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Anubis, “God of the Dead; Guide to the Underworld; Guardian of the Necropolis; Judge of the Dead”

Anubis is a deity in ancient Egyptian mythology who presides over mummification, the afterlife, and the weighing of souls.

Anubis – AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator
  • Pantheon: Egyptian pantheon
  • Deity Title: Anubis, God of Mummification and the Dead
  • Deity Symbol: The Ankh, a jackal or a canine head
  • Home Plane: Duat, the Egyptian underworld
  • Deity Level: Lesser deity
  • Alignment: Lawful Neutral
  • Aliases: Anpu, Inpu, Ienpw
  • Superior: Osiris (sometimes)
  • Traditional Allies: Osiris, Horus, Thoth
  • Traditional Foes: Set, Apep, Chaos
  • Divine Artifact: Anubis’ Scepter, a wand used to guide the dead
  • Servants: Priests, mortuary workers, embalmers
  • Servitor Creatures: Jackals, hounds, and other canines
  • Sacred Animal: Jackal
  • Manifestations: Appearances as a jackal-headed man, visions and prophetic dreams, auditory or olfactory signs
  • Signs of Favor: Protection during the afterlife, good luck in mummification and funerary rituals, guidance in times of transition
  • Worshipers: Priests, mortuary workers, embalmers, mourners, those seeking guidance in the afterlife
  • Cleric Alignments: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral Good
  • Specialty Priests: Embalmers, Mortuary Priests, Guardians of the Dead
  • Holy Days: Wep Ronpet, the Egyptian New Year, Feast of Osiris, Anubis Festivals
  • Portfolio: Mummification, the dead, funerary rituals, protection during the afterlife, guidance in times of transition
  • Domains: Death, Protection, Travel, Law, Healing
  • Favored Weapon: Khopesh (a curved sword)
  • Favored Class: Cleric
  • Favored Race: Humans, Jackals (in some traditions)
  • Duties of the Priesthood: Conducting funerary rites, guiding the souls of the dead, performing mummification and embalming, guarding and maintaining tombs and graveyards
  • Major Cult/Temple Sites: Heliopolis, Memphis, Thebes
  • Benefits: Divine protection during the afterlife, enhanced abilities in mummification and funerary rites, access to powerful divine magic, the ability to communicate with the dead and receive guidance from Anubis

Anubis is a complex and fascinating being, worshipped by the ancient Egyptians as the god of mummification, the afterlife, and the dead. With the head of a jackal and the body of a human, he embodies the duality of life and death, as well as the connection between the natural and supernatural worlds.

anubis, pharaohs, ancient

As a deity, Anubis is known for his role in guiding the souls of the deceased to the afterlife, and for his ability to weigh the hearts of the dead to determine their fate. He takes his responsibilities seriously and is a powerful and respected figure among the other gods.

Anubis is a character of great depth and mystery. He is often depicted as stoic and solemn, a reflection of his role as a guardian of the dead. However, he is also capable of great compassion and empathy, as he understands the struggles of those who have passed on and wishes to ease their journey into the afterlife.

Anubis has the head of a jackal and the body of a human, with a tall and lean physique. He stands upright on two legs, with long arms that end in graceful, slender fingers. His skin is a deep shade of black, and his eyes are dark and intense, radiating an aura of power and wisdom. He is often depicted wearing a distinctive headdress, and carrying a scepter or ankh in his hand. Overall, Anubis has a striking and imposing appearance, befitting of his status as a revered deity in ancient Egyptian mythology.

Ultimately, Anubis seeks to help guide the souls of the dead to their rightful place in the afterlife. He believes that every soul deserves a fair and just judgment, and he takes his duty to ensure this very seriously. As a god who embodies both life and death, Anubis sees himself as a bridge between worlds, and his ultimate goal is to ensure that the transition from one realm to the next is as smooth and peaceful as possible.


Anubis guides the souls of dead mortals to the halls of judgment, supervises their weighing on the scales of Ma’at, and protects them on their journey. In addition, he guards cemeteries from grave robbers and other defilers. Anubis helped his mother Nephthys and his aunt Isis mummify Osiris (his father), applying his knowledge of herbs and medicines. He is also a keeper of magical knowledge, particularly that related to necromancy. Despite his knowledge of necromancy, he does not condone animating or controlling undead creatures, with the exception of mummies established as tomb guardians.

Followers of Anubis practice rigorous disciplines to hone their minds and spirits, preparing themselves for the eventual journey to the afterlife. The Judge of the Dead has few devotees, but he is often worshiped at funerals, where his clerics typically officiate.

Clergy and Temples

Anubis’s clerics are few and not especially popular, given their close association with funerals and the necropolis (graveyard). Not all of them perpetuate the stereotype of the gaunt, dour, intimidating mortician—but enough of them do that the stereotype remains valid. As with all Pharaonic clerics, male clerics of Anubis shave their heads while female clerics wear their hair long. They dress in white robes. Most of Anubis’s clerics are male.

Anubis’s temples are always located next to cemeteries and follow the general layout of most Pharaonic temples. They are funeral chapels, embalming centers, and guarded repositories of sacred and magical knowledge.


Anubis, "God of the Dead; Guide to the Underworld; Guardian of the Necropolis; Judge of the Dead"

Medium deity (lawful neutral)

Armor Class: 30 (Divine Armor)

Hit Points: 900 (60d20 + 300)

Speed: 60 ft., fly 120 ft.

30 (+10)30 (+10)30 (+10)28 (+9)30 (+10)24 (+7)

Saving Throws: Con +19, Wis +20, Cha +17

Skills: Perception +20, Religion +18

Damage Immunities: Necrotic

Condition Immunities: Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned

Senses: Truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 30

Languages: All, Telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge Rating: 30 (155,000 XP)

Divine Awareness: Anubis is aware of any creature within 1 mile of his worshippers or the objects and places sacred to them.

Divine Aura: Anubis can choose to emit an aura of dread, forcing creatures within 60 feet of him to make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 26) or become frightened for 1 minute. Creatures who succeed on the saving throw are immune to this effect for 24 hours.

Divine Weapon: Anubis wields a magical flail, imbued with the power to sever the ties between body and soul. The flail deals an extra 3d8 necrotic damage on hit, and any creature reduced to 0 hit points by the flail must make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw or have their soul trapped within Anubis’ realm.

Innate Spellcasting: Anubis can cast the following spells innately, without requiring any components:

At will: command undead, detect magic, detect evil and good, speak with dead, zone of truth 3/day each: dispel magic, finger of death, raise dead, true resurrection 1/day each: antimagic field, power word kill, power word heal

Legendary Actions: Anubis can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Anubis regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  1. Divine Strike: Anubis makes a melee weapon attack with his flail.
  2. Soul Snare: Anubis targets one creature he can see within 120 feet of him. The target must make a DC 25 Wisdom saving throw or have their soul snared, becoming incapacitated until the end of Anubis’ next turn.
  3. Divine Healing: Anubis channels his divine power to heal himself or one creature he can see within 60 feet of him. The target regains 50 hit points.

Divine Artifact: Anubis possesses the Scales of Ma’at, a divine artifact that represents the balance between order and chaos, truth and falsehood, and justice and injustice. The Scales can be used to judge the souls of the dead, weighing their deeds and determining their ultimate fate.

Divine Domain: Anubis is associated with the Death and Life domains. He grants his clerics the ability to rebuke undead and heal the living, as well as the ability to turn dead bodies into undead servants. His clerics can also cast spells that manipulate life and death, such as resurrection and death ward. Anubis is also associated with the Law domain, as he is a god of judgment and order. His clerics gain access to spells that manipulate the mind and enforce obedience, such as command and geas.

Lair Actions: When fighting in his lair, Anubis can take lair actions. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Anubis takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects:

  • The ground trembles, forcing all creatures within 60 feet of Anubis to make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • Anubis calls forth a swarm of undead insects to attack his foes. All creatures within 30 feet of Anubis take 20 (4d8 + 2) necrotic damage, or half damage with a successful DC 25 Dexterity saving throw.
  • Anubis opens a portal to his realm, causing a wave of negative energy to wash over all creatures within 60 feet of him. All creatures within range take 30 (6d8 + 2) necrotic damage, or half damage with a successful DC 25 Constitution saving throw.

Regional Effects: The region around Anubis’ temple is affected by his divine power, creating the following effects:

  • Undead creatures within 1 mile of Anubis’ temple gain an extra hit point per hit die and have advantage on saving throws against turning or destroying effects.
  • The air around Anubis’ temple is heavy with the scent of death and decay, causing creatures within 1 mile of the temple to make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become sickened for 1 hour.
  • The ground around Anubis’ temple is cracked and desolate, as if a great cataclysm had occurred. Creatures moving on the ground within 1 mile of the temple must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage from falling debris.
Cleric 20/Wizard 15/Loremaster 5
Medium-Size outsider
Divine Rank6
Hit Dice20d8+140 (outsider) plus 20d8+140 (Clr) plus 15d4+105 (Wiz) plus 5d4+35 (Lor) (820 hp)
Speed60 ft.
AC53 (+7 Dexterity, +6 divine, +19 natural, +10 deflection + Dodge trick)
Attacks+5 disruption lawful heavy mace +59/+54/+49/+44 melee or spell +54 melee touch or +53 ranged touch.
Damage+5 disruption lawful heavy mace 1d8+17/√ó2 or by spell.
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksDomain powers, salient divine abilities, spell-like abilities, turn undead 17/day.
Special QualitiesDivine immunities, DR 41/+4, fire resistance 26, spontaneous casting of divine spells, understand, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all beings within 6 miles, remote communication, godly realm, teleport without error at will, plane shift at will, familiar (canines), lore +16, loremaster secrets (Dodge trick, one feat, bonus 2nd-level spell), SR 38, divine aura (600 ft., DC 26).
SavesFort +45, Ref +45, Will +56.
AbilitiesStrength 26, Dexterity 25, Constitution 25, Intelligence 32, Wisdom 43, Charisma 30.
SkillsAlchemy +67, Concentration +73, Decipher Script +47, Diplomacy +48, Heal +64, Knowledge (arcana) +79, Knowledge (history) +57, Knowledge (nature) +57, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +57, Knowledge (the planes) +57, Knowledge (religion) +77, Knowledge (undead) +77, Listen +54, Profession (herbalist) +62, Profession (scribe) +62, Scry +77, Search +27, Sense Motive +42, Spellcraft +77, Spot +54, Use Magic Device +36.
FeatsAlertness, Craft Rod, Craft Staff, Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, Divine Might, Divine Vengeance, Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Extra Turning, Greater Spell Penetration, Heighten Spell, Iron Will, Maximize Spell, Persistent spell, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Reach Spell, Sacred Spell, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]), Silent Spell, Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration, Still Spell.
Ability damage, ability drain, acid, cold, death effects, disease, disintegration, electricity, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, Paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, transmutation, imprisonment, banishment.
Divine Abilities
Alter Form, Alter Size, Animate Temple Guardian*, Arcane Mastery, Gift of Life, Guide to Souls*, Life and Death, Shift Form. *Unique ability, described below.
Domain PowersCast law spells at +1 caster level; use spell completion or spell trigger devices as Wiz30; 6/day death touch (roll 20d6; if subject touched does not have at least that many hp, it dies).
Spell-Like AbilitiesAnubis uses these abilities as a 16th level caster, except for law spells, which he uses as a 17th-level caster. The save DCs are 26 + spell level. Antimagic field, calm emotions, deathwatch, death ward, destruction, dictum, dispel chaos, dispel magic, gentle repose, hold monster, identify, imbue with spell ability, magic circle against chaos, mage’s disjunction, Undetectable Aura, order’s wrath, protection from chaos, protection from spells,shield of law, slay living, speak with dead, Spell Resistancespell turning, summon monster IX (law spell only), surelife, undeath to death, wail of the banshee.

Cleric Spells/Day: 6/10/10/10/10/9/8/8/8/7; base DC = 26 + spell level.

Wizard Spells/Day: 4/7/8/7/6/6/6/6/5/5; base DC = 21 + spell level.

Animate Temple Guardian (unique salient divine ability):

Anubis can animate any object that is located within a tomb that he can sense, with no limit to size. Otherwise, this ability works like animate objects.

Guide to Souls (unique salient divine ability):

Anubis can prevent any soul from returning to its body when a cleric attempts to return the character from the dead.


Anubis possesses a true ankh, a 1-foot-long ankh made of bright blue stone that casts a true resurrection spell when touched to the remains of any creature. Any creature with no divine ranks who touches a true ankh suffers the effects of an empowered, maximized horrid wilting spell (300 points of damage, Fort DC 32 half ).

Caster Level: 25th; Weight: 12 lb.

Other Divine Powers

As a lesser deity, Anubis may take 10 on any check. Anubis treats a 1 on an attack roll or saving throw normally and not as an automatic failure. He is immortal.

Senses: Anubis can see, hear, touch, and smell at a distance of six miles. As a standard action, he can perceive anything within six miles of his worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one of his titles or name was spoken in the last hour. He can extend his senses to up to five locations at once. He can block the sensing power of deities of his rank or lower at up to two remote locations at once for 6 hours.

Portfolio Sense: Anubis automatically senses the sealing or violation of any tomb, and is aware of all raise dead and similar spells cast on followers of a Pharaonic deity.

Automatic Actions: Anubis can use Heal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (undead), Profession
(herbalist), Profession (scribe), or Spellcraft as a free action if the DC is 20 or lower. He can perform up to five such free actions each round.

Create Magic Items: Anubis can create any magic item, as long as the item’s market price does not exceed 30,000 gp.

Artifacts that the Avatar may possess:

Death Mask (of Anubis)

The Lore of the Gods
Book 3 – The Egyptian Gods

Lead Designers
Steven Creech and Kevin Ruesch Lead Editor Steven Schend Creative Director Jim Butler Art Director
Todd Morasch Artwork Aaron D. Siddal

This dark, golden burial mask appears to have symbols engraved along the outer edges that continually shift and change. The face of the mask will shift to imitate the visage of its wearer. However, the eyes never change, as they constructed from solid black onyx. The Death Mask has the following properties:


Anubis has been a powerful and revered figure in Egyptian mythology for thousands of years, but as the 1450s unfold, he finds himself increasingly disconnected from the world of mortals. The rise of new Empires has eclipsed the worship of the ancient Egyptian gods, and Anubis has been relegated to a distant and almost forgotten figure.

Despite this, Anubis continues to watch over the souls of the dead and guide them on their journey into the afterlife. He is a steadfast and unwavering presence, even as the world around him changes and transforms.

In the 1450s, Anubis observes the rapid expansion of the European powers, particularly Portugal and Spain, as they explore and conquer new lands. He is fascinated by their voyages and the vast new worlds they are uncovering, and he wonders what role he might play in these new frontiers.

As the Age of Discovery continues to unfold, Anubis begins to sense a growing restlessness and unease among the souls of the dead. Many are uncertain about what comes next, and they are haunted by fears and doubts about the afterlife.

Determined to help ease their anxieties, Anubis decides to make his presence known to the mortals once again. He appears to a group of Portuguese explorers as they sail down the coast of West Africa, and he offers them guidance and protection as they continue their journey.

Anubis recognizes that the world is changing, and that his role as a guardian of the dead may need to evolve as well. He hopes that by reaching out to the mortals and offering his assistance, he can help bridge the gap between the old world and the new.

Overall, Anubis wants to ensure that the souls of the dead are able to find peace and comfort, no matter what changes may come. He believes that his ancient wisdom and power can still be a valuable asset to the mortals, and he is eager to find new ways to connect with them and make a positive impact on their lives.

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