Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cthulhutech: Resurrection

I originally posted this on the Cthulhutech forums. It's reposted here with the modifications suggested by Matthew Grau

Third Order
aka: Resurrection
Type: Enchantment
Legality: Illegal [note 1]
Learning Time: 1 week for full ritual, 10 minutes to simply restore existing salts
Insanity Test: Average/1 Insanity Point
Occult Rating Required: Novice
Intellect Required: 7
Tenacity Required: 8
Prep Time: 7 days for preparation of salts, none to restore the salts
Casting Time: None for preparation of salts, 1 minute to restore the salts
Difficulty: Challenging
Extended Tests Required: 3 to prepare the salts, none to restore the salts
Ruach Cost: 20 to prepare the salts [note 2], 5 to restore the salts

Components & Requirements: (All of the following are required only to prepare the essential salts.) Several heavy knives, various herbs and minerals, a brass or bronze conatiner large enough to hold a human body, hydrogen peroxide in sufficient quantity to cover a human body placed in the container, source of heat.

Effects: This spell enables a sorcerer to restore life to the dead. The corpse to be prepared need not be intact. The spell actually consists of two parts. The first is the ritual to prepare a corpse for revival by rendering it down to it's "essential salts". Any sorcerer may do this, and the salts will keep indefinatly as long as they are kept dry.

The second part of the ritual allows the sorcerer to restore the salts to life. Moisture and substance are drawn from World of Elements to reconstitute the body exactly as it was in life. Sorcerers are divided as to why the memories and personality return as well, but they do. If the spell is successfully cast, the recipient will live again as if he had never died.

There is a penalty for failure, however. For the first part of the ritual, critical failure means that the corpse has been damaged beyond repair and can never be restored. For the second part, critical failure means that sloppy laboratory technique has lost a portion of the salts. What reanimates is, to put it mildly, grotesque, insane, and dangerous. The storyteller is free to create this monstrosity however desired, but the stats of a shade corpus or even a N'athm are not unreasonable. Let the sorceror beware, and not call up that which he cannot put down.

Note 1: I originally proposed "Restricted". Matt's reasoning for making it illegal was as follows:

Also, this spell is just plain illegal. The NEG would not approve of something that has such a high potential to create a monster – it would basically be considered a summoning spell. What you qualified as restricted is the same as illegal – you have to be an employee of the government or military and have special dispensation to know it.
I don't see anything wrong with leaving it "Restricted", but that could change the nature of the setting substantially. Be warned.

Note 2: I originally suggested a ruach cost of 0 to prepare the salts, as that component of the spell is really more of a chemical or alchemical process. Really, anybody with some basic skills in chemistry or even in cooking could perform this by following the recipe as written. Heck, you could even program a limited AI to perform this spell as long as it had the appropriate robotic limbs. 20 ruach is the Matt Grau approved version.

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