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Creature Types Undead

Edmund J. Sullivan, from A dream of fair women, & other poems, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, London, 1900. Undead
Edmund J. Sullivan, from A dream of fair women, & other poems, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, London, 1900.

Undead are once-living creatures animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.

Youthful hopes, by scores, to all,

When the locks are crisp and curl’d;

Into me my maudlin gall

And my mockeries of the world

(The vision of sin)

An undead creature has the following features.

  • d8 Hit Die.
  • Base attack bonus equal to 3/4 total Hit Dice (medium progression).
  • Good Will Saves.

Skill points equal to 4 + Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) per Hit Die. Many undead, however, are mindless and gain no skill points or feats. The following are class skills for undead: Climb, Disguise, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Stealth.

Traits: An undead creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

No Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution (such as when calculating a breath weapon’s DC).

Darkvision 60 feet.

  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
  • Immunity to bleed, death effects, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning.

Not subject to nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength), as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects.

Cannot heal damage on its own if it has no Intelligence score, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. The fast healing special quality works regardless of the creature’s Intelligence score.

  • Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
  • Not at risk of death from massive damage, but is immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points.
  • Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming
    undead.
  • Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Undead not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Undead are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
  • Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.
  • Per the spell magic jar: “Undead creatures are powered by negative energy. Only sentient undead creatures have, or are, souls.” This is an important sentence when considering any spells or effects which reference “souls.”
Five Things Almost Everyone Knows About Undead The following are a few facts that are considered common knowledge among civilized peoples. Most undead were once living. Knowing details about the phase of existence that preceded a creature’s undeath is often invaluable in determining its motives. Holy water damages undead as though it were acid. Distributed by goodly religious orders the world over, holy water is the only line of defense against undead for many commoners. Undead are invariably evil, as are the means to create such beings. Undead are healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy. Undead are immune to numerous magical effects, including mind-affecting effects and abilities that affect a creature’s physical Constitution.
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