death, downtime, and crafting
Obviously this means that I wrote some rules for a new downtime activity: crafting your own gravesite.
Crafting Your Own Gravesite During Downtime
When you have spare time on your hands, you may use it to craft components of your own gravesite. This can be geographically linked to a burial site, or be composed of extraneous articles which you carry with you. Crafting a proper gravesite, to the specifics of your personal tastes and the trappings of your religion or culture, can help ease your passage into the overworld, or allow the prevention or promotion of your undeath.
As you prepare for death, you can choose in your heart of hearts a goal for your passage. Upon death, and subsequent interment of your body, you make an Interment Roll, against a target number (TN) based on the goal you chose. To make an Interment Roll, roll 1d6 and add any bonuses from Gravesite Construction Activities. Equaling or surpassing the TN allows the success of your goal.
The goals and TNs are:
- to seek a secured place in a certain overworld (your god's version of heaven, reincarnation, blessed darkness for eternity, etc.) — TN 6
- to prevent your corpse's return as a creature of undeath — TN 8
- to expedite your corpse's return as a creature of undeath—with autonomous control over yourself, rather than being enslaved to some necromancer or dark priestess — TN 10
Gravesite Construction Activities
For each week of downtime spent constructing gravesite accoutrement, you can accomplish one of these tasks. Each completed task provides a +1 bonus on your Interment Roll. You must detail the process by which you construct these things, plus how they appear when finished. You always succeed in the construction of the aspect, as long as you spend the full week of downtime.
Sourcing and Securing a Grave Site
- A grave site must be physically located in a place. This can be your hometown, a place significant to you during life, or any random place you desire. To do work on this grave site, you must be physically present, or send an agent in your stead to be present themselves.
- Securing a burial plot usually costs between 100 and 1000gp. The cost is usually on the higher end in urban areas with high land values. In more rural areas the cost is on the lower end.
- A shelf in a columbaria (resting place for cremation urns) may cost up to 50% less than a burial site. Creating a full Tomb or Mausoleum building can cost 200–300% more than a regular burial site.
Planning Funerary Proceedings
- This is often dictated by local custom and religion. Some call for mass gatherings of mourners, with extended family travelling long distances to pay their respects. Other ask for only close family and friends to gather, tell stories and jokes, and feast on the deceased's favourite foods.
- You must prepare a general description of the proceedings.
Magical Wards, Ensorcellements, and Rituals
- The specifics of these are dictated by your goal.
- Seeking a secured place in your chosen overworld usually requires an ensorcellment on your corpse. This means you must arrange for this to be done after your time of death. Maybe your friend can do it, or maybe you need to pay a deposit (100-500sp) for a skilled priest or magician.
- A magical ward cast over your gravesite can prevent your body's unwanted rise into undeath. This can be done before you have been interred, and usually wards will last for a long time (100-500sp).
- A ritual must be performed to help ensure your rise from death to undeath as an intelligent undead. This ritual must be performed as you are interred, so it must also be prepared in advanced, and paid for, of course (100-500sp).
Creation of a Headstone, Memorial, Pyre, Cairn, Sarcophagus, etc.
- A grave site requires a marker. These are traditionally made from stone, and carved by a professional. You may choose the specifics to your pleasure, and will usually need to pay around 100sp to have it prepared. It will then need to be stored until such time of your death, at the cost of 1sp per month. Might be smart to pre-pay for a few years.
Writing an Epitaph
- An epitaph is a snippet of writing—sometimes a catchphrase, quote, or piece of scripture—which is written at the gravesite of a deceased person.
- You as a player need to physically write down an epitaph. Your other party members can vote on your drafts with their approval and disapproval. An epitaph needs to pass with unanimous support to be considered complete. The writing still takes one week of in-game time regardless of your number of drafts.