Salvete Sodales !
I have an idea that i want to expose to you, and you would be very nice to help me making this little thing a big story.
Last week, one of my player lost his character. A stupid ball of abyssal flames launched by Pitsdim, the Flambeau of Calebais. Definitely, my player realized that group of one were not enough for Calebais.
But I'm a friendly GM, and I was annoyed by the death of one of the central character of the story. And I got the idea to get him back. Here is my question : can a demon possess a dead body and make it looks like if it is alive, move and talk, eventually use the Gift and so on...
What are the limitions of such a demon ? What can he do ? Is he annoyed by the Aegis of the Covenant ?
Well, I like the idea, but I'm not sure if it is "by the book" or not, and I would like to have your opinions.
Thank you for reading me, and sorry for my english level...
Plan B: Make the character survive, even if really badly mauled buy the experience, and getting a flaw due to the encounter (fear of fire, scars all over the body that detract from appearence....).
If he was on friendly terms with the hrools maybe they carried him to the garden for emergency healing and then a surviving grog recovered him or something like that. After all, the hrools might have better powers than what appear to be. Or maybe the satyrs or the dryad saved him and he wakes uop after a YEAR has passed in the dryad grove but fully healed (and naked). You do not need to have him die outright. You can also send him into twilight if you want alternatives.
It sounds like the player and character learned the lesson of "Crazed maniac with more firepower than a nuke = do not mess with him" and that the story does not improve with the death, so it would be fine to have himn survive, but having to pay a price for it Make sure he knows it is a "one case only" situation, or he might become reckless if he thinks the character will survive no matter what.
Talk with him and see what he wants. He might actually LIKES that the character has been burned to death (I have seen that before) so do nto move forward here
Now, about your demon. He will be hampered by the aegis 100%. He needs to have a higher Might than the aegis level, or he will be unable to cross it. I think it would be fuunnier if one of the ghosts of Calebais posessed him, though. Think about Granorda moving around your covenant. Yummy!
I prefer to keep the idea of possession instead of changing back what is done.
I like the idea of Granorda possessing the body, but she will too be hampered by the aegis. Another question : can she use the hermetic knowledge of the character or not ? And what about a classical demon : can he too use the magic of the body possessed ?
Wouldn't the demon have the dead magus token to pass the Aegis?
If he is a DEAD magus I wouldn't count on it. If the mage found himself in hell and negotiated his return to earth (so he is effectively the same character, only more badass now) then yes.
To me the whole demon posession sounds like a non playing character, but hey
I would play it as a NPC too (or let this NPC be played by the same player in order to trick the other players, not realizing their friend has somehow "changed" ).
Concerning the knowledge : it is in the soul or the spirit, which both are long gone if the magus is dead. The only thing is the material body, permitting to fake the magus appearance, and maybe physical quirks, by possession.
Does the player want to play a demon wearing the skin-mask of his dead character? A strange choice of character.
If he does, I'll have the demon trap the player's spirit in some amulet or other trinket, and rule that as long as he has his soul the demon can use his token to function unhindered in the Aegis or otherwise Magically-represent him. Just to brush aside this minor rules-impediment for the player playing the demon-character for years to come. Mechanically, I'll have the demon character acquire demonic gifts through bargains with other demons (or directly with mortals, feeding on the power of their souls) instead of experience points or spells. However, he could acquire the False Gift and use it to develop Corrupted and Goetic Arts (as per RoP:I) and to learn new spells even as a demon, allowing him access to Hermetic magic.
If the player is not interested in this kind of character, and you intend to play it as an NPC - do whatever makes for a better story. I think disallowing him entry into the Aegis will make for a better story, as the character's evasive behaviour on the subject of returning to the covenant is bound to raise questions. As an alternative, having him be the old character, having bargained a second life from Hell, sounds interesting too; but in that case he'll still have access tot he Aegis.
As a general rule, I'd recommend the "Dramatic Deaths" rule - death of major characters (magi and companions) should ideally only occur at dramatic moments and in a dramatically appropriate manner. Random death means the system or the players (including the SG) failed to fulfill this ideal. Therefore, the system is overruled, in favor of a dramatically appropriate resolution. This can be a botch (instead of a felling blow), temporary Twilight, incapacitation followed by recovery with a Flaw, a miraculous recovery to life a-la Highlander through an act of god, or even a timely intervention by an NPC. Of course, sometimes the appropriate dramatic result is death. Have the whole troupe of players vote on what the proper dramatic repercussions are - or have the SG decide by himself, whatever works with your group's dynamics.
Thank you for all your advices!
First of all : the death of the character is something I've long thougth about. But as the players, especially this one, didn't listen my warnings, this is a logical conclusion.
Second : the player wants to play this possessed magus. He always has an interest in all the corrupted things. That's a point that makes me killing his character without remorses.
I love the idea of the spirit closed in a talisman, so that there is an eventual way back. But I too love the idea of the character who negociate in hell, and comes back... I don't know wich to choose. I will discuss further with the player to see which one he prefers.
Thank you again, and don't hesitate to continue the discussion, it can gives me more ideas !
I lean against allowing the demon to get around the Aegis at all, though if his might is high enough, he can come in. It'll be more interesting too to have him skirt around his handicap- until the next casting of the ritual that is, where he'll be able to participate.
Also, I know you don't like the retcon ideas, but something a little bit different from Xavi's- the character tried to quick cast a counter spell and went into twilight before the effect could hit him. Instead of rolling to understand, he just suffers what you feel is appropriate for getting out of the situation. The pure dumb luck of the timing and result would be unique and any magi who knew would shudder at the idea of barely scraping through on that, let alone ever relying on it in the future.