Restore Life and Limb questions:

  1. Does Restore Life and Limb restore both limbs and life in one go? IE: Dave the Fighter loses his eyes in a fight against an ogre. In a subsequent fight, he loses the rest of his head. The party pools their money to revive him- is he restored to mint condition? (I’m assuming that RL&L heals injuries; otherwise your companion who was reduced to red mist will be revived as red mist)

  2. Does using Restore Life and Limb provoke a Tampering with Mortality roll when used on the living?

On one hand, this provides a disincentive towards overuse of RL&L (Because otherwise, with its low gp cost, we end up with a world where “realistically” almost no one should ever be blind or crippled.)

On the other hand, it seems pretty clear from the table results that the assumption is that you’re dead.

  1. Yes, but be sure to factor in ALL the cumulative damage the character’s body has taken. For example, if Dave loses his left hand in a fight; then loses his right eye; and then is beheaded, his total penalty will be -1 (hand) -1 (eye) -5 (severed spine) = -7.

  2. Yes. But the cleric will begin with a minimum +4 bonus (1/2 his level, minimum 7th level). There will be no penalty from time of death, and no penalty for instantly killed, just the penalty for limbs and hand/foots/etc. In most cases you’ll be at a net positive, so the worst case is a month of bed rest. I didn’t quite make the math work out such that it’s impossible to get 0 or less, but if that does occur, then the spell has no effect. (It ought to read “The spell fails to restore your life or limb”.)

Note that if you play it straight, many of the results of Tampering With Morality are simply awful, and most sane, normal people would prefer the permanent wound instead, and maybe even prefer their loved one stay dead. In the Auran Empire and Opelenean Nights campaign, many characters restored to life ended up retiring to monasteries to live out leper-like existences because their fates were so horrid.

Most of the time, characters are better off accepting small permanent wounds (scars, lost fingers, damaged knees and hips) because it’s not worth the risk of Tampering With Morality. Only characters who lose one or more limbs, or are blinded or paralyzed, are better off going for a Restoration of Life and Limb.

We had one beautiful Elven Spellsword who refused to have a Restore until she lost both hands and her tongue, making her utterly incapable of fighting or spellcasting…

Peeeeeeeeersonally, in my own campaign, when we cast RL&L (or a similar spell, I’ve got a second level one that is a trainwreck waiting to happen) on someone living, if there was a result that was intended that the person wasn’t brought back to life, I’d make them die. After all, you’re jumpstarting the person with a lot of energy- it’s basically a system shock roll from other, less elegant games.

It had never occurred to me to be so ruthless, but I love it.

Oh, one more question- Are RL&L’s effects cumulative? What sorts of things undo them?

That is, could you end up with someone who has been revived many times, and is thus afflicted with a turbobeard, who can’t ride horses, glows like a candle to the undead, has a unicorn left leg, etc?

Yes! The system is designed such that characters who have been through more than a few restorations become very warped…

The results are not only cumulative - each side effect imposes a cumulative -1 penalty on FUTURE RL&L rolls too, making it more likely you’ll have even worse effects next time you are raised.

It is entirely possible to be suffering from a variety of side effects, some of which can stack in dreadful ways. For instance, one character in my home campaign suffered:
“Your renewed body needs energy that plants and mushrooms cannot provide. All rations must contain meat.”
“Meat is too much like murder. You may only eat plants, mushrooms and herbs. The taste of flesh makes you vomit.”

The character starved to death.

There is no mechanical means within the rules to remove the side effects of RL&L. You could allow Wish or Miracle to do so. In some campaigns I have placed “cleansing shrines” in rare and hard-to-get locations in the world which allow a character to bathe and purify himself of any side effects.

RL&L hasn’t actually come up in my game yet (the level 3-4 PCs are leading a new colony on a wilderness island the size of Denmark… I don’t think there’s anyone around who could cast RL&L even if they wanted to use it), but, if/when it does, this is what seems to me like the most obvious interpretation. Just rule that, like a necromantic transformation, RL&L on a living target involves the target (briefly) dying and then hoping that they wake back up afterward. The table can then be used without modification - if it says “the spell fails to restore your life”, then, well, I guess your death wasn’t quite as brief as intended…

Some of the results in the bottom-left corner of the Tampering With Mortality table state “All negative side effects are removed.” Is that meant to refer to something other than side effects of previous RL&Ls?

HAH! No, I simply forgot that we had written those entries. OK, so there is ONE mechanical method to get rid of side effects…

Albeit a fairly expensive way that could give you more side effects in the process, potentially accruing enough that recovery is impossible.

Also, some churches might not approve of such repeated attempts at tampering with mortality when the gods were already merciful enough to return your life and limb! Asking gods for too much can be good way to piss them off.

How does reincarnation interact with side-effects? Does getting a new body remove all your side-effects, just the more physical ones or do the side-effects cling to your soul no matter what body you return in?