Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Injecting Life Into Playing Revenant PC's In The Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Rpg System For Your Old School Campaigns

    The death of a PC is often treated as nothing more then the the death of a monster or NPC. But death can actually offer the player a rather unique experience especially in terms of adventuring.  In the Fantastic Heroes and Witchery rpg system there is a particular race that has some unique opportunities. The revenant is one of the racial choices in the game and offers some very unique opportunities for a player see right over HERE . There have been other old school D&D options over the years that allow you to play one of the restless dead or a ghost. But this one is one of the more user friendly versions of this haunting race. 

 Part of the idea here is that your PC has died in the dungeon or under some other mysterious circumstance and has the usual unfinished business back on the mortal plane. Wiki defines the revenant as: revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living. The word "revenant" is derived from the Latin word, reveniens, "returning" (see also the related French verb "revenir", meaning "to come back").

 This is a rather unique opportunity that allows the DM to inject a beloved PC back into the campaign with some very interesting penalties. You can't really remember your former life, your animated by sheer will power, and its not as high powered as some folks might think. Since your dead this can lead to all kinds of spotty and partial  adventuring details remembered and available to the PC. This allows the DM to feed certain details regarding adventures that the PC's find themselves in.  The idea here of the game or campaign being spoiled by the presence of a ghost I think its a dead wrong assumption. The PC can added a whole other dimension to a party where the various things have happened in the character's life that can be used as fodder for adventure design. The characters can easily become an asset of incredible potential to the campaign. The trick of course is to avoid the pitfalls of railroading and divisive DMing. 

  1. The PC's class allows the player to continue after the death of a beloved PC with some of their fighting ability or wizardly powers to remain intact. The goals of life not being achieved are a prime motive for players to continue on with their favorite characters.
    There have often been prices to pay however with regard to the powers of the afterlife. In my own Warlords of The Outer Worlds campaign. The glut of souls has caused the temporary veil of life and death to slip. Adventuring upon the planes of the afterlife is tantamount to suicide even for high level PC's.
    The Judge's Of The Dead are perfect overseers for the souls of those who have business among the living. They allow interaction between the world of the living and peudo purgatory of the Beyond and they have bailiffs and bounty hunters to ensure that the laws of the Dead are followed. PC's who interact and dally with these powers will have to bargain with them for 1d30 memories of their former lives. This both explains the gaps in the memories of PC's and adds more then a bit of menace to playing one of these souls of the restless.
  2. There are also opportunities here for using high level Reventant PC's to act as defenses and to protect the living from the machinations of the gods of the dead and undead as well. There is a strong tradition of such heroes in pulps and comics doing battle with the forces of horror and depravity to protect the living. This is one of the other forms and functions of the Judges of the Dead in my campaigns as well. Interactions with the courts should be mysterious, dangerous, and never become retinue.

    Because of the nature of the courts souls from any era might be assigned back to the world of the living. This means that adventurers from the 1300 could be rubbing shoulders with the dead of post apocalyptic wastelands. The courts are fair but fickle sources of ironic justice.  There are also dangerous rival spectral horrors in the service to the court such as the Inquisitor. A  powerful NPC whom the PC's might run into (mine already have). This entity is on level with a lich and has the power of a level drain touch and the authority of the Judges of the Dead, he's evil, ironic, and highly motivated in his duties. The Inquisitor can polymorph into a human for a limited time and acts as judge,jury, and executioner. He can't be turned but must secure a death note or warrant from the courts. With it he has the power and authority to kill anyone who stands before the authority of the Judge's of the Dead. The Inquisitor's origin and motives are driven,mysterious, and motivated for the need for justice in the name of the laws of the dead. Have in my campaigns run across this Lawful evil horror in many eras from post apocalyptic wastelands to 1300's style pseudo European settings. The laws of the dead apply across a wide range of circumstances. 
Fiction is filled with numerous examples of Revenants and most often we are familiar with this ghostly and corporeal  misunderstood characters. Some have been called zombies, ghouls, etc. And while they share many characteristics of these creatures. Revenants present some solid character opportunities for players. Here's a good solid list of representations from fiction to films from wiki Here. One of the best examples of the Reventant as PC and interacting with a party of adventurers is Spook from the GrimJack comics series from the pen of John Ostrander. Spook is GrimJack's lover and an adventurer in her own right. Her background later on comes to haunt quite literally  GrimJack and co later in the series  when her origins are revealed and her tragic and troubled past must be put to rest.  You can read more about her right over HERE

Sometimes the monsters are not always in the dungeons but playing of these ghostly and supernatural mysterious heroes can be very rewarding for both the DM and the players. The Revenant is one of the most under utilized player options in Fantastic Heroes and Witchery but one not to be missed. Used correctly and the sky is the limit to what can be done with these ghostly adventurers who can haunt your games! 

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