Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ciretose wrote:

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.

The problem is that if the idea of the side quest was implemented it would become necessary to add those strings to all the characters capable to reincarnate/raise/resurrect someone or remove the ability.

Then it would become necessary to do that to all the items in play.

Adabar Staff of life: this staff was created by a cleric of Adabar, so every time it is used you will have to do a quest for Adabar.
What happen it the party has no one that follow Adabar? If they are all followers of the Green Faith and despise cities?

Each item, class, archetype, with the capability to raise someone from death would require a divine patron.
Maybe appropriated but it would require a lot of extra work.

Liberty's Edge

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@Diego - I think you are missing my point.

The solution should never be "Take one death". The equation shouldn't be "If this has a negative effect that lasts longer than a week, I'm better off just killing myself and getting raised."

Isn't that exactly the kind of metagaming that is the problem caused by the 5k?

Again, the whole question is backwards. It should be "What is the mechanical benefit of removing any lasting penalty for death"

Also, why are you arguing with my post where we are agreeing the side quest idea isn't going to work.


@ Diego

If nothing else, oracles have Mysteries, Witches have Patrons: perhaps not as handily anthropomorphic as a god, but (obviously) on a similar scale of power. Or whatever god has Death in its portfolio, regardless of who/what the raising person worships.

As for items -- yeah, I have <0 problem with dishing out a favor owed to the deity of the crafter of the staff (or, again, to the god/dess of Death): you just got back from being dead, quit complaining. [humor there on the end]

And one further note: AM Grognard; end of "adventure"=/=end of "adventure path." Using old terminology, when an adventure was a single module (if purchased) or similar scope of event (if homebrewed).

Finally... and Ciretose, this is food for your thoughts, too: we've been discussing how death ought to have a penalty, and how gold/gems are a bad practice of standard, and how people tend (sorry) to whine about negative levels, constitution drain, etc.

Look at the level of resistance to owing a debt to the Power responsible for one's resurrection. It seems on par with the resistance to these other penalties... which seems (to me) to indicate it's on par with them, as a penalty.

Obviously, YMMV; if you are doing AP instead of homebrew, you may not have time to repay the favor -- dunno, never used an AP.

Anyhow... I still think no deity (or other Power) is going to let a mortal revived from death get off as lightly as a chunk of change.

Liberty's Edge

I am not saying your idea is bad, I am saying I don't see how it could be implemented with any kind of standarization.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society 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.

I borrowed money from my future self last week. I was a day late in paying back, so he broke my arm last month.

Liberty's Edge

LazarX 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.

I borrowed money from my future self last week. I was a day late in paying back, so he broke my arm last month.

If they have to amputate, you might as well just kill yourself and come back whole rather than take the loss of arm penalty :)


Now we are taking the discussion to sillyness. In the end, we don't make the rules, we can only decide as DMs how we chose to adjudicate them for our own campaigns. One caveat to that however, if they start making the rules too silly like they did in 4E people will start to vote with their feet. Heck, the last time I was even asked my opinion in how the rules should be was when I was on the DNDR committee. That went so well as I recall<G>! Myself, I have been on hiatus as a game designer since 4E was announced. The ending of 3.5 changed the manner in which we could work. Perhaps I don't understand this Pathfinder system. Once again I have been dragged kicking and screaming into a new game system. So far my opinions are mixed. But I am flexble and will give it a fair hearing. We even tried out 4E for almost a year! As a game system it worked. It just in the opinion of most of our group wasn't D&D. I was even a baron in the early C&C playtesting. The verdict was if your going to play 1E why not just play 1E? I know, far off topic. Just wanted to let some people know where I am coming from in this.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
1001 sidequest that have no impact on the main story is one of the most videogamey things you can put in an adventure.

I... I... this... what?! This is, like, the exact opposite of what's true. A unique sidequest tied (however loosely) into the primary quest created by the GM for being part of the campaign is the least 'video gamey' thing that you can put into an adventure. Dude, it makes the world much larger than the AP or local module you're running. It creates a real, breathing space which causes the PCs to realize: "Hey, we're not the be-all end-all. Even while we do our thing, there are other important things going on and the higher powers want to tap us into helping with it."

That's... powerful world-building.

Now, I'll submit: it could be done poorly, in which case immersion can be broken. But if properly tied to the world and adjucated for a given AP? That's pretty solid right there.

Side quests come directly from Table Tops. Like, directly from Table Tops. That's where they originated.

Diego Rossi wrote:

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.

In Golarion, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Dragonlance (until they all left in the last case), at least, it doesn't matter what class you have, you've got to deal with the deity of death (or other appropriately potent entity). That's dealing with the gods right there.

And, if you're fluffing it as extraplanar entity snagging soul and allowing it back to life (and/or 'no god needed'): the soul is already somewhere, so you merely need to contact an appropriately potent entity of a given alignment. Voila. Instant quest-giver.

ciretose wrote:

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.

This is a much more solid point, though I don't think this is necessarily true, at least given Paizo's AP methodology.

One page (or even a side bar) split into nine sections listing a few sample quests for each of the different alignments should cover this pretty well. You don't need full details for the same reason you don't need full details on where to place random monsters that appear in the Bestiary of an AP: it's there to add flavor and expand the world. Heck, a small booklet could be made with a pre-established list of sample side quests, based on the setting, could do wonders for this.

Now, implementing it system-wide... that would exceedingly difficult, I concur.

What I'm not saying is that quests should be implemented as part of the core system (or, if they are, they need strong guidance).

However, I think that it's one of the least 'metagame' (which I've just come to believe just now is what people actually mean when they say 'videogame') elements that you can come up with, if handled well. Far less so than "Here is my diamond, let's roll."

Shadow Lodge

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Quote:
Now we are taking the discussion to sillyness.

Only just now? Where have you been for the last ten pages?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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I see 700+ posts saying this should be a topic of Ultimate Campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@ciretose
Citing someone is not arguing with him. Your post was relevant to what I was saying.

@Alitan
Maybe you should look the rules about witches and oracles. They aren't constrained in any way by their patrons or mysteries.
There is nothing like a ex-witch or ex-oracle.

Alitan wrote:

And one further note: AM Grognard; end of "adventure"=/=end of "adventure path." Using old terminology, when an adventure was a single module (if purchased) or similar scope of event (if homebrewed).

End of an adventure includes the end of an adventure path. Sure, you can be playing something that end within a few session, but we are speaking of rules that will work for all campaign. A lot of campaigns have a story with interlocking events where a side quest will break the story.

A AP is a good example of that so I use them, but you can have that situation in a homebrew too.

ciretose wrote:
I am not saying your idea is bad, I am saying I don't see how it could be implemented with any kind of standarization.

Exactly my point, but evidently for Alitan was simpler to avoid addressing it and instead diverting it to something different.


ciretose wrote:

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.

It really doesn't add any complexity. It's just adding a little bit of unknown into the game and requiring the players to engage in the story to activate an ability. But since the point of the game is to engage in the story, there really shouldn't be a problem with that.

As a GM, I love rules like this. It means the story gets pushed in unexpected directions, or new layers get added and I get to be surprised and enjoy the twists and turns right along side my players.

It's far less complex than say magic item creation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@Tacticslion

Side quest is extremely different from "there are other stories in teh world", especially if the side quests become mandatory.

In Golarion you don't have to deal with the Pharasma to raise a dead person. You can reincarnate/raise dead/resurrect a person only if s/he hasn't been judged by Pharasma.
After Pharasma judgement you can't use those spells and getting someone back is totally another matter (and again, you don't have to deal with Pharasma unless the final destination of that soul is her domain).

Tacticslion wrote:
What I'm not saying is that quests should be implemented as part of the core system (or, if they are, they need strong guidance).

But we are speaking of the core system.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Side quest is extremely different from "there are other stories in teh world", especially if the side quests become mandatory.

That's... entirely missing the point! Your post amounted to: "side quests are stupid and make the thing feel like a video game" (with no qualifiers added). That's simply not true. Side quests can be used to make sure that the PCs get the idea that there are other stories in the world, and make the world feel bigger as a result. They might have to retrieve the cup for some reason... but why? Why is it important to an angel that brought them back from death? That's an interesting element of world building. It might be mundane, but it could be great. There is nothing inherently 'video-gamey' about it, unless you just have static people standing on the street with exclamation marks above their heads, or perhaps a specified dialogue tree that the angel must choose from.

Diego Rossi wrote:

In Golarion you don't have to deal with the Pharasma to raise a dead person. You can reincarnate/raise dead/resurrect a person only if s/he hasn't been judged by Pharasma.

After Pharasma judgement you can't use those spells and getting someone back is totally another matter (and again, you don't have to deal with Pharasma unless the final destination of that soul is her domain).

You're entirely missing and bypassing the point, Diego. Entirely. My point is: you're saying "it doesn't make sense, ever", and I'm saying "here's a bunch of ways you can make it make sense". You can't claim "It doesn't work that way" as a point of dismissal, when, in fact, we're talking about making it work differently than it currently works. Also, note, that I suggested other things as well, beyond just "talk to Pharasma", because different settings are different, and even in the same setting different people will prefer different things.

Diego Rossi wrote:
But we are speaking of the core system.

No, actually, we're not: we're giving suggestions for people to use.

As I just said above:

like two paragraphs up I wrote:
You can't claim "It doesn't work that way" as a point of dismissal, when, in fact, we're talking about making it work differently than it currently works.

While the rules discussion is about what goes on with Core, you dismissed an idea and suggestion that others have found useful without paying any acknowledgements of its strengths. That's what flabbergasted me. That's why I added: I'm not suggesting this for Core (and I gave reasons why, as have others), but it's still a great rule.

To add this argument and the one above together, so far, not even Sean is talking about changing the Core RAW. Instead, we're currently saying, "Hey, the 5k sucks to us, here's some alternate ideas."


Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:

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.

It really doesn't add any complexity. It's just adding a little bit of unknown into the game and requiring the players to engage in the story to activate an ability. But since the point of the game is to engage in the story, there really shouldn't be a problem with that.

As a GM, I love rules like this. It means the story gets pushed in unexpected directions, or new layers get added and I get to be surprised and enjoy the twists and turns right along side my players.

It's far less complex than say magic item creation.

It isn't adding work for the players. Its adding work for the GM. The GM now has to write up a new sidequest that fits with the current module.


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i don't think a deity would want payment in the form of wealth to ressurect someone. that is what the sidequest is for.

the Pay 5,000 gold and take 2 negative levels that can be removed for 1,000 gold each is more video gamey than the side quest method.

you are essentially dropping quarters in a machine. only they are virtual quarters in a virtual machine. which somehow, completely favors those nobles with a boatload of wealth to spare.

Kill a peasant, nobody cares. they churn out 5 new ones.

Kill the Local Baron. he buys a raise dead insurance package (preplanned), waits a week, and hires stronger adventurers to take you down.

Kill the Count, the Duke, or the Marquis, and they will be back even faster with an even faster and hire a bigger band of stronger adventurers.

Kill the king, he's back the next day with no negative levels, completely unharmed by the mutiliations you performed, which aren't even visible. and not only does he have an even bigger hired band of stronger adventurers than any of his subordinates, he has a whole nation to kill you with.

i know the scenarios sound a little ridiculous, but they exist only because raising the dead only requires an expenditure of funds.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:

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.

It really doesn't add any complexity. It's just adding a little bit of unknown into the game and requiring the players to engage in the story to activate an ability. But since the point of the game is to engage in the story, there really shouldn't be a problem with that.

As a GM, I love rules like this. It means the story gets pushed in unexpected directions, or new layers get added and I get to be surprised and enjoy the twists and turns right along side my players.

It's far less complex than say magic item creation.

It isn't adding work for the players. Its adding work for the GM. The GM now has to write up a new sidequest that fits with the current module.

the sidequest doesn't even have to be that epic. it could be as simple as gathering a bunch of exotic herbs from a dangerous mountain summit as a favor for a powerful witch of the wilds.

Silver Crusade

Side quests i don't have a problem with, but using a reference to certain MMO's, if an npc has a side quest that would be viable, fine. viable is something else is going on within the community that apparently only the player group can help out with. I will freely admit that if my character was asked to go into the forest and kill 10 bears, collect 12 flanks of deer meat..........i may have to deal with an alignment change ;)

Liberty's Edge

We are mining in game for raise dead diamonds now :)

Like I said, anything that adds to more questing reason is good, but I am very confused that a penalty is unacceptable, but a quest that could give the rest of the group enough XP to leave the player the same 5% behind after the quest is done is ok, and will require that player to either sit or or play an alternate character during the quest (they are dead after all...) is good.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I see that johnlocke90 and Norgrim Malgus get at least some of my points.

1) Making good side quests to "pay" for a rise dead require a lot of work from the GM, they are extremely variable depending on the character (and to repeat again, they can be against the player idea of the character) and can be a pain in the ass for the characters that aren't involved/interested.

2) Bad (videogamey) side quests are easy do create but break verisimilitude.
Skyrim is a great game but when I get to some point of the story there are plenty of side quests that are unimportant and only annoy me.

3) Side quest to get a raise dead aren't the same thing as "there are other events in the world". Sorry for the villagers, but if I am running to save the princess I will not stop in every village to kill the band of kobolds harassing it unless I am there during an attack.
If some of us has to "pay" a raise with a side quest we can't simply say "Sorry, I have more important things to do."

4) If you are speaking of a suggestion in your homebrew? Sure, you can do anything you want. That is Rule 0. So saying "it is a suggestion for a homebrew" is exactly the same thing as saying "You can do whatever you like in your campaign".
So long as we are speaking of how it work or should work in mainstream Pathfinder or Golarion the rules in that ruleset are relevant.

5) and Tactilson: pointing out the flaw of a idea is a bad thing? really?
You allow that only a saying "it is a great idea, wonderful because ...[add long description of why it is wonderful] ... but [now you can add your objections]"?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ciretose wrote:

We are mining in game for raise dead diamonds now :)

Like I said, anything that adds to more questing reason is good, but I am very confused that a penalty is unacceptable, but a quest that could give the rest of the group enough XP to leave the player the same 5% behind after the quest is done is ok, and will require that player to either sit or or play an alternate character during the quest (they are dead after all...) is good.

I think they are speaking of the character making a god given quest after being raised by a divine intervention. The idea seem to be to remove raise dead as a spell and get it through divine intercession and bargaining with a divine emissary.

If they mean doing a quest to get the raise from a church it become essentially the equivalent of getting the gold for paying the raise in the current system.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:
ciretose wrote:

We are mining in game for raise dead diamonds now :)

Like I said, anything that adds to more questing reason is good, but I am very confused that a penalty is unacceptable, but a quest that could give the rest of the group enough XP to leave the player the same 5% behind after the quest is done is ok, and will require that player to either sit or or play an alternate character during the quest (they are dead after all...) is good.

I think they are speaking of the character making a god given quest after being raised by a divine intervention. The idea seem to be to remove raise dead as a spell and get it through divine intercession and bargaining with a divine emissary.

If they mean doing a quest to get the raise from a church it become essentially the equivalent of getting the gold for paying the raise in the current system.

Which creates the exact "Player vs GM" paradigm alleged in the 5k diamond issue, only this time it really is Player vs GM, with the GM playing the role of the God either dictating a quest to appease the god, or punishing the PC who takes the life and refuses to (or fails to complete) the task.

All of which is fun and a good quest idea to replace the cost of the diamond. But not something you can have as the default of the spell.

Otherwise you have "Material components: Macguffin"


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No, Diego. Saying, "No, this is a bad idea." isn't a bad thing, but in doing so you ignored the good points that were already present in the argument, and you're doing so in a dismissive way.

I'm not objecting to the fact that you don't find personal value in the suggestion, but am taking issue with the fact that you dismiss the idea out of hand as "too videogamey" when, in fact, it's the opposite of that. Also, you know, video-gamey isn't a valid argument.

ciretose, reference the quest-thing and XP differential: I was under the impression that it was at the point of being raised, the raised individual was under a geas-like effect (I admit, this was entirely presumption on my part) that compelled them to complete the quest. It becomes kind of a lone, in other words, "I brought you back to do X."

Also, quoting-ish from my previous post:

  • The 5% fail chance on reraise: makes things tense and exciting, but encourages lack of becoming attached to character
  • 1+1d6 negative levels (or CON drain) for death <with optional 5k for minimize>: I've not gotten much feedback on it; pretty much entirely mechanical in nature, at most could cost similar to rez spells now (with additional restorations); makes the 5k price tag "pay to play fast", if restorations cost

  • The "familiarity"/"mishap" rules for raise (like those with teleport, etc): compelling story-wise, but frustrating mechanically

  • The "no cost rez": requires adjusting your perception of fifth level spell power over reality

  • The 5k cost: the current standard makes sense as a kind of default/'compromise' presumption that everyone generally agrees on as being 'not ideal', but it kind of sort of scratches the itch of those who need death to sting and those who need death to be surmountable.

  • The lower-level-raise-dead: could be okay, but we've heard no specific ideas and could break verisimilitude

  • The quest-requirement: provides interesting story and quest potential, but could derail the campaign if not careful

    EDIT:

  • negotiation-with-powerful-spirits: partially the quest idea above, partially another idea entirely; again difficult to gauge mechanically, but could be based off of planar binding

Does that cover all the ideas we've come up with so far and our pros/cons?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What do you think I have been arguing about for several posts? :P

But apparently people like the idea of "Material components: Macguffin".

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
The 5% fail chance on reraise: makes things tense and exciting, but encourages lack of becoming attached to character

Not true in my experience.

I have played for 20 years under those rules. The player that get attacked to his character will still get attacked, the player that feel they are disposable toons will still feel that they are disposable toons in a system where he can keep them forever with no cost for a raise.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
The quest-requirement: provides interesting story and quest potential, but could derail the campaign if not careful.

If the quest idea was meant to be a mission given by the people performing the raise as an alternative to getting the money for the raise I withdraw my objections. They were about the idea of a quest given by a divine power for giving back the life of the deceased person.

Tacticslion wrote:


negotiation-with-powerful-spirits: partially the quest idea above, partially another idea entirely; again difficult to gauge mechanically, but could be based off of planar binding.

This is what I am objecting about.


Actually, I'm not arguing that, myself, so much as posting comments and thoughts on it from the other posters.

I think you're right in that an individual player will respond much as he will, although I think the right environment can sway some players. Thus trying to come up with ideas and post potential pros/cons. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Tacticslion wrote:
The 5% fail chance on reraise: makes things tense and exciting, but encourages lack of becoming attached to character

What part discourages getting attached? I think knowing your character cannot be at all effected by things that happen in the game detaches players from caring about what happens to the character.


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In some campaigns, and done well, I absolutely think the side quest method can work very well. If raising isn't supposed to happen more than once or maybe twice in a campaign, it can work. It doesn't even need to happen to all characters. What if the power to bring someone back from the dead solely lies in the hands of the gods, and they don't like giving back souls they've collected? If it's a good god and a good character, it might work by just donating to the orphanage or whatever, but an evil god might very well be more interested in sending of it's new soul straight to the blood war, especially if it's a powerful soul!

Maybe the only way to get back someone snatched by the gods of evil is to travel to hell itself and yank the soul from the demon?

Doing sidequests to satisfy someone with the power to raise the dead ("get the staff of abadar and I'll raise your pal) are often tedious. When the goal of the quest itself is the actual soul of the dead character, it both makes more sense and is far more engaging.

And again, this assumes it only happens very rarely that someone is to be raised. In a campaign where everyone dies and counts on getting raised all the time it won't work.


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Also, having interesting NPCs that are PC material allows the player of a dead character to get to continue playing someone they know, that has a connection to the plot and often reasons for joining them. Maybe the death of Eggberta the Barbarian has finally made her mother, the old shaman who's given spiritual advice to the party for the last four months, come out of her hut to battle the evils that took her daughter.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Would it be fair to sum up the conflicting schools of thought into the following generalizations?

  • Camp 1 is advocating a 'free res' No gp cost, just pop off a 5th level spell and he gets better.

  • Camp 2 feels there should be some level of 'death tax'. Whether it be gold, diamonds, vestal virgins. Pay it, cast your spell, he gets better.

  • Camp 3 feels the powers over life and death don't take Amex, don't take Discover and don't take cash. Bill the Bard Bit the Bullete? You need to do X to 'earn' Bill getting better.


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    I think there's a fair number of different approaches and many (like me) shift between positions and feel many different variants might work. Another notion that has been raised (huh punny) is that being a 5th level spell, it means that regardless of gold cost or not, at low level a death means loss of a character while at high levels it's no worse than a cold for the character, and that penalties should rather remain fairly constant over the levels.

    I think your generalization is a bit too simple, and that there's too much nuance in this discussion (for once!) for it to be easily grouped like that.

    Liberty's Edge

    Matthew Morris wrote:

    Would it be fair to sum up the conflicting schools of thought into the following generalizations?

  • Camp 1 is advocating a 'free res' No gp cost, just pop off a 5th level spell and he gets better.

  • Camp 2 feels there should be some level of 'death tax'. Whether it be gold, diamonds, vestal virgins. Pay it, cast your spell, he gets better.

  • Camp 3 feels the powers over life and death don't take Amex, don't take Discover and don't take cash. Bill the Bard Bit the Bullete? You need to do X to 'earn' Bill getting better.

  • Camp 1 seems right, but I'm not in it so...

    Camp 2 seems ok I guess, but I'm not in it so...

    Camp three is not correct (or at least there should be a camp 4...)

    Camp 3 is "Death should have an effect that lasts longer than a week, be it XP loss, level loss, possible failure, etc..."

    Camp 4, I believe, wants some ice cream.


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    johnlocke90 wrote:
    Irontruth wrote:
    ciretose wrote:

    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.

    It really doesn't add any complexity. It's just adding a little bit of unknown into the game and requiring the players to engage in the story to activate an ability. But since the point of the game is to engage in the story, there really shouldn't be a problem with that.

    As a GM, I love rules like this. It means the story gets pushed in unexpected directions, or new layers get added and I get to be surprised and enjoy the twists and turns right along side my players.

    It's far less complex than say magic item creation.

    It isn't adding work for the players. Its adding work for the GM. The GM now has to write up a new sidequest that fits with the current module.

    Lets make two assumptions.

    A) the GM is already engaging in prep work for each session
    B) prep work is usually a function of X:Y, where X is the amount of time spent playing in a game, and Y is the proportional amount of time needed to do prep.

    Now describe to me how this will increase the value of Y. By that, I mean how will the prep time increase, instead of just alter what you spend time prepping.

    If I'm the GM, I'm just going to tie the sub-plot into something that is already going on. Maybe use it to highlight something the players have overlooked, or re-purpose an encounter they were going to skip. I don't have to invent a new story, I'm just going to add on to what is already happening. I'm going to pick an obvious option, something that makes sense, fits the character and the story.

    You don't need to reinvent the wheel.

    Liberty's Edge

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    @Irontruth - Do you GM? Serious question. Because saying it won't require more time to come up with a side plot on the fly in reaction to the death of a character in the game you prepped before you sat down is like saying if when you bring a lasagna and drop it before you get to the table, it is not problem to make another one because you are already in the kitchen.


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    Yes, I do.

    I also run and play a lot of games that require to you come up with a lot of information on the fly. I run convention scenarios where I ask the players questions, I jot down notes and use those answers to make major decisions about the scenario. I have one where I tell them who the BBEG is, a little bit of information about him, but I ask them "What did he do specifically to earn your wrath? Why do you want him to die?"

    I then take those answers and use them to define his abilities and stats, right then and there. I ran the scenario 3 times at GenCon. He was similar each time, but he felt way different to me in each fight using different tactics and abilities.

    I plan on working on the scenario some more this year and am going to try taking it to IronGM. It's a GM'ing competition, with prizes. I heard a rumor that one of the prizes next year might be a Geek Chic table.

    At the competition, they give you 3 concepts you have to incorporate into your game. You then have 1 hour to prepare your adventure, while the players make their characters (you're allowed to talk them for like 60 seconds I think). You then have 5 hours to run them through the adventure and they rate you on a secret ballot.


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    Matthew Morris wrote:

    Would it be fair to sum up the conflicting schools of thought into the following generalizations?

  • Camp 1 is advocating a 'free res' No gp cost, just pop off a 5th level spell and he gets better.

  • Camp 2 feels there should be some level of 'death tax'. Whether it be gold, diamonds, vestal virgins. Pay it, cast your spell, he gets better.

  • Camp 3 feels the powers over life and death don't take Amex, don't take Discover and don't take cash. Bill the Bard Bit the Bullete? You need to do X to 'earn' Bill getting better.

  • i'm in Camp 3, though with the otherwise free aspect of Camp 1 when it comes to level, attribute and gold loss. the sidequest is a sufficient tax of it's own.

    the cost isn't in spent funds, reduced attributes or lost levels, nor should it be. it should be in sidequests, alongside petitioning an NPC force to do the ressurection. whether a god directly, or a chosen witch or shaman blessed with the rare gift of raising the dead.

    though i can understand using camp 3 with some of the camp 1 boons as an alternative to camp 2 in the same game.

    want your buddy ressurected?

    you may, hand me 5,000 in diamond dust, plus 1,000 in diamond dust for each restoration and a 450 gold piece labor charge, or, you may do this favor i am too busy to deal with myself and in exchange, i will cover the raise, and the restorations as part of the package.

    examples of favors

    Witch of the Wilds: you have come to the house of Flemeth, witch of the wilds, i presume you are after the bounty upon my head
    PCs: actually, we seek a favor, one we can ill afford the funds to compensate (Diplomacy Check)
    WotW: guessing by the smell of rotting meat, i guess you seek a ressurection. such things aren't cheap, and i have no use for coin.
    PCs: Name your price, the slain paladin, Sir Alan, may be very thankful of you? (diplomacy check with a huge circumstance penalty)
    WotW: you brought an infamous witch slayer to be ressurected here?
    PCs: we are desperate, and Sir Alastair is a symbolic hero. we promise to turn his crusade away from you, Lady Flemeth.
    WotW: i have a series of requests for you to perform. these should seem simple enough, if you are the companions of a great witchslayer.
    PCs: please, tell us more:
    WotW: my daughter, Morrigan shall accompany you. this body needs fresh meat to replace the rotted substances to prevent infection. and there is a great lion whom harasses these woods. climb the hill to the east, slay the great golden lion whilst leaving his corpse as close to fully intact as possible. preserve his body with my daughter's assistance, and carry the body back to me, not a single drop of it's blood is allowed to touch the soil of these woods. with the fresh meat of the lion, i can access forbidden witchcraft to restore Sir Alastair's rotted body for ressurection. such a process is cleaner than the greedy methods of the chantry.
    Paladin's Player: ((so, i get to play a witch, better than sitting out the game at least))

    and Sir Alan's player plays the equivalently leveled Witch, Morrigan until the paladin, Sir Alastair is ressurected. might be a positive or negative experience.

    these names were clearly stolen and poorly thought out, but you get the drift.

    Liberty's Edge

    @Irontruth - Not all campaigns are simple plug and play. Nor is it a goal many of us strive for as a GM.


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    ciretose wrote:
    @Irontruth - Not all campaigns are simple plug and play. Nor is it a goal many of us strive for as a GM.

    I can still make field goals when the goal posts move.

    You asked if I have GM'ed. Not if I thought all campaigns should be plug and play. You also implied that it is extremely difficult to come up with things on the fly. So I responded about how I am trying to prepare myself to go to a high stress environment, come up with stuff on the fly and be explicitly judged for doing so. Saying something is possible is not the same as saying it is required.

    Also, no campaign ever goes perfectly to plan. Every GM has to come up with stuff on the fly. We don't follow scripts, we play.


    Irontruth wrote:
    ciretose wrote:
    @Irontruth - Not all campaigns are simple plug and play. Nor is it a goal many of us strive for as a GM.

    I can still make field goals when the goal posts move.

    You asked if I have GM'ed. Not if I thought all campaigns should be plug and play. You also implied that it is extremely difficult to come up with things on the fly. So I responded about how I am trying to prepare myself to go to a high stress environment, come up with stuff on the fly and be explicitly judged for doing so. Saying something is possible is not the same as saying it is required.

    Also, no campaign ever goes perfectly to plan. Every GM has to come up with stuff on the fly. We don't follow scripts, we play.

    +1

    Grand Lodge

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    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    I'm totally in camp 4.


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    I think if you just give everyone ice cream it wil cheapen the game.

    Silver Crusade

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    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    I'm totally in camp 4.

    Ditto. Camp 4 is the best.


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    Camp 4 reeks of entitlement. Loss of ice cream should be something you really feel.

    Silver Crusade

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    When in doubt, see what other game designers had to say. Part of understanding Pathfinder mechanics is to see why 4th edition designers chose their particular method. While I disagree with their end product, it's the journey there and examination into mechanics I find intriguing. Everything below is taken from designers James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo in 2008.

    My Summary: Character death will happen and provides an atmosphere of tension that keeps the game dramatic and exciting. Without threat of failure, the game becomes boring. A mechanic for raising dead should exist to make players worry about dying but not punish them so much that rolling up a new character is preferable. That mechanic should not require a player to "sit out" too long from play. The mechanic should become available at a time when players have become attached to their characters, and it should provide natural consequences unrelated to the dead character, such as what continues to occur in the game world while players take time to raise a fallen companion. Fourth Edition did away with resurrection since it could be replaced with a Raise Dead that scaled in cost by the character's level. They kept the level loss mechanic (-1 to all rolls) that lasted until 6 "milestones" (encounters) occurred

    Spoiler:
    It lasts long enough to make sure you wish you hadn't died but not so long as to severely hamper you or make you wish you'd just made a new character.
    and implemented an 8-hour ritual (the natural consequence mechanic).

    It's really not far from Pathfinder's mechanic, in fact it's the same thing albeit scaled in cost rather than fixed.

    First, death happens:

    Whatever way it happens, death is inevitable. Sooner or later, player characters die. Then the game needs to have an elegant and believable way to handle it.

    Spoiler:
    Coming back from the dead was punishing in past editions -- from losing a point of Constitution to losing a level. The logical consequence of that punishment is that players preferred making up a new character to raising the dead one. In that environment, character death means you can kiss your campaign's story continuity good-bye. Or you can welcome a new character named Bob II who's virtually identical to poor, deceased Bob.

    Second, what should we do about it:

    All of our various stabs at mechanics were aimed at a single goal. Some aspects of 3E's death mechanics handled the goal well. What we wanted was a specific dynamic at the table -- an atmosphere when a character takes enough damage to go below 0 hit points.

    Third, what players want:

    Spoiler:
    We tried at least four different death systems with vastly different consequences.

    Enough disagreement arose about the goals of a death-and-dying system that we held meetings to negotiate what we wanted. Some people argued that death was passé -- the example of online RPGs in which characters respawned indicated players wanted to be free of death's threat. Most of us didn't buy that reasoning. We knew that online RPGs had their own separate logic. Our game required a realistic possibility of defeat and death to maintain its excitement and dramatic tension.

    Heroes are defined by the villains they face and the challenges they overcome. Take away a plausible threat of death and failure, and heroes become boring automatons. So what we needed were game mechanics for death that worried players, keeping them on their toes. But the mechanics still had to be fun at the table, and they couldn't take players out of the game too often or for too long.

    No one looks forward to his or her character dying. But when it happens, it had better be memorable and offer glimmers of hope. It has to involve something other than crushing despair.

    Fourth, examining death at lower to higher levels:

    Spoiler:
    At the lowest levels of the game, we figured, death could very well mean making a new character. When you've only played a character for a couple of levels, you're not that attached to it yet. Making a new one isn't that terrible a price to pay for an encounter gone terribly wrong. By the high heroic levels, death comes with a more significant cost. It means stopping your adventure for the day, paying the price, and possibly story-based implications, up to and including failing a mission. At epic levels, though, death might become a speed bump. The consequences of failure in an encounter or an adventure might be much more significant than the life or death of a single character. When the fate of the world or even multiple planes hangs in the balance, fates far worse than death can await characters who fail.

    Fifth, why no dying mechanic didn't work:

    Spoiler:
    We couldn't make character death a game element the DM had to execute intentionally. We'd be forcing an unpalatable choice between hurt feelings and a lack of dramatic tension.

    Character death in D&D has to come as a natural and even expected consequence of taking massive amounts of damage. The system needs to roll you toward that endpoint. Death mechanics in 3E had a decent handle on that.

    Sixth, tinkering with Raise Dead:

    Spoiler:
    The Raise Dead ritual is the normal means by which characters return from death in 4th Edition. We couldn't find a good reason to keep resurrection and true resurrection in the game, so we just raised the price of Raise Dead for higher-level characters to ensure that it remains relevant as characters advance levels. Raise Dead is also a ritual that takes eight hours, so it definitely means that the party is taking an extended rest. That could have its own consequences in the adventure.

    The ritual also comes with a "death penalty" that's like a negative level in 3E. You take a -1 penalty on just about every d20 roll you make, but that penalty goes away after three milestones. It lasts long enough to make sure you wish you hadn't died but not so long as to severely hamper you or make you wish you'd just made a new character.

    Paizo Employee PostMonster General

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Removed a post. No need to call other participants in this discussion lazy or incompetent. If you think people are posting in bad faith, try considering that maybe they are sincere and actually mean what they say.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    I'm totally in camp 4.

    Not the season for ice cream.

    Hot chocolate cake?

    Shadow Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Diego Rossi wrote:
    Not the season for ice cream.

    LIES.

    Silver Crusade

    Diego Rossi wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    I'm totally in camp 4.

    Not the season for ice cream.

    Hot chocolate cake?

    What...no a la mode? What's wrong with you?

    ;)

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