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Spellgorged Zombie (Dread Codex Template)

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Spellgorged Zombie

It is the ultimate humiliation for a spellcaster to be reduced to a mindless, rotting husk used only to store the spells of a rival. Summary::Created with the use of a create greater undead spell, a spellgorged zombie is a programmed being, which appears much like a normal zombie. It must be made from a corpse that was in life an arcane or divine spellcaster. Spellgorged zombies may be used to store spells much like a ring of spell storing with the notable exception that they may be programmed to exhaust those spells by the spellcaster through a series of commands.

Spellgorged Zombie is an acquired template that can be added to any character capable of casting arcane or divine spells (hereafter referred to as the "base creature"). It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type Edit

The base creature's type changes to undead. It retains any elemental type modifiers (such as Fire or Aquatic), but loses any alignment or racial type modifiers. It does not gain the Augmented subtype. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice Edit

Increase all current and future HD to d12s.

Speed Edit

If the base creature can fly, reduce its maneuverability to clumsy.

Armor Class Edit

A spellgorged zombie has a +2 natural armor bonus or the base creature's natural armor bonus, whichever is higher.

Base Attack Edit

A spellgorged zombie has a base attack bonus equal to one-half its HD.

Attack Edit

The spellgorged zombie retains all the natural attacks and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. A spellgorged zombie also gains a slam attack if it did not already have one. Recalculate the base creature's attack bonus on its new type and ability scores.

Damage Edit

A slam attack deals damage depending on the spellgorged's size. Creatures with natural attacks retain their old damage rating or use the values below, whichever is higher.

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

Special Attacks Edit

A spellgorged zombie loses all the special attacks of the base creature and gains spell storing:

  • Spell Storing (Su): A spellgorged zombie can store any spells cast into its mouth as if it were a ring of spell storing. The spellgorged zombie can store a number of spell levels equal to its Hit Dice. Each spell has a caster level equal to that of the spellcaster that placed the spell in the spellgorged. The save DC for any spell stored in a spellgorged zombie is determined using the ability scores of the spellcaster who placed the spell. The spellgorged zombie need not provide ay material components or foci, or pay an XP cost to cast the spell, and there is no arcane spell failure chance for wearing armor (since the spellgorged zombie need not gesture). When the spellcaster stores the spells in the spellgorged zombie, however, he must use all required components for the spell. For randomly generated spellgorged zombies, treat the spellgorged zombie as a scroll to determine what spells are stored in it. If you roll a spell that would put the spellgorged over its spell level limit, ignore that roll; the spellgorged has no more spells in it. (Not every spellgorged need be fully charged.) A spellcaster can cast any spells into the spellgorged, so long as the total spell levels do not equal more than the spellgorged zombie's Hit Dice. Any excess spells or spell levels are lost.

Special Qualities Edit

A spellgorged zombie loses all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the undead type.

Abilities Edit

Modify from the base creature as follows: Str +2, Dex -2. Being undead the spellgorged zombie has no Constitution score. Being a zombie, it has no Intelligence.

Skills Edit

The spellgorged zombie loses all skills.

Feats Edit

A spellgorged zombie loses all feats and gains Toughness.

Environment Edit

Any.

Organization Edit

Any.

Challenge Rating Edit

The spellgorged zombie's CR depends on its HD as follows:

Hit Dice Challenge Rating
1 0.5 ½
2 1
3-4 2
5-6 3
7-11 4
12-14 5
15-17 6
18-20 7

Treasure Edit

None.

Alignment Edit

Always neutral.

Advancement Edit

None.

Sample Spellgorged Zombie Edit

This sample uses a 5th-level wizard as the base creature.

SMW::off

Spellgorged Zombie
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 5d12 (35 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 13 (+1 Dex, +2 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+3
Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell Storing (5 total levels)
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +5
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 12, Con -, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills:
Feats: ToughnessB
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary, gang (2-5), squad (6-10)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -

SMW::on This humanoid has rotting skin and tattered clothes hanging from its desiccated form. A faint blue glow plays inside the creature's otherwise dead eye sockets, suggesting hidden power.

This spellgorged zombie was slain by a more powerful rival for some blackmail the former caster threatened to employ. In retribution, the wizard decided to use the slain caster as a spellgorged guardian. Dubbed "Knick-Knack" by the evil caster, this spellgorged stays inside the wizard's tower in deep in the forest. The zombie's sad duty is to guard not the wizard's laboratory or treasure room, but to guard his kitchen. The wizard is certain that on some level, the former caster is in eternal torment.

Combat Edit

Knick-Knack has the following spells at his disposal (caster level 7th; DC 13 + spell level): acid arrow, cause fear, magic missile, sleep. The spellgorged zombie is instructed to try and subdue intruders with a sleep spell. Failing that, it casts cause fear and follows up with slam attacks. Its ranged magic is saved for fleeing opponents or those who are otherwise too far to reach with melee attacks.

Treasure Edit

None — Whatever treasure this former spellcaster had was taken by the caster that animated it.

In Your Campaign Edit

It is a little known fact that a spellgorged zombie can be useful even after defeated. Assuming it still had spells within it when beaten, its arm, leg, or head (if whole) can be used as a wand to trigger the magic left inside. This means that any spellcaster with a spell remaining that is also on his class lists can activate the spell using one of these zombie parts. A rogue can also use the Use Magic Device skill to activate the "wand" (DC 20) if he knows there is a spell (or spells) in there. The magic remains stored within the spellgorged zombie until used.

Alternatively, the creator of a spellgorged zombie can implant a hidden command which causes unused spells to detonate if the spellgorged is slain. This requires an extra 200 gp worth of components per spellgorged HD (so the example above would require an extra 1,000 gp upon creation). This special attack does not raise the spellgorged zombie's CR. It reads like this:

Death Throes (Ex): When the spell-gorged zombie is reduced to 0 hit points or below, it explodes, sending destabilized spell energies in a 20-ft.-radius. All creatures within the area of effect must succeed a Reflex save (DC equals 10 + one-half spellgorged's Hit Dice + Cha modifier, if positive) to halve the damage or take 1d6 points of damage per spell level detonated.

For example, if the above spellgorged zombie had already cast sleep and cause fear before being slain, then acid arrow and magic missile would be included in the death throes (Reflex DC 12 halves; 3d6 damage).



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