Friday, 10 July 2009

Raise Dead as an Entry into the Underworld

Some people deal with magic that raises dead characters back to life (e.g. raise dead, resurrection) by making it very rare, some by making it expensive, some by throwing their arms up in the air and saying 'hey, its a agme, who cares if it breaks believability'... but I have another idea.

D&D is famous for its dungeon crawls, so why not make raise dead open up a portal to the underworld and have the rest of the party jump into it. Make whole thing into an opportunity to rescue the dead character's soul from the dungeon of the afterlife. Death of the party members in the underworld would force their souls to remain in the underworld until rescued too...

Success would be no means assured - in fact it would be a challenge. Enter the dread underworld and re-emerge with your buddy - if you can?

6 comments:

Superhero Necromancer said...

I love it. Is this a new idea, or is it something you've had the chance to use in play?

I ask because I have a homebrew D&D campaign setting based on a similar idea, but we haven't used it yet. I think it would lead to very cool stuff in play.

Ragnorakk said...

It is a cool idea - sort of a side adventure. Maybe it could be its own spell (of lower level than Raise Dead) called "Retrieve Dead" or somesuch...

jamused said...

I've actually done this before, though not with D&D. It worked pretty well... the players were really entertained and a bit freaked out by some of the changes that were wrought on them by their travels into the Land of Death.

seaofstarsrpg said...

That is a good idea, thank you.

Bringing back the dead is very difficult in my campaign but with the recent upheaval in the Shadelands that border life and death . . . This could prove to be a very useful addition.

The Recursion King said...

I've not used this myself yet but will do. I literally blogged the idea almost as soon as I had it!

Thanks for the comments guys. If anyone does try this in the near future, be sure to let me know how it goes. At the moment, the party is quite low level so resurrections are not on the immediate horizon (we do have a six level thief though so you never know...)

Noumenon said...

This would be great for a low level party. They can't afford Resurrection, but they can gird up their courage to go to hell and back for their friend!

Another option is that I don't make you lose a level for resurrection. I give you a negative level, and you are a shadow of your former self until you do a quest for the god that raised you and clear the negative level off. But you're not so far behind the party.