Reincarnation

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Reincarnation

Post by Tromador on 5th August 2010, 9:00 pm

A problem has cropped up in the consideration of the reincarnation spell. In fact, as I write I can think of at least one more problem, particularly in the planar context, but I'll come to that in a bit.

The main problem which will occur in all settings is ECL. As it appears (notwithstanding the 'other' on a roll of 100) there are no races on the reincarnation table which have ECL.

The main question then is what to do about a character (such as a Tiefling) which has a level adjustment. The character dies and perhaps comes back as a human. Should they immediately gain a level, as they no longer get the level adjustment, or should they remain at their current level and have to catch up, potentially without the abilities of their starting race.

I've done some checking over the Interweb and it's less than helpful. It suggests that some abilities, particularly mental (psionic) ones should be retained past reincarnation, as they relate to the mind, which is transferred. Some sites suggest that the levels should be lost, as 3.5e bases XP awards on the individual's level vs the CR of the monster and the lower level character will quickly catch up. As we don't do XP that way, it's not terribly useful.

So, we need to consider how we approach the scenario of a level adjusted race being reincarnated into a standard race.

Questions:

1 - What should happen to their level?
2 - What abilities of their starting race (if any) should be retained?

The second issue that comes to my mind is the reincarnation table itself. It is quite limiting and specific to a raw SRD context. Add in any setting, from Faerun to Ebberon to Krynn and there are immediately numerous additional races which aren't catered for in the stock SRD reincarnation spell. Go to Planescape and the reincarnation table becomes a complete joke.

Assuming we address the reincarnation table issue to allow the possibility of being reincarnated into more races, then the ECL issue might actually go the other way. A human reincarnated as a Drow, for example. In that circumstance does the former human lose a couple of levels and gain all the drow abilities. Or, in fact, do they only gain the physical attributes. How many abilities are learned by growing up as a member of a particular race.

Finally, a Wish or Miracle spell will return the reincarnated subject to their former race. We then have the whole thing happening in reverse. Do we simply reset to where the character was before they died, or perhaps they've picked up abilities from their temporary race, which should be permanent.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by illumination on 24th August 2010, 8:10 pm

ah, forgot about this.

for me think its pretty simple. whatever you do PC's should remain the same level after adjustments. so, if a -2ECL dies and becomes a -1ECL, they level up quietly pretty soon after and we dont worry about it.

if it goes the other way, they lose a level, put it down to the trauma of death etc and its squared away.

for extreme cases, where you go plus or minus three levels i think you manage the changes by levelling the character say a level a session until you get to the 'right' one. - perhaps a little bit faster depending on the campaign conditions.

we tend not to roleplay level changes in any case so the fact that the mage has a new spell is rarely commented on. who knows if its new or not anyway eh? as for warriors, well its even less noticeable.

and ability adjustments change to that of the new race, end of. if that then causes dramas it kinda makes sense, the new form is less suited to your career in your past life etc.

i could see PCs deciding to switch classes and become multiclass after a reincarnate and that could be quite interesting RP wise.

although, i personally as a DM would perhaps consider allowing a PC to change some (or all?) class levels too in certain rare circumstances. - but im guessing the wider group would see that as too controversial a thing to do. case by case basis i guess.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by Tromador on 25th August 2010, 3:31 am

I would actually have no problem with a complete change in class levels, however at what point might it just as well be a new PC?
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 30th August 2010, 8:24 am

No. A change in class is fine really. However changing to classes that require lots of time and learning are a bit weird to be honest.

I mean. BobBob the 4th barbarian is reincarnated into an elf and decides to swap his barbarian levels for wizard levels... pretty fucking bizarre explaining that.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 22nd February 2011, 11:33 am

Alright, can of worms reopening then as per suggestion.

Answering some of the first post with my opinions.

What abilities does the reincarnated character keep from his previous race? None, they're all gone.

I also happen to think that mental stats should change as well as physical and as I said previously full class changes are fine (as long as it's within reason).

There ARE races with ECL on the normal 3.5 reincarnation list. Bugbear, Troglodyte, Lizardman and one more I think. It says/mentions nothing about pissing about with class levels to reflect the new changes, so it's my impression that you keep your current level no matter if you gain or lose ECL.

In some cases that would suck, in others it would be good. You can always get changes back to normal with powerful magic or top yourself and try again if you don't like your deal Smile


Last edited by ^^Truth on 22nd February 2011, 11:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 22nd February 2011, 11:36 am

Also.

Now I have just seen that this thread is in the random waffle area, I think we need a new subsection for rules discussion/debate.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by illumination on 22nd February 2011, 11:48 am

dont think i need to add a lot to my post from august. a ECL change is handled as best we can, if it means levelling someone up quietly but in small steps over a few sessions, or freezing someone for a level it will hardly be noticeable.

only potentially becomes an issue when ECL's of +4 or something extreme like that come up after or before an ECL0, but even then there are millions of explanations as to why someone is either advancing very quickly after a reincarnation, or slowly for that matter. if it takes a handful of sessions to equalise the character at its 'proper' level its no sweat really.

abilities and class levels can of course be swapped within reason, again there's loads of excuses for it, as long as it all adds up before and after etc. it is harder for some class changes to be explained away mind, ie, ftr to wizard, or massive alignment shifts.

i advise its simply done with common sense and considered quite carefully with the DM at the time.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 22nd February 2011, 11:57 am

Some guy emailed Wizards of the Coast and his reply from them is that ECL does not change, as I said above, I'll paste what he said below.

"Reincarnate does not make an ECL adjustment.

This is from the mouth of WOTC.

The reasons cited are:

1) you do not get the hit dice/hit points of the new race
2) you do not get the BAB of the new race
3) you do not get the saving throws of the new race
4) you only get the physical things that a young adult member of the race would get."
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 22nd February 2011, 12:02 pm

This is the link to the forum thread with the above on it, incase anyone is interested.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 22nd February 2011, 12:52 pm

To add one more thing to perhaps simplify matters.

Let's go old school. 2nd Edition (or 1st). You're a 10th human fighter. You die. You lose one point of CON (now a level). You get reincarnated and become a troll. You're now a 10th troll fighter. You get all the stuff a troll gets. Your level is the same.

I think all the new ECL shit is confusing the base point of reincarnation. You come back as something new, but your level doesn't change beyond that. I agree it sucks for high ECL PCs, but there ya go. No need to effectively make it good for high ECL PCs and suck for low ECL.

Otherwise when we gonna get someone picking up a high level ECL character with bonuses all over mental stats then reincarnating for extra levels (and keeping their mental). Sorry kiddo, no new levels for you.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by illumination on 23rd February 2011, 2:29 am

The WOTC stuff is fine if you roll on their table as per vanilla rules. That way theres adequate risk and reward. It was my understanding that we were/are discussing the accommodations we would be prepared to make so that a reincarnating PC can get the race the player 'wants'.

Therefore, if your loading the table, you cant load it with good options only, hence why I think ECL gets counted in the ways I describe above. So,

No-one gets dice gang-fucked.
Example 1: (A 5th Level +4 ECL 1/2 Celestial fighter in the current campaign that ends up with a 5th level Human)
No-one wins the dice lottery.
Example 2: (A 9th Level Human Mage that picks up Half-Fiend gratis)

This is mostly a discussion about the highly unlikely and theoretical anyway, rather than churn out the hours debating the possible here its better to worry about such issues when we come to it.

In all probability there will be no ECL level discrepancy problem to deal with at all.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 23rd February 2011, 3:55 am

Right. I'm going to pretty much ignore everything that had been said, mostly because at current I'm not interested in (nor particular able to have) a rules discussion. Also some of the above is fundamentally wrong but I can't be arsed with arguing about this, mostly because I'm not in a reasonable position to do so (although once this character/campaign is over, this is reopening).

We may as well get down to the crux of the matter, which is Ruby and reincarnation. No one else is going to even consider a reincarnation so we may as well focus on this one point and just resolve that.

For Elvanshalee with the way she was a believer, I would have made a simple three step table based off the racial desires of the player, which would have fundamentally been.

1-30 : +1 ECL
31-69 : +2 ECL
70-100 : +3 ECL

That would represent either advancing or declining.

Ruby isn't of the same belief as Elvanshalee (and Planescape is ABOUT belief). Hers is more alignment focused. Thus I would suggest an either 3 or 5 part table consisting of something like.

1-15 : Very Good Form : Half-Celestisl @ ECL+1?
16-30 : Good Form : Assimar @ ECL+0?
31-69 : Neutral Form : Human? Changling? Alurrin? @ ECL+0?
70-84 : Evil Form : Tiefling @ ECL+0?
85-100 : Very Evil Form : Half-Fiend @ ECL+1?

However I don't suggest that any increased ECL further removes current levels, but then I don't DM for myself, so I'll deal with what I'm handed.

PS. Maybe the top end forms should be like 5%-10%. Although I'm happy to hear if other ways to do this without reverting to arguments about rules (which can happen when I can freely speak my opinion).
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by Tromador on 23rd February 2011, 4:17 am

Well, I remember starting this thread with questions of ECL and so forth, but with the recent couple of replies, especially Iain's latest I now confess I am completely lost.

I think I must have missed some of the lead in conversations to the resumption of this or something.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by JohnBoy on 23rd February 2011, 4:32 am

All well and fine talking about reincarnation for Ruby and stuff and i don't know enough without some proper research to add anything constructive to the conversation but just to point out..

Next level, I get a Res spell.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 23rd February 2011, 4:35 am

I think everything that is being discussed is on this thread. What's confusing you bro?

PS: John. She's joined the Believers of the Source. They cannot be raised by any means. Only Reincarnation works.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by JohnBoy on 23rd February 2011, 4:37 am

Fair enough .. just worth pointing out though I feel.

I'll need to do some reading on this so i can contribute without sounding stupd. ECL shit just goes over my head atm.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 23rd February 2011, 9:02 am

To marketh the first post in the new subforum, I shall explain to Trom what myself and Michael are arguing about discussing.

*All examples of levels in this post are calculated after death.
** LA means level adjustment.
*** ECL is a combination of HD and LA.

Mr.Michael believes that balance and relative levels should be retained after reincarnation has occured. Thus a 5th level human fighter reincarnated as a bugbear would immediately lose another level because bugbear is LA +1, thus keeping him at ECL 5. On the other hand, a 5th level bugbear fighter (ECL 6) reincarnated as a human would immediately gain a level, because his LA changed from +1 to +0. Effectively the bugbear would lose no levels from dying and thus his ECL would remain 6.

This of course gets weirder with higher LAs and spellcasters, such as gaining new spell levels and the like. Like a half-fiend wizard/cleric (LA+4), reincarnated as a LA +0 creature would gain spells he couldn't previously cast.

This of course makes sense from a balance perspective. ECL always remains the same.

---

I on the other hand do not believe that balance should apply with reincarnation. I believe reincarnation, like a deck of many things, is a throw of the dice and that what you get, you get. It's a gamble.

What this means is that were a 5th level human fighter (ECL 5) to be reincarnated as a bugbear, he would still be 5th level and would just gain the racial modifiers of a bugbear, he would now be ECL 6. Likewise, if a 5th level bugbear fighter (ECL 6) was reincarnated into a human, he would still be a 5th level fighter but would gain the racial modifiers of being human, he would now be ECL 5.

Naturally you lose all your old racial modifiers (and whilst not cannon, I think this should also apply to INT/WIS/CHA as well).

From a balance perspective, this makes no sense, but it's the way reincarnation has always worked, it's the way it actually currently works (you'll note the reincarnation table goes from LA +0 to LA +2 mobs and says nothing about gaining/losing levels) and Wizard of the Coast have stated that this is indeed the way it works.

---

The main point of contention is now in regards to Ruby, the Believers of the Source and reincarnation.

When Elvanshalee was created, Mike said that naturally should reincarnation occur, he'd like some say over how it was done and what he became. That was agreed and naturally I want the same with Ruby. However Mike is now saying that either the lose/gain levels system must be used or you should have no choice over what creatures there are upon your reincarnation list.

---

Obviously the creatures on the list are of massive importance to me. Whilst there is no longer badger and the like, there are still a lot on the standard list that would fundamentally destroy Ruby as a PC, mostly the higher LA ones to be honest.

So I have been collecting a list of creatures that I have no drama being in the list and storing them, however most planescape races are at least LA +1, which means were Ruby to die, I would then likely lose one or more additional levels straight away for a handful of stat bonuses (or potentially none in the case of INT/WIS/CHA *not* being adjusted. Assimar LA+1, +2 WIS/CHA.).

The point being that we obviously need a different reincarnation list for Planescape, yet Michael believes that if Believers are allowed to vaguely select what they are happy with being on their personal reincarnation list, then that person has to use a lose/gain level system.

I don't think LA should change at all (it's not supposed to) and that in the spirit of the agreement made when Mike made Elvanshalee that I should still be able to select vaguely what is on my list, without potentially (and likely) losing extra levels after dying.

Importantly, I would be saying these exact same things were Mike still using Elvanshalee and I using Korr, this is how I think it should be done. I'm also positive that Mike would be happy with my system.

---

So I have said what I was going to do for Elvanshalee. Which is ask Mike for a selection of creatures and make a short 3 or 5 creature table that would be something like.

00-30% : +1 LA (Tiefling?)
31-69% : +2 LA (Bladeling?)
70-100%: +3 LA (LA+3 Half-Fiend?)

Obviously the races would be ones that Mike was happy with using.

That would, with the way Elvanshalee was in regards to her mindset and alignment (I believe), work for her. For Elvanshalee it was all about power and it grants the ability to lose, keep or gain LA. Resulting in either growing more/less powerful or staying the on the same power level.

If Elvanshalee got the LA +1, she would *not* gain a level in my system, if she got the LA +3 she would *not* lose a level in my system.

---

Now. The problem is. Ruby is human. LA +0. So unlike Elvanshalee, she cannot lose LA only gain it, which would make her more powerful*. This, along with picking out creatures you would be happy with causes the problem. Because the only creatures that would effectively reduce Ruby's power level, are the ones that mess with her class/personality/RPing, none of which I obviously would be happy to have on a list.

So that, fundamentally, is what I see as the issue right now. Being human, if I pick a list of races I'm happy to be reincarnated into, the gamble element is lost, because Ruby cannot lose LA, like Elvanshalee could, but in the spirit of our game, what stands for one PC, also stands for the next and Elvanshalee would have had an identical system to what I am asking for.

*although after the next session, a new light will shed upon this which will make everything much clearer.

---

That, I think, is a perfect explanation of what is currently being discussed. Hopefully Mike agrees.



PS. In short. I think ECL should change, Mike thinks it should remain the same.


Last edited by ^^Truth on 23rd February 2011, 9:58 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Typos)
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by JohnBoy on 23rd February 2011, 9:24 am

*whooosh*
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 24th February 2011, 4:57 am

Code:
d%  Incarnation      Str  Dex  Con  LA
01      Bugbear        +4   +2   +2  +1
02-13   Dwarf          +0   +0   +2  +0
14-25   Elf            +0   +2   -2  +0
26      Gnoll          +4   +0   +2  +1
27-38   Gnome          -2   +0   +2  +0
39-42   Goblin          -2   +2   +0  +0
43-52   Half-elf        +0   +0   +0  +0
53-62   Half-orc        +2   +0   +0  +0
63-74   Halfling        -2   +2   +0  +0
75-89   Human          +0   +0   +0  +0
90-93   Kobold          -4   +2   -2  -1
94      Lizardfolk      +2   +0   +2  +1
95-98   Orc            +4   +0   +0  +0
99      Troglodyte      +0   -2   +4  +2
100    Other          ?    ?    ?  ?



Now the above table is absolutely vanilla. I'm focusing on the base LA being +1, rather than +0 and we don't really need so many categories I think. Being LA +1, that allows for my variation from just dropping 1 LA to gaining 1-2. I think it would also be a good idea to expand upon the possibilities of gaining and losing.

So perhaps we can have a table that involves.

-2 ECL (LA+0, but shit races, like kobold)
-1 ECL (LA+0 in this case, such as Human)
+0 ECL (LA+1 in this case, genasi, tieflings etc)
+1 ECL (LA+2, Gith, drow etc)
+2 ECL (LA+3. Don't know any, but close to fully formed half-celestials/fiends work with the savage progressions material).

We could break the basic % down to such as...

+2/-2 ECL : 10%
+1/-1 ECL : 35%
+0 ECL : 65%

Mostly you'll stay the same on the ECL chart, with equal chance to losing/gaining ECL and a small chance of REALLY gaining/losing ECL.

Now as far as Believers of the Source go, tables should be tailored to their specific wants/desires. Something that will allow them to continue to function as a PC is essential with raise dead/resurrection banned. Each table should be different and written for specific Believers. Due to this the table should be as short as possible. So 1 of each +2/-2, 1 of each -1/+1 and perhaps 3 +0 ECLs. That makes a 7 step table which isn't too complicated to make/redesign.

Code:
01-05%  : LA -2 : 5%
06-25%  : LA -1 : 20%
26-49  : LA +0 : 24%
50-51%  : LA +0 : 2%
52-75  : LA +0 : 24%
76-95%  : LA +1 : 20%
96-100% : LA +2 : 5%


Now obviously the task is to assign races, whilst maybe stronger or weaker, that work for the PC. Some are obviously hard to do. However importantly each mark on the table should have a particular alignment focus.

Whatever the table is, cannot be identical to the above, because I think it should work on an 1-100 scale from good aligned to evil aligned, but you can work in negative modifiers for ECL in the middle. Although having thought about it, I don't think that -2 should necessarily be on the same, as the original doesn't have anything on LA -2 (I consider Kobold to be LA -1 from stats, especially if INT/WIS/CHA are used).
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 24th February 2011, 5:29 am

To note. The above table could be used for any PCs for planescape (or any other setting), over and above the basic one which doesn't work for high/low LA PCs.

It's my belief that the LA adjustments should be based off the original race's LA. So for Tza'rok (LA +2), 96-100% would actually work out to be a LA +4 race, such as Doppleganger. Whilst LA -2 could be human, for example.

It's probably better to have a lose/gain system of LA, but along with races that wouldn't destroy a character, rather than just populate a table with random core races and shrug.

Naturally you could completely shrink the plus and minus' to ECL and just go with a table like the original that 93% brings you back as an identical LA.

I think if we used this system more people would consider reincarnation as a legitimate option.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by Tromador on 24th February 2011, 10:05 am

When you say "scale from good aligned to evil aligned", a PC shouldn't have to change alignment as part of reincarnation.
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Re: Reincarnation

Post by ^^Truth on 24th February 2011, 11:08 am

Absolutely! That scale is for Ruby's own personal belief system Smile

No one else would use that scale, unless it suited them (and they were a Believer).
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Re: Reincarnation

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