About a month ago, I wrote a post about a variant system for raising the dead in your D&D 3.5 games. Today's post is in the same vein, but tackles something entirely different: What happens after the spell is cast, the dead are raised, and everyone's gone home?
In many myths and stories that involve characters return to life, the character maintaining some supernatural connection with death after rising is a major trope. In D&D, this is (sort of) emulated by penalties being applied to newly raised characters, but this is a bland emulation in my opinion, having more to do with math and often getting ignored in the roleplay. Why should D&D characters be able to so easily forget about the mark of death when literary heroes have so much fun tragedy and madness to deal with? To address this issue, I've made the "Risen" subtype, detailed below (as well as a new feat to accompany it).
Risen Subtype: All living creatures who have been magically raised from the dead gain the risen subtype. Risen creatures gain the following traits:
- Vulnerability to Negative Energy.
- –2 penalty on saving throws to remove negative levels.
- Deathsight (Su) All risen creatures gain the ability to discern the strength of nearby life forces, as per the deathwatch spell. this ability is always active.
You have crossed the veil of death, and brought back with you the ability to speak the tongue of the departed.
Prerequisite: Risen subtype.
Benefit: You gain a limited ability to communicate with the disembodied spirits of the dead. To do so, make a Diplomacy skill check (DC 15).
If this check is successful, you gain information as though from a casting of augury, with an effective caster level equal to the amount by which you beat the skill check DC.
Alternatively, if a dead body is available, you may question it as though with the speak with dead spell, though the dead body gets no saving throw, need not be able to speak, and only you can hear its response. Just as with the first use of this feat, your effective caster level is equal to the amount by which you beat the skill check DC.
This is a supernatural ability that can be used 3/day.