Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The (Optional) Afterlife...

Resurrection is a useful ability, and one sometimes invoked by powerful clerics.  But is it really all that easy?  And shouldn't the gods have the final say?  And what about the soul's final disposition at death?  The following (always optional) rules are intended for Pits & Perils (P&P), but easily convertible for use in more traditional OSR systems...

Obviously, deities may not wish to part with souls and have full power to keep this from happening!  For game purposes, assume that lawful or neutral types leave this to the individual, and evil ones always seek to prevent it.  Either way, saving dice may be required for any successful resurrection.

Feasting forever?  Who would want to leave? 

Lawful (good) characters might find themselves in a blissful afterlife, in the presence of their gods and/or ancestors, and who would want to leave that behind?  Accordingly, resurrection may require saving dice, subject to the following modifiers as befits their unique circumstances at death:  

       CHARACTER                                   MODIFIER*      
       Raised by cleric of own faith                  +3 
       Raised by cleric of other (lawful) faith       +2
       Has unfinished business on Earth               +1

       *Assumes P&P; implies divine will at times  

Note: The point here is not to make resurrection impossible, but definitely less certain, although the above conditions should weigh heavily when making these determinations.

Optionally, lawful characters who fail with an unmodified 1 are declared saints, provided they died in service to good, assuming a special place within campaign lore. 

Neutral characters can take it or leave it, so their resurrection might only be subject to their deities' willingness.

And would Hell ever be willing to give up its dead?

Chaotic (evil) characters will usually find themselves burning in the pit of Hell, and who wouldn't want to leave!  However, the infernal powers are interested in building a cadre of followers, and seduce them with powers or even just sparing them the worst that damnation has to offer!  This depends upon their level at the time of death and thus, their usefulness...

Again, saving dice apply:   

       LEVEL            DISPOSITION               MODIFIER*      
        1-3        Roasting in the pit               +3 
        4-6        Lesser/devilish minions           -1
        7-9        Sergeants/lieutenants             -2
        10+        Offered demon/devil status        -3

       *Again, assumes P&P; evil hates to lose!  

Note here that demons and evil deities are far less likely to willingly part with their charges.  On the other hand, wicked types can enter into a pact, being allowed to return to Earth provided they carry out some (suitably evil) task or act as special agents as determined by the referee.  Note that this ALWAYS requires they remain "evil" and ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDES future resurrection, since perdition will be less willing to part with them!

On a final note, evil characters, having sampled the torments awaiting the damned, might experience a change of heart and revert to a good (or at least neutral) side.  This is left up to the player, although there is a chance (1 in 1d6) or an agent appearing and offering some enticement (a standard Faustian contract), its terms consistent with overall game balance.

The above (optional) rules offer some spice and implied cosmology when resurrecting fallen comrades - hey, it's your afterlife!    

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