I think I know why. Very often player characters in my campaigns ascend to a beloved NPC state. In other words, they retire. The story hasn't ended for them, but the adventure has.
One idea that I am trying with my next campaign is "Divine Donative", an offering to a church, temple, or another group that ensures resurrection or reincarnation should something befall the character. Many of the rules in D&D are geared toward such a transaction such as an oath of poverty which requires donations. There is even a list price for the casting of such spells, so why not pre-payment as insurance.
Hit x amount and you get free services. It stands to reason that if the character or party is funneling huge sums of money into an organization, there should be an immediate benefit. At low levels, it's a bed for the night or minor healing. Later, after pounds and pounds of silver have been diverted to the organization, another life.
|We don't know what happened.|
We think he liked rabbits.
Then there is the possibility that they pre-paid for services they do not want. But it's a contract that must be fulfilled.
Off the church leaders go to save one of their most beloved patrons, and upon their return to the land of the living, this guy doesn't want to leave the temple grounds. He wants to tend a garden rather than scalp orcs.
And if push comes to shove, maybe he or she refuses to come back as a human. All of a sudden, the party picks up a wolf or dog or cat as some sort of guardian. While the players wouldn't control such a beast, having one makes them special.
While I wanted to try this idea for end-of-life situations, the concept really should appear more in my campaigns. If characters are in some sort of guild or association that they support, that support should be two ways. Especially if the character is on track to be an epic hero of many storied deeds. People should be jumping out of the woodwork to support them. Even lowly fighters may belong to some sort of veterans group which could prove a small benefit if support.
My idea isn't to just fork stuff out to the players as much build continuity with the campaign world beyond what the players are directly experiencing. If the party has a Bard or a Magic User, they probably have associations that need answers, which the PC might have. This would create a series of barter situations that the characters could grant favors and call them in later. Rather than present the party with a list of spells and costs, I should have them intervene if they can so as to curry favor with some group or another... or they could pocket the cash.
I really like the idea of swapping this for that instead of a list of prices and services. It may take a bit to flesh the whole idea out, so I'm sure I will revisit it as time goes on.