The Pregens in the Slavers series - A1, A2, A3, A4 - come with some magic items, naturally. In A1-A3, Karraway comes with a scroll with Raise Dead.
What the heck is it for?
For bringing back a dead PC, obviously, so they can jump right back into the fight! Boo-yah! Heck yeah, look how well-equipped these guys are! Those fighting the slavers are serious.
Except that in AD&D, Raise Dead takes weeks to recover from. You're helpless when you come back. It's not a quick way to get a dead PC back in action. It's a poor way - compared with Resurrection - to get a dead PC back eventually, if they make their System Shock roll.
Looking back at the version of Raise Dead in Men & Magic - book 1 of the original D&D books - it still requires a recovery time of weeks.
So why give it to the tournament PCs?
I can really only think of three reasons.
- it lets the PCs question a dead slaver by bringing him/her back from the dead to question. They'll be helpless. Useful as a plot device - ask Icar where to go next!
- it gives the impression the PCs have the resources to survive casualties. When you go to the next round, you can have all of the PCs because you can have raised them from death.
- it was added post-tournament to let the PCs bring back casualties between modules.
I don't know of any evidence for that last one. I have no proof, but not reason to suspect otherwise, for the following: the PCs are the tournament characters as-written. I'm curious if there is anything else out there that can explain it.
Any reasons anyone can see that makes this make sense, without having to provide for additional gear or handwaving away rules? I'm genuinely curious.