Echoes of the Rising
-Aolyin, Order of the Unseen Lover
(Catfolk Sacred Prostitute 7)
When arriving at the 5th session choices made are permanent. Psychic Reformation may be important to keep in mind at this point.
One of the things I Loved and Hated about 3.5 DND was Character Death. It was such a Huge Deal! If you died you lost weeks, months, and sometimes Years worth of EXP. A single bad roll was devastating to a person. Even with resurrection death was extremely painful, and therefor extremely detrimental to the enjoyment of the game. It was easy to become hung up on the negative and be unable to enjoy the game as well as before. But on the positive side it made parts of the game special. You played tactically, worked hard to defend your weaknesses (Mindblank, Deathward, Freedom of Movement), and were not ashamed to run from enemies. This made your accomplishments important, victories meaningful, and high level PCs something to be very Proud of. Also, when rerolling in 3.5 you were meant to start at level 1, but the XP system quickly leveled a low level PC in a high level party. Experience is a River!
In Pathfinder death is treated with kid gloves. Resurrection only costs gold, not copious amounts of real world time. This I agree is much better than the old system – playing well has the incentive of more gold for treasure while mistakes don’t ruin the game. This is a game, meant to be enjoyed. However, when resurrection is unavailable we typically just re-roll a new character of the same level and move on – playing a PC we have not “earned” unlike in 3.5. This type of care-bear combat takes away from the glory of the game. A party can simply brute force every encounter without fear of consequences. The players are cheated from truly achieving anything, and ultimately the game as a whole becomes stagnant when combat after combat is the same repeated face smash over and over.
It is my hope that the following will provide actual consequences for rerolling without permanently harming a players ability to enjoy the game. Under this system, all death will have consequences, encouraging intelligent play and rewarding player accomplishment but will not cause players undo stress should the unfortunate happen. This marriage of 3.5 consequences and therefor elevated accomplishments with Pathfinder’s care-bear incentive system I hope will minimize the negative of both while bringing the positives from each system.
You may reroll another character at any time (typically after PC death, but sometimes if your just bored with your character). Your new PC is 1 level lower than the previous and with 1 permanent negative level. Their experience will be the minimum experience required for their new lower level. The next 4 sessions after returning they will regain 20% of their lost XP, for a net gain of 80% of the original lost XP. If by the end of this 4th session they have not removed the permanent negative level via restoration, it is removed automatically. Here is a timeline:
- Character dies (no Resurrection)
- Player rerolls a new PC 1 level lower than their original
- Their first session with new PC their XP is set to the minimum required for their level
- The new PC has 1 permanent negative level
- Note at this point the difference between their original experience and their new experience is their “Lost Experience”
- Second session PC gains 20% of their lost experience (20% regained)
- Third session PC gains 20% of their lost experience (40% regained)
- Fourth session PC gains 20% of their lost experience (60% regained)
- Fifth session PC gains 20% of their lost experience (80% regained)
- Fifth session PC losses the permanent negative level if it has not already been removed with magic
Henry plays a level 9 Rogue with 100,000 XP. Henry’s rogue dies and is not Resurrected (or he chooses not to accept the resurrection). The next session (or that night if early enough) Henry begins playing his new Cleric. Henry’s Cleric starts at level 8 with 51,000 XP (the minimum required for level 8) and has 1 permanent negative level. Henry’s second session with his cleric he will regain 20% of the lost 49,000 XP, or 9800 XP. He will continue to regain 9800 XP for his third, fourth, and fifth session. Of the lost 49,000 XP, Henry regains 39,200 of it. This brings him up to 90,200 XP plus any XP gained during normal play sense his death. If by the end of the 5th session he has not sprung for a restoration then the permanent negative level fades on its own.