Possible Reincarnate Nerfs?

So, my players have used Reincarnate a number of times already, and I’m beginning to feel that it’s too available. 4500 isn’t cheap, but being dead is even more expensive. If somebody’s saved up 10,000, they’re only halfway to a borderlands stronghold, but they can already afford two reincarnates. It seems like everyone over level 6 should be able to afford reincarnate, which grants a return from death 100% of the time.

I was curious how the boards felt about this, and what sort of concepts people had?

So far, I’ve had the core concepts of either:

Limit Reincarnation by adding risk: Where Restore Life and Limb is safer or more dangerous based on a number of factors, Reincarnate might offer a flat risk. IE: Flat 10% chance of permadeath, coming back evil, etc.

Limit Reincarnation by making it less useful: IE: Maybe you can’t be reincarnated more than once a decade, or there’s a percent chance you won’t reincarnate on the spot, leaving the party to try to find where in the world (Or when! Maybe it takes a couple months sometimes) you’ve popped up.

I think my preferred way to introduce risk would be to randomize class.

Any time the table says (Pick class), roll randomly instead. Every time you come back, you’ve got another soul’s memories stuffed into your head.

(This may have been my first idea solely because I just finished rereading Wheel of Time.)

The primary reason this introduces risk is, of course, the fact that your stats may not line up at all with your class.

The trouble with “undesirable” reincarnations is that there’s an easy solution to that: More reincarnation.

Fair enough. Next thought: Apply the Tampering with Mortality table, with no penalties for body condition, but a stacking penalty based on times reincarnated. Off the top of my head I’d say -2 per reincarnation. Maybe larger.

I feel like Reincarnate, being an arcane spell, should be less reliable and less useful at getting friends back from the dead than RL&L, being a divine spell. The book definitely does not support this feeling.

Has having to reroll Str, Dex, and Con not been a disincentive?

Actually theres an idea put a cumulative -1 to con?

Is this an ivory tower concern, or something that has cropped up in play? I know that none of my players want to risk characters, especially ones with good or decent stats, to the vagaries of rerolling. Yes, if they come back a badger they could always get ganked again, but if they end up as a new class…that’s basically a new character. Is your group mass-suiciding to reroll their characters?

@Ivory Tower: Reincarnate has been cast on three-four PCs once, and one PC twice- the second casting was to undo the effects of the first, which had turned him into a Roc. It’s this second casting that has made me a bit wary of the spell- it seems very problematic that they overcame the side effects of the spell using the same spell. (In the context of the story, it wasn’t too bad, because they were poor enough that double reincarnating him wasn’t an option for awhile so he had to experience the trials and travails of birdhood for a few months, but had this happened at 7th or 9th level it would’ve been a strange experience lasting 15 minutes or so.)

@Boomish: Rerolling physical stats has not really acted as a disincentive for Reincarnate. It’s infinitely preferable to losing the character entirely. In fact, in many cases it’s an incentive, particularly for spellcasters.

@Tywyll: Have you been running that “Choose Class” means DM’s choice, similar to Ary’s suggestion of rolling randomly?

I would just assume that once a character rolled a different race that this will now act as base race for further reincarnation rolls.
If there are no classes for the new race? Too bad! The character just reincarnates as a pony again…

He gave up being a Roc? Wow, my players would kill for that… :wink:

Well, every time you use it you are losing all xp over the minimum for your current level, so that’s a problem. If you reroll stats every time, resurrection might be preferable (18 Str Fighter rerolls on straight 3d6… :frowning: ). While a mental/social character probably doesn’t mind, physical ones should care. Are you being generous on how they reroll stats?

Next, they don’t have to have access to the spell. I mean, just because a market says X level caster is available, that doesn’t have to mean that that town has a caster with Reincarnate. Also, what kind of morality does that person have? Are they purely money hungry? Do they MIND their magic being used as a happy merry-go-round of life incarnation? Maybe they are lawful and horrified at the idea of someone continually suiciding for random roulette of life choices. I know I would be and would probably refuse to deal with said people.

I agree that if they came back as X monster, I would make that be their new default race.

As to Pick Class…I hadn’t really thought of it. But honestly, I would probably pick the class for them based on the new stats rolled. Nothing else about the spell is player determined so I don’t see why that element would be.

I have run into this problem in my own campaigns. I didn’t see it in the initial Auran Empire campaign (my PCs didn’t figure it out, for whatever reason) so it slipped past me in playtesting. In the Opelenean Nights campaign, however, when Shamans were common, there was a LOT of Reincarnation happening.

I’ll certainly use some variant rule next time I run. Maybe:

  1. Whatever you died as becomes your new “base class” for the next casting of the spell. Imagine a human fighter who died and reincarnated as a roc. Now he dies again and is reincarnated. His base form is roc. It’s not that you are “really” a human fighter - the whole point is that the individual lifetime is just one instance of some underlying soul-stuff.

  2. Each subsequent reincarnation after the first within X time (say 1 year) drops you by one level as your past life becomes increasingly distant and dream-like or as your soul suffers from re-shuffling (or whatever).

Just a thought:
Each time a character is reincarnated within 1 year, they roll at +1 on the initial d10 (any result >10 is 10), so they’re more likely to become a monster, but each roll on an alignment table is at -1, so they’re less likely to become an awesome monster.
In-universe justification - their soul is getting more and more warped by magical energies, but it’s also being frayed and tattered, so it can’t incarnate in as potentially powerful a form.

This actually made me think of a side question.

If someone reincarnates as a gnome, should they get a class?

Only if they are a high-level Kickstarter backer. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not even going to ask about reincarnating as a halfling…

That effect is illustrated in the core book on page 175.

So if we’re looking for the nerf to be a slow degradation in what forms are allowable, it’s gonna go:

Gnome → Halfling → Griffon Droppings?

Seems to me that list would make more cosmological sense in alphabetical order.