Saturday, April 24, 2021

OSR: The Potential Side Effects of Resurrection


by nico_venter
Ideas borrowed from here.

Coming back to life in my games is actually pretty simple, as long as you have the knowledge and basic materials.  I wrote more about it here.  But for those of you who don't have the time for that, here's the abridged version. 

How to get away with Dying (and coming back):

First, you need to die. 

Secondly, while a free-floating spirit, escape from the Psychopomps sent to collect your soul and bring you to the afterlife, along with any other spiritual nasties you managed to offend while alive.

Thirdly, have someone back in the land of the living create you a new body to inhabit.  There are spells and rituals to do this.  And make sure they know to protect that body, because any spirit who happens to be nearby will possess any available empty vessel and at best, will take it for a joy-ride.  At worst, they'll run off with it and you'll never see it again.

Fourthly, find that body and slip inside.  And Boom! you're alive again.  Just be aware that what you've just done is against the Law, and there will likely be consequences in this, as well as the next world.  Also, next time you die, they're likely to send a tougher Psychopomp(s) to come collect you. 

Fifthly, once you come back to life, make a Charisma save.  On a failed save, roll on the table below. 


1- You lose a memory.  You have forgotten something important, but you can't quite remember what it is.  One random memory slot of your is emptied.  Alternatively, you may forget something else from your past (Referee's Discretion).
2- You lose 1d4 levels.  Your power when alive was largely dependent on the synchronicity between mind and body.  You have lost that in your rebirth.  As such, you lose 1d4 levels.  However, as you get used to your body, you can recover faster, gaining double XP until you make it back to your previous level.     
3- You lose your original sense of who I was.  The self is fragile, and yours was lost on the journey here.  Whatever you are told by the people you trust, that is what you will become through the gaining of a new Conviction.  For example, if you are told that you were a hero, you might gain the Conviction, "I will always try to act in a heroic manner." 
4- You lose your name.  You have lost your name.  Until someone gives you a name or you choose one for yourself, you cannot gain XP or level up.  However, as long as you remain nameless, no one will be able to find you through divination magic, nor control your actions using any form of magic or ability (the exception is Charm and Fear effects).
5- You lose your moral compass.  You have gained a new sense of morality, or your sense of morality is now altered.  You gain a Conviction that shifts your moral behavior towards 1d6 [1= Lawful Good; 2= Lawful Evil; 3= Lawful; 4= Chaotic; 5= Lawful Evil; 6= Chaotic Evil.]
6- You lose your love for something.  You lose your positive sentiment towards a person, place, group, object or concept (money, patriotism, romance).  You may dislike the object in question, or you may just not care (50% if the Referee cannot decide).  This will likely be based on something you regret.  For example, if you feel you were too greedy in your last life, you will lose your attraction to money.
7- You lose your hatred for something.  As above, but in reverse.  If you feel you hated something and it brought you nothing, then you are able to let go of those negative sentiments.
8- You lose your sense of clarity.  Your mind is jumbled and confused- full of memories that you're not quite sure are yours, or how they align with each other.  For the next 1d6+1 days, you see the world through new eyes.
9- You lose your fear of death.  You no longer fear death.  You automatically pass all saves based on this central fear.  For example, you will not fear great heights or dragons, as both of those are fears based on death.  You might fear bankruptcy, that your friends are plotting behind your back or that your lover is unfaithful, but nothing relating to or stemming from death.
10- You lose your knowledge of what happened immediately preceding your death.  You have no idea of how you died, or what happened in the minutes, hours, days or weeks before that.
11- You gain new wisdom.  Time moves differently in the Underworld.  While your companions worked to bring you back, you spent an age wandering the plains of Sheol.  You gain +1d4 COG but lose -1d3 CHA, as your strange perspective is alienating to some.
12- You know know the consequences of life.  You saw how some lived in bliss in the underworld, while others suffered terribly.  You gain the Conviction, "I must always do what is right, no matter the cost."
13- You know the unfairness of life and death.  All mortals suffer here and in the world beyond, you declare.  As such, you gain 1 of the following Convictions: "The Gods are cruel tyrants; I refuse to help them and would hurt them, if I could," OR "I will do whatever it takes to live forever."
14- You gain a phobia (Conviction) of whatever killed you.  Ex: "I fear [X] and will not go near it, unless I have no other choice."  Example phobias include fear of snakes, water, fire, Dragons, Cultists, great heights, etc.
15- A stowaway hitched a ride with you back to the land of the living.  This is a 1d4 [1= Ghost; 2= Spirit of the Land; 3= An Outsider; 4= Ego Sprite.]  Determine the creature's alignment with this table.
16- Subtle strangeness.  Something about you isn't quite right.  You 1d4 [1= Don't cast a reflection; 2= Have cold, dead eyes that unnerve people; 3= Seem malnourished and sickly no matter how much you eat; 4= You smell of grave dust, soft earth and decay, no matter how much you bathe.]
17- The smell of death.  Animals are scared of you unless exposed to it at a very young age, you make people uneasy.  Undead won't attack you unless you attack them first.  You may also be able to speak with dead as if you shared a language.
18- A drive to do better.  You met some of your ancestors and found out they were disappointed in you- you are now extremely motivated to do better, gaining a Conviction to do so.
19- Power.  You stole a fragment of someone else's soul and inadvertently brought it back with you.  You gain a new ability- but the one you took it from probably wants their power back.  This new ability is 1d4 [1= 1/Day you can breathe a 3d6 blast of white fire in a 15' cone; 2= You can, as an action, turn yourself intangible but this only affects your body, not your equipment; 3= You aren't affected by gravity unless you want to; 4= You can speak with 1d4 (1= Birds; 2= Beasts of the Field; 3= Crawling Things- insects, snakes, worms, leeches, etc; 4= Sea Creatures) as if you shared a language.]
20- Horrible nightmares.  Something horrible happened down there.  Every time you go to sleep, you have a 1-in-10 chance of suffering a nightmare that prevents you from gaining any benefit from the rest.  This chance increases by 1 per week, until you are guaranteed to have the nightmares.  Unless you deal with the nightmares, you will go insane and die all over again.
21- A new optimism or idealism.  You were in paradise when you were over there, and now you seek to better the world so it can resemble that perfect place.  You gain the Conviction, "My goal is to make a better world."
22- You lost your ability to lie.  You gain the ability "Truth-Teller".
23- You feel phantom pain in the area where the fatal blow landed.  Ex: Your neck itches and you occasionally feel twinges of pain there if you were decapitated.
24- Your new body is undeveloped and frail.  You lose 1d3 points to all your stats.
25- Your body and soul cannot synchronize correctly.  You get a -1d4 penalty to attacks and precise movements and become clumsy.  Each week that passes, make a COG save.  On a successful save, decrease the penalty by 1.
26- Your body is too weak to contain your spirit.  Your body starts dying, as its spiritual circuits are not sufficiently powerful or developed to channel this much spiritual energy.  You're basically doing radiant damage to your own body.  Unless your body is strengthened, you will die (again) in 1d3 [1= 1d6+4 days; 2= 1d3 weeks; 3= 1 month.]
27- Your new body is improperly constructed.  1d6 [1= One of your limb doesn't normally work, 1d4 DEX; 2= Your sexual organs don't work, -1d3 CHA, -1 CON, you are infertile and asexual; 3= 1d3 of your senses doesn't work or only works at a reduced capacity (50%); 4= Your body is sickly and prone to illness, -3 CON; 5= Your body is not conditioned for hard activity, if you engage in intense activity for more than 5 minutes (or 5 combat rounds) you get -2 to all rolls until you get a chance to rest for at least 5 minutes; 6= Your body has cancer.  You have 1d3+1 years to live, after which you will die.]  All of these problems are fixable, but not easily.
28- You have been marked for death.  Somewhere in the world, an Agent of Law has been informed of your resurrection and will begin seeking you out to return you to your proper state- ie dead.
29- You learned that the death you died was actually a mistake- you were supposed to die by 1d6 [1= Drowning; 2= Beheading; 3= Being burned to death; 4= Being crushed; 5= Torn apart by wild beasts; 6= In glorious combat.]  The next time you are faced with such a circumstances, you die, as per a Curse.  The only way to prevent this fate is to make a bargain with Death or one of the Underworld's Archons. 
30- While it may seem like you were resurrected through the actions of independent agents, this is actually the will of unseen forces, e.g. You're on a mission from God.  You gain a new Epic Quest and a Conviction to carry it out.  

from here, author unknown

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