Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Diego Rossi wrote:

My opinion is that even with that culling process most people with the money would find a person willing to raise them.

The largest part of the population is fairly amorph about alignment or personal qualities that make them stand out between their equals.

The clerk that has done his job normally, nor evil nor good, never showing any particular quality? for me he would get his raise from most clerics if he has the money.
I would not be the first in a queue if there is a queue, but a single cleric could cover the needs of a city if there isn't a epidemic, war or some other disaster with multiple deaths.

To be refused a raise would require to have done something visible against the religion. And some deity will give the dead a chance even if he had acted against the faith, if there is a reasonable chance for repentance.

Some really good points Diego (really, no sarcasm intended). At least if you play by current rules minus the 5 000 gp.

shallowsoul wrote:

In my opinion, being raised is not as casual as getting your hair done.

Also a good point.


R_Chance wrote:

30-300 Orcs was the outdoor encounter number in 1E. Plus leaders, etc. Just off hand I'd say 300+ old school Orcs were / are tougher than 30 PF Orcs. As for sneaking past 30 AD&D Orcs, I hope you were all Thieves who could roll really low on those percentile dice. You were lucky if you had 25% Move Silently back then at 1st level. You were probably 8th level before you had better than a 50% chance. No one else (except for Assassins), even a Ranger, had a Move Silently percentage at all. In a dungeon you might run into half a dozen Orcs or half dozen Ogres. Traps and poison weren't small matters. They killed you. Encounters were chancier. You had to be tough, lucky and smart enough to know when to run. 3E is easier on players. The encounters tend to run in the players favor and the PCs are a heck of a lot harder to kill.

Look, this you need Move silently to move silent stuff is BS. Thief/rangers skills were above and beyond regular stealth.

You don't roll to stealth pass a inattentive guard, you roll it when the guard is attentive. The examples bare this out, that stealth was almost supernatural as a skill in 1-2E, same with climb.

Anyone can climb, but without pitons or climbing gear? Only a Theif/Bard can with a percentage.


Starbuck_II wrote:
R_Chance wrote:

30-300 Orcs was the outdoor encounter number in 1E. Plus leaders, etc. Just off hand I'd say 300+ old school Orcs were / are tougher than 30 PF Orcs. As for sneaking past 30 AD&D Orcs, I hope you were all Thieves who could roll really low on those percentile dice. You were lucky if you had 25% Move Silently back then at 1st level. You were probably 8th level before you had better than a 50% chance. No one else (except for Assassins), even a Ranger, had a Move Silently percentage at all. In a dungeon you might run into half a dozen Orcs or half dozen Ogres. Traps and poison weren't small matters. They killed you. Encounters were chancier. You had to be tough, lucky and smart enough to know when to run. 3E is easier on players. The encounters tend to run in the players favor and the PCs are a heck of a lot harder to kill.

Look, this you need Move silently to move silent stuff is BS. Thief/rangers skills were above and beyond regular stealth.

You don't roll to stealth pass a inattentive guard, you roll it when the guard is attentive. The examples bare this out, that stealth was almost supernatural as a skill in 1-2E, same with climb.

Anyone can climb, but without pitons or climbing gear? Only a Theif/Bard can with a percentage.

And in more news, the sky is blue. Moving as quietly as your gear / situation allows is one thing, sneaking past alert guards who are near by is a skill based thing. So, it would depend on the exact situation whether "as quietly as possible" was good enough or you needed to "Move Silently". And, back in the old days (1E), Rangers didn't have a Move Silently skill. Just Thieves, Assassins and Monks. In the PHB Assassins were a sub class of Thieves, and Paladins and Rangers were sub classes of Fighters. Monks had their own little corner after all the other classes because they were "unusual" :) It made tremendous sense when Rangers were given "Move Silently" as a skill of course but that was post 1E. I don't have my 2E books handy (they're boxed up) and I can't say for sure when they got it then, but by 3E obviously they had though.

Oh, as for Bards those were a hybrid mostrosity of a class in 1E. You had to gain levels as a Fighter, and Thief before you could gain levels as a Bard... they weren't even in the regular class listings in the PHB. Bards were in the appendix of the PHB with the caveat that a lot of DMs would not allow them.

There weren't hard and fast rules for a lot of things (like trying to be quiet and climbing trees or climbing with mountaineering gear). DMs just came up with their own systems or winged it. You had your players describe what they were doing, applied common sense and gave it a chance. The Dungeoneers Survival Guide (the original) was a hugely useful book when it came out as was the Outdoors Survival Guide. All kinds of crunchy goodness in those books. I'm getting nostalgic... *sigh*


Zurai wrote:
Hunterofthedusk wrote:
I wonder who decides exactly how much any given diamond is worth
Publius Syrius wrote:
Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.

In other words, it doesn't matter, mechanically, whether the diamond is 10 carats or 1/10th carat. It matters how much money the PCs had to spend to buy it.

It's a gamist thing.

This made me smile ... suddenly had an image of the groups Rogue sneaking off and paying the gem dealer 100gp to charge the "stinkin" Pally an extra 1000gp for his gems *wink* *wink*.


even if you removed the material component and the level/constitution penalties from the raise dead spell. there are spells that would change a world's economy far more than some commoner spending a year's savings to come back from the dead.

and even if adventurers did have infinite free Resurrections when they entered town, the only time it should really break a campaign is if the DM is either brand new and doesn't know what to do, or is completely adversarial and doesn't think players should have nice things.

in fact, just as you can balance resting with dynamic time constraints, those same constraints can balance the issue of infinite respawns.

and having to visit a metropolis to acquire your "penalty free respawn" only works if you have a surviving ally (whether PC or NPC) to deliver your corpse, that you can find a large enough settlement to provide a cleric capable of Raising, that you enough free time to approach such a massive settlement, that you can survive the encounters on the way to said settlement, and that you are ready to possibly enter a repopulated lair with restocked supplies"

Silver Crusade

Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

even if you removed the material component and the level/constitution penalties from the raise dead spell. there are spells that would change a world's economy far more than some commoner spending a year's savings to come back from the dead.

and even if adventurers did have infinite free Resurrections when they entered town, the only time it should really break a campaign is if the DM is either brand new and doesn't know what to do, or is completely adversarial and doesn't think players should have nice things.

in fact, just as you can balance resting with dynamic time constraints, those same constraints can balance the issue of infinite respawns.

and having to visit a metropolis to acquire your "penalty free respawn" only works if you have a surviving ally (whether PC or NPC) to deliver your corpse, that you can find a large enough settlement to provide a cleric capable of Raising, that you enough free time to approach such a massive settlement, that you can survive the encounters on the way to said settlement, and that you are ready to possibly enter a repopulated lair with restocked supplies"

Im confused by this whole "nice things" phrase some of you seem to use.

Could you explain more in detail?


shallowsoul wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

even if you removed the material component and the level/constitution penalties from the raise dead spell. there are spells that would change a world's economy far more than some commoner spending a year's savings to come back from the dead.

and even if adventurers did have infinite free Resurrections when they entered town, the only time it should really break a campaign is if the DM is either brand new and doesn't know what to do, or is completely adversarial and doesn't think players should have nice things.

in fact, just as you can balance resting with dynamic time constraints, those same constraints can balance the issue of infinite respawns.

and having to visit a metropolis to acquire your "penalty free respawn" only works if you have a surviving ally (whether PC or NPC) to deliver your corpse, that you can find a large enough settlement to provide a cleric capable of Raising, that you enough free time to approach such a massive settlement, that you can survive the encounters on the way to said settlement, and that you are ready to possibly enter a repopulated lair with restocked supplies"

Im confused by this whole "nice things" phrase some of you seem to use.

Could you explain more in detail?

by "nice things." it varies from case to case, but in this case, i literally mean something the characters can physically grasp. putting a price on raise dead only encourages power gamers to find ways to cheat the costs of spend more of their resources optimizing survival. some people like me, don't like that the system is based around the premise of 'wealth is power', and dislike how to keep up with pathfinder encounters, you require the bonuses provided by the 'big 6' and that overfocusing on the big 6. leaves you no room for more fun and nonstandard items, and putting a cost on raise dead just encourages spending more resources on the big 6 because they are tried and true. meaning that the costs of ressurecting a dead PC target the fluff budget, the thing that makes the character stand out, whether it's the 'ale and whores' fund, or the 'housing' fund, or even the 'tithe to the cleric's church'.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

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

Hey leave me out of this.


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I didn't read beyond the first 4 or 5 pages, but the thing that struck me was all the people who kept saying that a single cleric could all but eliminate the death rate, and this is technically true, but it misses one key point. There are a lot of other spells at that level, and a cleric that is at the minimum level to cast them isn't going to have more than 1 slot to fill, maybe 2 if he's really lucky. It's not just a matter of being able to revive everyone who died in the last day, there's a much bigger question of "is this the spell that is going to serve my god the best today?" This, more than anything, including the arbitrary 5k diamond, is going to restrict the ability to cast this on a large scale. Even if, as some people have suggested, society trains up a whole bunch of people to that level, that will only amplify the pressures on those people to provide a wide variety of services with the power they have available to them, with raising the dead only being one of many that could be provided. Even the most good clerics in the world will eventually get tired of all the demands on their time, start telling people that they better start coming up with better reasons for their requests, and stop automatically spending precious spell slots on every stranger that walks into the temple with a piteous cry for help.

All the people who say that removing the 5k item because it hurts world building don't seem to be playing realistic NPCs to begin with; any spellcaster (and this is especially true for clerics of good gods) that powerful is going to be getting pulled in so many directions that even they wanted to set up and maintain that great teleport system or raise every dead body brought before them, they simply don't have the resources to fix the world by themselves or carry out that big of a project on their own, no matter how vast their resources are. It's notable that Elminster, while really quite powerful, still relied on allies to actually implement most of his larger plans. Same for Gandalf, Saruman, and Sauron; they were very powerful, but still very reliant on magical devices and allies to get their plans implemented; Gandalf ultimately won not because of his greater magical strength, but because he had alliances amongst the eagles, humans, dwarves, and elves that neither of his opponents could match.

Shadow Lodge

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

I hate to throw such a grim tangent into the discussion, but one has to wonder about the possibility of Sierra Leone-style operations popping up because of the need for diamonds by the rich, powerful, and frequently assassinated.

Heck, the PCs could even unknowingly benefit from such practices before learning just how these diamonds are made so readily available.

Sorry if this is bringing up old news but I've actually started working on something like this for one of my home games. It's a tribe of hobgoblin slavers who harvest various gems and diamonds and sells them on the open market. They've gotten so go at it that they have pretty much cornered the market in the region as a distributor of the stuff and it's very hard for other operations to compete with their prices. On top of this they basically are used as a prison camp by the human population who send their worst criminals to them as slave labor in exchange for better deals on diamonds and the other gems they produce.


Game mechanics reason for the 5000gp diamond as part of the spell's casting cost: It keeps the player-characters invested in the surrounding community.

Forgetting its actual gp value, I prefer to think of the diamond as a singular universal piece of wealth that is somewhat rare. "Rare" being defined as something that requires education and investiture of time, money, and influence to obtain.

Either the players have this singular piece of wealth and it represents an investment, or an NPC has it, and getting that NPC's help will require compensation for his time, money and influence.

Lo and behold: an in-game mechanic for discouraging banditry and murder-hobo-ing. Get to know your local priests and respect their communities (and aid them) or go find your own means of resurrection when the time comes.
- the diamond represents a hoarded and protected object among the party members
- the diamond represents a bond of trust between the party and the local prince who has been keeping the diamond for his own family
- the diamond represents a bond of debt between the party and the local priest who has a quest for them

How to keep a player participating in the fun when their character is dead? Let them play a secondary character that is one level below the lowest character at the table. Do that side quest to get the PC raised, or even the main quest if time is of the essence.


There've been a lot of posts about my opinion. It's funny, I thought this thread had died some time ago, didn't notice it in here until just today. Sorry I hadn't responded.

Weirdo wrote:

I think you and Tacticslion are agreeing on the main point, though either of you should feel free to correct me.

The point as I see it is that you can't assume that free Raise Dead means that everyone will be raised, because someone is in charge of casting the spell and that someone is able to make decisions about who they're willing to raise, whether that decision is based on "Paladin Pete was a good man and a hero" or "That bard was a laugh and a half, I miss him" or "My slavemaster served me well and that service will be rewarded" or "I've got one spell slot and two corpses, who is the higher bidder?"

Yes, Tacticslion over-focused on the good/evil issue, but if I'm reading him correctly he just meant "not every high-level caster wants every dead person to be raised - for example, good clerics might not want to raise evil people. This may result in a fair percentage of people staying dead."

Yeah, this is pretty much exactly it. I mean, this is what I was trying to say earlier, too, here. "Alignment" was a handy reference point - one of many - that provided reasons why people would stay dead.

Diego Rossi wrote:
From Tacticslion posts I get the impression that his opinion is that this will greatly impact the number of raise that would be done, i. e. that to most of the dead the chance to be returned would be refused.

I'm not saying, "It will be this way." I'm saying, "To those who say that it would definitely wreck the campaign world: it doesn't have to unless you allow it to, and here are just a few reasons why."

Some reasons, but not all, include:


  • Alignment can conflict.
  • Personality can conflict.
  • Magic can conflict.
  • Contractual obligations of the afterlife can conflict.
  • Desires of the dead can conflict.
  • The availability of casters can conflict.
  • The will of the gods (or other powerful creatures) can conflict.

These are just the reasons off the top of my head.

Use Golarion as an example, and Pharasma is an instant reason not all would be raised.

Don't use Golarion? No problem! Take a look at the list above. Most worlds will have some, if not all, of those issues.

There are likely more.

All of this will contribute to the over-all number of people not being raised. While the diamond-cost is one more, it doesn't need to be there to keep the world functioning smoothly.

sunshadow21 wrote:
I didn't read beyond the first 4 or 5 pages, but the thing that struck me was all the people who kept saying that a single cleric could all but eliminate the death rate, and this is technically true, but it misses one key point. There are a lot of other spells at that level, and a cleric that is at the minimum level to cast them isn't going to have more than 1 slot to fill, maybe 2 if he's really lucky. It's not just a matter of being able to revive everyone who died in the last day, there's a much bigger question of "is this the spell that is going to serve my god the best today?" This, more than anything, including the arbitrary 5k diamond, is going to restrict the ability to cast this on a large scale. Even if, as some people have suggested, society trains up a whole bunch of people to that level, that will only amplify the pressures on those people to provide a wide variety of services with the power they have available to them, with raising the dead only being one of many that could be provided. Even the most good clerics in the world will eventually get tired of all the demands on their time, start telling people that they better start coming up with better reasons for their requests, and stop automatically spending precious spell slots on every stranger that walks into the temple with a piteous cry for help.

This is pretty accurate, really.

Let's look at three "real-world" examples (depending on your beliefs) that spring to my mind pretty quickly:
1) Jesus of Nazerth (usually called Jesus Christ 'round these parts)
2) Elisha the prophet
3) Elijah the prophet

In Jesus' case, here's a really quick list found from a brief google search. That's... not a lot. Three, to be exact.

In Elisha's case, he raised one boy from the dead (2 Kings 4), and later, a man who died from a fall touched his bones and was raised from the dead. That's two, and one doesn't really count.

In Elijah's case, he raised exactly one person, the son of a widow (1 Kings 17).

That's not very many.

Hey, just found another result of the same search: Looks like there's nine times when people were raised from the dead. One of 'em was something of a "mass resurrection" at Jesus' death (so I guess He raised more than three), but that's still not that many, considering.

Now, of course, you could cite that these people weren't playing by PF rules. And you'd be correct: they weren't. But beyond that, why the limitation? What's holding them back? Certainly they had the power. That was demonstrated. And occasionally God used the same miracle multiple times (as in the case with Elija, I think it was, who called down fire to consume soldiers sent to arrest him several times). So... what's the deal? It certainly wasn't the financial cost.

Really, it comes down to, "God's plan was for those to be raised to be raised, and those not to be raised not to be raised." (the whole "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" thing).

And that's pretty much the sum total of justification you need in any game world whatsoever. In Golarion, as mentioned, Pharasma fills that role well. In Faerun, Kelemvor does. In other settings, other figures, divine or otherwise, could fill those roles, or mysterious elements of Fate or Chance.

Really, it entirely depends on your world.

sunshadow21 wrote:
All the people who say that removing the 5k item because it hurts world building don't seem to be playing realistic NPCs to begin with; any spellcaster (and this is especially true for clerics of good gods) that powerful is going to be getting pulled in so many directions that even they wanted to set up and maintain that great teleport system or raise every dead body brought before them, they simply don't have the resources to fix the world by themselves or carry out that big of a project on their own, no matter how vast their resources are. It's notable that Elminster, while really quite powerful, still relied on allies to actually implement most of his larger plans. Same for Gandalf, Saruman, and Sauron; they were very powerful, but still very reliant on magical devices and allies to get their plans implemented; Gandalf ultimately won not because of his greater magical strength, but because he had alliances amongst the eagles, humans, dwarves, and elves that neither of his opponents could match.

Again, let me point out things with Jesus: He didn't spend all his time doing miracles, though He clearly could have. He was (as a human) mortal, tired, limited, and finite, even though He had access to the Divine directly on tap.

Now, to be clear: I submit that the Bible doesn't run on PF rules.

But it's one example in which people had power, and had it seemingly "at will" with no known costs, and still the results were limited executions of that power.

Looking at PF rules of availability, the Raise Dead thing doesn't really strike me as necessary. There are a metric ton of potential checks and balances to keep people from coming back en masse.

Would it affect the world? Yes, if...

... the world relied on the diamond cost, and now doesn't.
... the world had no other checks and balances.
... the world offered everything to NPCs that it offers to PCs (for the record, I generally make this my default for anything I run, and vice verse).

But to a world that had that consideration starting out (or to a world that had solid other reasons and/or retroactively presumed that it never cost that much) it wouldn't make all that much of a difference.

:)


This threads three years old !


Someone burned another large diamond on this thread? And at least 10K at that?


Lathiira wrote:
Someone burned another large diamond on this thread? And at least 10K at that?

Ah. Necro'd yesterday. That would explain why I hadn't seen it then. :)

Sovereign Court

As an alternative, if the PC has some powerful divine sponsor, be it a Deity, Archdevil or some other Great Outwardly Power that requires the PC to be brought back for a purpose, you might consider offering them some kind of resurrection without the monetary cost, although they would have to fulfill their obligation or deal of some other way through a special quest.

The Antipaladin in my evil campaign needs to sacrifice a particular Abbess and 6 Nuns within a year in exchange for his resurrection or he's going back to hell PERMANENTLY. For more good campaigns your Deity might give you a dangerous quest like Destroy - X - evil overlord to repay their debt.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

NOW how many diamonds has this thread consumed?


Decrepit DM wrote:

One of the problems I have had with the whole raise dead thing was the diamond issue. While their spell component might require an equally expensive material component, they are usually vague or conceivably crafted. The diamond is neither. While it is a great method of controlling the amount of raisings possible, I still find it hard to story in, especially when they never come across them in adventures.

The same complaint could be mirrored in other nonmanufactured specific components, but they tend to be cheaper and less rare.

On the same note, I have never implemented the level reduction on a raise dead. I just could not wrap my mind around the concept storywise. I have always simply knocked them two CON, storied in the whole vague memories of the worlds beyond and moved on with the adventure.

Anyone else deal with either of those two difficulties and how?

One of the most common mistakes people make these days is the interpretation of negative levels in Pathfinder as opposed to the Old Game. Unlike 3.X, you aren't losing class levels or hit dice, you are gaining negative levels as a condition that can be removed. Negative levels carry specific penalties, but you are not undoing your class advancement.


When I first saw the title of this thread, I thought it was about a lead singer and her heavy metal band.

Shadow Lodge

Ah, now this is a blast from the past.


It's certainly interesting how many people's enjoyment of the game depends on Raise Dead costing 5,000 GP...

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