Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ontological Consequences of No Raise Dead

My position on no Raise Dead does create some interesting questions as to the nature of the campaign setting. Rather than trying to stress myself with definitive and logical answers, I'll just explore the ideas and then leave them be. Ultimately, the answer is of little importance so long as Clerics are casting spells.

Since Jesus is the only person to have ever resurrected, the monotheistic God of Abraham is definitely the supreme power in the universe. There's no doubt that he is the big man. But I also want to have Clerics of pagan religions, Druids, and spell casters who follow all of the world's religions.

Can they coexist? Is it that only the mortal followers of God who insist all other beliefs are false? Or maybe all other divine powers are actually derived from Satan, channeled through and disguised so as to lead souls away from the path to God?

From a game mechanics point of view, Druids and Clerics can choose any religion and still cast spells. Ultimately, the answer to this question isn't really necessary. Maybe it will come up one day in play, but until I actually start a campaign, I can't even begin to start on the way to reaching that need.

So just food for thought.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. How is it that of all the belief systems of the world, you take the position that the only 'true' one is that of Christianity? Why is the mythological raising of Christ considered to be true, while the mythological raising of others is conveniently ignored. What of Asclepius, killed by Zeus and resurrected? Achilles was killed and afterwards snatched from his pyre by his mother. What of Alcmene, Castor, Hercules and Romulus? From Buddhism we have Bodhidharma. And if you want an example from the Bible, what about Lazarus? Peter raised a woman named Dorcas, Paul restored a man named Eutychus.

    Why this fictional 'raising' and no other? If Jesus, then why not Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jean Grey, Jason and Freddy, Spock and Superman? I find your argument that Jesus is somehow exempt from the same standards for stories about people who die and are raised from the dead very weak. It's all mythology.

  3. I agree, it IS all mythology. I'm just setting a standard here. The standard point emphasizes a euro-centric, Christian-centric campaign world. Talk to the average character in game and he tells you only Jesus died and was resurrected.

    I am sure any in-game character well versed in Pagan mythology/the classics could make a very good point along your lines.

    But like I said in my post, ultimately I am not answering the question here.

  4. Don't take away the idea that I am a person who believes the Earth is only a few hundred years old and all evidence to the contrary was placed there by God to satisfy our mortal curiosity.

    Nor do I think that all people born before Christ are doomed or misguided or can only hope to have lived good lives and be granted Grace for that reason.

    I'm a screwhead, so I am picking a standard to serve a purpose. Trust me, it is NOT indicative of my personal beliefs :D

  5. Err, that last comment should read 'few thousand years old' but you get the idea.

  6. Okay, but I did point out three examples of resurrection other than Jesus from inside the canon. Which you did not address.

  7. I don't plan on. At the time, this is a lore reason on top of a game mechanic reason.

    Both are open to change, but at this point, there won't be any way to raise the dead.

  8. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the input. You've made it clear that I need to delve deeper if I want to actually use this lore reason.

  9. First, there is good reason to believe Jesus really was raised from the grave. It wasn't just friends and believers who saw Him alive again, but also skeptics, and even enemies. The belief in His resurrection didn't develop over time, rather, it was established in the very time and place these events are supposed to have occurred.

    People who had lost faith or never believed in Him, after His humiliating death on a cross, suddenly are confident to the point of facing persecution and death. These aren't people who merely believed He had risen, these were people who were in a position to know, they claimed to have seen Him themselves.

    In fact, the proclamation of His resurrection in the time and place of His death was so successful, those opposed to them had to use violence to disperse them.

    For all of this and more, there is plenty of rational justification for believing in the resurrection of Christ. Claiming that, well, since all these other resurrections are myths, therefore Christ's resurrection is a myth, is lazy logic at best.

  10. According to the Bible, Jesus is the only One to have been resurrected. The Bible records other people being raised from the dead, but they were not resurrected, but resuscitated.

    To be resurrected is to be raised immortal, to be changed, and never to die again. According to the Bible, this has only happened to Jesus (everyone will be resurrected/transformed at the Second Coming).

    In contrast to this, people like Lazarus were restored to life. That is, they were brought back to life, and his body was restored to what it was in life, but it was not transformed into immortality. Lazarus would grow old and die again, but the resurrected Christ is not susceptible to such ailments.

    If you are trying to design a game consistent with the Bible, there were several prophets who resuscitated dead people to life, but only Christ is able to resurrect people into immortality.

  11. Thanks for the perspective, Bree Yark. I've forgotten much more than I have remembered from childhood Catechism classes...

    For game mechanics, Raise Dead is off the table. I am open to the Resurrection spell with the caveat that anyone high enough level to cast it in the entire game world is going to be extremely rare if not nonexistent.

    Beyond that though, I haven't put too much more thought into how other spellcasters and religions fit into the overall scheme.