Dungeons & Dragons Online

Alternative resurrection idea – Purgatory

Content of the article: "Alternative resurrection idea – Purgatory"

I'm DM'ing for only one player and had a little bit of a struggle: on one hand it's amazing, because basically whole campaign is full of character plots, but on the other hand… death of that character seemed pretty permanent, since there is no "party", only an "adventuring individual".

Of course I could just have a cleric "tag along" for a 2-person party, but decided to use the opportunity to make it more interesting: to make a Purgatory for that character.

Purgatory is a place, where characters soul enters before being ultimately judged if it should pass away or return to the world of living. Here's how it roughly works:

  • A character must be strongly tied to some otherwordly being (a warlock Patron or a Diety would be ideal), which "owns" the characters soul in the Purgatory. That Entity then judges the character based on how he lived, what actions did he take and how Entity perceived these actions (on par with its wishes or not).
  • When (if) a character dies, he enters the Purgatory, a pocket plane of the Entity in which it will judge his soul.
  • Judgement comes in a little mini-game of "collect points and win prizes". DM and player should discuss (or even better: have them prepared) all the significant choices and actions that character has ever done and how it makes the Entity perceive that character. It's up to DM how to "score" each action and choice based on how Entity would view them.
  • So what would it take for the Entity to bring a character back to life? Basically player must convince the Entity (based on actions that it had already taken in life) that he's more useful alive than dead. Entity must see how useful that person is to the point of "oh hell no, you're going back to bring me even more of that sweet glory" In my case there were three possibilities:
    • "You're a very valuable asset, go forth and continue to live by my words" – character has done extremely well in his life and impressed the Entity so much that he's sent back immediately, no questions asked. It would have to be extremely impressive for that Entity to just give such a free "get out of jail Purgatory" card.
    • "I can see your value, but I am yet to be convinced" – character is in fact a good follower of the Entity. He has done some "good" deeds that follow the interests of the Entity, but it's not completely convinced. This is a good opportunity to have that character fight for his life and for DM to get creative: Entity wants to test the character, wants ti give him one last chance to prove himself. It all depends on what this Entity is. Maybe the character is returned as a ghost and must "scare someone to death" to prove it's loyalty? Would be fun for an Archfey Patron.
    • "No." – character was not a good follower, end of story. However it does present a really cool possibility for the DM to describe how the Entity is displeased with the character before ultimately judging him.
Read:  Learning From Your Mistakes - What's your biggest flop/fail story?

In my case we (I and my player) used a discord chat to "keep tabs" on all the positive and negative things that the character did for his Diety (Aerdrie Faenya) and it worked extremely well. It helped my player feel "instant feedback" from Aerdrie and know if the diety is pleased or displeased with his actions. It was a very good cleric PC experience.

Source: reddit.com

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