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My Fantasy RPG World, Feedback and Ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.

  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    The Smallest World I think I would Accept.

    East to West (How long does a dragon fly before she reaches her point of origin)


    12,000 miles (roughly half the circumferance of Earth)

    North to South (How long does a Void Demon fly north from the South Void entrance till it ends up flying into the Void again from the North Void entrance).


    4000 miles

    48,000,000 square miles. Mars has a surface area of 55,910,000 square miles.



    The Largest World I think I would Accept.


    East to West (How long does a dragon fly before she reaches her point of origin)

    24,000 miles (roughly the circumferance of Earth)

    North to South (How long does a Void Demon fly north from the South Void entrance till it ends up flying into the Void again from the North Void entrance).


    8000 miles

    192,000,000 square miles. Our Earth has a surface area of 196,900,000 square miles.

    In other words, I am not comfortable making my fake world bigger than the real world just to make things more epic. I want to make it conceivable that a party of badass adventurers could circumnavigate the world using only a minimum of travel magic. Magellans expedition sailed about 42,000 miles. Because Scarterras has fewer giant land masses that require sailors to sail around them than Earth, a Scarterran sailor could probably pull this off in fewer than 30,000 miles.

    I could do some algebra x(3x) = 196.9 million to make Scarterras exactly as big as Earth or x(3x) = 55.91 million. I prefer to work in round numbers.
     
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  2. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    The Seas no. I imagine every sea faring nation has a bunch of colorful names for the seas though nearly everyone calls Mera's Lake "Mera's Lake" or something similar and obvious such as "The Fresh Water Sea" or "Mera's Sea."

    Oceans are pretty simple, Scarterras logically has three oceans or four oceans.

    The central space between the major land masses could be called the Mediterranean Ocean (because pretty much what the literal translation is on Earth) or Meditscarterra Ocean if I wanted to be a smartass.

    I could also be more literal and call it the Central Ocean. I could call it Scaraqua. Technically, all the world's sea water represents Scaraqua, but at least 80% of living creatures would live in the Central Ocean, so this is the Heart of Scaraqua. I suppose I could call it "Heart of Sea" or find some Latin or Greek translation to that effect.


    North of East and West Colassia you would have the North Ocean (North Polar Ocean, Artic Ocean) between the two Colassias and the Void. South of Penarchia, Khemarok, and Umera you have the Southern Ocean (South Polar Ocean, Anataric Ocean).

    Between the frigid temperatures, horrific monsters, and lingering Void taint, Scaraquans probably call these oceans something sinister like "North Deadwater Ocean" and "South Deadwater Ocean." Or even "North and South Demon Waters." Only insanely glory hungry heroes, outcasts, and freaks would choose to swim in these cursed waters.


    If you sail east out of East Colassia you will hit West Colassia. If you sail west out of West Colassia you will hit East Collasia. Isn't circumnavigation fun! I could call this the Colassian Ocean (though it would border the non-Colassian continents). The term Colassian Ocean applies because it's probably the biggest in terms of surface area. This ocean is literally collossal.

    It's probably the second biggest in terms of population size. While less hospitable than the Central Sea, it would be magnitudes more hospitable than the two Polar Oceans. Scaraquans probably call this ocean the Second Ocean or some other name that recognizes that this is the second most important ocean.



    Alternatively, if I configure things so that there are three oceans, I could name one ocean after Korus, one after Greymoria, and one after Mera. This would work because Scaraquans consider these three goddesses their three principle gods.

    I hadn't actually created a Niner version of Atlas. I just had the sky has a bunch of empty space that Scarterras' cylinder is floating in, no one questioned it. What Scarterrans think of the sky is two encompassing bowls of stars. Above this de facto sphere of nothing is where the Nine have their realms which are commonly described as "Palaces Among the Stars."

    That's how Scarterrans see the sky at least. The Sky is the canvas of benign nothingness that creation rests on. As far as Scaraquans know, the Sea predates the sky. The Sky is basically a giant hairball that the Sea coughed up. If there is a deity that serves the role of Atlas it would be the Scaraquan version of Nami. For one thing, as of yet, Nami has no grand purpose in Scaraquan folklore yet. For another thing, since Nami is responsible for all weather in Scarterras folklore it makes sense that Scaraquans would also associated her (him? The other sky deities are all male) with the sky in some fashion.

    Nami is also a trickster in Scarterras folklore. Maybe Scaraquan Nami resents having to hold up the sky and uses her tricks to lash out a world that doesn't appreciate her. This would make Scaraquan Nami a lot crueler and less benign than Scarterran Nami. I kind of like that. Scarterras Nami is kind of like a Prometheus type and Scaraqua Nami is kind of like Loki.

    These are all good ideas. Nothing is set in stone yet, I could still go this direction. The geo-political situation is still quite...fluid. :woot:
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
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  3. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I messed around with graph paper a bit to make World Maps in miniature:
    8990FF65-133E-4C12-BFB9-40B846C8535B.jpeg
    The top one represents your continents as you have currently sketched on an 8.5x11 sheet. With a blank piece of legal size paper stuck next to it. That results in a rectangular, unfolded, unrolled map that is real close to 3x as wide as it is tall.

    The bottom one is an attempt to sketch the continent shapes stretched East-West, but left about the same North/South. It still leaves a big patch of empty Ocean. Pay no attention to those blue globs at the edges...they could be anything.

    The total map size shown here is 25x8.5
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  4. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I need to buy some graph paper before Thanksgiving. Not only should graph paper make it easier to have even proportions, I can use graph paper to determine latitudinal climate easily. If I number the Y axis I can say things like "This is artic" "this is tropical" "this is temperate."

    If I run out of things to talk about on Turkey Day, I can sketch some maps. This is pretty similar to what I'm thinking though I would have made Mera's Lake much smaller.

    I am not sure if I like the idea of Scaterran landmasses practically touching the poles or if I prefer having a wide gap of ocean between the poles and the continents. I'll probably sketch both and see which one I like better.
     
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  5. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    What?
    Octopus have no bones so they cannot be made into zombies but octopus are cephalopods and therefore zombie only...
    Whuuuut ? o_O

    This question is too ridiculous to go unasked:
    Octopuses can regrow a severed limb (tentacle) can Zombie Octopuses regrow severed limbs?

    Did you know that the plural of Octopus is not Octopi? Did you know that teuthologists say that Octopuses have eight arms and o_O zero tentacles?

    Makes sense.

    Were the crew of the Black Pearl Skeletons or Zombies?
     
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  6. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    My vote is have substantial Arctic Seas.

    Which is pretty similar? The stretched one or the one with 14 inches of empty Sea?

    Walmarts have both food for Thanksgiving and Graph Paper.

    The graph paper I have is four squares to the inch on one side and five/inch on the other.

    Having squares to count would also allow you to get an idea of the percentages of water to land.
     
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  7. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    So while my family gathering was waiting for the turkey to cook, I realized that most things I like on Netflix is not kid appropriate. I thought it would be rude if I went to a secluded room and doodled on my graph paper while the kids watched a Pokemon movie. What is something on Netflix that is kid-friendly that won’t bore Scalenex. Coco. That’s a Pixar movie I haven’t seen yet, and Pixar has a good track record for making good movies.

    Coco was pretty good. It is centered around Latin American traditions around the Dia Los Meurte or Day of the Dead where food is ceremonially prepared for dead loved ones. There are traditions like that around the world and I always find them fascinating.

    It occurred to me that I have long neglected the afterlife in Scarterra which is bad because when I created this fantasy world my goal was to start with the gods and then work my way down. I developed extensive religious lore, but I glossed over the afterlife and ideas of the afterlife is a HUGE aspect of religion.

    I had a bunch of scattered notes with ideas for the afterlife metaphysics, but nothing coherent. I worked on organizing my thoughts.

    I really liked the Ancient Egyptian idea of a six part soul, so I created something vaguely similar for Scaterra.

    Parts of the Soul (Cliff Notes version)
    Shadow/True Name: A Shadow is the memory of an individual’s existance and deeds. A True Name is a pure descriptor of an individual in total.
    Animus: Metaphysical force that allows beings to act and move.
    Heart’s Fire: The divine spark that separates the living from the dead
    Psyche: The elementals that separates sentient life from non-sentient life.
    Mortis*: The divine spark that separates sapient life from non-sapient life.

    *=I am not satisfied with this name and am likely to change it eventually.


    Everything has a True Name and a Shadow. Animals, plants, people, spirits, Fair Folk, elementals. undead, rocks, swords, everything.


    Everything that moves under its own power has Animus. This includes people, animals, corporeal undead, golems, spirits, Fair Folk, and to a much lesser extent plants. Elementals have LOTS of Animus which is why they always are doing something even if it makes no sense.

    People, animals, and plants all generate Heart’s Fire. Spirits and undead have to borrow or steal Heart’s Fire from other creatures.


    Psyches are the province of things that feel. People, Fair Folk, and spirits have strong Psyches. Void Demons, undead, and magical plant creatures also have Psyches but they usually have weak Psyches. Dogs, horses, monkeys and the like have moderately strong Pysches. Insects and most arthropods have no Psyches. Most vertebrate animals like rodents, birds, reptiles, and the like have very weak Psyches.


    Mortis is the one part of the soul that I am most likely to change. Mortis is something only mortals have. Only sapient beings have mortis. Humans, elves, dwarves, goblins, dragons, merfolk, etc. On Scarterra/Scarqua the definition of the word "mortal' is "a creature with a fully complete soul."


    When a person dies, their Heart’s Fire is extinguished. A dead person’s Animus diminishes greatly, but enough Animus lingers on a corpse to give necromancers something to work with. Dead people generally keep their True Name and Shadow barring powerful supernatural interference. Their Mortis is what passes onto whatever the afterlife is. I'm still not 100% if the Psyche passes on with the Mortis or not.


    Deep Nerdy Fictional Metaphysics

    True Names/Shadows and the Lack thereof

    If a being loses its True Name a skilled mystic can basically magically enslave another being. Magical mind effecting attacks use a partial True Name to get partial results. Animals have fairly simple True Names which is why animals can rarely resist magical mind control and humanoids constantly try to resist magical compulsions.

    Shadows and True Names are practically the same thing. A shadow is a sort of backup copy of a True Name. A living being that loses its True Name to another person loses its Shadow. This is why a large portion of people who make pacts with other Fair Folk or spirits have no visible shadow (though not every person who made an otherworldly pact doesn’t project a shadow.

    A dead person that loses his or her shadow is barred from the afterlife, even as a ghost. Void Demons and especially powerful undead can consume a person’s shadow which is why these creatures are so feared. Very powerful mortal necromancers can also destroy a person’s shadow, and it’s naturally considered an especially heinous act. It’s also very difficult. Even necromancers who have no moral compunctions at all cannot casually destroy Shadows. It’s an act reserved for especially hated enemies.

    The undead known as the Faceless are the remnants of souls that have lost their shadows. For the vast majority of undead the souls still have a shadow, but their shadow is essentially being held hostage preventing them from having a normal afterlife. This applies to ghouls, wights, allips, degenerated ghosts, vampires, and liches among others.

    With zombies and skeletons, the soul still has its shadow. With undead creatures this simple, only the corpse is used, but the creature’s soul is still free. It’s still considered a grave insult (pun) to defile a corpse in this manner, but at least the soul isn’t enslaved or held hostage when creating this sort of undead.

    As of now, my fantasy world has no known method to resurrect the dead, but if a mortal mystic finds or knows a deceased mortal’s True Name, it’s relatively easy, all things considered, for a spell-caster to save a person’s soul, even if they were turned into some form of undead. The ritual to use the True Name is pretty easy, but finding a True Name is not easy.

    The Shadow is a lot harder to work with, but as long a mortal’s Shadow is intact, a god or goddess can rebuild a destroyed soul.


    Heart’s Fire and the Lack Thereof

    Heart’s Fire is present in every person, animal or plant that’s alive. Heart’s Fire goes away when a creature dies. There is a tiny lingering spark on dead creatures as long as the bones retain some flesh and are relatively intact This is how the low level necromancy spells Speak with Dead (which is pretty literal) and Death Sight (which lets a necromancer relive a corpses death, great for homicide detectives).

    A lot of undead and lesser Void Demons are practically blind to regular sight, but their senses are attuned to heart’s fire. That’s why lesser Void Demons are very good at tracking living prey over great distances, but they often trip over rocks or dead logs.

    Living creatures are usually blind to sensing a heart’s fire but relatively simple magic can give pa person the ability to sense heart’s fire or very specific variants of heart’s fire. If a magical diviner casts a spell to detect living things they are temporarily adopting life sight to find a specific variety of heart’s fire such as spells that detect humanoids, spells that detect animals, and spells that find edible plants. Even spells that detect poison see heart’s fire by detecting distortions in the heart’s fire that poisons represent.

    Healing magic is essentially flooding a person with so much heart’s fire that their wounds heal. Purification Magic removes toxins or impurities from a living creature’s heart’s fire.

    Dead things have no heart’s fire. Free willed undead need to steal Heart’s fire to function. Vampires drink blood, ghouls eat flesh, wights drain physical vitality. Essentially they are all different means to steal heart’s fire. Because of their undead nature, most undead cannot handle pure heart’s fire. Void Demons were created to feed on the living and do nothing else, so they can drain heart’s fire more efficiently.

    When a spell-caster is using healing or purification magic to smite or repel and undead creature, this is essentially what spell-casters do when they use their magic to smite or repel undead. This same magic can be used against Void Demons but it’s much harder. This is because Void Demons can so efficiently feed on Heart’s Fire and a healing magic attack is essentially trying overwhelm a creature with pure heart’s fire. An attack that will blast a skeleton to dust will give most Void Demons a mild rash.


    Living creatures generate their own Heart’s Fire (when they eat, sleep, and drink) and undead creatures have to steal it. Spirits borrow Heart’s Fire. Like mortals, the Nine generate Heart’s Fire themselves. They actually generate a lot of Heart’s Fire. They divvy out to their spirit minions. Because they get their Heart’s Fire from the Nine, they don’t have to eat, sleep or drink.

    Elementals don’t eat, sleep, or drink. They don’t make their own Heart’s Fire and they don’t really need it. They are not alive in the same sense other creatures are.

    I’m not sure how Fair Folk fit into the equation. The following paragraph is just my current working theory that I could easily rewrite. Fair Folk, do eat, sleep, and drink much as mortals do, but they are sort of a hybrid between mortal creatures and spirits. They need something from mortals, I’m not sure what, but it might as well be Heart’s Fire. Fair Folk are kind of a like a hybrid between mortals and spirits. Fair Folk can survive on their own innate Heart’s Fire, but they cannot live on their own Heart’s Fire. If they want to live comfortable and exercise their magical powers they need Heart’s Fire from mortals. Which they get from mortals via mystical pacts or from proverbial osmosis. To get sustenance from proverbial osmosis they need to stir up strong emotions, love, lust, fear, hate, jealousy, etc.

    Animus

    Animus is stuff that moves. Compared to the other parts of the soul, Animus is easy to touch and manipulate. Animus comes from the four elements permeating Scarterras. If a wizard conjures a fireball, cloud of mist, or really anything the wizard is calling upon ambient animus to power his spells. A zombie or skeleton can stay active for a long time without feeding on the living because the spell that creates them because they passively siphon animus from the surrounding area.

    If a magic user is using divination magic to detect and identify magic she is attuning her senses to disruption in Animus. If a magic user is magically paralyzing an opponent, he is temporarily locking a person’s animus. Is someone using telkensis? That’s manipulating Animus.

    Is it possible for a person to not have Animus? Yes. A living person with no Animus is petrified. A dead person with no Animus is a ghost or other incorporeal spirit.

    Everything that moves in the physical plane has some animus. It’s pretty easy for living things to have animus, even slow growing plants have a tiny bit of Animus. If a rock is thrown, the rock doesn’t have Animus. Whoever threw the rock “loaned” it a bit of Animus.

    Most permanent magical items are enchanted to slowly pick up Animus from the area around them. For a typical magical sword or shambling zombie that is enough.

    Elementals have LOTS of Animus. If a mage wants to create a giant golem or some other artificial magical creature that moves with great strength, the most straightforward way to do this is to bind an elemental permanently. Some view this as unethical. Scarterrans and Scaraquans do not agree on whether elementals are properly alive. I guess there could be a PETE organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Elementals.


    Psyches and the Lack Thereof

    If and when I introduce psionics to my setting, Pysches would be very important. If I continue to not include psionics, Pysches are so unimportant I might as well not include them. Psyche is basically a fancy word for “the mind.”

    If a mage or psionisist magically separates his mind from his body to fly around, he is essentially uncoupling his psyche from his body. If a mage or psionsist tries to read someone’s mind, dazzle them with a magical charm, alter memories or do some other magical mind effect, that person is attacking the other beings Psyche.

    Psyches are both more vulnerable and more powerful when the owner of a Psyche is asleep. Some mystics can accomplish amazing feats of power while asleep. Other mystics can really mess someone up by attacking their mind while they sleep.

    In game terms, all creatures with a Willpower score have a Psyche. In metaphysical terms, any creature that feels things beyond hunger, pain, and basic fight or flight has a Psyche.

    A person who loses his Psyche (or sends his Pysche on a temporary trip into the Astral Plane) is a vegetable. Barring people who can astral project, total separating a person from his or her Pysche is extremely hard to do. It is slightly easier to pull of this effect on someone who is asleep and dreaming. A mortal who is separated from their psyche will probably die within a few days, maybe a week if they have a doctor or someone tending them. Such a person could survive two or three weeks if they are being cared for by someone with magical healing abilities.

    Much easier to do than a total separation, but still difficult, a Psyche can be wounded or put to sleep. A person with a damaged or impaired psyche can still move and act but is likely listless, monotone and emotionless. This can happen if the same person is subjected to magical or psionic mind control over and over again.

    A ghost is essentially a hybrid of Mortis and Psyche and little else. A Psyche can live by itself without even a Mortis, but this is fairly rare, essentially a Psyche like literally a creature of pure thought. A disembodied Psyche makes its way into the Astral Plane and adapts to existence there, or it fades away into nothingness.

    Rarest of all is the artificial Psyche. If you encounter a talking sword or magic mirror or something like that, it probably has an artificial Psyche (or someone’s soul was imprisoned in it). Artificial Psyches are very hard to create, a feat only a few five dot magic users can pull off.

    Mortis and the Lack Thereof

    A Mortis is the spark of the divine. It’s closest to what most modern people consider a soul to truly be. It’s what separates people from animals.

    Animals, Fair Folk, most plant monsters, elementals, constructs and the like do not have Mortis. Most spirits do not have a Mortis but an Exemplar Spirit, a spirit created from an elevated mortal soul, does have a Mortis. Arguably such being doesn’t have a Mortis. Such a being is a Mortis.

    I have yet to decide if it’s possible for a sapient free-willed being to not have a Mortis. D&D and other real world mythologies have a lot of sapient creatures that lack souls. Leading candidates for this would be exogenic spirits, Fair Folk, aberrations, and free willed magical constructs.

    A Mortis is what is meant to be eternal. The Mortis is also what Turoch liked to eat. It’s what Void Demons still try to eat. Undead very rarely if ever try to feed on a mortal’s Mortis though some undead may destroy a Mortis as an accidental byproduct of consuming a mortal’s Heart’s Fire.

    A Psyche can live without a Mortis. Can a Mortis exist without a Pysche? Yes…sort of. If a soul loses its Psyche, the Mortis literally becomes one with one of the Nine. Some people find the idea of this very comforting while others find the idea of this utterly terrifying. The existence of the Mortis is mostly for theologians and magical scholars to debate. For all a typical peasant knows, the Psyche and the Mortis are the same thing. Most people cannot imagine existing without thinking.
     
  8. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    782D62CC-A0C9-4E37-8B5A-FDEF6F029FB2.jpeg
    I learned to build with LEGOs over Thanksgiving.

    Surprised you did not try to do a nine-part soul. Maybe the Moon can also double as the afterlife destination. (?). First of nine heavens maybe?
     
  9. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    If a Five Dot Magus permanently bound an elemental into a Golem, does that mean the FDM knew the True Name of the poor elemental?

    Would using the True Name enable someone to destroy the Golem by releasing the elemental?

    —panel discussion topics at the next P.E.T.E conference.
     
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  10. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I'm already thinking I overextended myself with a six part soul. Especially since Shadows and True Names are so similar as the Shadow is basically a backup copy of a True Name.

    Yes to the first question. Permanent magical binding requires learning the subject's True Name.

    Yes and no to the second one.

    Releasing the elemental from a Golem would not destroy the Golem. It would turn the Golem into a giant paper weight. But the Golem could be reactivated at any time by harnessing a second elemental to it. A true P.E.T.E. activists would dissemble the Golem once it's dormant rather than leave it there.

    Some kings, temples, and magical covens keep hidden vaults full of inactive golems. In theory, it is less amoral to bind an elemental to a Golem for a finite period of time, then let it go when the work is done. Also, a Golem can be operated for a few hours without enslaving any elemental if the mage is patient and passively siphons energy from the Elemental Plane but it takes about a hundred hours of charging to get one or two hours of golem use.

    Golems can also be operated by a powerful spirit or Faerie but the creature has to volunteer. No known magic can trap such a being in a Golem though I suppose you could black mail a Faerie or spirit if you kept a loved one hostage.
     
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  11. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Okay so I just talked about eternal souls but I didn’t cover where these souls actually go...


    There are over 20 pages of posts on this thread. Among these, I mentioned three possible fates for a soul in passing.

    1-Mortals who were especially devout towards one god or goddess spend their afterlife in the realm of that god or goddess. A lucky few of these get sent back to the mortal plane to act as their deity’s agent.

    2-Mortals who die with Void taint, usually find their soul getting sucked into the Void. Barring divine intervention or epic heroism, a soul in the Void faces utter oblivion.

    3-Mortals who die with mild Void taint, who also have very strong passions and unresolved issues become ghosts.

    Throw all three of these categories together and 60-90% of Scaterrans do not qualify for any of these ultimate fates. It's time to address where "normal" Scarterran souls go after death.


    The Afterlife in Dungeons and Dragons

    Originally, I created Scarterra as a Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition setting (that could easily be adapted to 2nd or 5th edition with a minimum of fuss), but not every D&D game is required to use the same afterlife model. The afterlife model in a “typical’ D&D setting goes like this:

    A mortal normally passes to the afterlife of his or her god. If the mortal was not especially pious the mortal passes on to the outer plane associated with his alignment. In D&D, the outer planes and the gods are largely the same thing. The gods shape the planes and they are shaped by the planes.

    Usually mortal souls generally look and act like they did in life. Eventually, maybe over months, maybe over decades, maybe over thousands of years, the mortal soul gets absorbed into the plane they reside in. In general in the Good planes mortal souls peacefully merge with the realm and in the Evil planes mortal souls are often literally eaten by an evil god or demon. Either way the mortal soul merges with the plane and continues to exist but they cease to be an autonomous individual. They maybe reincarnated as archons or devils or demons or whatever, but it's near impossible to trace an extraplanar creature in D&D to the mortal it used to be.


    Going back to the parts of the soul in my previous post, if a Scarterran merges with his or her own god in the same fashion as D&D souls merge with their gods, this means the Psyche fades away but the Mortis lives on eternally in a knew and unrecognizeable form.


    I have no problem with devout worshippers of one of the Nine getting a VIP pass to their favorite god’s or goddesses’ private palace in the sky, but the vast majority of Scarterrans and Scaraquans are polytheists, so that system does not work for everyone.

    I’m not comfortable shunting polytheists off to the godly realm that matches their alignment. Characters in my setting have alignments but alignments are just a tool for categorization. Alignments are not cosmological forces in my world. Players write an alignment on their character sheet, but I don’t punish or yell out players who “play their alignment wrong.” It seems weird to me to dump all the Chaotic Good people in one place when alignment is so subjective and fluid. Complex characters are much more than their alignment.

    Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Chinese mythology and many others, the gods disagree a lot but they generally agree on the basics of what constitutes a good life or a life of sin. I like the idea of dead people having their hearts weighed against a feather like in Egyptian mythology, but that doesn’t work very well in Scarterra. Nami and Khemra have very different views on what is sinful. Same with Maylar and Mera. None of the gods see to eye-to-eye on everything. Hallisan and Maylar may both celebrate people who die a warrior’s death, but they disagree strenuously on what warriors should be fighting for.

    The Meta-sky

    Back when Scarterra was a D&D setting I created an outer plane that I call the Meta-sky, or if I want to be more fancy, the Ethereal Realm. Scarterra's Meta-sky Version 1.0 is very similar to the D&D realm called the Outlands. The Meta-sky was a giant round field punctuated with forests, hills, valleys, seas etc. All the landmarks glow liked stars. In the center was sort of a neutral city/switching point.

    The Meta-sky is to be divided into roughly nine pizza slices. At the "crust" of the metaphorical pizza slices was where each of the Nine has their own private Idaho. The closer you get to Mera’s private Idaho, the more the terrain looks like Mera’s realm, the more the values resemble Mera’s values. So on and so forth for all the Nine and their own private Idaho.

    I haven't fleshed out each deity's private realm but Mera might provide her dead worshippers with a warm white sandy beach to lounge around and drink pina coladas. Maylar probably lets the souls of worshippers fight each other like a big MMO. Don't worry, if a soul dies in Maylar's realm, it'll heal in a few hours, like a video game with infinite "lives." Zarthus probably has daily rock concerts in his moon palace.

    Alternatively rather than have the Meta-sky be a giant pizza with nine even slices the other thought I could make the Meta-sky non-Euclidean where nothing has a fixed location. Landmarks, people, and creatures float around the Meta-sky. Even the palaces/private Idahos of the Nine move around, mirroring the movement of their constellations in the night sky on Scarterras below. The downside of this approach is it makes it harder to narrate plane traveling adventurers visiting the Meta-sky. “So you guys float. Then you float some more. A week later, you're still floating.” In short, if the Meta-sky is a location where heroes can go questing in, it needs to be at least somewhat comprehensible to we earthbound humans who are playing RPGs or reading stories.

    In theory, polythesists could wander around the neutral areas of the Meta-sky though I have no idea what they would do. Maybe they are wandering around bored like the spirits of the Asphodel Fields (the neutral zone of Hades in Greek mythology). Maybe they build cities and farms. Maybe they wander a circuit route through the Nine's various Idahos eventually getting bored and moving on. Rinse and repeat. That's a little unsatifying to me. If anyone has a better idea, I'm open to suggestions.

    I also don’t know what life is like in the areas that are in neutral zones that are not under the direct purview of one of the Nine. It also doesn’t answer how secure the Meta-sky is. The Nine’s private sub-realms are almost certainly well-protected from Void Demons, but it’s an open question on whether or not Void Demons (or anyone else) can poach souls out of the Meta-sky or not. They certainly would want to poach souls here.

    I also don’t know if the post-mortem residents of the Meta-sky look and act like living mortals or if they look and live radically different lives. It’s also an open question whether the post-mortem residents here have crystal clear memories of their former lives, hazy memories of their former lives, or no memories of their mortal lives.

    Star Animals

    Originally when Scarterra was going to be a D&D setting, I opted to fill the Meta-sky with Star animals. Star Tigers, Star Dogs, Star Elephants, Star Giant Squids, and Star Pandas...the greatest of all. The basic idea was that since Fiendish and Celestial versions of animals didn’t fit well in my setting that I needed something to show up when people cast Summon Monster, so if the Player’s Handbook says you summon a Fiendish Dire Weasel instead you summon a Star Dire Weasel.

    Star Animals are a little bit smarter and a little bit stronger and tougher than their mundane counterparts. I place of the Smite Good attack Fiendish animals get or the Smite Evil attack Celestial animals get 1-4 times a day, Star Animals get a burst of speed they can access 1-4 times a day. Star animals have black or dark blue scales, skin, or fur dappled with silvery star patterns. Their eyes glow like especially bright stars.

    I guess I can still use Star Animals in my homebrew system of D&D10 but as of now, spell-casters summon creatures directly from one of the Nine’s realms and not from the Meta-sky. I suppose I could always have divine spell-casters summon creatures from the Nine’s private realms and arcane casters summon unaffiliated Star Animals from the Meta-sky. It doesn’t make a difference for game stats, just for aesthetics.


    I don't have to use the Meta-Sky or Star Animals at all. This is just the rough draft of an afterlife I dreamed up a couple years ago for a slightly different gaming system.

    Whatever system I come up with ultimately needs to answer the following questions, plus any pertinent questions you guys come up with.

    In general, is the afterlife fair or unfair?
    In general, is the afterlife pleasant or unpleasant?


    I honestly don’t know either way.

    I like the idea of the afterlife being in the sky, but being in the sky doesn’t make something pleasant or fair.


    Do the Nine get stronger the more souls they collect in the afterlife or are they burdened by the taking care of mortal souls?

    Do mortal souls naturally make their way to their proper afterlife or do soul collectors have to guide them to their afterlife?

    These two questions are linked. If the Nine get stronger from collecting souls they are going to put much more effort into collecting the souls of the dead and empower many soul collectors. If the Nine don’t get stronger from collecting souls, they are only going to bother collecting their favorites and employ relatively few soul collectors. In the latter case, Mera, Zarthus, and Hallisan are probably going to collect souls either way. They are generally altruistic and wouldn’t want to leave any souls to twist in the wind. If any uncollected souls ultimately go to the Void, even the evil deities will chip in to help save souls if only to keep the Void from getting stronger.


    Is the afterlife really eternal or is some ultimate fate cutting eternity short (becoming one with the gods or some kind of doomsday like the Norse Fimblewinter)?

    This ties into the question of if souls make the gods stronger or not. This ties directly into the earlier question of how much Fairness in Death there is, if any.

    This impacts a later question as to under what circumstances can the honored dead talk to and interact with the living. If souls eventually fade away or pass on to a higher state of consciousness, it would be much harder to find a two thousand year old dead person than a two hundred year old dead person.

    In theory if the Void Demons every wiped out Scarterra, the Nine would die shortly before or after and all existence would end. I guess that's my equivalent to Fimblewinter, but unlike Norse Mythology, my mythology doesn't make Armagedden inevitable. The Void Demons certainly tried to wipe out all of Creations, but they arguably barely put a dent in Creation. Sure, millions of people and animals died but the basic functionality of the universe was undamaged.


    How well do dead people retain their memories from life?

    This gets to the strength of the psyche. I should note that in both real world historical myths and modern fantasy stories, sometimes memory loss is viewed as a gracious gift and sometimes it’s viewed as a horrible violation.

    I suppose it’s also possible to selectively scrub out only good or only bad memories depending on whether or not a soul is being punished or rewarded.


    Going back to Coco. Does it matter to a deceased soul whether living people remember them or not.

    If it does matter, is being remembered a luxury (those who are remembered can visit the land of the living) or a necessity (being remembered is required to keep one’s Psyche intact).

    Does a proper burial help speed mortal souls to a better afterlife than an improper one?

    My current notion is that proper funerary rites helping prevent a soul from being sucked into the Void or twisted into an undead mockery, but it doesn’t buy a dead person a free VIP pass to paradise.

    My current notion is that each culture has different funerary practices and they believe their practices are the correct ones. However, the actual funerary rituals do not matter to the Nine and they do not matter to the Meta-sky. It’s the thought and sentiment that matters, not the procedures.


    What about grave goods? Can a deceased person take it with them? If yes, do they lose their benefit if a graverobber takes their goods much later?

    I don’t have any preconceived notions, but this important because fantasy adventurers dive into old tombs a lot.

    I really have no preconceived notions or ideas for this part.


    Besides ghosts, can deceased souls interact with the living in any way?

    The answer is yes. I like the idea of heroes communing with the honored dead. It’s just too cool to not use. My only issue is how often does this event occur and how easy is it to do?

    I really like the idea of filial piety (aka ancestor worship) having real world effects. I don’t know if I want something like the Dia Los Meurtes where the dead are close to the living on a special day or if the calendar day doesn’t really matter.

    Besides special days, a lot of ancient cultures had special temples or holy sites where people could talk to the undead. Greek Mythology had a lot of cases where Greek heroes had to consult the dead for advice on their quests.

    If Scarterra has temples or magic nodes where the living can contact the dead it is not going to be a casual thing. Living supplicants who want to talk to dead people will need to bring offerings, pass tests of willpower and endurance and otherwise prove their worthiness. Then there is the old fantasy/mythology chess nut that dead people tend to be cryptic and confusing, assuming they aren’t deliberately lying. Ignorant of what the living person wants to know, or driven crazy by being dead.

    Barring a Dia Los Meurtes situation, I think living people need to go on some kind of personal quest to talk to the dead people, especially if they want to talk to a specific dead person. If a séance participant is not picky, it’s not hard to issue a call to a random dead person. The danger of that approach is most of the dead people waiting on deck to respond to a random séance are jerks.


    I also like the idea of Spirit Loas and I don’t have to limit Loas to using ghosts. They could have a means to talk to dead people in the afterlife. At least dead people they have a personal connection to or dead people who are especially interested in meddling with the living.

    For a recap, Spirit Loas means spirit horse. A metaphorical horse can let dead people ride him. When this happens the Loa can access skills and knowledge form the spirit riding him, and the spirit can vicariously enjoy the sensation of being alive.

    Most Spirit Loas are born with the innate talent to invite dead people in. A few wizards can cast spells to mimic the natural talent of a Spirit Loa, but it’s not a common trick most wizards bother with because of how inherently risk being a Loa is. There are less dangerous ways to contact the dead.


    The point is, I think it’s a good thing for a fantasy setting if exceptional individuals can talk to the dead under specific circumstances. So I guess whatever form the general afterlife takes, I want the living and the dead to be able to communicate with the living.


    Can living creatures visit the afterlife to go on Orpheus like quests? How common is this?

    In Greek mythology, Hercules, Psyche, and Orpheus all traveled to the underworld and lived to tell about it. Maybe Odysseus pulled this off when he talked to the shade that was Tiresias. Some versions of the story, Odysseus traveled to Hades to talk to him, other versions of the story he summoned the dead to the land of the living. That was it. Underworld journeys were not routine.

    In other mythologies, especially high fantasy, underworld journeys are something that, while not routine, is something that at least one hero does per generation.

    Since plane hopping magic is part and parcel to most D&D games, if Scarterra is used in a D&D game, I figured I’d let D&D magic that allows planar travel to let characters travel to the Nine’s realms. High level characters can travel to other planes almost routinely.

    In my homebrew system, ●●●●● magic plus a lot of time and additional investment would be required to visit another plane as a bare minimum. I prefer the notion that to travel to another plane, a mortal has to undertake a quest or complex ritual. This gives non magic users an equal chance.

    Either way, it’s a good idea to be on at least neutral terms with the Lord or Lady of the realm you want to visit. I figure most deities have three “welcome centers” in their private realms/palaces. One center is for valued friends, one center is for questing and testing champions and the third center is a dungeon or torture chamber for enemies. The god or goddess gets to decide where any would-be visitor goes.

    There would be a backdoor way into the Nine’s private Idahos. A person could theoretically enter the Meta-sky, walk towards a deity’s private Idaho and sneak in a proverbial side door. If a hero or villain wants to invade a deity’s home turf, steal something or do some damage and live to tell about it, this is the only way to do it with any chance of success.


     
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  12. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    An Update on the Actual Game I'm Running

    Sadly real life issues made it hard to play a long session of my RPG. Most of the few sessions we have played have been pretty boring and uneventful.

    There is a hostile foreign nation saber rattling to the south, orc raiders extorting villagers in the north, a bunch of scheming nobles, assorted monsters in the woods and criminals bleeding the capital dry. I intended this game to be a sandbox. I don't care what the player characters do as long as they do something. The players opted to take a bite out of crime.

    Neshik the gnome and Aramil the elf have been very cautiously gathering intelligence on the criminals, hoping to work their way up to the leaders. They didn't tip their hand off to the bad guys but progress was very slow. Well earlier today, I got a friend who was on the fence about playing to finally join. So now we have Svetlana the half-orc.

    Aranil and Neshik were very cautious because they were eager to avoid a fight until all their ducks are lined in a row. Svetlana is a very good fighter, so the players "we can be less subtle now!" While the group grew by 50% I would say they are 200% more effective now with the simple addition of a burly armored half-orc with a big club.

    Svetlana's player hasn't played many tabletop games but she has played a gazillion RPG video games. Going through the equipment list, she insisted on buying a barrel pickled fish. She brings up the pickled fish at every opportunity as an inside joke.

    Anywho, the player characters had been tailing some low level thugs. They were getting impatient about finding the bigger fish so it was time to rattle the cage. Neshik tried to talk his way "Excuse me, do you have a moment to talk about our lady and savior Khemra." The thugs told them to go away. They tried knocking on the door but they stopped answering. So Svetlana "knocked" on the door very hard. Svetlana is not a spell-caster but her big stick can cast "sleep" on select targets. She knocked out one thug and the other one surrendered. Then it's time for good cop, bad cop. Or more accurately, good gnome, bad half-orc. They got a little bit of information about some corrupt cops but nothing big. "Hey, now that we know the cops are corrupt, lets drop these thugs off with the cops."

    So the PCs thought they would stake out the thug's hovel and see who came looking for them. The thugs of course were two of the adopted brothers of the criminals main enforcer Wenham (page five for a recap). Wenham rolled poorly for his streetwise, so he didn't know his two boys were arrested. He just knew they were resting.

    Aranil and Neshik waited in the hovel while the half-orc had the brilliant cover as a seller of pickled fish. She was not very convincing. So Wenham identified the stranged armored half orc lady selling fish unconvincingly where his boys disappeared as a threat. Wenham used his considerably stealth skills to sneak attack Svetlana, but not very well. He rolled badly on damage. He also had lesser minion thugs waiting in the wings.

    Svetlana and Wenham exchanged blows while Wenham's five thugs tried to shoot Svetlana with crossbows. Wenham was slowly wearing down Svetlana. Aranil and Neshik rushed out to join the fight (who Wenham did know he should expect). Neshik immediately healed all the wounds on Svetlana.

    Wenham is not a coward, but he's a pragmatism. "Kill the gnome!" he ordered and then he attacked the gnome himself. But with Aranil using arrows and magical blasts to keep the minions on the defensive and unable to effectively swarm and charge.

    Wenham is slightly better than Svetlana at fighting, but Neshik was healing most of the damage Wenham inflicted, so Wenham was clearly losing. He threw an alchemical smoke bomb. Aranil couldn't have fired a magical burst at Wenham without hitting Neshik and Svetlana so he fired a burst near where they standing to disperse the smoke. But the smoke bomb was just a temporary ruse for Wenham to drink an invisibility potion, so the smoke cleared just in time for the PCs to see him disappear.

    Svetlana dumped her barrel of fish with the hope of pegging the invisible Wenham, so that he left fishy footprints. She missed.

    The minions (some of whom were slightly wounded after their firefight with Aranil) fled. Aranil and Svetlana were in hot pursuit. Aranil's character is built for speed and Svetlana is built for general physical health so they caught up to the minions pretty easily. Neshik fell behind.

    Invisible Wenham thought this was a good opportunity to sneak attack Neshik (which nullified his invisibility potion). He managed this but not before Svetlana brained one his minions and badly wounded the remainder. He didn't inflict enough damage to take out Neshik (who had magically souped up his armor temporarily).

    Svetlana and Aranil almost killed or incapacitated Wenham before he was able to get away with a second invisiblity potion, paired with a potion of flying.

    Anyway, the surviving four minions surrendered. They gave up Wenham's safe houses, at least the ones they knew and a bunch of minor accomplices.

    Neshik though Svetlana could decide what to do with the defeated foes. Svetlana, scooped up her fish (a little dirt adds texture). Told them all to eat some fish (they did, are you going to argue with the scary half-orc) and the PCs let them go (after taking their weapons).

    The PCs raided all the safe houses that Wenham's minions gave up. They took around 2000 gold pieces worth of Wenham's spare cash, armor, weapons, regeants, and assorted odds and ends. That's about a third of Wenham's wealth. Some of it's carried on him, others is in secret stashes he didn't tell his minions about.

    That's probably between 5% and 10% of the criminal organization's total wealth.

    They also found a smashed Kenku egg batter. Which it took Neshik a while to identify. His player briefly thought about using it to make magic items, but instead opted to turn it over to the Khemra priesthood so they could give it to the Kenku community for proper funerary service.

    Neshik almost failed his dice rolls to identify the mystery jar as containing Kenku egg batter. If he held onto it in ignorance, Etch the doppleganger crimelord might have been able to frame Neshik and Company to being Kenku egg dealers, but the player characters headed that off.

    So the player characters have not figured out that the two rival crimelords are actually a doppleganger with dual idenitities. They know there is a gnome wizard powerbroker involved. They know Wenham is a major enforcerer for one of the crime syndicates.

    We might play again next week, but it's far more likely we will play again in two or three weeks at the soonest.

    In the meantime I need to figure out how Etch the doppleganger and Vusnitt the evil gnome are going to react. Three adventurers essentially came out of nowhere and utterly humiliated their chief enforcer then robbed him blind. Initially Etch's result is probably panicking. Etch isn't the type to kill Wenham. He's not big on the "you have failed me for the last time!" bit. Mostly because Wenham is wily. If Etch decides to kill Wenham and fails, Wenham can either kill him back or at least expose most of his secrets.

    Wenham, the chief enforcer, surely wants revenge. Wenham is not a coward, but he's not a moron. In a fair fight, Svetlana and Wenham are pretty evenly matched, but Wenham is very good at sneak attacks. However he is not good enough at sneak attacks to take out Svetlana, Neshik, and Aranil. Now that the player characters realize they have an enemy who has multiple invisibility potions, they only travel as a group.

    Etch, Vusnitt and Wenham together could probably take the player characters in a fair fight, but Vusnitt and Etch hate direct confrontation.

    Anyway, the Kenku are now going to be less tolerant of criminals because the criminals were caught dealing in Kenku eggs. But that's why Etch created two criminal organizations. The Guild of Shadows was caught dealing in Kenku eggs, not the Black Hand. So all the criminal business the Kenku engage in is going to move to the Black Hand.

    As for what to do about the adventurers. I'm not sure what Etch's response is going to be. I'm open to suggestions but here's what I have now.

    Plan A) Hire an assassin to take out Neshik.

    Note, that Etch doesn't know that the Priesthood of Greymoria is actually quietly on Neshik's side (because Wenham unknowinlgy murdered one of the priestesses friends), so if he tries to hire them, it will backfire.

    Plan B) Mob the heroes with every cheap cut throat he can find at once.
    Plan C) Lie low and wait for the adventurers to move on.
    Plan D) Create fall guys for the Black Hand and Guild of Shadows, and collapse the organizations Etch built, then Etch quietly leaves town under an assumed identity taking all his gathered loot with him.

    If the player characters find out who and what Etch is and corner him/her, the PCs win and this subplot is over.

    If Etch is forced to enact plan D, the PCs win and this subplot is over.

    At which point I will ask the players what they want to do for the next adventure, monster hunts, dungeon diving, fighting orc raiders, etc and set that up.

    P.S. I still really would like to hear your ideas on the Scarterran afterlife. I haven't given up on that.
     
  13. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Skink Chief

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    imo, i think you'll mainly have to be the one to decide on those details of a afterlife. A world/setting's afterlife reuses a lot of themes the world/setting is primarily about, and also what the author believes in and wants in their work.

    Like, this question entirely depends on what 'feel' you want your world to have, be it grimdark, or more positive-like such as MLP (yes, i loved that show as a boy :p )

    IMO, and this for a more positive/grimdark feel, but i think it'd be pretty cool if deceased people can take grave goods with them, but it fades overtime depending on their Psyche, Heart's fire, and other factors you created. Taking away grave goods people have left for the deceased, could have some terrible effects on the latter. If grave goods are taken, then the deceased will probably lose the memories of their loved ones, and those that were close to them.


    All depends on the feelings you want to elicit from your players and readers, and what themes you want to explore. I don't know the world enough to answer this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  14. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    I also struggle with the afterlife stuff.
    I kinda like the D&D/Planescape approach to it, but I admit that does create a few weird situations, which is why we house ruled it back in the day.
     
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  15. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I think the afterlife should be a disk world arrangement with nine segments. A big hollow in the center. One can look down through that at the PMP where the cylinder of ScarAquaTerra spins merrily in the void of space.
     
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  16. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    You missed a step. :(

    Here is what we house ruled. Blah blah blah blah
     
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  17. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Oh, sorry. I somehow thought it was more obvious than it actually is.

    Point 1:
    Dead people cannot scry on the living, nor communicate with living people as easily. In stock D&D there is a loophole: nobody said that dead people cannot permanently watch the whole material plane.
    Communication with dead people is possible as well (via the sending spell). So basically dead people can potentially be perfect spies.
    Also: it is pretty creepy when grandma watches you have sex all the time or something.

    There is (or was) one D&D setting that changed this IIRC. In that one souls in the afterlife normally didn't have their memories anymore. Which is not that bad of an idea. I would however rather say that they might have access to their memories under certain circumstances.

    Point 2:
    Plane walkers can enter the planes where all the dead are. However there are safeguards in place. It isn't as easy to get there via planewalking. You either need permission from the god who is in charge, or help from another very powerful being.
    Same goes for a dead soul who has retained or regained some of their memories and/or abilities. They cannot just get out.


    Those are the two main points, limiting plane walkers and communication with the dead.

    The third was that spells bringing dead people back to life only works if the soul wants to do that, and the moment someone tries to raise them the soul does know about the person who tries it, and the circumstances.
    IIRC I had to clarify that because in earlier editions you could have raised someone, tortured them to death, raised them again, tortured them to death again and so on.
    Later editions added that the soul must be willing and able (their god could prevent them), but didn't add that they were able to find out what the circumstances were (such as time that passed, who was resurrecting them and why). Basically resurrection in my version is the service of a god now. The god 'awakes' the soul and can allow/deny/check circumstances of the resurrection.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  18. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Thank you for expanding on this. Maybe it is pretty obvious because I made similar assumptions.

    I also assumed it would be broken and weird if the dead could spy on the living constantly.

    My D&D10 has a much smaller spell list than D&D and the more advanced spells are not available at all. So no casting sending spells to people who are not on the mortal plane. I suppose in my system, you could cast a sending spell to a ghost and a ghost would be a pretty bad ass spy. But ghosts can still be detected and countered against. Grandma in heaven cannot be detected and countered.

    My assumptions are pretty similar.


    As for the third point, my world doesn't have routine ressurection magic. MAYBE, I can let characters access ressurection magic with an epic quest along the lines of collecting the seven dragon balls or some equivalent quest that is so dangerous that two to five heroes are likely to die earning the right to ressurect one hero.

    So yeah, if a PC dies in my campaign, they will need to start filling out a new character sheet cause death is pretty nonnegotiable.
     
  19. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    It also makes death more meaningful.
    Considering the wealth of wealthy people in most D&D settings (and player characters are usually quite wealthy pretty quickly) death swiftly becomes not much more than a minor inconvenience.

    There won't be a moving burial of a person if they can just go and raise them.
    It will quickly be a "they killed Kenny. again. Who carries the corpse this time?" moment.
     
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  20. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    A tier one zombie octopus would not be able to regrow severed limbs unless a necromancer pumped healing magic into it. A tier three zombie octopus could regrow lost limbs if it was well fed. I don't know about a tier two zombie octopus.

    I guess a tier one undead basically flails at it's enemies. A tier three undead has two to four special powers, which in a cephlapods case would include regeneration. A tier two undead would have one or two special powers. Great cunning, ink, extra powerful bite attack, extra powerful grapple attack, regeneration. Tier three cephlapod zombies get all of these. Tier two zombies would pick two, or rather the necromancer would pick two.

    I have yet to play test my undead creation guidelines but I want tier one undead to be the kind of enemy where the PCs can handle mass numbers of them and tier three undead to be the kind to give the PCs pause, even if they have 1:1 numbers with the PCs.

    Save it for the future discussion of the nation of Semantica, somewhere around page 100 of this thread.

    Indeed. I am kind and generous game master, but the players are not taking any chances. I created some poisonous twig blights to play test my rules for poison saving throws. After that encounter, the PCs spent nearly all of their first haul of treasure to buy Purification magic capable of curing poisons.

    They are pretty well stocked with healing potions, not that that feat is very difficult since Neshik is fantastic at making these things. They are generally meticuously and cautious when planning offensives. Sveltana's player has a higher risk tolerance, so we'll see if that changes things going forward.


    That works. Though the nine segments are not going to be blatantly obvious. I think the landscape of the diskworld will gradually take on the traits of the Nine that are/is nearest.

    Okay, so if a typical polytheist Scarterran dies, her heart's fire is all gone. That's what being dead means.

    The corpses loses around 95% of it's animus. The remaining 5% fades away slowly. Once it fades to nothing (generally when they eyes are gone), the corpse can no longer be the subject of basic necromancy, though it can still be animated as zombie.

    The psyche and Mortis rises to Celestial Plane which is basically a disk world like pendrake suggests. This is what most Scarterran peasants call the soul. Generally only well-read scholars are aware of the terms "Heart's Fire", "True Names", "Shadows", or "Animus".

    So, most normal souls hang out in the afterlife. The deceased souls usually seek out their friends and family in the Celestial Plane. They usually live somewhat idealized versions of their previous lifes, until eventually this grows hollow and the soul gives this up (his psyche fades away) and the soul merges with the Celestial Plane. The soul's Shadow lingers.

    Supposedly one or more of the Nine have a Book of Shadows which contains the Shadows of all mortals who ever died. This cannot bring back the dead, but it in theory would provide a complete history of all people who ever lived.

    The more living people who remember the deceased and tell tales about him, the longer the soul can retain his psyche. If a deceased person has tales told about him for centuries, they might still linger. They would be very powerful individuals in death, at least among the Celestial Plane. They might eventually accrue enough power to affect the living in limited ways. Among other things, a mortal person who desires to walk the planes would probably seek out some of these Legendary Ones for wisdom and lore. That's what I will call them.

    The Legendary Ones would not wield the power of exemplar spirits which are infused with a portion of the Nine's power but they would have more freedom and independence.

    The Legendary Ones could potentially lose their real memories and have their true memories replaced by the legends told about them. Heroes would become heroic and villains would be come more villainous. Their physical forms probably become more idealized too. They could eventually become mad. If this persists they might eventually split with thier Mortis merging into the Celestial Plane (and changing the landscape for centuries to come) while their Pysche drifts to the Astral Plane. Similar to how an obssessive ghost driven mad could become a disembodied astral spirit.

    Okay where do dead people go? Perhaps I need a flow chart.

    First is, does the soul have void taint? yes/no. Yes

    Does the Void taint the essence of a weak willed passionless soul? Go directly to Oblvion!

    Does the Void taint your essence of a strong willed passionate soul? Welcome to Ghostville!

    First is, does the soul have void taint? yes/no. No

    Was the soul especially pious towards one of the Nine? Yes

    Free VIP pass to the Nine's private realm. Eventually the soul merges with one of the Nine or is reborn as an exemplar spirit.

    Was the soul especially pious towards one of the Nine? No

    The soul wanders the Celestial Plane. Maybe the soul converts to one of the Nine's realms. Maybe the soul becomes a Lengendary One. Probably the soul merges with the plane after enjoying a few centuries in a pleasant afterlife.


    Did I leave any gaping holes in plot construction or logic? Does anyone have any clever ideas to make this more interesting?
     

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