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Grave Risen (Dread Codex Monster)

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Grave Risen
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 5d12+3 (35 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Claw +5 melee (1d4+2 plus blood poisoning)
Full Attack: 2 claws +5 melee (1d4+2 plus blood poisoning)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Animate Dead, Blood Poisoning
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 Ft, Turn Resistance +2, Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +6
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 15, Con —, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 16
Skills: Climb +7, Escape Artist +5, Hide +8, Jump +5, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Search +6, Spot +8
Feats: Toughness, Weapon Focus (claw)
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or troupe (1 grave risen plus 2-5 Medium zombies)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 6-12 HD (Medium); 13-15 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

This rotting, worm-ridden corpse is draped in tattered and loose fitting rags and dented armor. Blackened eye sockets serve as its eyes, and the stench of death clings to its body. Its nails are long and filthy, caked with soil from the grave.

Grave risen are rotting undead creatures that upon first glance resemble zombies. They are created from a normal corpse in an area where the blood of a spellcaster is spilled and permeates the ground. The blood fuses with a corpse which sometimes animates as a grave risen. These creatures rarely wander far from the area where they were risen, preferring the stench of death and the serenity of death that lingers in the air.

Grave risen have no love for the living and attack living creatures on sight. Living creatures slain by a grave risen are clawed and mutilated and then buried in a shallow grave by the grave risen as a mockery of its own current existence. Grave risen do not speak or communicate; only occasionally loosing guttural tones from their rotting vocal organs.

Combat Edit

Since grave risen are rarely encountered anywhere but cemeteries, burial grounds, or the like, they usually begin combat by animating corpses and sending them against their aggressors. After animating corpses, the grave risen attempts to down its foes with its filthy claws. Slain foes are destroyed (as detailed above) and are not consumed by a grave risen.

Animate Dead (Sp): Once per day, a grave risen can animate dead, as the spell (caster level 5th).

Blood Poisoning (Ex): A creature hit by a claw attack must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or contract blood poisoning. This deals 1 point of Constitution damage to the victim per minute until the victim dies or the blood poisoning is healed. A neutralize poison or remove disease spell rids the victim of blood poisoning, as does a DC 15 Heal check. Multiple wounds to the same foe do not result in multiple instances of blood poisoning. The save DC and check DC are both Charismabased.

Treasure Edit

None — Grave risen see any equipment and treasure as part of their living existence and throw each piece they find as far away as possible; most likely into the nearest running water source.

In Your Campaign Edit

Besides the locations listed above, PCs are likely to encounter grave risen on former battlefields where spellcasters have also fallen and shed blood. As such, there is still a heap of corpses the grave risen can animate as needed. The grave risen work well in adventures where a main villain isn't present. For example, perhaps the PCs are sent to find a magical weapon lost in a battle decades ago. When they arrive at the battleground, the area is littered with grave risen.

The problem is two-fold here; for even if the PCs could dispatch all of the grave risen and their zombies (or otherwise sneak onto the battlefield to search without being noticed), how can they be sure that the weapon has not already been pitched like these undead do with all treasure. If the PCs come up empty-handed on a search, they might try throwing another sword into the protected area. Then they can monitor what happens when a grave risen finds it. Does he throw it somewhere obvious, like a nearby river, or does he drop it into a deep chasm which was hidden to the PCs up until that point?



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