Things to Do in The Drift When You're Dead


General Discussion


So I may have a player about to die while en route in the drift next session.

I know if they have a strong negative emotion at death they may turn into a Driftdead.

However this says "MAY", I'm guessing I roll a 50/50 chance. Unsure though how long this driftdead process takes, instantaneous or many days/weeks/months.

In the event they don't become driftdead, what happens their soul with no access to the river of souls, they just haunt the ship? Would the ship exiting the drift bring their soul with them?

Any guidance/suggestions on the above.


It's whatever you want.

I'm assuming the player in question wishes to make a new character and abandon this one?

They may just haunt the ship, not even as a full ghost, just a vague spirit manifesting about, they might have their soul vacuumed up by triune and sent to the boneyard for judgement, they might become a driftdead, they might just go to the river as soon as the ship leaves the drift.


There's a high likelihood they'll die in combat (ship boarding action gone drastically wrong).

That's why I'm wondering how long it's takes driftdead to "form" as if it's in the order of rounds they'll spring back up in the current combat.


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Eh, I wouldn't spring that way honestly. I don't remember if becoming undead prevents raise dead in SF, but it mostly seems combative vs your players.

Sovereign Court

If you have access to the Pact Worlds book, a soul not being able to get to the river of souls sounds like a great way for the player to become a Borai. Has the advantage of being balanced as a player race, leaves them some connection to their previous race through their racial traits, and leaves the player with the opportunity to try and come fully back to life or to try to pass on once they return to normal space. And you can have the transformation happen at the best time dramatically during the fight.


All that assumes you're working with your player.

If you kill them, do not force anything on them.


The first character I killed in the drift, I worked with the player to have him possess an NPC on the PCs ship. To other players, the dead character's player was just converting an npc to a PC. It took a few sessions for the other players to figure out what was happening.


My interpretation is, no, you do not become a drift dead immediately, anymore than a dead character becomes an undead immediately on dying. The normal process of death takes time, a fair amount of time, and being in the Drift doesn't change this. The dead PC is fine as long as their ship *eventually* goes back to normal space in reasonable time, with their spirit following the ship out.

I strongly advise this interpretation, because if dying in the Drift *is* an instant trip to a fate worse than death, it changes the ethical and setting implications of the Drift, a *lot*.


I think I am missing something again. Where is it saying that the Drift doesn't have access to the normal afterlife? Not that I am opposed to the idea. It is just that if this is actually a problem for your game, then we should make sure that it is actually a rule that we need to work around before going too far into workarounds.

I see in the entry for DriftDead that they are created when someone dies in the drift with unfinished business. Which is basically the same way that ghosts are described to be created when someone dies on the normal plane. So I am not reading that as that the afterlife is not available in the drift, it is just that the drift has the opportunity to create a new variety of ghost.

Is there somewhere else that does say that the drift doesn't have access to the River of Souls?


Nope, other than the whole 'magic methods of entering and leaving the drift do not work'.

There is room in the setting for souls being trapped in the drift if the ship they're on is stuck there too. The default assumption is not that all that die in the drift remain in the drift.

It may be that they just find their way to Alluvion and are shuttled up to Pharasma by Triune, or souls make their way to the astral plane like normal-they aren't getting there magically, that's just how souls work.


There's never been any suggestion that people who die in areas magically barred from extradimensional travel can't have their souls pass on to the ethereal plane, so there's no reason to think that the Drift's similar ban on extradimensional magic would stop souls.


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I actually am fine with the idea that the Drift does not have normal access to the river of souls. It gives a subtly unsettling form of hostility to the plane that is better for flavor than simple wandering monsters or such. I just want to make clear that it is a potential hazard, rather than an immediate unavoidable fate worse than death. Becoming forcibly warped into a drift-specific undead is the result of being persistently stranded, not simply dying.

I do also like the idea that Triune can and does rescue souls of those lost in the Drift, and that this is why nearly every sailor pays homage to Triune even if they primarily worship someone else. If everything goes horribly wrong, a sailor wants to die with a prayer to Triune on their lips begging for rescue rather than an eternal void.

( Similarly, a sufficiently strong dimensional barrier should imprison and trap souls of those who die inside. However, it'd have to be a really potent one, working on multiple levels, to actually do this. Otherwise, a soul would simply drift outside its area effect and *then* enter the ethereal/astral. )

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