Returning from Death (3.5e Variant Rule)
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Return from Death
"I'll pull myself back together piece by piece if I have to"
When a character dies, instead of being discarded, they are given the option to fight their way out of the abyss itself, rebuilding their soul by tearing apart others. You begin on a level of the abyss equal to twice your level, populated by abyssal creatures of no less than two levels stronger than you are. The infinite abyss deepens beneath you, meaning that no matter how powerful you are, there is no bottom; perish here, and you will simply aggregate once again on a lower level.
To ascend you must kill the plane's guardian, whose level cannot be less than five above yours. Succeed in this, and you rise higher, to easier foes. In this way, it is the first step which is the hardest. Much like the life you lost, after a fashion.
When you emerge back into the world in a new body, but with a slightly fractured soul. Each time you return, you become ever more fragile, until rising from the dead is not the comrade your friends once knew but a mad ghoul screaming and slavering in timeless endless indomitable madness.
- The first return has no obvious ill effect
- The second lowers your maximum hp by 1d10
- The third lowers your intelligence by half
- The fourth lowers your strength by half
- The fifth halves your health
- The sixth breaks you completely