Samsaran are effectively immortal?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I hope this is the right place for this, but in a recent campaign, we captured a Samsaran villain, and the question of what to do with them came up.

Samsaran reincarnate after they die and have memories of their past life, so how does one go about dealing with a Samsaran villain? Is there something about their past lives ability I'm missing?

If we execute the villain, they'd just reincarnate and cause problems in the next generation. The best option seems to be to try and rehabilitate them, as far as I know.

what are your thoughts on the subject? I'm speaking not just mechanically, but also ethically/morally and philosophically. I know we could use trap the soul or something and put him in a crystal for all eternity, but an eternity of imprisonment in such a way seems quite abhorrent.


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Quote:

Her past memories remain vague and indistinct—and each new incarnation is as different a creature and personality as a child is to a parent. ... Capable of recalling the lessons and failings of their previous incarnations, the samsarans seek to live lives of balance and enlightenment in order to ensure they are reborn upon death to continue their trek through history.

Samsarans prefer to live simple lives of reflection, scholarship, and worship. They try to live their lives free of the ambitions and greed that mortality often imposes, since they view their lives as only the latest incarnation of many to come. ... Samsarans’ memories of their past lives are not complete—they most often feel like half-remembered dreams.

I pasted some of the important parts. A Samsaran villain is generally incredibly unlikely, but still possible. There is no guarantee that after they reincarnate that it will continue to be a problem. The new incarnation is a different person with only half remembered memories of their past lives.

Dormin, the Colossal wrote:
If we execute the villain, they'd just reincarnate and cause problems in the next generation...

As a player, you now know otherwise. As a character, that depends on your knowledge check.

Silver Crusade

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Flesh to stone!


Dormin, the Colossal wrote:

I hope this is the right place for this, but in a recent campaign, we captured a Samsaran villain, and the question of what to do with them came up.

Samsaran reincarnate after they die and have memories of their past life, so how does one go about dealing with a Samsaran villain? Is there something about their past lives ability I'm missing?

If we execute the villain, they'd just reincarnate and cause problems in the next generation. The best option seems to be to try and rehabilitate them, as far as I know.

what are your thoughts on the subject? I'm speaking not just mechanically, but also ethically/morally and philosophically. I know we could use trap the soul or something and put him in a crystal for all eternity, but an eternity of imprisonment in such a way seems quite abhorrent.

Samsaran's have some memories of their past lives, but not complete memories. They also have different personalities and aren't the same person generally speaking. Only the same soul.

They might cause problems in their next life, they also might not. You don't really know. But at the very least, they would need to grow up again to before they cause any particularly difficult problems.


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

Also, Samsarans are a race with a 60+ years starting age. To put things into perspective, you will have to deal with the children of a human villain growing up and seeking revenge on you long before you have to do the same with a reincarnated Samsaran. And, in either case, something could happen that makes them decide not to seek revenge when they are able to do so.


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An evil samsaran probably won't reincarnate.

And samsarans at best remember fragments, and are otherwise blank slates.

So even if this evil samsaran is given another chance by Pharasma, the resulting samsaran will have only tenuous ties to their past life, and has no reason to follow it.

Also, they'll be reborn as children, and need like 50+ years to grow up - Samsarans at 60 are equivalent to human 16 year olds but they also have have a varying respawn age.

So yeah, your villian might reincarnate, but they're going to be a little kid for decades.


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

Wouldn't a truly evil Samsaran come back as a Rakshasa? Or am I getting different games mixed up here?


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Interesting, very helpful responses! We're not concerned about the villain causing trouble for us, it was more of a roleplaying thing. Our characters don't simply want to pass the buck off onto a later generation. This fellow was an enchanter that was kidnapping homeless people (the useless dregs of society, according to him) and turning them into mindless soldiers. He reasoned that they were in general more useful this way, he didn't consider himself evil.

If we kill him, none of us will likely ever see him again, but we like to debate such things as characters, the morality of simply killing him and rolling the dice on whether his beliefs carry over into his next life.

The thing about their memories being fragmentary is useful, so thankyou very much to the people who pointed that out. I suppose it's a bit like being a completely new person but having a moth eaten book in your head about all these past versions of yourself and what they did.


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A samsaran child with hazy/flashbacky memories of being a BBEG sounds like a great PC or NPC concept--possibly for an Occult Adventures game?

Dark Archive

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There is a series of PFS scenarios that deal with exactly this issue.


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Note that they retain memories, not class levels or abilities. So reincarnated samsaran villains wishing to do more evil in their next life need to start from the bottom.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Drejk wrote:
Note that they retain memories, not class levels or abilities. So reincarnated samsaran villains wishing to do more evil in their next life need to start from the bottom.

And fairly fragmentary memories, at that. Per the Advanced Race Guide: "Samsarans’ memories of their past lives are not complete—they most often feel like half-remembered dreams." A samsaran getting odd hazy flashes of being super evil in their past life could make a really interesting concept. Especially if their current incarnation was nothing like that and was horrified by the glimpses of their past self.

Also of interest: "While most samsarans who die also reincarnate as samsaran children, this is not always the case. When a samsaran has utterly failed at maintaining harmony in her current life, or when she has succeeded perfectly at it, her soul instead travels to the Great Beyond to receive its final, long-delayed reward or doom."

So it's conceivable the BBEG wouldn't be coming back at all, if his deeds were judged that way.


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If you're really worried about them you could always force them to change race, provided you can find a high level witch to do it for you.


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or just use a good old flesh to stone or better, trap the soul/imprisonment...


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Ridiculon wrote:
If you're really worried about them you could always force them to change race, provided you can find a high level witch to do it for you.

Hypothetically, even just killing them, then hitting them up with reincarnate would work, albeit they'd have to be willing, so... maybe not. Still, getting a veranallia to offer it might well convince said villain to accept it, as it would know she's good (albeit chaotic); it's a viable alternative, should none of you have a method of doing it yourselves (though it seems like it might be more viable to find - or be - that witch). The forced reincarnation is better, though, as it's more secure.

Even if no one in your party is a witch, exactly, that's fine. Should you deem the threat severe enough, you could undergo and pay for retraining, and eventually just take the ability yourself. That said, 18th level is... a pretty long row to hoe, if you're not close already.

(Though, if you're dedicated and/or insane enough, you could always do something like the dimensional occultist archetype, snag planar binding, lesser at tenth level, and begin picking on, oh, I don't know, cacodaemons or something, - and don't forget the magic circle against evil to ensure your own shiny good alignment! - then spend a couple years in Your Personal DemiPlane (tm) made immune to divination (so it's like Vegas - what happens in YPDP, stays in YPDP) hitting up ever-more-dangerous threats over time, until you hit 23rd level, or so, at which point it starts becoming prohibitively "long" per level by using this method, and then use your own forced reincarnation grand hex. And if you manage to buy a rod, you can make your plane so that one round is a day, so that two years would take about... an hour and a half. But I suspect that neither you nor your GM would be terribly happy with that sort of thing. XD)

((Also, casual change of topic, brb, gotta go build a witch real quick, no reason... XD))

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