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Monsters Edit

Perhaps the most important thing about necromancy is the undead creatures themselves.


Artificial Intelligence Edit

When a necromancer creates even a lowly kobold skeleton when his necromantic control limit has already been reached, one or more of the undead creatures already under his control become "uncontrolled". That much is clear to everyone. But what does an uncontrolled zombie do? It's not intelligent, it simply runs a program that causes it to act in a predictable fashion to stimulus. Of course, what that program actually is has heretofore been left undescribed. The actions of uncontrolled undead depend largely on the moral option your game is using for necromancy in general.

Of course, it doesn't make much difference to uncontrolled Wights and the like – they are somewhat intelligent and wholly evil. So they'll be just like any other monster – as tactically savvy as the DM.


Crawling Darkness Edit

Under the Crawling Darkness option, undead are inherently evil, and act accordingly. The mindless undead hunger for life and are completely ambivalent to all else. If a skeleton has unbroken line of sight to a living creature or object, they will attack it. If living creatures and objects are both visible, the skeletons will bypass objects (such as trees) in order to attack creatures (such as people or horses). Non-living and undead creatures are unmolested unless the skeleton witnesses it attacking an undead creature. Skeletons prioritize targets that they can reach this round without provoking attacks of opportunity over other targets. Skeletons prioritize targets with more hit dice over other targets. Skeletons prioritize targets which are closer over targets more distant.

If a skeleton perceives an undead creature attacking another undead creature, it will attack whichever undead has been in its line of sight for less time. If a skeleton has seen both creatures for an equal amount of time, it comes in on a random side (even if it had previously seen one of the undead creatures in a previous context). If a skeleton is attacked by an undead creature, it will defend itself.

Skeletons wander around in a spiral search pattern attacking any living thing they find. They do not molest non-living things at all, so a skeleton will not open a door or tunnel through a wall unless it is made out of living wood or meat. If a living thing disappears from its vision, the skeleton will go to where the living creature was last seen and begin searching there – unless another living thing is seen (in which case the skeleton will simply move to attack it instead).

Skeletons do not question their perceptions, a closed door or even a curtain can be enough for a skeleton to abandon a pursuit. Skeletons have no sense of smell or irony, and a living victim is forgotten as soon as the skeleton moves to the point of last contact. A skeleton will not walk into what appear to be dangerous or solid objects unless it can see a way to get to a living target that it can currently perceive.

Don't Attack Unless.... Edit

Since skeletons are mindlessly evil and relentless in their quest to destroy all life, a skeleton is normally ordered to not attack unless specific criteria are evoked. The criteria could be anything from "walking through this doorway without invoking the name of Wee Jas" to "attacking someone wearing the garb of the chosen of Kyuss." If the exact criteria are not met, the skeletons will hold their blades. Most necromancers remember to allow their skeletons leeway to defend themselves, but sometimes even that is overlooked. Controlled skeletons, therefore, are usually under considerable restraints and will often hold their claws in check until after combat has been initiated.


Playing with Fire Edit

Under the Playing with Fire option, undead are dangerous, but not necessarily evil. Their behavior befits that. Uncontrolled skeletons follow their last set of commands exactly, and those commands are only of the most basic sort. A skeleton last ordered to follow the necromancer who created it will continue to do so – mindlessly marching in the necromancer's wake, its empty eye sockets staring vacantly. It won't make any move to assist the necromancer, nor will it take any further instructions, it will simply follow. Forever. Should a skeleton be last asked to guard an area, it will attack any creature entering the area, though it will make no move to attack creatures outside that area. A skeleton last ordered to chop wood will continue until the forest is splinters or its axe rusts away to nothing.

Skeletons will defend themselves if attacked, and will attack creatures that they perceive attacking other undead. As with the Crawling Darkness, if skeletons see undead attacking other undead, it can rapidly degrade into a free-for-all with skeletons smashing each other with abandon. But they will not instigate such behavior on their own. Skeletons will not leave areas they are assigned to except to pursue creatures which are attacking them.

Skeletons are not curious about their surroundings, and do not question events in their area that do not obviously interact with their latest orders.


Previously Published Monsters Edit

There are a lot of undead monsters in a variety of sourcebooks. In fact, regional and monster sourcebooks that don't have at least one undead creature in them are by far in the minority. Many of these creatures are supposed to be constructed by powerful Necromancers, and have no rules for powerful necromancers actually doing that. Many of these creatures should rightfully have the Unliving or Dark Minded subtypes. What follows is a list of the Undead already existent in D&D as well as the method of creating them, with the hard character requirements and suggested building materials on the third. Many Fey and Native Outsiders can be counted as "humanoids" for purposes of creating undead.

Undead Creation
Monster Modifications Creation Requirements Creation Materials
Abyssal Ghoul[1] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 12 – 120 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 12, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the sacrifice of a CR 8 or higher humanoid or fiend.
Allip Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 5, Listen 4 ranks Requires the name of a unique individual who was completely insane at death.
Angel of Decay[2] Dark Minded Feed the Dark Gods: Character Level 17 Must sacrifice 15 intelligent creatures, materials costing 7500 gp.
Atropal Scion[2] No Modifications Feed the Dark Gods: Character Level 13 Must sacrifice 11 intelligent creatures, materials costing 6,500 gp.
Banshee[3] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 19, wail of the banshee Requires the corpse of a very selfish humanoid.
Bhut[1] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 11, Survival 4 ranks Requires sacrificing an intelligent victim at least two days walk from a city.
Blaspheme[2] Dark Minded Body Assemblage: Character Level 11, Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, false life Requires pieces of humanoid or giant corpses such that an attribute of 14 or higher is represented in all statistics.
Bleakborn[2] No Modifications Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 9, chill touch Requires the corpse of a humanoid who died of cold.
Blood Amniote[2] No Modifications Path of Blood: Character Level 11, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 4 ranks Requires 20 liters of blood and an alchemist's lab.
Bloodfiend[1] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 17 – 114 hp) Path of Blood: Character level 16, knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the sacrifice a demon of CR 8 or higher.
Bloodmote Cloud[2] No Modifications Path of Blood: Character level 8, knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires 20 liters of blood and an alchemist's lab.
Boneclaw[4] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 19, loses Unholy Toughness) Path of Blood: Character level 7, spectral hand Requires one humanoid body and the skeletons of 3 other medium creatures.
Bone Drinker[4] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 14, loses Unholy Toughness) Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 8 (6 for Lesser), Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks or Create undead, caster level 15 (12 for Lesser). Requires the corpse of a goblin (lesser) or bugbear (greater).
Bone Naga[3] Dark Minded Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 13 Requires the corpse of a Dark Naga.
Bodak Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 76 hp) Path of Blood: Character level 10, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks Requires the corpse of someone extremely evil, or the killing of a humanoid with evil magic.
Bone Rat Swarm[2] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character level 5, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires 1,000 rat skeletons.
Bone Yard[2] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character level 16, Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks Requires 5 tonnes of bones from any creatures.
Brain in a Jar[2] Dark Minded Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 6, Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks Requires the removal of the living brain of a creature with an Intelligence of 18+.
Charnel Hound[4] Unliving (Con 19, loses Unholy Toughness)

Body Assemblage: Character level 15, Handle Animal 4 ranks || Requires 100 humanoid corpses (or proportionately fewer larger corpses of intelligent creatures).

Cinderspawn[2] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 8, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the spot where a Fire Elemental perished.
Corpse Gatherer[3] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character level 21 Requires and consumes a forsaken graveyard.
Corpse Rat Swarm[2] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character level 6, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires 1,000 rat corpses.
Crawling Head[1] No Modifications Body Assemblage: character level 22, Use Magic Device 4 ranks Must have at least 100 humanoid corpses.
Crimson Death[3] Dark Minded Path of Blood: Character level 13, Hide 4 ranks Requires a humanoid, a sharp implement, and a strong wind.
Crypt Chanter[2] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 9, Perform 4 ranks Must know the name of a dead performer who was unappreciated at the time of death.
Crypt Thing[1] Dark Minded Wrappings of the Ages: Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) 4 ranks or create undead, caster level 14th. Requires one humanoid corpse and a fancy outfit.
Deathbringer[3] Dark Minded Body Assemblage: Character level 19, Craft (tailor) 4 ranks Requires at least 12 humanoid corpses or two giant corpses.
Death Knight[3] Dark Minded Feed the Dark Gods More powerful warriors require more sacrifices to reanimate.
Deathlock[2] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 11 – 19 hp) Path of Blood: Character level 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks Requires the body of an arcane Spellcaster.
Deathshrieker[4] No modifications Feed the Dark Gods: Character level 17 Must sacrifice 15 intelligent creatures and use equipment costing no less than 7,500 gp.
Demilich Dark Minded Craft Wonderous Item Caster Level 21
Desiccator[2] No Modifications A Feast Unknown: Character Level 4, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the location where a Water Elemental died.
Devourer Unliving (Con 18 – 126 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character level 13, Knowledge (planes) 4 ranks Requires the slaying of a giant and a humanoid.
Dream Vestige[2] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 18, Oneiromancy Requires at least 100 sapient creatures to be killed in their sleep within an hour.
Drowned[4] Unliving (Con 13, loses Unholy Toughness), CR bumped to 9. Body Assemblage: Character level 11, Swim 4 ranks Requires the corpse of humanoid who died of drowning.
Dust Wight[4] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 9, Appraise 4 ranks Requires the corpse of a humanoid dead for at least 100 years.
Ephemeral Swarm[4] CR bumped to 8 Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 10, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks Requires the names of 1000 dead animals.
Effigy[3] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 19 Must have 3 spells with the [Fire] descriptor.
Entomber[2] Unliving (Con 12 – 60 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 7, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) 4 ranks Requires a corpse and some blue thread.
Entropic Reaper[2] Dark Minded Feed the Dark Gods: Character level 14 12 sacrifices and 6,000 gp.
Famine Spirit[3] Unliving (Con 18 – 336 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 21, finger of death, symbol of pain Requires the corpse of a humanoid who starved to death within the last hour.
Forsaken Shell[2] No Modifications A Feast Unknown: Character level 8, Hide 4 ranks Must remove all the skin from a humanoid.
Ghast Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 37 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character level 5, Heal 4 ranks Requires infecting and killing a humanoid of at least 3 hit dice.
Ghost Brute[2] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Variable Requires killing an intelligent creature.
Ghostly Visage[1] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld, Graft Flesh Requires killing an intelligent creature.
Ghoul Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 13 – 15 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character level 3 Requires killing a humanoid.
Gravecrawler[3] Dark Minded Body Assemblage: Character level 18, flesh to stone, speak with dead (Fill me.)
Gravetouched Ghoul[2] N/A N/A This monster is subsumed into the Ghoul Template presented here.
Grim Weird[4] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Huecuva[1] No Modifications Wrappings of the Ages: Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks Must have the corpse of a Blackguard, Cleric, Druid, Favored Soul, Monk, or Paladin.
Hulking Corpse[2] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character Level 11 Requires the corpse of a giant.
Hullathoin[1] Unliving (Con 26 – 232 hp) Feed the Dark Gods: Character Level 17 15 sacrifices and 7,500 gp.
Hunefer Dark Minded Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 27, Knowledge (Religion) 10 ranks Must have the body of a demigod.
Jahi[3] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 18, Bluff 10 ranks (Fill me.)
Lavawight Unliving (Con 16 – 304 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character level 25 Requires a humanoid of at least 16 hit dice and access to a pool of magma.
Lich Dark Minded Craft Wondrous Item: Caster Level 11 Requires a spellcaster of at least level 11.
Mohrg No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character level (Fill Me) (Fill me.)
Mummy Dark Minded Wrappings of the Ages: Character level 7, Heal 4 ranks Requires the corpse of a humanoid.
Murk[2] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character level 5, Sense Motive 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Necromental[2] No Modifications Wrappings of the Ages: Variable (Fill me.)
Necronaut[4] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character level 16, Knowledge (Engineering) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Necropolitan[2] Dark Minded, Unliving Path of Blood: Knowledge (Arcana) 4 ranks N/A.
Nightshade Dark Minded Feed the Dark Gods: Variable Sacrifices variable.
Plagueblight[2] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 57 hp) Body Assemblage: Character level 8, contagion (Fill me.)
Plague Spewer[4] No Modifications Path of Blood: Character Level 12, Heal 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Quell[2] Dark Minded Path of Blood: Character Level 5, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Quth-Maren[1] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 15 – 85 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 9 Must strip the skin off a humanoid.
Ragewind[3] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 21, Proficiency in all martial weapons (Fill me.)
Raiment[2] No Modifications Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 3, Craft (tailoring) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Revived Fossil[2] No Modifications Wrappings of the ages: Variable requirements Variable requirements.
Salt Mummy[4] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 16, loses Unholy Toughness) Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 10, desiccate Requires the corpse of a humanoid.
Shadow No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 5, Hide 4 ranks Requires the corpse of an intelligent creature.
Shadow of the Void Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 28, Survival 10 ranks (Fill me.)
Shape of Fire Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 28, Knowledge (planes) 10 ranks (Fill me.)
Skeleton No Modifications Body Assemblage: Variable requirements or Animate Dead Requires a corpse.
Skin Kite[2] No Modifications Body Assemblage: Character Level 5, Craft (Tailoring) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Skirr[2] Unliving (Con 19 – 94 hp) Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 9, Craft (alchemy) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Skulking Cyst[2] Unliving (Con 15 – 34 hp) necrotic cyst (Fill me.)
Slaughter Wight[2] Unliving (Con 13 – 153 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 10, BAB +7 (Fill me.)
Slay Mate[2] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 11) You can't make this one N/A.
Spawn of Kyuss[3] No Modifications A Feast Unknown: Character Level 7, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Specter No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 9, Bluff 4 Ranks Requires the corpse of a humanoid.
Spectral Lyricist[2] Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 6, Perform 4 ranks Requires the corpse of a Bard.
Swordwraith[1] Darkminded, Unliving (Con 14 – 42 hp) Whispers of the Otherworld Must have the corpse of a mercenary warrior.
Tomb Mote[2] No Modifications Wrappings of the Ages: Character Level 4, Heal 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Ulgurstasta[1] Unliving (Con 30 – 280 hp), upon reaching an Int of 10, the Ulgurstasta also has the Darkminded subtype. Feed the Dark Gods An Ulgurstasta is created at Intelligence 1, but still requires 11 sacrifices.
Vampire Dark Minded, Unliving (variable Con) Path of Blood: More powerful vampires require more powerful characters to create N/A.
Vampire Spawn Unliving (Con 13 – 33 hp) Path of Blood: Character Level 6 Must sacrifice a humanoid of less than 5th level.
Vasuthant[4] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 4 (19 for Horrific Vasuthant), darkness (Fill me.)
Visage[2] Dark Minded, Unliving (Con 12 – 99 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 11, knowledge (planes) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Voidwraith[2] No Modifications Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 8, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks (Fill me.)
Wheep[2] No Modifications Path of Blood: Character Level 13, Intimidate 4 ranks Requires the corpse of a humanoid that was tortured before death
Wight Unliving (Con 13 – 28 hp) Any creature slain by negative levels can rise as a Wight N/A.
Winterwight Unliving (Con 16 – 304 hp) A Feast Unknown: Character Level 25, Black Ice Requires a humanoid of at least 16 hit dice.
Wraith Dark Minded Whispers of the Otherworld: Character Level 7 (13 for Dread Wraith) Requires the corpse of a humanoid.
Zombie No Modifications Body Assemblage: Variable requirements or animate dead As normal.

References Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Fiend Folio
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 Libris Mortis
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Monster Manual II
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Monster Manual III



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