Undead Traits

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Undead Creatures

For Epic Path, Undead are one of the major 'bad guys'. You can run into undead from the very lowest level to the very highest level.

Since this is a large category, we have added a bit of structure to the way the undead are organized, to-wit:

Most Undead fall into three physical form categories, and three behavior categories. These are not fixed, of course, and many undead are just weird and strange, and that's fine. But as a general rule, most undead will fall somewhere in this array of form and philosophy.

In physical form, the undead tend to fall into three broad categories:

  • The Dry Ones: Dry One undead have had all flesh stripped from them and are reduced to the clean, hard, essential structure of bones. They are skeletons, whole or partial. Many skeletons, even extremely powerful ones, are completely mindless, but many skeletons have dire and terrible intelligence indeed. The Dry undead include skeletons, death knights, liches, demi-liches, and hellknights among many others.
  • The Emptied Ones: The Emptied undead are still cloaked in flesh, but they have been emptied of life and organs. They are moldering bastions of rot and decay, inherently sloppier and messier than any other undead. Many of them, even powerful ones, are mindless, but many of them have dire, hungry minds that are bent to evil. The Emptied include Zombies, Mummies, Ghouls, Ghasts, Wights, Vampires, and many others besides.
  • The Lost Ones: The Lost undead have lost all ties to the flesh and barely cling to this reality. They are insubstantial, incorporeal, mere malevolent wisps of evil raging murderous intent. Many of the lost ones, even powerful ones, are completely mindless. But many of the Lost Ones are possessed of burning intelligence and the will to kill. The Lost undead include shadows, ghosts, banshees, and many others besides.

In the approach to the world around them, undead tend to fall into three other broad categories based upon their behavior.

These categories are:

  • Destroyers: Destroying Undead seek to see the world reduced to ruin all around them. They hate the living above all else and will seek out and kill them at every opportunity. Destroyers do not willingly reason or bargain, even if they have minds. They have no use for life or light or happiness and are utter anathema, either you destroy them, or they will destroy you. Skeletons, ghosts, mummies, and ghasts tend to be destroyers.
  • Eaters: Eating undead are possessed of The Hunger. They seek to consume the living, to feast on still-warm flesh, to eat Life in every form. Eaters are the sorts that will set up stables of the living to sate their hunger for slightly longer. Eaters will measure out and ration the life around them to make the act of consumption last as long as they can stand to. They truly love life. Zombies, ghouls, shadows, and wights tend to be Eaters.
  • Corrupters: Corrupting undead seek to convert Life to Unlife. They want to see even more Life, so there is more of it to corrupt and suborn and slay and corrupt over time. Corrupters are often able to exist among the living for long periods of time, and may even act to help the living prosper, so that the eventual downfall is all the sweeter for it. Vampires, liches, specters and phages tend to be corrupting undead.

Undead Traits

Undead are once-living creatures animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.

  • Darkvision 60 feet
  • Many undead are mindless and gain no skill points or feats.
  • good Will saves
  • No Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution.
  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
  • Immunity to death effects, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning.
  • Not subject to nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength), as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects.
  • Cannot heal damage on its own if it has no Intelligence score, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. The fast healing special quality works regardless of the creature's Intelligence score.
  • Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
  • Not at risk of death from massive damage, but is immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points.
  • Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells usually turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead.
  • Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Undead not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Undead are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
  • Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.