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Undead Origins

Voadam

Legend
Ice Kingdoms: The Girl With the Demon Tattoos
OSRIC
Skeleton: Skeletons are the bones of humanoid creatures, animated by energy from the Negative Energy Plane. They bear no flesh, musculature, or ligaments and are held together through magical force. Skeletons vary in size, depending on the race of humanoid that the bones came from.
Zombie: Zombies are mindless animated corpses. The animate dead spell opens a connection to the Negative Energy Plane that provides these fleshy corpses with the ability to move and follow simple commands given by their controller.
Zombies vary in size depending on the kind of corpses they are animated from. They do not spawn.
 

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Voadam

Legend
Malevolent & Benign II
OSRIC
Autumnal Rider: ?
Banfaet: It is not only magic users and clerics that seek immortality via magic: illusionists and even some druids do as well. Those who follow this road become banfaets instead of liches, and unlike liches which share a singular form regardless their background, banfaets come in two forms.
The first is the path of the illusionist. These banfaets replace their body with a mix of phantasm, illusion, and shadow-stuff, and encase their soul into a single giant black pearl worth at least 5,000 gp which acts as their phylactery. They are illusionists of at least 14th-level and their touch drains 1 point of strength in addition to normal damage.
A druidic banfeat substitutes much of their body with either fungus or slime molds, resulting in what looks to be an animated skeleton with either fungal or slimy flesh. They encase their souls in giant chunk of amber weighing at least 10 pounds (2,000 gp). They are druids of at least 14th-level and, in addition to normal damage, their touch corrodes metal as a does a rust monster.
Lich: ?
Barrow Lord: Barrow lords are tribal or clan leaders whose desire to defend their lands and people is so strong that their spirits are unable to leave the mortal plane.
Barrow Lord Undead Follower Skeleton: ?
Barrow Lord Special Guardian Skeleton: These are the remains of trusted followers who agreed to continue serving their master in death.
Children of Coyle: In cases of family horror, where children are murdered by their parents, they may rise as one of the Children of Coyle, named after the first child-murderer who met his fate at the undead hands of the very children he slayed.
Dust Centurion: A dust centurion is the departed spirit of a former warrior who perished at the hands of magic, unable to achieve the death in combat that it desired. This longing, combined with the magical energies from its death, transform it into a spirit that animates the dust and wreckage left from the calamity, forming into a humanoid shape when approached.
The precise material that a dust centurion is made of depends on the great calamity that it perished in; one that died in a massive magical blaze may be made of ash, whereas one that died to an unnatural blizzard could be made of floating crystals of ice.
Eloko: Eloko are the spirits of people who have died in a forest. They haunt a forest because of a grudge left unsettled: typically one about hunting.
Exhumed: The exhumed are not so much creatures as they are physical manifestations of a curse: a curse against those who disturb the rest of the dead! Whenever a human body is disinterred, there is a slight chance that the spiritual detritus left behind coalesces into an exhumed 1-8 days after their resting place has been looted.
Ghoul Skin Thief: ?
Guishu: ?
Haugbui: These are undead warriors, servants of Sorana, Goddess of Death, who were so evil in life that they attracted the interest of the goddess.
Monster Vestige: Monsters, unlike humans, rarely continue into undeath as ghosts or similar undead. Instead, in very rare instances, a portion of their essence remains bound to their lair, held by their strong connection to the area or a strong emotion associated with their means of death. The process by which a vestige is formed typically takes months, so a monster slain cannot immediately confront its slayers in vestige form.
Ghost: ?
Mummy Medusa: In some places, religiously-inclined medusae are known to mummify and bury their dead. As with humans, at times these medusa mummies can return to life to plague the living.
Zombie: Creatures that die from the Nekomata's wasting disease and lose their soul to the nekomata rise as animated corpses similar to zombies.
The bite of a wightrat has a chance to cause disease, but more fearsomely it may drain an energy level if the victim fails a save against death magic. Any human drained of all life energy rises as a zombie under the control of the wightrat.
Osseopod: Osseopods arise out of mass graves.
Osseopod Large: Larger osseopods (4 HD) may form from the remains of larger creatures, such as ogres and bugbears. 6 HD osseopods may form from giants.
Pishacha: ?
Skeleton Fungal: Fungal skeletons are the remains of long-dead victims of the creeping peril.
Zombie Fungal: The more powerful initial variant, the fungal zombie, is created once a person dies from the creeping peril.
Anyone killed by a fungal skeleton will rise as a fungal zombie in 1-4 days.
Undead Rat Ghoulrat: Ghoulrats are developed undead from zombirats who managed to slay and eat a man-sized opponent of average intelligence or greater. They add the flesh of the corpse to their own, transforming into a ghoulrat the next day.
Zombirats seek out intelligence flesh to consume to add to their own, transforming into ghoulrats. Just a single human-sized corpse is enough to transform 10 zombirats into ghoulrats.
Undead Rat Skelirat: Skelirats are the animated remains of giant rats.
Undead Rat Wightrat: The final stage of undead rat development, wightrats live only to kill and raise their victims as zombies.
If ghoulrats consume 10 man-sized opponent of average intelligence or greater they transform into the final type of undead giant rat, the wightrat.
Unead Rat Zombirat: Zombirats are developed undead from skelirats who managed to slay and eat some local animals.
If skelirats manage to kill a large enough animal (roughly the size of a medium-sized dog or larger) they add some of the creature’s flesh to their own and transform into a zombirat the next day.
Weggeest: Weggeest are spirits of humans killed upon a particular path or road.
Wendigo: Wendigo are spirits of hunger and desire.
Ziburinis: Spirits of dead who passed away in the forest, ziburinis have the green glow of the forest upon them.
Humanoids killed by ziburinis have a 10% chance to rise as a ziburinis within 24 hours.
Zombie Hound: Zombie hounds are the risen corpses of large canines, such as war dogs, wolves, or mastiffs.

The Creeping Peril: This fungus itself takes the form of tiny yellow puff-balls that attach themselves to anything in close proximity. These puff-balls expel negative-energy-filled spores when touched. The spores are ingested or inhaled by their hosts, and remain dormant as they circulate throughout the bloodstream. The spores do not “activate” until they reach a certain concentration (50%) in their host, at which time they mature and multiply. Spore concentration increases as long as a victim remains in a contaminated area, at a rate of 10% every half-hour – which means that from time of first exposure a victim will begin to succumb to the effects after 2 ½ hours of continuous exposure. Spores cannot survive outside their habitat for long, and will begin to die off after the host leaves, or is removed from, a contaminated area for at least six hours. Concentrations in the blood fall afterwards, at a rate of 2% per hour. The decline stops as soon as the victim re-exposes themselves to contamination. Casting the clerical spell cure disease removes all spores from the bloodstream.
If someone is bitten or hit by something infected by the fungus, they must save vs. poison or become infected. As with environmental contamination, the fungal concentrations in the victim’s blood will increase only as long as they are in an area where the fungus is present. Once the concentration exceeds 50%, the following symptoms manifest:
Conc. Effects
51-65% Victim begins to feel feverish and lethargic (-1 to hit and damage, -10% penalty on other actions).
65-75% Skin develops yellow patches, lethargy increases (-2 to hit and damage, -20% penalty on other actions, movement rate penalized by 25%).
76-85% Fungal growths sprout on body, lose 1-4 hit points per hour.
86-95% State of delirium and hallucinations. GM discretion if victim is unable to distinguish friend from foe.
96-99% Coma.
100% Death. Victim reanimates as a fungal zombie in 1-2 days.
 

Voadam

Legend
Mini Bestiary
OSRIC
Science Fiction Zombie: Here is an idea for one level of a ship to have some sort of zombie plague, whether by disease, radiation, or the effects of some plant or animal poison. Would it only affect humans, or mutated humans, or any animal forms. What about intelligent plants?
● Does being killed by a zombie make you a zombie?
● If it is caused by radiation, does any dead body left near the radiation become a zombie, or only those killed by the radiation?
● If caused by a plant or animal poison, what are the limitations and possible antidotes to that poison?
● If caused by a virus or microbe, is there a cure or inoculation?
● Is the nature of the substance that makes a zombie able to spread throughout the ship?

Swords & Wizardry
Science Fiction Zombie: Here is an idea for one level of a ship to have some sort of zombie plague, whether by disease, radiation, or the effects of some plant or animal poison. Would it only affect humans, or mutated humans, or any animal forms. What about intelligent plants?
● Does being killed by a zombie make you a zombie?
● If it is caused by radiation, does any dead body left near the radiation become a zombie, or only those killed by the radiation?
● If caused by a plant or animal poison, what are the limitations and possible antidotes to that poison?
● If caused by a virus or microbe, is there a cure or inoculation?
● Is the nature of the substance that makes a zombie able to spread throughout the ship?
 

Voadam

Legend
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
OSRIC
Undead: The staff [of the Temple of Death] oversee all funereal rites and all the dead of the city [of Karan] are burnt (due to strange magic in the mountains most unburnt cadavers reanimate in some form of undead or other…).
Spirit-Type Undead: ?
Spectre: ?
Wraith: ?
Half-Strength Spectre: ?
 


Voadam

Legend
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
OSRIC
Undead Child Troll: ?
Ghoul: ?
Marine Ghoul: ?
Orc Skeleton: ?
Skeleton: ?
Spectre: ?
Vampire: ?
Otheladra, Othelladra, Wight: None of the graves have grave goods in them and the bodies are unimpressive apart from Otheladra’s herself which, due to a curse, has become a Wight.
Zombie: ?
 


Voadam

Legend
The Shrine of Hecate
OSRIC
Skeleton: Behind the curtains lurk six shrine guardians, undead skeletons animated by Illione (the shrine priestess).
Given time, the shrine priestess will cast Animate Dead on fallen skeletons and zombies (or perhaps even fallen party members!) and have them rejoin the fray.
Zombie: Three servants of the shrine also lurk behind the curtains: zombies also animated by Illione.
Given time, the shrine priestess will cast Animate Dead on fallen skeletons and zombies (or perhaps even fallen party members!) and have them rejoin the fray.
Ghoul: ?
 

Voadam

Legend
OS&R: Oubliettes, Sorcery, & Reavers
Oubliettes, Sorcery, & Reavers
Arisen: The Arisen are the Fell-possessed corpses and spirits forced to dwell in the mortal realm as a mockery of Life. Most are cursed, many are created, and some are willing participants to this infestation.
Arisen Bone Horror: Animate Corpse spell.
Arisen Flesh Craven: A Hero bitten by a flesh craven must make a Constitution Test with Leverage. Failure means the PC must be cured (herbs, magic, or remove the area of the bite) or die in 1d12+CON rounds, to rise as flesh craven.
Animate Corpse spell.
Wraith: ?
Barrow Wight: ?
Ghoul: A PC bitten by a Ghoul must make a Constitution Test or become diseased with a terrible wasting fever, that does d8 damage per day until cured. A PC who dies from while infected rises as a Ghoul at the stroke of the first midnight after death.
Vampire: ?
Vampire Master: ?
Vampire Fledgeling: ?
Lich: ?

Animate Corpse (Fell Weave - 5th Order)
Range: Near Duration: CHA (R) Target: Area of Death
Effect: The caster calls to being 1d4+WIS Bone Horror Arisen or 1+WIS Flesh Craven Arisen, all of which obey their commands.
 

Voadam

Legend
Perdition
Perdition
Undead: ?
Mindless Undead: ?
Ghoul: ?
Lich: ?
Shadow: Any attack by a shadow causes 1d4 Affliction (Shadow Drain) points of damage as the target's vital energies are drained from their body. If completely drained, they become a shadow of themselves.
Skeleton: Those who bind and raise the dead have either made a deal with a demon for the use of his many souls, or worse, has bound the spirit of a fiend themselves into the skeleton.
Dauthaz granted ability bond level 4.
Wraith: They are the ancient spirits of those who sought power, or even those rejected by hell itself.
When a wraith strikes a target, it drains the target's vital energy, causing 2d4 Affliction (Energy Drain) points. If slain in this manner, the target become a wraith in servitude to the wraith who slew them at the next new moon.
Zombie: Zombies are what happens when fresh corpses are reanimated without spirits or souls. They follow the commands of those that raised them, but are little more than puppets animated by magical energy. This is a template which is applied over the base statistics of the zombified creature.
Dauthaz granted ability bond level 3.
 

Voadam

Legend
Relics & Ruins
Relics & Ruins
Undead: ?
Ghoul: These are merely animated corpses, not carriers of any sort of undead contagion as ghouls are.
Raise Dead spell.
Lich: A lich is an undead sorcerer, most often turned undead of his or her own free will to ”live” forever.
Skeleton: Skeletons are animated bones of the dead and are usually under the control of some evil master.
Skeletons are not a common occurrence in the Brunkel area. These ones where created by the Ashenheims to guard the valley and they've been roaming the vale ever since.
Animate Dead spell.
Wight: Any human killed by a wight becomes a wight.
Zombie: These are merely animated corpses, not carriers of any sort of undead contagion as ghouls are.
Animate Dead spell.
Ghost: ?

Animate Dead
Spell Level: S5
Range: Near within sight
Duration: Permanent
Turns 1d6 dead bodies or skeletons into zombies/skeletons under the Sorcerers command.

Raise Dead
Spell Level: Mythical
Range: Line of sight
Duration: See below
Raise Dead allows the caster to raise a corpse from the dead, provided it has not been dead for longer than 4 days.
There is a risk that this process brings back a demon from the beyond instead of the intended soul. The dead character rolls a saving throw, if successful s/he returns to life, if not a demon returns instead. See Ghoul in the monster chapter.
If this happens the character is gone forever and cannot be brought back.
 

Voadam

Legend
Legends of the Legends of the Splintered Realm
Legends of the Splintered Realm
Spirit: Spirits are the phantom remains of the dead.
Shadeling: ?
Shadow Stalker: ?
Banshee: ?
Wraith: The strike of a wraith forces those suffering damage to roll LVL or lose 4 XP. A creature reduced to LVL -1 becomes a wraith.
Undead: Sustained through dark magics, the undead plot against the living.
Skull Warden: ?
Frenzied Zombie: ?
Barrows Ghoul: ?
Guardian Mummy: ?
 
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Voadam

Legend
Spellcraft & Swordplay Core Rulebook
Spellcraft & Swordplay
Mummy: A mummy is an undead creature wrapped in divine bandages and urged to existence through prayer and ceremony. Mummies are bound to their tombs and are encountered in their vicinity.
The process required to create a mummy gives the creature powerful protections against physical damage.
Create Undead spell.
Skeleton: Humanoid skeletons are the animated remains of humanoid creatures. Their bodies are little more than bone and sinew held together by vile sorcery.
Animate Dead spell.
Spectre: Spectres are spiritual echoes; fragments of a learned person that died in the pursuit of knowledge.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Spectre Spawn: Spectre Spawn (Energy Drain) power.
Vampire: Formerly human, these foul creatures have become completely corrupted, lurking in a state between life and death, and requiring warm, fresh blood for sustenance.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Vampire Spawn: Vampire Spawn (Blood or Energy Drain) power.
Wight: They were once human, but are now cursed to haunt the world, living in seclusion, for some foul act of greed.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Wight Spawn: Wight Spawn (Energy Drain) power.
Wraith: Wraiths are powerful wights who have forged a more powerful bond with the negative material plane.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Wraith Spawn: Wraith Spawn (Energy Drain) power.
Zombie: Zombies are undead humanoids, reanimated corpses that stalk the earth with little purpose or reason.
At the Referee's option, those who die from Mummy Rot may rise within three days as zombies or even greater forms of undead, depending on the individual character and circumstances.
Animate Dead spell.
Undead: Spells such as Black Tentacles, Enervation, or even Inflict Light Wounds may draw on power from the Negative Energy plane that powers evil creatures and undead, and as such may not be granted by good deities.
At the Referee's option, those who die from Mummy Rot may rise within three days as zombies or even greater forms of undead, depending on the individual character and circumstances.
Non-Intelligent Undead: ?
Intelligent Undead: ?
Incorporeal Undead: ?
Corporeal Undead: ?
Ghoul: Create Undead spell.
Ghast: Create Undead spell.

Level 5 Wizard, Level 3 Necromancer
Animate Dead: This spell raises from the dead 1d6 corpses per level of the caster above 8. These corpses function exactly as normal zombies or skeletons and follow the caster's commands. The spell is permanent until cancelled by the caster or the undead are destroyed.

Level 5 Necromancer
Create Undead: A much more potent spell than animate dead, this evil spell allows the creation of ghouls, ghasts and mummies. The type or types of undead the Necromancer can create is based on caster level: Casters of 8th level create ghouls, while casters of 9th level can create ghasts, and casters of 10th level can create mummies. The caster may create less powerful undead than her level would allow if she chooses. Created undead are not automatically under the control of their animator, and must be subdued using the Necromancer's Bane of the Dead ability. This spell must be cast at night.

Spawn: Those killed by this creature (usually by its level drain attack) raise as new creatures of the type that killed them within 2d10 hours, though all hit dice and powers are at half the effectiveness of the original creature. Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
 
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Voadam

Legend
Spellcraft & Swordplay Basic Game
Spellcraft & Swordplay
Skeleton: Humanoid skeletons are the animated remains of humanoid creatures. Their bodies are little more than bone and sinew held together by vile sorcery.
Spectre: Spectres are spiritual echoes; fragments of a learned person that died in the pursuit of knowledge.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Spectre Spawn: ?
Wight: They were once human, but are now cursed to haunt the world, living in seclusion, for some foul act of greed.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Wight Spawn: Wight Spawn power.
Vampire: ?
Wraith: Wraiths are powerful wights who have forged a more powerful bond with the negative material plane.
Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
Wraith Spawn: Wraith Spawn (Energy Drain) power.
Zombie: Zombies are undead humanoids, reanimated corpses that stalk the earth with little purpose or reason.
Undead: ?
Non-Intelligent Undead: ?
Intelligent Undead: ?

Spawn: Those killed by this creature (usually by its level drain attack) raise as new creatures of the type that killed them within 2d10 hours, though all hit dice and powers are at half the effectiveness of the original creature. Spawned creatures are always utterly subservient to the creature that made them; upon their master's death, the spawn become full-fledged, full-powered members of their species.
 

Voadam

Legend
Spellcraft & Swordplay: Eldritch Witchery
Spellcraft & Swordplay
Vampire: ?
Banshee, Bean Shi: ?
Spectre: ?
Strigoi: The much feared strigoi is an undead form of a particularly evil Witch. They are most common among the Witches of the Gypsy traditions. The ways to become a strigoi are varied, but it is believed to be part of a curse.
A type of Witch known as a strigoaică or a strigoi viu is a type of living strigoi. They appear as a normal human Witch with red hair and blue eyes. They are immune to the attacks of other undead, but will become a strigoi on their own deaths.
Wraith: ?
Zombie: Cauldron of the Dead magic item.
Skeleton: Cauldron of the Dead magic item.
Undead: ?
Shadow: ?
Ghost: ?
Incorporeal Undead: ?

Cauldron of the Dead:
This heavy cauldron of dark iron is large enough to accommodate a Medium-sized creature. When filled with a mixture of water and rare herbs, the cauldron transforms any dead body placed in it into a zombie or skeleton per the animate dead spell (the user chooses whether or not a zombie or skeleton is created from an intact corpse). Each corpse animated uses up 50 gp in materials and the cauldron can animate a corpse in one round. The user of the cauldron commands the undead so created, up to 2 HD per character level, any further undead created over this limit are under the owner’s control, but previously created undead are freed.
 


Voadam

Legend
Stars Without Numbers Revised Edition
Stars Without Numbers
Zombie: This menace may not take the form of shambling corpses, but some disease, alien artifact, or crazed local practice produces men and women with habits similar to those of murderous cannibal undead. These outbreaks may be regular elements in local society, either provoked by some malevolent creators or the consequence of some local condition.
 

Voadam

Legend
Stars Without Numbers Original Core Edition
Stars Without Numbers
Zombie: This menace may not take the form of shambling corpses, but some disease, alien artifact, or crazed local practice produces men and women with habits similar to those of murderous cannibal undead. These outbreaks may be regular elements in local society, either provoked by some malevolent creators or the consequence of some local condition.
 

Voadam

Legend
DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! - Core Rule Book OSR RPG
Survive This!!
Lich: Powerful occultists sometimes want to live forever, even if ‘live’ is a loosely defined term for those who pursue the path to becoming a powerful undead creature. An occultist intentionally pursues the path to becoming a lich, and it is a long, arduous, and irreversible path, ending with the occultist becoming ‘blessed’ with eternal undeath. There are rumors that some of these creatures gained this state accidentally as the result of magical research gone horribly wrong.
Skeleton: The animated bones of the dead, imbued with a soulless semblance of life by the actions and spells of some dark and twisted master, who now controls their remains.
Vampire: ?
Wampyre, Lesser Vampire: The bite of a vampire drains two levels of experience from the victim. Those reduced to 0 levels in this manner become wampyre (lesser vampires) under the control of the creator vampire.
Wight: Any human killed or completely drained of levels (1 level per hit unless a successful Saving Throw is made) by a Wight becomes a Wight.
Wraith drain 1 level of experience with a touch to a victim (no saving throw allowed). Victims reduced to 0 levels or lower by the attacks of a wraith become Wights under the control of the wraith that created them.
Wraith: Powerful, older wights.
Zombie: ?
 
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