101 Uses for a Dead Character

What happens after a character dies? Is it the end or does a whole, new plane of adventure possibilities arise?  This week’s RPG brainstorming topic is adventures, monsters or treasure relating to dead characters. Any setting, any genre, as long as  a dead character is at its heart.

And here’s the transcript:

Jaye – You’re dead, welcome to the resistance

  • The hero wakes up on a simple litter in a basic hut. Their injuries are healed.
  • A figure in armour greets them and welcomes them to the war
  • The god of heroes has claimed dominion over the souls of those who fall with courage. He has done this so that those worthy shall receive better. For the god of the dead puts you to work in his infinite mines.
  • Now there is war between gods, with the fallen souls caught in the middle
  • Armour up hero, for now you fight for eternity.

Emily – one for living player’s soul servant

The dead pearl is a very useful gem, when found this treasure can summon the soul of a dead person, npc or player. The soul is then chained to the pearl forever and can act as an advisor, lookout and aid to the party. However do the players wish to pull their friend from the afterlife just to find out where they hid their stash?

The hunting grounds

They say when you die you start a new life in. Better place. This is not true of Warwolfves after all what is life without battle.

When they die they join their ancestors in the hunting grounds. The hunting grounds is a vast new world filled with creatures from all time from the great lizards to the shapeless things. Your destiny to battle such demons and claim honour amongst your people so you can journey to the next realm of rest.

Chris – A Gift To A Stranger

Unknown to the dead character, one of the items they carried was a Kandish Memory Node. The Kendish have a strong gift culture and it is customary, when meeting someone for the first time, to give them a gift. This may be big or small depending on the wealth and status of the individuals and how important the parties view the meeting. Part of the reason for this are the Memory Nodes.

The nodes are made by a secret order who disguise the items true nature and slip them into the stores and shops. The items may be something as mundane as a wooden spoon or a powerful magic weapon. Whatever it is, the Memory Node’s magic cannot be detected without a great deal of effort. Most Memory Nodes are carried by people totally unaware of the items power.

When someone dies while carrying the Memory Node, there soul is trapped in the object and they become a ghost. Like the node, these souls are undetectable by normal magics. The ghost must stay within 100’ of the Memory Node and can observe and hear everything around them. They are intangible and pass through walls and obstacles but they have no sense of touch or smell. With a great deal of effort, make a small impact on the physical world but this has a cost and cannot do done often.

The trapped soul is instantly aware of the Memory Node and what is required to free themselves. The object must be given freely to someone the character did not know. The dead character must somehow arrange for their companions to give the Memory Node to stranger before their soul can pass on to the afterlife.

Mark – Spirit Guide

  • Cartesian dualism – body and mind are separate.  They exist on different levels and so can only dimly perceive each other.  On death, the two separate.
  • Objects are body only.  Ghosts are mind only.  Living beings are both.
  • If a player dies, they go into the plane of mind.  They can see and influence living beings, but not objects.  However, the living cannot see or influence things only of mind
  • The idea is to get a game where some players are alive and some are ghosts.  They can both dimly see their own world, but must rely on each other to see the whole of reality.

Josh – The Armor of Balthazar Neverine

Legends speak of  the enigma Balthazar Neverine. A mighty warrior, seemingly immortal, who stalks the battlefields of the living. He has wielded an infinite number of weapons, in an infinite amount of styles. One day he could be using a greatsword, the next year he could be using a rapier. He has been known to wade into battle and challenge the most dangerous heroes. His silent challenge cannot be ignored, for those that run are quickly struck down like dogs.

If a person is slain by Balthazar then their spirit and soul is absorbed, only to awaken any amount of time later as the new identity in the armor. Unable to act on their own accord, they will seek out the next challenge continuing the cycle until a way to completely destroy the vessel is found.

Thier spirits will not find rest, their souls cannot be brought back. Their fellows can only watch a silent set of armor as it becomes their former comrade.