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Death Lord Orc (Dread Codex Monster)

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Death Lord Orc
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 15d12 (97 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 40 ft.
Armor Class: 23 (+3 Dex, +6 natural, +4 masterwork chain shirt), touch 13, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+11
Attack: +1 greatsword +12 melee (2d6+7/19-20) or claw +9 melee (1d6+4)
Full Attack: +1 greatsword +12/+7 melee (2d6+7/19-20) or 2 claws +9 melee (1d6+4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Desecrate, Leech Strength, Rebuke Undead, Spell-Like Abilities
Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 5/good and magic, Darkvision 60 Ft, Incorporeality, Servant Of None, Spell Resistance 16, Turn Resistance +4, Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +11
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 17, Con —, Int 17, Wis 14, Cha 20
Skills: Appraise +12, Balance +11, Climb +12, Concentration +14, Intimidate +23, Jump +12, Listen +20, Move Silently +11, Search +12, Spot +20, Swim +13
Feats: Combat Casting, Dodge, Extra Turning, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack
Environment: Any land or underground
Organization: Solitary, pair or battle troupe (1-3, plus 6 orcs and accompanied by 15+ HD worth of undead such as skeletons, zombies, ghouls, or ghasts)
Challenge Rating: 11
Treasure: No coins; double goods (gems and jewelry); standard items
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: 16-30 HD (Medium); 31-45 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

This humanoid bears an uncanny resemblance to an orc. Outfitted in a dented chain shirt and wielding a blood stained greatsword, this orc is clearly ready for battle. Its most peculiar qualities are a faint green radiance in its eyes and throat as well as thick, cracked skin of a dark purple hue.

Powerful orc commanders, if they worship the right god, are returned to the world soon after their usually bloody demise as death lord orcs. These undead commanders are instilled with a great sense of pride for being worthy enough to be returned to the world in this new form. Serving a deity of pain and undeath, death lord orcs lead an undead strike force (occasionally accompanied by other orc warriors) against all living armies. The cleric of a particularly devout orc horde might find that a death lord orc and his undead troupe answer a call for military aid, guided to the horde by their dark deity.

Left to their own devices, death lord orcs use hit and run tactics against larger communities, sometimes attacking even small cities if an opportunity arises. During such raids, the death lord and his battle troupe slay as many living creatures as possible and then flee before organized resistance is formed. Treasure is in no way a priority.

Combat Edit

A death lord orc uses its incorporeality to slide into the ground, then rise up amidst enemy troop formations, wreak havoc, and slip once again back into the ground. Enemies who approach the death lord orc are weakened by its leech strength ability. The death lord usually fights with a unit of orcs and lesser undead, using its orc troops and spell-like abilities to deal with enemies who remains while healing its undead minions.

Desecrate (Su): The death lord orc permanently radiates a desecrate effect, as the spell (caster level equals the death lord's HD), in a 30-foot radius.

Leech Life (Su): Any living being within 30 feet of a death lord orc must make a DC 22 Fortitude save each round or take 1 point of Strength damage. For every additional death lord orc within 30 feet of each other, the leech life radius of each is extended by 10 feet. Thus, if two death lord orcs are within 30 feet of one another, both have their radius extended to 40 feet. A creature within overlapping radii need only save once each round. A creature whose Strength score is reduced to 0 by this ability dies and then rises upon the following midnight as a ghoul.

Rebuke Undead (Su): Death lord orcs can rebuke or command undead as evil clerics (effective cleric level equals the death lord's HD). Due to their Extra Turning feat, they may do so 12 times per day.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will — command undead (DC 17), ghoul touch (DC 17); 3/day — control undead (DC 22), mass inflict wounds (DC 20); 1/day — planar eruption (Fort DC 23), unholy aura (DC 23). Caster level 15th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Incorporeality (Su): As a standard action, a death lord orc may make itself and all of its equipment incorporeal. Becoming material again is a free action.

Servant of None (Ex): Due to their prideful sense of self, death lord orcs cannot be controlled, though they can be turned, destroyed, or rebuked.

Treasure Edit

Partial — Death lord orcs have no use for money since entering into the special service of their deity. On some level, however, they are still attracted to shiny baubles, which explains the presence of gems and jewelry. Otherwise, goods and equipment are chosen for their use in combat.

  • Alexandrite [800 gp]
  • Amethyst (x4) [82 gp each]
  • Malachite [70 gp]
  • Golden circlet with four aquamarines [4,000 gp]
  • +1 dagger [2,302 gp]

In Your Campaign Edit

Death lord orcs would make great rear line undead directors if they could stop from being on the front lines like possessed warriors. These undead orcs need to clash with the best an enemy has to offer while its battle troupe engages lesser foes. This fact can be used to the PCs' advantage if they learn of it. Once a death lord orc is known to be terrorizing the area, they can hype up a fighter's reputation and make certain to spread the rumor (and where the fighter can be found) wherever they go. When the death lord orc learns of this "unbeatable warrior with golden armor" (or whatever catch-phrase the party comes up with), he will make sure to attack the area where this person is supposed to be. Of course, the characters will have a cunning trap readied for the death lord and his troupe. The question is whether or not it is good enough to stop this cunning undead foe.

Death lord orcs are almost never found in pairs. Their egos are simply too overwhelming to be compatible within a single combat unit. When there are two in one troupe, it is because a higher power (likely a divine being) has forced them into it. Even then, the two undead lords will be commanding their own units on either side of the battle.



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