Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You do realize that the gp cost becomes irrelevant after a while?

Not because characters can afford it, but because the WBL system means that if you spend X gp and drop below your WBL, the GM is supposed to award extra treasure in later encounters so that when you hit the next character level, your WBL is about where it should be?

So even if everyone coughs up a share of the 5,000 gp to raise the dead paladin, the GM will award them extra treasure to compensate for being under WBL. Which means the 5,000 gp cost is just a temporary obstacle—basically an interest-free loan that you're borrowing from your future self.

Just a reminder that WBL is a "guideline" that not everyone uses so the cost may in fact have a impact on a group.

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You do realize that the gp cost becomes irrelevant after a while?

Not because characters can afford it, but because the WBL system means that if you spend X gp and drop below your WBL, the GM is supposed to award extra treasure in later encounters so that when you hit the next character level, your WBL is about where it should be?

So even if everyone coughs up a share of the 5,000 gp to raise the dead paladin, the GM will award them extra treasure to compensate for being under WBL. Which means the 5,000 gp cost is just a temporary obstacle—basically an interest-free loan that you're borrowing from your future self.

Agree 100% with removing the cost, and I think almost everyone at this point is on board with it being the wrong penalty to use.

The question up for debate, it seem to me at this point, is if it should have a lasting penalty at all.

I think there is a great deal of value in having frequent death be a cumulative penalty over time. If everyone in the party dies about the same amount, the party will stay the same going forward. But if someone is lagging, and they just keep getting brought back over and over with no real and lasting penalty, why would any character decide to retire, other than age?

I liked the level loss as a concept, but I understand why it wasn't worth the complexity it added. But it worked very well at making death something to fear, as well as having a darwinish effect.

Are you in favor of no lasting penalty, or just saying that gold is the wrong way to go?

Shadow Lodge

ciretose wrote:
If you don't care about your character, you let them die and bring in a twin who gets his loot plus your new WBL. Zack is then better than Mack and your GM is fail.

Of course, the WBL fairies almost immediately take the excess away.

That, or if the GM isn't foolish, then either Zack will enter the campaign with the clothes on his back, or Mack's (real) family will claim his gear and money.

Shadow Lodge

ciretose wrote:

I think there is a great deal of value in having frequent death be a cumulative penalty over time. If everyone in the party dies about the same amount, the party will stay the same going forward. But if someone is lagging, and they just keep getting brought back over and over with no real and lasting penalty, why would any character decide to retire, other than age?

I liked the level loss as a concept, but I understand why it wasn't worth the complexity it added. But it worked very well at making death something to fear, as well as having a darwinish effect.

Are you in favor of no lasting penalty, or just saying that gold is the wrong way to go?

I myself don't see what was wrong with the old maximum number of raise / resurrections = initial Constitution. It makes deaths meaningful, without being overly harsh. If you wanted to make it a bit more gritty without losing the high magic feel, you could change it to the CON bonus (with characters of 11 CON or less unable to be raised).


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Hey, Ciretose; I might have one...

So, this presumes that 20th level is, in fact, a hard cap.

Every time you get raised from the dead/resurrected, you lose the top level you can attain in a single class.

So, the first death loses you the capstone of your class (assuming you were planning a single-classed hero) and requires you to multiclass in order to reach 20th level.

Subsequent deaths continue shaving off the TOP of your single-class level limit, and eventually you do reach a point of diminishing returns, where you cannot usefully gain XP.

I'd say that you can keep the level you're at, if a death would bring your soft cap lower than current level, but no further advancement...

A Wish or a Miracle could lift this penalty...

Eh, I know nobody's gonna like this, but it occurred to me while (Gods alone know why) I continued browsing this thread.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You do realize that the gp cost becomes irrelevant after a while?

Not because characters can afford it, but because the WBL system means that if you spend X gp and drop below your WBL, the GM is supposed to award extra treasure in later encounters so that when you hit the next character level, your WBL is about where it should be?

So even if everyone coughs up a share of the 5,000 gp to raise the dead paladin, the GM will award them extra treasure to compensate for being under WBL. Which means the 5,000 gp cost is just a temporary obstacle—basically an interest-free loan that you're borrowing from your future self.

You don't consider it part of the expenditures covered by that 15 of expendable items and 10% of coins? We routinely use them to cover regular expenses, from the cost of living to costly spell components to a plethora of other expenses.

Generally the treasures found adventuring are richer that what is needed to get you exactly at WBL to cover those expenses.

Side question:
your really pace treasure so that character A that is 5.000 gp under WBL will find a item that only you can use to get him on par with the other characters?
With my players it would not work, as they divide equally the value of the items. If character A take an item that is worth more than his share of the loot he has to pay a compensation to the other characters now or later.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You do realize that the gp cost becomes irrelevant after a while?

Not because characters can afford it, but because the WBL system means that if you spend X gp and drop below your WBL, the GM is supposed to award extra treasure in later encounters so that when you hit the next character level, your WBL is about where it should be?

So even if everyone coughs up a share of the 5,000 gp to raise the dead paladin, the GM will award them extra treasure to compensate for being under WBL. Which means the 5,000 gp cost is just a temporary obstacle—basically an interest-free loan that you're borrowing from your future self.

First of all the WBL level is intended only to be a guide and not a hard and fast rule. I would never deny players treasure they earned because they were ahead of that the WBL says they "SHOULD" have or grant them extra treasure because they kept making foolish mistakes that caused characters to die excessively. I am sorry, but this is a false argument. It is more intended on a guide of what wealth new characters should have when they are brought into an existing campaign. Even then this should be adjusted by the reality of what the existing players actually have. Why should I give someone new more treasure than the players who have been playing and risking their characters? There are rich campaigns and poor ones. There are high magic and low magic campaigns. This is far too cookie cutter.

Second, on the video game argument some of us started playing when the only way to get a "redo" in a video game was to put another quarter in the machine in Pong or Space Invaders. Now there was a real cost to losing!

Thirdly, as for Ciretose's 5% suggestion I feel it has some merit and deserves cosideration. Personally, something like this I feel should be added to the 5000 GP cost and not a substitute. What is the point of hiring adventurers to hunt down the goblins if you can just raise everyone from the dead?

Fourthly, I still have a major issue with the video game and yes I consider it a VIDEO GAME mentality that death is not something real. How many kids have to die at their school, mall or movie theatre before we start to realize that this does contribute to the problem? Yes this is a game and it deals with magic that presupposes there is a manner to bring the dead back to life, but does this mean we should be cheapening death? Not IMHO.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
If you wanted to make it a bit more gritty without losing the high magic feel, you could change it to the CON bonus (with characters of 11 CON or less unable to be raised).

I may have to use this in my future campaigns. It's a wonderful explanation of why you can't just raise every character that ever dies, as most NPCs just don't have the physical stamina to make the return.

Contributor

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
If you wanted to make it a bit more gritty without losing the high magic feel, you could change it to the CON bonus (with characters of 11 CON or less unable to be raised).
I may have to use this in my future campaigns. It's a wonderful explanation of why you can't just raise every character that ever dies, as most NPCs just don't have the physical stamina to make the return.

Penalizes the wizard characters excessively. It also sets up a system where everyone starts maxing their con score since that's the resurrection stat.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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brvheart wrote:
First of all the WBL level is intended only to be a guide and not a hard and fast rule.

If the party pays 5,000 gp, the GM either remembers that for the rest of the campaign, or forgets it.

(A) If the GM remembers it and wants it to be a real cost, the GM has to subtract 5,000 gp from the WBL for the party until the end of the campaign.
(B) If the GM forgets it, then the GM either uses the WBL guidelines, or doesn't.
(B1) If the GM uses the WBL guidelines, then that 5,000 gp cost eventually gets corrected for with extra treasure, and therefore isn't a cost.
(B2) If the GM doesn't use the WBL guidelines, then the party may have a higher or lower WBL than what is expected, which means the 5,000 gp may be a trivial cost or a significant cost.

That's the math.

brvheart wrote:
I would never deny players treasure they earned because they were ahead of that the WBL says they "SHOULD" have or grant them extra treasure because they kept making foolish mistakes that caused characters to die excessively.

So all monsters in your campaign provide the same amount of treasure per CR? You don't have some encounters that are low-treasure (like a pack of skeletons) and some that are high treasure (like an NPC or dragon)? Because unless you do this, some encounters will have more or less treasure than the average, and by balancing the distribution of those encounters, you keep the PCs at the appropriate WBL.

brvheart wrote:
I am sorry, but this is a false argument.

No, it isn't.

brvheart wrote:
It is more intended on a guide of what wealth new characters should have when they are brought into an existing campaign.

No, it's both: it's both a guide for determining if you need to throw some low- or high-treasure encounters at the party to balance out current WBL, AND it is an estimate for how much wealth a new character should have. It's right there in the book that it's both of these things—and the "how much for a character starting above 1st level" rule is after the "all PCs of equivalent level have roughly the same amount of treasure and magic items" rule.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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It's always interesting watching people tell a designer what the point of his rules is.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
It also sets up a system where everyone starts maxing their con score since that's the resurrection stat.

Since this is already a fact of the game because Con is the HP stat, I don't see the difference. And since people who don't need HP don't max Con, people that don't need rezzes won't max it either.


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ciretose wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You do realize that the gp cost becomes irrelevant after a while?

Not because characters can afford it, but because the WBL system means that if you spend X gp and drop below your WBL, the GM is supposed to award extra treasure in later encounters so that when you hit the next character level, your WBL is about where it should be?

So even if everyone coughs up a share of the 5,000 gp to raise the dead paladin, the GM will award them extra treasure to compensate for being under WBL. Which means the 5,000 gp cost is just a temporary obstacle—basically an interest-free loan that you're borrowing from your future self.

Agree 100% with removing the cost, and I think almost everyone at this point is on board with it being the wrong penalty to use.

The question up for debate, it seem to me at this point, is if it should have a lasting penalty at all.

I think there is a great deal of value in having frequent death be a cumulative penalty over time. If everyone in the party dies about the same amount, the party will stay the same going forward. But if someone is lagging, and they just keep getting brought back over and over with no real and lasting penalty, why would any character decide to retire, other than age?

I liked the level loss as a concept, but I understand why it wasn't worth the complexity it added. But it worked very well at making death something to fear, as well as having a darwinish effect.

Are you in favor of no lasting penalty, or just saying that gold is the wrong way to go?

I would rather see the choice made by the character, not the player, if that makes sense. I enjoy games more where players are making their decisions based on what the character wants, instead of all decisions being made by what is mechanically most advantageous.

I think the choice to come back should be decided by what is most appropriate for that story. I don't think that picking what is good for your character's story should mean you have to suffer mechanical disadvantages.

The mechanics of the game should encourage fun play. A system does not need to make sense in regards to a living breathing world, because such a system leaves little to the imagination or interpretation of the GM and players. From a design perspective I'm really loving 13th Age and Dungeon World. Both games are designed to explicitly not give you all the answers, they don't describe how a world works, because your groups world might not work the same as one being played somewhere else.

The need to define everything is one of the reason we get so many books with additional feats, spells, archetypes, classes, etc, because instead of leaving blank space, everything gets defined so you need to constantly add more content to accommodate more and more character concepts.

The consequences of death should be something that is determined by the GM and players. I would rather see a sub-header in the GM'ing chapter talking about different methods and how to implement them.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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ciretose wrote:

As long as Mack the Paladin has no penalty for death, Mack the Paladin has become an immortal.

Mack the immortal Paladin doesn't fear death, because death is nothing to fear. No matter how many times he dies, he is a free spell away from trying again.

Why wouldn't every player make it to epic levels? Why wouldn't the world be populated by tons and tons of fearless, high level adventurers.

This is absolutely false.

Mack the Paladin has a penalty for death--he loses the fight, can't protect his party from the enemy, and puts the group at risk of a TPK. When he comes back, he's got 1-2 negative levels, which makes him worse at protecting the party, which puts him at risk of dying again and puts the group at risk of a TPK. Plus, the group as a whole may lose the fight, which will have negative repercussions (the enemies fortify their position, giants sack Sandpoint, Karzoug conquers Varisia, etc).

Your way has the same penalties for death, except I also have to change the name on my character sheet. Considering all the rest, I don't think you're making it much worse :)

Second, Mack is by no means immortal. He can be dismembered, eaten, fall into lava, disintegrated, energy drained to death, captured by the enemy, dominated (prior to 17th level), executed where the party can't reach him, fleshwarped, raised as a death knight, petrified and shattered, possessed by a demon, imprisoned in the earth, banished to a hidden demiplane, sucked through a rift in space and lost in the astral, or any other of a whole host of things that raise dead doesn't fix. As characters grow in levels, the stakes go far beyond mere death.

You keep saying death is the worst (or was it penultimate worst?) thing that can happen to a PC. I say it doesn't break the top 10. :)

And I don't need a free raise dead to overpopulate the world with PCs. All I need is a printer and a pencil :P

ciretose wrote:

If your GM lets you replace your character with a twin, you have a GM and a player who don't care about verisimilitude anyway, so it is a moot point to discuss how it might effect "roleplaying", isn't it? How attached is someone willing to disrupt the setting by just creating more and more twins.

Unless done comically in a way the whole table enjoys, the guy that does that sounds like "that guy"

So I erase "Mack" and write "Doug" on my character sheet. Doug is an old friend of Mack's, they trained to be Paladins together. Doug heard Mack was adventuring in the area and came by to catch up. What? Mack has been killed? Doug is full of righteous wrath! He swears to take Mack's place in the adventuring group to honor his friend and avenge his death!

Am I playing the same character? Almost exactly. Does that make me a bad roleplayer? How much do I have to change my character to be a good roleplayer? Do I need to bring in Debra the Paladin? Donald the Melee-cleric? Pete the Wizard?

If I like playing Pete the Wizard as much/more than Mack the Paladin, what cost have I really paid for dying?

So long as you don't penalize creating a new character as much or more than raising an old one, you aren't penalizing death.

ciretose wrote:

Part of the reason I am arguing for a penalty is so that if a character keeps dying over and over again, eventually they will have to hang it up so we can get new blood into the game. Hopefully blood that dies less frequently.

Currently the incentive to not have a player die all the time is financial cost. We all agree this penalizes the wrong party.

Level loss made a lot of sense, but it is difficult to implement. It let you bring back a beloved character to keep them "alive", but if they couldn't cut it, they were left behind.

You don't need a penalty to do this! Even without cost, death is annoying! death is frustrating! Imagine if, on the third round of every combat, the GM turned to you and said "your character sucks, you don't get to act for the rest of the fight." Wouldn't that tick you off? Wouldn't you want to fix it, make a better character, or play the one you've got better? While a GM that outright says that to a player is undoubtedly being a jerk, it doesn't change the fact that that's what message death sends to a player. Following it up with a "no, you can't play that character ever again" doesn't enhance the effect much.

Also, if my new character doesn't die as often, has death really penalized me? Death has arguably made the party stronger. Isn't that sort of antithetical to what you've been saying death should do for the past 10 pages?

ciretose wrote:

If you don't care about your character, you let them die and bring in a twin who gets his loot plus your new WBL. Zack is then better than Mack and your GM is fail.

Immortality doesn't encourage improved roleplaying any more than a Red Bull encourages sleep. It basically means it doesn't matter what happens, we'll just bring you back and try again.

I'm not even talking about selling Mack's stuff to get money. I'm saying your way of penalizing death encourages me to not care about my character, so that when I die and roll poorly on my %/Fort check, I don't lose as much by bringing in a new one.

Shadow Lodge

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
If you wanted to make it a bit more gritty without losing the high magic feel, you could change it to the CON bonus (with characters of 11 CON or less unable to be raised).
I may have to use this in my future campaigns. It's a wonderful explanation of why you can't just raise every character that ever dies, as most NPCs just don't have the physical stamina to make the return.
Penalizes the wizard characters excessively. It also sets up a system where everyone starts maxing their con score since that's the resurrection stat.

Don't see how it's any more of a penalty for wizards than anyone else. Wizards, being slightly squishy, probably pumped their CON more than anything other than their INT.

Shadow Lodge

Another way to curtail the cheapness of death without actually changing much in the way of RAW is to simply have suitable diamonds be more rare than is common. Maybe the overwhelming majority of diamonds are "only" 4K gp value or lower.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I've always thought it would be funny to crash the diamond market, so those 5k diamonds are suddenly no longer worth 5k and cannot be used for components. :)

Liberty's Edge

Alitan wrote:

Hey, Ciretose; I might have one...

So, this presumes that 20th level is, in fact, a hard cap.

Every time you get raised from the dead/resurrected, you lose the top level you can attain in a single class.

So, the first death loses you the capstone of your class (assuming you were planning a single-classed hero) and requires you to multiclass in order to reach 20th level.

Subsequent deaths continue shaving off the TOP of your single-class level limit, and eventually you do reach a point of diminishing returns, where you cannot usefully gain XP.

I'd say that you can keep the level you're at, if a death would bring your soft cap lower than current level, but no further advancement...

A Wish or a Miracle could lift this penalty...

Eh, I know nobody's gonna like this, but it occurred to me while (Gods alone know why) I continued browsing this thread.

I think that would be too much punishment. What I liked about level loss was that you could still keep going and recover. It really only punished those who died more than everyone else.

If it was just a bloody campaign, everyone still stayed around the same level as everyone died about the same amount.

Only people who died more often were punished, which was fair because, well, they died more often.

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
It's always interesting watching people tell a designer what the point of his rules is.

Then he needs to remove thwarted word guidelines and the reference to DMs soimg other their own way if it's supposed to be hard and fast rule. Now if it's not truly a hard ans fast rule then Sean is neither more right nor more wrong than anyone else.

Silver Crusade

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
brvheart wrote:
First of all the WBL level is intended only to be a guide and not a hard and fast rule.

If the party pays 5,000 gp, the GM either remembers that for the rest of the campaign, or forgets it.

(A) If the GM remembers it and wants it to be a real cost, the GM has to subtract 5,000 gp from the WBL for the party until the end of the campaign.
(B) If the GM forgets it, then the GM either uses the WBL guidelines, or doesn't.
(B1) If the GM uses the WBL guidelines, then that 5,000 gp cost eventually gets corrected for with extra treasure, and therefore isn't a cost.
(B2) If the GM doesn't use the WBL guidelines, then the party may have a higher or lower WBL than what is expected, which means the 5,000 gp may be a trivial cost or a significant cost.

That's the math.

brvheart wrote:
I would never deny players treasure they earned because they were ahead of that the WBL says they "SHOULD" have or grant them extra treasure because they kept making foolish mistakes that caused characters to die excessively.

So all monsters in your campaign provide the same amount of treasure per CR? You don't have some encounters that are low-treasure (like a pack of skeletons) and some that are high treasure (like an NPC or dragon)? Because unless you do this, some encounters will have more or less treasure than the average, and by balancing the distribution of those encounters, you keep the PCs at the appropriate WBL.

brvheart wrote:
I am sorry, but this is a false argument.

No, it isn't.

brvheart wrote:
It is more intended on a guide of what wealth new characters should have when they are brought into an existing campaign.
No, it's both: it's both a guide for determining if you need to throw some low- or high-treasure encounters at the party to balance out current WBL, AND it is an estimate for how much wealth a new character should have. It's right there in the book that it's both of these things—and the "how much for a character starting above 1st...

Ehhhh no.

Again, WBL is a guideline to help DMs who don't want to keep up with treasure distribution and if you are a DM that throws monsters exactly from the book at just the right CR. You don't have to use the WBL, I don't normally use it and my games run just fine. My players don't like to play in games where certain amounts of gear and treasure are expected. Oops I blew 2K, DM how about you throw an extra 2k my way.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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shallowsoul wrote:

Ehhhh no.

Again, WBL is a guideline to help DMs who don't want to keep up with treasure distribution and if you are a DM that throws monsters exactly from the book at just the right CR. You don't have to use the WBL, I don't normally use it and my games run just fine. My players don't like to play in games where certain amounts of gear and treasure are expected. Oops I blew 2K, DM how about you throw an extra 2k my way.

The rules say:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game assumes that all PCs of equivalent level have roughly equal amounts of treasure and magic items. Since the primary income for a PC derives from treasure and loot gained from adventuring, it's important to moderate the wealth and hoards you place in your adventures. To aid in placing treasure, the amount of treasure and magic items the PCs receive for their adventures is tied to the Challenge Rating of the encounters they face—the higher an encounter's CR, the more treasure it can award.
Table: Character Wealth by Level lists the amount of treasure each PC is expected to have at a specific level. Note that this table assumes a standard fantasy game. Low-fantasy games might award only half this value, while high-fantasy games might double the value. It is assumed that some of this treasure is consumed in the course of an adventure (such as potions and scrolls), and that some of the less useful items are sold for half value so more useful gear can be purchased.

Nowhere does it say "WBL is a guideline," any more than it says "the CR system is a guideline for what power level of monsters you should throw at the PCs."

Just because you don't use the WBL table doesn't mean it's not a rule. Some people don't use XP, but it's still a rule. Just because the WBL table is flexible enough to allow for low-magic or high-magic campaigns as well as standard fantasy campaigns doesn't mean it's not a rule.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
brvheart wrote:
First of all the WBL level is intended only to be a guide and not a hard and fast rule.

If the party pays 5,000 gp, the GM either remembers that for the rest of the campaign, or forgets it.

(A) If the GM remembers it and wants it to be a real cost, the GM has to subtract 5,000 gp from the WBL for the party until the end of the campaign.
(B) If the GM forgets it, then the GM either uses the WBL guidelines, or doesn't.
(B1) If the GM uses the WBL guidelines, then that 5,000 gp cost eventually gets corrected for with extra treasure, and therefore isn't a cost.
(B2) If the GM doesn't use the WBL guidelines, then the party may have a higher or lower WBL than what is expected, which means the 5,000 gp may be a trivial cost or a significant cost.

That's the math.

brvheart wrote:
I would never deny players treasure they earned because they were ahead of that the WBL says they "SHOULD" have or grant them extra treasure because they kept making foolish mistakes that caused characters to die excessively.

So all monsters in your campaign provide the same amount of treasure per CR? You don't have some encounters that are low-treasure (like a pack of skeletons) and some that are high treasure (like an NPC or dragon)? Because unless you do this, some encounters will have more or less treasure than the average, and by balancing the distribution of those encounters, you keep the PCs at the appropriate WBL.

Of coure not. When designing a specific module or adventure, yes the value of the total treasure is divided throughout. However to take this to the level of an entire campaign is excessive, especially since a campaign can span several years and involve players coming in and out of the game. Besides, the rules do state that it is assumed that a certain amount is presumed to be used on consumables. Why aren't the material components for raise dead considered consumables here?

brvheart wrote:
I am sorry, but this is a false argument.

No, it isn't.

brvheart wrote:
It is more intended on a guide of what wealth new characters should have when they are brought into an existing campaign.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:


No, it's both: it's both a guide for determining if you need to throw some low- or high-treasure encounters at the party to balance out current WBL, AND it is an estimate for how much wealth a new character should have. It's right there in the book that it's both of these things—and the "how much for a character starting above 1st...

It also states there are high fantasy and low fantasy campaigns where the treasure value is half as much to twice as much. Therefore the spectrum is quite wide here.

Liberty's Edge

If death isn't a top 10 worst thing that can happen to a player, what is death?

Why does there seem to be an intent to trivialize death? Why should dismemberment, etc...have more effect than losing the mortal coil?

The fact that the effects you listed would be more feared by a player than death is part of my argument.

"Feel free to end my life, but please don't cut off my arm. That will actually matter in a week!"

Liberty's Edge

@SKR - So I am still trying to follow if you are saying the 5k should be removed because of the type of penalty it is or because of the fact it is a penalty.

Liberty's Edge

Kthulhu wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If you don't care about your character, you let them die and bring in a twin who gets his loot plus your new WBL. Zack is then better than Mack and your GM is fail.

Of course, the WBL fairies almost immediately take the excess away.

That, or if the GM isn't foolish, then either Zack will enter the campaign with the clothes on his back, or Mack's (real) family will claim his gear and money.

But again, what kind of jerk refuses move on and hijacks the story by creating a never-ending series of the same character.

It's basically throwing a hissy fit because you lost and you refuse to allow the game to proceed. You might as well give the GM and everyone at the table the finger and say "I don't care what the dice said, I'm playing my character!"

What kind of role-playing has no connection to the actual character, only to the mechanics? That is almost the very definition of the "Rollplaying" commentary.

The whole concept of role-playing is playing a role, presumably in a narrative. For all the talk of the video game mentality, in the actual narrative of 90% of those games, the hero never dies.

You went back to an old save point, so whatever happened didn't happen in the narrative. The Dragonborn never feel off that cliff that one time, never lost to the Cave Bear, etc...

A single player shouldn't dictate the table. And if the group wants anyone raised, it can and will happen.

Liberty's Edge

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@shallowsoul and brvheart - Arguing with the Dev about a corner point isn't constructive to the larger questions and isn't likely to keep him in the discussion.

Just sayin'

Silver Crusade

ciretose wrote:

@shallowsoul and brvheart - Arguing with the Dev about a corner point isn't constructive to the larger questions and isn't likely to keep him in the discussion.

Just sayin'

If he doesn't want to continue being a part of the discussion then it's no skin off my back to be honest.

I don't agree with what he believes and I am entitled to my opinion just as much as he is. I don't pander to anyone to keep them in the discussion, I give my take on it and we go from there.

Once again, I rarely use WBL because I find it gets in the way of the game and my player's don't want it around either. Gear in our games is controlled and that's the way my player's like it. My player's don't wait for the game to accommodate them, they always put back a little into a "Party Fund" just in case someone does die they can then pay to have them raised.

If Pathfinder steers towards an even less lethal type of game where death is merely an inconvenience then I'm afraid I would be spending any more money on the Pathfinder.


I've seen games where the way to bring a dead character back to life was changed to the second ed version. Everyone in the group had a blast and death was truly feared. On the upside, altruistic individuals who died protecting the goodly folk were also really honoured. Varies from group to group I suppose but that was a good game.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

The rules say:
... Table: Character Wealth by Level lists the amount of treasure each PC is expected to have at a specific level. ...
...
Just because you don't use the WBL table doesn't mean it's not a rule. Some people don't use XP, but it's still a rule. Just because the WBL table is flexible enough to allow for low-magic or high-magic campaigns as well as standard fantasy campaigns doesn't mean it's not a rule.

Good evening, Sean. I know you're super-busy these days, and I wanted to thank you for addressing this topic.

I have to admit, I have not understood the rules this way at all. I'd been interpreting Wealth By Level as the amount a character receives, rather than the amount she always has.

The way you interpret it works for you, but it seems counter-intuitive. All consumables, for example, would end up being free (after the next bout of treasure-gathering). If the party invests in a ship, they have less incentive to keep her afloat; if she sinks, they'll recoup the money in a little while, and they'll be able to buy a new one. There doesn't seem to be any motivation to keep the treasure you find, because there's no gp penalty for selling it at half price.

But I guess my question is: how do you, as a GM, enforce this?

I mean, let's say two PCs get the same amount of loot. Valeros spends al his money on consumables, raise dead, paying bribes, and so on. Ezren buys magical loot. So, at this point, they have different wealth.

You note that Valeros is 8000 gp shy of his WBL. So you add 8000 gp to the next treasure haul. But the players just divvy things up equal shares, so now Ezren's 4000 gp long and Valeros is still 4000 gp short.

As I say, I'm sure it works for your campaign, but I'm curious as to how.


Well, fortunately, we can all agree that this isn't exatly the end... of... the... world... uh... hm.

Liberty's Edge

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@shallowsoul - He is a dev. You aren't. The reason we are having this particular discussion is because he made the comment he made about the gold cost.

I am very curious as to if he believes there should be no penalty or just no gold penalty. Because he is involved in the writing of the game (and also because he knows his stuff, so I'd like to hear his reasoning).

A side conversation with him about WBL isn't going to get us any closer to an answer to that question.

I agree with you that having a version of pathfinder that nerfs death to video game status is a game I'm not going to be interested in investing money in going forward.

But the only way I will know what SKR is thinking is if he shares it, and that ain't happening if this derails into a side topic or he just decided "F it"


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You do realize that the gp cost becomes irrelevant after a while?

Not because characters can afford it, but because the WBL system means that if you spend X gp and drop below your WBL, the GM is supposed to award extra treasure in later encounters so that when you hit the next character level, your WBL is about where it should be?

So even if everyone coughs up a share of the 5,000 gp to raise the dead paladin, the GM will award them extra treasure to compensate for being under WBL. Which means the 5,000 gp cost is just a temporary obstacle—basically an interest-free loan that you're borrowing from your future self.

I have heard of some GM's using WBL as a guideline for what they've handed out, rather then where the PC's end up. So use of a lot of consumables or selling everything to buy exactly what you want could net you a different wealth at any given level then someone in the same party who made different choices. Kind of appeals to me in theory but also sounds like a lot of book-keeping.

Grand Lodge

ciretose wrote:
I am very curious as to if he believes there should be no penalty or just no gold penalty.

Earlier in the thread, I asked him: "Okay, so then is it your opinion that dealing with character death should be as easy and pain free as the healer casting a (rather) simple spell and the character just gets up, dusts himself off and is back in the game no sweat?"

And his direct response was: "Why not?"

He further went on to say:

"Please give me a game mechanics reason why a mid-to-high-level party shouldn't be able to easily overcome death. We're talking about heroes who can teleport across the world in an instant, permanently give an animal or plant human-level intelligence, travel to Hell and back, enslave a person's will for days at a time, swap bodies and souls with an unwilling creature, bind demons against their will, summon angels, make temporary magic permanent, and demand answers from deities. What game mechanic justification do you have for making raise dead incredibly costly compared to all of those other feats of magic?

So, based solely on his answer to my direct question, I think it's pretty clear (at least to me anyway) that he feels that there should be no in game penalty or cost in gold to character death (but I could very well be misinterpreting his answer, or he my question)...

Contributor

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ciretose wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If you don't care about your character, you let them die and bring in a twin who gets his loot plus your new WBL. Zack is then better than Mack and your GM is fail.

Of course, the WBL fairies almost immediately take the excess away.

That, or if the GM isn't foolish, then either Zack will enter the campaign with the clothes on his back, or Mack's (real) family will claim his gear and money.

But again, what kind of jerk refuses move on and hijacks the story by creating a never-ending series of the same character.

It's basically throwing a hissy fit because you lost and you refuse to allow the game to proceed. You might as well give the GM and everyone at the table the finger and say "I don't care what the dice said, I'm playing my character!"

What kind of role-playing has no connection to the actual character, only to the mechanics? That is almost the very definition of the "Rollplaying" commentary.

The whole concept of role-playing is playing a role, presumably in a narrative. For all the talk of the video game mentality, in the actual narrative of 90% of those games, the hero never dies.

You went back to an old save point, so whatever happened didn't happen in the narrative. The Dragonborn never feel off that cliff that one time, never lost to the Cave Bear, etc...

A single player shouldn't dictate the table. And if the group wants anyone raised, it can and will happen.

A single player shouldn't dictate the table, but by the same token, the table shouldn't dictate the single player.

People play characters because they want to play them. It's a jerk move by a GM to kill them in an unsatisfying manner and immediately expect the player to be equally happy and joyous playing some other character who has absolutely zero connection to the current plotline, the party dynamic, or anything else. To use an exceedingly dated example, it's like killing off Cindy Brady and expecting the player to be equally happy playing Cousin Oliver.

No one likes Cousin Oliver, not even Cousin Oliver. Unless you do a TPK and reboot everyone, no one should be stuck playing Cousin Oliver after an established series with multiple seasons.

Adventure fiction hinges on suspension of disbelief. We want the hero to feel at risk, but we don't want him to die, or at least not immediately or not forever. This is why Raise Dead and all the rest are around.

Liberty's Edge

As a recap, we have learned (or at least discussed) in this thread so far.

1. There used to be a cap on the number of times you could die and be raised and raise dead used to also have a fail or die fort save.
2. Prior to pathfinder, raise dead had both a gold and permanent, basically irreversible level loss penalty

These were persistent impacts in game for death with campaign length ramifications that had cumulative effects.

In Pathfinder this was lowered to two "permanent" (But not really) negative levels and 5k in gold.

SKR seems to be currently arguing that the 5k is functionally pointless, as it will be removed by WBL eventually. In addition, he has said

"1) Has no game mechanical justification (as in, if this cost isn't in the game, the rules break down here, here, and here),
2) Encourages players to metagame dealing with death (because the party's net wealth increases if you bury a dead PC, keep his gear, and bring in a new PC with full gear),
3) Is disproportionate to the cost of other 5th-level spells such as teleport plane shift, which achieve similarly "impossible" effects with no gp cost, and
4) Is disproportionate to the cost of breath of life, which can accomplish the same effect as raise dead but without the unrealistic 1-round-and-you-stay-dead mechanic of that spell."

1. This is arguably true if you follow the WBL argument he is making, in that it would fail to have a cumulative effect if WBL equalizes over time. However if the intent were to continue the historic cumulative effect of death that existed in the prior versions, the issue is not that the gold doesn't serve a purpose, but rather that it fails to accomplish the role it is intended for.

2. I don't see how it encourages metagaming anymore than the fact that if you don't bring the party member back you can just steal all the party members stuff and roll someone new with fresh WBL + the loot from the body. Add to this that the argument for point 1 is that WBL is going to eventually self-regulate, and ostensibly if the party just lets the dead guy stay dead, they get an advance on WBL vs bringing them back, gold cost or no gold cost.

3. Teleport and plane shift have some degree of failure, and the benefit of being able to quickly change locations is not greater than being able to avoid not longer being able to play the game at all.

4. Breath of life has a huge number of drawbacks and limitations relative to Raise Dead. It is functionally a heal spell that works even when you are at negative hit points as long as it is used in the same round. It does not automatically succeed, can't be used on death effects, etc...that is not a comparison of like spells, and if anything demonstrates how much more powerful Raise Dead is relative to a spell of the same level.

In short, death historically has had a cumulative penalty or a failure risk. This meant that players who died frequently would need to change their character, because the character wasn't able to stay alive, relative to the rest of the party or the expectations of the game.

Is that enough of a game mechanical justification?

Silver Crusade

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I get the argument that mechanically Raise Dead might be no more awesome than a Commune to demand answers from the gods' servants. It's always been that way. So why has there been a "penalty" in all prior editions for this spell?

From the late Gygax circa 1978: "Because it is a game, certain things which seem "unrealistic" or simply unnecessary are integral to the system."

What has Pathfinder done differently that would justify removing what has been a core of Raise Dead since day 1 (some sort of cost to the party)? In spirit of this discussion, why has a cost of some sort for raise dead been canon for 30+ years but cease to mechanically "fit" the game now? Are we getting rid of rules that appear unnecessary when balanced with other rules to make the game more mathematical?

Liberty's Edge

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


You keep saying death is the worst (or was it penultimate worst?) thing that can happen to a PC. I say it doesn't break the top 10. :)

If this were to be true, and death were to have no cumulative cost or effect, you can functionally use it as a cure.

Find yourself in one of the worse than death conditions, simply commit suicide and come back cured with no long term consequence.

Are we into game mechanics territory yet?

Liberty's Edge

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Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
It's a jerk move by a GM to kill them in an unsatisfying manner and immediately expect the player to be equally happy and joyous playing some other character who has absolutely zero connection to the current plotline, the party dynamic, or anything else.

GMs don't kill players.

Dice kill players.

Can a GM make a mistake and give the party more than it can handle. Yes, and that would be a mistake on the part of the GM.

But if a player does something to cause themselves to die, or if they simply don't have a character that keep dying for whatever reason, that isn't the GMs fault.

The player isn't supposed to be equally happy. The player is supposed to avoid dying so they can celebrate the thrill of victory and have a sense of accomplishment. The game is full of emotional swings, thanks to the dice.

If it were about the player always getting what they want, all enemies would have a 0 AC and 1 hit point.

If the build keeps dying and getting brought back over and over with no real penalty...well in keeping with the theme,, we get stuck with Scrappy Doo in the party.


Raising the dead shouldn't hit the wallet directly nor should it impact the raised character's power in any way. it should require a sidequest. not a bunch of spell slots.

drop the GP, drop the Negative levels, make Raising a Sidequest. it makes raising the dead more "Special" and offers an alternate reward to bringing in a new PC so the old one can be looted.

there might be gear for the soon to be raised PC within the sidequest.

Contributor

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ciretose wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
It's a jerk move by a GM to kill them in an unsatisfying manner and immediately expect the player to be equally happy and joyous playing some other character who has absolutely zero connection to the current plotline, the party dynamic, or anything else.

GMs don't kill players.

Dice kill players.

Can a GM make a mistake and give the party more than it can handle. Yes, and that would be a mistake on the part of the GM.

But if a player does something to cause themselves to die, or if they simply don't have a character that keep dying for whatever reason, that isn't the GMs fault.

The player isn't supposed to be equally happy. The player is supposed to avoid dying so they can celebrate the thrill of victory and have a sense of accomplishment. The game is full of emotional swings, thanks to the dice.

If it were about the player always getting what they want, all enemies would have a 0 AC and 1 hit point.

If the build keeps dying and getting brought back over and over with no real penalty...well in keeping with the theme,, we get stuck with Scrappy Doo in the party.

No, Scrappy Doo is the Cousin Oliver--the character brought in long after the established characters had established the dynamic.

There was even the horrific "Thirteen Ghosts of Scoobie Doo" where Fred and Velma were put in the witness protection program and the show consisted of Shaggy, Scooby, Daphne, and Scrappy Doo. Yes, really.

I'm not arguing for Scrappy Doo. I'm arguing to keep Fred and Velma.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

If death isn't a top 10 worst thing that can happen to a player, what is death?

Why does there seem to be an intent to trivialize death? Why should dismemberment, etc...have more effect than losing the mortal coil?

The fact that the effects you listed would be more feared by a player than death is part of my argument.

"Feel free to end my life, but please don't cut off my arm. That will actually matter in a week!"

Apparently "Death that can be 'cured' by Raise dead" is different from "death that require Resurrection or True resurrection to 'cured'".

As I doubt that Sean is speaking of removing the cost from Raise death but not from Resurrection or True resurrection I fail to see the difference.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Raising the dead shouldn't hit the wallet directly nor should it impact the raised character's power in any way. it should require a sidequest. not a bunch of spell slots.

drop the GP, drop the Negative levels, make Raising a Sidequest. it makes raising the dead more "Special" and offers an alternate reward to bringing in a new PC so the old one can be looted.

there might be gear for the soon to be raised PC within the sidequest.

Speak about playing videogames ....

"You goal is to thwart the evil devil Asmodeus, but as you are low level in the meantime go and recover my missing cat"
1001 sidequest that have no impact on the main story is one of the most videogamey things you can put in an adventure.
It can work when the adventure is something like Kingmaker, open ended, with no overachieving goal, but if you are playing Curse of the Crimson Throne, where your goal is to save the city, a side quest to recover the holy relic of Adabar for the high priest of Magnimar to pay from a Raise dead can easily break the adventure flow.

I know videogame players that refuse to do the sidequests when their character has a clear goal in the story as they feel that the sidequest cheapen the story, don't enhance it.

Sure, it is possible to add sidequests that tie well with the main story, but how often? how well? for all characters?
Especially the last part become crucial if the only way to get raised is through divine intervention requiring a sidequest.

Now: "My character follow a minor deity with no cleric in the area. I don't want to be raised by clerics of other gods, so if I die get me raised by a oracle or a witch. Hes is my raise money fund. "

Sidequest way: "You have been raised by the power of Fuz Not. Go and do this sidequest." "What? I don't know who the heck is Fuz Not. I have stuff to do, why I can't simply pay and go my way?." Party: "Do the sidequest or Fuz Not will not rise us in the future." "@#!!"

Liberty's Edge

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:


No, Scrappy Doo is the Cousin Oliver--the character brought in long after the established characters had established the dynamic.

There was even the horrific "Thirteen Ghosts of Scoobie Doo" where Fred and Velma were put in the witness protection program and the show consisted of Shaggy, Scooby, Daphne, and Scrappy Doo. Yes, really.

I'm not arguing for Scrappy Doo. I'm arguing to keep Fred and Velma.

Oh I am unfortunately aware of that...:)

You are arguing for keeping a character who dies a lot and no one in the game is invested enough in to bother working to save.

If everyone loved the dead character, saving them would be a matter of everyone going "Let's do this."

If the character could keep pace with everyone else, it wouldn't die so often that the cumulative effects of death cause issues, because they would die as much as anyone else in the group.

Keeping the band together isn't always the way to go. Pete Best was no Ringo.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Raising the dead shouldn't hit the wallet directly nor should it impact the raised character's power in any way. it should require a sidequest.

I disagree with the bolded part (completely), but the italicized part makes sense.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:
ciretose wrote:

If death isn't a top 10 worst thing that can happen to a player, what is death?

Why does there seem to be an intent to trivialize death? Why should dismemberment, etc...have more effect than losing the mortal coil?

The fact that the effects you listed would be more feared by a player than death is part of my argument.

"Feel free to end my life, but please don't cut off my arm. That will actually matter in a week!"

Apparently "Death that can be 'cured' by Raise dead" is different from "death that require Resurrection or True resurrection to 'cured'".

As I doubt that Sean is speaking of removing the cost from Raise death but not from Resurrection or True resurrection I fail to see the difference.

Other than they are higher level spells with higher costs (Which would be removed...)

Remember that in 3.5 Resurrection still had level loss. What you gained was more time and less body. True Res's only cost was and is the 25k, but it is also a 9th level spell that takes 10 minutes to cast.

I am not sure what your point is, higher level spells are better and if you removed the cost from them they have no penalty? I agree!

So again, back to what I said, why should a player prefer death, mathematically, over any other effect that could actually have effects beyond a week.

Liberty's Edge

Alitan wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Raising the dead shouldn't hit the wallet directly nor should it impact the raised character's power in any way. it should require a sidequest.

I disagree with the bolded part (completely), but the italicized part makes sense.

I don't need it to require a side quest. I do think it should have lasting impact so that if forced to choose between death and a cake that causes your character to have, say permanent irreversible, flatulence, you don't choose cake because death has less impact.

Yes the reference was intentional. You are now thinking about Eddie Izzard. You are welcome.


Being drunk in a dress onstage doesn't make anybody entertaining... it just makes them drunk in a dress onstage...

As for the side quest thing, it doesn't have to happen immediately (go ahead, finish your current adventure) but I really don't figure gods to allow the raising of mortals from the Vasty Halls of Death without exacting a price... no, not a silly diamond, but an act of some kind in the mortal realm which furthers the goals of the god in question. Eventually.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Alitan wrote:

Being drunk in a dress onstage doesn't make anybody entertaining... it just makes them drunk in a dress onstage...

As for the side quest thing, it doesn't have to happen immediately (go ahead, finish your current adventure) but I really don't figure gods to allow the raising of mortals from the Vasty Halls of Death without exacting a price... no, not a silly diamond, but an act of some kind in the mortal realm which furthers the goals of the god in question. Eventually.

That is why you ask a witch or oracle to raise your character.

Both have access to Raise dead and Resurrection and no direct tie to a god.

"As for the side quest thing, it doesn't have to happen immediately (go ahead, finish your current adventure)"
Very well, I died at 3rd level in COTC. At the end of the adventure path I will be 16th level. At least a year of real time would have passed.
What kind of sidequest I get? One for a 3rd level character or one for a 16th level character?
Why should I care for the sidequest if the adventure path is ended and we have stopped playing with those characters?
If I have died multiple times I will have several quest waiting patiently for me? Or I will get a single bigger quest?
Or after all I will have to do a quest in the middle of the AP, breaking the AP story?

The problem of the side quest for the god raising you is that it will be easy to create for some character and completely antithetic to some character concept.
I the god take into account previous services rendered probably the paladin and cleric would have easier quests, the rogue giving only lip service harder quests.
And again, who will ask the quest for people raised by witches and oracles?
A solution that increase the workload generally isn't the best solution.

Liberty's Edge

Implementing the side quest as anything more than a house rule is going to create to much complexity. I think it could be a great story hook, but I don't think it is plug and play.

It isn't a bad idea, I'm just not sure it can be part of a system without major issues.

@Diego - Not having direct ties is not the same as not having ties...if you are going to have strings, the gods aren't going to be lawyered about. I try to avoid the strings unless it is plot specific, less mud in the waters and it lets the players know exactly what is up without worry of complaints.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
ciretose wrote:

If death isn't a top 10 worst thing that can happen to a player, what is death?

Why does there seem to be an intent to trivialize death? Why should dismemberment, etc...have more effect than losing the mortal coil?

The fact that the effects you listed would be more feared by a player than death is part of my argument.

"Feel free to end my life, but please don't cut off my arm. That will actually matter in a week!"

Apparently "Death that can be 'cured' by Raise dead" is different from "death that require Resurrection or True resurrection to be 'cured'".

As I doubt that Sean is speaking of removing the cost from Raise death but not from Resurrection or True resurrection I fail to see the difference.

Other than they are higher level spells with higher costs (Which would be removed...)

Remember that in 3.5 Resurrection still had level loss. What you gained was more time and less body. True Res's only cost was and is the 25k, but it is also a 9th level spell that takes 10 minutes to cast.

I am not sure what your point is, higher level spells are better and if you removed the cost from them they have no penalty? I agree!

So again, back to what I said, why should a player prefer death, mathematically, over any other effect that could actually have effects beyond a week.

Several of the thing listed by Benchak as "worse than death" can be cured by resurrection or true resurrection.

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:


Second, Mack is by no means immortal. He can be dismembered, eaten, fall into lava, disintegrated, energy drained to death, captured by the enemy, dominated (prior to 17th level), executed where the party can't reach him, fleshwarped, raised as a death knight, petrified and shattered, possessed by a demon, imprisoned in the earth, banished to a hidden demiplane, sucked through a rift in space and lost in the astral, or any other of a whole host of things that raise dead doesn't fix. As characters grow in levels, the stakes go far beyond mere death.

I count 8 out 15 examples where resurrection or true resurrection can resolve the "worse than death" condition (i.e. 8 examples where you are actually dead but your remains aren't a appropriate target for raise dead). As I doubt that Sean would remove the cost from Raise death but kept them for Resurrection/True resurrection I fail to see how those kind of death are worse than others. They can reversed with the same ease if the cost of the spell is 0.

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