Friday, September 18, 2020

Villain generator and respectful necromancy

Some assembly required, but this generator will give you all the necessary touchstones to create a weird, non-problematic, memorable villain for your campaign.

Evil Knights, by Juan Pablo Roldan


Necromancy doesn't have to be evil and reviled. There are respectful ways to commune with the dead, with one's ancestors and forefathers. It's certainly possible to re-frame any necromancy spell in a way that's amicable and honoring to the dead, but these are some examples that are kind of inherently that way already.

Anito x Shaman
Anito x Shaman, by Tuntun Dizon

  1. Speak with dead: you recall the spirit of the dead and ask them questions. Sometimes this is posed as a torturous process, but there's no reason it has to be.
  2. Gentle repose: certainly protective, and infinitely less degrading than embalming. Seriously look into it, don't get embalmed.
  3. Spirit guardians: bring back the great warriors of the past to fight again! Especially if they aren't forced to fight for you, and will only join if you convince them to.
  4. Soothe souls: calm their anger, lessen their pain, allow them to communicate or pass on more easily.
  5. Medium possession: allow the dead to inhabit your body and control your actions for a time, giving them one chance to complete any unfinished business.
  6. Detect dead: especially if it can only sense the undead or those who have no received their proper final rites, to be laid to rest.

Obviously I would encourage other writers to design even undead in a way that's not exploitative or evil, such as making an agreement to benefit the souls of the dead, or giving them temporary life for their own use (such as the possession one). Any practice can be of particular virtue or vice, depending on the attitude it is approached with and the goals held in mind. In Tajira, illusionists are seen as evil, duplicitous, and cowardly for manipulating perception and invading dreams.

 

Many thanks to Kali, creator of Fight With Feelings for helping me out on the villain generator!

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