5E Undead Templates: Unless I missed them, we really need these.
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    City of the Dead
    Posts
    1,184

    Undead Templates: Unless I missed them, we really need these.

    I've looked through the DMG and MM with the hopes of finding something around templates and I couldn't find anything, unless I am blind.

    I really would like to see undead templates because there are other creatures I would like to see become undead. In my current game there is a lich who was taken up residence in a swamp, it is currently gathering an army of undead and wants to create a bunch of ghouls using trolls and lizardmen. The lich has also set loose a hill giant ghoul upon the nearest city to the swamp and I'm not sure really how to stat the creature. A template would be most helpful in these situations. It's not just ghouls but other forms of undead and various other creatures.
    XP Ed Laprade gave XP for this post

  2. #2
    In the Dungeon Master's Guide, there's a table of NPC races. Zombies get a +1 to Strength, +2 to Constitution, -6 to Intelligence, -4 to Wisdom, and -4 to Charisma. They have speed 20, a natural slam attack that deals 1d6 + Strength, Darkvision 60, Undead Fortitude, and they understand all languages that they knew in life, but cannot speak.
    XP flametitan, SkidAce, ProgBard, Shiroiken gave XP for this post

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    City of the Dead
    Posts
    1,184
    Quote Originally Posted by transcendantviewer View Post
    In the Dungeon Master's Guide, there's a table of NPC races. Zombies get a +1 to Strength, +2 to Constitution, -6 to Intelligence, -4 to Wisdom, and -4 to Charisma. They have speed 20, a natural slam attack that deals 1d6 + Strength, Darkvision 60, Undead Fortitude, and they understand all languages that they knew in life, but cannot speak.
    Cheers! I had forgotten those two where in there. We still need more though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    1,328
    I have noticed at least for me and my game that I want more choice than the MM can provide. I think the early days of 5e was trying to get back to 2e days when a goblin was just one set of stats and if you wanted a leader goblin, you would give him max HP and move on. Now I see more people looking for a 4e type of system where there are goblin casters and goblin brutes and such. I still like the basic 'commoner' goblin, but like to have the option of more.

    I have not seen a template for ghouls or other undead, but have made tougher undead. I made a hook horror ghoul by laying basic ghoul abilities on the hook horror. It worked, but could have been better if I made some specific abilities for the base hook horror.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Castle Fantasia
    Posts
    520
    In the OP's case I'd just use regular zombies for lizardzombies and zombie ogres as troll and hill giant zombies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    8,326
    Seems almost trivially easy to make your own?

    Ghoul. +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Immunity to poison damage. Immunity to charmed, exhaustion, and poisoned. Darkvision 60 ft. Gains a bite attack (1d6 Small, 2d6 Medium, 3d6 Large). Gains a ghoul's claw attack (1d4 Small, 2d4 Medium, 3d4 Large) that paralyzes for 1 minute on a failed DC 10 Constitution save DC. Speaks the languages it knew in life.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    City of the Dead
    Posts
    1,184
    Quote Originally Posted by Quickleaf View Post
    Seems almost trivially easy to make your own? Ghoul. +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Immunity to poison damage. Immunity to charmed, exhaustion, and poisoned. Darkvision 60 ft. Gains a bite attack (1d6 Small, 2d6 Medium, 3d6 Large). Gains a ghoul's claw attack (1d4 Small, 2d4 Medium, 3d4 Large) that paralyzes for 1 minute on a failed DC 10 Constitution save DC. Speaks the languages it knew in life.
    Shadow, Wraith, Ghost, etc??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    8,326
    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
    Shadow, Wraith, Ghost, etc??
    Be my guest

    Mummy. +4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence. +1 AC (natural armor). Gain Wisdom saving throw proficiency. Damage vulnerability fire. Damage resistances to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons. Damage immunities to necrotic and poison. Condition immunities to charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, and poisoned. Darkvision 60 ft. Gain mummy's Multiattack. Gain mummy's Rotting Fist attack (bludgeoning damage is 1d6 Small, 2d6 Medium, 3d6 Large; rotting damage is 3d6, save DC 12). Gain mummy's Dreadful Glare attack (Wis save DC CR appropriate* - 2). Speaks the languages it knew in life.

    *Determine the CR appropriate saving throw using DMG p. 274 (e.g. CR 0-3 = save DC 13, CR 4 = save DC 14, CR 5-7 = save DC 15, and so on acc. to that table).


    EDIT: How do I do this?

    The ability score mods. are deduced by feel. For the purposes of doing "monster template forensics", I generally assume that the baseline monster ability score profile for lower CR monsters is roughly something like... 15 12 10 10 9 8. That's my starting point, but I don't adhere to it strictly. You've got to use your felt sense as DM for figuring out what the ability score mods. (and frankly it's not important to be 100% accurate).

    When it comes to saving throws, anything that would inflict a debilitating condition (e.g. Rotting Touch) I generally leave that save DC alone, since the threat level of the debilitating condition is often closely tied with the monster's CR and general tier-of-play assumptions. With other things, I find the corresponding suggested save DC appropriate to the monster's CR and then figure out how much the monster deviates from that (+/-), and then preserve that ratio when scaling.
    Last edited by Quickleaf; Sunday, 5th March, 2017 at 08:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    whitehorse, YT, Canada
    Posts
    1,547
    Hiya!

    Hmmm....how to put this. Ok. Try this. Step out of your DM shoes, walk around the DM Screen and sit down at the table. Now, from the perspective of a PLAYER, think of how "the DM" would describe a Hill Giant Ghoul. Got it in your mind? Ok, great. Now still from the perspective of a PLAYER, what would hammer home the "ghoulishness" of the giant? When fighting it, what attacks would scream out 'ghoul' to you? What would you expect in terms of defenses? Etc, etc.

    With that in mind, step back into your DM shoes and get behind the screen. Now write down "Hill Giant Ghoul" as you envisioned it as a player. Lastly, think about something 'odd' or 'special' that would distinguish a Hill Giant Ghoul from, say, a regular old Human Ghoul. Add that in. Now sit back and admire your creative genius and smile at the thought of your players peeing themselves when they encounter it.

    I personally couldn't be happier that there are no real 'templates', so to speak, for monsters. And I hope we never ever see them in 5e core rules. The feeling that comes from the MM and DMG is more "Here's a blank canvas and unlimited paint. Go!"...and a lot less like "Here's a paint-by-numbers and 8 colours. Fill it in".

    To me, thinking of "templates" in 5e doesn't make much sense when looked at from a design goal standpoint that 5e embodies. Look at the actual Ghoul, for example. It's not "Heres a human set of stats, and we added Ghoul template stuff". It's "Here's a Ghoul". Look at the "Cultist" for an even better example. They didn't take "Base Human", and then add "a level of Cleric". They thought about what a cultist would look like and what would scream "Cultists!" to the players when they encounter them. Then they just stated it up as they envisioned it. No consulting templates, or class abilities, or adjustments for race, etc. Just a nice, happy "Here's your canvas. Paint".

    IMHO, how Monsters and NPC's are created in 5e is something that the designers got spot on perfect.

    ^_^

    Paul L. Ming

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,220
    Quote Originally Posted by pming View Post
    Hiya!

    Hmmm....how to put this. Ok. Try this. Step out of your DM shoes, walk around the DM Screen and sit down at the table. Now, from the perspective of a PLAYER, think of how "the DM" would describe a Hill Giant Ghoul. Got it in your mind? Ok, great. Now still from the perspective of a PLAYER, what would hammer home the "ghoulishness" of the giant? When fighting it, what attacks would scream out 'ghoul' to you? What would you expect in terms of defenses? Etc, etc.

    With that in mind, step back into your DM shoes and get behind the screen. Now write down "Hill Giant Ghoul" as you envisioned it as a player. Lastly, think about something 'odd' or 'special' that would distinguish a Hill Giant Ghoul from, say, a regular old Human Ghoul. Add that in. Now sit back and admire your creative genius and smile at the thought of your players peeing themselves when they encounter it.

    I personally couldn't be happier that there are no real 'templates', so to speak, for monsters. And I hope we never ever see them in 5e core rules. The feeling that comes from the MM and DMG is more "Here's a blank canvas and unlimited paint. Go!"...and a lot less like "Here's a paint-by-numbers and 8 colours. Fill it in".

    To me, thinking of "templates" in 5e doesn't make much sense when looked at from a design goal standpoint that 5e embodies. Look at the actual Ghoul, for example. It's not "Heres a human set of stats, and we added Ghoul template stuff". It's "Here's a Ghoul". Look at the "Cultist" for an even better example. They didn't take "Base Human", and then add "a level of Cleric". They thought about what a cultist would look like and what would scream "Cultists!" to the players when they encounter them. Then they just stated it up as they envisioned it. No consulting templates, or class abilities, or adjustments for race, etc. Just a nice, happy "Here's your canvas. Paint".

    IMHO, how Monsters and NPC's are created in 5e is something that the designers got spot on perfect.

    ^_^

    Paul L. Ming
    And if a DM doesn't have time or energy to create that entire canvas and would much rather have the paint-by-numbers so they can save what little free time is available?

    I created giant zombies and skeletons in my "Homebrew Giant Elites" thread - and heartily disliked the fact I had to do so. I believe it would be much more beneficial for DMs to simply have skeleton and zombie templates (at the least) to have to apply to appropriate creatures so they can get on to more important things - like, you know, actually building the adventure. You and I may have the time and will to create new creatures whole-cloth, but there are a lot of DMs out there who don't, and would much rather have something to plug-and-play...

    Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app

Similar Threads

  1. Undead, as monsters or as templates?
    By catsclaw227 in forum *Pathfinder, Starfinder, Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, OSR
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Saturday, 29th December, 2007, 12:14 AM
  2. Looking for Undead Templates
    By Mordane76 in forum *Pathfinder, Starfinder, Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, OSR
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Tuesday, 13th February, 2007, 02:08 AM
  3. Undead templates
    By czak808 in forum *Pathfinder, Starfinder, Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, OSR
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Friday, 24th October, 2003, 01:39 PM
  4. WOTC Undead Templates?
    By Heretic Apostate in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Monday, 29th April, 2002, 04:59 AM
  5. all undead as templates
    By Nebuchadnezzar in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Sunday, 27th January, 2002, 08:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •