When a character dies, it is a monumental event. Months or even years of playing and developing a character can be erased in an instant by the sweep of a keenly honed blade or the fiery breath of a dragon.
Once the Games Master has made the prospect of death real to his player characters, it becomes a potent tool for creating fear, risk, terror, courage, motivations and even Challenge Ratings. Indeed, death is the universal quantifier against which all actions are weighted and measured. In relation to the player character, death is the ultimate nemesis and avoiding it is the true underlying challenge of every role-playing game. The bottom line is that death should never be trivialised. In a sense, this book is dedicated to death, not as a finality or end, but as a divine change that specifically concerns itself with the progression of a being’s soul.
The realm of Purgatorium is offered to Games Masters and players alike so it might aid them in defining the experience of dying and being dead within the scope of a fantasy world. As a campaign setting, Purgatorium is designed to fit seamlessly into any existing game world.
A world between worlds, it allows both the players and the Games Master to experience death first hand and roleplay through it. There are no prerequisites for using the Purgatorium setting and accessing the realm is as easy for a 1st-level character as it is for a 20th level one. Almost all the DCs for any saving throws that involve entering and exiting the realm are scaled according to a character’s level. Within these pages are dozens of options to help diversify the way you handle a player character’s death in your campaign including:
- Creating solo adventures for dead player characters waiting to be resurrected that can be run between your regular gaming sessions.
- Providing you with the framework for low-level characters without access to money or powerful magic to restore life to their departed comrades.
- A source of unknown answers and ancient magic items waiting for curious sages or probing wizards to explore and study.
- To help establish and develop your cosmology by direct interaction with the dead.
- To provide a way for characters to communicate with departed friends and family members.
- To defy the gods and fate, and fight your way back to the land of the living, allowing you to continue gaming even after the entire party has been slaughtered.