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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Whenever a creature is raised or resurrected, it may gain the Returned template instead of suffering the loss of a level or Constitution. The template may be applied multiple times, with many effects (including the level adjustment) stacking, with the idea being that you become more and more like an outsider each time you Return.

    Level adjustment from this template may be bought off normally, or may be removed by performing a particular quest (see atonement). This quest is typically performed for your own deity - though if you've just Returned from a particularly unpleasant afterlife, you might wish to impress a more benevolent deity.

    Returned
    Death is not the end. Powerful healing conjurations can restore life to a fallen adventurer, giving heroes the chance to continue their quests and rescuing villains from their eternal damnation.

    "Returned" is an acquired template that can be added to any mortal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). All creatures other than constructs, elementals, fey, outsiders, and undead are mortals, though exceptions exist.

    A returned creature appears just as it did before its death, though it may seem enlightened or haunted by its glimpse of the afterlife.

    Returned creatures automatically learn Abyssal, Celestial, or Infernal (as appropriate for the plane from which they have Returned). If they already speak that language, they may learn any other suitable language instead.

    Size and Type
    The base creature's type changes to outsider. It gains the [Augmented] and [Native] subtypes, and the alignment subtypes ([Chaotic], [Evil], [Good], and [Lawful]) corresponding to its alignment when it died. If it has been Returned more than once, it gains the alignment subtypes corresponding to its alignment the last time it died.

    Size is unchanged.

    Hit Dice
    Increase all current and future Hit Dice one step, to a maximum of d8.

    Speed
    Unchanged.

    Armour Class
    Unchanged.

    Attacks
    Unchanged.

    Damage
    Unchanged.

    Special Attacks
    Unchanged.

    Special Qualities
    A Returned has all the special qualities of the base creature, plus the following special qualities:

    Darkvision (Ex)
    The base creature gains darkvision out to 60 feet.

    Mortal-Blooded (Ex)
    The base creature is treated as both an outsider and as a creature of its original kind for the the purpose of all effects related to race. For example, a human Returned would be immune to charm person (as he is now an outsider), but would be vulnerable to a +1 longsword of human bane as he is specifically still a human.

    Saves
    The base creature's lowest saving throw increases to one-half its character level +2 (if two or more saving throws are tied for lowest, the base creature chooses which one to increase).

    Abilities
    A Returned creature becomes enlightened or aggressive during its experiences in the afterlife. Increase from the base creature as follows: +2 Cha and +2 Wisdom (if good-aligned), or +2 Cha and +2 Str (if evil-aligned). Repeat these adjustments each time the base creature Returns.

    Skills
    The base creature gains 2 additional skill points per level (with quadruple skill points at first level), to a maximum of 8 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level.

    The base creature gains a +8 racial bonus on Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (the planes) checks related to any plane from which they have Returned. They may make such checks untrained.

    Feats
    A Returned creature may select [Planetouched] feats, even if they are nonhuman or above 1st level.

    Alignment
    A Returned typically retains its original alignment. However, it might conceivably become embittered at leaving a celestial afterlife or repentant at escaping a fiendish afterlife.

    Level Adjustment
    +1.

    Spoiler: Changelog
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    Removed:

    Speed
    If the base creature possesses a fly speed, increase its maneuverability by one step (to a maximum of perfect). Otherwise unchanged.

    Attacks
    The base creature gains proficiency with all simple weapons. If it was already proficient with all simple weapons, it gains proficiency with all martial weapons.

    The base creature's base attack bonus increases to three-quarters of its character level. If was already at least three-quarters of the creature's character level, it instead increases to equal the creature's character level.

    Special Qualities
    Unearthly Grace (Su)
    The base creature adds its Charisma bonus (if any) to all its saves and as a deflection bonus to its Armour Class.

    Abilities
    All of the base creature's ability scores are increased to 12.

    Additionally, a good-aligned Returned gains a +2 Charisma and +2 Wisdom.

    Additionally, an evil-aligned Returned gains +2 Charisma and +2 Dexterity.

    Skills
    Additionally, a good-aligned Returned gains a +8 racial bonus on Diplomacy, Heal, and Sense Motive checks.

    Additionally, an evil-aligned Returned gains a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks.

    Feats
    At the DM's option, the base creature gains a resurrection feat in place of or in addition to any of the benefits of this template.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-29 at 04:30 PM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Too much? Too little? I'm considering adding some other effects -damage reduction/magic, spell resistance, etc. as well as specific alignment/plane effects e.g. immunity to pain/sickening if you're Evil (no earthly torture could compare to Hell), resistance to fey attacks if you've returned from the eladrin afterlife, etc.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-26 at 06:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    This comes across as being mainly beneficial to the player. If I were a player with this option, I might consider deliberately getting my character killed so I could take the template.

    The template should have some definite drawbacks to balance it with the benefit of being brought back to life, as well as to place it on an equivalent level of balance with the loss of constitution or a level.

    As it stands, it is definitely unbalanced and a tad OP.
    Last edited by Durzan; 2018-04-27 at 11:29 AM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Quote Originally Posted by Durzan View Post
    This comes across as being mainly beneficial to the player. If I were a player with this option, I might consider deliberately getting my character killed so I could take the template.

    The template should have some definite drawbacks to balance it with the benefit of being brought back to life, as well as to place it on an equivalent level of balance with the loss of constitution or a level.

    As it stands, it is definitely unbalanced and a tad OP.
    The idea is that level adjustment is itself a drawback - not as immediately painful as losing a level from being raised, but ends up costing you as much (or more) XP in the long run before you can buy it off. I won't add any other penalties to the template, but can definitely remove some of its benefits - the ability scores, Unearthly Grace, etc are all quite negotiable.

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    I really like the concept of an LA template that substitutes for the level loss in revivification spells, but in execution this strikes me as way overpowered. With the possible exception of a first-tier caster, any character would be a fool not to commit suicide at least once or twice so they could gain these benefits (and if you have the option of buying off level adjustment, it would most likely be worth it even for the first-tier casters). It seems to me that the benefits you've lined up here far outweigh any other LA +1 template or race, and even outweigh most class levels-- which, considering this is supposed to stand in for the loss of a level as a consequence of dying, is mind-boggling.

    I would think that in order for this template to stand in for a lost level you would need to balance a few minor but flavorful benefits against a few minor but flavorful penalties, along with the +1 Level Adjustment.
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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Whenever a creature is raised or resurrected, it may gain the Returned template instead of suffering the loss of a level or Constitution. The template may be applied multiple times, with many effects (including the level adjustment) stacking, with the idea being that you become more and more like an outsider each time you Return.

    Level adjustment from this template may be bought off normally, or may be removed by performing a particular quest (see atonement). This quest is typically performed for your own deity - though if you've just Returned from a particularly unpleasant afterlife, you might wish to impress a more benevolent deity.
    Hoo-boy. Let me give thoughts between quotes.

    Returned
    Death is not the end. Powerful healing conjurations can restore life to a fallen adventurer, giving heroes the chance to continue their quests and rescuing villains from their eternal damnation.

    "Returned" is an acquired template that can be added to any mortal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). All creatures other than constructs, elementals, fey, outsiders, and undead are mortals, though exceptions exist.

    A returned creature appears just as it did before its death, though it may seem enlightened or haunted by its glimpse of the afterlife.
    So far, so good. This is pretty boilerplate, but it does set a nice tone.

    Returned creatures automatically learn Abyssal, Celestial, and Infernal (if they already spoke any of those languages, they may learn any other suitable language instead).
    I think learning 3 languages is a bit much. Maybe have them learn a language suitable for whatever afterlife they experienced. If they found themselves in the swirling mists of Limbo, they would learn Anarchic. If they were in the Abyss or the Nine Hells, they learn Abyssal or Infernal as appropriate. If they were in a heaven, they learn Celestial. Basically, whichever language the outsiders they dealt with used they now know.

    Size and Type
    The base creature's type changes to outsider. It gains the [Augmented] and [Native] subtypes, and the alignment subtypes ([Chaotic], [Evil], [Good], and [Lawful]) corresponding to its alignment when it died. If it has been Returned more than once, it gains the alignment subtypes corresponding to its alignment the last time it died.

    Size is unchanged.
    These seem reasonable.

    Hit Dice
    Increase all current and future Hit Dice one step, to a maximum of d8.

    Speed
    If the base creature possesses a fly speed, increase its maneuverability by one step (to a maximum of perfect). Otherwise unchanged.

    Attacks
    The base creature gains proficiency with all simple weapons. If it was already proficient with all simple weapons, it gains proficiency with all martial weapons.

    The base creature's base attack bonus increases to three-quarters of its character level. If was already at least three-quarters of the creature's character level, it instead increases to equal the creature's character level.
    Of these, the only one I like is the speed one. Looking at this, I thought "wow, this is a really sweet deal for a rogue. I would get better hit dice and better attack bonus. What am I giving up for this?". I think the option of replacing all racial hit-dice with outsider dice is viable, and you were trying to move the character towards that, but all at once is a bit much. I think a better way would be to allow a character to choose 1 of these effects each time they took this template instead of level loss.

    Armour Class
    Unchanged.

    Damage
    Unchanged.

    Special Attacks
    Unchanged.

    Special Qualities
    A Returned has all the special qualities of the base creature, plus the following special qualities:

    Darkvision (Ex)
    The base creature gains darkvision out to 60 feet.
    Up to here seems reasonable. Darkvision isn't normally even worth +0 LA.

    Mortal-Blooded (Ex)
    The base creature is treated as both an outsider and as a creature of its original kind for the the purpose of all effects related to race. For example, a human Returned would be immune to charm person (as he is now an outsider), but would be vulnerable to a +1 longsword of human bane as he is specifically still a human.
    I don't have the system mastery to know if this is a net bonus or a net penalty. If it was only this and darkvision, I wouldn't blink. I also would never contemplate taking this template.

    Unearthly Grace (Su)
    The base creature adds its Charisma bonus (if any) to all its saves and as a deflection bonus to its Armour Class.

    Saves
    The base creature's lowest saving throw increases to one-half its character level +2 (if two or more saving throws are tied for lowest, the base creature chooses which one to increase).

    Abilities
    All of the base creature's ability scores are increased to 12.

    Additionally, a good-aligned Returned gains a +2 Charisma and +2 Wisdom.

    Additionally, an evil-aligned Returned gains +2 Charisma and +2 Dexterity.
    Hoo-boy. Now we are getting in to the really, really bad ideas. I'm not sure if you mean "All scores below 12 are raised to 12", or if you mean "all scores are raised by 2 (or 4 if we are starting from the point-buy table)". Even if you mean the former, this can go off the rails quickly. Then adding +2 to 2 separate ability scores? Even if you said "these ability bonuses can only be applied once", they are practically worth a +1 LA by themselves.

    Skills
    The base creature gains 2 additional skill points per level (with quadruple skill points at first level), to a maximum of 8 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level.

    The base creature gains a +8 racial bonus on Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (the planes) checks and may make such checks untrained.

    Additionally, a good-aligned Returned gains a +8 racial bonus on Diplomacy, Heal, and Sense Motive checks.

    Additionally, an evil-aligned Returned gains a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks.
    As with further up, increasing the amount of skills should be an option in a list of "pick one of these" options.

    The bonus to Knowledge (Religion) and Knowledge (the planes) should only apply to checks about the character's deity and the plane where they spent their time dead.

    The other skill bonuses are either bad ideas, or should be listed, individually, as options in line with raising attack bonus and increasing skills-per-level.

    Feats
    At the DM's option, the base creature gains a resurrection feat in place of or in addition to any of the benefits of this template.

    Alignment
    A Returned typically retains its original alignment. However, it might conceivably become embittered at leaving a celestial afterlife or repentant at escaping a fiendish afterlife.

    Level Adjustment
    +1.
    The feats I won't comment on since I haven't looked at them. The alignment seems reasonable. If I had to peg a level adjustment to what you have here, it would be in the +3 - +5 range. Between ability bonuses, improvements to saves, and charisma to saves and AC, this seriously amps up the power of most classes. The only ones who will flinch at it are full casters, and with LA buyoff, they would even enjoy getting this template.
    Last edited by Rockphed; 2018-04-27 at 11:48 PM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Thanks for the input, guys! I should have prefaced this homebrew by saying that I'm a big fan of the LA-Assignment Thread - it makes the persuasive argument that LA is a hefty penalty and justifies powerful benefits (for example, that thread pegs Balors and Pit Fiends as ECL 20 even with their tremendous stats and abilities).

    I rationalised being Returned as being painful for everyone - a fighter gets a bunch of skill points and improved Ref and Will saves (but nothing else), a wizard gets a monk chassis but sacrifices spellcasting, etc. If I strip off the bells and whistles (see the Changelog) is it more balanced?

    Re: languages - that was my original idea! But I noticed almost all the Outer Plane outsiders (angels, archons, devils, demons, even inevitables) spoke at least 2 of the 3 - clearly they alllike to keep tabs on each other :D However I've reverted it to just 1 language. Same concept with the Knowledge bonus, but I've made that specific to your own afterlife now.

    I've stripped out the BAB increase and weapon proficiencies; I've left in the HD increase and the improved saves but those can be removed too. However I'd really like to keep the skill points - reflections of one's (after)life experiences.

    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    I don't know a great deal about the intricacies of the LA assignment thread, but from a casual look it seems that they're mostly talking about reducing LA on some creatures to balance out the fact that they have punitively high Racial HD (which means giving up 6-10 class levels in favor of... basically nothing). Given that your template doesn't replace Class Levels with Racial Hit Dice, I'd say you're looking at apples and oranges. Try comparing your template with other LA +1 templates or LA +1 races with no Racial HD (like Tieflings) and that might give you a better idea of the benchmark you're aiming for.
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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Why give them a resurrection feat when the template and the feat both basically copy each other? As previously pointed out, the template is strong enough as it is.
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    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    I like the idea but have a question, why would you make it apply multiple times? I haven't read back through since your edits, but I remember it feeling out of place. The high power to me felt like, "Okay, you can go back for a second chance and you'll eat the level loss, or, we can send you back better than you were before... but it's your last shot. Die again, and that's it." So like an alternative to the petitioner system, where you become a more planar, more whole version of yourself, but at the cost of mortality, your body and soul are one, and the death of one is the death of the other, only TR can bring you back etc. Without some sort of flavor like that I feel pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    I don't know a great deal about the intricacies of the LA assignment thread, but from a casual look it seems that they're mostly talking about reducing LA on some creatures to balance out the fact that they have punitively high Racial HD (which means giving up 6-10 class levels in favor of... basically nothing). Given that your template doesn't replace Class Levels with Racial Hit Dice, I'd say you're looking at apples and oranges. Try comparing your template with other LA +1 templates or LA +1 races with no Racial HD (like Tieflings) and that might give you a better idea of the benchmark you're aiming for.
    Racial Hit Dice is definitely a consideration in that thread for many creatures, but they also deal with creatures with fewer RHD than expected for their CR, as well creature templates (which are independent of RHD). Note that their lich template is only LA+2 but is mechanically much better than 2 applications of the current Returned template (undead type gives virtual immunity against Fort- and Will-based attacks, phylactery = immortality, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    Why give them a resurrection feat when the template and the feat both basically copy each other? As previously pointed out, the template is strong enough as it is.
    Yeah, hence the bit about DM interpretation. The feats are a bit more flavourful than the template itself now (energy resistances etc), but the DM is free to say "nope, you don't get any feats". I've added a link to my Planetouched feats now too.

    Quote Originally Posted by ObliviMancer View Post
    I like the idea but have a question, why would you make it apply multiple times? I haven't read back through since your edits, but I remember it feeling out of place. The high power to me felt like, "Okay, you can go back for a second chance and you'll eat the level loss, or, we can send you back better than you were before... but it's your last shot. Die again, and that's it." So like an alternative to the petitioner system, where you become a more planar, more whole version of yourself, but at the cost of mortality, your body and soul are one, and the death of one is the death of the other, only TR can bring you back etc. Without some sort of flavor like that I feel pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.
    Multiple applications are possible because the PC might die and Return multiple times, accruing more LA each time and gaining more and more Outsider features and traits each time (though that part has since been excised). Death is certainly cheap in D&D haha - I can definitely see a DM ruling that you get only ONE shot at Returning though.

    Thanks as always everyone for the input!
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-28 at 06:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Yeah, hence the bit about DM interpretation. The feats are a bit more flavourful than the template itself now (energy resistances etc), but the DM is free to say "nope, you don't get any feats".
    How about just "No Bonus Feats"? If the DM feels like he'll give players more feats, he'll do so, but the system telling the players that they might arbitrarily get is definitely bad taste. It'd also be better since the players wouldn't have to develop two different versions of their character in the event of a yes/no situation.

    Also the DM is always free to say "nope, you don't get any feats" even if the system does, so what's your point?

    TL;DR Being less arbitrary is good, since it reduces confusion. If the DM wanted to give a feat, then he doesn't need the system to tell him he has the power to do so (The architect of the planes cares not for your petty "rules"). Additionally, where else in 1st party has this been said?
    Last edited by Goaty14; 2018-04-28 at 07:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Returned (template alternative to level loss from dying)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    How about just "No Bonus Feats"? If the DM feels like he'll give players more feats, he'll do so, but the system telling the players that they might arbitrarily get is definitely bad taste. It'd also be better since the players wouldn't have to develop two different versions of their character in the event of a yes/no situation.

    Also the DM is always free to say "nope, you don't get any feats" even if the system does, so what's your point?

    TL;DR Being less arbitrary is good, since it reduces confusion. If the DM wanted to give a feat, then he doesn't need the system to tell him he has the power to do so (The architect of the planes cares not for your petty "rules"). Additionally, where else in 1st party has this been said?
    It's definitely not the convention, I suppose I was just trying to promote my old homebrew haha. Edited now.

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