Thursday, January 8, 2015
Coming back from the dead is a major story element in classic fantasy and myth, and is the fodder for entire stories or epics. In 5E D&D, however, it's a rather simple spell with a minor drawback. Since my current world is so heavily inspired by Greek mythology this did not make much thematic sense, so I came up with the following changes to bringing people back from the dead in my game.
Casting Raise Dead does not guarantee that someone will return from the dead. Instead, it allows a group of people, up to five, to have their spirits severed from their body and travel into the Underworld. Once there, they are presented to a judge and must argue the case for bringing their companion back to the land of the living. This usually will require some service to the Gods of Death, the promise of death in exchange, and possibly an extensive quest.
If the judge deems the dead soul unable to return, then the party is not without hope. Once returned to the land of the living, the living companions can sneak into the land of the dead to save their companion. This would require journeying to an entrance, braving the dangers of hellhounds and the River Styx, and hoping their friend hasn't eaten anything while dead.
All in all, it's been a much more entertaining way to deal with death in the campaign thus far.