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Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Diego Rossi wrote:

Notice the difference:

once each week/every time you put a corpse in the bier
Assuming you need 10 minutes to put a corpse in the bier and then greet the deceased back, it is 144 raise dead in a day, 1,008 in a week.

Well, first off, the primary way you price a magical item is by comparing it to already existing magic items. If the bier is so much better than the staff, then it must be priced to reflect that, regardless of what the formulas say.

Second, the bier is incredibly useful if you want to raise commoners all day long. Party members do not need to be raised 144 times a day. In point of fact, they can't be, since at some point they're going to accrue too many negative levels to come back (unless you also have a bier of greater restoration laying around?). If you don't use the staff to cast heal, it's probably going to be able to handle all the party's resurrection needs on its own, even limited as it is.

If you want to argue the bier is broken because it removes the fear of accidental or violent death from the local populace, that's one thing (I think whoever owns the bier may still want to charge spellcasting service rates for its use though, considering they sunk a fair bit of change into it. Also, commoners don't really have access to restoration so those negative levels are going to stack up, assuming they aren't low enough level to suffer outright Con loss).

From a party's perspective though, it's only marginally better than a staff of life, and much more expensive.

Edit: Minor rephrasing.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

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Removed a bunch of posts. I get that this is a push button for some folks, but really—it's a game. People play it differently. What works for you doesn't work for somebody else. Let people play how they want to, and don't get bent out of shape when they don't play to your expectations.

Icyshadow, ciretose: Both of you keep going around in circles. Maybe you should step away from the thread.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

Notice the difference:

once each week/every time you put a corpse in the bier
Assuming you need 10 minutes to put a corpse in the bier and then greet the deceased back, it is 144 raise dead in a day, 1,008 in a week.

Well, first off, the primary way you price a magical item is by comparing it to already existing magic items. If the bier is so much better than the staff, then it must be priced to reflect that, regardless of what the formulas say.

Second, the bier is incredibly useful if you want to raise commoners all day long. Party members do not need to be raised 144 times a day. In point of fact, they can't be, since at some point they're going to accrue too many negative levels to come back (unless you also have a bier of greater restoration laying around?). If you don't use the staff to cast heal, it's probably going to be able to handle all the party's resurrection needs on its own, even limited as it is.

If you want to argue the bier is broken because it removes the fear of accidental or violent death from the local populace, that's one thing (I think whoever owns the bier may still want to charge spellcasting service rates for its use though, considering they sunk a fair bit of change into it. Also, commoners don't really have access to restoration so those negative levels are going to stack up, assuming they aren't low enough level to suffer outright Con loss).

From a party's perspective though, it's only marginally better than a staff of life, and much more expensive.

Edit: Minor rephrasing.

Agreed. My point mainly showing how much difference would make removing the material cost.

Consider the staff of life: without the material cost it would cost around 60K.
So instead of 1/4 of the total party resources at level 12 it would be 1/4 of the party resources at level 10. Even less if you have a large party. 60K is the price of downgrading 4 +4 weapons to +3.
Most parties will not get back their money thanks to the savings from casting Raise Dead a no cost, but if you factor in the benefit of getting a staff that can cast heal at the cost of 1 charge it would be a good investment for most parties around level 11.

Shadow Lodge

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It's funny how, dispite the assumption of the commonality of magic to raise the dead, you never see the BBEG of volume 1 of an AP pop up in volumes 2-6 to harrass you until you kill him again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

Second, the bier is incredibly useful if you want to raise commoners all day long. Party members do not need to be raised 144 times a day. In point of fact, they can't be, since at some point they're going to accrue too many negative levels to come back (unless you also have a bier of greater restoration laying around?). If you don't use the staff to cast heal, it's probably going to be able to handle all the party's resurrection needs on its own, even limited as it is.

If you want to argue the bier is broken because it removes the fear of accidental or violent death from the local populace, that's one thing (I think whoever owns the bier may still want to charge spellcasting service rates for its use though, considering they sunk a fair bit of change into it. Also, commoners don't really have access to restoration so those negative levels are going to stack up, assuming they aren't low enough level to suffer outright Con loss).

From a party's perspective though, it's only marginally better than a staff of life, and much more expensive.

This is exactly part of our situation with Kingmaker. Sure, we can be assured of being raised from the dead whenever we want, and sure my character got it through what amounts to gaming the system, but there are still consequences for dying, and, really, we haven't ever used it, personally. Not once for the party.

Instead, it's completely redefining the game world because, dudes, free rez (except the 'cost' is usually made to be joining the kingdom and becoming a useful member of society)... and even then my character uses it only sometimes. Literally he spends months of his life mediating with others about the nature of life, death, and other similar things, working on enabling last goodbyes and such things. He uses his judgement and divinations, though, and often will raise someone that would 'benefit' Zyphus or who was part of a vile cult ritual or other 'wrongful death'. Is this still revolutionizing the world (at least on a local level)? Oh, yes. Is this breaking the game? Well...

... we cling to our staff of life like it's the most valuable treasure on the planet. It's literally the most prized possession the party owns. Why would that be?

Again, that's us. That's how we did it. But others will have different play styles.

That's what I meant about blanket statements earlier. It won't work the same for everyone.

Shadow Lodge

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Matthew Morris wrote:
Few take reincarnate if raise dead is an option. (per the campaign setting old age is the only reason to use reincarnate)

Actually, our group's barbarian voluntarily opted for Reincarnate instead of Raise because he was a "live dangerously" type, and that applied to coming back from the dead. He got lucky and came back as a Gnoll instead of a Kobold. My druid also would have preferred Reincarnate for spiritual reasons and carried a one-use reincarnation item so that her allies could easily use her preferred method without another druid around. This wasn't a cost issue - we had plenty of extra cash at that point.

Icyshadow wrote:
Every player still fears death as much as they did in level 1.

Not true when my group played with the 5000 gp cost. It was prohibitive at low levels and death was extremely scary. At mid-levels it was an option but would have been a significant cost and death was moderately scary. Past level 12 it was an annoyance.

In the game where the only cost was the negative level, death was consistently painful and undesirable, but never prohibited us from keeping our characters.

ciretose wrote:
Again this goes back to the the "Player vs GM" argument which I reject entirely.

I also reject this state of affairs. However, my conclusions differ.

ciretose wrote:

It isn't the GM, it is the dice. Any decent GM wants the party to win, as otherwise the game is over and the story goes untold.

But the dice scare us all, and that is a good this.

If PC death has consequences other than just the loss of the character, then a bad dice outcome resulting in death can still be scary even if the death itself is pretty easily reversed.

ciretose wrote:

It isn't "My game" that has a penalty for raise dead. Is is every incarnation of the game since 1979.

If you are a GM who doesn't like player death, awesome. Run that setting.

But if you make that the default, that is one of those things that is an "I'm out" moment for me and that system, as everything after that will be predicated on death having no bite.

As it is, death doesn't have much bite now. And as always, if story requires a live PC, the GM has the tools to do that...not to mention being the only one at the table who knows what is really going on and if that PC is mission critical.

Although making any one PC mission critical is a whole other issue...

It's not necessarily about making one PC mission critical. It's about the fact that for some players, permanently losing a character in a meaningless way due to bad luck would reduce their fun. When GMing, I always try to make sure that everyone is having fun. If I'm using an absolute failure chance on raise dead and the player fails, and that failure reduces player fun, I will bend the rules somehow to get around that failure - for example, a genie or powerful outsider offers to Wish the PC back to life at some cost. And if I'm going to do that anyway, the failure roll isn't really a failure roll, it's a higher-cost roll. And that, for me, makes the failure roll mechanic of limited use. If I'm looking for some risk or randomness in Raise, I'd much prefer something like this option:

Tacticslion wrote:

Getting back to suggestions, however, since some prefer risks and costs, what about the possibility of more negative levels? Yeah, I know, Irontruth doesn't like them, but I'm interested in hearing alternate suggestions. This allows you to sidestep the "never back" issue while also creating a distinctive disinclination to die in the first place by requiring more spell slots.

For example, raise dead costs 5k and drops two negative levels" What about (as an optional rule) that it drops you 1+1d6 negative levels? (I'm interested in feedback.) The PF system has much 'cleaner' negative levels and they can be removed by using restoration. Intriguingly, they'd need (dependent on the rolls) roughly 5k more gold in restorations to get back on their feet. This means that the cost isn't gone, so much as it is deferred. It allows a group more options for how to handle and channel resources and allows for a pretty steep penalty. I know I wouldn't want to have an average of 4.5 levels gone until the appropriate spells are cast on me. That's more than twice as bad as two already...
Also, I'd suggest the diamond might be an optional "minimize death" cost - i.e. if it's used, the dead comes back at only two negative levels.

This provides risk without permanently crippling or denying the character.

brvheart wrote:
As for myself, I am running Rappan Athuk an old 1st Edition style dungeon where the risk of death is not only just real but to be expected. The nearest Cleric capable of casting Raise Dead is over 2 weeks away so the point is moot for the 3 player and 1 NPC deaths thus far. Are the players complaining and running away? No, they are flocking to my table! I now have 14 players who rotate in and out of my game and those that can't make it that week are upset that they are missing a session. I had 13 at the table 4 weeks ago. We counted a total of 24 players and NPCs, 4 of which have died. That is 1 of 6. I expect at least one more this week. Don't cheapen death for the players and they will respect you for it and enjoy the game even more.

There are plenty who enjoy that style of play, but there are others who do not. If I had permanently lost my LG Inquisitor at level 2 for taking a bullet for an orc kid, I would have been pretty upset. In that case it wasn't bad luck, but I would have been annoyed with the GM for putting me in a situation where my options were out-of-character action or permanent death. Luckily, that was the campaign with supernatural intervention for PC death (which left my character saying “Hang on, what makes me any better than the dozens of buddies I've had who died fighting the good fight and stayed dead?” - interesting RP moment).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Even a crit greataxe requires you to have put yourself in harms way and them to roll well. You have max hit points plus negative con at first level.

If you're the party fighter with Weapon Focus: Greatsword, isn't that exactly where you're supposed to be? In harm's way with a CR-appropriate foe to protect the casters and ranged specialists? 3d12+12 points of damage laughs at max hit points plus negative Con.

Combat is far more swingy at low levels than high, depending on the luck of the dice. Your position seems to be that low-level parties simply shouldn't adventure because it's too dangerous. What's the difference between dying to a single arbitary failed save at 9th level and dying to a single arbitary critical hit by the DM at 2nd level? Why is one worthy of a second chance and the other exemplifies a player who wasn't cautious enough?


Liz Courts wrote:
Icyshadow, ciretose: Both of you keep going around in circles. Maybe you should step away from the thread.

Eh, I don't really mind. So long as me and my players are having fun, I'm still playing right.


Kthulhu wrote:


It's funny how, dispite the assumption of the commonality of magic to raise the dead, you never see the BBEG of volume 1 of an AP pop up in volumes 2-6 to harrass you until you kill him again.

Death is often assumed to be more permanent for NPCs. Not in my game which has led to some interesting moments :) But then I run a sandbox homebrew campaign, not an AP...


johnlocke90 wrote:


The issue is that this creates a lot of work for the GM and the purpose of rulebooks is to minimize the work the GM has to do. Open ended rules that require a lot of work by the GM aren't good rules.

Who said anything about leaving it "open ended"? You fail your survival roll and X happens. Or use a table. Or have it be decised by how badly you fail. Easy peasy. The purpose of the rules is not "to minimize the work by the GM" in any event. It's to have a fun game that the players and GM enjoy. I've played the various iterations of this game since 1974, and if making the GMs life easy is the hall mark of "good rules", both 3.5 and PF are abject failures and we should all go play retroclones of the original D&D or 1E. That can be quite fun btw, but that's not what this is about.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
R_Chance wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


It's funny how, dispite the assumption of the commonality of magic to raise the dead, you never see the BBEG of volume 1 of an AP pop up in volumes 2-6 to harrass you until you kill him again.
Death is often assumed to be more permanent for NPCs. Not in my game which has led to some interesting moments :) But then I run a sandbox homebrew campaign, not an AP...

I tend to play it as the villains not having any reason to rez a minion that failed them once already. In fact, I've had villains kill and animate them as undead for retreating/losing a battle.

Andoran

Matthew Morris wrote:
ciretose wrote:

I kind of like the fort save idea, as it aids frontliners who are taking the heat, but I would have it be one fail mean you aren't raised today and a second means not brought back at all barring GM intervention.

That way the only substantial penalty is on the player who died.

Two fails in a row, or two fails period?

Method one gives you a fairly easy 'do over', method 2 makes that 'second death' much more scary.

I was think more like this.

You die (first failure)

You cast raise dead, which either works or doesn't work (Something like a 5% fail chance)

If it doesn't work, fort save to avoid being really, truly, irrevocably (without DM fiat) dead.

Andoran

Joana wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Even a crit greataxe requires you to have put yourself in harms way and them to roll well. You have max hit points plus negative con at first level.

If you're the party fighter with Weapon Focus: Greatsword, isn't that exactly where you're supposed to be? In harm's way with a CR-appropriate foe to protect the casters and ranged specialists? 3d12+12 points of damage laughs at max hit points plus negative Con.

Combat is far more swingy at low levels than high, depending on the luck of the dice. Your position seems to be that low-level parties simply shouldn't adventure because it's too dangerous. What's the difference between dying to a single arbitary failed save at 9th level and dying to a single arbitary critical hit by the DM at 2nd level? Why is one worthy of a second chance and the other exemplifies a player who wasn't cautious enough?

if Draugr crits on a 20 (rolls a 20 then presumably what, 12 or higher?) and then rolls all 12s, you may die, yes.

Because that is a very unlikely outcome.

And you are a first level character, so...who cares? You have invested the time it took you to roll dice as opposed to the months and months put into a higher level character started at the same level.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

if Draugr crits on a 20 (rolls a 20 then presumably what, 12 or higher?) and then rolls all 12s, you may die, yes.

Because that is a very unlikely outcome.

Just happened to the 2nd-level fighter in a game I'm in. This is not a hypothetical situation.

ciretose wrote:
And you are a first level character, so...who cares? You have invested the time it took you to roll dice as opposed to the months and months put into a higher level character started at the same level.

I care. Because I have invested a great deal more than the time involved to roll dice or distribute point buy, as the case may be. I have created a character concept with backstory and motivations and relationships to my fellow party members and local NPCs. My PC is a character, not a jigsaw of feats, traits, skill points and magic items. She is the same person at level 2 that she is at level 17. You can put together the same set of mechanical choices again, but you can't replicate a unique personality.

I'd actually rather lose her at level 17, as she'll have had time to explore some of her storylines and achieve some personal goals instead of "Hi, guys, let me tell you about my long-lost twin sister I hope someday to -- Oops. *splat*" So I either come up with some contrived "Hey, what are the odds, we were actually long-lost triplets!" or I completely throw out the whole idea, an idea which is a lot more complex and specialized than any particular character build. Or, more likely, I quit because the whole reason I was playing was to play that PC. Frankly, I've never found a campaign plot, homebrew or published, anywhere near as interesting as the story of my PC and her friends, as individuals, growing and changing and accomplishing things together. I don't play to experience someone else's story. If I want a plot, I'll read a book or watch a movie. I play to experience my story.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


It's funny how, dispite the assumption of the commonality of magic to raise the dead, you never see the BBEG of volume 1 of an AP pop up in volumes 2-6 to harrass you until you kill him again.
Death is often assumed to be more permanent for NPCs. Not in my game which has led to some interesting moments :) But then I run a sandbox homebrew campaign, not an AP...
I tend to play it as the villains not having any reason to rez a minion that failed them once already. In fact, I've had villains kill and animate them as undead for retreating/losing a battle.

I was referring to the BBEG. Minions, depends on their utility / relation to the BBEG.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I guess I should have just quoted Kthulhu's post then. :)

Taldor

Hey all!
Just popping in to see if Sean posted yet.
I'm hoping there's some merit in what I'd listed in my previous post.
I'll stop back soon! I'm most curious to see if I'd hit on any of the elements Sean had in mind, and if not, curious about the answer to Sean's seemingly simple, yet sublime question.

-Pax

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

TriOmegaZero wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


It's funny how, dispite the assumption of the commonality of magic to raise the dead, you never see the BBEG of volume 1 of an AP pop up in volumes 2-6 to harrass you until you kill him again.
Death is often assumed to be more permanent for NPCs. Not in my game which has led to some interesting moments :) But then I run a sandbox homebrew campaign, not an AP...
I tend to play it as the villains not having any reason to rez a minion that failed them once already. In fact, I've had villains kill and animate them as undead for retreating/losing a battle.

Didn't this happen in Savage Tide? I seem to recall a guy we fought at the beginning of the campaign coming somewhere around the midpoint, having been raised or something. Then he came back as a Death Knight at the end.

I could be misremembering, or it might have been something our GM added.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, I think so.

Spoiler:
Vanthus Vanderboren, if I remember right. Then at the very end he's a soul grub in the Abyss. Evil does get its reward eventually. :)

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Yeah, I think so.

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, that's right! That was a fun campaign.

Andoran

Your story is just one variation of possible stories.

PCs die. Death sucks. That is why it is so upsetting when it happens. If your 2nd level fighter is mission critical, the GM can find ways to bring them back or fudge the dice.

If you don't want the GM to fudge the dice, the solution isn't to ask the system to do it for you.

If there is only one possible PC you want to play, that is a very small market to shoot for.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not asking the system to fudge the dice. I'm not asking for PCs not to die. I'm asking for it to be possible for my party to go to the same NPC cleric your 8th-level party goes to and get our low-level friend raised just like your party gets their high-level friend raised.

Why do you want to keep playing your 18th-level PC instead of just rolling up another and giving him the same feats, skill ranks and gear as your old one? Because that's the PC you want to play. Why is that reasonable at 8th-level or higher and unreasonable at 4th level or lower?

There is no mechanical reason for the game to allow players to continue with the same character if they die after a certain level and force players to create new characters if they die before that level. It's completely arbitrary.

Andoran

It is possible for your party to raise your 2nd level character. You just need to convince a 9th level cleric to do it. It is up to your GM to either allow that because that is what the table wants or to tell the player to suck it up, because either they messed up or the dice gods were just cruel this evening.

I don't agree that you should have access to the same power at 2nd level as you should at 9th or at 20th. There are mechanical reasons to mitigate death when you are playing at a level where occasional death is all but calculated into the encounters.

But there has never been a time in the history of the game when death did not suck, and it is the fact that death sucks that makes it such a relief when you are able to avoid it.


Occasional death is always present, regardless of level. At 1st level it's a critical from a longbow, longspear or greataxe. At 8th level it's failing the save against hold person and getting coup de graced. At 16th level it's getting hit by a portable hole in bag of holding trap.

Regardless of what one thinks of the availability of raise dead, why should it be that different based on level, from a mechanics standpoint? I can understand from a worldbuilding/versimillitude standpoint - if every random person gets raised that would affect society in the extreme, but from a mechanics/balance standpoint I see no reason why to have it unavailable at low level and easily available at high levels.

Though still, I think the main solution to the issue of random and arbitrary deaths are hero points, not easy raise deads. Regardless of level.


Sure, if your party has the wherewithall to afford the raise dead, why not? But I could say if the dead is 2nd level it is time to bury him and sing his praises and the inn over a few ales.


Ilja wrote:
Zark wrote:


I disagree. I think -1 (or -2 if you can't get or afford a restoration) is a big deal even at level 9. Especially if your hit with the:
If we deem the cost of raise dead arbitrary, why isn't the restoration one arbitrary? I think a removal of one gold cost due to "costs being bad to balance stuff" means we have to think twice about the gold costs of other spells.

I wouldn't mind taking a look at restoration as well.

Arcane eye, dimension door (and all teleport spells), find the path, and a lot of other divination spells (including see invisibility and all those: Talk with your deity spells) are some of the most powerful spells in the game. Stuff that can really give a GM a headache. None of them cost 5000 gp or 1000 gp.

In our game Arcane eye is one of those spells that really change the outcome of the game.
Arcane eye = Time to buff and no PC death.
No Arcane eye = really hard fight that might end up with dead PC or TPK.
Dimension door is also a spell that has helped us hundreds of times.
Both powerful. None of them cost 5000 gp or 1000, gp.

Ilja wrote:
Zark wrote:


(BTW, I'm still not entirely sure what qualifies for level-dependent variables or how it supposed to work.)

As far as I've understood, they only lose effect (like dice on fireball), not ability to cast the spells. There was a comment from a dev on this some year(s) ago if I remember correctly. Could be mistaken though.

No that thread (and another one) ended in confusion. One of the few times I've seen Zurai flip flop and admit he was utterly confused.

Zurai wrote:


So, I withdraw my statement that Caster Level is a level-dependent variable. It's a class level-dependent variable, but that way lies madness.

I can't think of any character level-dependent variables off the top of my head, but I'm sure there's some somewhere.

And, no. No official ruling from any Dev. James Jacobs gave his view on things, but it wasn't any official ruling.

Silver Crusade

If you are setting yourself up as a PC that has to make it to the end then that's your fault. Now if your DM says it's okay then fair enough but if you come in on your own with this expectation that you will always come back then you truly are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Death is supposed to be difficult and taxing. Its supposed to be a bit of a miracle and if you lesson that then you make it more video game like. I mean, you might as well walk into a magic shop and ask for a +3 sword and some Boots of Striding and Springing.

Contributor

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Joana wrote:

I care. Because I have invested a great deal more than the time involved to roll dice or distribute point buy, as the case may be. I have created a character concept with backstory and motivations and relationships to my fellow party members and local NPCs. My PC is a character, not a jigsaw of feats, traits, skill points and magic items. She is the same person at level 2 that she is at level 17. You can put together the same set of mechanical choices again, but you can't replicate a unique personality.

I'd actually rather lose her at level 17, as she'll have had time to explore some of her storylines and achieve some personal goals instead of "Hi, guys, let me tell you about my long-lost twin sister I hope someday to -- Oops. *splat*" So I either come up with some contrived "Hey, what are the odds, we were actually long-lost triplets!" or I completely throw out the whole idea, an idea which is a lot more complex and specialized than any particular character build. Or, more likely, I quit because the whole reason I was playing was to play that PC. Frankly, I've never found a campaign plot, homebrew or published, anywhere near as interesting as the story of my PC and her friends, as individuals, growing and changing and accomplishing things together. I don't play to experience someone else's story. If I want a plot, I'll read a book or watch a movie. I play to experience my story.

Exactly. Characters are not interchangeable if you've taken the time to invest in their backstory enough to make them real people. This is why Raise Dead is so crucial as a spell in a roleplaying game. It's not like saying, "Well, we're playing Monopoly, and your Scottie Dog went bankrupt, but you can take over my Flat Iron because I have to leave and that way you can keep on playing and see if you can beat the Top Hat and the Sportscar."


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There are plenty of roleplaying games that has nothing such as raise dead. I think it's a bad idea to enter a random RPG campaign with the attitude that "this is the only character I can play and if it dies then I can't play something else", because in most RPGs, death isn't uncommon and is more or less unfixable.

If you want to play in a game where you won't lose your character, it's a better idea to speak to the DM beforehand.

It's got nothing to do with being videogamey though.


Ilja wrote:

There are plenty of roleplaying games that has nothing such as raise dead. I think it's a bad idea to enter a random RPG campaign with the attitude that "this is the only character I can play and if it dies then I can't play something else", because in most RPGs, death isn't uncommon and is more or less unfixable.

If you want to play in a game where you won't lose your character, it's a better idea to speak to the DM beforehand.

It's got nothing to do with being videogamey though.

I agree with most of the above... but, yeah, it does have SOMETHING to do with being videogamey. Because of the way that "oops I'm dead... gotta respawn and redo this screen" happens in many (most) video games.

Now, I'm not arguing for/against making it easier to recover from PC death; but skewing it towards "easier" DOES make the game RESEMBLE that video-game functionality.


And why is similarity to a video game bad? Some video games have permadeath too, as in Game Over. Then you go and pick a new character to play, or try the same one. One good example would be arcade fighting games if you never had any coins on you. Main difference in the TTRPGs is that you start at the local town when you get revived or just show up on a nearby area if you made a new character instead of starting from Stage 1 again.


Alitan wrote:
I agree with most of the above... but, yeah, it does have SOMETHING to do with being videogamey. Because of the way that "oops I'm dead... gotta respawn and redo this screen" happens in many (most) video games.

It exists in video games and it exists in non-video games. Many board games have that kind of thing, too, yet rarely the comparison is to "well if you like respawning why not go play Talisman!". The reference to video games is often done in a derogatory sense regardless of topic, that is apparent even when the person making the comparison afterwards say "well it's nothing WRONG with video games!".

It's just a dumb and irrelevant comparison, that only leads to conflict, more or less regardless of what exact topic it is (resurrections, magic mart, fighters with limited use abilities etc etc etc). The same thing with comparing random stuff to anime.

Guess what kind of "early" cRPGs had resurrection _at all_? The D&D-based ones, mainly. Baldurs Gate had, Diablo did not.

Silver Crusade

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Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Joana wrote:

I care. Because I have invested a great deal more than the time involved to roll dice or distribute point buy, as the case may be. I have created a character concept with backstory and motivations and relationships to my fellow party members and local NPCs. My PC is a character, not a jigsaw of feats, traits, skill points and magic items. She is the same person at level 2 that she is at level 17. You can put together the same set of mechanical choices again, but you can't replicate a unique personality.

I'd actually rather lose her at level 17, as she'll have had time to explore some of her storylines and achieve some personal goals instead of "Hi, guys, let me tell you about my long-lost twin sister I hope someday to -- Oops. *splat*" So I either come up with some contrived "Hey, what are the odds, we were actually long-lost triplets!" or I completely throw out the whole idea, an idea which is a lot more complex and specialized than any particular character build. Or, more likely, I quit because the whole reason I was playing was to play that PC. Frankly, I've never found a campaign plot, homebrew or published, anywhere near as interesting as the story of my PC and her friends, as individuals, growing and changing and accomplishing things together. I don't play to experience someone else's story. If I want a plot, I'll read a book or watch a movie. I play to experience my story.

Exactly. Characters are not interchangeable if you've taken the time to invest in their backstory enough to make them real people. This is why Raise Dead is so crucial as a spell in a roleplaying game. It's not like saying, "Well, we're playing Monopoly, and your Scottie Dog went bankrupt, but you can take over my Flat Iron because I have to leave and that way you can keep on playing and see if you can beat the Top Hat and the Sportscar."

Sorry but story investment doesn't give you any special treatments that you can hide behind. You are treated the same as the guy who spent 14 seconds on his backstory. The game doesn't revolve around your investment.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

No one said it does. Just that it doesn't matter if your character is 2nd or 17th level. Death for an invested character is punishment by itself. You can't just swap in a new character and keep going like nothing happened.


It is for this reason I tell my players not to get too attached to their characters or spend too much time on an elaborate back story. Some of my best characters were those where I let the game develop my character and not tried to make the game fit some backstory I created. They are remembered as some of the more unique characters in our groups last 12 years of gaming. When the campaigns ended at level 12 they had more flavor and personality that I could ever given by "creating a backstory". Morti the Mine with his cow Bessie that he had so he could have his hot chocolate every morning and Alfonso the Great who charged into combat with his quarterstaff before casting any spells and was usually sucessful at it even though he only did 1d6 in damage! We had no ranger so Alfonso took track as a feat at an early level.


I want all RPG's to be exactly like video games. Video games like Friday the 13 for NES.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You can burn in hell, sir. ;p

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

At least he didn't say ET for the Atari 2600

Andoran

Matthew Morris wrote:
At least he didn't say ET for the Atari 2600

*shiver* The only one I can think that is close is Battletoads.

If you want to run a game like a video game, feel free. I think it is safe to say most people would rather just play a video game, but YMMV.

I want my players to get attached. I want an elaborate backstory. And I want death to have a bite, specifically because you care so much about these people. I want players sweating the outcome of the dice, specifically because it matters to them. Specifically because the loss of that character would hurt, because they care.

And then I want the other players (and that player in the next build if they can't or won't come back) to care enough to want to avenge that.

I want the BBEG to be truly hated, and sometimes that hate comes from removing someone you loved to play from the game. Sometimes that is part of what makes that final battle really rewarding.

And there is a difference in backstory between 2nd and 9th level characters.

The 7 levels of stuff that happened.

Part of the process of the game is creating a story with the other people at the table. It isn't about what you say about your character, it is about the story you are creating at the table with everyone else present. And you take the sting out of a story when everyone is invulnerable and death means nothing.

Ask Joss Whedon.

No one here, I repeat no one, is saying recovering from even death should be impossible.

We are saying it should be hard. Because it's death.

If nothing in the game is hard, that makes the game very boring for many of us. If there is no possibility of losing, that makes the game very boring for many of us.

But your backstory < The story. No one is saying swapping out doesn't suck, but things that suck happening are part of any decent story.

If the table really cares about a character, not just you but the table, any decent GM is going to find a way to help them bring that guy back, even if it is 2nd level.

That is why things like Gentle Repose exist.

But what is a more interesting outcome for a 2nd level party that wants to bring back a comrade.

A. You go to a town and give the local temple authorities them gold equivilent to level and boom, your friend is back and you wonder why everyone doesn't do this when a friend or loved one dies...

B. You go to a town, beg the local temple authorities to place him under gentle repose until such time as you are able, with the help of a temporary PC for the fallen player, do a quest that allows you to bring X person back from the dead.

When you make the game easy, I think you make it boring.

Andoran

TriOmegaZero wrote:
No one said it does. Just that it doesn't matter if your character is 2nd or 17th level. Death for an invested character is punishment by itself. You can't just swap in a new character and keep going like nothing happened.

Except what is being proposed is just going on like nothing happened with the character who died.

If the gold cost is removed, what is the difference after a week and two restoration spells?

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The difference is, the character died.

Andoran

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The difference is, the character died.

And...it had the same effect long term as a paper cut.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If the players treat it that way, yes.

Andoran

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For comparison.

1e

"Dude, remember when you heroically died holding the line in the door why the rest of us escaped. I was on the edge of my seat when you made that fort save"

"Yeah, I know. I need to be careful."

3.5
"Dude, remember when you heroically died holding the line in the door why the rest of us escaped."

"Yeah, I know. It took me forever to earn my way back to level with everyone else. I need to be careful."

Pathfinder

"Dude, remember when you heroically died holding the line in the door why the rest of us escaped."

"Yeah, I know. I really could have used that 5k in material component to buy X. I need to be careful."

Proposed change.

"Dude, remember when you heroically died holding the line in the door why the rest of us escaped."

"Yeah. That was kind of annoying for the in game week when I was at -1 for some stuff."


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
I don't agree that you should have access to the same power at 2nd level as you should at 9th or at 20th.

But you don't "have access" to the same power. At low levels, the power is in the hands of NPCs in often-faraway temples. Without a 5,000 gp price tag, death still becomes more and more trivial at high levels. At 2nd level, when a PC dies in a dungeon, the party has to abandon their quest and carry a dead body across miles of wilderness, maybe at a forced march to get to town within the allotted time period, and then sell gear and/or give away all the treasure they've found in the dungeon so far to afford the 450 gp spellcasting fee. At 7th level, when a PC dies in a dungeon, the party casts gentle repose, finishes up what they're doing, and returns to town at their leisure to pay 450 gp out of the fund they're saving up to have their weapons enchanted up to +2. At 12th level, the party finishes the fight, rests in the dungeon, the cleric learns and casts raise dead in the morning, and they're on to the next room. Dealing with death still gets easier and easier the higher level a party gets without denying it to low-level characters.

And I'll never get the "low-level characters are interchangeable pawns, just make up a new one" thing. It's like saying if someone dies young, at least you didn't have time to get attached to them, but if they die after a long life of accomplishment and success, that's the real tragedy. Personally, I find unrealized potential more discouraging than a heroic death at the height of one's fame and prowess.

Andoran

Fight Club, revised:

Spoiler:

"His name was Robert Paulson!"

"Dude, I'm right here."

"What? Are you ok?!?!"

"Yeah. I mean for about a week there I felt wonky, but I'm cool now."

"No effect at all?"

"Nope. I would have been cool if I lost the man boobs, but I am exactly the same"

Lord of the Rings

Spoiler:

"Boromir!"

"What?"

"Oh, hey...so you ready to keep going"

"Mostly, but if you can give me a week I'll be exactly the same as I was before"

"Cool."

Serenity

Spoiler:

"Wash!"

"Yeah?"

"But...but...the spike and the..."

"Yeah, that hurt. But you know, a couple spells a week or so..."

"Nothing else. Not even any medical costs?

"Not really."

"cool"

Sarcasm? Yes. Actually what is being proposed. Yes.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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I should point out that Necromancer Games had a book that dealt with death.

Spoiler:
Well specifically it had quests from low to high level, to get a 'raise McGuffin'. From a simple resolution PoV, if it's a PC who died, either he makes a new PC to travel with his buddies, takes over a cohort, or 'hand him an iconic' for the adventure. Then he has to decide which one he wants when the McGuffin is found.

Maybe the player likes the cohort so much, that he says "Raise my old PC and we'll let him be your cohort."

Maybe they raise their old buddy, and the new PC goes into 'PC Limbo' "Satisfied with his reward, Mikey Magus heads off into the sunset."

Maybe they raise their old buddy and he decides to retire. (i.e. the player likes the new PC better).

Maybe another PC dies, and the players decide to let their first dead buddy rest in peace, but they raise second dead buddy.

Again, it's not a mandated style, but it is another way to make death 'count' w/o reset buttons.

Another option is to get rid of the spells entirely and use the ritual rules from Unearthed Arcana. Remember that death scene in the original Conan movie? Where she has to fight off the spirits to save Conan? Maybe something like that.

Also sometimes Death is important for mood. If Ricky Ranger volunteers to stay behind, holding off the orcs to buy the halflings time to flee. Does it cheapen his sacrifice to say "Aw, it's just a 5th level spell, we'll come back for him later"?

Again, I hope this is something touched on in ultimate campaign.

Edit: And ciretose hits the point I was going for.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

In 3.5, I had a player whose character lost an arm and continued joking around. His character later died and had to be raised.

None of that changed the way he played his character, penalties and all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
*shiver* The only one I can think that is close is Battletoads.

Oh... that's awful. I hated that game. So many bad memories. Why won't the biker level let alone? Why won't the biker level let me alone!?

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