Gloomborn (3.5e Race)

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The gloomborn are a race of disturbing humanoids, descended from undead ancestors. They live their lives on the brink of undeath.

Gloomborn are born from a humanoid mother (often a human) and an undead father (almost always a vampire). Their origins leave them hated and feared by everyone- including their parents.


Gloomborn show as much variety in their personalities as their human relatives do. Some are grim and gloomy, and others are obnoxiously cheerful and friendly. Most, however, are quiet, fastidious, and a little distant.

Physical Description[edit]

Gloomborn are about the same height as half-elves, but painfully thin. They have pale skin, with perhaps a slight grayish tinge to it, and eyes of all colours ranging from misty blue to fiery red. Many have black, golden, or reddish eyes. Their hair can also be any colour; most have golden or black hair.


Like half-orcs or tieflings, many gloomborn give normal people a "creepy" feeling. While individual gloomborn may overcome people's prejudices, as a race they're feared and hated. And, oddly, humans don't accept gloomborn at all. If there is ever a place of sanctuary for a gloomborn, it's with evil creatures such as drow or vampires... and even then, they see the gloomborn as a weapon or a lackey, not as a person. On their own part, gloomborn tend to fear "normal" people and keep their distance.


Gloomborn are often some variety of neutral (NG, LN, TN, CN, NE). Their profession dealing with death and their fear of normal people mean that they don't often know much about morality.


No land is truly safe for a gloomborn. Humans, elves, and the like cast gloomborn out of their lands if they can; evil creatures tend to tolerate gloomborn for as long as they're useful and no longer. Many gloomborn are wanderers, looking for a place to truly call home.


Many gloomborn worship a deity of death and magic, such as Wee Jas in the core D&D pantheon or Velsharoon in the Forgotten Realms. Others worship deities of magic (such as Boccob or Mystra) or death (such as Nerull or Kelemvor).


Gloomborn speak Common and any other language they learn in their travels.


Many gloomborn use the human name that they were given at birth. Many more give themselves a name that means something, like 'Doom', 'Wanderer', or 'Lyric'.

Male Names: Anubis, Dark, Doom, Fate, Hope, Luck, Malus, Reaper, Shadow, Spider, Wanderer

Female Names: Bella, Dark, Fate, Hope, Lyric, Rain, Reaper, Shadow, Wanderer

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 to Strength and Intelligence, −2 to Constitution and Charisma: Gloomborn have some of the unearthly strength of their undead ancestors, and they are more intelligent than humans. But they have an evil reputation, and their frail bodies put them constantly on the brink of death.
  • Humanoid (Gloomborn): Though similar both to humans and undead, gloomborn are different enough to warrant their own subtype.
  • Medium size: Gloomborn gain no bonuses or penalties from their size.
  • Gloomborn base land speed is 25 feet.
  • Deathtouched (Ex): Gloomborn take a -2 penalty on all saves against death effects. However, they gain a +2 racial bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects.
  • Necropolis Born (Sp): Every gloomborn gains the Necropolis Born feat as a bonus feat at first level. This feat grants the use of fear, ghost sound, and disrupt undead as spell-like abilities usable 1/day.
  • Immunities (Su): Gloomborn are immune to both Cure and Inflict spells. Both of these are bitter-sweet flashes of pain that both heals and does damage- but the healing and damage are equal and therefore has no mechanical effect.
  • Spells that deal damage only to undead deal half damage to gloomborn. Spells that deal double damage to undead deal 50% more damage to a gloomborn than to a normal creature.
  • Born to Die (Su): When a gloomborn of at least 5th level dies, they can choose, if they want, to immediately gain the vampire template, with all the benefits and drawbacks of that template. The DM can handle this in several ways; the way that I've found works best is for the PC to take levels in a "template class" a la Savage Species.
  • Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages like Druidic).
  • Favored Class: Wizard, specializing in Necromancer.
  • Level Adjustment: +2

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