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D&D 5E PC wants to become undead

There is an Epic Boon for this, Boon of Immortality, page 231 of the DMG. It is your game, you can give out Epic Boons at 1st level if you want to. The fountain of youth trope has been around for a long time, it makes for a decent quest idea and it gives all the PC's in the game the opportunity to gain immortality, which would maintain game balance within the context of this campaign and does not introduce any irritating super powers outside of immunity to aging.
 
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Al2O3

Explorer
Just thought I'd let you folks know the direction his thoughts are currently leaning. He thinks he might try to make a deal with a vampire to turn him then release him.
If you want that story, then maybe let the effect become that the character becomes a Damphir (but with no ageing) rather than a full Monster Manual vampire. Could be an easy way to balance it.
 


Morbridae

First Post
Create a type of lesser undead, and name it on a cool way (Risen, Revenant, Crow, Soulless, Haunted, etc). He will basically be a thinking zombie (something like Brandon Lee's character on The Crow film), with some strenghts (mainly that he will not age) and some weaknesses (up to you).

And, talking about the system, you can:

a) Make him change his race using a whole new race, being official (I suggest using the warforged: it works very well as an undead) or not (something homebrewed).

or

b) Make him apply some modifyers to his current character that doesn't give him any real advantage or weakness. That way he will be able to keep playing. I suggest something like:

+1 Str (cost +1)
+1 Con (cost +1)
-2 Int (cost -2)
-2 Cha (cost -2)
Undead Fortitude (cost +1: If damage reduces a Zombie to 0 HP, make a Constitution Saving throw with DC = 5+damage taken, unless the damage is Radiant or from a Crit. On a success, drop to 1 HP instead).
immune poison, can’t be poisoned (cost +.5)
darkvision 60 (cost +.5)

Both ways he will be an undead, but will be able to keep playing.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Ok I have a player whose PC can't stand the thought of eventually becoming old and weak then eventually dying. He want to become an undead and live forever. I am willing to work out something with him for this. He's not sure if his character is vicious enough to sacrifice large job lots of people to become a Lich. Could get turned by a vampire then be a free agent when the creator vampire is destroyed. But the whole "burns in sunlight" thing is a serious weakness.

What other options are there and how would you handle it as a GM? We're still at the looking for ideas stage.
I'm currently running an Egyptian-esque D&D campaign and two of my players are undead.

Basically, I made it a feat that had to be taken at character creation. So either you played a variant human OR you rolled 3d6 in order for ability scores (which in my homebrew gives you a boon, one of which might be a bonus feat at character creation).

Undead (feat)
Prerequisite: Must be taken at character creation
You were returned as undead through a ritual, gaining the following benefits:
You are immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.
You don’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
You have darkvision 60 feet.
Your type is undead, meaning most healing magic doesn't work on you and you can be affected by Turn Undead. Potions of healing, for example, don't work on you – but there is embalming fluid which acts as a baseline potion of healing. See the UNDEAD IMMUNITIES & SUSCEPTIBILITIES table.

The immunities & susceptibilities is something I worked up for this particular campaign (attached as image file).

It's been really interesting. We've had scenes where being undead worked amazingly in their favor (resisting a poison water trap) and also really hindered them (undead harmed in a particular sanctified area), and some crazy Turn Undead shenanigans (I ruled the cleric is exempt from their own Turn Undead). It introduces not only a really interesting mechanical twist but also a narrative one – we have an undead PC who lost everything and is suffering amnesia in a ghul-bargain with his heart in a canopic jar, and another who is tied to aristocracy with extensive surviving family and the result of "faulty" mummifcation and a poison plot. Good times.
 

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Jmarso

Adventurer
Vampire is probably the easiest and least disruptive way to accomplish what you want. The creator vampire doesn't necessarily have to die for the PC to be a free agent. They can be let off the leash by the parent vampire.
Vampires are chaotic evil, can only adventure at night, and will almost certainly operate at cross-purposes to the greater goal of the campaign. Ergo: NPC.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Vampires are chaotic evil, can only adventure at night, and will almost certainly operate at cross-purposes to the greater goal of the campaign.
That's all fine, and were that all that was involved I'd say go ahead and play it - it's not like I've never had CE characters operating at cross-purposes to the party before. The only-adventure-at-night-or-underground could become a headache, but so be it. (I'd also allow a slightly wider alignment range for vampires - anything ending in E would do)

You missed the biggest problem with a vampire PC, however, that being unless the party is pretty high level it's going to be unbalanced as all hell; and this is coming from someone who doesn't usually care much about balance. That's why I'd just say no up front and have done with it.
 

ScuroNotte

Explorer
Ok I have a player whose PC can't stand the thought of eventually becoming old and weak then eventually dying. He want to become an undead and live forever. I am willing to work out something with him for this. He's not sure if his character is vicious enough to sacrifice large job lots of people to become a Lich. Could get turned by a vampire then be a free agent when the creator vampire is destroyed. But the whole "burns in sunlight" thing is a serious weakness.

What other options are there and how would you handle it as a GM? We're still at the looking for ideas stage.
Empire of the ghouls player's guide has undead races and subclasses.
 




Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Vampires are chaotic evil, can only adventure at night, and will almost certainly operate at cross-purposes to the greater goal of the campaign. Ergo: NPC.
There are good liches and Jander Sunstar was good for centuries. The DM can allow a good vampire into the campaign if he wants. He doesn't have to make it a disruption. The travel at night might be an issue, but there are work arounds for that as well.
 

Nefermandias

Adventurer
If the goal is to avoid getting old and dying, becoming a druid or a warlock of the Undying patron will at least help slow the process significantly. Personally, I wouldn’t allow any method to permanently escape death that wasn’t inherently evil, but that’s a personal moral stance of mine. You could always provide a non-evil path to lichdom if you wanted to,
Non evil archliches used to be a thing in previous editions.
 

Voadam

Legend
There are good liches and Jander Sunstar was good for centuries. The DM can allow a good vampire into the campaign if he wants. He doesn't have to make it a disruption. The travel at night might be an issue, but there are work arounds for that as well.
Pre-5e liches did not need to sacrifice souls to maintain their undead status and stave off demi-lich status. It was easier to be non-evil when they just existed and did not need to be doing periodic soul sacrifices.

The closest I think I have seen in 5e is the Eberron undying elven stuff.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Pre-5e liches did not need to sacrifice souls to maintain their undead status and stave off demi-lich status. It was easier to be non-evil when they just existed and did not need to be doing periodic soul sacrifices.

The closest I think I have seen in 5e is the Eberron undying elven stuff.
Sure, but the DM can easily just say that there are Baelnorn in 5e and have them not sacrifice souls. It's a literal snap of the fingers for the DM to accomplish. Really, I think it's just a matter of time before Baelnorn and/or Archliches show up in 5e officially anyway.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Thing is not all vampires gave to created the same way in a multiverse.

Nanotech vampires, virus, mystical disease, possessed. All kinds of ways, just have the use another method.
 

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