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 TPK is not the end - Afterlife Oneshot
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Tyaralt
Acolyte

Brazil
6 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2019 :  13:52:28  Show Profile Send Tyaralt a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Ever had a TPK ending your game ? Killing characters is not fun to me, but death must be a risk for the game to have tension and sometimes the players are just dumb, suicidal, crazy or all three together. But does this necessarily mean the game has to end ? Why not keep playing in the unlife ?!?

I'm no planar lore expert, specially with all changes from the World Tree, Great Wheel, World Axis cosmologies but after death a person soul goes to the Fugue Plane to be judged by Kelemvor and taken by his/her Deity or punished as a False or Unfaithfull right ?

If I'm not mistaken these souls, petitioners, stay in the fugue plane for a while WITHOUT full petitioners qualities, such as the inability to leave their plane, when Devils may tempt then with pacts and the like. So, why not make a oneshot were your players start a normal dungeon crawl just to get really unlucky to stumble on a dragon, lich or other powerfull being who promptly kills then all and they end up in the Fugue Plane just to have their souls stolen by Demons of the Abyss ? There the demons thenselves are raided by Devils from the Nine Hells and the characters are lucky enough to get free during the batle, now having to escape the Lower Planes just to be able to die in peace.


What do you guys think ? Lore suggestion on the unlife/planes would be greatly appreciated.

Demzer
Senior Scribe

701 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2019 :  14:45:07  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure about one-shot adventures but for a time my current party (thanks mostly to one player) messed up their chances at a peaceful afterlife and had special attention from a couple of powerful demonlords, one archdevil and several other powerful Lower Planar denizens and some meddling deities ... and one of them was a double heretic, oscillating between the two mother-faiths of his own heresy.

This led to me (when I knew they were about the face big fights with fair chances of them dying) preparing various scenarios in which their souls would be buffeted between these various factions with plenty of time and chances for the surviving members to make moves and intervene or for the souls to find loopholes and escape (that time ... usually ending up owing someone else ...).

They've cleaned up most of the mess now and only one player is still in trouble if he dies (again, he was resurrected thrice already).

The basic premise of it all is that Kelemvor oversees the process of soul-going-to-afterlife with absolutely pedantic narrow-sightedness, which meant at different points of the campaign several players were "eligible" to be claimed by a couple of (conflicting) deities or the Lower Planes with about equal chances, thus leading Kelemvor to basically halt the process. Then Jergal took issues with the players exploiting these loopholes and took matters in his own hands.

The heretic swung between Shar and Selune for a long while before finally accepting the light and for some time he had dealings with demons that endangered his afterlife.

Another player was completely compromised with the Abyss to save one of his fellows, kept praying to several different gods but mainly Tymora and Mask, ended up being a deathless (zombie animated by Positive Energy from Book of Exalted Deeds) to avoid his fate for a while and when everything was (kinda) sorted out he started his own heresy entwining the faiths of Mask and Tymora.

The messiest player pledged himself to the Abyss, then to the Nine Hells, then when they came for his soul he tried to cover it all up by asking protecton from the Mordinsamman but decided (after proving himself time and again to that pantheon and the cause of the dwarves) that he actually didn't like them that much and went back to have dealings with the Abyss, he tried undeath but that ended poorly when one of the most powerful demons he had dealings with showed she could utterly control him in that state. When he came back to life he dallied with Mystra's faith but ended up getting a huge share of attention from Cyric too. In all of this he was the reason Jergal took notice of the messy stuff with souls that was going on so the player was the focus of Jergal's attention too, for a while.

Some NPCs in the campaign were not so lucky, at least one is gone completely and a few others ended up in the Abyss permanently and the players had to do a fair share of "soul-rescuing" missions for themselves and some of the others.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2019 :  15:40:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The concept sounds like a fun one, but I don't know that the reality of such would be very fun if the party isn't powerful enough to take on lower player entities. After all, would the souls of the dead be able to interact and use their "living" abilities without a god granting them that right by somehow "changing" them? That being said, it might be worth revisiting the novel think it was prince of lies... to see exactly what happened with Gwydion... was he resurrected or claimed by a deity or what? I forget. More on his history can be found in the TSR 9525 Heroe's Lorebook.

An idea along similar lines could be the idea of the Telthors of Rashemen. What if the party dies while trying to accomplish some goal, but some of them come back as telthors (and I say some, because perhaps some of the "party" are NPC's). Same thing would work for ghosts, weaveghosts, etc... It might also be that you mix up the concepts. For instance, one player may come back as a telthor, but another player comes back because the Thayan necromancer that killed him brings him back as a skeleton warrior with a circlet that can control him. If the telthor can recover the circlet it can free its friend, and maybe there is a Durthan witch of Rashemen who seeks to kill the thayan necromancer and "knows" some special spell that allows a telthor to "unanchor" themselves and travel with them.

Meanwhile, perhaps a third player was somehow "absorbed" by his suit of armor (see the concept of Jhingleshod), such that he's running around as some kind of "living construct" (using the rules for helmed horrors, runic guardians, warforged, etc....) who wants to become a man again... or possibly absorbed by their own spellbook, staff, dancing weapon, or turned into a living spell. Maybe one had sought out the ability to become a lich and drank the potion but had not yet died (and he finds that his lich ritual is flawed and has all kinds of drawbacks).

In all this, it would be interesting I'm thinking to NOT allow the players to level up but to keep track of all their experience. Then, IF they can manage to return to life, they may suddenly jump almost 2 levels (or more if you allow such). This will give them incentive to actually return to their normal forms.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 09 Aug 2019 15:46:27
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1838 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2019 :  08:52:58  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
If I'm not mistaken these souls, petitioners, stay in the fugue plane for a while WITHOUT full petitioners qualities, such as the inability to leave their plane,

Petitioners can leave (one even became a whole factol in Sigil), but most won't no matter what (short of being ordered by their gods).
Because "dying" on their plane means joining it, and off plane ends with them just dissipated and lost permanently.
On the Fugue they are not erased yet, but this doesn't mean they can wander where they want and do whatever.
For the same reason why fiends don't just pop in and abduct them at will: the place is policed by minions of the current god of death, and these entities are quite capable of enforcing rules on their territory.

Afterlife is pretty well defined in lore, so no.
Undead campaign, however, is another matter. There was Ghostwalk, for one.
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

An idea along similar lines could be the idea of the Telthors of Rashemen. What if the party dies while trying to accomplish some goal, but some of them come back as telthors (and I say some, because perhaps some of the "party" are NPC's). Same thing would work for ghosts, weaveghosts, etc...

Telthors seem to be somewhere between Ghostwalk style spirits and Shaman style spirits, IIRC?

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 19 Aug 2019 08:56:30
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2019 :  15:32:48  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
If I'm not mistaken these souls, petitioners, stay in the fugue plane for a while WITHOUT full petitioners qualities, such as the inability to leave their plane,

Petitioners can leave (one even became a whole factol in Sigil), but most won't no matter what (short of being ordered by their gods).
Because "dying" on their plane means joining it, and off plane ends with them just dissipated and lost permanently.
On the Fugue they are not erased yet, but this doesn't mean they can wander where they want and do whatever.
For the same reason why fiends don't just pop in and abduct them at will: the place is policed by minions of the current god of death, and these entities are quite capable of enforcing rules on their territory.

Afterlife is pretty well defined in lore, so no.
Undead campaign, however, is another matter. There was Ghostwalk, for one.
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

An idea along similar lines could be the idea of the Telthors of Rashemen. What if the party dies while trying to accomplish some goal, but some of them come back as telthors (and I say some, because perhaps some of the "party" are NPC's). Same thing would work for ghosts, weaveghosts, etc...

Telthors seem to be somewhere between Ghostwalk style spirits and Shaman style spirits, IIRC?



Yep, telthors CAN be spirits "of the land" that occur from something that died. In theory they can also be something that just spontaneously is created as well. Their exact origins are unclear.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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