Saturday, 2 April 2011

Reincarnation - Part II

It occurred to me that if I'm instituting level-loss as a side-effect of dying and being reincarnated in a resurrection-bush pod, that cuts out any chance of poor old ailing zero-level Auntie Flo making it to her next life. I don't want that; I want the possiblitiy of reincarnation to be possible across the board.

Therefore, this:
  • When you die and wake up in a pod, roll 1d6.
  1. If you roll a 1, you lose no levels at all.
  2. If you roll a 2-5, you lose one level.
  3. If you roll a 6, you lose two levels.
  • Newly-awoken bodies below zero-level are animated as zombies and can never again be reincarnated via the resurrection-bushes.
So, poor old ailing zero-level Auntie Flo has one chance in six of being reincarnated, and five chances in six of becoming a zombie. That's not great odds, but it's better than nothing. Muscular Mike the level one fighter has only one chance in six of keeping his level, but also only one chance in six of becoming a zombie.

Also, there needs to be some chance of outright failure, to spice things up:
  • After rolling for level loss, roll d%: on a score less than your new level, you are freed from the wheel of karma and the cycle of rebirth. No reincarnation, you are now one with the cosmos. Congratulations.

This means that a high-level character is actually less likely to be reincarnated than a low-level one. That's what you get for being more highly spiritually evolved.



Now, a newly-woken resurectee is a blank slate, a pure innocent without memory operating only on instinct. However, memories of their past life (or lives) return fairly rapidly. In terms of game mechanics, what this means is that a new resurectee begins to regain their old levels at the rate of one per 1d3 days, up to their maximum post-reincarnation level.

Note: magic-users will not regain the memory of any spells they might have had memorized when they died. Any spells will have to be relearned, if possible.

Resurectees will have access to any skills or knowledge appropriate to their current level as they develop, but as they come out of the pod naked and hairless, they will not neccessarily have the tools or equipment they need to take advantage of that knowledge.



Groves of resurrection-bushes would be valuable real-estate. Benevolent cults like the hospital order of the Little Sisters of Carnage would tend them, looking after the mindless and vulnerable resurectees as they emerge and dealing, as mercifully as possible, with any unfortunate zombies.

However, less public-spirited individuals or organisations would also be  very interested in gaining control of such groves. They would be a gold-mine for slavers, for example.