Spiritual Mishaps

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.

  1. Death rejects you: next save versus death +5
  2. Death irritated to have lost you: next save versus death at -5; failure results in bodily/spiritual disintegration
  3. You have caught a spiritual sickness in the underworld: -1 to saves vs. death, poison, paralyzation, stone
  4. Hitchhiker!  Ride-along weak spirit saps a hit point a day until evicted.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Hitchhiker!  Guardian spirit, will act once to save your life then disappear.
  8. Not fully back: you are slightly out of phase with this plane.  -1 to AC, -1 to initiative**
  9. Kindred spirits!  Spectres and Ghosts seek you out and are chatty instead of attacking.
  10. Sentient undead are envious, always attack you first.
  11. Your soul expanded slightly, no longer fits body.  +1 STR, -1 DEX
  12. “Just not the same.”  Lose any and all past NPC henchmen, retainers, friends.  -1 CHA
  13. Zombie impression at will; zombies will ignore you.
  14. You can now hit magical/ethereal creatures without needing a special weapon.
  15. Unnatural: cleric spells and god-inspired magic will no longer affect you.
  16. You return able to speak an ancient eldritch language.
  17. You return only able to speak an ancient eldritch language.
  18. Two copies of you come back.
  19. Deathly afraid…  You must now make morale roles as NPC retainer, and flee when indicated.
  20. 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? 

* The fine print: works only if your body is intact, not too much time has passed, you are not a hobbit, and you survive your roll against adversity…
** For those using exotic AC systems: lag makes you harder to hit, but your reaction time is slow.

11 Responses to “Spiritual Mishaps”

  1. May 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    See Through the Veil, see visions when at the place where traumatic deaths happened.

    See Through the Veil, see by ‘aura’ whether someone else had come back from the dead or is undead.

    Veil over Sight, see the world is black and white only, but can see in low light.

    Veil over Sight, blind in direct sunlight.

  2. May 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Why can I envision an entirely new Class based on being resurrected now?! Great stuff, thanks for sharing!


  3. 3 biopunk
    May 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Look Towards the Light – You continually contemplate your newly restored mortality for 1 d4 rounds by gazing into any light source in the darkness. No other actions will be possible until the risen is physically shaken or harmed.

  4. May 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    It’s not really you: whoever it is is excellent at bluffing and may have access to your memories, though (cf behavioral changes from head trauma, stroke).
    Apt to drift away again: must be kept occupied with familiar acts from before death or slips away into the veil.
    Memories jumbled, including some things that haven’t happened yet.
    Glimpse of the universal mind: once per session may make extraordinary empathic connection with another character, animal, plant or place to get information. May incur some confusion about self-identity.
    Infinite sadness: make will rolls to remember to preserve your own life, avoid unnecessary risks.
    Unhealing wounds: your death wound won’t kill you any more, but it never closes and keeps you permanently weakened.
    Unnatural vitality: you can no longer be killed by the old means, but may be subject to unmaking by running water, impalement on wooden weapons, holy water or incense, turning etc.
    Time limit: maybe from imperfect healing or a creeping etherealness or a stay of sentence from the Lords of Mortality – you’re on borrowed time and you’d better work to get your affairs in order.
    No shadow/frighten animals/too light/doesn’t bleed/silent: something is missing, and it’s obviously uncanny. You’re like a low-fidelity artist’s impression of reality.
    Different feature: negative colouring/grow fur all over your body/strange smell/longer ribcage, shorter legs – the journey has left an obvious mark on you, it looks like some other kind of malady or curse. Whatever it is, it marks you as unlike ordinary people.
    Reanimator’s mark: the process of raising the dead leaves some obvious trace – Golem-like writing on the tongue or absence of the brain/pickling in enbalming fluid or brand/burn marks or coins instead of eyes or stitching or neck bolts or something. Anyone can see you used to be dead.

  5. 5 James N.
    May 16, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Bravo, sir. Bravo.

  6. May 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I don’t use Raise Dead and the like, but here are some ideas.

    * You can be turned as if you were undead.

    * You show up as magic from spells such as Detect Magic.

    * You are, or believe yourself to be, someone from a fantasical world where technology works and magic is a myth.

  7. 7 maldoor
    May 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Great ideas!
    I particularly like this one:
    >”Memories jumbled, including some things that haven’t happened yet.”

    In a day or two I will collect all additional suggestions and post them together to provide a larger table. Thanks!

  8. May 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    This is one of the excellentest random table I’ve seen in a looooong time!

    Mortality Clock: You can tell when someone’s going to die simply by looking at them.

    Night eye: You can see in complete darkness, but your eyeballs have turned completely black.

    Crow friend: You are constantly followed by a murder of crows. Everywhere. Even in dungeons…

    Mr. Bones: On the dark of the moon, your transform into a skeleton. Your skin sloughs off, and must be hidden, ’cause if anyone steals it, you’ll remain a skeleton forever…

  9. 9 Naked Sam
    May 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Necrotic scent — must bathe extremely regularly to cast of the scent of the grave. You can shoot out a worm once per day from your stinking bowels, cf. a Son of Kyuss.

    Eldritch form — can be wounded only by magic weapons… can only weild (or wear) magic gear.

    Sponsored — a divine or infernal entity has sponsored your resurrection to its fruitful end. This being will expect some service in return.

    Lust for life — The body has wild worldly appetites it did not have before, for repast, sex, or travel…

    Phylactery — The body is no longer sufficient for the storage of a soul. The soul must now be contained in a expensive gem or other sophisticated object.

    Death wish — Heights yawn invitingly, traps wait to be sprung — you are fascinated by the experience of death, and wish to relive it.

    Fearless — You’ve been there; you can come back again. The membrane between life and death is meaningless to you, as are fear spells and the like.

    Unethical — the path between right and wrong had no bearing on you before; clearly you came back without the baggage of dissolution. Do what you want! There are no repercussions! +1 CHA

    Painless — you feel no pain. You could be hacked to pieces and no feel a thing.

    Lightweight — your form is inflected with the buoyancy of whence you just came; -2 STR due to declined leverage, but you now levitate slightly, not touching off floor traps and the like.

    Swapped — your body no longer suffices as a receptacle. Your companions must find an adequate target, pronto! Someone recently dead!

    Greedy — healing spells will warp in your direction 20% of the time. Even healing potions will begin to spoil if taken out of your range.

    Ruined Senses — cannot speak above a hoarse whisper; no sense of smell or taste; hair is brittle and breaks off constantly

  10. 10 rorschachhamster
    May 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Somethings broken – you can turn your head like an owl. It is not as easy to surprise you anymore. Superstitous folk tends to react negatively to this.

    Pixie following – 2d20 pixies have chosen you to take a message towards the other place “next time” and are all trying to convince you to remember their various deceased friends and family and the things you should tell them – they will bugger off if you haven’t died again after 2d6 weeks. But IF you die and again are resurrected they will give you something valuable. Valuable for a pixie, at least…

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Past Adventures of the Mule

May 2011

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