Take on the role of the undead, which changes many of the common tropes of typical role-playing games, and in some cases, turns them on their head.
Death as the Undead
The death system in Deadhaus Sonata was designed to be consistent and philosophically aligned with occult literature. One cannot simply kill a spirit without going through the proper rituals of exorcising that spirit. Examples of this philosophy can be seen in excellent shows like Supernatural, where the remains of a ghost need to be burned or destroyed to completely remove the entity from the realm of the living, or in Dungeons and Dragons, where the phylactery of a Liche needs to be destroyed before it can truly be put to rest, and echoed throughout occult literature.
A long tradition of necromancy (the magick for raising and communicating with the dead) posits that death and life are not binary states, but rather a smooth and permeable continuum along which many beings can wander. A recent revival of interest in the magick of St. Cyprian, patron Saint of Necromancers, as well as a long-standing preoccupation with the family of the dead in vodoun tradition (such as the Ghuede loa, like Baron Samedi) confirms a continuing occult fascination with the liminal states in between life and death. These principles are applied consistently for all classes of undead in Deadhaus Sonata.
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons
even death may die.
― Howard Phillips Lovecraft, The Nameless City
Trinary Archetype System
The Sacred Trinity
Of the Necroliberatas
The Material Realm
The Realm of the Physical. Metal, Stone, Flesh, and Bone. Master these and you will become a monster among men.
The Magickal Realm
The Realm of Magick focusing on the power of True Names. The closer to the truth you get the more powerful you become.
The Essential Realm
The Realm of Spirit focusing on the power of essence and cognitive sentience. This realm is the home of the soul and Elder Gods where ancient artifacts exposed to extreme traumatic event nexuses forge into sentient beings.
Trinary State System
The Undead can walk the earth as they once did as living creatures and can be injured by common means, such as steel weapons. When in this state, they are largely limited to the natural laws of the physical realm; defying these laws will have a hefty cost. Non-magickal creatures, such as simple beasts and common humans, exist solely in this state.
The Undead can appear ephemeral and translucent, existing in a magickal plane. When Ethereal, the Undead can move through obstacles and defy gravity. During combat, Ethereal beings can only be hit with magickal spells, unique weapons, critical hits, or by extremely powerful enemies.
The undead spirit, or essence, can be contained within an artifact. Movement, combat, and other character properties are defined by the artifact itself. There are many different types of artifacts that players may use. These can be things which the character once carried with them, such as a mirror, a doll, or a sword. Artifacts can also be nearby objects with the ability to contain an essence, such as a desecrated tombstone.
- When in a particular state, the Undead takes damage to the corresponding resource bar. When the corresponding resource bar is depleted, the Undead cannot exist in that state any longer.
- While the Undead has any one resource remaining, they can potentially continue to exist by moving into the corresponding state.
- Each Undead class has unique rules about when they can change states. Some exist perpetually in one state, some can move between several states freely.
- When all resources are depleted, the Undead is finally turned to Ash (this is ‘True Death’).
Disrupting the cacophony of battle with chants and invocations, Liches control the tides of war with The Words of Truth. Filling their fragile frame with the old Magicks, these Deacons of Death cast spells of unimaginable power. With a breath, they rend the very fabric of reality, creating lightning from sparks, floods from dew, and plagues from the cadavers of the fallen. Their own souls safe within secret Phylacteries, Liches fear not the touch of death.
When their own Magick wanes, Liches take from life itself. Using captured foes as Living Vessels, they draw energy from their helpless prisoners. With this newfound power, they clear a decaying path for their undying pursuit of Truth.
Truth is the Dogma. Truth is the Way.
Primary State: Physical
Fueled by unending vengeance, Revenants know only retribution and war. Wielding enormous weapons with terrifying might, they cleave through flesh and steel with ease. They are the avengers of Deadhaus, unborn with strength surpassing even Giants. This strength has only one purpose: to crush those who have done them wrong.
Anger drives the Revenants beyond limits, allowing their massive bodies to perform unimaginable feats. The Anger protects them, heals them, and allows them to dominate any foe. Permitting it to take over, Revenants conduct their Rage to wrought unspeakable carnage.
Rage against the Unjust. Rage against the Living. Rage against the World.
Primary State: Physical
Burdened by a sanguine curse, the noble Vampires blitzes into battle with brutal elegance. A class of aristocrats, Vampires combines Magickal, Essential, and Material powers to affirm their dominance in the House of Death. Sustained by mortal blood, they carve paths of crimson with magick and steel, leaving no signs of life in their wake.
When their authority is threatened, Vampires erupt into dreadful forms. Transforming into Monstrous Lycans, Undead Dragons, and Demons of Solid Blood, they paint the battlefield with death and carnage.
All must bow before their grace. All must perish before their might.