Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Nature of Life-in-Death

Player Characters are not truly dead, but neither are they really alive any more, because of their damnation. Rather than calling them "undead" (which carries unwanted connotations,) they are in a state of Life-in-Death. This means:
  • They feel hunger, thirst, and pain, and can be injured;
  • They can, at least at first, pass for living;
  • They can be killed, although they will remain part of the crew if still damned;
  • They cannot fool the seagulls or sharks, or rats, ravens or other scavengers; these all see the damned as dead and will attempt to tear at their flesh;
  • They cannot always heal, especially from attacks by gulls; the more injury they take while damned, the closer they get to a state of decay.
To track this, there is a special stat called Decay. It starts at zero when the characters first become damned. At the end of every encounter where the characters have taken physical damage, roll 2d6; on doubles, the character has gained a point of Decay. To heal a wound or disguise the effects of death, players must beat the Decay rating with their effectiveness.

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