When a character dies, it is believed that their soul departs, lingering for some time in the spirit world before returning to the cycle of reincarnation that underlies all life and death on Otera. If a resurrection is attempted for a player character using a spell or spell-like effect, that resurrection attempt automatically succeeds as long as the parameters of the spell are met. A player character can be resurrected up to a maximum of three times, after which point the soul’s attachment to its current lifetime has degraded too much to be called back again.
Before such a spell with a casting time of longer than 1 action completes and the target is brought back to life, however, a Resurrection Ritual Challenge is initiated to determine whether that soul’s journey back from the spirit world is a smooth or a bumpy one. Up to three characters can offer to contribute to this ritual and must describe an action they take to add something of value to the ritual, entreating their departed friend or loved one to return. These three participants cannot include the person casting the spell.
During the ritual, after each participant has performed such an action, the officiating DM will ask that character to make an ability check of some kind based on their form of contribution (i.e., Persuasion for an impassioned speech, Intimidation for threats, brewer’s supplies for pouring a bottle of fine wine out on the altar, and so on). The DM privately determines the DC for each check based on how successful such an action is deemed likely to be in entreating this particular soul to return to life. The more fitting the entreaty based on knowing that character well, explaining well how it will convince that soul to return, and roleplaying the scene well, the lower the DC for that check. For example, praying to the god of the devout, fallen character may require an Intelligence (Religion) check at an easy to medium difficulty, whereas loudly demanding the return of the soul of the fallen from that deity may require a Charisma (Intimidation) check at a very hard difficulty. Advantage and disadvantage can apply here at the discretion of the DM, and you can use DM advantage on these checks (including giving DM advantage to another player making such a check).
After all contributions are completed, the deceased then rolls a single, final 1d20 ritual check with no modifier. The base DC for the ritual check is 10, increasing by 2 for each previous successful resurrection the character has undergone (signifying the slow erosion of the soul’s connection to this world). For each successful contribution skill check, this DC is decreased by 3, whereas each failed contribution skill check increases the DC by 1.
Upon a successful ritual check, the character’s soul (should it be willing) returns to life and the ritual succeeds without a hitch. On a failed check, it still succeeds (providing the max limit of number of resurrections hasn’t previously been reached), but the soul drags some manner of trouble back with it, represented by some sort of RP-based and/or mechanical drawback, which the player may choose from the Resurrection Drawbacks and Hooks List. Alternately, the player can work with a DM to suggest an alternate drawback and get that approved. These drawbacks are meant primarily as a fun RP hook related to the traumatic experience of dying and returning to life. If desired, a player can choose to adopt one of the approved drawbacks listed below even if the ritual succeeds.
As a note, a resurrection drawback can be permanent or temporary at the discretion of the affected character’s player. If you wish it to be temporary, the drawback’s eventual healing or removal can make for a fun hook for a personal quest or campaign (or even just a Discord RP event) centered on that character.
Spells that have a penalty upon successful resurrection, such as Raise Dead, and Resurrection, require 1 CP to be spent resting in addition to the long rest required to reduce the penalty by 1.
Distribution of Worldly Possessions
Upon the permanent death or retirement of your character, you may dispose of their possessions using the rules below. These rules assume the character’s body and/or items are recoverable. You cannot pass on items that were lost or destroyed. You also may never pass down any wealth, property, or items you own (magical or otherwise) to another one of your own characters.
Upon the permanent death or retirement of your character, you should publicly post your will on Discord in the #ic-memorials channel and log any traded items as per usual in #trading-players.
Upon permanent character death/retirement, you may pass on one magical item to a character with whom you have a strong bond even if the item could not normally be traded (including soulbound items), in which case that item forms a soul bond to its new owner. Once passed down, this item can never be passed down this way again.
The character you pass the item down to must meet its minimum level restrictions before they can use it. These level restrictions apply only to items passed down this way.
- Common or Uncommon – Tier 1
- Rare – Tier 2
- Very Rare – Tier 3
- Legendary – May not be passed down at all.
Your character’s other magic items either remain with them if they are retired, or if your character dies, these items (whether soulbound or not) enter a decades-long cooldown due to having their connection to the character forcefully severed. Narratively, such items can be shipped back to your family in Solace or donated to the Conservators for cataloging and future study. Bottom line: they do not remain in play.
All of your unused crafting materials (including scrap and Essence) may be bequeathed to other player characters, player organizations, or NPC factions at your discretion.
You may also gift two non-magical, player-crafted pieces of gear (weapons, armor, accessories, magitech, inventions, player-created consumables, etc.) to any player characters, player organizations, or NPC factions of your choice. Finally, you may gift any number of pets, mounts, or fluff/flavor (non-mechanical) items you own as you wish. The remainder of your items are removed from the game for a story reason of your choosing.
If no story reason is given for the removal of these additional items from the game in a timely manner, the DM team reserves the right to insert a narrative reason for this or to handwave it at our discretion.
Up to 50% of your character’s personal gold can be left to player characters, NPCs, or player organizations of your choosing. The rest is taken out of play and is assumed to go towards story-related things such as donations to that character’s factions or affiliated NPC organizations, being used to take care of dependents or other family who live elsewhere (this does not include player character family members), etc.
Any property (personal buildings or expansions) ownership can be willed to other player characters (though this requires the agreement of all co-owners of that property) at your discretion. If no other owner is on record and your PC’s property is not willed in a timely manner, the property reverts to the control of the Town Planner (DMs) and may be resold to new owners.
Rolling a New Character
- If your character dies or is retired before they reach level 5, you cannot roll either of our dice methods for the replacement character’s stats and must use standard point buy or array instead.
- At the DM’s discretion, if your character dies, you may receive some or all of the ECP you would have gained from that game to add to your character’s total ECP for the purposes of determining your death benefit level. If you are awarded any of this ECP, you can add all of the total awarded to your character’s current ECP, even if it’s over your weekly max cap for this character. Reasons for not getting this ECP may include things like obvious suicide by monster or unsportsmanlike behavior.
Death & Retirement Benefits
The following benefits apply when creating a new character following the death or retirement of a previous character. They only apply to a single character, after which you would need to retire another character to receive that benefit again.
- You can roll stats for your next character instead of having to use point buy.
- You gain one Legacy Point to spend on your new character. This counts as an additional Legacy point if you’re using the Legacy system to build a race for this character. Alternately, you can still use this Legacy point to purchase a Legacy trait even if you are using a standard race instead of the Legacy system.
- All previous Retirement Benefits.
- You gain a 2nd Legacy Point to spend.
- You gain an additional (3rd) mulligan if rolling for stats.
- All previous Retirement Benefits.
- If you use point buy for your new character, the minimum score you can buy is 6 and the max score you can buy is 18, using these additional rules:
- A score of 6 refunds 2 points
- A score of 7 refunds 1 point
- A score of 16 costs 12 points
- A score of 17 costs 15 points.
- A score of 18 costs 19 points.
- For ease of use, this calculator can be easily adjusted to these custom rules.
- Your next character starts play with one common magic item of your choice. Armour or weapon properties from the common magic items table (i.e. gleaming, cast-off, smoldering) only apply to starting equipment you get or purchase (i.e., if you start the game with scale mail, you could apply it to that.) This magic item is soulbound to the character.
Completion of Epic Campaign (Death or Retirement)
- All previous Retirement Benefits.
- You may request a thematic feature or item within reason to start with play with.