Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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It seems to me as though there are two possibilities.

1) The expensive material component is there to justify the spell, being more powerful than it should be for it's level. (Which I'm pretty sure would be a mechanical reason) Given that it ameliorates an otherwise permenant and career ending condition. Yes, other fifth level spells do impressive things, but Teleport simply saves you time on travel, and Plane Shift keeps you from needing to find a portal, planar junction, or similar travel methods. Neither solves an insurmountable problem. Breath of Life has blink and you missed it utility. There's a credible case to be made that Raise Dead is more powerful than a fifth level spell, but that the cost was added as a balancing mechanism to preserve earlier access to the spell, both for casters within the party, and the allready elusive 9+ npc clerics.

2) The added expense is a legacy remnant. Last vestige of a system designed to further punish players who have allready suffered the loss of a character (and the associated downtime). In a world where powerful magic can accomplish anything, why wouldn't death be cheap? The added penalty no longer serves a purpose, and has become a sacred cow long overdue to be put to pasture.

Which answer you think is correct is more a reflection of you and what you want out of the game, than any hard and fast rules. Personally, I don't think I'll be requiring a component in my games.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
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?

Why not?

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?

Reasons that are not game mechanics include: I don't like it (some do), I don't want to play that way (some do), it feels weird (so did getting rid of THAC0 and having ACs go up instead of down), it trivializes death (even though breath of life doesn't and other spells that reverse conditions don't trivialize those conditions), clerics will be able to raise anyone they want (even though they won't be able to), it'll ruin my corner-case campaign, it's always been this way (except it hasn't), it'll make players reckless (because they aren't already?), people won't roleplay if you can come back from the dead (not true), without risk there is no reward (the default encounter CR isn't a risky encounter), players will be bored (some may, but you're making a generalization)
.
Still waiting on a game mechanics justification for it. Been waitin' for several days now, but none of you smart people have been able to come up with a reason why the game mechanics should support this flavor bias.

It's because you've made your question unanswerable. Your argument is that Raise Dead is arbitrarily expensive. That's the nature of making a game... we make arbitrary abstractions because game mechanics aren't stories, they're just skeletal abstractions of them. Dungeons and Dragons and the games descended from them are almost unique in the Paper and Dice field in even having a mechanic for ressurrection. In almost all other roleplaying games, such as Storyteller, dead is dead, end of story.

The very existence of resurrection spells are arbitrary game mechanics addition to a roleplaying game that's descended from board based wargames. What exactly is a games mechanics justification? In First Edition, the original penalty for being raised with was level loss. And remember this was a game that was full of monsters that would pull one or two levels from you per attack. The only justification Gygax ever saw any need to put in the rules text was "This is to encourage players not to die." Given that this was not that far from the time of games like Gauntlet where you had robed figures stealing life from you with a touch, it apparantly was not something that was given a lot of serious thought. You fall down, you come up you lose a level, or you just lost two anyway because a spectre touched you. In that sense dying and being raised wasn't that much different from battling a fair number of undead back in the day when Tomb of Horrors and set a standard of style which included a lot of arbitrary ways to die, such as an orb of annihlation being placed in a statue's mouth "just for idiots who would stick their head in it".

At best it seems that looking for a justification of games mechanics is at most a subjective call for a defense of game aesthetics, not very much something that can be argued strictly on logic.


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LazarX wrote:
In First Edition, the original penalty for being raised with was level loss. And remember this was a game that was full of monsters that would pull one or two levels from you per attack. The only justification Gygax ever saw any need to put in the rules text was "This is to encourage players not to die."

Responding to this, because evidently you missed it, but you are wrong. I linked a copy of the spell The previous page of the topic. If you'd like, I can also look up a blog post of Mike Mearls talking about the differences of Raise Dead in each edition.

1st Ed had zero cost. No level loss, no xp, no gold, no constitution loss. That was the version written by Gygax. There were two limitations, you couldn't be dead more than one day per cleric level and you had to succeed a resurrection survival roll. And you were helpless for one day.

That means that Tomb of Horrors was written with the concept that a high level cleric could just raise you as often as necessary to finish the dungeon. Since it was written for 10-14 level characters, by Gygax, for AD&D, I think it's a safe assumption the author understood the impact of Raise Dead.


Irontruth wrote:
LazarX wrote:
In First Edition, the original penalty for being raised with was level loss. And remember this was a game that was full of monsters that would pull one or two levels from you per attack. The only justification Gygax ever saw any need to put in the rules text was "This is to encourage players not to die."

Responding to this, because evidently you missed it, but you are wrong. I linked a copy of the spell page. If you'd like, I can also look up a blog post of Mike Mearls talking about the differences of Raise Dead in each edition.

1st Ed had zero cost. No level loss, no xp, no gold, no constitution loss. That was the version written by Gygax. There were two limitations, you couldn't be dead more than one day per cleric level and you had to succeed a resurrection survival roll. And you were helpless for one day.

That means that Tomb of Horrors was written with the concept that a high level cleric could just raise you as often as necessary to finish the dungeon. Since it was written for 10-14 level characters, by Gygax! For AD&D, I think it's a safe assumption the author understood the impact of Raise Dead.

Tomb of Horrors dealt with that concept by making most of the deaths happen out of reach of party members. There are a ton of pits and cave ins and teleportation to a different area.


Your point doesn't actually refute mine, in fact it reinforces the idea that he very much knew and understood the spell he had written.

Liberty's Edge

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
But that's all a part of the game and what makes the game different.

"Oops, you rolled a 1, you're dead" or "oops, my fireball rolled max damage, you're dead" isn't fun or heroic, even though they are part of the game.

Rolling the 1 isn't fun. Rolling the 2-20 is.

Most table top games only have one person at the table who doesn't have a negative outcome. The other people playing presumably are having fun, otherwise they wouldn't play.

The fact that something bad could happen is why 19 out of 20 times you get to pump your fist that you didn't roll a 1. It is why you keep going at the craps table.

Potential for bad outcomes is a game mechanic. Risk/reward is a basic game mechanic. Removing or reducing risk outcomes doesn't make the game more enjoyable 19 times out of 20 in the scenario.. It makes less exciting.

I would find that game boring and redundant. I would not pay money to play it anymore that I would pay money to play a game called "You Win!"

Winning is meaningless without the possibility of losing. Yes the game is rigged in the players favor. Yes keeping the campaign alive is the goal of every GM. But the fun of the game at most tables comes from feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Removing risk removes that, and frankly would remove my interest in playing.

Death shouldn't be made some status effect you remove at no consequence, like taking penicillin for an indiscretion. It should be an outcome the players really fear. It should be the underlying opponent of the game.

You play to survive to fight another day. If not accomplishing that has no risk, what have you accomplished.

Additionally, death has a similar effect in game as it does in life. It is an opportunity to change what could be becoming stagnant. Having to make a new character isn't the end of he campaign. It sucks, but maybe next time you will be more a more careful and cautious adventurer who doesn't just charge everything without checking for traps, knowing undoing death isn't difficult.

That is the metagaming that I think is far more problematic. Fear is what gets the adrenaline going over what is actually just a bunch of people sitting around a table rolling dice.

I don't want that removed. If anything I want it honed.

Liberty's Edge

Irontruth wrote:


Responding to this, because evidently you missed it, but you are wrong. I linked a copy of the spell The previous page of the topic. If you'd like, I can also look up a blog post of Mike Mearls talking about the differences of Raise Dead in each edition.

1st Ed had zero cost. No level loss, no xp, no gold, no constitution loss. That was the version written by Gygax. There were two limitations, you couldn't be dead more than one day per cleric level and you had to succeed a resurrection survival roll. And you were helpless for one day.

That means that Tomb of Horrors was written with the concept that a high level cleric could just raise you as often as necessary to finish the dungeon. Since it was written for 10-14 level characters, by Gygax, for AD&D, I think it's a safe assumption the author understood the impact of Raise Dead.

Don't just gloss over "You had to succeed on a resurrection survival roll"

That is a far greater penalty in the form of risk than the current "never fail" spell.

Not that an "Oracle of Gygax" argument is what I'm looking for from this discussion, but I do call BS on saying "It had no cost" for a spell that had a decent failure change.

That is a cost, even if not in gold. The fact is we have moved from a risk based cost to a financial cost.

I am for going back, not removing cost entirely and making death basically extended unconsciousness.

Silver Crusade

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
But that's all a part of the game and what makes the game different.

"Oops, you rolled a 1, you're dead" or "oops, my fireball rolled max damage, you're dead" isn't fun or heroic, even though they are part of the game.

shallowsoul wrote:
Coming back from the dead should be difficult and hindering.

Says you, speaking on behalf of your preferred campaign style. In my campaign, mind-affecting magic is difficult and hindering, but that doesn't mean the default game should be that way. :)

shallowsoul wrote:
You know damn well that death is a part of the game and that it is difficult and sometimes impossible to come back from.
It's only difficult and/or impossible because we've arbitrarily decided it works that way. What if we arbitrarily decided that it's difficult and/or impossible to be an elf, or a paladin, or a spellcaster?

Oops, just make another character. I mean Jesus Christ, it's a game that involves dice that can decide your fate. If your PC's career ends then it wasn't meant to be. Suck it up, get the creative juices flowing and create another one.

Sovereign Court

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I vote this thread, "Best PAIZO discussion thread of 2012." I've been on here a lot since 2005, and the ability to really listen to Sean's points and read the views of other excellent gamers has been a pleasure.

That said, the 5,000 gp value diamond might have originated from a game mechanic that wished to balance against the original 7k Resurrection cost in 3.0, and may have been tied to character wealth by level.

The excessive cost is in step with the Gygaxian notion that Magical Healthcare should be scarce and the more potent the healing the more costly, allowing aristocrats to receive the highest priority of treatment since they have the most wealth they can contribute such donations far more readily than the middle or lower class. (Gary Gygax's Living Fantasy p.100) But this is not Sean's question which asks, "what is the game mechanic reason?"

I did some internet research, and read threads from 2003 which suggested even at that time, this very question made for popular debate on the internets.

Checking back to AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide @1979 (p.40): "When spell energy is released, it usually flows to the Prime Material from the Positive or Negative Material Plane. To replace it, something must flow back in reverse. The dissolution and destruction of material components provies the energy that balances out this flow, though the principle of similarity. Sometimes this destruction is very slow, as in the case with druids' mistletoe. Those spells without apparent material components are actually utilizing the air exhaled by the magic-user in the utterance of the spell." Now, this only supports the idea that a diamond (or other flavorful M component) is necessary, but doesn't justify the higher cost Sean points out, compared to other spell level energies expended as in his "Travel to Heaven" example noted up-thread.

Thus, I am thrilled that Sean opened my eyes to the imbalance of the cost compared to others. If we wish to get to the bottom of the question, "What is the game mechanical reason?," I suggest only that we look at character wealth by level and compare it to the other relative costs associated with "Magical Healthcare" and see how the progression of costs are built beginning with the lowly cure light wounds upward toward full resurrection. If in the course of that summary we find the cost is balanced against all other healing on a scale of potency, then we can cross-reference character wealth by level as well as view other comparable spell costs. It may be that there is no justification for the higher cost based on just 1 variable, but that the higher cost is an off-set price, accounting for some of the other two variables such as wealth by level, scale of Magical Healthcare, or some other spurious variable that helps create good game design. Conversely, if we're unable to answer that great question Sean asks, "Why 5000gp value?" then I'm sold on the notion that the negative behaviors (such as metagaming the cost of a funerals versus bringing the PC back to life) outweigh the postives and therefore should be a recommmended house rule departure from RAW at many gamemaster's tables.

Just my 2 cp,
Pax

Liberty's Edge

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@Shallowsoul - Tone it down a touch...

Sovereign Court

Raise Dead (AD&D PHB &1978): I reading the description of Raise Dead and see that originally this spell did not have an M component. It was V,S only, and had the restriction of restoring to life a dwarf, gnome, helf-elf, halfling, or human. It also had the mechanical limitation of raising only 1 XP level per level of the cleric, thus a 9th level cleric could only raise a person dead up to 9 days. It further required the recipient of the Raise Dead spell to make a constitution-based Saving Throw to survive the ordeal. It further required the raised person 1 day of bed rest for every day the PC was dead. I point these factors out to suggest it may have been a game mechanic reason (i.e. balance) to superimpose higher M cost in exchange for removing some of the facets that lead to "slower play" such as the bed rest or the limitations of being only able to raise these particular races, or number of class levels. Again, I don't claim to know the mind of the designers of 3.0, but they did seem to remove a lot of these restrictions and perhaps the costs of the added M component was an off-set variable (for these and some other reasons, some of which I listed in my last post).
Just my 3cp,
Pax

Liberty's Edge

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@Pax - It seems more simply the trade was from failure risk to XP an Level lost and now to material cost.

There was always a cost, it just changed forms. I agree the form change may be wrong, but I don't think the solution is complete cost removal.

Grand Lodge

Irontruth wrote:
I see nothing about this in the first edition version. Could you point to a page number?

Page 12 of the 1st edition Player's Handbook under the "Notes Regarding Constitution Table", last paragraph: "Remember that a character can never be raised from the dead/resurrected a number of times in excess of the character's initial constitution score."

The 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide also makes sure to point that out on page 110: "Again, if you have available ample means of raising characters from the dead, even death is not too severe; remember, however, the constitution-based limit to resurrections."

Liberty's Edge

Digitalelf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
I see nothing about this in the first edition version. Could you point to a page number?

Page 12 of the 1st edition Player's Handbook under the "Notes Regarding Constitution Table", last paragraph: "Remember that a character can never be raised from the dead/resurrected a number of times in excess of the character's initial constitution score."

The 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide also makes sure to point that out on page 110: "Again, if you have available ample means of raising characters from the dead, even death is not too severe; remember, however, the constitution-based limit to resurrections."

Which establishes that death was a worse penalty in the past.

The question is going forward.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I also suspect that while Sean keeps saying he's looking for a games mechanic reason, he's actually looking for something else. After all there aren't reasons for many game mechanics other than (Designer wants this to cost a lot or be difficult to accomplish) He also said that he's not looking for story reasons either.

That doesn't leave that much left to talk about.


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When I GM I deal with raise dead by making the diamond a FOCUS.

Grand Lodge

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Doormouse wrote:
When I GM I deal with raise dead by making the diamond a FOCUS.

So essentially after that first purchase, it's a "remove the cost" response.

Shadow Lodge

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Doormouse wrote:
When I GM I deal with raise dead by making the diamond a FOCUS.

That pretty much completely makes death meaningless.

Silver Crusade

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johnlocke90 wrote:
Fair enough. Then how about power creep? Removing the cost on Raise Dead will increase the strength of a party.

Except it doesn't. Raise Dead cannot INCREASE the strength of the party. It can only restore strength that was previously lost.

Take a scenario:

Mark, Jill, Fred, and Patty are adventuring.

They come across the lair of a red dragon and do battle with it. The battle is fierce and while they manage to defeat it, Mark is mortally wounded and dies.

Now, Jill, Fred, and Patty have 2 choices:

1: They can bury Mark, go to town, sell his loot, and meet up with a new adventurer.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has experienced a WINDFALL from Mark's death. The three survivors have increased their potential power by selling off Mark's loot, and Mark's new character comes in with appropriate loot for his level.

2: They can preserve Mark's body and bring it to town. There, the pay 5000g for a diamond. Patty uses Raise Dead and brings Mark back to life.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has suffered a loss in potential power here. Mark has 2 negative levels, that will cost 2000g and 2 spells to remove. Meanwhile, the party has lost 5000g that could have gone to loot to make them stronger.

As Sean is offering, instead of the cost of the 5000g, why does the spell itself not suffice? As I just pointed out, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Raise Dead to make the party STRONGER. Even without the 5000g cost, Mark will still have 2 negative levels.

In terms of Mechanics, the outcome that is causing a net increase in party power is not Raise Dead but building new characters.

Shadow Lodge

Digitalelf wrote:
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?

Even removing the cost on Raise Dead, not quite that simple, for the following reason:

Irontruth wrote:
Breath of life also has the value of being an 'in combat' spell. A casting time of 1 minute is pretty prohibitive during a fight.

So either you cast Breath of Life in combat as a relatively simple combat spell (that still requires you to either use Reach Metamagic or potentially get within range of a threat, as previously pointed out on this thread) or you have to wait until after combat for the more extensive Raise Dead. Either way there's the minor but not negligible negative level cost.

And the in-combat utility of Breath of Life and the lower negative level penalty should, I think, balance with Raise Dead even if the cost is removed. In the conclusion of my first PF campaign, three party members died during combat and the Breaths of Life (one from Determination armor, two from the cleric) kept those party members contributing to the fight. It was a very close fight and if the party hadn't been able to restore those characters, they might have lost.


Elamdri wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Fair enough. Then how about power creep? Removing the cost on Raise Dead will increase the strength of a party.

Except it doesn't. Raise Dead cannot INCREASE the strength of the party. It can only restore strength that was previously lost.

Take a scenario:

Mark, Jill, Fred, and Patty are adventuring.

They come across the lair of a red dragon and do battle with it. The battle is fierce and while they manage to defeat it, Mark is mortally wounded and dies.

Now, Jill, Fred, and Patty have 2 choices:

1: They can bury Mark, go to town, sell his loot, and meet up with a new adventurer.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has experienced a WINDFALL from Mark's death. The three survivors have increased their potential power by selling off Mark's loot, and Mark's new character comes in with appropriate loot for his level.

2: They can preserve Mark's body and bring it to town. There, the pay 5000g for a diamond. Patty uses Raise Dead and brings Mark back to life.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has suffered a loss in potential power here. Mark has 2 negative levels, that will cost 2000g and 2 spells to remove. Meanwhile, the party has lost 5000g that could have gone to loot to make them stronger.

As Sean is offering, instead of the cost of the 5000g, why does the spell itself not suffice? As I just pointed out, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Raise Dead to make the party STRONGER. Even without the 5000g cost, Mark will still have 2 negative levels.

In terms of Mechanics, the outcome that is causing a net increase in party power is not Raise Dead but building new characters.

I consider resource expenditure to be a way to control power. Post level 9, If someone dies, either the party has to have 5000 gold in diamond dust on them(which takes up gold they could have spent elsewhere) or they have to acquire that diamond dust.

If you remove the diamond requirement, then all the party needs to do is wait a day or have spent the gold to buy a scroll.

Imagine a party member dies mid dungeon. Currently, unless the party is devoting significant resources to the material components, they have to complete the dungeon one man short or retreat to resurrect their comrade. If you remove the material component, then you could resurrect dying people between battles with little cost. The party is able to run the dungeon more easily then they could before. Thats power creep.

In regards to not resurrecting him, this is up the GM. There is no rule requiring that you bring in the new character fully equipped and at the same level as everyone else. At a minimum, I wouldn't let them bring in a new guy halfway through the enemy stronghold.

I think it would make the game more rocket tag like. Either the party gets TPKed or everyone lives. It also creates weird cases where curses and diseases become a better way to deal with an enemy than trying to kill him.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
And why is raise dead so costly but teleport and plane shift are not? They're all the same spell level.

But raise dead does more then either teleport or planeshift. I see the cost as the balancing factor. You made a statement ealier…

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It is literally easier and less expensive to instantly transport eight people to the outer plane where your dead friend's soul is than to call that dead friend's soul back into its natural body. That doesn't make sense to me from a game mechanics standpoint.

At first as was floored, I thought, he’s right if you can cast a spell and go straight to your friends soul the reverse should be any harder. Then I realized that’s not quite right. Yes, you can go to that plane but once you get there you’d have to use a divination spell like scrying to locate your friend, followed by either some overland travel or a teleport spell to reach them.

So raise dead essentially locates the soul on another plane, planeshifts it to your currently plane, teleports it to the body, and then brings the person back to life. Ya, I’m ok with the gold cost now.

Earlier you stated…

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Either raise dead is on par with other 5th-level spells, or it isn't. If it is, it doesn't need a costly material component. If it isn't, then it shouldn't be a 5th-level spell.

I suppose my response would be that it is, in fact, more powerful then other 5th level spells. But as to removing it I disagree. First, as you pointed out some nasty spells like disintegrate become available and a single bad save can ruin a Players day. I believe their needs to be a way to undo the problems that can occur when the dice gods frown on you. The 5,000 gold piece cost is there to justify making such a powerful spell 5th level.

Secondly, on the fluff side, it makes sense that someone could have reasonably found out a way to cast a more powerful spell by using pricey components that a higher-level spell simply wouldn’t need. And if you existed in such a world and possessed the skill wouldn’t you want such a spell available to you even if it was costly to use?

Having said that I agree with a lot of what has been said and would like really like to see the resurrect spell have the option to use it as a normal raise dead spell without the any material component. I believe I will add that into my games from here on. I may also extend breath of life’s “resurrection” window a little too, possibly to a flat two rounds to allow some breathing room, or perhaps to something like 1 round per 2 caster levels. I’ll have to think about it.

Unintentional bad pun there but I’ll keep it cause it made me chuckle.

Incidentally this is one of the most interesting debates I’ve read in a while :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Elamdri wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Fair enough. Then how about power creep? Removing the cost on Raise Dead will increase the strength of a party.

Except it doesn't. Raise Dead cannot INCREASE the strength of the party. It can only restore strength that was previously lost.

Take a scenario:

Mark, Jill, Fred, and Patty are adventuring.

They come across the lair of a red dragon and do battle with it. The battle is fierce and while they manage to defeat it, Mark is mortally wounded and dies.

Now, Jill, Fred, and Patty have 2 choices:

1: They can bury Mark, go to town, sell his loot, and meet up with a new adventurer.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has experienced a WINDFALL from Mark's death. The three survivors have increased their potential power by selling off Mark's loot, and Mark's new character comes in with appropriate loot for his level.

2: They can preserve Mark's body and bring it to town. There, the pay 5000g for a diamond. Patty uses Raise Dead and brings Mark back to life.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has suffered a loss in potential power here. Mark has 2 negative levels, that will cost 2000g and 2 spells to remove. Meanwhile, the party has lost 5000g that could have gone to loot to make them stronger.

As Sean is offering, instead of the cost of the 5000g, why does the spell itself not suffice? As I just pointed out, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Raise Dead to make the party STRONGER. Even without the 5000g cost, Mark will still have 2 negative levels.

In terms of Mechanics, the outcome that is causing a net increase in party power is not Raise Dead but building new characters.

The thing is all of the above is not happening in a vacuum. It's happening in a world where I'm gamemastering. If the party goes the windfall route, then the treasure I leave for them is going to be adjusted until things swing back into balance. If they take a hit by rising Mark, then I might adjust things IF I THINK IT'S NECCESSARY. If all they're blowing is just luxury cash then a little poverty for awhile might build character.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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LazarX wrote:
Elamdri wrote:

Except it doesn't. Raise Dead cannot INCREASE the strength of the party. It can only restore strength that was previously lost.

Take a scenario:

Mark, Jill, Fred, and Patty are adventuring.

They come across the lair of a red dragon and do battle with it. The battle is fierce and while they manage to defeat it, Mark is mortally wounded and dies.

Now, Jill, Fred, and Patty have 2 choices:

1: They can bury Mark, go to town, sell his loot, and meet up with a new adventurer.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has experienced a WINDFALL from Mark's death. The three survivors have increased their potential power by selling off Mark's loot, and Mark's new character comes in with appropriate loot for his level.

2: They can preserve Mark's body and bring it to town. There, the pay 5000g for a diamond. Patty uses Raise Dead and brings Mark back to life.

From a game mechanics standpoint, the party has suffered a loss in potential power here. Mark has 2 negative levels, that will cost 2000g and 2 spells to remove. Meanwhile, the party has lost 5000g that could have gone to loot to make them stronger.

As Sean is offering, instead of the cost of the 5000g, why does the spell itself not suffice? As I just pointed out, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Raise Dead to make the party STRONGER. Even without the 5000g cost, Mark will still have 2 negative levels.

In terms of Mechanics, the outcome that is causing a net increase in party power is not Raise Dead but building new characters.

The thing is all of the above is not happening in a vacuum. It's happening in a world where I'm gamemastering. If the party goes the windfall route, then the treasure I leave for them is going to be adjusted until things swing back into balance. If they take a hit by rising Mark, then I might adjust things IF I THINK IT'S NECCESSARY. If all they're blowing is just luxury cash then a little poverty for awhile might build character.

If you're taking 5k from them now, and giving it back to them later in the form of extra treasure, how is that really different from removing the cost in the first place?

Liberty's Edge

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
ciretose wrote:
The framing of the debate shouldn't be this as the last vestige of "Player vs GM" when the real conflict is player vs dice.
Contrariwise, the swinginess of dice means that sometimes PCs die for accidental, stupid, or inglorious reasons, and there should be a way to fix that which isn't (1) harsh for the unlucky PC, and (2) doesn't require the GM to say "oops, you only take 50 points, you're not actually dead."

I have a big problem with this. People die for stupid accidents, in war a shot from a random soldier can kill great commander and change the flow of a battle.

If you accept only death for glorious reasons we could substitute all the encounters that aren't the final glorious battle with a cooperative narrative of the events.
There are games that work that way, and they can be interesting games when you play them, but it is not the reason for which I play Pathfinder.
Incorporating stupid, inglorious accidents in your story, death included, for me, enhance it, it don't cheapen it.

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
ciretose wrote:


I am not sure what you are specifically looking for in terms of game mechanics.
I'm looking for a valid game-mechanics reason why it's more costly to cram Seelah's soul back in her body than to teleport from Kyonin to Absalom or to planar travel the entire party to the Seven Heavens to consult with Seelah's soul. So far all the justifications have been "it alters the feel of the campaign" and "it's always been that way" and "it'll make players take more risks" and "it'll trivialize death," but none of those are game mechanics reasons like "fighters do consistent damage all day and are balanced against a barbarian's damage spikes while raging but lower damage when not raging."

Actually making teleport easier was a choice made with the 3rd edition development. Before the third edition you had a good chance to appear in mid air or or under the earth even when teleporting to well know locations. A 1% chance of instant death for teleporting into the ground was a good deterrent against zipping around the globe needlessly.

Plane shift has a material requirement: "a forked metal rod attuned to the plane of travel". How easy is to know what is the right fork to get to the Iomeade heaven in the outer planes?
Actually Seelah's soul is in Iomeade heaven or she is still in the queue to be judged by Pharasma?
What will be the reaction from the local populace to my CG magus plane shifting in Iomeade heaven?
It isn't so easy and without consequences.

Maybe you should consider adding that kind of consequences and considerations to raise dead instead of a flat cost.
A gm and group of players that don't care about the cost could waive it away "Iomeade is very happy to see Seelah revived and don't ask for anything." People that feel that there should be a cost could have Iomeade request some service.
The problem is that often that kind of service clash with the story the PC are weaving.
"We are trying to stop armageddon. There is some time, but not a lot." "Well, you have brought back Seelah, to pay for that you need to slay the evil dragon that has burned a nearby town before he repeat his dastardly deed."
The gold cost is a middle way medium between getting the raise dead for free and having to make a quest for it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
If you're taking 5k from them now, and giving it back to them later in the form of extra treasure, how is that really different from removing the cost in the first place?

It's different because I'm not doing it that way. I don't blindly randomly place treasure, I do so on an ongoing basis with regards to current party wealth, player expectations, and what I think they may need in the future salted with a bit of New Jersey windage and my whims.

How characters deal with the loot of a dead character WILL have impact on how they're perceived by folk of various alignments. Lawful Goods would expect that some provision for a character's kin would be observed and would frame their perceptions of the party if it becomes clear that they are enriching themselves with the deaths of their companions.

I don't restrict my interactions with player consequences in the addition and subtraction of gold and trinkets.

It boils down to this... do you want permanent damage to a party from a death or major recovery, thus giving them incentive to simply write off the character and bring in new, or do you want recovery over time? In order to come up with a consistent approach, this question should be answered first.

Liberty's Edge

Tacticslion wrote:

* That's what Polymorph any Object is for. Why yes, I would love to become an hekatonkheires titan, a solar angel, or a gold dragon great wyrm forever at just the cost of a bunch of iterative seventh level spells over time, thanks.

(Incidentally, could Polymorph any Object polymorh a corpse of your friend into a living version of your friend? ... actually, yes, upon looking it over again, it could, though they'd be kind of stupid.)

You can't stack polymorph effects:

"You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell."

Silver Crusade

The options are there to bring someone back from the dead and if a party can't access them at a particular time then so be it.

Why should the game make death any easier to recover from?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Why shouldn't it?

Just personal preference.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:

Why shouldn't it?

Just personal preference.

Not just personal preference.

This is part of my frustration with the "not game mechanics" stuff.

It is game mechanics. Many things in the game impair your ability to play, and death is a really bad condition to have. It is basically the worst possible condition to have, since it removes you from play.

If you are playing in a setting without death, mechanically we would all agree that is a very different game. If death were something that took you out of play for set period of time, but then you returned without penalty about a week later, that would effect the calculations of the player significantly.

Functionally, that is what we are discussing here if we remove all penalty. That is a change to the mechanics of the game.

It was a game mechanics change when you didn't have to roll a fort save (something that gave a boost to high fort classes survival ability and added a penalty to low fort classes who were already fragile) and it was a game mechanics change when it no longer caused a negative level, because repeated death dropped you behind the rest of your party (presumably this was a large part of why you got more XP for being lower level so you could catch up).

I get why those changes were made. It was perhaps overly punitive to have a fort save decide the outcome of raise dead (or maybe not, I never played that edition) and I can speak from experience that the negative level stuff was a huge pain to calculate and figure out that did delay the play of the game.

But removing those things also changed the equation for the player when assessing risk, in the same way having a level 9 cleric in the party changes the equations of assessing risk. If you know a death costs roughly 7,000 gold an being -1 to most things for a week, that is the calculation. And that is a very different calculation from the original spell possibly not working at all and the later version placing you a level behind your party.

The penalty has declined through the years. 7k in gold to come back from the dead is less of a penalty than a negative level, or a not unlikely chance of never coming back.

Having no penalty is a change in game mechanics. It means as a player, I fear death less, and so I care less about outcomes that might result in death. I can be reckless, I can take risks, I can sacrifice myself, etc...and it won't matter because all I lose is 7k in gold and a minus 1 for a week until I get the second restore.

All penalties are not, and should not be equal. Reducing penalties arbitrarily changes game mechanics.

The question has been framed backwards from "Why should there be a penalty for death" when the question in my opinion should be "Why wouldn't return from death have a significant risk or cost?"

Asking for it not to is like asking for swords to do less damage, because they might hurt adventurers.


shallowsoul wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Raise Dead shouldn't cost 5,000 GP, nor should it inflict the negative levels.

the reason it shouldn't have these harsh penalties is because you are essentially permanently penalizing a character for a simple string of bad luck that leads only to further deaths.

But that's all a part of the game and what makes the game different. If you don't want to play in dice rolling games then Amber Diceless would be right up your alley. Coming back from the dead should be difficult and hindering. It should come with a high cost and a negative level. Claiming that the game needs to soften the impact because of the randomness of the dice is just dumb. Successes come with failures, bad dice rolls also come with good dice rolls, it's all a part of the game and no where in the rules is your character guaranteed to live. Now if you don't set yourself up for a possible failure or death then that's your fault and the game shouldn't have to compensate that. You know damn well that death is a part of the game and that it is difficult and sometimes impossible to come back from.

the penalties for death penalize the roleplayer who wants to be raised, but they drastically reward the party who cremates the dead guy, keeps his gear and has him bring in a new character.

and there already is a penalty for raise dead, the expenditure of a 5th level spell slot or 5th level scroll that the cleric had to prepare the next day. Raise dead is a huge penalty until epic levels where a difference of 7,000 gold isn't even a factor anymore because you are getting multiple tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands for every demigod and demon lord you slay.

i agree with Sean on most of this.

why does raise dead, cost 5,000 gold and inflict 2 negative levels? when breath of life or plane shift don't even have such a penalty attached.

it is cheaper to transport an entire party of 9 or more people to a different plane than it is to ressurect a single lost human life.

want ressurection to be difficult? such ressurections are likely only avaialable in a metropolis. attaching an additional diplomacy check with a DC of 20+caster level to find a caster able to cast it adds the neccessary layer.

Liberty's Edge

Breath of life only works within the same round someone died and doesn't work on death effects.

If you teleport to a different plane, are they powers that be going to say "Oh hi, yeah since you are here, go ahead and take your friends soul back with you and put it in his body."

Probably not. Particularly since you will be between 5 and 500 miles from where you were aiming for, due to the risk included in how the spell works.

And at epic levels you are using other, better spells.

Do I agree with Sean the financial cost is not the way to go? Yes.

Do I think it is GM vs Player or just arbitrary and without mechanical purpose? No I don't.

Do I think Sean is awesome and love his work, yes. But I don't agree with the proposed changes.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Okay, let's back up a little bit because people still aren't able to explain, in game mechanics terms, why the +5,000gp cost for raise dead is appropriate.

So let's slightly alter the question:

Why is the cost for raise dead 5,000 gp? Why isn't it 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, or 20,000 gp? Why is 5,000 gp the appropriate additional M cost for this spell?

Anyone?

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Okay, let's back up a little bit because people still aren't able to explain, in game mechanics terms, why the +5,000gp cost for raise dead is appropriate.

So let's slightly alter the question:

Why is the cost for raise dead 5,000 gp? Why isn't it 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, or 20,000 gp? Why is 5,000 gp the appropriate additional M cost for this spell?

Anyone?

I think most of us are agreeing with you that material cost isn't the right approach.

Where I think the disagreement comes in is at not replacing that penalty with something that is more appropriate to achieve the same disincentive from player death.

We see what is being said about party incentive to not raise, but we also are saying it was always part of the equation of the spell to have severe penalty or high risk.

Negative levels aren't what they used to be (for good reason) and you have hinted you want to remove the financial penalty to using restoration for those as well.

So then we are left with what was the most feared "status" in the game being a simple inconvenience with no real long term effect and even fairly minimal short term impact.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Okay, let's back up a little bit because people still aren't able to explain, in game mechanics terms, why the +5,000gp cost for raise dead is appropriate.

So let's slightly alter the question:

Why is the cost for raise dead 5,000 gp? Why isn't it 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, or 20,000 gp? Why is 5,000 gp the appropriate additional M cost for this spell?

Anyone?

Let's say the default assumption is for the classic party of four. So that's your basic WBL x4 for a party of the given levels below.

2 4,000 gp
3 12,000 gp
4 24,000 gp
5 40,500 gp
6 64,000 gp
7 95,000 gp
8 132,000 gp
9 184,000 gp
10 268,000 gp
11 328,000 gp

A single raise dead plus restoration of 7,000 gold is an impossible expense for a level 2 party, a crippling expense for a level 3. But by the time you hit level 6, it's more of an overhead charge, and it's fairly trivial once you hit level 9 or higher. Now of course this might depend on how often PC's meet their maker. Also keep in mind that the standard cost assumes that the PC's are casting the spell themselves. Otherwise, there is the additional minimum cost 450 gold, with the additional rule of the 5,000 coast making this spell "not generally available".

I assume that the 5,0000 gold cost is meant to be a major investment for a low level party and a significant incentive for a level 6 group which is considered the high end of the low level play, to be careful in their adventurings.

Now the other aspect is the material component. 5,000 gold worth of diamond dust won't cut it. It has to be a single diamond of that value.
Then this chart becomes the other relevant factor.

Table: Settlement Statistics
Type Modifiers Qualitites Danger Base Limit Purchase Limit Spellcasting
Thorp –4 1 –10 50 gp 500 gp 1st
Hamlet –2 1 –5 200 gp 1,000 gp 2nd
Village –1 2 0 500 gp 2,500 gp 3rd
Small town 0 2 0 1,000 gp 5,000 gp 4th
Large town 0 3 5 2,000 gp 10,000 gp 5th
Small city +1 4 5 4,000 gp 25,000 gp 6th
Large city +2 5 10 8,000 gp 50,000 gp 7th
Metropolis +4 6 10 16,000 gp 100,000 gp 8th

The 5,000 gold piece diamond isn't going to be found in the Village of Hommlet. It becomes possible to find one in a small town with increasing probability as the towns get larger. This becomes the other factor in the availability of the spell. If the material components were less or could be a mound of cheaper items, then they become universally available.


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I would be fine with seein the default cost/risk go to zero, with an optional rule to increase it as desired.

I love the bargain method used in Dungeon World. The GM offers you a bargain, maybe an oath to live by, or a deed to accomplish. Swear by it and you go back, refuse and you can stay dead. If you fail or ignore the bargain, Death comes looking for you. Die before you can, Death can double down on you, possibly with interest.

I like that method because it involves the action back into the story. It was probably important the character came back, but they also carry a new burden as well. I posted it in the thread in Suggestions/homebrew, I'd love to see anyone able to perform the rite to raise dead, just need something important, a holy site, scroll, magic item, etc. The downside is that you cant control what kind of outsider answers the call. A cleric who casts it can summon a representative of their deity to do the bargaining.

Liberty's Edge

I think we should be looking at what the costs of the spell have historically been.

Originally, it seem there was both a failure risk and a cap on how many times you could do it, but no material cost.

In 3.5 the person returning loses a level that cannot be recovered by any means and it costs 5000 gold.

In Pathfinder, you gain two negative levels that can be removed with restoration a week at a time and it costs 5000 gold.

If you remove the 5000 gold, death has no real risk or long term consequence. Even with the 5000 gold, it is a huge difference in impact between losing a level permanently and gaining a couple negative levels that you can remove with mid-level spells for a less than a +1 sword.

That is the more reasonable frame of this debate to me. Why are we making death inconsequential?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Okay, let's back up a little bit because people still aren't able to explain, in game mechanics terms, why the +5,000gp cost for raise dead is appropriate.

Umm… I’m pretty sure I did. Though you may disagree with me.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So let's slightly alter the question:

Why is the cost for raise dead 5,000 gp? Why isn't it 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, or 20,000 gp? Why is 5,000 gp the appropriate additional M cost for this spell?

For the same reason restoration costs 100 gold when used normally or 1,000 gold when used to remove a permanent energy level. Because whoever wrote it at the time felt that that amount would bring it in line with the power level it was set at. I’m not saying I agree with the cost. In fact, I think if it were reduced I'd be perfectly happy with the change and might even prefer it, but in any case I’d bet that’s why it’s written how it is.

I also agree that there may be other ways to alter the spell and remove the cost but I’m not sure how I’d handle it or if it’s needed.


Kudos to Sean K Reynolds for joining in with his fans on this discussion. It's a privilege to get to talk with the devs over game stuff like this. I enjoyed reading Reynolds's "1d6+3" argument too. I'm convinced, but I remain in the camp of "death should have its sting".

Why 5,000gp? I'll go along with LazarX's metric of WLB, making the spell a prohibitive cost for lower level PC's, but why does it exist? I've never liked the wealth system or the economy (in general) of fantasy rpgs. Inflation is rampant. Who determines the value of a particular gem, anyway?

Is any diamond anyone is willing to pay 5K gp for a valid spell component? I would have written it as "one huge and rare diamond" and left it at that. It would then be obvious to any player that casting Raise Dead is a rare event. Not every cleric is willing to cast the spell for just anyone, after all.

Also, I picture the diamond used as turning black, as the soul is recalled to the Prime Material plane, and channeled through the cut gem. A blackened soul-diamond makes a potent necromantic spell component, and is much sought-after in certain circles...


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Why should the cost be prohibitive for low-level characters to be raised, though? A 3rd-level character shouldn't be able to afford a +2 weapon or a wand of cure moderate wounds because it throws the CR system out of whack. What's the mechanical reason 3rd-level characters shouldn't be able to get raised when 8th-level characters can, assuming the same NPC cleric?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Okay, let's back up a little bit because people still aren't able to explain, in game mechanics terms, why the +5,000gp cost for raise dead is appropriate.

So let's slightly alter the question:

Why is the cost for raise dead 5,000 gp? Why isn't it 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, or 20,000 gp? Why is 5,000 gp the appropriate additional M cost for this spell?

Anyone?

I will agree the current cost system is bad. If there has to be a gold cost, it should scale with level. Right now, ressurection is almost impossible at super low levels and trivial at high levels.

Silver Crusade

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johnlocke90 wrote:

I consider resource expenditure to be a way to control power. Post level 9, If someone dies, either the party has to have 5000 gold in diamond dust on them(which takes up gold they could have spent elsewhere) or they have to acquire that diamond dust.

If you remove the diamond requirement, then all the party needs to do is wait a day or have spent the gold to buy a scroll.

Imagine a party member dies mid dungeon. Currently, unless the party is devoting significant resources to the material components, they have to complete the dungeon one man short or retreat to resurrect their comrade. If you remove the material component, then you could resurrect dying people between battles with little cost. The party is able to run the dungeon more easily then they could before. Thats power creep.

In regards to not resurrecting him, this is up the GM. There is no rule requiring that you bring in the new character fully equipped and at the same level as everyone else. At a minimum, I wouldn't let them bring in a new guy halfway through the enemy stronghold.

I think it would make the game more rocket tag like. Either the party gets TPKed or everyone lives. It also creates weird cases where curses and diseases become a better way to deal with an enemy than trying to kill him.

See, I don't agree with you that being able to resurrects the party members inbetween battles makes the dungeons easier. You're a confusing difficulty with tedium.

If a party member dies, the party generally has 4 options:

1: Spend the resource to raise the dead in the dungeon.
2: Bring the player back to town and raise them there
3: Bury the player, strip his gear, and continue the dungeon
4: Bury the player, strip his gear, go back to town, pick up a new player, and continue the dungeon.

Now, here's the thing. None of these options actually make the party stronger, with the exception of option 4. They are just restoring the status quo. Option 4 does make the party stronger because the dead player had loot and the new player generates with leveled wealth, which means that unless the monster destroys the dead player's gear, the party experiences a windfall under option 4.

Option 1 simply burns a resource that should have gone to gear for a player to make them stronger. After all, if you raise a character, the monsters in the dungeon don't suddenly get weaker. You're assumed to have tuned all the encounters in the dungeon for the assumption that the PCs survived.

Likewise, Option 2 not only burns resources, but also uses up valuable time. And in fact, most modules by Paizo and many homebrew game, leaving the dungeon often gives monsters opportunities to re-enforce their numbers and plan for the next assault by the PCs. So by taking this route, you may come back and have to clear out rooms you already cleared and now the party is doing it minus 5,000-7,000g of potential wealth.

Option 3 has a wealth of problems as well. As I said earlier, if you build a dungeon, it's assumed that all the PC's survived, so if the party is going to continue, sans a player, then it will be more difficult than normal. Second, you have the above table problem of someone sitting out the game for this period. Finally, while you do have the resources of the dead player's loot, the likelyhood that it will all be useable isn't guaranteed, which means that there is a substantial possibility that potential power is going to waste in a bag of holding.

Sovereign Court

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Okay, let's back up a little bit because people still aren't able to explain, in game mechanics terms, why the +5,000gp cost for raise dead is appropriate.

So let's slightly alter the question:

Why is the cost for raise dead 5,000 gp? Why isn't it 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, or 20,000 gp? Why is 5,000 gp the appropriate additional M cost for this spell?

Anyone?

Let me take a shot: 1) Expensive components and foci are a good way to adjust the effective power of a spell without changing the level. 2) We compare the relative power of Raise Dead to other similar spells. 3) We decide the diamond is an excellent component of contagion and sympathy. And the purity of a soul deserves the purity of diamond often expressed in game economy as having a value; we also we consider the forces the spell is shaping i.e. the compression of a soul back into it's host body. 4) We look at the spell's power (and description) in relation to other spells (of similar kind) and determine the value of 5,000 gp (rather than 100 gp, 1,000 gp, 7,350 gp, 10,000 gp, nor 20,000 gp) because although pricing is an art that leverages guidelines, we see Restoration with 100gp diamond dust or 1,000gp, we see Reincarnate with 1,000gp in oils, we see Greater Restoration with 5,000gp diamond dust, and Resurrection with 10,000gp diamond. During this review we also see that the -2 Negative Level penalty is exactly 50% of the penalty suffered after full Ressurection (which holds a -1 negative level penalty). We also notice that these are appropriate progressions: the L3 spell enables you to animate the dead, the L5 spell enables you raise the dead, and the L7 spell lets you ressurect the dead. Conclusions: Thus we feel comfortable, given all the above, and from a game mechanic perspective, with placing Raise Dead as having a 5,000gp diamond value for M component since the cost is also 1/2 the value of the M component for the Resurrection spell which requires a L13 Cleric to cast that L7 spell and so this related cost progression also makes sense since a L9 caster can cast the L5 spell, Raise Dead.

Indeed, I am deeply curious, what else should we consider? I may be overlooking something obvious. LOL


Irontruth wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
The Constitution loss was added in 2nd Ed
True, but still there was a limit on the amount of times a character could be brought back from the dead based on the character's Constitution score...
I see nothing about this in the first edition version. Could you point to a page number?

It's in the 1E Players handbook on page 12 under "Notes Regarding the Constitution Table:". Specifically, it says "Remember that a character can never be raised from the dead/resurrected a total number of times in excess of the character's initial constitution score". I'd always thought the lack of a limit in the number of ressurections in the 3E variant of Raise Dead and the lack of failure (within it's time limit etc.) was the reason for the material component cost. A few thousand GP worth of diamond vs. a limit on times you can be raised and the chance you couldn't be raised (with a failure on the Resurrection Survival percentage roll).

*edit* And Ninja'd by Digital Elf way above here. That's what I get for playing "catch up" reading a thread and responding before I get to the bottom...


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Elamdri wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:

I consider resource expenditure to be a way to control power. Post level 9, If someone dies, either the party has to have 5000 gold in diamond dust on them(which takes up gold they could have spent elsewhere) or they have to acquire that diamond dust.

If you remove the diamond requirement, then all the party needs to do is wait a day or have spent the gold to buy a scroll.

Imagine a party member dies mid dungeon. Currently, unless the party is devoting significant resources to the material components, they have to complete the dungeon one man short or retreat to resurrect their comrade. If you remove the material component, then you could resurrect dying people between battles with little cost. The party is able to run the dungeon more easily then they could before. Thats power creep.

In regards to not resurrecting him, this is up the GM. There is no rule requiring that you bring in the new character fully equipped and at the same level as everyone else. At a minimum, I wouldn't let them bring in a new guy halfway through the enemy stronghold.

I think it would make the game more rocket tag like. Either the party gets TPKed or everyone lives. It also creates weird cases where curses and diseases become a better way to deal with an enemy than trying to kill him.

See, I don't agree with you that being able to resurrects the party members inbetween battles makes the dungeons easier. You're a confusing difficulty with tedium.

If a party member dies, the party generally has 4 options:

1: Spend the resource to raise the dead in the dungeon.
2: Bring the player back to town and raise them there
3: Bury the player, strip his gear, and continue the dungeon
4: Bury the player, strip his gear, go back to town, pick up a new player, and continue the dungeon.

Now, here's the thing. None of these options actually make the party stronger, with the exception of option 4. They are just restoring the status quo. Option 4 does make the party stronger because the dead player...

Option 5: Finish the dungeon and resurrect him afterwards.

Liberty's Edge

Joana wrote:
Why should the cost be prohibitive for low-level characters to be raised, though? A 3rd-level character shouldn't be able to afford a +2 weapon or a wand of cure moderate wounds because it throws the CR system out of whack. What's the mechanical reason 3rd-level characters shouldn't be able to get raised when 8th-level characters can, assuming the same NPC cleric?

Same reply as above: "Because otherwise it become easy for everyone to return from the dead."

If that isn't an acceptable answer and in your game world returning from the dead is something to which everyone should have access there is no reason to make the cost prohibitive.

In all depend on the world we want to depict.

Liberty's Edge

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Elamdri wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:

I consider resource expenditure to be a way to control power. Post level 9, If someone dies, either the party has to have 5000 gold in diamond dust on them(which takes up gold they could have spent elsewhere) or they have to acquire that diamond dust.

If you remove the diamond requirement, then all the party needs to do is wait a day or have spent the gold to buy a scroll.

Imagine a party member dies mid dungeon. Currently, unless the party is devoting significant resources to the material components, they have to complete the dungeon one man short or retreat to resurrect their comrade. If you remove the material component, then you could resurrect dying people between battles with little cost. The party is able to run the dungeon more easily then they could before. Thats power creep.

In regards to not resurrecting him, this is up the GM. There is no rule requiring that you bring in the new character fully equipped and at the same level as everyone else. At a minimum, I wouldn't let them bring in a new guy halfway through the enemy stronghold.

I think it would make the game more rocket tag like. Either the party gets TPKed or everyone lives. It also creates weird cases where curses and diseases become a better way to deal with an enemy than trying to kill him.

See, I don't agree with you that being able to resurrects the party members inbetween battles makes the dungeons easier. You're a confusing difficulty with tedium.

If a party member dies, the party generally has 4 options:

1: Spend the resource to raise the dead in the dungeon.
2: Bring the player back to town and raise them there
3: Bury the player, strip his gear, and continue the dungeon
4: Bury the player, strip his gear, go back to town, pick up a new player, and continue the dungeon.

Now, here's the thing. None of these options actually make the party stronger, with the exception of option 4. They are just restoring the status quo. Option 4 does make the party stronger because the dead player...

When the death of a friend is handled as "resources" I see we play a very different game.

Silver Crusade

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Diego Rossi wrote:
When the death of a friend is handled as "resources" I see we play a very different game.

You're missing the point. We're talking about mechanics, not roleplaying.

If Bob died, and you miss Bob very much and it makes you sad, and you want to bring Bob back to life, that's fantastic, but it has no bearing on the mechanics and whether raise dead should cost 5K.

The roleplaying part of the game cares about the loss of the friend.

The mechanics part of the game does not. The mechanics part of the game is a machine that services to facilitate the gameplay.

The question of cost is a matter of player power by level and game balance.

If the players are supposed to have a certain amount of wealth by each level, then the question becomes how does adding a cost like 5K for raise dead factor into that equation?

If players are supposed to have 10,000 each by X level, but one of the players in a party of five dies, then suddenly the total party wealthy is reduced from 50K to 45K (43K if they cast Restoration).

Now there is a problem: the party is behind the power curve.

Now a DM can do 1 of two things:

A: Compensate with loot (In which case, why charge for the spell?)

or

B: Don't compensate and run a party with less gear than expected for their level.

Now, one raise dead might not be a huge deal. But at some point, you are going to start seriously bleeding out party wealth and if you don't replace it, the party is going to find itself on a increasingly quick downward spiral in terms of power as they fight more and more monsters that they are undergeared for and incur more and more deaths, which in turn bleeds more and more cash.

And I think the point Sean is trying to make is that ignoring the costs avoids this whole problem.

Silver Crusade

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johnlocke90 wrote:
Option 5: Finish the dungeon and resurrect him afterwards.

That's pretty much the same thing as bringing the player back to town to res him and then going back to the dungeon, expect you've been a bit rude and cut one of the players out of the fun of the dungeon.

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