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Alternate Resurrection Rules

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Alternate Resurrection Rules

I wanted to get some feedback on some alternate resurrection rules I put together. I don't think the 5e Rules are necessarily wrong, but I wanted to try something different. I don't want it too punishing to make resurrection completely undesirable, but I want PCs to be more wary of death than they are now.

I tried making something that could be narratively interesting, yet not too punishing long term. First I have alternate rules to make resurrection a little more difficult to succeed. If resurrection does succeed I added a new flaw for the creature (that can be roleplayed however the player would like) and a temporary buff and debuff. I tried to use each of the ability scores and a condition that makes at least a little sense with the new flaw. The temporary effects last as long as the negative effects from spells such as Raise Dead. I figured that would balance it a little.

Resurrection Mechanic

For resurrection and similar effects you must succeed on 3 death saving throws after cheating death, just like a character would if they become downed. If someone attempts to bring a creature back to life and they fail their death saving throws in regards to that attempt they do not come back to life. Someone may make a second attempt, and the creature makes new death saving throws for that second attempt, but they start with one failed save already. If they fail again this may continue until they would be starting with three failed death saves, which means the attempt to bring them to life automatically fails. On a success the soul is saved and the creature may make the choice if their souls wants to come back or proceed on to afterlife. If you are brought back from the dead you will suffer negative lasting and temporary effects determined by rolling a D6 on the list below.

Lasting Effects

Roll a D6

1: Denial, Shock

  • Personality Flaw: The ordeal of death causes you to go through severe shock. You deny it happened at all, you become numbed to the pain and the idea of death. You refuse to speak about the death and fling yourself into dangerous or lethal situations without thought.
  • Temporary Buff: (Numb to Pain) Whenever you take damage that damage is reduced by 4. Each long rest (or 24 hour cycle) this number is reduced by one until you take the normal damage.
  • Temporary Debuff: (Numb to the World) Whenever you fall below half health for the first time in combat you must make a DC (15 – the number of days after death) Dexterity Saving throw. On a failed save you gain the Stunned condition for a number of rounds equal to the number of days after death. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early. This effect is permanently ended after 4 long rests or 24 hour cycles.
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2: Anger

  • Personality Flaw: The shock of your death causes a roiling sea of anger in you, hiding just below the surface but ready to rise up at a moment's notice. You find even minor annoyances can set you off. You look for who to blame for your death or some reason behind it.
  • Temporary Buff: (Raging Fury) Each time you deal damage it is increased by 4. Each long rest (or 24 hour cycle) this number is reduced by one until you deal normal damage.
  • Temporary Debuff: (Blind with Rage) Whenever you fall below half health for the first time in combat you must make a DC (15 – the number of days after death) Intelligence Saving throw. On a failed save you gain the Blinded condition for a number of rounds equal to the number of days after death. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early. This effect is permanently ended after 4 long rests or 24 hour cycles.

3: Bargaining

  • Personality Flaw: You wake from your disconnect with the world and look for a way to escape the grasps of death. Your faith, if you have one, becomes everything to you. If you didn't believe in something before you almost maniacally search for new faith. You would give anything to not feel the cold clutch of death again.
  • Temporary Buff: (A Silver Tongue) Each time you make a Charisma skill check the roll is increased by 4. Each long rest (or 24 hour cycle) this number is reduced by one until you use your normal roll.
  • Temporary Debuff: (Looking for an Out) Whenever you fall below half health for the first time in combat you must make a DC (15 – the number of days after death) Charisma Saving throw. On a failed save you gain the Charmed (to the nearest creature) condition for a number of rounds equal to the number of days after death. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early. This effect is permanently ended after 4 long rests or 24 hour cycles.
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4: Depression, Reflection, Loneliness

  • Personality Flaw: You realized the inescapable approach of death. All things end, including you. You become withdrawn at the stark reality, and become more sullen. You try to reflect inward to find some semblance of meaning in death. You feel alone in your experience and this makes it difficult to make deep connections with others.
  • Temporary Buff: (Know Thyself) Each time you make a Wisdom Skill check the roll is increased by 4. Each long rest (or 24 hour cycle) this number is reduced by one until you use your normal roll.
  • Temporary Debuff: (Catatonic Depression) Whenever you fall below half health for the first time in combat you must make a DC (15 – the number of days after death) Wisdom Saving throw. On a failed save you gain the Unconscious condition for a number of rounds equal to the number of days after death. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early. This effect is permanently ended after 4 long rests or 24 hour cycles.

5: Acceptance

  • Personality Flaw: You overcome the initial shock of death and decide that if you can't escape death perhaps you should prepare for it. You take a more meaningful look at the relationships in your life and look at every day as your last. Death could come to anyone at any moment, and it's better to expect it than not.
  • Temporary Buff: (Self Acceptance) Each time you make a Wisdom or Intelligence Saving Throw the roll is increased by 4. Each long rest (or 24 hours) this number is reduced by one until you use your normal roll.
  • Temporary Debuff: (Exhaustive Truth) Whenever you fall below half health for the first time in combat you must make a DC (15 – the number of days after death) Strength Saving throw. On a failed save you gain three levels of Exhaustion for a number of rounds equal to the number of days after death. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early. Ending the effect of this Debuff does not remove any levels of Exhaustion you already had. This Debuff will not raise the Exhaustion level above three. This effect is permanently ended after 4 long rests or 24 hour cycles.

6: Pain, Guilt

  • Personality Flaw: The pain of death racks your body. Even in rebirth you can feel the pain of the killing blow at all times. The pain is a constant reminder of your fatal mistake and the effect it had not only on you, but your companions and loved ones. The feeling of that guilt will not escape you.
  • Temporary Buff: (Pinch Me, I must be Dreaming) Each time you make a saving throw against being charmed or being put to sleep the roll is increased by 4. Each long rest (or 24 hour cycle) this number is reduced by one until you use your normal roll.
  • Temporary Debuff: (Unbearable Pain) Whenever you fall below half health for the first time in combat you must make a DC (15 – the number of days after death) Constitution Saving throw. On a failed save you gain the Prone condition for a number of rounds equal to the number of days after death. You may repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early. This effect is permanently ended after 4 long rests or 24 hour cycles.
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Additionally, the creature would experience some vision or knowledge of the afterlife that awaited them. It could be a glimpse into the plane of their God, or perhaps a vast emptiness. Perhaps their soul is pulled in multiple directions, indicating they have a choice in where they go after death. The player would roleplay this how they want.

Any thoughts? Appreciate any input or suggestions.

Source: reddit.com

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