May 2nd, 2006

Voodoo Dolly

Palladium Books

On a news web about gaming, I wound up posting how I think Palladium should have done things to protect themselves and gain money (or lose less money, as the case were).  One thing that comes to mind, I feel I should potentially repeat here.

Palladium should make a core book.  One that has all the main rules.  Skills, Attributes, how to make normal humans, how Psionics and Magic works, and how the mechanics (MDC and SDC styles) work.  OCCs appropriate to various time periods in Earth's past and present (and potentially future) would be provided.  The weapon lists can be here, from SDC up through MDC, and how these things work can all be placed into one solid book.  A spell might have the SDC and MDC mechanics listed together, for the GM and Players to be able to reference quickly.  A complete index would be provided.

Once this is done, Palladium releases their setting books, each setting listing the special OCC and RCCs that are present, and anything specific to that setting.  Palladium Fantasy would list the fantasy races, and anything specific to the Palladium Fantasy setting.  RIFTS would have the various RCC and OOCs appropriate to that setting.

This would save a lot of wasted space where rules are repeated from book to book, and would make cross-overs a lot more viable.  Each setting book would have a lot more setting material in each book, since space normally used for rules would be opened up, and an index could point to the core book and the setting book, allowing for much easier cross-references.

This would have been a very smart move for Kevin, as he could have updated the core rules to handle modern times, modern technologies, and modern tactics for a lot of his games.
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Ressurection Issues

I've ran several D&D campaign over the year, and always hit some snags with dead characters coming back to life.

I recognize it as a decent, official tool for storytelling, keeping good characters going and involving in the story and preventing your party's lineup from changing more than Deep Purple's...but at the same time, it irks the writer in me.

Case in point: my Living Greyhawk saga that ended some time ago. Epic stuff that lasted until characters reached level 25. They didn't die much....but sometimes, they did, with 3/4ths of the PCs biting it during a specific, nasty conclusion.

All these times, they forked over the levels or cash to come back, except for one player who got pissy and decided to remain dead. But during the course of the story, they also killed many important antagonists, and I kept asking myself...wouldn't their bosses, friends and factions also revive them? When you are an evil warlord and the PCs stage a daring raid to murder your general that is also specialized in mass-teleportation (managing to smuggle companies past the enemy's lines), why wouldn't you just cast a spell or have one cast for you and bring him back?

There's no logical reason...but there are plenty of dramatic ones. One, it kills the fun. Having the same characters fighting the same enemies again, again and again...not good. Also, it robs all the accomplishment of the feat; why bother being bold and striking where it hurts, if that only means the enemy will recover his specialized manpower almost instantly?

There are ways of preventing that, of course...trapping souls, etc etc. But they are far from common. Even more, reading any D&D sourcebooks, you don't see anyone worrying about that...or being brought back from death so casually, either.
You don't read the history of kingdoms in Greyhawk and see "Prince Soandsuch fought bravely against the orc hordes, leading his army in an epic battle, and drove them out of his country at the cost of his life. Still, he was raised in the capital the next day, in time to catch the victory feast." In fact, other than skin-of-the-teeth "He's almost dead/He's in limbo/He's dead, but you can restore his soul if you find it" situations, you don't get much ressurrection at all.

What are your thoughts on this? Are the PCs entitled this small bit of cheating, given the odds they face? Have you found any graceful middle ground?