Nowere
2009-10-06, 06:16 PM
It just came to me an episode that may give you some inspiration.

Before my group started D&D, whe played HeroQuest: a tabletop rpg who basically consist in raiding dungeons and nothing else (I persuaded them into starting D&D as an improvement because, frankly, that game gets awfully boring after half a dozen times you play it).
There where no rules for resurrection or such, just some basic combat rules, when one of my players, feeling powerful in his new suit, decided to split with the party (and did thanks to a better movement speed) and wandered around alone, asking for an ogre to figth.
I decided to give him what he asked the moment he blew the door of a room full of orcs, and put an ogre to bar him the retreat. Needless to say, his life went below 0. Then I said "but you're not dead; you're knoked unconscious and captured".
And to the rest of the party "you hear his screams in the distance, they're surely doing something terrible to him"

After they finally rescued the reckless player's character, they found him a bit changed. "What they did to me?" Asked the player
"They shaved your legs, put a piercing on your penis, and tatuated the word "idiot" on you forehead. If you behave better in the future, MAYBE you'll find a way to remove some of it"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!"

So, maybe you can do something like it to your players...

Zaydos
2009-10-06, 07:50 PM
Before my group started D&D, whe played HeroQuest: a tabletop rpg who basically consist in raiding dungeons and nothing else (I persuaded them into starting D&D as an improvement because, frankly, that game gets awfully boring after half a dozen times you play it).

That's how I first got started playing too, we upgraded from HeroQuest. My first character died on an adventure where we used its board as map even.


After they finally rescued the reckless player's character, they found him a bit changed. "What they did to me?" Asked the player
"They shaved your legs, put a piercing on your penis, and tatuated the word "idiot" on you forehead. If you behave better in the future, MAYBE you'll find a way to remove some of it"

Well that sure is one way to handle it.

Jman1906
2009-10-07, 12:27 AM
Your saying that you think level loss isn't enough of a penalty? That pretty much makes you stuck at your current level.