Advice on unlimited castings of Raise Dead


Advice

Sczarni

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Hello everyone,

The sign of topic might be a bit incorrect, so I will clarify. A player in my AP of Rise of the Runelords is playing False Priest sorcerer archetype.

There is ability which he gains at 9th level,

False Channel:
At 9th level, the false priest can use his own magic to power spell completion and spell trigger items that use divine spells. He expends a sorcerer spell slot that is at least 1 level higher than the level of the spell he’s trying to activate, then makes a Use Magic Device check. If he succeeds, the item’s spell occurs and the item or charge is not expended. If he fails, nothing happens. Whether he succeeds or fail, his spell slot is expended.

This ability replaces the bloodline power gained at 9th level.

and this enables him to buy scroll of Raise Dead and scroll of Restoration and cast almost unlimited amount (with around 5% fail chance) of resurrections. I wouldn't feel concerned much if the ability didn't include the 5000 gp worth diamond, but it does, hence I feel a bit worried.

Without making any house rules or adding a disadvantage to my player, I am searching for a way how to approach this and if I missed anything in either ability, scroll using or Use Magic Device skill itself. Party is currently level 12. All suggestions are welcome, but if it includes less house-ruling, the better.

Adam


Spell completion and trigger items (such as Scrolls of Raise Dead) include the cost of the material component. A Scroll of Raise Dead costs a lot more than the formula would suggest.

Liberty's Edge

Nope, you haven't missed anything that I can see.


Kimera757 wrote:
Spell completion and trigger items (such as Scrolls of Raise Dead) include the cost of the material component. A Scroll of Raise Dead costs a lot more than the formula would suggest.

Yeah, but he only has to pay that cost once since the scroll is never expended. It gets even funner if he gets his hands on a divine scroll of Limited Wish scribed by a Cleric with the Construct domain.

@Malag: I'd suggest trying the ability as written. Casting a few extra spells without paying for costly components shouldn't really break the game. Just keep an eye on the player's WBL and it should be fine (remember the expensive scrolls he keeps on hand cont against his WBL).


Quantum Steve wrote:
Kimera757 wrote:
Spell completion and trigger items (such as Scrolls of Raise Dead) include the cost of the material component. A Scroll of Raise Dead costs a lot more than the formula would suggest.

Yeah, but he only has to pay that cost once since the scroll is never expended. It gets even funner if he gets his hands on a divine scroll of Limited Wish scribed by a Cleric with the Construct domain.

I think his point is that it ends up being a 5000+ gp scroll, which limits access to some extent. The OP seemed to be under the impression that the PC in question would have a suitcase full of 300 gp raise dead scrolls.


He's also limited by his spell slots. He needs to use a 6th level spell slot for Raise Dead, so he can only do it 3/day (+bonus from Cha). This also doesn't really do anyone any good if he's killed in combat. Restoration also has a "cool down" for restoring negative levels IIRC, so even though he could cast it several times a day, I think he can only cast it once a week to remove negative levels.

Sczarni

Quantum Steve wrote:

Yeah, but he only has to pay that cost once since the scroll is never expended. It gets even funner if he gets his hands on a divine scroll of Limited Wish scribed by a Cleric with the Construct domain.

@Malag: I'd suggest trying the ability as written. Casting a few extra spells without paying for costly components shouldn't really break the game. Just keep an eye on the player's WBL and it should be fine (remember the expensive scrolls he keeps on hand cont against his WBL).

It's actually funny that you mentioned, but party did get their hands on single Limited Wish scroll albeit arcane, not divine one.

The advice about WBL however seems good. I might try this.


Mortag1981 wrote:
He's also limited by his spell slots. He needs to use a 6th level spell slot for Raise Dead, so he can only do it 3/day (+bonus from Cha).

Only 3 free raise deads per day seems like a funny way to put it.

Another way, it is like 15000g per day.

Also, at OP, you mentioned a 5% failure chance? UMD doesn't auto fail on a 1, so he could potentially not fail ever, if his umd was high enough.


Malag wrote:

Hello everyone,

The sign of topic might be a bit incorrect, so I will clarify. A player in my AP of Rise of the Runelords is playing False Priest sorcerer archetype.

There is ability which he gains at 9th level, ** spoiler omitted ** and this enables him to buy scroll of Raise Dead and scroll of Restoration and cast almost unlimited amount (with around 5% fail chance) of resurrections. I wouldn't feel concerned much if the ability didn't include the 5000 gp worth diamond, but it does, hence I feel a bit worried.

Without making any house rules or adding a disadvantage to my player, I am searching for a way how to approach this and if I missed anything in either ability, scroll using or Use Magic Device skill itself. Party is currently level 12. All suggestions are welcome, but if it includes less house-ruling, the better.

Adam

If the party needs to be raised that often, you have another problem. :-)

If he uses it for raising others for profit, then it is getting major money for the character, blowing WBL. If he is giving it free, or for a pittance like room and board for the party, I see no problem.

Basically, if he is using this ability to change his WBL, then you need to do something about it, probably with a talk with the player. If he is using it to advance the story via roleplay, then I think it is fine. Maybe give him a reputation as a miracle worker and others come to him for aid but cannot otherwise afford the spell. Now may be the time to put a bug in his ear about what you see as abusive and what is OK.

Another thought: at 9th, he can probably afford an item of Raise Dead 1/day & an item of Restoration 1/day.

/cevah

Sczarni

CWheezy wrote:


Also, at OP, you mentioned a 5% failure chance? UMD doesn't auto fail on a 1, so he could potentially not fail ever, if his umd was high enough.

He can fail on DC in general if he rolls low enough. That's what I meant. But he won't lose the scroll.

Cevah wrote:


If the party needs to be raised that often, you have another problem. :-)

If he uses it for raising others for profit, then it is getting major money for the character, blowing WBL. If he is giving it free, or for a pittance like room and board for the party, I see no problem.

Basically, if he is using this ability to change his WBL, then you need to do something about it, probably with a talk with the player. If he is using it to advance the story via roleplay, then I think it is fine. Maybe give him a reputation as a miracle worker and others come to him for aid but cannot otherwise afford the spell. Now may be the time to put a bug in his ear about what you see as abusive and what is OK.

Another thought: at 9th, he can probably afford an item of Raise Dead 1/day & an item of Restoration 1/day.

/cevah

He isn't that kind of player. He warned me in the first place regarding this that it might be abusive in a way. So far, I didn't have any problems, but I am just preparing upfront if trouble shows up.


Can you imagine how much this will screw up the story line?

GM: "NPC X was violently murdered. It is up to you to find out who did it"
PCs: "OK!"
*False priest casts Raise Dead*
PCs: "Welcome back. Did you see who killed you?"


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Heh... and then escort missions.

PCs: "OK, it's gonna be a pain to escort you around so we're gonna kill you, stuff your corpse in a Bag of Holding, and resurrect you when we reach our destination."
NPC: "Wait, what?!? arghghgshdgd....."


Options: Ban the archetype, as it's specifically a priest of Razmiran and they aren't well-liked around other parts of the Inner Sea, as most people (correctly) see them as cultists of a pretender to divinity.

House rule it. "This is a poorly-designed archetype from a splatbook. I am house ruling that you can use this ability, but you must provide any costly material components or foci."

Come to a Gentleman's agreement: "I won't ban this ability/Archetype if you don't use it to break the game. You can use it to revive dead PCs, vital NPCs, familiars, and animal companions, but don't start selling raise dead rituals for a discount price to make tons of money." Then enjoy the fact that you can be ruthless with your NPC tactics and not worry too much if you kill people.

Edit: Solution to TQbbnBB's scenarios:

1) Have the person in question have been turned into an undead after being killed. Raise dead is no longer possible.

2) Have the NPC refuse this plan, and try to run away, and if they catch and kill and then revive them, have them denounced as necromancers by the NPC's friends and allies.


Don't forget accountability: Pharasma would certainly take notice if her ledgers didn't balance, and may send supernatural agents of her own to investigate this "priest".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Ask the player if it would really bother him if spells with expensive material components were still expended, but spells with normal (no gp value) components were not. I think that would be fair and still quite useful.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

He has to get the scroll from somewhere. Just don't make the scroll available. Very very few clerics have scribe scroll as a feat. And the high level cleric who'd have to do this, generally won't be bothered.

Problem solved.


Owly wrote:
Don't forget accountability: Pharasma would certainly take notice if her ledgers didn't balance, and may send supernatural agents of her own to investigate this "priest".

So clerics who raise dead are in this boat as well, or what?


CWheezy wrote:
Owly wrote:
Don't forget accountability: Pharasma would certainly take notice if her ledgers didn't balance, and may send supernatural agents of her own to investigate this "priest".
So clerics who raise dead are in this boat as well, or what?

The gods wouldn't make the spell available if they didn't intend for it to be used. However, abusing divine power to one's own ends is usually enough to earn the wrath of the gods.


So if the PC only raises unrelated npcs he is ok? That isn't for personal gain

Liberty's Edge

Owly wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
Owly wrote:
Don't forget accountability: Pharasma would certainly take notice if her ledgers didn't balance, and may send supernatural agents of her own to investigate this "priest".
So clerics who raise dead are in this boat as well, or what?
The gods wouldn't make the spell available if they didn't intend for it to be used. However, abusing divine power to one's own ends is usually enough to earn the wrath of the gods.

Seems to me if using a class feature is enough to "earn the wrath of the gods" there wouldn't be anyone with that class feature. Then again, I generally believe gods have more important things to do than sit around and pounce on mortals who "earn their wrath".


Worth noting that Restoration has two costs (one for regular use a higher component cost for removing negative levels - I'm not sure about raw but I think I would rule that most scrolls aren't viable for the remove negative levels - that you would need one with that higher cost paid.


This is one situation I might be inclined to houserule: he must provide material components in addition to a spell slot in order to avoid expending a charge.


Here's my suggestion:

Let it be as it seems to be - the player put resources into this that could have gone elsewhere if it weren't going to get the expected result.

It barely even changes the game, despite seeming like a huge boost... unless you are killing off characters all the time, anyways.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Owly wrote:
CWheezy wrote:
Owly wrote:
Don't forget accountability: Pharasma would certainly take notice if her ledgers didn't balance, and may send supernatural agents of her own to investigate this "priest".
So clerics who raise dead are in this boat as well, or what?
The gods wouldn't make the spell available if they didn't intend for it to be used. However, abusing divine power to one's own ends is usually enough to earn the wrath of the gods.
Seems to me if using a class feature is enough to "earn the wrath of the gods" there wouldn't be anyone with that class feature. Then again, I generally believe gods have more important things to do than sit around and pounce on mortals who "earn their wrath".

Well, since you used the magic words "class feature", then I'll refrain from a snarky reply. In this instance, I'm thinking like a GM who is taking the whole world into account, which includes the relationship of the gods with the world. This is indeed, a limiting factor.

It's not about limiting the player (after all, it's a "class feature") it's really about consequences and repercussions. In this case, the player asked for advice, and I immediately thought that this was a case in which being a traveling charlatan would (while being potent) have repercussions. It doesn't mean it wouldn't be FUN, it just means that there is a reason a false priest might stay on the move.

Do the gods take notice of things like this? Why wouldn't they? (Check out Nobilis or In Nomine sometime.) What better way to get one's clerics, paladins and inquisitors to level up than to send them on missions?

CWheezy wrote:
So clerics who raise dead are in this boat as well, or what?...So if the PC only raises unrelated npcs he is ok? That isn't for personal gain

Please step forward when your name is called, and address the Inquisitor in a clear voice as "Your Dread Lordship".


Yeah, if the player gets abusive with it, you can mess them up. Until then play it out in whatever way makes a good story.

Maybe the scroll was only "supposed" to raise one, and now he is stealing from the boneyard.

Or maybe the PC gets constantly harrassed by people who miss their dead loved ones.

Or someone thinks the scroll itself is an artifact and tries to steal it.

Or the PC begins some really effective prosylitizing.

Sczarni

Thanks everyone for their opinions so far, I will give general response so I don't have to quote everyone individually.

The players are in fact using a limited Hero Point system (1 hero point awarded after every major boss fight) and Story Points (I made this up to provide rewards to players since we don't use XP anymore. They can provide various bonuses and help out on character resurrection if needed). So far, players played up to their strength admirably and there has been no deaths, but several close calls.

Out of all advices so far, I believe I might talk with player with changing the class feature that he has in order to provide material component each time upon use of scroll. All things considered, they have plenty of money and there has been no deaths like I said. It probably won't matter anyway.

I am open to more suggestions in either case.

Adam

Liberty's Edge

Owly wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Owly wrote:
The gods wouldn't make the spell available if they didn't intend for it to be used. However, abusing divine power to one's own ends is usually enough to earn the wrath of the gods.
Seems to me if using a class feature is enough to "earn the wrath of the gods" there wouldn't be anyone with that class feature. Then again, I generally believe gods have more important things to do than sit around and pounce on mortals who "earn their wrath".

Well, since you used the magic words "class feature", then I'll refrain from a snarky reply. In this instance, I'm thinking like a GM who is taking the whole world into account, which includes the relationship of the gods with the world. This is indeed, a limiting factor.

It's not about limiting the player (after all, it's a "class feature") it's really about consequences and repercussions. In this case, the player asked for advice, and I immediately thought that this was a case in which being a traveling charlatan would (while being potent) have repercussions. It doesn't mean it wouldn't be FUN, it just means that there is a reason a false priest might stay on the move.

Do the gods take notice of things like this? Why wouldn't they? (Check out Nobilis or In Nomine sometime.) What better way to get one's clerics, paladins and inquisitors to level up than to send them on missions?

And if this were Nobilis or In Nomine I would defer to your opinion on the deities and their wrath. Fortunately for myself, it is not.

I do agree that it is entirely possible some mortal followers of a given god might get offended at such a use of divine power, although one could easily argue that they are more offended at their lack of ability to use it thusly than they are at any perceived misuse of the power.

But having earned the wrath of mortal servants of deities (which can easily number far more than simply divine spell casters) is far, far different from earning the wrath of the deities themselves.

On a balance level, I don't think requiring the diamond dust is out of line at all. Honestly, this ability should probably have noted that the caster should supply all material requirements at the casting of the spell anyways.

The Exchange

a magic scroll that is not used up would cause lots of rumors and envious people...being one that raises the dead would get lots of notice if used a lot.

I don't think Pharasma would really care, they are not undead. She is willing to wait. But some factions might care, but i assume they would commune on it first and find out it is not an artifact.


Nobody here thought to mention Ultimate Mercy, aka how the paladin does the same thing at level 5?


The paladin can take the feat at level 5, but he won't be able to use it until at least level 6, because use of that feat requires 10 channels and I can't see any way to get 10 channels at level 5.

2 from paladin level.
6 from charisma (start with at least 19, put a point in at level 4, and buy a +2 headband)
That's only 8.

Or let's say there's a CWI caster in the party, and you get a +4 headband instead, if your GM allows it, that's 9. Then you'll get 10 at level 6. More realistically, you take extra channels at level 7 and get 11 at that point.

That represents a huge investment of build points and feats. Being able to raise dead for free with a significant penalty to yourself is reasonable at that point. The Razmiran priest archetype ability is much less so.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

The paladin can take the feat at level 5, but he won't be able to use it until at least level 6, because use of that feat requires 10 channels and I can't see any way to get 10 channels at level 5.

2 from paladin level.
6 from charisma (start with at least 19, put a point in at level 4, and buy a +2 headband)
That's only 8.

Extra Lay on Hands feat taken at 3rd level?


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You are all missing the point. We just found out how religions get rich!!!!!!
They have been charging us adventurers loadsamoney for raising the dead and resurrection, all the while raking in the cash. So this is how they can afford all those fancy temples.
I vote that ransacking temples now officially becomes a non-evil act even allowed for Paladins. I just realised how much gold I spend in the last decades on raising dead fellow adventurers.
It's an outrage!!!!!!

We need to form a supportgroup for robbed raise victims. Who's with me??????


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Not to mention the arms race that magic crafters have conned us into!

They sell the bad guys +1 armor, so we have to get +1 weapons, they then sell the bad guys +2 armor, so we have to get +2 weapons etcetera ad nauseam!


Honestly the paladin can do the same trick even earlier if built correctly, although "only" once per day. (via his lay on hands ability)

If you use it to raise dead on the party often I'd like to point out that restoration (the spell that removes a negative level) has 1 week cooldown for each character meaning that it takes 1 week in between deaths to be back to full strength. If you die in between that then it takes even longer and it becomes a vicious cycle.

A few reasonable ways to rule this character so that he stays in line:
1. Talk to him and make sure that he understands that you wont stand for him using it to ruin WBL.
2. Limit the free expensive materials to once per day. He can still use the ability after that but then he has to pay the material cost.
3. Tell him that the ability doesn't supply the material cost at all.

I think banning the archetype outright is a mistake if this is your only issue with it.
Personally speaking I think I'd go with both option 1 and 2. I don't see a problem with the character getting to do it free of charge once per day as long as he isn't using it to make a profit (other than saving a little on an accidental party death)


Besides the paladin method cited above, there's also the Revive word. Any cleric/druid/witch can get it at the cost of a single feat, for free resurrections. It only works until a few hours after death, but it's still pretty useful and you can always keep a few low-level slots open for gentle repose, just in case.

Dark Archive

What is better is he can do this with a scroll of stoneskin


Wizards can get a free raise dead once a day at 10th level with the true name arcane discovery if they pick the birth/death Aeon..

The worst part of free party res is a more cavalier attitude towards death, with the perk of character continuity without the GM pulling any punches.

As far as rampant abuse of it, there's always having souls refuse the raise because they love their afterlife or hated their life, or having the mortality inevitables or pharasman agents start taking an interest


I don't agree that deity level is warranted.

The Faiths and Philosophies states that that even dramatic shifts in dogma and overt schisms in their churches are rarely dramatic enough to draw a deities direct attention.

Considering all the clerics high enough level to Raise Dead, of all faiths in all the world, the effects of this one PC should be pretty small. He could Raise every dead PC and important NPC without meaningfully affecting the number of Raise Deads cast.

Now if he goes into the cemetery of every large city he comes across and tries to Raise everyone in the cemetery, that would be different.

Even then, it would probably be agents of the deity or Inevitables who decide to chase him down on their own accord, rather than anything directly involving the deity or her directions.


That's actually pretty cool that he can do that.

The big restrictions he'll hit is (a) someone being willing sell him a scroll of raise dead or resurrection and (b) people actually being willing to accept a raise from him.

Revivification against One's Will wrote:


A soul can't be returned to life if it doesn't wish to be. A soul knows the name, alignment, and patron deity (if any) of the character attempting to revive it and may refuse to return on that basis.

Huh, and now I'm wondering if the person getting rezzed gets advised that the patron deity is Razmir, nothing, or something else entirely.

I'm assuming the PC is evil, or neutral with evil tendencies, because he's a devoted servant of Razmir; if he isn't a devoted servant he shouldn't have been that archetype. Anyway, I suspect that few people are going to accept a raise dead from whatever the hell a servant of Razmir actually flags as.

While most folks believe Razmir's an actual demigod, he's still an openly malicious one - dude killed a city pretty much just to show that he could.

The other PCs might be willing to accept the raises, but honestly that's fine. Getting raised still carries penalties that have to cleared up with additional time and effort.


thenobledrake wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

The paladin can take the feat at level 5, but he won't be able to use it until at least level 6, because use of that feat requires 10 channels and I can't see any way to get 10 channels at level 5.

2 from paladin level.
6 from charisma (start with at least 19, put a point in at level 4, and buy a +2 headband)
That's only 8.

Extra Lay on Hands feat taken at 3rd level?

If you take that, you don't have a feat available for Greater Mercy, which is a prerequisite for Ultimate Mercy.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I really wouldn't worry about it. Some of the game designers have straight up stated that they didn't think there should be ANY costs associated with spells like raise dead or resurrection.

Sczarni

I solved issue with player. We both agreed that he will simply add additional material components to a scroll. In a way, this gives him flexibility also.

Malag

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