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Scimitars of Drizzt
Seeker

Canada
47 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  03:49:46  Show Profile Send Scimitars of Drizzt a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hello all,

I've been researching vampires in the Forgotten Realms, and I'm trying to ascertain some information regarding their soul state upon becoming undead. I've spent about an hour researching the topic, but can't come to a comfortable conclusion - I've seen conflicting threads spread across the internet "concluding" that sentient undead beings such as vampires do, and do not have souls. For some reason this doesn't seem to be factual information.

The most reliable source I was able to locate was from a WotC employee, who answered a twitter question, stating that a vampire could be brought back as a living creature so long as true resurrection was cast on the vampire, and after he's been killed and is a corpse.

So, my question is: Unless some unheard-of artifact/relic existed that could fix a vampire's undead state, would casting true resurrection on a deceased vampire be virtually the only method to resurrect a vampire to its previously human or humanoid state? And, more importantly, if this were the case, does anybody know how exactly this would work? Say a 30 year-old man was sapped of his life force and turned vampire, then 150 years later he is resurrected back to a living being. Would this entity now be a 30-year old man again? Perhaps these questions can't be utterly answered, but I thought it was worth asking.

I will mention that I've never indulged in D&D before, but my knowledge on the FR is exclusive to reading Realms novels. If there are any facts that only pertain to D&D, and not FR lore, then that is not what I'm seeking - I'm only hoping to gain knowledge on that of vampires that could exist in a FR novel. I know the two correspond, but for all I know there are slight discrepancies.

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: clarification

"Surrender now, or we will slay you!" the leader of the creatures called, a bit louder and more forcefully.
"A moment, please, my friend," Zasian said, motioning to the dwarf for patience. "We are discussing your terms."

"Ye heading off with Invo . . . Inno . . . that durned elf?"

Edited by - Scimitars of Drizzt on 22 May 2020 07:22:07

LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1185 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  10:07:50  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, he would be thirty. The person would have died at that age, so he'd come back to life at that age.
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2012 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  12:12:30  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scimitars of Drizzt

So, my question is: Unless some unheard-of artifact/relic existed that could fix a vampire's undead state, would casting true resurrection on a deceased vampire be virtually the only method to resurrect a vampire to its previously human or humanoid state? And, more importantly, if this were the case, does anybody know how exactly this would work? Say a 30 year-old man was sapped of his life force and turned vampire, then 150 years later he is resurrected back to a living being. Would this entity now be a 30-year old man again? Perhaps these questions can't be utterly answered, but I thought it was worth asking.


1. For "usual" magic, the various rules said that resurrection kills the undead.
My interpretation is that the first spell will work like Slay Living on a mortal.
If this works (i.e. the target fails MR & ST) the second spell will restore dead remnants normally, since AFAIK nothing explicitly said being undead for a while prevents this. But time after death probably should still count fully. And in most cases remnants will be in a bad enough shape that this will require full resurrection. Especially for a vampire.

2. There is a way to restore undead to life in one go and ignoring time-after-death, but it's High Magic:
quote:
Suyoll/ "The Revival": This ritual restores an elf's life, health, and harmony with the Weave. This is seen as an
acceptance back into the community of elves, despite any changes that occur during the elf's life (or death).
This ritual restores an elf's natural state, neutralizing all ill or unnatural effects upon him. It cancels curses of any
nature other than those divinely placed (i.e., personally inflicted by a god) and spell effects such as petrification and
polymorph. Suyoll allows the regrowth of full limbs, muscles, and organs (such as eyes, tongue, etc.). It also negates
any magical or nonvoluntary alignment changes. The most advanced form of this ritual involves the restoration of
undead elves to a living state as they were 100 years before their deaths or transformations.
DM's Note: This ritual is rarely used, for the elves are a stubborn lot and forgiveness is not a virtue they practice often.
Thus, any outcast elf or seriously injured elf is often perceived as pitiful or as a fool who learned his lesson for straying away
from the path of elvenkind. However, great sacrifices made for sake of a clan or kingdom are looked upon proudly, and
the suyoll is invoked to honor heroes who act in such interests. This ritual can even restore a drow to status among the
Tel'Quessir, though the ritual erases all powers (but not appearance) of the drow (judge as a moon elf).
- Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves, p.136

The last part means the target doesn't need to be a proper elf in High Magic sense, thus may work on humans as well.
Also, a bunch of elven spirits did this in Councilors and Kings.
Of course, practically it's beyond "unlikely". That is, good luck even discovering this much lore, even elven vampires fail to find it in centuries. Never mind the next step of convincing a team of Elven High Mages to actually perform a Ritual of Complement for the sake of who-knows-whose walking corpse.

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
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8876 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  13:15:28  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What the WotC employee told you sounds like the most recent rules for such. To note, these rulings has varied across editions in different ways, but usually pretty similar. To my knowledge, nothing canon was ever done that is specified truly the method used. The thing TBeholder presents above from Cormanthyr for instance is from the 90's in 2nd edition I believe. In short, the present methods include true resurrection I believe as a method that works, though it doesn't out and out say it. To note the "standard" resurrection says THIS at its beginning for comparison to the below You touch a dead creature that has been dead for no more than a century, that didn’t die of old age, and that isn’t undead. If its soul is free and willing, the target returns to life with all its hit points.

Here's the 5e text for true resurrection for comparison

True Resurrection
9th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a sprinkle of holy water and diamonds worth at least 25,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous
You touch a creature that has been dead for no longer than 200 years and that died for any reason except old age. If the creature’s soul is free and willing, thecreature is restored to life with all its hit points. This spell closes all wounds, neutralizes any poison, cures all diseases, and lifts any curses affecting the creature when it died. The spell replaces damaged or missing organs and limbs.
The spell can even provide a new body if the original no longer exists, in which case you must speak the creature’s name. The creature then appears in an unoccupied space you choose within 10 feet of you.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33482 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  15:15:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Scimitars of Drizzt

So, my question is: Unless some unheard-of artifact/relic existed that could fix a vampire's undead state, would casting true resurrection on a deceased vampire be virtually the only method to resurrect a vampire to its previously human or humanoid state? And, more importantly, if this were the case, does anybody know how exactly this would work? Say a 30 year-old man was sapped of his life force and turned vampire, then 150 years later he is resurrected back to a living being. Would this entity now be a 30-year old man again? Perhaps these questions can't be utterly answered, but I thought it was worth asking.


1. For "usual" magic, the various rules said that resurrection kills the undead.
My interpretation is that the first spell will work like Slay Living on a mortal.
If this works (i.e. the target fails MR & ST) the second spell will restore dead remnants normally, since AFAIK nothing explicitly said being undead for a while prevents this. But time after death probably should still count fully. And in most cases remnants will be in a bad enough shape that this will require full resurrection. Especially for a vampire.

2. There is a way to restore undead to life in one go and ignoring time-after-death, but it's High Magic:
quote:
Suyoll/ "The Revival": This ritual restores an elf's life, health, and harmony with the Weave. This is seen as an
acceptance back into the community of elves, despite any changes that occur during the elf's life (or death).
This ritual restores an elf's natural state, neutralizing all ill or unnatural effects upon him. It cancels curses of any
nature other than those divinely placed (i.e., personally inflicted by a god) and spell effects such as petrification and
polymorph. Suyoll allows the regrowth of full limbs, muscles, and organs (such as eyes, tongue, etc.). It also negates
any magical or nonvoluntary alignment changes. The most advanced form of this ritual involves the restoration of
undead elves to a living state as they were 100 years before their deaths or transformations.
DM's Note: This ritual is rarely used, for the elves are a stubborn lot and forgiveness is not a virtue they practice often.
Thus, any outcast elf or seriously injured elf is often perceived as pitiful or as a fool who learned his lesson for straying away
from the path of elvenkind. However, great sacrifices made for sake of a clan or kingdom are looked upon proudly, and
the suyoll is invoked to honor heroes who act in such interests. This ritual can even restore a drow to status among the
Tel'Quessir, though the ritual erases all powers (but not appearance) of the drow (judge as a moon elf).
- Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves, p.136

The last part means the target doesn't need to be a proper elf in High Magic sense, thus may work on humans as well.
Also, a bunch of elven spirits did this in Councilors and Kings.
Of course, practically it's beyond "unlikely". That is, good luck even discovering this much lore, even elven vampires fail to find it in centuries. Never mind the next step of convincing a team of Elven High Mages to actually perform a Ritual of Complement for the sake of who-knows-whose walking corpse.



There was a second High Magic spell for this, too, though as TBeholder says, getting a group of willing High Magi together is going to be an issue.

From page 69 of Elves of Evermeet:

quote:
Gift of Life (High Magic)
Range: 1 yard/level
Component: V,S,M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 8
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: Neg.
This powerful high magic spell has an effect unlike any other. It restores undead creatures to life. Undead creatures are allowed a saving throw vs. death magic, but they can only make such a roll at a level equal to half their Hit Dice. An 18th-level lich, for example, would make a saving throw vs. death magic as if it were actually a 9th-level wizard.
If the undead creature fails its saving throw, it is immediately restored to life as it was just before its death, if it died by unnatural causes. It is restored to life as it was 10 years before its death if it died of old age or similar causes. The restored creature will be stunned and incapable of any action for 1d4 turns as it slowly realizes what happened.


There's more to the spell description, but that's the basics.

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Scimitars of Drizzt
Seeker

Canada
47 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  21:57:02  Show Profile Send Scimitars of Drizzt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the detailed replies. So if I'm understanding correctly, as far as we know, one could cast True Resurrection on a vampire that has been dead for no longer than 200 years, and he could return via his soul returning to life as the man he was before being turned?

However, I'm reading over this quote from TBeholder: "My interpretation is that the first spell will work like Slay Living on a mortal.
If this works (i.e. the target fails MR & ST) the second spell will restore dead remnants normally, since AFAIK nothing explicitly said being undead for a while prevents this. But time after death probably should still count fully. And in most cases remnants will be in a bad enough shape that this will require full resurrection. Especially for a vampire."

I'm not certain which spells you're talking about exactly when you just say first and second spells, but I'm assuming you're regarding Resurrection as the first, and True Resurrection as the second. So here, are you saying that time after death should still count after casting True Resurrection, essentially meaning if a 150 year-old vampire was resurrected using True Resurrection, he would still be dead since all those years have past? Maybe you're talking about casting Resurrection twice though, but then I'd wonder about True Resurrection.

I am sorry, perhaps it's just the wording, but it's not clear on my end. Thanks again.

"Surrender now, or we will slay you!" the leader of the creatures called, a bit louder and more forcefully.
"A moment, please, my friend," Zasian said, motioning to the dwarf for patience. "We are discussing your terms."

"Ye heading off with Invo . . . Inno . . . that durned elf?"

Edited by - Scimitars of Drizzt on 22 May 2020 22:20:42
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8876 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  23:12:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You have it right that there is a "resurrection" spell and a "true resurrection spell". True resurrection is the more powerful and it can restore a vampire as the WotC employee said. That's under the rules that the forgotten realms operates under NOW (since around 2015 or 2016 when 5th edition dungeons and dragons came out).

The stuff that you're seeing TBeholder and Wooly quote ARE specifically rulesets written for the forgotten realms, but they're for a version of the game (2nd edition), that's maybe about 25 years old.

Just to make sure you get that all these different versions of the game have different stipulations, maybe 15 years or so back during the 3.5 edition of the game, true resurrection was still needed... BUT... the 200 year stipulation was written slightly differently... the age affected would have been 10 years per caster level of the priest casting the spell (so a 15th level cleric could true resurrect a 150 year since dead, but not a 160 year since dead). Ultimately though, for about the last 20 years of real time in our world, true resurrection has been a method for restoring undead that have been destroyed (so restoring a vampire that had been destroyed back to mortal state).


Ultimately, a long time ago, people may have really nitpicked whether you were following the rules with this... but PERSONALLY, I think we've all become inundated by changes between editions and while someone might complain if you don't have it exactly right, most people are more worried about your plot than whether you followed the rules exactly.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 22 May 2020 23:14:46
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Scimitars of Drizzt
Seeker

Canada
47 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2020 :  23:35:11  Show Profile Send Scimitars of Drizzt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

You have it right that there is a "resurrection" spell and a "true resurrection spell". True resurrection is the more powerful and it can restore a vampire as the WotC employee said. That's under the rules that the forgotten realms operates under NOW (since around 2015 or 2016 when 5th edition dungeons and dragons came out).

The stuff that you're seeing TBeholder and Wooly quote ARE specifically rulesets written for the forgotten realms, but they're for a version of the game (2nd edition), that's maybe about 25 years old.

Just to make sure you get that all these different versions of the game have different stipulations, maybe 15 years or so back during the 3.5 edition of the game, true resurrection was still needed... BUT... the 200 year stipulation was written slightly differently... the age affected would have been 10 years per caster level of the priest casting the spell (so a 15th level cleric could true resurrect a 150 year since dead, but not a 160 year since dead). Ultimately though, for about the last 20 years of real time in our world, true resurrection has been a method for restoring undead that have been destroyed (so restoring a vampire that had been destroyed back to mortal state).


Ultimately, a long time ago, people may have really nitpicked whether you were following the rules with this... but PERSONALLY, I think we've all become inundated by changes between editions and while someone might complain if you don't have it exactly right, most people are more worried about your plot than whether you followed the rules exactly.



Ah, got it, thank you sir! Well explained.

"Surrender now, or we will slay you!" the leader of the creatures called, a bit louder and more forcefully.
"A moment, please, my friend," Zasian said, motioning to the dwarf for patience. "We are discussing your terms."

"Ye heading off with Invo . . . Inno . . . that durned elf?"

Edited by - Scimitars of Drizzt on 22 May 2020 23:35:52
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Copper Elven Vampire
Master of Realmslore

1012 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2020 :  23:53:17  Show Profile Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Resource points me to Vampire Manshoon.
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2012 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2020 :  10:36:09  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anyway, High Magic options are to be assumed so obscure they are practically unavailable.
Unless for some reason elven high-ups in the know are really sure they want to jump through some hoops to bring this one back, that is.
Jander didn't pick up any trail of these possibilities in ~200 years he was free to search (and he actually have tried).

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
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5016 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2020 :  11:38:08  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think one of the things that really needs pinning down is exactly what is a soul and thus how the whole resurrection thing works and why undead are damaged by curative magics.

My own personal views are that a soul is collection of positive energy within something. As a thing acquires more positive energy it becomes more aware until it gains sentience and becomes truly alive.
Experience increases the amount of positive energy within something, so the more experiences you have the more powerful your soul is.

When you die that positive energy is released, but it retains some semblance of its experiences in life (not memories necessarily but something that allows it to be good or bad or honest, etc).

Undead are powered by negative energy and they behave in a similar manner. A small amount of negative energy can animate a thing, but more is required to make it truly unlive and be sentient.

Negative doesnt last long on the material plane because it is saturated by positive energy. Skeletons and zombies have a limited and finite amount of negative energy to animate them and allow them to follow orders but they eventually fall apart.

Liches trap their soul in a cage and fill their body with negative energy so they most closely resemble that which they were when alive.

Vampires I'm undecided whether they kill their host and release the soul or slowly infect it and feed off it until it is completely converted to negative energy. They then keep themselves alive by draining life from other living beings to power themselves. Therefore resurrection working depends upon whether the vampire kills its victim (and thereby releases its soul so it can be resurrected) or whether it infects the soul with negative energy and converts it and so is essentially destroyed thus requiring true resurrection to restore a damaged or destroyed soul.


Just my thoughts.

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