Once an OD&D cleric reaches seventh level, they are able to cast raise dead. This removes some, but not all of the sting of death*. But once sundered, the bond between body and soul may not be seamlessly repaired – and death surely has a hangover worse than a headache and unexpected tattoo. Here are some random things that might happen to someone who has returned.
- Death rejects you: next save versus death +5
- Death irritated to have lost you: next save versus death at -5; failure results in bodily/spiritual disintegration
- You have caught a spiritual sickness in the underworld: -1 to saves vs. death, poison, paralyzation, stone
- Hitchhiker! Ride-along weak spirit saps a hit point a day until evicted.
- Hitchhiker! Second soul can seize control in times of stress, as magical sword. level (1+ 2d6). 1-2 MU, 3-4 Cleric, 5-6 FM. Roll INT and use WIS instead of ego.
- Hitchhiker! Demonic possession. Lose 1-3 points of wisdom, gain 1-6 hit points. Lawful swords will have nothing to do with you, no matter your alignment.
- Hitchhiker! Guardian spirit, will act once to save your life then disappear.
- Not fully back: you are slightly out of phase with this plane. -1 to AC, -1 to initiative**
- Kindred spirits! Spectres and Ghosts seek you out and are chatty instead of attacking.
- Sentient undead are envious, always attack you first.
- Your soul expanded slightly, no longer fits body. +1 STR, -1 DEX
- “Just not the same.” Lose any and all past NPC henchmen, retainers, friends. -1 CHA
- Zombie impression at will; zombies will ignore you.
- You can now hit magical/ethereal creatures without needing a special weapon.
- Unnatural: cleric spells and god-inspired magic will no longer affect you.
- You return able to speak an ancient eldritch language.
- You return only able to speak an ancient eldritch language.
- Two copies of you come back.
- Deathly afraid… You must now make morale roles as NPC retainer, and flee when indicated.
- You are back in your body, but your soul is in the possession of someone else…
Various mechanics could be used with this table; e.g., re-order from worst to best option (you choose!) and let the level of the cleric determine how big a die the player gets to roll.
Ideally this table should have 100 entries. What do you suggest?