Millificent of Allwellia

The Allwellia Campaign is a high-powered Eclipse campaign. Not only does it allow quite a lot of character-optimization cheese, but it allows each player character to have a custom race/birthright – which means that each one can be expected to sneak in a bunch of high-powered abilities precisely adapted to whatever the player wants the characters role to be. In effect, they’re trading in the character’s basic racial modifiers for about a tailored template. Secondarily, it is both magic (80% of base cost, starting off at level two with 1800 gold to spend) and treasure rich.

The major problem is that the setting is FULL of wild magic. Some rare individuals – “Sparks” – can directly absorb that magic (“experience points”) when they battle the creatures of the wild, transforming and enhancing themselves in weird and wonderful ways (“Sparks” use Eclipse builds). More common (if still pretty rare) are Embers, who can absorb the wild magic but not directly use it – so they can use it up in rituals to grant themselves specific patterns of abilities (Class Levels) or in gaining a few other boosts. Finally, of course… most people can’t absorb wild magic at all. They may still gain a few levels via years of slow and painful practice or by being infused with power by some Spark with Leadership (or some similar ability), but – while they still get Birthrights – they’re relatively generic.

Wild magic is the explanation for the abundance of magic items as well. Not only can items randomly appear in the wilds – even if many such random items are useless or outright dangerous – but they can be “farmed”. Placing an appropriate mundane item in a box covered with the correct runes and formulas and leaving it in the wild will – in time – result in a fairly predictable enchantment. Items that get left too long, or get disturbed, or where something goes wrong, can be just as insane as the random stuff – but all you need to produce magical items is the right formula (there are books) and time.

Unfortunately, the Wilds are just that. Did an airship crash? By the time the search party finds it it may have transformed into a haunted pirate ship, complete with a crew of monsters all with their own magic. Has the wild magic surged today? An old family cemetery with an “eternal flame” marker may turn into a volcano full of fire vampires surrounded by a sprawling city of the undead – none of which “dead” existed last week. Was there a great storm? Perhaps the old coastal village has been swallowed up by the sea, and is now a civilization of underwater monsters bent on conquest. Mapping the wild isn’t entirely futile – it helps keep major features in place – but the details change constantly.

.Millificent, Wyrm Of Alchemy

56 year old female Sand Gnome Spark. Black Hair, Blue Eyes, 2 Ft 1 Inch (0.91 meters), 37 lbs (16.8 kg), Profession: Nomadic Trader and Alchemist, Linnorm of the Western Desert.

The caravan leader had thought he had all the angles figured out. He had led previous expeditions that had mapped out a significant portion of the lava tubes under Mount Vengeance. As such, he thought he had a lead on the location and route to a much larger chamber deep beneath the volcano where it was rumored that incredible treasure and power lay. Perhaps even a dragon’s horde. As such, he gathered a caravan of venturesome gnoes known for being able to keep their mouth’s shut and their heads down. Millificent was among them.

The journey was treacherous, and more than a few members of the caravan were slain by bandits, wandering monsters, and the occasional collapsing tunnel. Eventually though, the tunnel ahead opened up to reveal a massive chamber dimly lit by the bio-luminescent fungi that was so common in the deep tunnels. Unfortunately, the rumored dragon’s horde was nowhere to be found. What they did find were the skeletal remains of a colossal two-headed dread linnorm slain in its home – likely in a territorial battle with an immense dragon. Whatever horde had once existed here was now long gone, either looted by the dragon or by others seeking wealth and power. Even the shattered bones were beginning to merge with the very stone of the mountain itself. The very air seemed to crackle with magic and psionic energies still writhing and twisting with pent up power. Thick streams of crystalized black blood dripped from the very bones of the slain giant and formed small pools of glowing power. While the rumored treasure was nowhere to be seen, the expedition was not a total loss. The bones, blood, and the minerals that had been soaked in their power were valuable commodities in their own right.

So began efforts to harvest what they could to use themselves or to haul back and sell to those who valued such things. Out came bottles, pickaxes, and chisels to collect the most valuable bits to haul back to town. More than once the work paused as it sounded like the ancient linnorm was roaring to life and shaking the foundations of the world, but once the shaking stopped the work continued again – although not without trepidation and frequent glances over their shoulders. It was during the attempted removal of one of the many teeth larger than any of the gnomes present that a partial collapse of the cavern occurred, unleashing a torrent of crystalline black blood onto the unwary treasure seekers.

The poisonous liquid burned at their flesh and tore at their minds. A few managed to crawl out of the pool of blood to die slow and agonizing deaths, but Millificent came out transformed. A tiny portion of the ancient power of the linnorm had merged with her and given her the Spark. Now she could wield its magical and psionic power over the elements of ice and fire. In time, perhaps she could wield even more of its former power. For now though, she and the other survivors dragged themselves back to town, sold what they could salvage from the failed expedition, and disbanded. The Spark within Millificent however called to her, and urged her to go out again. To seek out wealth and power. And…. perhaps…. a chance to avenge itself against the dragonkind that slew it for its treasures.


Centuries ago, when the mages warded the volcanic Mount Vengeance to prevent future eruptions, the side-effects of those wards were not understood at the time. Only later, when immense geysers of mystically imbued lava began to burst forth from the surrounding countryside was the error realized. Fires scorched one verdant forests and grasslands from the landscape, leaving sweeping the Desert of the Black Sands in their place.

Still, many found opportunity in the disaster. The Sand Gnomes form caravans that traverse the black dunes and lava rivers to ply their wares at each stop on their route. Along the way, they harvest alchemical reagents that grow along the lava flows and the mystically charged sands that erupt from the many geysers of ash and sand. A few caravans even brave the old magma tubes that criss-cross the disk to ply their wares to the denizens on the underside of the disk.

Traversing the desert has had an affect on the Sand Gnomes as well. They possess an innate ability to control sand for both defense and to form tools and weapons. They are talented survivalists able to find water in even the harshest environments. They are also skilled alchemists and capable negotiators known for driving hard bargains and producing all sorts of useful concoctions.

On the other hand, Sand Gnomes tend to be rowdy, big-eaters, and miserly with their coin. As such, the arrival of a Sand Gnome caravan frequently met with enthusiasm as well as annoyance.

For the Sand Gnomes, their caravans are their families, even if they aren’t related by blood. Sand Gnomes identify themselves by a given name and a name for the caravan they are members of in place of a family name. Other species find this convention confusing, but to them it is as natural as any other system for identifying themselves. Children, when they come of age, will leave the caravan of their parent(s) and move to join another at one of the many ports of call on their travels. The head of the caravan is typically the most powerful or the most senior member of the group (frequently both).

So it was that Millificent was traversing the black sands with the Jasplin Caravan. It was a relatively new caravan, but one that managed to make a number of ties with out of the way brokers and merchants around the disk thanks to the charismatic (if a bit unscrupulous) connections of their leader Jasplin Jasplin. Millificent had been recruited due to a fairly recent incident granting her spark status that gave her highly flexible powers. As an additional incentive to bring her in, they had even paid to have her tattooed with the caravan’s trade key This particular trek was to the oasis town of Shadowshire. They had successfully fought off raids by Vulpin and the occasional angry volcano otter. The attack from a band of adventurers was unexpected and difficult to repel however. Millificent burned a substantial amount of power doing what she could during the defense, but it was Jasplin suddenly sprouting scales, claws, and a breath weapon during the fight that turned the tide.

The sudden eruption of magical energies from the transformation prompted a backlash of power that disrupted a number of carefully hidden wards on the main wagon, causing it to suddenly disgorge a substantial number of shackled slaves. When the adventurers had been run off the arguments began. Millificent wanted nothing to do with sapient trading, whereas Jasplin insisted she had no choice in the matter. Arguments escalated to shouting, and shouting became blasts of energy. While Millicent had expended much of her psionic and magical powers reserves, Jasplin’s unrestrained use of magical attacks gave her ample opportunity to absorb energy again. That edge gave her the opportunity to stun Jasplin and make a break for it. While Millificent wasn’t strong enough to free the slaves, she could keep them from entering the trade hubs necessary to sell their wares given that she had the tattoo key. Given how paranoid many of those cities got, it would be a long time before the Jasplin Caravan could sell their wares and then procure more slaves. All Millificent had to do was stay low so they couldn’t track her down and exact whatever passed for justice amongst the slave-traders.

Racial Template: Sand Gnome (31 CP / +0 ECL)

Hailing from the Desert of the Black Sands, desert gnomes traverse the region in caravans, trading in weird and wondrous items along the way. Known to be proficient alchemists, they have a knack for scouring the landscape for ingredients and for haggling with others when plying their wares.

  • Shrinking I: Corrupted / Reduces base movement speed to 20 (8 CP) (-2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 to Melee AC and Attacks, d4 Falling Damage)
  • Attribute Shift: +2 Constitution/-2 Strength. Sand Gnomes are hardy travelers, but aren’t particularly strong even for their size (6 CP)
  • Racial Skills:
    • Adept (Specialized for Reduced Cost / Two Skills Only (Diplomacy and Craft (Alchemy), 3 CP).
    • +3 on Negotiation and Craft (Alchemy) (2 CP), Sand Gnomes are natural traders and alchemists,
    • Speaks Gnomish (1 CP)
  • Innate Enchantment: Desert Nomads (7500 GP, 8 CP)
    • Endure Elements (L1, x.5, only versus hot weather, 1000 GP).
    • Forge of Sand (L1, Creates a piece of standard equipment weighing up to 10 lb made of sand, such items last up to 10 minutes/level, but fall apart in anyone else’s hands, 2,000 GP)
    • Mage (Sand) Armor (Personal Only, 1400 GP, the sand inevitably found on a Sand Gnomes skin helps block attacks).
    • Force (Sand) Shield I (Personal Only, walls of sand appear as needed to block attacks, 1400 GP)
    • Detect Water (L0, Can detect nearby sources of drinkable water, 1,000 GP)
    • Penumbra (L0, Personal Only, Does not suffer any penalties or blindness caused by bright light, such as those from light sensitivity or light blindness, 700 GP)
  • Immunity / The XP Cost of Racial Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Trivial, Trivial, 1 CP).
  • Immunity / Dispelling and Antimagic, Uncommon, Minor, Great, Specialized and Corrupted / only to protect racial Innate Enchantments, 2 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Buying Larger Hit Dice (3 CP).
  • Racial Disadvantage: The Sand Gnomes are compulsive nomads, and find it impossible to settle down in one location (-3 CP).

Like most Allwellian “races”, Sand Gnones are quite powerful – although some of their advantages do not scale as well as they might. Still, having automatic immediate access to pretty much every common piece of equipment, +4/+4 Armor/Shield bonuses, and a nice bonus to Diplomacy and Alchemy is a pretty decent package at lower levels and – as with all Eclipse abilities – can readily be expanded on later.

Available Character Points: 264 (Level 10 Base) + 10 (Disadvantages: History, Hunted, Insane) + 24 (Bonus Feats from Levels 1, 3, 6, and 9) = 298 CP.


  • History: The player produces a few pages of notes for the GM about the character’s history, personality, and goals. This includes mention of friends and family, old enemies or allies, and where the character got his or her training and equipment.
  • Hunted: Millificent abandoned her old caravan when she found out they were involved in sapient trafficking. Since she was the one with the trade access rights tattoo in the caravan, this has effectively locked the caravan out of a number of lucrative cities and ports. The caravan leader Jasplin (a corrupt devotee to the Path of the Dragon) particularly has it in for Millificent.
  • Insane (Fearless): Millificent has had her sense of fear eaten by the Old Ones due to the intervention of Derngarm after he got tired of Millificent’s hydrophobia.

That last one is an example of an in-game change; Derngarm may have been calling in the Elder Ones (as he does for all his magic) – but the actual spell was a simple “Remove Feat” to temporarily negate Millificents fear of water – the group was fighting pirates aboard a ship and Milli had just gone overboard. The player felt that the characters Hydrophobia was getting old, and so – with the game master’s permission – used the excuse to trade in the disadvantage.

Basic Attributes (4d6 keep 3d6): Str 9 (13 -2 Size -2 Racial +1 Enh = 10), Dex 14 (+2 Size = 16), Con 19 (13 + 2 Racial + 4 Tattoo), Int 21 (15 + 2 Level + 4 Tattoo), Wis 14, Cha 14 (Millificent is quite talented for a gnome, but this is to be expected for a Spark)

Basic Abilities: (108 CP)

  • Hit Dice: 37 (L1d8, L2-10d6, Buy Racial Fast Learner up to Double Effect to pay for it, 3 CP). Advanced
    • Improved Augmented Bonus ( Add (Int Mod) to (Con Mod) when computing hit points, Corrupted / only effective on hit dice through L12, 12 CP). HP 37 + (10 x [Con Mod + Int Mod]) = 127 HP.
  • Skill Points: +4 (Purchased, 4 CP) +65 (Int Mod x 13, Immunity/Not getting skill points for Int boosts retroactively (Uncommon, Minor, Great, 6 CP) +21 (One-Time Boost) = 90 SP.
    • Buy off Specialization on Racial Adept (3 CP): Add Survival and Bluff (Acting) to Negotiation and Craft (Alchemy) for half cost.
    • Adept (6 CP): Pays half cost for Fire Rune Magic Casting, Fire Rune Magic Mastery, Rose Briar Style, and Disguise.
  • Base Attack Bonus: +10 (Corrupted: Does not provide iterative attacks, Fast Learner, Specialized in BAB, 6 CP, Remainder 20 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude: +3 (9 CP) +4 (Con) +3 (Luck) +1 (Mor) +4 (Res) +1 (Com) = +16
    • Reflex: +5 (15 CP) +3 (Dex) +3 (Luck) +1 (Morale) + 4 (Res) +1 (Com) = +14
    • Will: +3 (9 CP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Luck) +1 (Morale) + 4 (Res) +1 (Com) = +14
    • Luck with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saves (9 CP).
  • Proficiencies: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain (6 CP)
    • This is a bit cheesy – who learns to use a Spiked Chain with full proficiency with no other weapons training at all? – but so be it! Saving 3 CP skipping out on “all simple weapons” isn’t all that much cheese.
  • Initiative: +3 (Dex) = +3
  • Move: 30 (Base) – 10 (Racial) + 30 (Personal Haste) + 10 (Untyped) = 60 Feet/Round
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Dex) +4 (Armor) +4 (Shield) +1 (Size) +3 (Luck) = AC 25, Flatfooted 22, Touch 17.

Usual Attacks:

  • Spiked Chain: +22/+22 (+10 BAB, +5 Int +1 Mor +1 Com +1 Enh, +4 MA, Haste) for 1d12 +1d6 (Cold) +6 (+5 Int +1 Enh) Damage, Crit 20 / x2, Reach 10′, 3 AoO, +2 to Trip and Disarm.
  • Alchemist’s Fire (Ice, Etc): +18/+18/+18 (+10 BAB, +3 Dex, +1 Mor, +1 Comp +3 MA, Haste, Rapid Shot) for 6d6/6d6 and Splash 6 Fire (Whatever) Damage. 80′ Range Increment. Can be enhanced with Will Of The Philosopher (below). Usually a Touch Attack. (Also for other alchemical items, Spray Effect can be used to automatically hit 5x within 30′).
  • Dragonfire ST: +14 (+10 BAB, +2 Dex, +1 Morale, +1 Competence) for 2-10d6+1 Ice Damage
  • Dragonfire AoE: +14 (+10 BAB, +2 Dex, +1 Morale, +1 Competence) for 1-5d6+1 Ice Damage over 30′ radius

Other Abilities:

Spiked Chain Mastery (36 CP).

  • Finesse: Spiked Chain (Bonuses based on Int instead of Str, 6 CP)
  • Master of the Chain: 4d6 (18) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Minor/Notable/Major/Grandiose edits cost 1/2/3/4 points each/only for reality editing, only for fabulous tricks with spiked chain, maximum mana use of (1 + Level / 4 per turn) (24 CP)
  • Rite of Chi with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to restore the reality editing pool above, only between fights (6 CP)

Now this can get pretty silly. Want to lash out at short/medium/long range? 1/2/3 Mana. Whirlwind a massive radius? 1-2 Mana. Lash out at a passing airship, wrap the chain around a mast, and suddenly pull yourself aboard? 3 Mana. Drag it down to you instead? 4 Mana. Give your chain temporary enchantments? Probably totaling about +4 per Mana Spent, and lasting for an hour or so. Whirl the chain to create a temporary Wall Of Force effect? 3. Make a piece of rope function as a spiked chain or pull out a holdout spiked chain? 1 Mana. This pretty much allows all the absurd stunts that you see out of chain weapons in ninja anime. Admittedly, this is a bit of a limited resource – but it’s quite versatile.

Mllificent hasn’t actually done much with this. While she seems to like having the option, melee combat – even with a variety of insane options available – really isn’t her thing. She tends to rely on her Alchemy.

Hardened by Harsh Environment (14 CP):

  • Innate Enchantment (+8000 GP to Racial Package, 8 CP)
  • Warding Rune (+1+CL/3 Resistance to Saves (1400 GP)
  • Inspiring Word: +1 Morale Bonus to Saves, Attacks, Skill Checks, and Damage (1400 GP)
  • Ward of Heaven: +(CL/3) Luck Bonus to AC and Saves (1400 GP)
  • Fortune’s Favor: +2 Luck Bonus to Skills (1400 GP)
  • Personal Haste: +30 to Movement, +1 Attack at full BAB (2000 GP)
  • Guidance: +1 Competence Bonus to Saves, Attacks, and Skills (700 GP)
  • Empowerment (Innate Enchantments) / Specialized in Warding Rune and Ward of Heaven for Increased Effect (Uses the users Hit Dice instead of Caster Level, 6 CP).

Most characters are limited to 12 CP worth of Innate Enchantment – but “racial” stuff doesn’t count against that limit, so Milli can have a second helping. Like most innate enchantments, hers focus on providing a wide variety of useful – if relatively minor bonuses from cantrips and first level effects. Again, Millificent is going for a generalist here. None of these innate enchantments are really focused on anything in particular.

Master Alchemist (46 CP)

  • Shaping (6 CP), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (First level spells) / only for Healing effects, requires a medical kit and time (maximum 7 times/day on any given target).
    Taskmaster: Specialized and Corrupted / Alchemy Only (2 CP)
  • Will of the Philosopher: 2d6 (7) Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (Minor/Notable/Major/Grandiose edits cost 1/2/3/4 points each / only for reality editing, only for enhancing alchemy (12 CP).
    • As with her Spiked Chain Mastery, this can be used to greatly boost the effects of alchemical items, spread them over considerable area, alter their effects, hurl them to great distances, or just find a few more bottles amongst her supplies when she needs them. This, once again, allows a vast multitude of tricks – but is a pretty limited resource during any one fight.
  • Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to recharge the reality editing pool above (4 CP).
  • Double “Damage” (Effect) With standard alchemical items, Specialized for Increased Effect (Triple Damage thanks to the usual doubling rules) / only works with personally-made alchemical items (6 CP).
  • Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make limited-use items (Apply “Specialized / Does Not Recover to the items created, only select abilities that normally offer a limited number of daily uses) costing a maximum of 3 CP each, only using points from Enthusiast (2 CP).
  • 2x Double Enthusiast, Specialized for Increased Effect (provides eight floating CP) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost /points may only be used with Create Relic, limited as above (8 CP)
    • This is the “where does he get those wonderful toys” package from The Golden Ones, allowing the creation and use of a wide variety of temporary items for each adventure.
  • Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make a Philosopher’s Stone (2 CP)
  • Double Enthusiast: Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / only for making a Philosopher’s Stone (4 CP)
    • The Philosophers Stone relic can be found HERE

While this has long been Millificent’s favorite set of powers to use, she has only recently really developed her higher-order abilities along these lines – leading many or her opponents and allies to severely underestimate her. In a way, that slow-burn build is a direct consequence of her spreading her points among four major sets of abilities – including one which was more or less useless at low levels. In effect, she’s been multiclassing instead of building up one or two sets of abilities before starting a new one. Now that all of her abilities are fully functional she’ll probably be demonstrating her abilities a lot more.

Blood of the Linnorm (49 CP).

  • Shapeshift with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized / No Animal Forms (6 CP)
  • Attribute Modifiers (6 CP)
  • Variants (3 CP). Millificent is fond of taking the forms of a variety of different elves (i.e. Dark Elves, Avariel, Aquatic, etc.) as there tends to be at least one subspecies with abilities useful for the current situation
  • Growth (Large, Huge, Gargantuan) and Enchanted (Dragonforms), all Specialized for Reduced Cost / Only to take Linnorm forms (7 CP)
  • +3d0 Hit Dice, Specialized for Increased Effect / only to calculate possible Linnorm forms (12 CP).
  • Will Of Fire: Mana: Specialized and Corrupted / only for use with Rune Magic (Psionic Fire) 10d6 (35) (20 CP)
  • Rite of Chi with +12 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to refill the Psionic Fire pool above (8 CP)

As of this level Millificent can currently can take Crag and Fjord Linnorm forms- a good thing as she felt it was appropriate to invest most of the required points early on, and the smallest Linnorms have sixteen hit dice. Thus, for much of her career, this ability has been a point-sink with little return beyond taking variant elven forms and (in conjunction with her rune magic skills below) a bit of fire magic. That’s roughly equivalent to a two or three level penalty in standard d20 without much to show for it. That hurt quite a bit through levels two to nine. It also demonstrates a major difference between Millificent and most Eclipse builds: The vast majority of Eclipse characters will pick one or two specialties – generally trying to keep one or both categories maxed out – and develop them until they’ve picked up all the abilities they want before moving on to something else. Investing points in abilities that you cannot yet use is pretty rare.

The Winter Of The World (44 CP):

  • Dragonfire (Ice Variant, 6 CP)
  • Eye of the Dragon x2 (12 CP). Can store up to 76 Spell Levels, absorbing up to 42 spell levels daily.
  • Reflex Action with +8 Bonus Uses, Extra Actions Per Day Variant, Specialized and Corrupted / only for Spell Absorption (6 CP)
  • Breath of the Dragon / Specialized and Corrupted: Prerequisite Only (2 CP)
  • Living Fire (Ice Variant, 6 CP)
  • Body of Fire (Ice Variant, 6 CP)
  • Kinetic Master (6 CP)

Another powerful ability sequence with some very useful abilities (reflexive spell absorption alone is pretty nice) – but, once again, nowhere near where it could be at this level and greatly under-utilized. Living Fire (Ice) and Body Of Fire (Ice) can easily provide far greater mobility, enhanced abilities, armor, various special abilities, and masses of renewable temporary hit points – a near-perfect compliment to her Spiked Chain Mastery abilities – but Millificent hasn’t used them much. While that’s partially because taking the time to set up a psychic construct in the middle of a game drags everything to a halt, but designing a few in advance would mostly take care of that. They might be less perfectly tailored, but that’s much better than not using the ability.

Minor Notes (1 CP):

  • Trade Access Rights Tattoo: Minor Privilege, Specialized / brings various enemies (1 CP)
  • Mundane Equipment: Masterwork Spiked Chain (Backup), Alchemist’s Kit and Lab, Tent, Riding Dog, Saddle, and Saddlebags, Traveler’s Outfit, Cooking Kit, Silk Rope (50 ft)

Skills: (90 SP)

All Skills: +2 Luck, +1 Morale, +4 Competence.

  • Bluff: +13 (6* SP) +2 (Cha) = +22
  • Craft / Alchemy: +13 (6* SP) +5 (Int) +3 (Race) +2 (Lab) +2 (Gloves) +2 (Sy) = +34
  • Disguise: +13 (6* SP) +2 (Cha) = +22
  • Heal: +0 (0 SP) +2 (Wis) +2 (Belt) = +11
  • Hide: +0 (0 SP) +2 (Dex) +8 (Amulet) = +17
  • Knowledge/Local: +13 (13 SP) +5 (Int) = +25
  • Martial Art/Alchemic Mastery +13 (13 SP) +5 (Int) = +25
  • Martial Art/Rose Briar Style +13 (6* SP) +5 (Int) = +25
  • Move Silently: +0 (0 SP) +2 (Dex) +6 (Amulet) = +15
  • Negotiate (Cha): +13 (6* SP) +2 (Cha) +3 (Race) = +25
  • Rune Casting (Psionic Fire): +13 (6* SP) +5 (Int) = +25 (CL 13)
  • Rune Mastery (Psionic Fire): +13 (6* SP) +5 (Int) = +25 (Up to L6)
  • Search: +13 (13 SP) +2 (Wis) = +22
  • Spot: +0 (0 SP) +2 (Wis) = +9
  • Survival (Wis): +13 (6* SP) +2 (Wis) = +22

+3 Skill Specialties: Knowledge/Local (Alchemical Resources), Search (for Alchemical Resources), Bluff (Acting) (3 SP). .

Martial Arts:

  • Rose Briar Style (13): Power III, Attack IV, +5 Reach, Whirlwind Attack, Combat Reflexes, Inner Strength, and Light Foot.
  • Alchemic Master Style (13): Power III (+1d6 base to Alchemical Attacks), Attack IV, Toughness III (Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only versus damage caused by Alchemical Effects, but all of those. Reduces the damage from alchemical effects by 6 points), Synergy/Craft (Alchemy), Prone Combat, and Rapid Shot.

Alchemical Items: Fog Rock, Tindertwig x5, Acid Flask x10, Alchemist’s Fire x10, Alchemical Holy Water x10, Alkali Flask x10, Bottled Lightning x10, Liquid Ice x10, Iron Pellet Grenade x5, Glue x10, Tanglefoot Bag x10, Antitoxin x10, Antiplague x10, Smoke Pellets x10,

This is way behind, but – between the Philosopher’s Stone allowing transmutation, money, and her great skill as an alchemist, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to simply suppose that she has substantial supplies of pretty much everything. This  a fairly minimal selection.

Slotless Magical Items:

  • Bag of Holding I + Shapesand 240 lbs
  • Handy Haversack
  • Everburning Torch
  • Shiftweave Clothing
  • Spiked Chain +1
  • Immovable Rod x2
  • Magical Board Game
  • Tattoo Parlor Investment (4,000 GP)
  • Lesser Weapon Crystal Of Elemental Assault (Cold).

Magical Tattoos: +4 Int, +4 Con, +4 Skills, all Enhancement Bonuses.

Slotted Magical Items:

  • Healing Belt +2 Comp to Heal, 3 Charges/Day, spend 1/2/3 for 2/3/4d8 Healing.
  • Ring of Communications: Communicate with other such rings within one mile
  • Cloak of Arachnida: Spiderclimb, Immunity to entrapment via Web spells or webs of any sort (moves at half speed), Web 1/day, +2 Luck Bonus on saves against poison from spiders
  • Gloves of the Master Alchemist: Stores potions and alchemical items only as per a Handy Haversack, items appear in the user’s hands when needed. Produce any cantrip level alchemical, fire, or ice effect 1/round, Stir items when not present, Toss alchemical items with the speed and range of a light crossbow, Spray up to (Int Mod) doses of any alchemical substance available onto any target within 30′, +2 Competence Bonus to an Alchemy Check, 3 Charges/Day, spend 1/2/3 to produce any alchemical item worth up to 10/100/1000 GP, but the items vanish in one minute, whether used or not
  • Continuous Amulet Of Umbral Metamorphosis: Grants 60′ Darkvision, Hide in Plain Sight, Cold Resistance 10, Superior Low-Light Vision, Hide +8 (Untyped), +6 Move Silently (Untyped), +10 All Movement Modes (Untyped).
  • Pin Of Strength: +1 Enhancement to Strength (800 GP).

Overall, Milllificent has a broad array of tricks and powers – but little depth in any of them. Worse, several of them have only recently become effective. Still, having hit level ten she’s become quite effective – and she should be able to build up her abilities further over the next few levels.

Eclipse d20 Powers – Returning

And today it’s a question:


1) How long does it take you to come back to life?

2) In what condition do you come back? Full HP? 1 HP? Also, what heals and what doesn’t? Do you regrow limbs? Heal diseases? And what about spell slots and the like?

3) What’s to stop a character who can only be killed by some specific thing from just offing himself if confronted by that thing?

4) On the topic of offing one’s self, it seems like you would never need more than minor rewrite, because you could still get a full re-spec just by killing yourself four times.

5) Do you always come back as the same thing, and do you know what you’ll come back as?


This particular question neatly illustrates one of the fundamental principles of Eclipse – that the operational details of many or most powers depend on the details of the setting, on the players description of how their character’s power works, and what the game master thinks will work well in his or her game. Minor tweaks (“variants”) are expected – but if there are major ones, you’ll probably want to Corrupt or Specialize the power to more closely fit what you want and what the game master is willing to accept. So lets take a look at some ways in which various characters in various settings have used Returning.

I’ll start off with a few fantasy characters:

Derngarm, a Mystic Gunslinger and Dark Guardian of the Gates of the Underworld, Childe’ Of The Harrowed Gate, has Extraordinary Returning, Specialized for Increased Effect and Corrupted for Reduced Cost: he reappears where people facing overwhelming threats pray for a heroes aid, and is bound to answer that call – but he does bring along his equipment (the increased effect, 8 CP). So when Derngarm is slain, his body and gear falls to dust or otherwise vanishes anime-style (making him rather difficult to raise conventionally) – but he will soon reappear at full power somewhere where there is a caravan, settlement, or similar group in desperate trouble. Once he deals with that, he will be free to look for his friends again. It usually doesn’t take him long to come back – groups in desperate trouble are all too common – but dealing with the complications of getting them out of trouble can take a while or even get him killed again, starting things over. Even on a success… he might be thousands of miles from his friends.

Drago, the Son of Shendu from Jackie Chan Adventures, has “Returning, Specialized for Reduced Cost / Drago can’t actually return from death, but he does show quite a knack for evading capture or getting out of jail. If the series hadn’t ended he might even have made it back from the netherworld”. The important part here is that he often gets defeated – but equally often makes a miraculous escape from his captors either by fleeing the fight or by escaping confinement. After a few weeks he can find some new minions and return to making a nuisance of himself (3 CP).

Randolf Upton Pickman, High Priest of the Outer Gods, has Unique Returning with a Minor Rewrite, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost: Randolf reappears at a point in time and space chosen by his unnatural patrons, each time he reappears he becomes less human and more a creature of the Cthulhu Mythos. Each reappearance sends him into a predestined role. The only way to stop the sequence (and his eventual rise to join the ranks of the Outer Ones) is to travel back in time to one of his prior appearances and there find a way to massively disrupt the timeline and thwart his destiny. In effect, he must be raised or resurrected quite promptly or he will become very difficult indeed to retrieve (8 CP). So he can “return” thousands of years before he died.

Shadowed Galaxy Mummies get “Returning with Major Rewrite, Specialized/only to switch back and forth between two alternate versions: the relatively normal “living” version (as an informational creature anchored into a more or less “living” body) and the “dead” version (as a bodiless informational entity), Neither, of course, is all that human. Corrupted/achieving the “dead” version is quick and easy (the physical body gets killed, releasing the informational spirit), but returning to “life” requires that the body spend three to seven days in an especially-prepared sarcophagus. The user can be prevented from making a full return by completely disposing of the body or denying him or her access to an appropriately prepared sarcophagus and can be disposed of utterly by destroying him or her on the informational level (6 CP).” Thus this style of mummy can continue to intervene as a disembodied spirit after “death”, but will be stuck that way unless their body can be retrieved and properly treated.

Shadowed Galaxy Vampires get”Returning, Corrupted (EVERYBODY knows about vampire weaknesses, 4 CP). Vampires can recover from almost any physical injury given time. They can even build up a power reserve over time from the steady flow of thermal and other energies into subspace through them – provided that they have months or years of time and are totally inactive. About all they need is for most of their body parts to be in one place, for there to be at least a little air and water about, and for there to be nothing in the way of reforming any vital organ. Of course, if their parts are, say, burned and widely scattered, or have been hit by something capable of severely damaging them on the spacefield level, or something similar, it won’t work.”

Technically Shadowed Galaxy templates could go under either Sci-Fi or Horror just as well – but they are set up so that they could plausibly be a basis for all the fantasy tales, so they might as well go here.

Gravewright the Lich has “Returning (Extraordinary): Must destroy Phylactery, Specialized / Everybody knows this one (6 CP).”. Well, he’s a Lich. He possesses or constructs a corpse near his phylactery and presumably grabs whatever cache of stuff he left for himself. This generally takes quite a while of course – for which adventurers should be grateful. If a lich’s returning worked immediately you might have to fight the same lich over and over again to reach it’s lair – only to find that it had grabbed it’s phylactery, items, and bugout bag, and teleported to some other shielded lair.

Familiars are often given Returning (they come back unless their master is permanently killed) so as to avoid the problems inherent in losing a familiar. This usually calls for a minor ritual to re-embody your familiar spirit – meaning that it usually has to wait until you can take a break from adventuring and pick up another appropriate animal to put the spirit in – or at least to the next day in the case of actual spirit familiars.

Some unusually durable relics have Returning ( Specialized and Corrupted / only applies to the item itself (2 CP). As a special effect, such items are simply nigh-indestructible unless special measures specific to the item are taken. Even if broken by some mighty force in some other way, or cast into a black hole or something, they need merely be reforged, repaired, or located again to return to full potency.

The Chthonic Invested get Leadership with the Exotic and Emperor’s Star improvements (Evil Outsiders and Accursed Beings, the positive level points go to Returning). so that if you kill off their accused minions, they can just keep summoning them back. Other types of characters – summoners and such – often use the same basic trick in their own styles.

Granny has “The Dark Revenance”: Returning / As long as one or more of her Shadow-Familiars exists to bring her back, Specialized / may require many months (3 CP). So Granny basically has some dread minions who can summon her back if they get away after she dies. Of course, if she gets away she can summon more dread minions. Granny doesn’t come back very fast, but she’s very hard to get rid of permanently.

Rokean, a quasi-symbiotic (or perhaps parasitic) creature has “Returning; As long as Rake (the host) survives, his Symbiont can regenerate from him, whether he likes it or not (6 CP).”

The Merchant has “Returning (When his time comes at last, Elareth may attempt to strike a deal with Death itself; if he succeeds, he gets to come back again. Naturally enough, he would prefer to avoid putting his negotiating ability to such a test, 6 CP),”

The Royal Cartographic Society Package Deal provides Returning as well. You can never count the members of the RCS out when they’re on an expedition; they’ve been lost for years, fallen overboard, been trapped in avalanches, and suffered many other horrible fates – only to return later (if sometimes years later) with an epic tale of adventure. Returning, Specialized and Corrupted/only works while on expeditions in distant lands and only if the characters body is not recovered and the player can come up with some tale of his or her character’s dramatic escape from certain doom (2 CP).

One of the abilities the Black Compass provides is Returning, Specialized and Corrupted/only works when the user is lost at sea or stranded on a small island and the status of his or her body remains unknown (2 CP). That’s not actually a particularly uncommon power in seafaring or pirate themed settings, quite a few characters have purchased some version of it. It’s nice to know that – if you go overboard in a storm or something – you will wind up being safely washed ashore.

Many Fey creatures have Returning, Specialized/may require a month and usually comes with partial amnesia (3 CP). Unless they are entirely slain by cold iron, they fey are always reborn from the forces of nature – although you could certainly slow things up by burning down their forest or some such. Other fey are bound to particular natural features, and so need to protect those features or risk losing their immortality.

Comic book characters fairly often have some form of Returning – and are popular enough that I have written up a fair number of them. For some examples from the site…

Magma (Marvel, the New Mutants) returned to life immediately and at full power (better than before she died really, since the experience activated her full volcanic powers and transformation into a lava creature) when her corpse was thrown into a lava lake. That’s Returning, Specialized and Corrupted/her body must be exposed to really extreme heat, such as a pool of magma, a blast furnace, or a rocket exhaust (2 CP)”. That’s kind of cheap, because, after all… how likely is it that an enemy is going to make that mistake again? And how often is there going to be a lake of fire on a battlefield for her to restore herself with?

Raven (DC Comics, the Teen Titans) has Extraordinary Returning (12 CP). Raven must be slain and her soul forcibly taken into the higher afterlives for her to truly die. Of course, Raven is a comic book mystic and “equipment” as such isn’t much of a thing in the source material for her – no matter how sensible it would be for her to use some (and so she has some in the writeup). Still, she has connections with major mystical groups and is capable of inter-dimensional travel; so she can probably get resupplied without difficulty when she comes back. Besides, comic books tend to treat death as a temporary inconvenience anyway, especially for mystics. On the other hand, she never comes back until her death has been milked for as much melodrama as possible.

Cable, from Marvel Comics has “Returning (6 CP): Cable is even more difficult to get rid of than most heroes, since unless you do something about all the time traveling he will just write his own death out of the timeline and pop up again sooner or later.” Of course, Cable is a walking paradox maintained by continuous reality editing. Consistency isn’t his thing – and he doesn’t have to worry about the details of his “coming back” because he simply adds to his paradox collection by skipping out on his own past.

Warlock, again from Marvel Comics (The New Mutants), has “Extraordinary Returning: Warlock can return from having his “lifeglow” drained, or even from being disintegrated – but it takes him being infused with a lot of “lifeglow” to do it quickly; most of the time it will take months or years (12 CP).

Sam Guthrie / Cannonball (Marvel Comics, The New Mutants) has basic returning – in his case representing the super-advanced healing factor that’s a part of his rather low-grade immortality, more or less “Highlander” style. You can kill him, altough it takes a while, and if you then burn him to ashes in a blast furnace or something, he’s dead until a normal comic-book resurrection pops up. Still, destroying his heart, or pulling his guts out, or a lot of other usually-fatal injuries won’t slow him up for very long. Oddly enough, this is the about the closest thing to general “Combat Returning” on the list. If he’s just been stabbed through the heart or something that doesn’t dismember him or inflict massive tissue damage he might be back in good shape in no more then ten minutes or so.

Baron Ector’s Minions get “Another Faceless Minion/Returning. As long as Minions wear masks, visors, or helmets, don’t use names, and otherwise avoid letting themselves be individually identified by the enemy, they gain the Returning ability (6 CP). This also, of course, lets their bosses display their terrible villainy by gratuitously killing them on a whim without actually losing valuable minions.”

Baron Ector (an original PC) himself is a member of the The League Of Villainy, which offers a league package deal that includes “Returning/unless the villains enemies make VERY sure to find, examine, and dispose of, the body, he or she will soon return, Specialized/will not work if the character intentionally makes a heroic sacrifice or dies in an exceptionally dramatic and final fashion (falling into a black hole, cast down a shaft into the main reactor, etc, 3 CP).”

Wandering over towards science fiction…

Space Marines (Warhammer 40K) can enter a state of suspended animation, either through meditation or if dying – but must be revived with a complex (medical) procedure. (They can also burn fate points to evade certain death, but that’s a part of the game system, not unique to them). That’s Returning, Specialized/the body must be recovered and countermeasures administered (3 CP). This is actually pretty weak – if the body is destroyed, or lost in space, or some such it will not work – but in a setting with no normal method of resurrection it can be a priceless second chance.

Timelords (Doctor Who, original series) get “Returning with Minor Rewrite (4 CP): Timelords will regenerate, returning from death, unless special precautions – such as using a special weapon, incinerating the body in a furnace, or using certain special drugs or poisons to shut down the process, are taken (come to think of it, there are a lot of ways to stop this; fortunately, most enemies in the original setting don’t consider people coming back to life as a serious possibility, unlike most d20 universes). Secondarily, this tends to be confusing for a time, and to disrupt social relationships, since the character returns in a new form and may have some new skills and have lost old ones entirely. Between this, and the major limitations on the process, this is a Specialized and Corrupted power”

The revived series turned Time Lord Regeneration into a full-fledged, semi-miraculous, heroic sacrifice scene capable of destroying interstellar battle fleets – but that isn’t returning as such. What is it? Well, they’ve now specifically showed the doctor drawing power from humanities massed belief in him, which is pretty blatantly the Dominion-Godfire route- and unleashing some Godfire can accomplish all kinds of things over and above coming back to life. Personally I preferred the Doctor as a clever alien rather than a godling, but I have to admit that the new series tends a lot more towards fairy tales than the old one.

The Transhuman Template includes a version of Returning – Unique Returning, Corrupted / the character may lose memories acquired since his or her last backup if his or her neural network is not recovered and may have trouble adjusting to a new body, requiring a Will save with a DC based on how exotic the body is to avoid taking 1d4 Wisdom damage when placed in a new body (12 CP). Of course, what kind of new body you can afford depends on the state of your in-setting “finances” (favors owed) and any special purpose orders you put in. Worse, if someone takes out your backups, you might wind up truly dead before you get a chance to make some more!

Dream Entities from a modern setting were psychic constructs / manifestations of popular mythology, ranging from Santa Claus to Anime characters and on to Freddy Kruger – and were fairly common in one setting. They got “Unique Returning (Specialized and Corrupted: Dream Entities are obvious supernatural beings. They are always easy to recognize, must make will saves (DC 15) if they try to act out of character, and cannot even enter antimagic areas: they’re simply pushed back into dream while within one. They’re ALWAYS based on some bit of popular culture. To stop their returning their source material must be eliminated; this is difficult but well-known, 6 CP),” Sure, you could disrupt them for a while – but they would just be back again later, most often turning up at film festivals, or during anime week, or during their holiday.

Moving on towards horror settings, here’s a positive-energy based version.

Leperotic Cloning: Augmented by an unnaturally strong life force, the user’s cells are capable of infesting another creatures body, multiplying and spreading through it like a monstrous cancer or unholy fungus. If and when the user dies, if a victim of this horror is currently available, his or her soul will transfer itself into the victims body – driving out the existing soul and providing the final impetus to transform it into a near-duplicate of the user’s old body.

Fortunately, the user’s cells can only infest a very similar creature that is on the very brink of death – and they gravely weaken the bond between the victim’s body and soul; if the victim suffers a lethal injury before the user’s soul moves in, the body will promptly collapse into a mass of mangled tissue, that will rot away with utterly unnatural speed – normally collapsing into dust and slime within hours. This is purchased as Returning, Specialized and Corrupted for one-third cost (2 CP): the user must set up his or her returning in advance by striking a “final blow” against a victim of the same basic type (a humanoid for a humanoid, a dragon type for a dragon, etc), renouncing the damage in favor of giving up 2d6 hit points to smear some of his own blood or tissue into the wound and allowing the (essentially dead) victim to “escape”. For the next two days the victim can be cured by the use of Remove Curse, Cure Disease, Heal, or similar effects, or by taking any form of negative level that requires a save to remove. After that, the victim is merely a potential host for the user’s spirit and can only be saved by some form of Raise Dead, Resurrection, or Wish. The user may prepare multiple possible hosts at the same time – but this sort of thing does tend to attract some extremely negative attention. This will also require Timeless Body with Age-Shifting, Specialized and Corrupted/only to take on the species-adjusted physical age of the characters new body (2 CP).

Darklings get “Returning (6 CP): As extradimensional creatures of shadow, Darklings will return within a few weeks after being “killed” unless they’re destroyed by light-based effects or their access to the plane of shadow is cut off at the time they’re slain.” Darklings do tend to flee from light-wielding opponents, but then that’s probably expected of shadow-creatures anyway.

The Knights Of Hades get “Returning. Unless you take care to entrap a Knight of Hades soul when you destroy it, or chase it back to the lower planes and disrupt it there, they tend to come back (3 CP).” Usually their dread masters send Knights Of Hades back when they’ve got a job for them, but sometimes they just come back on their own to spread havoc. As a rule, they tend to re-appear in some ancient crypt or torture chamber or other noisome location at midnight during the dark of the moon or some such – but that’s mostly just a flare for the dramatic.

The minor lovecraftian entities known as “Dreamspawn” are creatures of distant alien planes, but like to anchor themselves to mortals to hide from the greater horrors that prey on THEM. They have Extraordinary Returning (12 CP). Destroying a Dreamspawn requires that you kill it’s bondmate (or somehow destroy his or her memory and imagination) and then pursue the Dreamspawn into it’s home realm and kill it there. Of course, simply eliminating the bondmate suffices for most purposes. The Dreamspawn may be killed at “home” by said greater horrors and, even if it survives, it won’t be back until it finds another dreamer somewhere in the cosmos. “Killing” a Dreamspawn without killing it’s bondmate simply means that it will be back in a day or so.

Hellguides (Think Dante and Virgil) get Unique Returning: The Hellguide will always return until he or she either achieves redemption or becomes utterly and unrepentantly evil. Specialized and Corrupted/the Hellguide may have to achieve various spiritual quests, escape from the underworld, or accept strange missions in exchange for his or her return. In addition, various supernatural entities may either take a special interest in the Hellguide or take advantage of his or her return to escape into the normal world (6 CP).

Puppet from Beyond (From “Down Among The Dead Men”) states that “Some who return from death find themselves trapped between the worlds, able to manifest a body – pulling together stray bits of matter, possessing and transforming a corpse, or some such – and strongly linked to that form, but unable to fully pass into the living world, Still, this has it’s advantages; mere physical damage may destroy the body that they are currently operating, but they will find or create another soon enough. Extraordinary Returning (user must be slain by effects that drain or snuff out his or her life force, hunted down between the planes, or spiritually imprisoned to prevent him or her from simply creating another body later on), Specialized/the user’s body is instantly destroyed at zero hit points and it will require some weeks to create a new one, in the meantime, effects which rely on having some portion of the user’s true body to work with will not be able to bring him or her back or be otherwise effective (6 CP).

And, finally, we have a few examples that are just silly.

Teenagers from Outer Space get “Extraordinary Returning (12 CP). Our teenagers are nearly impossible to kill. They have a tendency to emerge from vehicle crashes slightly dazed, they dive behind a coffee table which, quite miraculously, shields them from the detonating tactical nuke, and massed machine-gun fire inflicts nothing but flesh wounds. In really extreme cases, it turns out that the one that just fell into the black hole was actually a clone. As a rule, the first time that they ought to be killed in a given session, they’ll emerge relatively unharmed. The second time, it’s off to the hospital (or local equivalent) for some time and some minor trouble that will stick with them for the rest of the session. The third time… well, three strikes and you’re out. If they intentionally go for a heroic self-sacrifice it counts as two strikes, but they do get a free kiss from their love interest (if any).”

Teenagers From Outer Space is a pretty silly setting, which originally did not acknowledge death – or injuries beyond being briefly stunned – at all. The d20 conversion takes damage a little more seriously than that, but it is STILL a silly setting with few consequences.

Cartoon Sitcom Residents – such as Dexter and company from Dexter’s Laboratory – get “Extraordinary Returning (Specialized, requires abandoning all experience and benefits that might otherwise have been gained from a “death episode” (3 CP).” If they die on an adventure, they just show up for the next one and no one really shows any awareness that they died. After all… each episode basically has to start from the same status quo since you never know what order people will see your cartoon shorts in.

Creatures from the Battling Business World Cartoon Setting get Extraordinary Returning (Specialized, Requires being “animated” with standard cel-based or 3D animation tools) (3 CP). Most toons are unaware that they have this ability. They have trouble thinking of themselves as creations. It would take a “mundane” friend thinking, “Hmm, that guy was a lot like a cartoon character. I wonder what happens if we base a cartoon on him?” for anyone to discover it.

In fact, no one ever did discover this ability; Battling Business World characters tended to have this as a sort of backup form of returning, since they normally woke up in bed at home the next morning after dying – leading to things like “I can’t get a babysitter honey!” “Oh well! Just slit the kids throats and we’ll get them some pudding in the morning!”.

Of course, if they had a few more minutes, they could always get the kids playing “Bullet Tag” instead of killing them themselves.

The Black Beast – in his immense egotism – has “Returning: Can only be killed in a suitably epic confrontation (6)”. There will be no stupid death for this character! He cannot be assassinated, or poisoned, or otherwise quietly eliminated; there must be a dramatic confrontation that the bards will tell tales of for years to come.

John Jack, Secret Agent, gets Extraordinary Returning (12 CP, although he gets it at half cost in the Federation-Apocalypse setting): Jack can only be killed by being captured and then being put into a an absurd death trap and failing to escape or be rescued: otherwise his body simply disappears, or he turns out to be gravely and inconveniently wounded but not dead, or he otherwise returns in a few sessions – usually at some critical moment.

Star Trek Voyager Ensigns get “Extraordinary Returning (Series must be cancelled to keep The Ensign from coming back). Corrupted: The Ensign must assume a new name with his or her return, as well as always wearing a red shirt and being the primary target (8 CP).” That one is more than a bit tongue-in-cheek – but after all, Voyager basically has no source of new Ensigns, they get killed fairly regularly, and the population of the ship is fairly small – yet they never seem to run out of Ensigns (or, for that matter, shuttlecraft). Now you know why not.

So what can we say about those questions?

“How long does it take you to come back to life”? While it varies with the setting and the special effects, the usual answer is “a while”. There are a few examples of quick returning on the list – Derngarm, Shadowed Galaxy Mummies (the Spirit Form), and Magma – but they definitely have their own problems. As a general rule, Returning is a lot slower than using spells and psionic powers – but it works in a lot of settings and situations where such spells and powers are not available and it works under it’s own power rather than calling for help from the outside.

“In what condition do you come back? Full HP? 1 HP? Also, what heals and what doesn’t? Do you regrow limbs? Heal diseases? And what about spell slots and the like?” Once again, this depends a lot on your setting, your special effects, and the description of your personal version of returning – but given that Returning is usually a downtime thing, it rarely matters. After all, if you Return by transferring your mind into a new clone body at your secret cloning facility halfway across the galaxy, that will heal almost anything. If you rise as an undead to avenge yourself upon your murderer, that won’t heal much of anything – although it may not matter much either because the fact that you have a skull for a face won’t matter to you any longer.

“What’s to stop a character who can only be killed by some specific thing from just offing himself if confronted by that thing?”. Well, if you can only be permanently slain by a silver weapon forged under the light of the full moon… presuming that you know that someone has such a weapon, and are willing to cede the field to them, and are willing to be out of play for however long it takes you to come back, and are willing to become known for abandoning your treasures and responsibilities and being instantly driven away by anyone who waves an appropriate weapon at you (or credibly pretends to do so)… then nothing. Now, if it requires a special ritual to keep you dead, or requires that someone find and destroy your phylactery, offing yourself would simply be giving them a better chance to get rid of you permanently.

“On the topic of offing one’s self, it seems like you would never need more than minor rewrite, because you could still get a full re-spec just by killing yourself four times.”. The quick general answer there is that what you can rewrite once again depends on your setting, your special effects, and the description of your personal version of returning. The quick game-mechanical answer is that it tends to be the same points each time for any given version of returning. Does your body change form? Well, form-basedphysical abilities are going to change, but your mental skills and abilities most likely will not.

Of course you can buy this as a power for retraining: Returning with Major (50% of available character points) Rewrite, Specialized and Corrupted / usable once every three levels at most, if the user actually dies it only works if the body was not recovered and the cause was weird and mystical (being disintegrated in a dimensional vortex, fine, devoured by something, not so good) and the new abilities purchased must relate to the cause of “death”, otherwise requires at least two months of downtime (and more is better) and is restricted to changing out learned abilities (6 CP). You can read more about retraining (and why a reliable method of doing so is treated as a special power) over HERE.

5) “Do you always come back as the same thing, and do you know what you’ll come back as?” This, once again, depends a lot on your setting, your special effects, and the description of your personal version of returning. Vampires tend to come back as vampires. According to tradition, slain werewolves often come back as vampires. Timelords change around a lot of skills and some physical details, but always come back as Timelords. A revenant who rises to avenge his or her death may not even come back with Returning and might trade almost all his or her mental abilities in for tracking abilities and the raw ability to beat their target to death.

And I hope that helps!