Nate Parkes
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Caveat: This post is all about hypothetical fluff. I was tempted to post this as a "variant," but it will have no impact on gameplay. If fluff seems like a waste of time to you, this will be a huge waste of time.

Introduction

So I've been thinking about the "Stand Up" and "Revive a Hero" actions, and I've come to two conclusions:

1. I think the Stand Up/Revive a Hero rules make mechanical sense, encourage tactical play, and I wouldn't change them.

2. The thematic implications of the Stand Up/Revive Hero rules are a little wonky.


I think the intention is that these actions thematically represent moments of "stand up and shake it off" or "let me help you up and slap the dust off you, buddy." And if that makes sense to you--or you've never felt the need for it to make sense--then more power to you.

But let's be honest: you can recover a lot of health with these actions. More health than the Disciple's Prayer of Healing, more health than the Apothecary's brewed elixir, more health than the Spiritspeaker's Healing Rain (at least, individually).

I mean, let's imagine poor Tomble gets caught in the open and takes a one-hit kill from a rampaging Ettin.

"I swear upon the Holy Gods, I shall heal you with the Radiant Light, the most powerful art of my order!" Avric shouts.

"If it's all the same to you," Tomble whispers through bloody lips. "Just help me up and slap the dust off me instead. I'll probably be better off."

Suggestion: The Runebound

So what makes heroes so heroic? Why can they shrug off wounds that would kill a lesser warrior?

My suggestion: The heroes are rune-bound.

You know those "hero tokens" that each player uses? You've probably noticed that each one has a distinct rune on it. Which makes total sense, since the world of Terrinoth is nuts about runes.

I'm suggesting that, somehow, each hero has become bound to their rune. Maybe one hero went through a secret initiation ritual to have an ancient rune bound into her flesh. Or maybe another hero woke up after an ale-bender to find the rune mysteriously glowing on his stomach.

The runes mark them as heroes, destined for a special purpose. And the runes won't let them die until they've had a chance to fulfill that purpose.

Whenever a runebound hero falls, the rune brings them back to life. And since the runes are linked, one runebound hero can awaken the rune in another more easily (hence the "revive a hero" action is more efficient than the "stand up" action).

Of course, the runes can't do it all. Once the heroes reach the final encounter, it's up to them. The runes only guarantee heroes a chance to fulfill their destiny--they won't fulfill that destiny for them.

I'm not sure if I'll actually mention this fluff to new players. They've never seemed to have any issue with the non-perma-death rules. But this is the way I'll imagine it in my head from now on, as I kill them over and over and over, only to watch them rise again.

"Curse those blasted runes!"
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Chris
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That's... kind of awesome. Well done! I think with this post you've done more to add some semblance of coherence to Terrinoth than FFG has done in 15-odd years of games.
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Rafal Areinu
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I've never had an issue with stand up mechanic. In Runebound you also only get knocked out, so it's nothing new. Even in fabled first edition where killing heroes was the goal there was no permanent death.

But I love this fluff, it easily adds another level of epics to the campaign.
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Johannes Benedikt
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I like your idea, although I never had much of a problem with the knocking out and standing up.

Those characters are heroes after all and the essence of being a hero is to push through the seemingly impossible.

So if these runes play a central role (and the name "runebound" suggests that much) like you say, I like to believe they would canalise the heroic willpower into reality:
You just broke down from desease, poison, a handfull of arrows and a few hits to the head? If you relentlessly want to go on despite all the pain, the rune enables you to do so, as long as you don't give up.
You just ran through the encounter at Usian Bolt's speed? Just a little rest and you wouldn't notice your exhaustion anymore etc.
 
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JH
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Eldil wrote:
I think the intention is that these actions thematically represent moments of "stand up and shake it off" or "let me help you up and slap the dust off you, buddy." And if that makes sense to you--or you've never felt the need for it to make sense--then more power to you.

I was brought up on Final Fantasy games, so the notion that a hero can be squashed by a flaming meteor one moment and back on his feet fully healed the next is a normal one to me.

The only permanent death is by plot contrivance in this guy's games!
 
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