Death and Dying
|Systems and Tools|
Current Implementation of the Death System
Dying in Avlis is different than dying in single-player NWN.
Dying on Avlis is a hindrance. It is meant to be so, to make Avlis both challenging and engaging. There is no reason to fear death in single-player NWN, but plenty of reason to fear death in Avlis.
When a character in Avlis takes enough damage to reduce his hitpoints below zero, he falls down and begins to bleed to death. There is slight chance that he will begin to recover – if that happens he will begin to gain hit points slowly until he reaches a positive number, and he will stand up again (and be temporarily Slowed, to represent the disorientation that can come with a brush with death). But more often than not the character continues to bleed until he reaches -10 hit points, at which time he dies and his soul leaves his body. Any PC with more than two character levels loses 50 XP for each level he has. This will sometimes cause characters to lose a level.
The character's soul travels to the Outlands of Concordant Opposition (Dagath's Hall), the so-called death plane.
Once he has reached the death plane, the character must undertake a short quest before being able to exit. Characters who successfully complete this death quest will regain the XP that they lost upon dying. When a character leaves the death plane in this manner he does not return to the place where he died, but instead to a set location. For example, in Mikona people who die will return from death to find themselves in that city's temple to Mikon. They must then make what is called the dreaded naked run back to their body.
Body? Yes – when a character dies in Avlis, his soul goes to the death plane with none of his possessions except for his gold, and certain special items. All of his items are left behind on a corpse that appears on the spot where he died. This is perhaps the biggest hindrance of death, because if he died in a dangerous place it might be very difficult for him to return to his corpse and reclaim his items. Also, while he is on the death plane or is returning to his corpse that corpse can be seen and examined by other characters – they can even take items from his corpse. Indeed, a character may return to his corpse to find some or even all of his items looted.
Alternatively, a character can be returned to life via the Raise Dead spell. This spell has the advantage of returning the character to the spot where he died, but he will not gain the XP he lost upon dying. Resurrection also has the same benefit, but players brought back with resurrection will regain their lost XP from dying.
It is important to make certain all items have been recovered from the corpse, and that the corpse disappears (sometimes this requires clicking on a empty corpse a second time to make it disappear). If the corpse is left there, and the character dies a second time before a server reset, it is possible that the belongings may be put on the old corpse.
Previous Implementations of the Death System
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The character's soul traveled to one of the Outer Planes. The plane to which the character travels was dependent upon that character's alignment; for example, a purely Chaotic Neutral character would find that his soul travels to Limbo, the Outer Plane of pure Chaos.
Death Planes were based on numerical alignment; every character has two alignment axes (Law/Chaos and Good/Evil) and numbers associated therewith on their character sheet. Thus if your numerical Good rating is high and your numerical Chaotic rating is high, your character sheet will read "Chaotic Good"; however, if you look further you will see the actual numbers. There were 17 Death Planes, and only 9 alignment titles (e.g. Lawful Good, Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, etc.). That meant that you can be completely Chaotic and completely Good and go to Arborea, or be a bit less Good (but still CG on your character sheet) and go to Ysgard... or a bit less Chaotic (but still CG on your character sheet) and go to the Beastlands, etc.