Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's like the druid, but you're dead...

Premise: The Druid in the Rules Cyclopedia was, as far as I'm aware, one of the first prestige classes. This being a precedence, it allows for similar approaches, the idea being here, that characters after name level would be allowed to stay among the living a bit longer, burning the xp they'd earned before they died back to zero (decaying and crumbling to dust as soon as they reach zero). This is about how I'd do something like that ...

Undead Player Characters

Just one of those random ideas that manifested in my brain and demands some air. The idea to allow undead player characters in my game is old and not necessarily original. The concept would be fairly basic. You'd have your standard undead immunities (like racial benefits) and go from there. Something like this:
Prime Requisites: As former class
Experience Bonus: Special (see below)
Hit Dice: Starting with level 9, +2 per level. Constitution adjustments no longer apply.
Maximum Level: Restricted (see below)
Armour: Any (because no longer breathing ...)
Weapon: As former class
Combat Progression: As former class
Weapon Mastery: As former class
Saves: As former class
Special Ablities: Undead (immune to poison, mind-affecting spells (sleep, charm, hold, discord, insanity, feeblemind, etc.) and suffocation), Infravision 60 feet, and as former class (unless you have to be alive for it)
Disadvantages: Turning (use all levels divided by 2 to determine difficulty (round up), so a level 9 Fighter, level 3 Undead would be turned like a Mummy); Slowly Decaying (with the need to disguise to avoid conflicts or panics); and only reversed healing magic heals damage (no sleep helps to regenerate lost hp)
The Good, the Dead & the Ugly

This is only happening for PCs of at least name level. They get a chance by a random god (or the one they believe in...) to get into paradise, if they do something for that god with the proposition or undo something they did during adventuring. Depending on the power and the alignment of the god, all kinds of tasks could be demanded, giving a character opting for this a chance to right some wrongs of his past life (and only if it's killing the one that killed him) just because he has the time at hand to do so.. Anyway, if a character with level 9 or more is dead and resurrection is not an option (even if it is, becoming undead could till be available).

Undead, but happy ... [source]
So how, where and for what reason they are brought back to the world, is totally up for debate. Or when, for that matter. One thing is for sure, they will decay slowly and crumble to dust as soon as they reach zero xp again (with a lot of ugly in between...).

Because...

...every time they would have gained xp while alive, they loose them now. Whenever they'd lose a level like that, they gain a level "undead" instead. They do not lose powers or hp they gained by achieving the level they lost and they will gain levels in "undead" faster and faster (the process being reversed and all that). They can wear every armor now, exhaustion is not an issue anymore (yes, even wizards). I'm not sure they'd even realize something is hanging on them. They may opt to reduce their xp by one tenth instead of getting damage. The Experience Bonus is still an advantage, but it reduces the amount of xp earned now, instead of raising it.

Rest in Pieces

Just because they're dead doesn't mean they have to be evil. They can still be the good guys. It gives a campaign a new direction after a TPK of high level PCs or lets a group revive some old characters. Even if only one or two players sit on the table, this might keep them busy for some time. Or it could be used for a Halloween Special of sorts. 

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