The raised dead and stress rolls

I should have posted this a week ago.

If a dead mortal is raised back to life via Hermetic magic and given a simple command to fight, no Mentem magic to actually given it conscious will or self determination, does that "zombie" fighter roll a stress die?

I am flummoxed and feel bad because in a story I was running the raised dead soldier exploded on the first attack roll it made against the PC and basically got something like 24 points over the soak of the character. Instant death, however I pulled ST rank and simply made in incapacitating and had her captured by the antagonist villain.

So the issue is... would a dead body moving only with the most basic of skills roll a stress die in combat?

The player is ultimately cool with how it worked out and the story is now genius and brilliant in its complications, so no worry there. I just wanted to know for future reference, or simply the thinking of other Ars folks. I say it's a roll of the dice signifying the "chance" of something going incredibly right or wrong for the NPC. The player thought, and makes a good argument, that a "zombie" doesn't feel stress.

And rereading the text of the stress die entry it seems... well it seems I was fine rolling the die but I would like to know.

You know, I've never actually thought about this...And I should since I play a magus who intends to animate some corpses soon.

Since combat most often is inherently risky I'd say the Stress Die's mechanics simulates probabilities of both great success or failure.

Mind you, we almost exclusively roll Stress Dice in my group, forgetting that there is a use for Simple rolls. I think maybe we feel that if there is a reason to roll, you should also be able to Botch. However often a Botch on these kinds of rolls would ruin a lot of a story or situation, and while entertaining at first the Botch result is often glossed over. And since some people often roll consecutive 1s (looking at myself right now, the guy who usually does this left the saga) this particular mechanic often ruins it for everyone else. I mean, if the slightly skilled person rolls poorly and the inept guy rolls 40 on his die...

think maybe I should ask the Tropue if we shuldn't start using Simple rolls once in a while. Say, on casually made knowledge rolls, like Int+Org Lore: OoH. And save the Stress rolls for this when the situation really is stressed. For instance when choosing Arts for Certamen, trying to remember the adversary's specialities and known defects.


..and this :blush:

I think it would actually be a stress roll.

Yeah - even the dead can trip while swinging a sword on uneven ground.

If I felt they were sufficiently lacking I'd give them a stress die, with no doubling. IOW: they can botch, but they can't succeed excellently.

I'd never remove the chance for them to botch.

The fact is they can accidently succeed really well the same as any other character. I suspect the mindless undead should have extra botch dice. but a randomly thrown rock can catch someone in the temple and kill them regardless of cognizance- where there is chaotic action there is the chance of great success or great failure.

Yep, lacking a mind seems like a good reason for an extra botch die.

I'm the guy who was the victim of said zombie attack, and I'm fine with this :smiley: At the time, I think I was too hung up on the term 'stress die', associating it an adrenaline rush and the like, which a zombie wouldn't have (not that 'adrenaline' exists in Ars, of course :wink:). However if you think of it more like 'increased risk die', then yeah, of course the corpse (heh) can have lucky or unlucky breaks like any living person.

:laughing: Ever since playing the necromancer, in my mind, the raised dead get a flat 3 botch die regardless of additional factors. They lack the most basic of self preservation instincts as well as awareness of the details of the world about them. However this is, again to my way of thinking, mitigated by a Mentem or Rego affect which would give them a "thinking" instinct.

Hah yeah, you got killed real good.

I'd go with the stress dice in combat always.

There is so much that can happen for good or ill in combat, even without any real ability or enthusiasm.

A stress die critical from a zombie might be a blow that the PC foolishly moved right into, or sheer bloody luck that the zombie swung exactly where the PC didn't expect.

Good handling of it too. I always feel as a GM my players should feel they can die at any time (or combat loses its thrill) but its far more fun for a player to lose a PC in an epic way than to die at the hands of some random punk zombie.