Tome of Necromancy (3.5e Sourcebook)/New Rules

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Subtypes

The obvious, and slickest, way to handle the excesses of the Undead type would be to simply rewrite the Undead type with a lot less in it and throw down a number of subtypes (mindless for skeletons, amorphous for shadows, and ponderous for zombies) to put in the abilities that each type of undead is supposed to have. But polls have shown that people aren't willing to play with optional rules that do that – but perversely they are willing to add new subtypes to monsters to remove rules instituted by the base template. I don't know why, but DMs are honestly more likely to use an additional subtype that removes an inappropriate game effect from a monster than they are to use a modified base type that doesn't have the inappropriate effect in the first place. So that's how we're going to do it here.

Dark Minded (subtype)

Undead creatures with an intelligence score have an intelligence that can be influenced, though they are dead and cannot be influenced by appeals to emotion. A dark minded creature has the following traits:

- Not immune to mind affecting effects.

- Immune to morale and fear effects.

- Heals normally

- Any Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate attempts to influence a dark minded creature are made with a -10 penalty.

- A Dark Minded creature continues to advance in age categories, growing older and wiser over time. It does not accrue any penalties to its attributes for advancing in age categories, and a Dark Minded creature has no maximum age.

Unliving (subtype)

An Unliving creature is an undead that mimics many of the capacities of a living creature without truly being alive. An unliving creature has the following game effects:

- Unliving creatures have a metabolism of sorts, and thus have a Constitution score.

- Unliving creatures require food (often blood or flesh) and sleep, and are vulnerable to magical sleep effects even if they are otherwise immune to mind affecting effects.

- Unliving creatures have at least one vital organ, and are subject to critical hits from attackers with at least one rank in Knowledge (Religion).

- Not destroyed upon reaching 0 it points, though its existence still ends if it reaches -10 as normal.

- Subject to subdual damage, but can benefit from the Regeneration ability as normal.

  • Sample creatures with the [Dark Minded] subtype:
    • Liches
    • Nightshades
    • Vampires
  • Sample creatures with the [Unliving] subtype:
    • Ghouls
    • Necropolitan
    • Vampires

Undead and Aging

Undead don't age. They don't get any older or more decrepit over time, that's the whole point. A creature with the undead type does not grow older at all, unless further modified by the Dark Minded subtype. This probably should have been in the Monster Manual.

Becoming Undead

The basic rules for transforming into Undead were never intended to be playable by player characters. And thus it is unsurprising that the legions of the damned are not only unsatisfying, but actually unplayable when placed in a game. The following are templates that can be added to a character to make them into an Undead without actually changing their Level Adjustment. If a player wants to explore the legendary powers available to some of these creatures, they are encouraged to take Prestige Classes available to undead or to take one or more [Undead] feats that can grant the character these abilities within the normal level progression context. Each undead creature type has access to a special class that characters may take to advance their special abilities.

Revenants

"Fear me first before all other evils under the heavens. Before even Death, for I am hatred and do not die."

A revenant is the victim of a murder driven to avenge their own death. A game master might allow a character to return from the dead as a revenant if their character died in a particularly unfair fashion or if their character had a lot left to do.

Character Modifications:

Type: The character's type changes to Undead and the character's former type becomes a subtype with the "augmented" modifier. The character also gains the Dark Minded subtype.

Hit Dice: The character's BAB, Saves, and skills are all unaffected. The character must reroll his Hit Points, but every hit die is a d12.

Ability Scores: The character loses his Constitution score.

Alignment: The character's alignment changes to Lawful.

Special Qualities: The character cannot be turned, but may be rebuked. The character heals completely at the setting of the sun, unless he is in a Tomb or hallowed area. This healing can even bring him back from destruction, but if his body is nailed to the ground (or in a Tomb or hallowed area), he can never come back from the dead by any means.

Level Adjustment: +0


Vampires

"An eternity of loneliness and betrayal is, ultimately, an eternity."

A vampire is an unliving mockery of life that lives by cruelly consuming the blood of the innocent. Only characters slain by a vampire's Constitution Drain rise as vampires, and even then only if they have 5 hit dice or more. Characters with less hit dice become monstrous vampire spawn and do not retain their abilities.

Character Modifications

Type: The character's type changes to Undead and the character's former type becomes a subtype with the "augmented" modifier. The character also gains the Dark Minded and Unliving subtypes.

Hit Dice: The character's Hit Dice, BAB, Saves, and skills are all unaffected.

Ability Scores: The character gains a +2 bonus to his Strength and Charisma.

Alignment: The character's alignment changes to Evil.

Special Attacks: The character can drain blood from a helpless or willing victim, inflicting 2 points of Constitution Drain per round. The character heals 5 points for each point of Constitution drain in this way, and consuming 4 points of Constitution from intelligent creatures is considered enough "food" for one day (and the vampire gains no sustenance from any other food). Humanoids slain by this Constitution Drain may rise as vampires or vampire spawn (though the character has no control over them unless granted by another ability).

Special Qualities: The character gains Turn Resistance +2. The character suffers 2d6 damage and is considered staggered every round he is exposed to direct sunlight. This damage cannot be healed by any means until the character is in a place with no light at all (such as a coffin). A vampire character is vulnerable to Light effects.

Level Adjustment: +0


Vampire Paragon

Hit Die: d6

BAB/Saves: BAB: Poor (as Wizard); Fort: Bad; Reflex: Good; Will: Good

Class Skills: The Vampire Paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), and Swim (Str).

Skills/Level: 4 + Intelligence Bonus< br


Level, Abilities:

1 Blood Pool, Gaseous Form, Flaw, +1 Spellcaster Level

2 Hypnotic Gaze, +1 Spellcaster Level

3 Command Spawn, Regeneration, Flaw, +1 Spellcaster Level

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Vampire Paragon gains no new armor or weapon proficiencies.

Spellcasting: Every level, the Vampire Paragon casts spells (including gaining any new spell slots and spell knowledge) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she had previous to gaining that level. If the character does not have any levels in any spellcasting classes when she takes her first level of Vampire, this class feature gives her levels in Sorcerer spellcasting.

Blood Pool (Ex): A Vampire Paragon may "store" blood she has drained from intelligent creatures against future need and draw upon this blood to power her body or her magic. If a Vampire Paragon consumes the Constitution of an intelligent creature after she has already fed for the day, excess Constitution drained adds to her Blood Pool. A Vampire Paragon's Blood Pool can never exceed her character level plus her class level of Vampire Paragon. Constitution drained after the Blood Pool is filled is wasted.

A Vampire Paragon may spend a point of her Blood Pool to heal herself of five points of damage. She may spend 4 points of Blood Pool to forgo needing to feed for one day. A spell being cast may be enhanced with any metamagic feat the Vampire Paragon knows by spending a number of points of Blood Pool equal to the number of extra levels the metamagic would add to the spell. Using Blood Pool is a free action, but no more than 4 points may be spent in a single round.

Gaseous Form (Su): A Vampire Paragon can assume gaseous form as the spell at will.

Flaw: Increasing the power of the blood within a Vampire is not without difficulties. As the potency of the Vampire's blood grows, so too does the power of her curse. At 1st and 3rd level of Vampire Paragon, the vampire gains an additional weakness related to her blood. Appropriate vampiric weaknesses are too numerous to be listed here, but could include: Inability to enter consecrated or hallowed ground; helplessness in water; repulsion (as the spell) by garlic; vulnerability to silver; daylight powerlessness (as a specter); dazed by spilled grains (2d4 rounds); nauseated by Holy Water (1d4 rounds); Inability to enter a hearth unless invited.

Hypnotic Gaze (Su): At 2nd level, a Vampire Paragon gains the ability to hypnotize creatures which meet its gaze. The Vampire Paragon may make use its gaze on one creature within short range each round as a Swift action. Creatures are affected as by a hypnotism spell except that there is no hit die cap. The hypnotism effect ends if the Vampire Paragon no longer maintains the gaze (for example, by attempting to hypnotize a new victim). This is a Mind Affecting Enchantment effect, the DC is Charisma based.

Command Spawn: Vampire Spawn created by a Vampire Paragon of 3rd level are under the Vampire Paragon's control.

Regeneration (Ex): At 3rd level a Vampire Paragon regenerates, healing subdual damage every round equal to her character level. Damage from critical hits, fire, positive energy, aligned weapons, or wood inflict lethal damage on a Vampire Paragon.

Ghouls

"The flesh of heroes reeks of their strength in death even as it is embodied in life. The taste is exquisite beyond description. As you quiver there and watch my meal, I want you to know that I allow you to live only in the hope that you can get word to more who think they have the strength to end my reign of terror."

Ghoul Fever is a horrifying illness that incites an almost insatiable craving for the flesh of humanoids. Characters with at least 2 class levels brought to zero Constitution by Ghoul Fever find their constitution restored and begin their unlife as Ghouls. Characters with less than 2 class levels simply die and rot.

Character Modifications:

Type: The character's type changes to Undead and the character's former type becomes a subtype with the "augmented" modifier. The character also gains the Dark Minded and Unliving subtypes.

Hit Dice: The character's Hit Dice, BAB, Saves, and skills are all unaffected.

Ability Scores: The character's Dexterity increases by +2.

Alignment: The character's alignment changes to Evil.

Special Attacks: The character gains a bite attack that inflicts an amount of damage appropriate to her size. She also is a carrier of Ghoul Fever.

Special Qualities: The character gains Turn Resistance of +2. The character cannot eat anything other than raw meat (vegetables or cooked foods are forcefully vomited up, leaving the character sickened for an hour), and her total dietary requirements are not reduced.

Level Adjustment: +0

Ghoul Paragon

Hit Die: d8

BAB/Saves: BAB: Good (as Fighter); Fort: Good; Reflex: Good; Will: Bad

Class Skills: The Ghoul Paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skills/Level: 6 + Intelligence Bonus

Level, Abilities:

1 Paralysis

2 Pestilence, +1d6 Sneak Attack

3 Stench, Improved Pestilence

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Ghoul Paragon gains no new armor or weapon proficiencies.

Paralysis (Ex): Characters struck by a Ghoul Paragon's unarmed strikes or natural weapons must make a Fortitude save or become paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. The Save DC is Charisma based. Elves are immune to this effect.

Pestilence (Ex): A Ghoul Paragon of 2nd level is immune to disease, but spreads it quite easily. Every disease the Ghoul Paragon is ever exposed to is retained within his body (at the very least, this includes ghoul fever), and every time the Ghoul Paragon inflicts lethal damage with an unarmed strike or natural weapon, he also exposes the target to one of those diseases.

Sneak Attack (Ex): At 2nd level, the Ghoul Paragon gains a die of Sneak Attack as a Rogue. Levels of Ghoul Paragon stack with Rogue and similar classes for purposes of overcoming Uncanny Dodge.

Stench (Ex): A Ghoul Paragon of 3rd level stinks so dreadfully that all other creatures within 10 feet must make a Fortitude save or become sickened for 10 minutes. A creature which successfully saves may not be affected by the Ghoul Paragon's stench for 24 hours. This is a Poison effect, the save is Constitution based.

Improved Pestilence (Su): At 3rd level a Ghoul Paragon becomes able to magically speed up the disease process in his victims. The initial incubation period for any disease he passes with the Pestilence power becomes 1 round, and the save DC of any such disease is now Charisma based.

Sword Wraith

"I remain… because I like to kill."

Mercenaries devoted strongly enough to a life of war that they carry on in death their endless campaign of destruction. A character slain in battle may return as a Sword Wraith if his services were hired under false pretenses or if his exploits were particularly impressive before his life finally ended (at the discretion of the DM). Sword Wraiths appear somewhat insubstantial and have faintly glowing eyes, but they are not truly incorporeal and their eyes do not produce enough light to modify vision penalties.

Character Modifications

Type: The character's type changes to Undead and the character's former type becomes a subtype with the "augmented" modifier. The character also gains the Dark Minded and Unliving subtypes.

Hit Dice: The character's Hit Dice Become d12s, BAB, Saves, and skills are all unaffected.

Skills: The character gains a +2 bonus to his Hide and Move Silently checks.

Alignment: The character's alignment is unchanged.

Special Qualities: The character gains Turn Resistance +2.

Level Adjustment: +0

Swordwraith Paragon

Hit Die: d12

BAB/Saves: BAB: Good (as Fighter); Fort: Bad; Reflex: Bad; Will: Good

Class Skills: The Swordwraith Paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skills/Level: 2 + Intelligence Bonus

Level, Abilities: 1 Strength Damage, Alertness

2 Damage Reduction 5/Magic, Iron Will

3 Damage Reduction 10/Magic, Stealthy


Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Swordwraith Paragon gains no new armor or weapon proficiencies.

Strength Damage (Su): Whenever a Swordwraith Paragon strikes an opponent with a melee weapon, he also inflicts 1 point of Strength damage.

Alertness: A Swordwraith Paragon gains Alertness as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Damage Reduction (Su): At 2nd level, a Swordwraith Paragon gains DR of 5/Magic. At 3rd level, this improves to 10/Magic.

Iron Will: A Swordwraith Paragon gains Iron Will as a bonus feat at 2nd level.

Stealthy: A Swordwraith Paragon gains Stealthy as a bonus feat at 3rd level.

Locations of Necromantic Importance

Rules for locations that have interesting effects upon the dead are scattered throughout various published sourcebooks. Of primary interest is Black Sand (from It's Hot Outside) which heals undead and can be grown by killing creatures on it (no necromancer should be without a portable hole bottomed with this stuff), and Black Water (from It's Wet Outside) that acts as a desecration effect and is available with a Wizard spell (thereby breaking the stranglehold monopoly of Clerics on getting bonus hit points for their skeletons). But none of those locations are necromantically important. They are essentially quasi-mobile magic items that necromancers like to put in their pants. What follows are some locations that Necromancers will care about for more than a single mining session.

Necromantic Intelligence

Great and terrible crimes are often committed, sometimes causing the dead to rise. When enough dead rise in a single place, or a single act of murder or slaughter is so great as to create dozens of the undead, a Necromantic Intelligence can be born in a location central to the event. In such a place, trees and undergrowth wither and animals die, the sun no longer shines as brightly as mists obscure the sky and evil descends on the land. In such a place, all of those who die become undead and lose their free will. Ghoul or shadow infestations, vampire massacres, sites of great battles or disasters, or even the combined works of cabals of necromancers can create Necromantic Intelligences. In the area of a Necromantic Intelligence, the land is either shadowy during the day as dark clouds obscure the sky, or misty (treat as an obscuring mist, even though it may be composed of dust, ashes, or some other substance). Any living creature killed in the area becomes an undead creature with a CR equal to its former CR (DM’s choice, unless the Necromantic Intelligence is Aspected) when the sun next sets. The most terrifying facet of a Necromantic Intelligence is that it has a purpose and a will, and it coordinates the undead that compose it. Assume that it is a creature that can see anything that any of its undead can see. Often it will coordinate fiendishly clever tactics using masses of undead to fulfill its purpose. Like a ghost, if it should ever attain its purpose, it will be destroyed. Knowing this, some clever heroes have helped Necromantic Intelligences in an effort to destroy them. A legend lore or bardic knowledge check is often needed to discover an Intelligence’s purpose. The Necromantic Intelligence commands the activities of a great number of undead of varying powers. As a rough guide, the Necromantic Intelligence controls undead with CRs equal to the levels of followers attractable by a character with a Leadership score of 35 or more (using the Epic Leadership rules). Challenging the entire Necromantic Intelligence is an EL 11 adventure.

Aspected Necromantic Intelligence: While most Intelligences are random manifestations of negative energy, creating many different kinds of undead, some places are Aspected. These places only create one kind of undead. For example, a Necromantic Intelligence created in a ghoul warren may only create ghouls, while an Intelligence created during a plague may only create plague zombies. Decrease the EL of such an Intelligence by at least 1 as players will prepare tactics suited to that specific kind of undead.

Cleansing the Focus: Every Necromantic Intelligence has a Focus. This is an area that is the symbolic center of the undead infestation. If anyone can perform a hallow spell at the site of the Focus, the Necromantic Intelligence will be destroyed; however, once the ritual is started, the Necromantic Intelligence will be alerted and it will send all available undead to destroy the caster.

Tombs

While most tombs are merely places of rest for remains, some tombs become focal points for Negative Energy as hundred of years pass in the presence of the dead. Also, years of habitation by undead creatures in an enclosed space can also wear at the boundaries of the Negative Energy Plane. Some Necromancy effects can create or exploit this property. The game effect of a Tomb is that all undead inside it gain fast healing 1 and cannot be Turned or Rebuked, and spells with the [Tomb] subtype can be cast within it. Undead cannot be created within the confines of a Tomb, and creatures slain by undead do not become spawn. Tombs are always enclosed places, and if they should ever be exposed to sunlight (by smashing in the roof, for example), they lose all special properties and no longer confer effects to undead creatures.

Forsaken Graveyards

The number of deaths is one per person even without the intercession of powerful magic. And once spells like raise dead are taken into account, it is clear that in Dungeons and Dragons there are significantly more deaths than people. So the locations where the most deaths occurred are simply the locations where the most living people live. The sites with the greatest death count are aspected to life and trade, not to death and destruction. But there are places that are inexorably linked with death, where the dead rise to slay the living. Creating a land of horror such as this requires more than killing a bunch of people (although that certainly helps), the deaths themselves must be meaningless and cruel, the ends coming about through betrayal.

A Forsaken Graveyard is a dangerous place, even for a necromancer. Creatures within a Forsaken Graveyard have Turning Resistance of +3. This makes both turning and rebuking more difficult, and throws salt in the game of both the necromancer and the hunter of the dead. Corpses left within a forsaken graveyard have a tendency to rise up and slay the living from time to time. Every sunset, a number of undead creatures are created and go on a rampage. These undead creatures fall back to death when the sun rises. A body left within a Forsaken Graveyard for more than an hour can be turned into an undead creature even if it had previously been an undead creature and been destroyed. Undead creatures created within a Forsaken Graveyard have an extra 2 hit points per hit die.

A Forsaken Graveyard can be cleansed with four castings of consecrate or desecrate (one at each corner of the area), or a single casting of Tasha's tomb tainting (in the middle). Unfortunately, these spells can only affect it during the nighttime (as during the day, there is literally nothing to cleanse). Once cleansed, any undead created by the Forsaken Graveyard lose their bonuses, but are also not recalled at sunrise. Such undead creatures will continue their rampage until slain. Unlike a necromantic intelligence, the Forsaken Graveyard has no ability to direct the undead against specific targets.

Cleansing a Forsaken Graveyard is normally an appropriate adventure for a 6th level party, and the location itself spawns one CR 7 creature, one CR 6 creature, two CR 5 creatures, and six CR 4 creatures every night. These creatures are undirected in their assaults on the living, and travel individually or in groups of two. A Forsaken Graveyard adventure can be scaled up or down for adventurers of differing power by changing the power levels of the creatures within it, or simply changing the parameters of the encounter. If a standard graveyard is itself small enough that every creature is encountered simultaneously, that would be an EL 11 encounter.

Pools of Deep Shadow

Veteran players of Dungeons and Dragons often ask "Why don't Shadows just take over the whole world?" Certainly, there are very few residents of the worlds of D&D that can fight against a Shadow at all, and their victims rise from the dead as Shadow Spawn, so it doesn't take a lot of imagination to see where this is going. However, there are a few things limiting the growth of Shadow armies that are not mentioned in the core books at all.

The first is that only intelligent creatures slain by Shadows turn into spawn. That's important, as it means that Shadows cannot simply hunt frogs in the swamp until they number in the tens of thousands before they roll over cities and dragon caves like a fog of Death Incarnate.

But perhaps even more importantly is that almost any time you see a Shadow, or for that matter any incorporeal undead creature, you are looking at a summoned creature. When the Shadow's summoning ends, all of its spawn vanish. Most of the time, an incorporeal undead is summoned forth from the Negative Energy Plane by an object that looks much like a puddle of very oily water, called a Pool of Deep Shadow. Whenever light falls directly upon the pool, or the sun rises high enough in the sky that there are no shadows (about half an hour before and after noon), the summoning effect ends and the Shadow vanishes. When the shadows grow long and darkness has fallen upon the pool, a Shadow is again summoned.

This means that an individual Shadow or Wraith has a very difficult time destroying the whole world, as there is no particular way for them to get more than a day's float from their pool. It also means, however, that areas inhabited by Shadows are extremely dangerous – for even if such a creature is destroyed it will return again the following day. And on every day it will return until those charged with exterminating it are caught unlucky or unaware. In order to permanently destroy such a pool, a flask of Holy Water (or Unholy Water) need simply be poured into it, causing the blackness to depart and the water to become quite clear and drinkable.

Finality

Finality is a planar metropolis in the Infernal Battlefield of Acheron. Its harsh laws are kept in rigid and uncompromising order by the will of powerful pit fiends, and the city serves as a marketplace for the lucrative trade in souls. Magic items can be bought or sold here, but the currency is always souls (as a planar metropolis, Finality has a gp limit of 600,000 gp). Souls are valued at their CR squared, multiplied by 100 gp. Many items purchased from this location radiate evil, buyer beware. Lodging may be purchased at flat rate of one soul per day per person. The section of Acheron that Finality rests in has the Timeless trait and is mildly Lawfully aligned. The population of The City is about 100,000 people (with uncounted millions of souls), most of whom are Baatezu.

The rules in Finality are uncompromising and bizarre, and the punishments for breaking them are vindictively carried out to the letter by powerful devils. But there is no warfare allowed in the city, and even Celestials and Tanar'ri come to participate in the great mercantile dance of soul collection. Characters must make a Knowledge (Local: Finality) check everyday with a DC of 10 + 2 per day they've been in the city or unknowingly break one of the city's many inscrutable laws (knowingly breaking the law by starting fights or stealing goods is a whole different thing). Punishments range from perplexing to fatal. Characters who stay away from Finality for more than a month are no longer subject to the baroque residency rules and their DCs are returned to 10 the next time they visit.

Necromantic Equipment

New Materials

Boneblades: Boneblades are alchemically and necromantically hardened blades made from the bones of intelligent creatures, and the material can only be created by craftsmen with the Boneblade Master feat. For an unknown reason, they only retain their special properties if they are made into light slashing or piercing weapons. Boneblades used in melee combat ignore the damage reduction of any undead creature and can hit incorporeal creatures as if they were magic weapons with the ghost touch property.. Boneblades made from dragon bones can be combined with the Dragoncrafter feat to produce items with both properties. Cost: 1,000 gp per lb.

Blood steel: Blood steel is steel that has been mixed with the blood of certain powerful creatures, making it redder than normal steel and with unusual properties. Weapons made of blood steel do 2 additional points of damage on a successful hit and any armor made of blood steel has an armor bonus two higher. These effects only manifest if the blood steel is allowed to hungrily latch onto its user's flesh, at which point it reduces the bearer’s Constitution by two points. Treat blood steel as normal steel for creatures with no Constitution or creatures protected from this effect. Cost: 2,000 gp for a weapon, 1,000 gp for armor or shield.

Black steel: Black steel is steel that has been mixed with necromantically charged obsidian, making it as sharp as adamantine and as dangerous as obsidian. Weapons made of black steel count as adamantine for all effects, but perform as if enhanced with the Ghost Touch and Wounding properties (without additional cost). Characters using items made of Black steel suffer one point of Wisdom drain for every day they are held, worn or carried. Cost: 15,000 gp for a weapon, 24,000 gp for light armor, 28,000 gp for medium armor, 32,000 gp for heavy armor.

Tainted obsidian: While normal obsidian often has interesting necromantic properties, tainted obsidian is an actual source of necromantic energy. When a magic item has is made of tainted obsidian, it can provide uses or charges of its Necromancy effects in exchange for doing wisdom drain. Cost: +10,000.

Monsters

Perhaps the most important thing about necromancy is the undead creatures themselves.

Artificial Intelligence

When a necromancer creates even a lowly kobold skeleton when his necromantic control limit has already been reached, one or more of the undead creatures already under his control become "uncontrolled". That much is clear to everyone. But what does an uncontrolled zombie do? It's not intelligent, it simply runs a program that causes it to act in a predictable fashion to stimulus. Of course, what that program actually is has heretofore been left undescribed. The actions of uncontrolled undead depend largely on the moral option your game is using for necromancy in general.

Of course, it doesn't make much difference to uncontrolled Wights and the like – they are somewhat intelligent and wholly evil. So they'll be just like any other monster – as tactically savvy as the DM.

Crawling Darkness

Under the Crawling Darkness option, undead are inherently evil, and act accordingly. The mindless undead hunger for life and are completely ambivalent to all else. If a skeleton has unbroken line of sight to a living creature or object, they will attack it. If living creatures and objects are both visible, the skeletons will bypass objects (such as trees) in order to attack creatures (such as people or horses). Non-living and undead creatures are unmolested unless the skeleton witnesses it attacking an undead creature. Skeletons prioritize targets that they can reach this round without provoking attacks of opportunity over other targets. Skeletons prioritize targets with more hit dice over other targets. Skeletons prioritize targets which are closer over targets more distant.

If a skeleton perceives an undead creature attacking another undead creature, it will attack whichever undead has been in its line of sight for less time. If a skeleton has seen both creatures for an equal amount of time, it comes in on a random side (even if it had previously seen one of the undead creatures in a previous context). If a skeleton is attacked by an undead creature, it will defend itself.

Skeletons wander around in a spiral search pattern attacking any living thing they find. They do not molest non-living things at all, so a skeleton will not open a door or tunnel through a wall unless it is made out of living wood or meat. If a living thing disappears from its vision, the skeleton will go to where the living creature was last seen and begin searching there – unless another living thing is seen (in which case the skeleton will simply move to attack it instead).

Skeletons do not question their perceptions, a closed door or even a curtain can be enough for a skeleton to abandon a pursuit. Skeletons have no sense of smell or irony, and a living victim is forgotten as soon as the skeleton moves to the point of last contact. A skeleton will not walk into what appear to be dangerous or solid objects unless it can see a way to get to a living target that it can currently perceive.

Don't attack unless…

Since skeletons are mindlessly evil and relentless in their quest to destroy all life, a skeleton is normally ordered to not attack unless specific criteria are evoked. The criteria could be anything from "walking through this doorway without invoking the name of Wee Jas" to "attacking someone wearing the garb of the chosen of Kyuss." If the exact criteria are not met, the skeletons will hold their blades. Most necromancers remember to allow their skeletons leeway to defend themselves, but sometimes even that is overlooked. Controlled skeletons, therefore, are usually under considerable restraints and will often hold their claws in check until after combat has been initiated.

Playing with Fire

Under the Playing with Fire option, undead are dangerous, but not necessarily evil. Their behavior befits that. Uncontrolled skeletons follow their last set of commands exactly, and those commands are only of the most basic sort. A skeleton last ordered to follow the necromancer who created it will continue to do so – mindlessly marching in the necromancer's wake, its empty eye sockets staring vacantly. It won't make any move to assist the necromancer, nor will it take any further instructions, it will simply follow. Forever. Should a skeleton be last asked to guard an area, it will attack any creature entering the area, though it will make no move to attack creatures outside that area. A skeleton last ordered to chop wood will continue until the forest is splinters or its axe rusts away to nothing.

Skeletons will defend themselves if attacked, and will attack creatures that they perceive attacking other undead. As with the Crawling Darkness, if skeletons see undead attacking other undead, it can rapidly degrade into a free-for-all with skeletons smashing each other with abandon. But they will not instigate such behavior on their own. Skeletons will not leave areas they are assigned to except to pursue creatures which are attacking them.

Skeletons are not curious about their surroundings, and do not question events in their area that do not obviously interact with their latest orders.

Previously Published Monsters

There are a lot of undead monsters in a variety of sourcebooks. In fact, regional and monster sourcebooks that don't have at least one undead creature in them are by far in the minority. Many of these creatures are supposed to be constructed by powerful Necromancers, and have no rules for powerful necromancers actually doing that. Many of these creatures should rightfully have the Unliving or Dark Minded subtypes. What follows is a list of the Undead already existent in D&D as well as the method of creating them, with the hard character requirements on the second line and suggested building materials on the third. Many Fey and Native Outsiders can be counted as "humanoids" for purposes of creating undead.



  • Abyssal Ghoul (FF): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 12 – 120 hp).

A Feast Unknown: Character Level 12, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks. Requires the sacrifice of a CR 8 or higher humanoid or fiend.

  • Allip (MM): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 5, Listen 4 ranks Requires the name of a unique individual who was completely insane at death.

  • Angel of Decay (LM): Dark Minded

Feed the Dark Gods: Character Level 17, must sacrifice 15 intelligent creatures, materials costing 7500 gp.

  • Atropal Scion (LM): No Modifications

Feed the Dark Gods: Character Level 13, must sacrifice 11 intelligent creatures, materials costing 6,500 gp.

  • Banshee(MM2): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 19, wail of the banshee Requires the corpse of a very selfish humanoid

  • Bhut (FF): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 11, Survival 4 ranks. Requires sacrificing an intelligent victim at least two days walk from a city.

  • Blaspheme (LM): Dark Minded

Body Assemblage: Character Level 11, Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, false life Requires pieces of humanoid or giant corpses such that an attribute of 14 or higher is represented in all statistics.

  • Bleakborn (LM): No Modifications

Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 9, chill touch Requires the corpse of a humanoid who died of cold.

  • Blood Amniote (LM):

Path of Blood: Character Level 11, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 4 ranks Requires 20 liters of blood and an alchemist's lab.

  • Bloodfiend (FF): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 17 – 114 hp)

Path of Blood: Character level 16, knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the sacrifice a demon of CR 8 or higher.

  • Bloodmote Cloud (LM): No Modifications

Path of Blood: Character level 8, knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires 20 liters of blood and an alchemist's lab.

  • Boneclaw (MM3): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 19, loses Unholy Toughness)

Path of Blood: Character level 7, spectral hand Requires one humanoid body and the skeletons of 3 other medium creatures.

  • Bone Drinker (MM3): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 14, loses Unholy Toughness)

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 8 (6 for Lesser), Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks or Create undead, caster level 15 (12 for Lesser). Requires the corpse of a goblin (lesser) or bugbear (greater).

  • Bone Naga (MM2): Dark Minded

Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 13, Requires the corpse of a Dark Naga. Requires the corpse of a Dark Naga

  • Bodak (MM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 76 hp)

Path of Blood: Character level 10, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks Requires the corpse of someone extremely evil, or the killing of a humanoid with evil magic.

  • Bone Rat Swarm (LM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level 5, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires 1,000 rat skeletons.

  • Bone Yard (LM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level 16, Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks Requires 5 tonnes of bones from any creatures.

  • Brain in a Jar (LM): Dark Minded

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 6, Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks Requires the removal of the living brain of a creature with an Intelligence of 18+

  • Charnel Hound (MM3): Unliving (Con 19, loses Unholy Toughness)

Body Assemblage: Character level 15, Handle Animal 4 ranks Requires 100 humanoid corpses (or proportionately fewer larger corpses of intelligent creatures)

  • Cinderspawn (LM): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 8, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the spot where a Fire Elemental perished.

  • Corpse Gatherer (MM2): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level 21, Requires and consumes a forsaken graveyard.

  • Corpse Rat Swarm (LM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level 6, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires 1,000 rat corpses.

  • Crawling Head (FF): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: character level 22, Use Magic Device 4 ranks Must have at least 100 humanoid corpses.

  • Crimson Death (MM2): Dark Minded

Path of Blood: Character level 13, Hide 4 ranks. Requires a humanoid, a sharp implement, and a strong wind.

  • Crypt Chanter (LM): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 9, Perform 4 ranks Must know the name of a dead performer who was unappreciated at the time of death.

  • Crypt Thing (FF): Dark Minded

Wrappings of the Ages: Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4 ranks. or create undead caster level 14th. Requires one humanoid corpse and a fancy outfit.

  • Deathbringer (MM2): Dark Minded

Body Assemblage: Character level 19, Craft (tailor) 4 ranks, Requires at least 12 humanoid corpses or two giant corpses.

  • Death Knight (MM2): Dark Minded

Feed the Dark Gods: More powerful warriors require more sacrifices to reanimate.

  • Deathlock (LM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 11 – 19 hp)

Path of Blood: Character level 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks Requires the body of an arcane Spellcaster.

  • Deathshrieker (MM3): No modifications

Feed the Dark Gods: Character level 17, must sacrifice 15 intelligent creatures and use equipment costing no less than 7,500 gp.

  • Demilich: Dark Minded

Craft Wonderous Item: Caster Level 21

  • Desiccator (LM): No Modifications

A Feast Unknown: Character Level 4, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the location where a Water Elemental died.

  • Devourer (MM): Unliving (Con 18 – 126 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 13, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the slaying of a giant and a humanoid.

  • Dream Vestige (LM): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 18, Oneiromancy Requires at least 100 sapient creatures to be killed in their sleep within an hour.

  • Drowned (MM3): Unliving (Con 13, loses Unholy Toughness), CR bumped to 9.

Body Assemblage: Character level 11, Swim 4 ranks Requires the corpse of humanoid who died of drowning.

  • Dust Wight (MM3): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 9, Appraise 4 ranks Requires the corpse of a humanoid dead for at least 100 years.

  • Ephemeral Swarm MM3: CR bumped to 8

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 10, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks. Requires the names of 1000 dead animals.

  • Effigy (MM2): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 19 Must have 3 spells with the [Fire] descriptor.

  • Entomber (LM): Unliving (Con 12 – 60 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character Level 7, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 4 ranks Requires a corpse and some blue thread.

  • Entropic Reaper (LM): Dark Minded

Feed the Dark Gods: Character level 14, 12 sacrifices and 6,000 gp.

  • Famine Spirit (MM2): Unliving (Con 18 – 336 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character Level 21, finger of death, symbol of pain Requires the corpse of a humanoid who starved to death within the last hour.

  • Forsaken Shell (LM): No Modifications

A Feast Unknown: Character level 8, Hide 4 ranks Must remove all the skin from a humanoid.

  • Ghast (MM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 37 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 5, Heal 4 ranks Requires infecting and killing a humanoid of at least 3 hit dice.

  • Ghost Brute (LM): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Variable.

  • Ghostly Visage (FF): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld, Graft Flesh

  • Ghoul (MM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 13 – 15 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 3 Requires killing a humanoid.

  • Gravecrawler (MM2): Dark Minded

Body Assemblage: Character level 18, flesh to stone, speak with dead.

  • Gravetouched Ghoul (LM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 16 – 57 hp)

This monster is subsumed into the Ghoul Template presented here.

  • Grim Weird (MM3): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks

  • Huecuva (FF): No Modifications

Wrappings of the Ages: Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks Must have the corpse of a Blackguard, Cleric, Druid, Favored Soul, Monk, or Paladin.

  • Hulking Corpse (LM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character Level 11 Requires the corpse of a giant.

  • Hullathoin (FF): Unliving (Con 26 – 232 hp)

Feed the Dark Gods: Character Level 17, 15 sacrifices and 7,500 gp.

  • Hunefer (ELH): Dark Minded

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 27, Knowledge (Religion) 10 ranks Must have the body of a demigod.

  • Jahi (MM2): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 18, Bluff 10 ranks

  • Lavawight (ELH): Unliving (Con 16 – 304 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 25 Requires a humanoid of at least 16 hit dice and access to a pool of magma.

  • Lich (MM): Dark Minded

Craft Wondrous Item: Caster Level 11.

  • Morhg (MM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level ,

  • Mummy (MM): Dark Minded

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 7, Heal 4 ranks

  • Murk (LM): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 5, Sense Motive 4 ranks

  • Necromental (LM): No Modifications

Wrappings of the Ages: Variable

  • Necronaut (MM3): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level 16, Knowledge (Engineering) 4 ranks

  • Necropolitan (LM): Dark Minded, Unliving

Path of Blood: Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks

  • Nightshades (MM): Dark Minded

Feed the Dark Gods: Sacrifices variable.

  • Plagueblight (LM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 57 hp)

Body Assemblage: Character level 8, contagion

  • Plague Spewer (MM3): No Modifications

Path of Blood: Character level 12, Heal 4 ranks

  • Quell (LM): Dark Minded

Path of Blood: Character level 5, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks

  • Quth-Maren (FF): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 85 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 9, must strip the skin off a humanoid

  • Ragewind (MM2): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 21, Proficiency in all martial weapons

  • Raiment (LM): No Modifications

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 3, Craft (tailoring) 4 ranks

  • Revived Fossil (LM): No Modifications

Wrappings of the ages: Variable requirements.

  • Salt Mummy (MM3): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 16, loses Unholy Toughness)

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 10, desiccate

  • Shadow (MM): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 5, Hide 4 ranks

  • Shadow of the Void (ELH): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 28, Survival 10 ranks

  • Shape of Fire (ELH): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 28, Knowledge (planes) 10 ranks

  • Skeletons (MM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Variable requirements or Animate Dead

  • Skin Kite (LM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Character level 5, Craft (Tailoring) 4 ranks

  • Skirr (LM): Unliving (Con 19 – 94 hp)

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 9, Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks

  • Skulking Cyst (LM): Unliving (Con 15 – 34 hp)

necrotic cyst

  • Slaughter Wight (LM): Unliving (Con 13 – 153 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character Level 10, BAB +7

  • Slay Mate (LM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 11)

You can't make this one.

  • Spawn of Kyuss (MM2): No Modifications

A Feast Unknown: Character level 7, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks

  • Specter (MM): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 9, Bluff 4 Ranks

  • Spectral Lyricist (LM): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 6, Perform 4 ranks

  • Swordwraith (FF): Darkminded, Unliving (Con 14 – 42 hp)

Whispers of the Otherworld: Must have the corpse of a mercenary warrior.

  • Tomb Mote (LM): No Modifications

Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 4, Heal 4 ranks

  • Ulgurstasta (FF): Unliving (Con 30 – 280 hp), upon reaching an Int of 10, the Ulgurstasta also has the Darkminded subtype.

Feed the dark Gods: An Ulgurstasta is created at Intelligence 1, but still requires 11 sacrifices.

  • Vampires (MM): Dark Minded, Unliving (variable Con)

Path of Blood: More powerful vampires require more powerful characters to create.

  • Vampire Spawn (MM): Unliving (Con 13 – 33 hp)

Path of Blood: Character level 6, must sacrifice a humanoid of less than 5th level.

  • Vasuthant (MM3): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 4 (19 for Horrific Vasuthant), darkness

  • Visage (LM): Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 12 – 99 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 11, knowledge (planes) 4 ranks

  • Voidwraith (LM): No Modifications

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 8, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks

  • Wheep (LM): No Modifications

Path of Blood: Character level 13, Intimidate 4 ranks

  • Wight (MM): Unliving (Con 13 – 28 hp)

Any creature slain by negative levels can rise as a Wight

  • Winterwight (ELH): Unliving (Con 16 – 304 hp)

A Feast Unknown: Character level 25 Requires a humanoid of at least 16 hit dice and access to Black Ice.

  • Wraith (MM): Dark Minded

Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 7 (13 for Dread Wraith)

  • Zombie (MM): No Modifications

Body Assemblage: Variable requirements or Animate Dead



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