Author Topic: Negating an undead aura with magic  (Read 544 times)

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Offline Thot

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Negating an undead aura with magic
« on: January 22, 2021, 04:32:06 AM »
Suppose an undead would want to negate or neutralize their life-sucking aura, and suppose they'd be willing to spend magical research time on that, how would you think this could be achieved, while staying as much as possible within the existing RMFRP magic framework?

Offline Voriig Kye

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 05:23:48 AM »
A cheap solution (not cost, I mean mechanics wise) would be a constant Heal Life Essence item, basically restoring to those around the undead what the aura is taking away.

Offline Mordrig

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 11:20:09 AM »
The undead drain thing is always an interesting topic, is it an attack or a natural effect of the presence of the Unlife?  If it is something under the control of the undead then they may turn it on and off at will, resulting in a conscious decision as to who suffers. 
If it is a natural effect of the Unlife, why don't All undead have this effect?  As a GM I tend to allow it to be more controlled by the undead IF they themselves are aware they are indeed dead. 

Offline jdale

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 11:55:19 AM »
It's possible all undead do have this effect, it just is too minor to have a game mechanics effect for minor undead. You might feel a chill but not actually lose a measurable amount of constitution.

It seems reasonable that a necromancy-using profession might have a spell list that repairs and enhances undead, which could have a "semblance of life" spell concealing their undead nature (which would have to include this aura). I don't know that this list exists though.
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Offline Thot

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 12:04:17 PM »
In my case, the question is due to a group of undead that want to re-build their long-destroyed city, for which they will need living population. The undead aura is quite a problem in that regard, so they have tasked one of theirs (a former healer) to solve the problem with magical research.

In my game world, "evil" is not a state of mind but just a label to denote certain spell lists that come from a specific source, so an undead necromancer is by no means an evil being, just someone who used a certain type of magic. The rumors on the game world are that this kind of magic makes you mad, but it's just superstition.

Offline Thot

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2021, 08:47:51 AM »
Well, I guess she will simply research a new spell list, dealing with temporarily changing the undeads' attributes.

Offline markc

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 11:41:48 AM »
Not that I know of the undead aura is always on.
I thought there might be some info in the Shades of Darkness book about Ulipr (reworked vampires) and them turning off or not having the Aura. But I have not had time to check and that is a setting supplement and not a core book.

Having said that, its your game and you can do what you want but you said you wanted to stay true to the RMFRP framework (I either gave or loaned most of my FRP books away so I cannot speak to what is in them but they are very close to the RMSS version I have still have a few copies of).

Ways to get around things?
Generally the way to get around some things are Deity level spells and effects and artifacts but the more you use them often the more your group tends to loose game coherency and focus as it becomes just a way for the GM to do something they want to do.

Other Products:
I remember seeing in some other book (possibly back in the 80's) a AD&D book that had undead with an RM like Undead Aura and I think they could turn it off and on.
Today you could redo a lot of undead stuff and use the "becoming a monster" or "resist becoming a monster" idea in other horror games out there.
In general in most games undead are not just human minds put back into undead bodies and thus have a human nature but the process or life to that point have changed the persons nature to something horrific or not human.
There is a lot of fiction about humans becoming undead (I remember stories about ghouls and vampires) struggling with the process as well as the toll the cravings had on their minds, thus eventually changing them mentally into something that is not just a person who has a different diet now then they did before.

Note: One exception is the elves in Ebberon but I do not remember enough right now about them as my coffee has not kicked in.

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Offline Tarmo.Korpela

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 01:38:46 AM »
I don't have the book with me right now, but I remember that there is a spell in "Holy Aura" spell list (Channeling Companion) which negates the undead life-drain ability within spell's AoE. I'll check it when I get back to my bookcase.

Offline Tarmo.Korpela

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2021, 09:30:56 AM »
Found it. The spell is named Aura of Life and can be found on pg. 90 in Channeling Companion (spell list: Divine Aura). It has a short duration (1 min/lvl), but with alchemy the spell can be embedded either as a permanent item or Daily item for longer duration.

Offline markc

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2021, 04:50:12 PM »
Thanks for the page # and book quote it made it easy to find, I did a quick look at SL last night and did not see anything.

A) The questions then are which god/divine being would have this list? Can all gods provide all spells?
B) IMHO staying true to RM (1-RMSS as I do not have my FRP books) undead that have the damaging aura have it because of their make up (matter and energy) and it is not something like a chameleon being able to change its color or an on and off ability.
But again monsters have come a long way since the 80's in almost everyway but still RM is generally not one of the games that you simply throw abilities together and come up with a deathicorn (death unicorn) or vorpal unibunney (rabbit with a horn which cuts off targets heads).

Its your game:
In your game you have to decide where undead come from.
In the past someone who asked a question like this was using various races from Warhammer 40K in their game vs the more traditional versions from the 80's, this is a break from the basic idea in RM (IMHO) but most settings also break from core rules in some way also (but over time the setting and core rules tend to grow closer together).

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Offline markc

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Re: Negating an undead aura with magic
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2021, 06:50:37 PM »
Note: I do not know very much about Shadow World but what little I do know I do not remember any undead civilization but I do remember some undead outbreaks (but this maybe GM material and not ICE material)
 
Which of these is the most important to your game?
1) True to RM Undead
2) Undead working and building cities with non-undead

If it is #1 then IMHO you would use the Dracula model of interaction. In that Dracula interacts with specific individuals to relate his will and they carry it out in the world where he cannot be present.
In #1 undead are more like virus's with an outbreak and not interested in building long lasting societies, even if the leading force has "human" level or greater intelligence. They are not human now as some force/energy/divine will has changed them.

#2:
In this case with the spell from the CC you have to ask is that spell list base ideas designed for what you intend? ie the effect is what you want but IMHO the list is designed to be anti undead. The list is also divine but if the list was essence or mentalism I would not have an issue with using the effect for any purpose.


MDC   
Bacon Law: A book so good all PC's need to be recreated.
Rule #0: A GM has the right to change any rule in a book to fit their game.
Role Play not Roll Play.
Use a System to tell the story do not let the system play you.