I was thinking about death penalties in mmos and I was trying to figure out ways to make my favorite, the corpse run, more interesting and palatable to players by adding some gameplay. Here are my ideas.
When you die you leave a corpse and all your items on it except one item "your lucky charm". This item of which there would be a number of choices has an effect that kicks in after you die (you click on it). There would be a number of charms you can find and each one has a unique effect.
1) Polymorph Totem: When you die, after you come back you transform into one of 3 different animals to help you get back to your corpse easier. The stealthy rat, the flying crow, and the speedy fox. The polymorph lasts 15 minutes (or until you touch your corpse). You dont know which one youll get each time you die and you can cancel the effect at any time. 1 hit and you die again.
2) Amulet of Prismatic Invisibility: When you die the amulet gives you one kind of invisibility: Invisibility to undead, Invisibility to animals, Invisibility to humanoids. Which one you get is random and lasts 15 minutes. It can change focus at any time randomly.
3) Unstable Portal Token : When you die you can activate the unstable portal token and it will transport you within a certain range of your corpse...most of the time.
4) Blinking Pendant: When you die you can activate this and it will transport you a short & safe distance away from a mob that has aggroed you. It has 0-4 charges.
5) Stunning Pearl: When you die you can activate this and it will stun the next mob that does damage to you. It has 4 charges but the stun is variable from 2-5 seconds ( 10 s recharge) and there is a 5% incremental ( 5/10/15/20) chance it will stun you with each activation.
6) Vial of Purple Liquid: When you die you can activate this and it will increase your runspeed at the cost of one of your regeneration stats ( health, stamina or magicka) for 15 minutes.
7) Bag of mixed bones: When you die you can activate this and it will summon a pet that will defend you for 15 minutes. There are 3 possible pets, The wolf, the panther and the hawk. There is a chance that they will flee at the first sign of trouble.
8) Weapon signet: when you die you can activate this and it will summon a weapon for you. There is no telling how long the weapon will last or what weapon you will get. Hopefully you dont get the mystic spoon.
So the idea here is that we will only have the corpse run as the death penalty and the lucky charm is kind of a helper that can run out of luck. You can use any one you want and can deactivate it at any time. After its been expended you have to recharge it to use it again. Its basically a boon with a chance to add insult to injury. Most of the time it would give a real benefit but you have to leave a little space open for the unknown.
There would also be a corpse summoning npc service but it wouldn't be practical to use it too often as the npc will notice and adjust prices, which wont necessarily be gold.
There would be no other penalties for death.
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