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Undead Origins

Voadam

Hero
City of Secrets: The Adventurer's Guide to Nishanpur
3.0
Cold Infant: Cold Infants are the risen remains of infants or toddlers that have passed away. They are almost all naturally occurring, as necromancers would rarely create something with so little in the way of practical use.
Delusion Witch: The Delusion Witch is a form of undead that is said to appear in cases where a deceased person feels that they have been robbed of their life through no fault of their own. This cannot be proven, however, as the being itself does not have the awareness of its own condition necessary for self-examination.
Deathgleaner: Deathgleaners are a form of Infernal-based undead, first created by a collaboration of the priesthood of Neroth with the Seekers of the Hidden Master in the catacombs under Nishanpur. As they are created using a variety of devils, roughly 50% of them are winged, and capable of flight. In constant pain due to the process of their creation, they often attack anything they encounter in a blind rage.
Deathgleaners are made from a melding of energies and intents.
Shadow Fetch: Shadow fetches are the shadows of mortal men, which have been twisted and given a life of their own.
These undead are formed of the darkest parts of the human spirit.
Living creatures successfully touched by a Shadow Fetch suffer 1d4 points of temporary Charisma damage. If the victim’s Charisma reaches 0, he falls comatose until healed. The victim’s shadow is forever altered, showing infernal traits. The victim will suffer a –2 penalty to all Charisma-based checks, except Intimidate, which instead receives a +2 bonus. When the subject dies (whenever that may occur) his shadow rises one day later as a Shadow Fetch, unless a Sarishan temple “exorcises” the incubating undead before the subject’s death.
Skeletal Beast: Create Skeletal Beast spell.
Skeletal beasts are the result of magical experimentation by Nerothian clerics and magic-users. They do not occur on their own; they must be created.
Skeletal beasts are created by combining the skeletal remains of several mindless animated creatures (skeletons or zombies); they do not have to be complete or of the same type.
Failed Deathgleaner: This one did not complete the transformation successfully.

Zombie: Killed by Dagger of Mahememnun.
Ungent of Animation.
Wight: Killed by Dagger of Mahememnun.
Ghoul: Killed by Dagger of Mahememnun.
Ghast: Killed by Dagger of Mahememnun.
Vampire: Killed by Dagger of Mahememnun.
Skeleton: Ungent of Animation

Create Skeletal Beast
Necromancy
Level: Clr 2, Death 2, Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25ft. + 5ft. / 2 levels)
Target: One or more animated corpses
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell takes one or more animated corpses (skeletons or zombies) and combines them into one large skeletal beast. The number of Hit Dice of undead that can be affected is equal to the caster’s level. The available undead may be combined into one large skeletal beast or several smaller beasts. At least 6 Hit Dice of undead are required to create a single skeletal beast, though larger and more powerful beasts may be created if more undead are used (up to a maximum of 12 Hit Dice for any single skeletal beast).
See Chapter 5: Natives of Nishanpur: for details on Skeletal Beast for the statistics of the monsters created by this spell. If more than 6 Hit Dice worth of undead are used in the creation of a single skeletal beast, then the standard advancement rules should be used to determine the resulting creature’s statistics.
The spell must be cast upon undead controlled by the caster, and the resulting skeletal beast is also controlled by the caster. The caster is still subject to the normal limitations regarding the total number of Hit Dice of undead creatures that he can control at any given time.

Dagger of Mahememnûn
This bronze ritual dagger was created by Myrantian priests of Neroth long ago. Used in rituals of mummification, the dagger served the dark priests for centuries. After the fall of the Myrantian Hegemony, the dagger fell into obscurity, entombed with the last priest who used it. About 20 years ago, the dagger was rediscovered by a band of adventurers. When the Nerothian priesthood that remained in former Myrantian lands heard of its discovery, they set out to retrieve it, by any means necessary.
The pommel of this dagger is shaped as a skull, and the hilt resembles an ancient column, inscribed with holy supplications to Mahememnûn. The crossguard is a great winged scarab, beautifully enameled. The blade is unadorned bronze.
The dagger is enchanted such that it will cut through the toughest hides, and any creature killed with the dagger is 75% likely to rise as one of the undead, without any spells or prayers being invoked for this effect. (01-24% does not rise, 25-76% Zombie, 77-88% Wight, 89-95% Ghoul, 96-99% Ghast, 00 Vampire) Furthermore, if the dagger is used in the preparation of a body for mummification, the resultant mummy will gain a 5-point increase to its inherent Damage Reduction.
Those wishing to use this dagger in the creation of undead should note that this dagger does not impart any ability to control undead upon the user. The undead created by this dagger are uncontrolled, and divine casters may attempt to turn, rebuke, or command these undead normally. The dagger provides no bonuses or penalties in this regard.
Caster Level: Unknown; Prerequisites: Unknown; Market Value: Priceless (the Myrantians would pay at least 50,000 gp to recover it, though they are far more likely to kill its possessor instead of negotiating); Weight: 1 lb.

Unguent of Animation
When used to anoint a dead body, this oil causes the corpse to animate into a skeleton or zombie. The undead creatures created by this unguent remain animated until they are destroyed. Unlike the animate dead spell, these undead are not automatically controlled by the user of the unguent, however. If the user is a cleric, she may attempt to turn, command, or rebuke the undead as normal. If they become uncontrolled, the undead will attack the nearest living beings. Each vial of unguent of animation contains enough oil to animate up to 10 Hit Dice worth of skeletons or zombies, all of which must be created from Medium-size or smaller corpses.
Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Brew Potion, animate dead; Market Value: 1,000gp; Weight: 2 lbs.
 

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Voadam

Hero
d20 Zelda
3.0
Bubble: Bubbles are the spirits of those who died violent deaths. They haunt the places where they died, blindly lashing out at anyone that gets near.
Gibdos: Ancient Hylians used to mummify their dead and inter them in large catacombs. When Ganondorf Dragmire obtained the Triforce of Power, his incredible evil energies flowed through those catacombs and infused the dead with pure evil.
Poe: Most spirits go to the afterlife, but a few lose their way. Poes are those spirits, using their lanterns to try and find the path to the great beyond.
ReDead: After sacking Hyrule Castle, Ganondorf used evil magic to reanimate the dead as guardians in Hyrule Town Market. The results of that magic are ReDeads: tall, twisted corpses that moan in endless agony.
Any living creature killed by a ReDead’s constriction rises as a ReDead in 1d4 hours.
Stalfos: Ganondorf reanimated legions of skilled warriors after his rise to power, and they are the stalfos.
 

Voadam

Hero
Dragons
3.0
Undead Dragon: All things are subject to the terrible fate of lingering between being and non-being. Even beasts as powerful as dragons cannot escape it. Dragon undead are rare, for the circumstances that create them are too maddening to ponder, but it may be that few who encounter them live to tell about it.
Skeletal Dragon: Even if one has the uncommon luck of finding enough dragon bones to make a skeleton, it takes rare and powerful magic to animate them. An evil spellcaster of exceptional ability may, however, use the equivalent of a mostly-complete skeleton of dragon bones to create an undead servant of exceptional ferocity.
A spellcaster of 18th level or higher may create an undead dragon by assembling a proper assortment of dragon bones (all must be of the same size) and casting the spell create greater undead.
Skeletal Dragon Tiny: ?
Skeletal Dragon Small: ?
Skeletal Dragon Medium: ?
Skeletal Dragon Large: ?
Skeletal Dragon Huge: ?
Skeletal Dragon Gargantuan: ?
Skeletal Dragon Colossal: ?
Skeletal Dragon Different Dragons: Formed from the bones of different dragons, whether they be of the same or various species.
Skeletal Dragon Single Dragon: Was formed exclusively from the bones of a single dragon.
Ghoul Dragon: As with other ghouls, the origin of ghoul dragons is subject to conjecture, some more reasonable than others. The popular notion that the condition of ghoulishness is punishment for committing unusual wickedness in life, such as cannibalism, may not apply to dragonkind, as dragons themselves are so much elevated above other creatures that human standards of ethics and morality seem to scarcely touch them. Furthermore, scholars find the notion that the noble dragon would ever savor the taste of another dragon’s flesh so absurd that they believe it to be unworthy of consideration.
Dragon Ghost: It may happen to any intelligent being for any of a number of reasons. Whatever the cause, it cannot rest easily in its grave, so it takes on the form of a ghost. Dragons are no exception.
Mummified Dragon: Mummified dragons are monstrous creations developed by ultra-secretive dragon cults. These cults worship evil colored dragons in general and the great Chromatic Mother foremost. They almost exclusively use mature adult or old dragons in the creation process. Younger dragons are not powerful enough to survive the process, and older wyrms are much too rare for this guardian task.
Dragon cults always investigate the deaths of evil dragons, searching out the remains whenever possible. If the body is salvageable, the cult moves it to a hidden temple or dungeon that they want to protect. The High Priests of the cult then take years to prepare the body of the deceased dragon for the ordeal. The body is drained of all fluids, and the vital organs are removed and stored in huge canopic jars as large as wine barrels. Long, elaborate cleansing rituals are required and the final ceremonies take weeks. If the Great Mother is pleased, the dragon returns from the grave to protect unholy temples or ancient dragon lairs that hold some special significance to the cult or it’s Queen.
Vampiric Dragon: As unlikely as it may seem, it does happen that a creature afflicted with vampirism occasionally gets the better of a member of dragonkind and transmit its curse to this most magnificent of creatures.

Ghoul: ?
Ghost: It may happen to any intelligent being for any of a number of reasons. Whatever the cause, it cannot rest easily in its grave, so it takes on the form of a ghost.
Vampire: ?
Vampire Spawn: ?
Undead: Once the alarm has been triggered, the dragon can cast arcane eye or clairvoyance to spot the adventurers and then raise the corpses of previous intruders with animate dead or its more powerful variants, create undead and create greater undead.
Dracolich: Dragon egg yolks can also be used for various unpleasant necromantic rituals, such as the creation of a dracolich, but this will gain the attention of every dragon with any sorcery levels for dozens of miles around.
Nightshade: ?
Wraith: ?
Zombie: ?
 

Voadam

Hero
Dungeons
3.0
Lich, Undead Sorcerer: ?
Achilara, Lich Wizard: ?
Hungry Waters: Hungry waters may come into being wherever someone has drowned; in certain cases, the spirit of the dead may infest the area, causing the water to become a deathtrap for the unwary swimmer. The very waters become the new body of the angry spirit, which is continually seeking to bring new souls to share its eternal torment. With each drowning victim, the area grows more deadly.
Ulri Halforcsson, Vampire Fighter 10: The preparation of the tomb wasn’t entirely motivated by love for Lord Haforcsson. The Trygvi knew that Ulri had made unholy pacts during his lifetime, trading his life after death for power in this world.

Undead: Natural hazards, of course, can easily be replaced by some very unnatural ones. Hexes, curses and unholy ground are examples of dark magic which may plague a dungeon, adding a whole new level of danger to an already challenging environment. Imagine a labyrinth where all monsters (or PCs) that are slain rise immediately as undead.
Banshee: ?
Zombie: Zombies don’t just pop up and start munching brains whenever somebody gets buried: otherwise cremation would be universal. They need a reason to rise from the grave.
Skeleton: ?
Spectre: Occasionally, one of the spirits of the failed adventurers would return as a spectre or ghost, tied to the arena in which they died.
Ghost: Occasionally, one of the spirits of the failed adventurers would return as a spectre or ghost, tied to the arena in which they died.
Wight: The four thanes have been transformed into wights by the dark energy of Ulri.
Vampire Spawn: ?
Ghoul: ?
Ghast: ?
Lich: ?
Vampire: ?
 
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Voadam

Hero
Empire
3.0
Ghoul Pack: ?
Skeleton Legion: ?
Zombie Soldier: ?

Zombie: Greater Animate Dead spell.
Skeleton: Greater Animate Dead spell.
Ghoul: ?
Mummy: ?
Lich: ?

GREATER ANIMATE DEAD
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Clr 5, Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Targets: One or more corpses touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
As per animate dead, except with the following restrictions and expansion. You may not animate corpses larger than Medium-size with this spell. Each casting of greater animate dead can produce up to twice your caster level in HD worth of undead. There is no limit on the number of undead you may control, allowing you to raise entire armies of the walking dead.
Material Component: You must place a gem worth 100 gp in the mouth or eye socket of a corpse to be animated with this spell. The gem is rendered into worthless ash once the spell is complete.
 

Voadam

Hero
Gods
3.0
Bonidin the Mournbearer: Another ancestor, Bonidin, has recently earned a large following for himself. Bonidin was the whelp of his litter, and his tribe abandoned him at birth to die. In the coming decade, each member of the tribe fell to an unusual madness, losing first their will to fight, then their hatred, and finally their will to live. At last, the cleric of the tribe, Ular, sought out the cause of the malady and encountered the vengeful spirit of the child Bonidin in his dreams.

Undead: Bonidin’s cult has presented those rare religious gnolls with a puzzle; until his return, gnollish undead were rare, and none were ever intelligent. The gnolls know of undead, and have fought against or along side them, the latter occurring in the rare instances of gnollish mercenaries working for necromancers. Historically, however, they have always equated undead as ancestors whose kin have all died.
Ghost: It is said these are the ghosts of those slain by wearers of the The Black Armor, somehow bound to the armor for eternity.
Lich: ?

The Black Armor
This ogre-sized suit of full plate is said to be the armor worn by Zohl'Nahk himself during the great ogre wars of antiquity. The shoulders and arm pieces of this full plate bristle with 8-inch spikes. The entire suit is coal black, with a strange, dull luster. Anyone who looks closely at the breastplate sees shapes and movement within the steel, like shifting howling faces and drifting hands. It is said these are the ghosts of those slain by wearers of the armor, somehow bound to the armor for eternity. The style of the armor is rough and primitive and exudes an air of antiquity. Hundreds of battle-scars crisscross the black, lustrous surface, but the armor’s integrity is undiminished.
This armor can only be worn by ogres with a Strength of 23 or higher, since it is proportioned to fit only a large ogre’s physique. The armor acts as +5 ghost touch full plate, granting the wearer a total +13 armor bonus. The armor also has a strong anti-magic aura that provides a spell resistance of 20. Zohl’Nahk's own power courses through the steel and rivets, giving the wearer a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength. Three times per day, the wearer can order the spirits of the armor to shriek their agony, creating a sound burst, as per the spell. So renowned is this armor among evil races, that any individual wearing it gains +3 to their Leadership score. If they do not have the Leadership feat, they gain it for as long as they wear the armor.
The armor is intelligent, and allows itself to be used only by the most depraved and ambitious individuals. The armor's purpose is to subjugate all lesser races for the glory of Zohl'Nahk. It speaks Giant, Orc, Goblin, and Common, and grants the wearer the ability to speak those languages as well. It can communicate telepathically with its wearer. Its abilities are Intelligence 16, Wisdom 20, Charisma 14, and Ego 32. This armor is pure lawful evil; any creature that dons the armor and is not lawful evil loses four levels until the armor is removed, at which time he suffers 4d6 damage.
Weight: 150 lb.
 

Voadam

Hero
Guilds and Adventurers
3.0
Mossborn: While slowly escalating their subversive efforts against the Arrowhead Order and its allies, the Polyp sought a weapon that would turn the tide of battle. As a fusion of flesh and fiber, the mossborn is both plant and undead, making it extremely difficult to be turned by either druid or cleric.

Undead: ?
Ghost: These beings remain in the material plane by force of personality, hatred, revenge or sorrow.
Specter: These beings remain in the material plane by force of personality, hatred, revenge or sorrow.
 

Voadam

Hero
Magic
3.0
Spelcius, Lich: ?
Ulis Reprand, Lich: ?

Vampire: ?
Ghoul: ?
Ghast: ?
Ghost: Should a soul-infused magical item be destroyed before its last use, the soul is freed. The soul is fully aware the entire time (albeit powerless) and simply freeing it may unleash a ghost, spectre, or wraith, as the lengthy imprisonment may drive the soul to madness.
Spectre: Should a soul-infused magical item be destroyed before its last use, the soul is freed. The soul is fully aware the entire time (albeit powerless) and simply freeing it may unleash a ghost, spectre, or wraith, as the lengthy imprisonment may drive the soul to madness.
Wraith: Should a soul-infused magical item be destroyed before its last use, the soul is freed. The soul is fully aware the entire time (albeit powerless) and simply freeing it may unleash a ghost, spectre, or wraith, as the lengthy imprisonment may drive the soul to madness.
Lich: At the GM’s discretion, individual copies of Spirit Made Flesh may also have detailed texts including both common and new necromantic spells, the ritual for becoming a lich or other assorted surprises.
Ultimately, each copy of Spirit Made Flesh strives to escape the confines of its pages. Should a single copy ever laid claim to 101 living souls at a single time, the book immediately takes all the souls, consuming them in the process. The souls are lost forever, even to a miracle or wish, as they are now utterly indistinguishable from the spirit of the book. The book itself is transformed, gaining either the lich (if a spellcaster) or vampire (if not) template as characters of their original level.
Vampire: Ultimately, each copy of Spirit Made Flesh strives to escape the confines of its pages. Should a single copy ever lay claim to 101 living souls at a single time, the book immediately takes all the souls, consuming them in the process. The souls are lost forever, even to a miracle or wish, as they are now utterly indistinguishable from the spirit of the book. The book itself is transformed, gaining either the lich (if a spellcaster) or vampire (if not) template as characters of their original level.
Wight: ?
 

Voadam

Hero
Mercenaries
3.0
Uzuzar Acarra the Emperor Lich: ?

Zombie: ?
Skeleton: ?
Spectre: ?
Ghost: ?
Ghoul: There is also a 1 in 10 chance that a character who dies while suffering from ghoul paste paralysis rises as a ghoul in 1d4 days unless someone casts a protection from evil spell on his body.
Lich: ?
Vampire: ?

Ghoul Paste: A foul concoction of Alchemy (DC 25) and the undead, this thick paste activates when smeared into an open wound (such as when cutting with a blade covered in the paste). On a successful delivery, the victim must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 14) or be paralyzed for ld6+2 minutes. There is also a 1 in 10 chance that a character who dies while suffering from this paralysis
rises as a ghoul in 1d4 days unless someone casts a protection from evil spell on his body.
Smeared on a blade, ghoul paste lasts for 1d3 attacks or 1d10 minutes (whichever comes first) before becoming useless. Blades used in such a manner become yellow and tarnished, and easily recognized by alchemists (DC 20, -1 for every paste applied).
 
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Voadam

Hero
Nightmares & Dreams II
3.0
Assembled: An Assembled is a zombie that was constructed by sewing the parts of several different bodies together to form one large, misshapened creature. They are grossly disfigured and, oftentimes, have two heads or three arms, a sight that chills most unprepared souls.
The coroner looked at the body parts that lay upon his table. The parts belonged to three different people and had been found in several trash bags along the side of the interstate. It was his job to make sure he correctly identified what parts belonged to the same person. He adjusted his gloves, grabbed the closest one, which happened to be an arm, and began his grisly task. After nine hours of mixing and matching, he was able to separate the parts, or at least he thought so. He went home, took a shower, and went to bed. Several hours of tossing and turning finally gave way to a restless sleep filled with horrible dreams. In the dreams he was trying to separate the parts, but couldn't tell where they belonged. As far as his training told him, all the parts came from the same body. He assembled the horrid figure then stepped back to look at it. It had three legs, four arms, and two heads. The dream didn't stop there. As the coroner turned his back to remove his gloves and wash his hands, the gruesome creature rose from the table, its parts now fully attached.
Undead Assemblage spell.
Breas: When a fey warrior binds itself to an area, it becomes an undead guardian known as a Breas. Breas undergo the change to undeath willingly, forsaking all others and their natural ways of life in the woods to become an eternal guardian of nature's law and forbidden places.
Carrion Bird: Carrion birds are unique types of undead that are created out of the lifeless bodies of crows, ravens, or other similar black birds. It has been heard of for other small birds to be turned into carrion birds, but that is an extremely rare occurrence. They appear as they did in life, except when they are created their eyes rapidly decay into dust leaving two, empty sockets.
Create Carrion Bird spell.
Chupacabra: "Chupacabra" is a template that can be added to any animal or beast-type creature.
Pony Chupacabra: ?
Dire Wolf Chupacabra: ?
Deadwood Tree: Deadwoods are the animated remains of large, dried out trees.
Create Deadwood spell.
Exoskeleton: Exoskeletons are the animated remains of various insect-like creatures. These creatures lack an internal skeleton; their skeleton instead lies on the outside of their body.
Exoskeleton is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature that has an exoskeleton. Examples of creatures that can be animated as exoskeletons are: ankhegs, beetles, chuul, lobsters, spiders, and umberhulks.
Animate Exoskeleton spell.
Ankheg Exoskeleton: ?
Frostbitten: Frostbitten are zombies that were created using the bodies of people that died as a result of exposure to cold weather.
The creation of a Frostbitten requires the body of someone who has died as a result of exposure to some form of freezing weather or cold-based attack. The spellcaster wanting to create the zombie must then cast a permanency spell upon the body, so that it will retain its frigid nature. The zombie can then be raised as normal by an animate dead spell. The body must be kept in a semi-frozen state until the time it is going to be animated.
Grave Born: In several Eastern European cultures, it was taboo for a pregnant woman to step over a grave. It was believed that the unborn child was particularly vulnerable to possession by the restless spirits of the dead, beings driven mad from being trapped in the darkness of coffins. Many myths and legends contain more than a fragment of truth in them. In this case, the superstitious belief was well founded, because the grave born are very real.
A grave born is created exactly as the myth suggests. The crazed spirit of the deceased partially possesses the unborn child, creating an unstable mind and corrupting it with evil. The child can live out a relatively normal life at first, but schizophrenia and other mental illnesses begin to emerge as it develops. As well, a lust for blood and dark fascinations emerge early, often as early as infancy. The sole purpose of the grave born is to never return to the cold, dark, nothingness of death and to live a life of unrelenting and debased pleasure (this includes drink, dark carnal pleasures, thievery, torture, and other unholy delights). One would be hard pressed to find a more reprehensible fiend. Since the possession is only partial, a grave born does not remember the entirety of its past life. Mere fragments of memories and skills remain. In fact, the possession is more of a corruption than a complete domination. It mutates the child into an entity of evil, but the spirit of the deceased is not in control. Rather, the spirit acts as an impulse that drives the child on, prompting him or her to rapacious and callous behavior.
Dracul Lord of Vampires: ?
Grotesque Devourer: This is a "naturally" occurring undead, a severe punishment for the greedy and gluttonous after they die. If one's vices eventually lead to death, there is a good chance that one night, not long after burial, the gravesite will explode revealing a very hungry monster.
Mossborn: It requires a couple of days of preparation to create a mossborn. The spellcaster must first go out and collect seeds from the proper plants. These plants can only be found in the darkest of swamps. In order to properly collect and identify the plants, the spellcaster must make a Profession: Herbalist skill check (DC 20). These seeds must then be planted in the bodies of the dead and allowed to grow for several days. Once the moss and vines have completely covered the bodies, they may be raised as normal by the spell animate dead to become a mossborn. It is important to note that while the spellcaster may have control of the mossborn itself, he does not have control of the plants.
Putredryad: A putredryad is created when the oak tree that a dryad is connected to is destroyed by an unnatural event. When this occurs, the dryad's body begins to decay and it enters a state of undeath.
Rusalka: Rusalka haunt bodies of water and forests near where they met their demise, which is always of a violent nature. Many (50%) were slain or sacrificed to some unknown evil. Others died by mishap and are restless in death.
Spectral Boarder: The pained spirits of the past victims of the squall.
Spectral Boarder Zombie: The pained spirits of the past victims of the squall.
Spectral Boarder Drowned: The pained spirits of the past victims of the squall.
Zombie: Zombies are shambling corpses animated through dark magic to perform some task for their creator. Most are created out of the bodies of humanoid creatures, but sometimes other creatures are animated.
"Zombie" is a template that can be added to any living non-ooze, non-plant creature.
Arcane Zombie: These zombies are created out of the bodies of wizards and sorcerers.
Assembled Zombie: These zombies are created by sewing the parts of several similar creatures together to form one large, misshapen zombie. At least five separate bodies of the same type of creature must be used. They are grossly disfigured and often have two heads or four arms.
Burned Zombie: These zombies are created out of the corpses of creatures that died as a result of fire-based attacks.
Diseased Zombie: These zombies are created out of the infected corpses of creatures that died as a result of a disease.
Divine Zombie: These zombies are created out of the bodies of priests and paladins.
Drowned Zombie: These zombies are created out of the corpses of creatures that drowned.
Frost Zombie: These zombies are created out of the bodies of creatures that died as a result of cold-based attacks.
Diseased Zombie Dog: ?

Zombie: ?
Skeleton: ?

Animate Exoskeleton
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Cir 5, Death 5, Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Targets: One or more corpses touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell allows the caster to animate the remains of a creature that lacks a true skeleton, and instead, possesses an exoskeleton. When this spell ls cast upon the creature, all of its fleshy tissue dries up into a fine powder and Is usually expelled from the creature's body when it moves around. All that remains of the creature is a hard chitinous exoskeleton. Exoskeletons created this way will follow basic commands given by the caster such as follow, attack, or guard. Exoskeletons will stay animated until destroyed, and are considered to be undead. The caster cannot create more exoskeletons than he has levels with a single casting of animate exoskeleton. The caster can only control 2HD worth of exoskeletons per level; any he cannot control become uncontrolled. See the template above for stats on exoskeletons. Some examples of creatures that can be animated with this spell are: ankhegs, chuul, formian, spiders, and any other types of arthropods.
Material Components: Powdered bone must be sprinkled over the corpse, and a black onyx gem worth at least 50 gp must be placed In the mouth of each corpse. The magic of the spell turns these gems Into worthless, burnt out shells.

Create Carrion Bird
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: One corpse
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell allows the caster to create a carrion crow. The spell requires the body of a crow or some other similar black bird that has died, without receiving any physical) trauma. The most common way that this is achieved is usually by feeding the bird poisoned meat. Only one carrion crow can be created with this spell. Statistics for carrion crows can be found in the monster section of this book.
Material Components: This spell requires the tongue of an evil spellcaster and a black onyx gem worth at least 1000 gp. Both the tongue and gem must be placed inside the bird's beak. The magic of this spell destroys both tongue and gem.

Create Deadwood
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Cleric 6, Death 6, Sor/Wiz 8
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Targets: One tree
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
The caster can animate the remains of a dead tree. Once animated, the tree becomes a deadwood and follows all rules pertaining to them. All deadwoods start with 10 HD and gain 1 HD per five caster levels. For example, a deadwood created by a 10th-level wizard will have 12 HD, 10 base then 2 because the caster is 10th level. A deadwood can be given simple commands, such as those given to skeletons and zombies. The spellcaster can control one deadwood for every 5 caster levels.
Material Components: This spell requires the ashes of any undead-type creature and an emerald worth at least 500 gp. The ashes must be sprinkled around the base of the tree, and the emerald must be placed inside the center of the tree's trunk. Once this spell is cast, the tree absorbs the ashes and the emerald becomes a worthless shell.

Undead Assemblage
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Clr 5, Death 5, Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Targets: One corpse touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell allows a spellcaster to create an Assembled. Before this spell can be cast, the body must be prepared as follows. First, the spellcaster must have at least five bodies from which to harvest parts from. Second, the spellcaster must stitch together all of the different parts he wishes to use. To successfully stitch an Assembled's corpse together requires a Craft: (Leatherworking) or Heal skill check (DC 13). Once the Assembled has been put together, it may be animated with this spell. Only one Assembled is created per casting. The newly animated Assembled has all of the stats and abilities, as the one described above, with the exception of hit dice. An Assembled gets 1 hit die per level of the spellcaster up to a maximum of 15. The caster can control one Assembled for every full 5 levels he has attained as a spellcaster.
The material component for this spell is an onyx gem worth at least 1,000 gp. The gem must be placed in the chest cavity of the Assembled. Once this spell is cast, the gem becomes a worthless shell.
 

Voadam

Hero
Relics
3.0
Undead Assassin Vine: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
Undead Treant: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
Eskil: The nightmare catcher is the creation of the skald Eskil, whom history remembers as the Betrayer of Antlon. On that bloody battlefield, while his family and friends lay dying, Eskil was cursed by his fiancee. with her last breath, she called upon the gods to deliver great vengeance upon him.
They stripped Eskil of his soul and cursed him to wear an undead shell until the end of time. Worse, his passion and talent were shorn away, his capacity to feel love and sadness, pain and pleasure burned out in an instant. Bereft of everything save bitterness, Eskil retreated to the underearth catacombs to plot vengeance.
Hrunting, Ghost Cleric 12: All summer long, the sun god and Hrunting toiled, slowly grinding stars into a single, flawless lens. When winter came, Hrunting returned to his people and used the light of a single candle to burn away dozens of ghouls. When a chieftain demanded ownership of the lens, Hrunting murdered him. In the scuffle, Hrunting dropped and shattered the lens, and subsequently walked into a blizzard rather than live with the shame.

Vampire: Any who die while wielding one of the devil’s teeth rises as a vampire (or ghost, if the body was absolutely destroyed) in 1d4 rounds.
Ghost: Any who die while wielding one of the devil’s teeth rises as a vampire (or ghost, if the body was absolutely destroyed) in 1d4 rounds.
Skeleton: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
Zombie: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
Ghoul: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
Ghast: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
Undead: The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.

THE HEART OF DARKNESS
The Heart of Darkness is the actual stone heart of the long-dead god Igtharka. Igtharka was an insane god of chaos, committed to nothing less than the complete destruction of the universe. The leader of his pantheon, Igtharka inevitably caused a conflict with the collective gods of light.
A mighty battle raged. When the seven great deities of sacred light defeated Igtharka, his followers retrieved his corpse before it could be destroyed. They carefully mummified and preserved Igtharka’s corporeal remains and sealed them into a huge sarcophagus with their most powerful spells. Then they transported it to the Astral.
Igtharka’s corpse is entombed in a gigantic sarcophagus. His mummy lays within, arms folded across his chest, with a massive gold mask covering his face.
The Heart of Darkness looks like a black pearl the size of a human head. Strange vein-like filaments hang from it. If placed on a surface, it levitates one foot above it and slowly rotates. To activate the Heart of Darkness, the wielder must grip it tightly and squeeze. When its powers are in effect, it feels warm to the touch and pulses to a slow beat.
The heart of darkness animates all corpses in a 100-foot radius. Everything that was once living is animated, depending on the dead material available, including earthworms, sentient plants, birds, and insects. The wielder can animate humanoid corpses as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts. Dead plants are animated as undead assassin vines and trees as undead treants. Creatures without bones are animated as zombies. Apply an appropriate undead template to creatures, or simply use their standard game statistics but replace their creature types with undead.
All living creatures except the wielder in the radius of the heart of darkness have their life force drained. Creatures of lower level than the wielder must make a Fortitude save (DC 30) or lose Id6 Con per round. Should a creature die, subsequent use of the heart of darkness will animate the corpse.
All undead within a 100-foot radius of the heart receive fast healing 3 so long as their hit point total is 1 point or more. At will, the wielder can command them as an evil cleric of equivalent level.
The life draining power of the heart of darkness is so powerful that it negates all healing in its area of effect. All cure spells, heal, healing circle, mass heal, regenerate, resurrection, and true resurrection automatically fail. The caster loses the spell slot as if the spell has been cast.
If the wielder spins the heart in a counter-clockwise direction, it can call undead to it. All undead within 10 miles must make a will save (DC 30) or come shambling to its call.
If the wielder spins the heart in a clockwise direction, it repulses all undead away from it, creating a barrier 500 feet in radius around the wielder. Undead are not allowed a save against this effect. They cannot enter the area and, if within it, must immediately move to escape it. If confronted with an impassable obstacle as they move to escape the area, the undead may stand in place. Treat these creatures as if they were successfully turned.
Caster Level: 20th; Weight: 5 lb.
 

Voadam

Hero
The Council's Encyclopedia of Lifeforms Mundane and Magical Version 004 A-G
3.0
Agarat: Because they lack the ability to create spawn, it is thought that agarats exist only as deliberately created creatures (by high-level necromancers or priests, or perhaps cursed by the gods themselves). Their origin is as yet unknown.
Apparition: A creature slain by an apparition will rise in 1d4 hours as an apparition.
Banshee: The banshee is the undead spirit of an evil female elf.
Bog Mummy: Wherever a spark of unlife or negative energy touches a corpse naturally preserved by swamp mud, the result is a bog mummy.
In the Great Swamp, the Witch of the Fens, Thingizzard, provides the spark of negative energy needed to create bog mummies.
Any humanoid that dies from bog rot becomes a bog mummy in 1d4 days unless a remove disease is cast (within one day after death) or the creature is brought back to life (raise dead is ineffective, but resurrection or true resurrection works).
Great Swamp Bog Mummy: A character slain by the Great Swamp Bog Rot disease rises as a Great Swamp bog mummy.
Chimera Undead: ?
Coffer Corpse: The coffer corpse is an undead creature seeking its final rest. They are most often found in stranded funeral barges and the like.
Crypt Guardian: Animate Crypt Guardian spell.
Crypt Thing: Create Crypt Thing spell.
Variant Crypt Thing: ?
Demilich: The demilich (the name is a misnomer, for it is not a lesser form of a lich, but the waning soul of a lich, centuries old) appears as nothing more than a human (or humanoid skull), dust, and a few bones.
Grey Philosopher: A grey philosopher is the manifestation of an evil cleric who died with important philosophical deliberations unresolved in his mind. Unlike allips (q.v.), they have not been driven insane; instead, they spend their entire unlife endlessly pondering these weighty matters, so involved that they ignore everything around them.

Undead: Orcus is known as the Prince of the Undead, for it is said in secret that he alone invented the first undead that walked the worlds.
Skeleton: ?
Zombie: ?
Ghoul: ?
Ghast: ?
Shadow: ?
Wight: ?
Spectre: ?
Wraith: ?
Allip: ?

Animate Crypt Guardian
Necromancy
Level: Clr 4, Death 4, Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S, M
Casting time: 5 minutes/HD of undead created
Range: Touch
Targets: One giant sized corpse
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell turns the corpses of giants into undead crypt guardians that will guard one tomb, grave, crypt or other structure indefinitely. While a crypt guardian can be commanded to guard any area 10-foot radius per caster level, a grave-like settings is often most appropriate. Once created, a crypt guardian will do everything within its power to prevent the passage of living creatures into the area the guardian was created to guard; only the guardian’s creator can enter the area in question without provoking the undead warrior. As the crypt guardian is not under direct control of its creator, it does not count against the total number of undead the creator can control. Further, the HD of the crypt guardian created cannot exceed that of the caster’s level.
A crypt guardian can be created only from a mostly intact corpse or skeleton of a giant. If a crypt guardian is made from a corpse, the flesh rots from the bones over the next 2d6 weeks. A crypt guardian remembers nothing from its life including skills and abilities and depends solely on those granted during its creation. The creator of the crypt guardian must also be able to cast or read from a scroll the spells faerie fire, blind, invisibility, see invisibility, and wall of force at the time the crypt guardian is created The great scythe (or other weapon) the crypt guardian wields must be present at the time the guardian is created or it will always prefer to attack with its claws. A great scythe costs 50gp to have crafted. Material Component (for Crypt Guardian): Black pearl gems worth at least 100gp/HD of undead created and 2 rubies worth 500gp each. The gems are placed inside the mouth of the corpse and the rubies in its eye sockets. Once animated into a crypt thing, the pearls are destroyed but the rubies remain in its eye sockets and become the focus of the crypt guardian’s undeath.

Create Crypt Thing
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Clr 7, Death 8, Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Close (25 ft. +5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One corpse
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You may create a crypt thing with this spell. This spell must be cast in the tomb, grave, or corpse that the crypt thing is assigned to protect. A crypt thing can be created only from a mostly intact corpse or skeleton. The corpse must have bones (so no oozes, worms, or the like). If a crypt thing is made from a corpse, the flesh falls from the bones. The statistics for the crypt thing depend on its size; they do not depend on what abilities the creature may have had while alive. Only one crypt thing is created with this spell and it will remain in the tomb where it was created until destroyed. Material Component (for Crypt Thing): A black pearl gem worth at least 300 gp. The gem is placed inside the mouth of the corpse. Once animated into a crypt thing, the gem is destroyed.

Bog Rot (Su): Supernatural disease—slam, Fortitude save (DC 20), incubation period 1 day; damage 1d6 temporary from Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma (determine randomly using 1d4), secondary damage 1d6 temporary from the same ability score. Creatures afflicted with bog rot do not heal naturally and gain one-half benefit from magical healing until the disease is cured. Unlike normal diseases, bog rot continues until the victim reaches Constitution 0 (and dies) or receives a remove disease spell or similar magic.

Great Swamp Bog Rot (Su): Supernatural disease—slam, Fortitude save (DC 20), incubation period 1 hour; damage 1d2 temporary from Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma (determine randomly using 1d4), secondary damage 1d2 temporary from the same ability score. Creatures afflicted with Great Swamp bog rot do not heal naturally and gain one-half benefit from magical healing. Unlike normal diseases, Great Swamp bog rot continues until the victim reaches Constitution 0 (and dies) or receives a remove disease spell or similar magic.
 

Voadam

Hero
The Council's Encyclopedia of Lifeforms Mundane and Magical Version 004 H-Z
3.0
Huecuva: Huecuva are the remains of clerics who were unfaithful to their vows and turned to evil. As such they are condemned to eternal unlife.
Hungry Waters: Hungry waters may come into being wherever someone has drowned; in certain cases, the spirit of the dead may infest the area, causing the water to become a deathtrap for the unwary swimmer. The very waters become the new body of the angry spirit, which is continually seeking to bring new souls to share its eternal torment. With each such drowning victim, the area grows more deadly.
Ixitxachitl Vampiric: ?
Ixitxachitl Greater Vampiric: They can only achieve this status by being bitten by an existing greater vampiric ixitxachitl.
Jalie Squarefoot, The Lich Fiend: ?
Malice: A malice is an incarnation of pure spite and wickedness, created by a Grey Philosopher.
During their centuries of pondering, a grey philosopher's evil thoughts take on a partly real form, creating "malices," small incarnations of pure spite and wickedness.
Odic: An odic is an evil, undead spirit inhabiting the body of a plant.
Telekon: The Telekon is a type of wraith-like guardian undead created centuries or even millennia ago. The identity of the creators is unknown, and the process is long lost. However, it is known that they were created from human slaves with psychic ability, through a cruel and torturous procedure of enchantment and magical binding
Thoul: Thouls are a fascinating artificial crossbreed of ghoul, hobgoblin, and troll.
It is not known where thouls were first created, though they now seem to be fairly well spread throughout the world. Fortunately, their peculiar spawning methods make them a menace that does not grow in numbers rapidly.
Wyrd: It is rumored that Wyrds are a plague sent among the elves by their gods. Legends disagree on the purpose of this plague - some say it is to punish them for ancient treachery, others say it is to teach them humility, and still others proclaim that is the elvish destiny to slay (or be slain by) all Wyrds in order to prove themselves worthy of the blessing of the gods.
Since groups of elves slain by a wyrd rise as wyrds themselves, the failure of an elven group makes the problem much worse.
Any creature with elven blood slain by a wyrd rises in 1d4 days as an independent wyrd. Casting a dispel evil or remove curse spell on the body within this time period prevents this transformation. Creatures lacking elven blood killed by a wyrd do not rise as spawn.
Death Knight: A death knight is a horrific form of a lich created by a demon prince (it is thought Demogorgon) from a fallen paladin or favored blackguard.
“Death Knight” is a template that can be added to any humanoid paladin (fallen) or blackguard of at least 9th level.
Death Knight Paladin 9: ?
Dracolich: The dracolich is the undead form of a powerful and evil dragon. Legends say that a mystical cult engendered the first dracolich.
“Dracolich” is a template that can be added to any dragon creature.
Penanggalan: Penanggalan is a template that can be added to any female humanoid creature.
A female victim will rise from the grave in three days as a penanggalan, as a free–willed undead. Should an attempt to raise the victim succeed, the victim will be unable to do anything other than rest for a week, after which all damage done by the penanggalan is healed. Failure means that no further attempt can be made; the process by which the victim becomes a penanggalan is then inexorable. If a penanggalan kills a male victim, he does not return as undead.
Penanggalan Human Fighter 4: ?
Skeleton Warrior: The skeleton warrior is a lich-like undead lord that was once a powerful fighter of at least 10th-level. Legends tell that the skeleton warriors were forced into their undead lich-like stat many ages ago by a powerful demi-god who trapped each of their souls in a golden circlet.
“Skeleton Warrior” is a template that can be added to any humanoid creature.
When a fighter is transformed into a skeleton warrior his soul is trapped in a golden circlet.
Skeleton Warrior Human Fighter 12: ?
Zombie Template: Zombies are corpses reanimated through dark and sinister magic.
"Zombie" is a template that can be added to any non-undead corporeal creature that has a skeletal system.
Zombie Wolf: ?

Lich: ?
 
Last edited:

Voadam

Hero
The Quintessential Witch
3.0
Improved Zombie: Created by witch doctors of foul purpose, improved zombies are constructed out of the corpses of the innocent and pure. The witch doctor binds a wicked spirit into the husk of the former person which then animates it to commit unthinkable atrocities.
Witch Doctor prestige class Improved Zombie power.

Improved Zombie (Sp): Zombies created by the animate zombie ability or the animate dead spell are improved due to the close connection to the spirit world had by the witch doctor. Only medium zombies can be created. Furthermore, each zombie requires 500XP to create, as the binding of the evil spirit into a corpse is draining. Otherwise, zombies created thusly suffer all of the same restrictions defined by the aforementioned spell and ability.
 
Last edited:

doghead

thotd
Voadam

This is some serious dedication to the undead.

I think that in a universe where it is possible, the use of undead as soldiers/warriors would happen. Perhaps it would even be considered a honour to be raised as such. To serve as such. A weird form of ancestor worship?

Do you have a favourite?

thotd
 

Voadam

Hero
Unveiled Masters: The Essential Guide to Mind Flayers
3.0
Lich Mindflayer: Only the most dedicated and powerful illeth sorcerers and wizards have the capabilities to become liches, and the willingness to consider such a plan. Generally, the preparations for the transition to lichdom are conducted in secret, lest others in the illeth community attempt to put a stop to them. While crafting its phylactery, the would-be lich remains isolated (which in itself may raise suspicions).
Technically, mind flayers cannot become liches or vampires, since those templates can only be applied to humanoid or monstrous humanoid creatures, whereas mind flayers are aberrations. The material in this book assumes that mind flayers are close enough to humanoid that they can become intelligent undead like liches or vampires. If the GM prefers that this is not the case, ignore the material about undead mind flayers and assume that they cannot become undead. Alternately, it may be that mind flayers don't normally become undead, but that they can through mysterious and arcane rituals, requiring considerable research and difficult to find material components (some of which may require the cooperation of pawns on the surface world).
Vampire Mind Flayer: All it takes is for one vampire to slay a mind flayer for an illeth vampire to rise up and begin stalking its own kind.
Technically, mind flayers cannot become liches or vampires, since those templates can only be applied to humanoid or monstrous humanoid creatures, whereas mind flayers are aberrations. The material in this book assumes that mind flayers are close enough to humanoid that they can become intelligent undead like liches or vampires. If the GM prefers that this is not the case, ignore the material about undead mind flayers and assume that they cannot become undead. Alternately, it may be that mind flayers don't normally become undead, but that they can through mysterious and arcane rituals, requiring considerable research and difficult to find material components (some of which may require the cooperation of pawns on the surface world).

Shadow: Umbraleth are often found in the company of other creatures of shadow, such as undead shadows and nightshades, which they can create and command using their magical arts.
Nightshade: Umbraleth are often found in the company of other creatures of shadow, such as undead shadows and nightshades, which they can create and command using their magical arts.
Incorporeal Undead: Incorporeal undead (such as ghosts, spectres, and wraiths) are less common, since the forsaken rarely seek that state. They do arise spontaneously at times, particularly when a strong-willed forsaken is killed unexpectedly or violently.
Ghost: Incorporeal undead (such as ghosts, spectres, and wraiths) are less common, since the forsaken rarely seek that state. They do arise spontaneously at times, particularly when a strong-willed forsaken is killed unexpectedly or violently.
Spectre: Incorporeal undead (such as ghosts, spectres, and wraiths) are less common, since the forsaken rarely seek that state. They do arise spontaneously at times, particularly when a strong-willed forsaken is killed unexpectedly or violently.
Wraith: Incorporeal undead (such as ghosts, spectres, and wraiths) are less common, since the forsaken rarely seek that state. They do arise spontaneously at times, particularly when a strong-willed forsaken is killed unexpectedly or violently.
 

Voadam

Hero
Voadam

This is some serious dedication to the undead.

I think that in a universe where it is possible, the use of undead as soldiers/warriors would happen. Perhaps it would even be considered a honour to be raised as such. To serve as such. A weird form of ancestor worship?

Do you have a favourite?

thotd

I favor the origins based on the characteristics of death or the after death consequences of actions committed while living. Ghouls resulting from those who committed cannibalism or the radiant spirit that arises in Ravenloft after a paladin died before completing an important quest.

In my own games' cosmologies these conditions are not guarantees of rising as undead, usually it requires something more like a cursed area, a conjunction with the shadowfell, or a concentration of negative energy. The conditions guide how the undead manifests and provide lots of evocative story material to work with in games.

Spawning undead and magical creation have their story uses as well, but I like the circumstance-specific explanations best.
 


Voadam

Hero
Weird War Two d20: Afrika Korpse
3.0
Corpse Mine: Blood mages reanimate the dead—particularly those with their legs blown off—strap salvaged helmets, metal plates, even cookware to their bodies, and bury them just beneath the desert floor. The corpses become aware when they sense a life-force nearby, burrow up through the sand, and attack.
They were Himmler’s people, dabbling in the occult, indeed doing unspeakable things with corpses. They used arcane ceremonies to turn the dead into mindless zombies, living land mines, and other horrors. He’d seen it only because he had to, and so he’d know what to steer his regular troops away from. Rommel knew they’d turn these bodies into undead abominations: things that shambled across battlefields, absorbing machinegun fire as they advanced unfeelingly toward the enemy, or buried corpses packed with explosives, clawing up through the sand when they sensed a British patrol above.
Ghul: Various legends claim they rise from the unburied bodies of murderers, torturers, and the perpetrators of unspeakable crimes.
Sand-Rot Mummy: Sand-rot mummies rise from dunes where the blood of the slain and the hot desert transform corpses into shambling bodies filled with rage against the living.
For centuries the cultures inhabiting the arid desert preserved their dead by removing the moisture and decomposing elements of the body. The Saharan sands naturally desiccate anything containing moisture left buried there for any length of time. For those killed in the dunes or buried in great sandy patches their anger and fear at their death imbues their blood with energy that transforms the sand and later empowers their broken bodies.
The sand absorbs the blood, bodily fluids, and spiritual energy, desiccating the body and mutating it into a ghastly shadow of the human it used to be. The sand not only dries out the corpse but crystallizes parts of their bodies into a hardy, leathery substance, making them more resistant to damage from all types of weapons. Their hardened skins tend to slow them down, however.

Undead: They were Himmler’s people, dabbling in the occult, indeed doing unspeakable things with corpses. They used arcane ceremonies to turn the dead into mindless zombies, living land mines, and other horrors. He’d seen it only because he had to, and so he’d know what to steer his regular troops away from. Rommel knew they’d turn these bodies into undead abominations: things that shambled across battlefields, absorbing machinegun fire as they advanced unfeelingly toward the enemy, or buried corpses packed with explosives, clawing up through the sand when they sensed a British patrol above.
Zombie: They were Himmler’s people, dabbling in the occult, indeed doing unspeakable things with corpses. They used arcane ceremonies to turn the dead into mindless zombies, living land mines, and other horrors.
 

Voadam

Hero
Weird War Two d20: Dead From Above
3.0
Fliegerkopf: In the final years of the war, Germany was desperately short of trained pilots. Pilots with only rudimentary training were rushed into combat and quickly shot down by experienced Allied pilots. Perfectly good aircraft sat idle while Allied bombers flew overhead because there was no one to fly them.
Hitler has placed his blood mages on the problem and in characteristic fashion they have come up with an arcane solution. They have had limited success in reviving the dead, and they have used this knowledge to reanimate the heads of experienced pilots recovered from the wreckage of their aircraft. These heads are wired into small, nimble jet fighters and sent aloft once more to do battle with the streams of Allied bombers and their escorts. The pilot heads used in this program are culled from the ranks of the party faithful. They press home their attacks on Allied aircraft with a fanatical devotion bolstered by their feelings of invulnerability.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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