[DLR] Harrowed questions [Spoilers!]

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Erich
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[DLR] Harrowed questions [Spoilers!]

#1 Postby Erich » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:48 pm

I'm planning my DLR campaign and am planning on introduceing the horrer aspects slowly. I was thinking of introducing the concept of the harrowed by having a Ranger take out a local badman and then take steps to ensure he dosen't come back.
Is there anyway to prevent a body from becoming harrowed besides putting a bullet in it's head? Would a totaly severed spinal column do the trick, or would the manitou be able to heal that?
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~E

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#2 Postby RJack » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:46 pm

You should note that a shot to the head doesn't necessarily keep a body from becoming harrowed. There's at least one well-known harrowed walking around in Deadlands that went down that way. A severed spinal column might not work either, it just might mean that the resulting harrowed walks around like a broken marionette because of the break. Even destroying the body entirely, say through cremation, isn't going to prevent some form of undead from coming back, like a ghost. In fact, if your marshal's kind of a bastard, taking extreme steps with the mortal remains could be interpreted as "desecrating the dead," and actually result in an increase in the chance to come back undead.

Classic Deadlands had a blessed miracle specifically designed to prevent a dead body from coming back, Last Rites. A power like this doesn't exist in Reloaded, but you might say that just showing proper respect to the dead reduces their chance of coming back. For particularly bad people, specific precautions from folklore like what was used to prevent suicides from coming back may be required. I'm not sure if you'd want to make that a power though. Just something that the characters can research and then do.

Another alternative would be to allow blessed characters to try the Exorcism power on a corpse that's dead but hasn't come back. Sort of a "preemptive exorcism."

Ultimately, its going to be up to the Marshal how easy or hard it should be to prevent coming back. Personally, I'd lean towards hard or at least not always certain. Having evil, or at least annoying, NPCs come back as freaky undead to harass the players is part of my fun as a Marshal.

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#3 Postby SlasherEpoch » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:38 am

Preventing a Harrowed? Cremation.

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#4 Postby Pakiii » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:47 am

Since you were just asking about Harrowed, not coming back from the dead (which is an unstoppable story mechanism not a game/world mechanic) I'll address that. From everything in the books, if the brain can no longer control the body, the deader stays dead.

The "very famous" Harrowed died from a gunshot wound to the head, however this didn't destroy the brain (it did cause a bit of damage to it), it caused massive trauma to the person, who died the day after the gunshot.

I would say cutting off the head, putting (several) bullets in the brain, or sledgehammer to the head would be relatively sure fire ways of preventing them from coming back harrowed. From a "Introducing the players to the horror aspect" I would say cutting off the head would be a good mechanic for that.
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Re: [DLR] Harrowed questions

#5 Postby Clint » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:42 am

Erich wrote:Is there anyway to prevent a body from becoming harrowed besides putting a bullet in it's head? Would a totaly severed spinal column do the trick, or would the manitou be able to heal that?


Only destroying the brain and Exorcism can do it. Cutting off the head just ticks them off.
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Erich
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#6 Postby Erich » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:05 pm

So how much of the brain has to be left for a manitou to set up shop?
I'm thinking that removing the brain through the nose, al la Egyptian style could be pretty creepy.

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#7 Postby Commissar Jake » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:15 pm

Well since the destruction of the brain is the only true way to kill them.

You could always shove a hook up the nose and break up the brain. Just like they did in mummification.

Or poison... I guess.

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#8 Postby shadd4d » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:20 pm

Acid is also a fun alternative...or so thinks the mad scientist in my game.

My question is...how do you get your posse to stop leaving corpses that are going to need closed casket funerals? One they figured out "head shots 4Life", it's taken a bit of GM hand-waving and some creative deaths to not let them walk up on dead bodies and cap them at their leisure.

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Fear is when you worry about what might be.
Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01

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#9 Postby Clint » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:45 pm

Erich wrote:So how much of the brain has to be left for a manitou to set up shop?


"Most" of it. So more than half at least. Check page 129 of Reloaded for a couple of specific examples.
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#10 Postby Commissar Jake » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:49 pm

Oh yeah. Like old Abe.

Shot in the head but he still came back.
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#11 Postby Clint » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:06 pm

Guess it's a good idea to add a Spoiler tag to the subject line now. ;)
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#12 Postby Commissar Jake » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:10 pm

Sorry.
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Hurray for my own rp!



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#13 Postby Count Zero » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:17 pm

I let the needs of the story decide this kinda stuff. ;)
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#14 Postby Clint » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:25 pm

Commissar Jake wrote:Sorry.


Not a problem; we were straddling the line anyway.
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