Jiangshi (3.5e Template)

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When the soul of a deceased fails to leave its body, a jiangshi is born. Condemned to wander the lands, killing the living and devouring their life energy.

Often called a hopping vampire, jiangshis are far from being anywhere close to being associated with such a creature and often lacks intelligence or a will of its own. Their tendency to hop about with arms forever outstretched before them is caused by rigor mortis.

Creating a Jiangshi[edit]

Jiangshi is an acquired template that can be applied to about any corpereal creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (reffered to hereafter as the base creatuer).

Size and Type[edit]

The creature's type changes to undead. It retains any subtypes except alignment subtypes or subtypes that indicate kind. It does not gain the augmented sub-type. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except noted here.

Hit Dice[edit]

Drop any Hit Dice from class levels (to a minimum of 1), double the number of Hit Dice left and raise them to d12s. If the base creature has more than 10 Hit Dice (not counting those gained with experience), it can't be made into a jiangshi with the animate dead spell.


If a jiangshi is unaffected by rigor mortis, its base land speed is the same as the base creature's. A jiangshi affected by rigor mortis has its base land speed is reduce to a quarter of the total base land speed of the base creature.

Armor Class[edit]

Natural armor bonus increases by a number based on the jiangshi's size:

Tiny or smaller +0
Small +1
Medium +2
Large +3
Huge +4
Gargantuan +7
Colossal +11


A jiangshi unaffected by rigor mortis retains all natural and manufactured weapon attacks of the base creature. A jiangshi affected by rigor mortis loses all natural and manufactured weapon attacks requiring the bending of its limbs of the base creature, but gains a slam attack. A slam attack of jiangshi affected by rigor mortis deals damage depending on its size. (Use the base creature’s slam damage if it’s better.)

Fine 1
Diminutive 1d2
Tiny 1d3
Small 1d4
Medium 1d6
Large 1d8
Huge 2d6
Gargantuan 2d8
Colossal 4d6

Full Attack[edit]

A jiangshi will attack in the same fashion of the base creature, especially if unaffected by rigor mortis.

Special Attacks[edit]

A jiangshi retains none of the base attacks of the base creature.

Special Qualities[edit]

A jiangshi loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains all extraordinary special qualities that improves its melee or ranged attacks. A jiangshi gains the following special qualities:

Damage Reduction 5/Slashing (EX): Jiangshi are lumbering masses of flesh.

Single Actions Only: Jiangshis have poor reflexes and can can only perform a single move action or attack action each round. A jiangshi can moves its full speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts to charge.

Rigor Mortis: If a jiangshi has been dead for over three days, it suffers complete rigor mortis and must make a Fortitude save of 20 or higher to perform any action requiring the bending of its limbs (hopping of a jiangshi doesn't require it to bend its legs doesn't require a Fortitude). For every day up to the third day that jiangshi remains dead, it suffers partial rigor mortis and must make a Fortitude Save with a Difficulty Class of 15 to bend its limbs.

Smell Ki: A jiangshi is blind, but can detect the presence of living creatures by smelling their breath. Since they are blind, they are immune to invisibility and all other magical effects that relies on sight. Jiangshi are treated as having the Blindfight feat and has a range of 120 feet. A living creature can allude a jiangshi's ability to smell their Ki by holding their breath (apply the rules of drowning when a character holds their breath. They can't kill themselves holding their breath. An unconscious character cannot hold their breath.)

Ki Absorption: When a jiangshi kills a living creature, it devours the victim's ki and gains 5 temporary Hit Points for every Hit Dice the victim has.


Base save bonuses are FORT +1/3 HD, REF +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD +2.


A jiangshi affected by rigor mortis gains +4 STR and ;minus2 DEX. Unless a jiangshi willed itself back to life, it has no intelligence score and its Wisdom becomes 10. Otherwise, its Intelligence and Wisdom scores remain the same as the base creature's. As an undead creature, a jiangshi has no Constitution score.


A jiangshi that has no intelligence scores has no skills. Otherwise their skills are the same as the base creature.


A jiangshi that retains its intelligence score retains all feats of the base creature. Otherwise it looses all of the feats of the base creatures and gains toughness.


Any land.



Challenge Rating[edit]

Depends on Hit Dice, as follows:

Hit Dice Challenge Rating
1/2 1/8
1 1/4
2 1/2
4 1
6 2
8–10 3
12–14 4
15–16 5
18–20 6


usually none


usually true nuetral, unless it retains its intelligence then it is the same as the base creature.


Unless it retains its Intelligence Score, same as base creature, but double Hit Dice (maximum of 20). Otherwise, by character class.

Level Adjustment[edit]

Same as base creature +3.

Jiangshi weaknesses[edit]

Jiangshis, like vampires, have a number of weaknesses.

Distracting a Jiangshi[edit]

A Jiangshi can be distracted by throwing rice, grains or similar small items in its path. A jiangshi without an intelligence score will automatically be forced to stop to count every grain or unit of the item thrown, keeping it distracted for 1d4 rounds. Jiangshi who retains its intelligence must make a will save of 10+ its total dice or succumb to the urge to count the thrown item.

Immobolizing a Jiangshi[edit]

A jiangshi instantly fails any will saves made against a successful touch attack made to place a talismen of Immobolize Undead on its forhead even if it retain's intelligence.

Slaying a Jiangshi[edit]

A jiangshi is nearly invincible. By reducing its hit points to 0 it is incapacitated, but not killed. If a jiangshi exists on its own free will, then it can only be truly slain by giving it a proper funeral, most commonly in its home village. Otherwise, if a jiangshi is being controlled by the effect of an animate dead talisman, then removing the the talisman, the jiangshi will automatically be slain, but returns to life if the talismen or another talismen of the same kind is placed on its forehead.

Jiangshis as characters[edit]

At the DM's permission any player whose character is slain unjustly or commits suicide may make a Will Save of 10+ their character level to become a Jiangshi. If a character becomes a jiangshi this way, they retain their intelligence. Otherwise, they are treated as having lost their intelligence upon reanimation, most likely due to being forced back to life by another means.

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