Death & Dying
When dead loved ones and enemies first began sucking in breath, reanimating, and clawing out of graves and tombs, the mass hysteria, confusion, and fear struck the world. What surviving records and accounts from that time that have been gathered indicate that theories were rampant and fevered as to the cause of this miraculous and terrifying new development. Since that time, the process has been studied, and patterns have emerged for those who care to see them.
Most of the time, the dead will come back. However, for many it seems that they come back a little less sure of who they are; a little more disconnected from their identity, connections, and history. Many suffer memory loss and what is often described as a “fading” or “hollowing”.
Those who do finally rest tend to do so in one of two ways:
- Either they have completely forgotten who they are and/or have betrayed themselves thoroughly upon their final death or;
- They have achieved such a deep peace and sense of completeness with their life that they are able to finally rest in tranquility.
The first kind rise as Malefic monsters and entities, doomed to bring misery upon the world until their wrongs can be righted.
The second kind are the dearly departed. The blessed dead. They have passed on from this world of suffering and are celebrated, venerated, and in some ways envied.
Every character enters play with seven Touchstone Memories. These are memories of deep importance that partially define who this character is and why.
If your character dies in the course of the game, they will come back to life at the next sunset or sunrise missing one of these Touchstone Memories, unless a ritual is utilized to have your character return at a different time. For the purposes of Age of Ashes, Sunrise is defined as 6am and Sunset is defined as 6pm.
If your character dies in a scene during which they had obtained a Devotion Win (see Devotion and Faith) or was obviously in the process of obtaining a Devotion Win, they will enter into a final journey of the soul, and at the conclusion, they can choose to rest peacefully in final death. If they still have unfinished business and wish to come back, they may do so without losing any of their Touchstone Memories, in addition to achieving a Personal Victory.
If your character dies in a scene during which they have betrayed their Devotion or have recently suffered a Devotion Loss, they will lose four Touchstone Memories and come back to life at the next sunset or sunrise. Killing oneself also counts as suffering a Devotion Loss, and will normally result in the loss of four Touchstone memories. This is true even if one simply creates a situation in which they are likely to die, or if one asks someone else to kill them if a certain set of circumstances is met. If one dies experiencing both a Devotion Win and a Devotion Loss only one memory is lost and the XP from the personal victory remains.
If a death results in the character losing all seven of their Touchstone Memories, then the character enters a final journey of the soul, and if they are unable to overcome it, they die their final death and return as a Night Malefic creature (the character becomes a Malefic NPC to be controlled by staff). If they are able to overcome their final journey, they may return, with but one Touchstone Memory.
Characters can make new Touchstone Memories once per game by submitting a write-up to staff of a significant event from game which is now an important part of who the character is. A character may not have more than seven Touchstone Memories at any given time. As the Touchstone memory system is a mechanical abstraction, characters are not aware of how many Touchstone memories they have left. In character, loss of Touchstone Memories might be experienced as a loss of sense of self, lost time, feeling empty or hollow, or general dementia-like confusion.
If your character does choose to rest peacefully in final death after a Devotion Win, you may make a new character and you may add a skill tree from your previous character to your new character’s self teach list.
What happens to the body?
While a body is in its indeterminate state of death, a corpse of the character remains. At sunset or sunrise, if the character is coming back to life, the body rapidly rots and disintegrates, sometimes leaving behind a residue of ashes, and is then reformed elsewhere at a location of staff’s choosing. If the character is at peaceful final death or has suffered a hollowed final death as a Malefic, the body remains as a standard corpse.
What is it like to come back after death?
Most characters who come back will feel as though they are suffering from a bad hangover, or are disoriented and confused for a time. To remember the actual events of your death is a random chance based on a bead draw. Otherwise, memory of the actual death itself is too traumatic for the mind to process, and the last five minutes or so before death are unable to be recalled.
What happens with my XP?
In the event that a character passes away, they may carry over up to 30 unspent XP from their character bank to their new character. If a character passes away and rests peacefully they may also take one of their skill branches and add it to their new character’s self-teach list.
Can I retire a character?
In regular play Age of Ashes only allows for one player to play one character at a time, so in the case that a player wishes to stop playing a character, they may retire that character and play a new one instead. In the case that that character still has ongoing plot or is engaged in an active dispute, that retired character will become an NPC if needed. Only up to 30 unspent XP may be carried over to the new character.
What if I go up on staff or guild?
In the event that a player joins staff or guild we will arrange for the character to leave the theater, and return after their tenure is up. It is Age of Ashes policy that staff and dedicated NPC guild members do not play PCs while volunteering.
What if I kill myself in the process of achieving a Devotion Win?
In the event that one kills themselves in the process of achieving a Devotion Win, the character still earns a Personal Victory and they lose one memory instead of the standard four.
What if I sin in the process of achieving a Devotion Win?
Sins achieved during Devotion Wins are still sins, and are remembered (if vaguely) no matter how much one loses in the fog of death.
Dying in Endgame
In LARP, as in comedy, timing is everything, and is very difficult to get just right. Inevitably there will come a situation where aggression or delayed deleterious effects will progress past the time that the event is supposed to end, and though such situations are not ideal, it is important to know how they will be handled.
In the event of late Sunday death, wherein a character is killed between Sunday dawn and event end, they will have the option of staying late with a Staff member to roleplay their eventual Dusk reentry into the world, or to resolve the situation through a brief email roleplay with a staff member over the downtime. If this situation would result in a character’s Harrowing, they will have the option of running the scene over email during the Downtime or beginning the next event at the start of their Harrowing.
In the event of a slow acting lethal agent affecting a character late in the event, such as a poison or disease, in such a way that the character would be killed “off screen” if normal mechanics are followed, the character’s state as determined by the poison or disease will “freeze” and not progress until the beginning of next event. If this would result in the character experiencing the first effects of the poison or disease at the start of the next event, they instead experience them at the very end of the same event they were afflicted, and are thus aware of when they came in contact with the poison or disease.
It’s our hope that these guidelines will facilitate the greatest degree of enjoyment possible in our players, even when they are affected by difficult and unusual circumstances. We also realize that not all cases will fit into the guidelines above, and in such cases Staff is open to discuss a solution that best fits the needs of the community.
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