The Gods power comes from the possession of souls so bringing a soul back from Urcean, the beyond, can often invoke the consequences of Gods. The more powerful the soul, the more it’s worth to the deity, the more likely there will be repercussions. The Iron Kingdoms campaign setting has a rich and elaborate system for healing and resurrection depending on faith, but we’re going to streamline that system into a consistent consequence across the board.
First, the Gods that claim souls can defeat resurrection spells with relative ease. Doing so, however, requires they use their power to directly intervene. Despite coveting souls as their source of power, there are a few reasons the Gods do not intervene on every resurrection attempt. Some souls even choose not to leave Urcean and stay in service to their deity. Instead, the deities have woven a repercussion into the Urcaen plane (much like a planar effect) that can trigger when a resurrection spell calls the dead back into the world of the living. This effect is continual and worked into the planar trait of Urcean so the deities need not actively use this ability, it just always functions.
There is a 20% + 3% per character level chance of a repercussion on the person casting a resurrection and the person being resurrected.
1 – Physical Deformity
Your character is permanently marked by the God who’s ire he or she earned. The physical deformity can manifest in a number of different ways but is never beneficial and typically causes the character significant inconveniences, save if nothing but an identity crises.
2 – Divine Geas
The Deity relinquishes the soul that wishes to be brought back but demands something in return. The Geas is always extremely dangerous but not impossible for the character to overcome. Many initially thought that taking strong adventurers or gathering a band of close friends together to aid in the quest will tip the odds in their favor. Stories are wide spread now, however, of loyal friends that were slain in challenges that rose to the standard of the company kept by the one the Geas was cast upon. Those foolish enough to think they can trick the will of the Gods typically find themselves in worse shape than they would have otherwise been in.
The divine Geas is laid out at a moment of the deity’s choosing. Sometimes the Geas can take years to manifest. Once it does, the character must make a DC 5 Will save in order to resist immediately striking out on the quest. The DC raises by 5 each day until the character fails. Once failed, the character faces an irresistible, compelling sense that cannot be ignored and the character must make progress toward completing the quest. Though the character feels the urgency of their divine Geas, the mandate of the Gods does not force individuals to rush headlong into things without proper preparation or prevent them from making tactically sound decisions. It does, however, consume their ever waking thought until they accomplish their assigned task.
3 – Servant Enmity
A powerful servant of the offended deity is commanded by their patron to do nothing but hunt the offender down. If the entity is on another plane, it instantly is transported to the corresponding plane and gains the ability to know the direction and location of the target. No mortal magic, despite how strong, can sever or occlude this link. Should the entity be slain by anyone other than the offender, it either resurrects after 1d4 days until its task is done or the deity sends another, more competent servant in its stead.
4 – Holy Pilgrimage
The deity elects to send a vision to the offender describing a holy journey, and the parameters of that journey, the character must undergo. Should the character survive all the stipulations and complete the journey, the deity’s wrath is stayed.
5 – Equivocal Sacrifice
To replace the soul the deity was forced to return, some deities demand comparable souls from offender. The deity typically manifests or “blesses” a weapon that the character must use to slay humanoids. The HD of those slain must be equal to the HD of the resurrected party, but the sacrifices need not be all from one individual. Only sentient races satisfy this pact since their souls are the most precious.
6 – Self Sacrifice
The deity demands something in return for releasing a soul from their custody. Many a deity have allowed the offender to choose their sacrifice in order to test the honor or business sense of the offender. Other deities flat out make the sacrifice clear and extract it from the offender.