Kryx RPGThemesMonsters

Undeath

Some do all they can to resist Death’s inevitable pull by maintaining unnatural life, ultimately perverting death. The Undeath theme focuses on necrotic damage and unnaturally extending life.

Spells from the Undeath theme allow you to prevent creatures from healing, drain the health of creatures, avoid death, animate corpses and grasping hands, fake death, slay and enslave your foes in undeath, protect corpses from decay and undeath, speak with the dead, defy death, create walls of bones, create a macabre marionette of stitched corpses, and replicate the body of a creature as a reserve for its soul.

Power sources

Divine

Table of contents

Undeath feats

You can take each feat only once, unless the feat’s description says otherwise. You must meet any prerequisite specified in a feat to take that feat. If you ever lose a feat’s prerequisite, you can’t use that feat until you regain the prerequisite.

Prerequisites: You must have a magical or physical means of gaining this resistance. Speak to your GM.

You have resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against being poisoned.

You have advantage on death saving throws, and if you die, your corpse and remains are protected from decay as the gentle repose spell.

Prerequisites: You must have a magical or physical means of gaining this resistance. Speak to your GM.

You don’t require air, food, drink, or sleep, although you still require rest to reduce being exhausted and still benefit from finishing short and long rests.

Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against poison and disease.

Prerequisites: You know the animate dead spell and the ability to cast at least one spell

When you cast animate dead, you can target one additional corpse or pile of bones, creating another zombie or ske1eton, as appropriate.

Whenever you create an undead using a spell, it has additional benefits:

  • The creature’s maximum health is increased by an amount equal to your level.
  • The creature adds your proficiency bonus to its weapon damage rolls.
Prerequisites: You know the speak with dead spell

You can cast speak with dead at will, without expending mana.

Prerequisites: Death’s Gift feat

You have embraced dark energies to unnaturally extend your lifespan. You age at a slower rate. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year, and you are immune to being magically aged.

Undeath spells

5 minutes

As an action, a column of disembodied gnashing teeth springs forth as a blade in your free hand, screaming and chanting with vigor, and lasts for the duration. You create the blade as a magical dagger, katar, sai, sickle, greatsword, kama, kukri, longsword, scimitar, or shortsword.

The spell ends if you dismiss it on your turn (no action required), if you cast it again, or if you end your turn without the blade in your hand as the blade crumbles to dust.

At higher levels

When you reach 9th level, you can make an attack with the blade as part of the same action to create it.

As an action, a creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failed save, you temporarily afflict undeath as the creature takes 1d10 necrotic damage and it can’t regain health until the start of your next turn. If the creature is undead, it also has disadvantage on attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.

At higher levels

This spell’s damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 9th level (2d10) and 17th level (3d10).

As an action, a creature that isn’t a construct or undead that you can touch or see within 5 meters must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failed save, you siphon its life force to heal your wounds as it takes 1d8 necrotic damage and you gain temporary health equal to half the amount of necrotic damage dealt.

At higher levels

This spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 9th level (2d8) and 17th level (3d8).

As an action, threads of dark power leap from your fingers to pierce a pile of bones or a corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid you can see within 5 meters. Your spell imbues the target with a foul mimicry of life, temporarily raising it as an undead creature. A pile of bones becomes a skeleton and a corpse becomes a zombie. The creature stands and moves toward a creature you choose within 5 meters of it and attacks it once. When it attacks, make a melee spell attack in place of its attack.

On a hit, the target takes 1d8 bludgeoning damage.

If it misses by 4 or less, the target takes half as much damage.

After attacking, the creature falls to the ground, lifeless.

At higher levels

This spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 9th level (2d8) and 17th level (3d8).

As a reaction, which you use when a creature within 5 meters of you dies, you can absorb its spirit. You gain 2d8 temporary health.

Augment

You gain 2d8 additional temporary health for each additional mana or psi expended.

3 hours/mana or psi

As an action, you animate a pile of bones you can see within 10 meters to become a suit of armor around a willing creature that you can touch or see within 5 meters. The armor is molded for that specific creature and it is automatically proficient with it. The target’s Defense becomes 13 + half its proficiency bonus + its Dexterity (max 4).

concentration, 1 minute/mana or psi

As an action, a creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters must make a Reflex saving throw.

On a failed save, the creature is restrained by magical bandages. While restrained by this spell, the creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage at the start of each of its turns.

A creature restrained by the bandages or one that can touch the creature can use an action to make an Acrobatics or Brawn check (its choice) against your spell save DC.

On a success, the target is freed.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana or psi for each option.
  • You can increase the damage by 4d6 for each additional mana or psi expended.

  • You can target one additional creature for each additional mana or psi expended. The creatures must be within 5 meters of each other when you target them.

As an action, consumptive energy ripples out from you. Each creature other than you in a sphere centered on you must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failed save, a creature takes 3d4 necrotic damage.

On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage.

You regain health equal to half the amount of necrotic damage dealt to creatures that aren’t undead.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana or psi for each option.
  • You can increase the damage by 3d4 for each additional mana or psi expended.

  • You can expend 1 additional mana or psi so the death field around you is continuous. The duration changes to 1 minute/mana, concentration and the death field remains around you in an aura shaped as a sphere. Until the spell ends, the aura moves with you, centered on you.

    Whenever a creature enters the area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make the Fortitude saving throw. The damage is reduced to 2d4 and additional augments to the damage increase the damage by 1d4 for each additional mana or psi expended, instead of the normal increase.

As a reaction, which you use when you take damage, you can dampen the pain. Roll 3d6 and reduce the damage by the result.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana or psi for each option.
  • You can reduce the damage by an additional 4d6 for each additional mana or psi expended.

  • You can expend 1 additional mana or psi to trigger the spell when a creature that you can see within 10 meters is damaged.

(ritual); concentration, 5 minutes/mana or psi

As an action, you can sense the presence and location of corpses and undead within 20 meters of you. The spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 30 centimeters of stone, 2 centimeters of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 1 meter of wood or dirt.

1 hour/mana or psi

As an action, you bolster yourself with a necromantic facsimile of life. You gain 2d10 temporary health for the duration.

Augment

You gain 2d10 additional temporary health for each additional mana or psi expended.

concentration, 1 minute/mana or psi

As two actions, you throw a severed hand as it transforms into a Large crawling claw, in an unoccupied space that you can see within 5 meters. The claw lasts for the spell’s duration, and it moves at your command, mimicking the movements of your own hand.

When you cast the spell—and as an action on each of your turns thereafter—you can move the claw up to 5 meters and then cause one of the following effects with it.

Slashing Claw. The claw slashes a creature or object within 1 meter of it. Make a melee spell attack.

On a hit, it takes 5d8 slashing damage.

If you miss by 4 or less, it takes half as much damage.

Forceful Claw. The claw attempts to push a creature within 1 meter of it in a direction you choose. The creature must make a Reflex saving throw.

On a failed save, it takes 4d8 bludgeoning damage and if it is Medium or smaller it is pushed up to 3 meters away from the claw. The claw moves with the creature to remain within 1 meter of it.

On a successful save, it takes half as much damage and isn’t pushed.

Grasping Claw. The claw attempts to grapple a creature within 1 meter of it. The creature must make a Reflex saving throw.

On a failed save, it takes 5d6 bludgeoning damage and if it is Medium or smaller it is grappled by the claw.

On a successful save, it takes half as much damage and isn’t grappled.

Interposing Claw. The claw interposes itself between you and a creature. The claw moves to stay between you and the creature, providing you with half cover against the creature. The creature can’t move through the claw’s space unless it succeeds on an Acrobatics check to tumble past it or a Brawn check to overrun it.

Augment

You can increase the damage from the slashing claw option by 3d8, the damage from the forceful claw by 3d8, and the damage from the grasping claw by 3d6, and affect a creature of a larger size for each additional mana or psi expended.

As an action, a creature that isn’t a construct or undead that you can touch or see within 10 meters must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failed save, you siphon life force to heal your wounds as it takes 3d8 necrotic damage.

On a successful save, it takes half as much damage.

You regain health equal to half the amount of necrotic damage dealt.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 4d8 for each additional mana or psi expended.

As an action, you sacrifice some of your health to mend another creature’s injuries. You take 2d8 necrotic damage, which can’t be reduced in any way, and a creature that you can touch or see within 5 meters regains an amount of health equal to twice the necrotic damage you take.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 3d8 for each additional mana or psi expended.

24 hours

As two actions, threads of dark power leap from your fingers to pierce a pile of bones or a corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid you can see within 10 meters. Your spell imbues the target with a foul mimicry of life, raising it as an undead creature. Choose one of the following options:

Skeleton. A pile of bones can become a skeleton.

Zombie. A corpse can become a zombie. It gains +1 damage on its slam attack.

Ghoul. If you cast this spell at night a corpse becomes a ghoul.

The creature has no mana or stamina dice, but you can infuse it with mana, psi, or stamina dice by expending mana or psi, up to your mana limit or psi limit. For each mana or psi you expend, the creature gains 1 mana or 3 stamina dice.

As an action on each of your turns, you can mentally command any creature you animated with this spell if the creature is within 100 meters of you (if you control multiple creatures, you can command any or all of them at the same time, issuing the same command to each one). You decide what actions the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a particular chamber or corridor. If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, the creature continues to follow it until its task is complete.

The creature is under your control for 24 hours, after which it stops obeying any command you’ve given it. To maintain control of the creature for another 24 hours, you must cast this spell on the creature before the current 24-hour period ends. This use of the spell reasserts your control on the creature you have animated with this spell, rather than animating new ones.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana or psi for each option.
  • You animate or reassert control over two additional skeletons or zombies for every additional mana or psi expended. You animate or reassert control over one additional ghoul for each additional mana or psi expended and an additional ghoul at 3 and 5 mana or psi.

  • Ghast. You can cast this spell at night and expend 1 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a ghast from a corpse or existing ghast. You animate or reassert control over one additional ghast for each additional mana or psi expended.

  • Gnoll Witherling. You can expend 1 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a gnoll witherling from a corpse of a gnoll or existing gnoll witherling. You animate or reassert control over one additional gnoll witherling for each additional mana or psi expended.

  • Minotaur Skeleton. You can expend 1 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a minotaur skeleton from a pile of bones of a minotaur or existing minotaur skeleton. You animate or reassert control over one additional minotaur skeleton for every two additional mana or psi expended.

  • Ogre Zombie. You can expend 1 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over an ogre zombie from a corpse of an ogre or existing ogre zombie. You animate or reassert control over one additional ogre zombie for each additional mana or psi expended.

  • Wight or Deathlock Wight. You can cast this spell at night and expend 1 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a wight or deathlock wight from a corpse or existing wight or deathlock wight. You animate or reassert control over one additional wight or deathlock wight for every two additional mana or psi expended.

  • Deathlock. You can cast this spell at night and expend 2 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a deathlock from a corpse or existing deathlock. You animate or reassert control over one additional deathlock for every two additional mana or psi expended.

  • Mummy. You can cast this spell at night and expend 2 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a mummy from a corpse or existing mummy. You animate or reassert control over one additional wight for every two additional mana or psi expended.

  • Bone Naga. You can expend 3 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a bone naga from a pile of bones of a naga or existing bone naga. You animate or reassert control over one additional bone naga for every two additional mana or psi expended.

  • Flameskull. You can expend 3 additional mana or psi to animate or reassert control over a flameskull from a humanoid skull or existing flameskull. You animate or reassert control over one additional flameskull for every two additional mana or psi expended.

concentration, 1 hour/mana or psi

As two actions, a shimmering barrier extends out from you in a sphere and moves with you, remaining centered on you and hedging out creatures other than undead and constructs. The barrier lasts for the duration. Any creature within the barrier when you cast the spell is pushed outside the barrier.

The barrier prevents an affected creature from passing or reaching through. An affected creature can cast spells or make attacks with ranged or reach weapons through the barrier.

If you move so that an affected creature passes through the barrier, the spell ends.

Augment

You can expend 1 additional mana or psi to cast the spell centered on a point within 20 meters.

concentration, 1 hour/mana or psi

As two actions, one undead creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters must make a Will saving throw.

On a failed save, you take control of it for the duration. Each time the target takes damage, it makes a new saving throw against the spell. If the saving throw succeeds, the spell ends.

Intelligent undead are harder to control in this way. If the target has an Intelligence of −2 or higher, it has advantage on the saving throw. If it fails the saving throw and has an Intelligence of 1 or higher, it can repeat the saving throw at the end of every hour until it succeeds and breaks free.

While you have control, you have a telepathic link with it as long as the two of you are on the same plane of existence. You can use this telepathic link to issue commands to the creature while you are conscious (no action required), which it does its best to obey. You can specify a simple and general course of action, such as “Attack that creature,” “Run over there,” or “Fetch that object.” If the creature completes the order and doesn’t receive further direction from you, it defends and preserves itself to the best of its ability.

You can use two actions to take total and precise control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn’t do anything that you don’t allow it to do. During this time, you can also cause the creature to use a reaction, but this requires you to use your own reaction as well.

3 hours/mana or psi

As two actions, you touch a creature and grant it a measure of protection from death.

The first time the target would drop to 0 health as a result of taking damage, the target instead drops to 1 health, and the spell ends.

If the spell is still in effect when the target is subjected to an effect that would kill it instantaneously without dealing damage, that effect is instead negated against the target, and the spell ends.

Augment
You can augment this spell with the following options, expending mana or psi for each option.
  • You can expend 1 additional mana or psi so the target gains 3d10 temporary health when it drops to 1 health.

  • You can expend 1 additional mana or psi so you can cast this spell as a reaction, which you use when a creature within 2 meters of you takes damage.

As a reaction, which you use when you are reduced to 0 health, you instead enter a state of suspended animation. While fatality is deferred, you do not age, breathe, grow hungry, sleep, or regain mana, psi, or stamina dice. You do not roll death saving throws, are incapacitated, and unaware of your surroundings. Outside forces can damage your body, but you remain in a state of deferred fatality as long as your head remains attached to your torso and your brain remains intact until you have 1 or more health. When so cured, you become conscious with 1 health and 1 mana or psi.

(ritual); 1 hour/mana or psi

As two actions, you touch a willing creature and put it into a cataleptic state that is indistinguishable from death.

For the spell’s duration, or until you use an action to touch the target and dismiss the spell, the target appears dead to all outward inspection and to spells used to determine the target’s status. The target is blinded and incapacitated, and its speed drops to 0. The target has resistance to all damage except psychic damage. If the target is diseased or poisoned when you cast the spell, or becomes diseased or poisoned while under the spell’s effect, the disease and poison have no effect until the spell ends.

Augment

Suspend Life. You can expend 1 additional mana or psi and concentrate on this spell for the full duration so the effect lasts until dismissed or dispelled.

As two actions, a creature that isn’t Undead that you can touch or see within 10 meters must make a Fortitude saving throw.

On a failed save, you send negative energy coursing through it as it takes 9d8 necrotic damage.

On a successful save, it takes half as much damage.

A target killed by this spell rises at the start of your next turn as a zombie as it would via the animate dead spell.

If you target an undead creature with this spell, the creature doesn’t make a saving throw. Instead, roll 8d8. The target regains health equal to the total.

Augment

You can increase the damage or the healing by 5d8 for each additional mana or psi expended.

(ritual); 10 days

As two actions, you touch a corpse or other remains. For the duration, the target is protected from decay and can’t become undead.

The spell also effectively extends the time limit on raising the target from the dead, since days spent under the influence of this spell don’t count against the time limit of spells such as resurrection.

5 minutes/mana or psi

As two actions, you grant the semblance of life and intelligence to a corpse of your choice within 5 meters, allowing it to answer the questions you pose. The corpse must still have a mouth and can’t be undead. The spell fails if the corpse was the target of this spell within the last 10 days.

Until the spell ends, you can ask the corpse up to five questions. The corpse knows only what it knew in life, including the languages it knew. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This spell doesn’t return the creature’s soul to its body, only its animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can’t learn new information, doesn’t comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events.

concentration, 5 minutes/mana or psi

As two actions, you create a wall of animated, jagged, and twisted bones at a point within 20 meters for the duration. The wall can have any shape you desire, though it can’t occupy the same space as a creature or object. The wall doesn’t need to be vertical or rest on any firm foundation.

If the wall cuts through a creature’s space when it appears, the creature is pushed to one side of the wall (your choice). If a creature would be surrounded on all sides by the wall (or the wall and another solid surface), that creature can make a Reflex saving throw.

On a successful save, it can use its reaction to move up to its speed so that it is no longer enclosed by the wall.

The wall is an object made of bones that blocks line of sight. A creature can move through the wall, albeit slowly and painfully. A creature must spend 3 meters of movement for every meter it moves through the wall. The wall can be damaged and thus breached. Each panel has 12 Defense, 2 Soak, and 15 Health per centimeter of thickness. Reducing a panel to 0 health destroys it and might cause connected panels to collapse at the GM’s discretion.

You can choose to cast this spell so the bones aren’t animated to bridge a chasm or create a ramp. If you create a span greater than 4 meters in length, you must halve the size of each panel to create supports. You can crudely shape the wall with or without animation to create crenellations, battlements, and so on.

When a creature enters the wall’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, the creature must make a Reflex saving throw.

On a failed save, a creature takes 5d8 slashing damage and is grappled for the spell’s duration.

On a successful save, it takes half as much damage and isn’t grappled.

To break out, the grappled target can use an action to make an Acrobatics or Brawn check (its choice) against your spell save DC.

On a success, the target escapes and is no longer grappled by the bones.

If you maintain your concentration on this spell for its whole duration, the wall becomes permanent and can’t be dispelled. Otherwise, the wall disappears when the spell ends.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 2d8 for each additional mana or psi expended.

concentration, 1 minute/mana or psi

As two actions, grasping hands rise from the ground in a sphere on the ground that you can see within 20 meters. For the duration, these hands turn the ground in the area into difficult terrain.

When a creature enters the affected area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, the creature must succeed on a Reflex saving throw or take 3d6 bludgeoning damage and be restrained by the hands until the spell ends.

A creature that starts its turn in the area and is already restrained by the hands takes 3d6 bludgeoning damage. A creature restrained by the hands or one that can touch the creature can use an action to make an Acrobatics or Brawn check (its choice) against your spell save DC.

On a success, the target is freed.

When the spell ends, the hands sink in to the ground.

Augment

You can increase the damage by 1d6 for each additional mana or psi expended.

concentration, 1 hour/mana or psi

As you spend 1 minute to cast this spell, you can stitch together body parts within 20 meters to form a flesh golem. The flesh golem has no stamina dice, but you can infuse it with stamina dice by expending mana or psi, up to your mana limit or psi limit. For each mana or psi you expend, the flesh golem gains 3 stamina dice. The flesh golem is friendly to you and your companions and deanimates when it drops to 0 health or when the spell ends.

As an action on each of your turns, you can mentally command the flesh golem you animated with this spell if the creature is within 100 meters of you. You decide what actions the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a particular chamber or corridor. If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, the creature continues to follow it until its task is complete.

M (diamond worth 1,000 sp and at least 15 cubic centimeters of flesh of the creature that is to be cloned, which the spell consumes, and a vessel worth 2,000 sp)

As you spend 1 hour to cast this spell, you grow an inert duplicate of a living creature as a safeguard against death. This clone forms inside a sealed vessel that is large enough to hold a Medium creature, such as a huge urn, coffin, mud-filled cyst in the ground, or crystal container filled with salt water. The clone grows to full size and maturity after 120 days; you can also choose to have the clone be a younger version of the same creature. It remains inert and endures indefinitely, as long as its vessel remains undisturbed.

At any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return. The clone is physically identical to the original and has the same personality, memories, and abilities, but none of the original’s equipment. The original creature’s physical remains, if they still exist, become inert and can’t thereafter be restored to life, since the creature’s soul is elsewhere.

Augment sizes

1 mana2 mana3 mana4 mana5 mana
Cone3 meters long5 meters long10 meters long10 meters long20 meters long
Cylinder1-meter-radius, 3 meters high2-meter-radius, 6 meters high3-meter-radius, 9 meters high4-meter-radius, 12 meters high5-meter-radius, 15 meters high
Line5 meters long, 1-meter wide5 meters long, 2-meter wide10 meters long, 2-meter wide10 meters long, 2-meter wide20 meters long, 2-meter wide
Sphere1-meter-radius2-meter-radius3-meter-radius4-meter-radius5-meter-radius
Wall5 meters long, 2 meters high, 30 centimeters thick5 meters long, 4 meters high, 60 centimeters thick10 meters long, 6 meters high, 90 centimeters thick10 meters long, 8 meters high, 120 centimeters thick20 meters long, 10 meters high, 150 centimeters thick