There Is Life After Death (Revenants)

I was thinking about character death the other day and what it meant for them in the pursuit of their Beliefs. That got me to thinking about characters that come back to continue that pursuit. Which then led me to typing out some ideas based on that, which is what this is.

I have no idea if it’s any good. I think it looks fun, but it hasn’t been playtested or even bolted onto a character. I envision this being given to a character who dies and the player wants to keep them around. I’d love to see what you think, what you like/don’t like, what you’d change. I’m very much a newbie when it comes to creating stuff for BWG. It’s not complete, but I’ve run out of ideas and need to bounce this off other brains.


BWG Revenant

An Emotional Attribute for dead characters who aren’t done, yet.


A revenant is a person who died and, due to their panic and desire to accomplish something at the time of death, their soul refused to leave their body, continuing to animate it. They are characterized by their desperate need to see this unfinished deed completed.

Desperation is ranked 1 to 10. When Desperation reaches 10, they turn into a ravenous, unthinking and unreasoning undead thing that will rampage, kill and eat until it is destroyed.

When a character gains the Desperation Emotional Attribute, they must take a fourth Belief about their unfinished business. When they accomplish that goal, the player may choose to retire their character, meaning the soul departs to the afterlife and the undead body falls to the ground and rots, or they may choose another Belief to take the place of the prior unfinished business. In the later case, the character realizes that they’re not quite done and things become all the more desperate.

Desperation advances as a skill. Routine tests always count and filling up any two of the requirements advances it.

Starting Desperation

Desperation starts at 1. Add 1 for every question below to which the answer is yes.

  • Did the character’s death result from the pursuit of what is now their unfinished business?

  • Does their unfinished business involve a Relationship?

  • Are they willing to risk anything to accomplish their unfinished business?

  • Did the character die from violence?

  • Was the character Faithful? (Faith attribute is lost).

  • Was the character Gifted? (Gifted trait is lost).


Desperation may provide Help dice, per the normal rules, to any action taken by the revenant in pursuit of their unfinished business Belief. Use of this counts as a routine test for advancement.


A revenant does not heal naturally from wounds but also does not bleed. Before being able to make a Health test to begin recovery of an injury, the character must feed on the flesh of a sapient creature.


  • Ob 1 - Encountering something that reinforces the urgency of accomplishing their unfinished business. Witnessing death.

  • Ob 2 - Failing a test in the pursuit of their unfinished business.

  • Ob 3 - Destroying property in the pursuit of their unfinished business.

  • Ob 4 - Killing in the pursuit of their unfinished business.

  • Ob 5

  • Ob 6

  • Ob 7 - Feeding on the flesh of a sentient creature.

  • Ob 8

  • Ob 9

  • Ob 10 - Accomplishing your unfinished business.

Revenant dt

Requirement: Human only

This character has died, but refused to give up fighting for what they believe. Their soul clings to their undead body. They do not eat, drink, breathe or sleep. They are immune to effects that require a metabolism (e.g. poison, disease). The character gains the Desperation Emotional Attribute.


I had a similar idea a little while back, about what using Will to Live might look like in my setting. I ultimately dropped it for something more mundane, but the idea was that the only thing keeping you alive was your Artha. The idea came from a metaphore for ‘life burning like a candle’, taken literally. You would literally have to burn some Artha at the start or end of every session (and the character would also be constantly on fire) to stay alive. So you’d have to keep pursuing your BITs to stay alive from then on, and if your Artha ever dropped to 0 in all three boxes your fire would go out and you’d finally die.


Wow! That’s sounds like it would make for some fun times.

Oh shoot! I really dig it, that’s a pretty intense narrative arc that raises the stakes. You get an extension, but if you keep at it…hoo boy. That could end really poorly and act as the catalyst for a brand-new arc.

By “sentient” creature do you mean a rational creature, like a human/elf/etc., or just a creature with a sense of awareness, like an animal?

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Perhaps sapient is a better word. Yes, I’m thinking a creature coming from character stock or similar.

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Yeah, “sapient” scans a lot better to me, personally. I think “sentient” is more of a muddied word.


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This is now an option I will offer in all my BW games. This is seriously amazing.

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I’m glad you like it and I hope it adds fun to your games, @In-FortunaMajor!

Oh it’s going to be oodles of fun. @CarpeGuitarrem will suffer much because of this discovery…


:laughing: As long as they suffer for something they Believe.

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oh no

You found it

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Probably shouldn’t have accidentally killed the capital city of that human Empire, eh?


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