Picture Thursday 30: “Orpheus and Eurydice” G.F. Watts

Neoclassical greek mythology art Orpheus and eurydiceYou may have noticed posting has dropped off rather suddenly here. Some large issues, and larger questions, have popped up in my personal life. Resolving them may require most of my free time for a little while. I considered putting the blog on a month-long hiatus, and I haven’t discounted that option entirely yet, but for now I think I’ll stick to a “post when I have a moment” schedule. Hopefully I can get back to games soon!

SO, this image.

Resurrection is a tricky concept in games. If a character can be brought back to life, then what is the danger of death? It’s a question as old as gaming, and one with a lot of potential answers. The question, and the various answers to it, are all very interesting. I’ll write about them another time.

For now, look at this picture of Orpheus bringing his dead wife Eurydice back from the underworld. The image is terrifying to behold. The juxtaposed affection and lifelessness depicted here are disturbing. And while “you must charm the god of death with your music” is perhaps too high a bar for character resurrection in a game, this painting expresses something I like to see in character resurrection.

It is a herculean task to accomplish, and even when it is done, the resurrected person is never quite the same.

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3 thoughts on “Picture Thursday 30: “Orpheus and Eurydice” G.F. Watts”

  1. I’ve been considering that myself lately, so I’m conducting an experiment: the party now has (read: stole from an imp) a scroll that will bring one character back to life, but the person brought back to life will come back with the fiendish template. I’m considering ways to make that fiendishness be a tangible thing.

  2. I am more interested in the concept of going to the underworld to obtain the body and bring it back. In the campaign I’m currently running, a tyrannical king has died, leaving his kinder but untested son in power. The PCs support the new king for various reasons, and have tried to help him on a few occasions.

    Now I’m thinking of what would happen if the old king was suddenly back – no explanation at first, just back. The king is even more twisted than he once was. The king’s adviser found a way to travel into the underworld, recover his body, and bring him back.

    I don’t have the details yet, but I think the process of putting the king to rest yet again would be very interesting and not at all straight forward. This would also have implications for when PCs die. They saw what the king’s adviser needed to do. Maybe raise dead just opens a portal to the underworld, and they only find that out when they try to use it. Lot’s of good possibilities here!

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