The Curse of Frogs
In Barovia, the souls of the dead are as trapped as the souls of the living. They become caught in the mists and cannot travel to the afterlife.
You know that Tatyana was reborn into the young Ismarck, as well as several other forms along the way. Ismarck did not regain explicit memories of his former lives until he looked into the Pool of the White Sun.
OOC game rules stuff
When you’re downed in D&D and fail three death saving throws, you die. You’ll have a chance to narrate your dramatic dying moment — last words, final actions, as cinematic or as simply as you like. The game will move on, and I’ll ask you (in-session or after) about the following:
Where would your soul go?
If you want to roleplay this, I’ll ask where your soul is headed after death. In the cosmology of D&D heavens and hells are very real planes — your soul departs the Material Plane, travels through the Astral Plane, and into the plane of your God or your patron, etc. A quick visual summary of the Planes, which you can research or we can talk it out in session:
Because it’s Barovia, however, your soul will be thwarted on the way to this plane. Souls don’t leave Barovia. Everyone, even wayward adventurers, are forced to reincarnate in this accursed domain. That sets you up for a decision:
Do you want to roll a new character?
If playing your character has gotten stale, or you’re happy with the ending of your character’s story, you can roll an entirely new character. Create a character at the same level as the party; they can be another outlander (an adventurer who wandered into Barovia) or a native Barovian (in any of the factions you’ve met).
If you want to roll a new character but you want to keep all your old character’s memories of the adventure so far, this is possible — roll a native Barovian who will receive your character’s old soul and can be Awakened à la Ismarck at the Shrine of the White Sun.
Do you want to keep playing your character?
If you feel like your original character’s story isn’t yet finished, you should keep playing them! What this looks like depends on whether your party resurrects you — or whether you have to do it yourself.
Several spell options exist, which your party may have access to on their spell lists or by asking an NPC:
- Revivify is a Cleric/Paladin spell that can bring your body back to life within 1 minute for components costing ~300gp.
- Raise Dead is a Bard/Cleric/Paladin spell that can bring your body back to life within 10 days for components costing ~500gp.
- Resurrection is a Bard/Cleric spell that can bring you back to life within 100 years for components costing ~1000gp. You need at least a small fragment of the body.
- True Resurrection is a Cleric/Druid spell that can bring you back to life within 200 years for components costing 25,000 gp. No body fragment is required.
- Gentle Repose is a Cleric/Wizard spell that can preserve a body, prolonging the time to cast any of the above.
Failing these: if your party can’t muster the resources to revive you there may be a dark force, god, patron, celestial, or archfey force who is willing to do it. You may have to make a deal that offers them something of sufficient interest, but we can work it out.
The Reincarnation Madness
When a humanoid who has been dead for at least 24 hours returns to life, either by way of a spell or some supernatural means, it gains a form of “madness” brought on by the realization that its spirit is trapped in Barovia, likely forever.
- You develop a tremor. Reduce your Athletics, Acrobatics, Stealth and Sleight of Hand rolls by 1.
- Your memory fails you more often. Reduce your Arcana, History, Nature and Religion rolls by 1.
- You disconnect from others and the world around you. Reduce your Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, and Survival rolls by 1.
- Your confidence has been shaken and you develop a stammer in times of stress. Reduce your Persuasion, Deception, Intimidation and Performance rolls by 1.
- You see things in the shadows that aren’t there. You have disadvantage on all Perception rolls that rely on sight.
- You are constantly hearing things. You have disadvantage on all Perception rolls that rely on sound.
- You forget something important to you. Choose a skill you are proficient in. You are no longer proficient in it.
- You have night terrors when you sleep. Whenever you take a long rest, roll a d6. On a 1, you do not gain the benefits of a long rest. This includes regaining lost HP, regaining spell slots and any abilities that reset. You do however recover HD, and can switch out spells.
- Your spirit has been broken in some way and you are now more susceptible to danger. Reduce all your saving throws by 1.
- You feel all right, but you’ve lost your edge. Reduce your proficiency bonus by 1.