Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Undead Revisited (PFRPG)

4.40/5 (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Undead Revisited (PFRPG)
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For most people, death is a release, a passage into the just rewards of the afterlife. Yet not everyone who dies rests easy. Legends and campfire tales tell of those individuals too evil to die, or too twisted by pride or occult knowledge to cross over to the other side. These lost souls become the undead, plaguing the dark crypts or silent streets of cities and farm towns alike, feasting on the innocent or spreading their immortal contagion like a plague.

Undead Revisited explores 10 different undead monsters—or entire breeds of monsters—from both real-world history and the time-honored traditions of fantasy roleplaying. Each monster entry explores the undead creature’s formation and ecology, its interactions with its victims and other undead, tips and tricks regarding its role in a campaign, variant versions for added gaming utility, and more. In addition, each entry comes with a unique sample monster, complete with full statistics for the Pathfinder RPG and ready to be dropped into any game.

    Inside this 64-page book, you’ll find:
  • Liches, the twisted spellcasters who lock away their souls so death may never claim them
  • Devourers, who form from the spirits of powerful spellcasters and fiends that venture into the darkness beyond the planes and come back forever tainted
  • Raveners, the undead dragons wrapped in the soul energy of those they destroy
  • Spectral dead, those formless spirits such as the wailing and betrayed banshees, the insane allips, the furious spectres, and the supremely evil wraiths
  • Shadows, those souls too covetous and miserly to relinquish their grasp on life
  • Bodaks, the eyeless horrors twisted by sights no one was meant to see
  • Graveknights, whose lust for battle knows no end—not even in death
  • Nightshades, the planar juggernauts who seek to snuff all life from the cosmos
  • Mohrgs, the undead murders who rise after death to stalk the streets
  • Wights, with their insatiable hunger for the souls of the living

Undead Revisited is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

by Eric Cagle, Brian Cortijo, Brandon Hodge, Steve Kenson, Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-303-3

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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4.40/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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Serviceable, but Forgettable

3/5

"The dead will rise!" warns the back of Undead Revisited, a 64-page book in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line. You know what you're getting yourself into from the title alone: entries on several undead monsters (ten of them, in fact). Each of the entries is six pages long, and consists of an overview/introduction to the monster and then sections on Ecology (where they live), Habitat & Society (what they're like), Campaign Role (the best ways to use them in a game), Treasure (what stuff they have, which for most undead isn't much), Variants (different, often more powerful, versions of the base creature), On Golarion (where they can be found in the official Pathfinder campaign setting), and a sample monster. The inside front cover of the book gives a picture and brief description of the ten monsters covered, while the inside back cover is a reproduction of the cover art sans text. The book starts with a two-page introduction, the only valuable part of which is a "Creating Undead" table which summarizes and expands on the methods required to create various monsters using the create undead or create greater undead spells. Before moving on to each entry, a one-line summary of my general thoughts on the book: competent, but bland and inessential. Now, on to the monsters:

1. Bodaks: Physical manifestations of the cosmic horror faced by mortals on the Outer Planes. Contains rules for making bodaks larger or smaller than Medium-sized, and for bodaks with multiple heads. The sample monster is the Taker of Eyes, a bodak antipaladin with a cool backstory (a former knight of Lastwall transformed by the evils he witnessed).

2. Devourers: Interesting undead that draw power from the souls they trap and consume in their skeletal frames. Variants include former devils, former daemons, and former demons, each of which gets a new suite of spell-like abilities very different than the norm. The sample devourer is Barasthaga, a CR 20 devourer oracle! Not something you'd like to meet in a dark alley, and powerful enough to become a major villain for a high-level campaign.

3. Graveknights: Undead who take over the physical forms of any mortal who dons their cursed armor. These are an interesting combination of monster and trap, and a good surprise for PCs who think they've seen everything. The section on variants describes the procedure for someone who wants to become a Graveknight. The sample monster is Lictor Shokneir, a CR 16 former Hellknight who artwork looks about as cliched "evil knight" as it gets.

4. Liches: Arch-wizards who have gained eternal life through undeath. Like with most of the entries, I just didn't think there was anything here that counted as liches "revisited"--everything fit the classic fantasy understanding of the lich. The variants section doesn't provide a template, but instead talks a little bit about demiliches. The sample lich is a cleric of Orcus.

5. Mohrgs: Weird undead consisting of purple entrail-like blobs in the chest cavity of cadavers. With their ability to create zombies, the book notes they could be a good "boss" for mid-level adventures as the PCs have to try to figure out why waves of undead keep emerging. Four variant mohrgs are provided: desert mohrgs, fleshwalker mohrgs (capable of appearing alive), frost mohrgs, and "mohrg-mothers" (a frankly ghastly concept arisen when a pregnant woman is executed). The sample is a Demonic Mohrg.

6. Nightshades: A collection of related, incredibly powerful undead with the ability to summon and control others. No real variants are provided, but I love the artwork for the sample nightshade, the "Nightskitter." It really is the stuff of nightmares, and the picture alone should scare your players.

7. Raveners: Self-made, skeletal dragons. From what I can tell of their campaign role, being undead doesn't seem to make them act all of that different than living dragons. Anyway, two variants: the Nightmare Ravener and the Thassilonian Ravener. I quite liked these, though I have a fondness for Thassilon. The sample ravener (Vashikyan) has an ancient green dragon as a base, and is CR 19. Kind of bland, frankly.

8. Shadows: The souls of the greedy turned into incorporeal manifestations of darkness and death. The book aptly notes that they make good guardians of ancient tombs and treasure vaults, as they have no particular desire to leave. The variants are "Distorted Shadows" (shadows with reach, which is actually a frightening prospect!), "Hidden Ones" (even stealthier than normal), "Plague Shadows" (which spread a supernatural disease), "Shadetouch Shadows" (partial corporeal), and "Vanishing Shadows" (gains the effect of blink). I quite liked the variants, as they're very easy to use, fit the flavour of shadows, and provide just enough of a variation to surprise the jaded adventurer. The sample shadow is a real beast: a CR 21 shadow ancient red dragon! This would be a classic "end of campaign" boss at the bottom of a megadungeon. It's got five attacks a round, each of which does 1d8 Strength drain and a breath weapon that does 20d10 fire damage. Nasty.

9. Spectral Dead: This is more of a "catch-all" entry for a variety of spectral undead, like banshees, spectres, allips, and wraiths. The variants are a "Corpulent Spectre", a "Scribbling Allip", and a "White Wraith." The sample is "Carak, Blade of Zyphus" a unique allip. I'm not sure if combining all of these various types of undead into a single entry did any of them justice.

10. Wights: Animated corpses that can drain the life of mortals. Before reading this book, I never really got a sense of wights as anything other than undead that drain levels. That hasn't changed, unfortunately. Scary for low-level adventurers, surely. The variants are a "Dust Wight" and a "Mist Wright", and they're reasonably interesting. The sample is a CR 9 "Wight Lord" which would make a good undead lieutenant for a mid-level story arc.

Some of the undead in this book are monsters that long-time gamers will be familiar with (liches, shadows, wights, and ghosts), and I'm sorry to say I didn't come away with any particularly new or exciting insights into them Some of the other undead were new to me, but were only marginally interesting. There weren't any of the moments I look for in books like this. No "I can't wait to use this!" excitement. I notice that nine authors are credited for the ten different monsters in this book, and I wonder if the freelancers were assigned monsters without being asked if they had anything fresh and flavourful to bring to the table. The entries are serviceable, but forgettable, and those words sum up best how I feel about the book.


Undead with feeling...

5/5

Loved this book. I have a tendency toward the macabre in my self designed campaigns and this book is well worn by now. I love it and has bought a dark light to my home campaign that brings realism to my players in spades. Great work.




Put the Chill back in the Grave

5/5

If your characters are fearless vampire slayers, use these undead and their variations to put the fear back in them. Check out my full review Undead Revisited


Great book, but a few problems

4/5

While i really loved this book, and i think it stands up to the other Revisited books admirably, i did feel that some entries felt a bit forced or rushed. Namely the spectral dead section, which i think that the entries there could have had their own sections in their own right to flesh them out more. The section on the wight as well felt a bit lacking in new insights that i have come to expect from the revisited line, as did the shadow section.


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Generic Villain wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

which Icon got the most gruesome death in the art for this book??

cant get it for a week.. so..

It's a toss-up between Valeros being munched on by a ravenar, and Alain being impaled by a nightshade. A special mention goes to Alahazra being choked to death by a spectre.

Alain gets inpaled???

OH YEAH!!!!
oh ALain, how we knew you.
Like you better dead

I'd love to see that artwork

is seoni in it?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

which Icon got the most gruesome death in the art for this book??

cant get it for a week.. so..

It's a toss-up between Valeros being munched on by a ravenar, and Alain being impaled by a nightshade. A special mention goes to Alahazra being choked to death by a spectre.

Uh that was Amiri not Valeros

Dark Archive

Matthew Morris wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
Though in his case it's maliciously coy.
And you're what exactly... benevolently coy?

If he's withholding information that will spare us from learning stuff that leads to us having to stuff pillows into the corners of our rooms, to 'smooth the angles' and keep the Hounds out, then yeah, that's benevolently coy. :)

Liberty's Edge

Generic Villain wrote:
A special mention goes to Alahazra being choked to death by a spectre.

Was the spectre Wayne Brady?

Contributor

Set wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
Though in his case it's maliciously coy.
And you're what exactly... benevolently coy?

If he's withholding information that will spare us from learning stuff that leads to us having to stuff pillows into the corners of our rooms, to 'smooth the angles' and keep the Hounds out, then yeah, that's benevolently coy. :)

You'll notice I never walk in straight lines, but in a weaving pattern. Throws off the yappy things from Tindalos.

Dark Archive

Todd Stewart wrote:
You'll notice I never walk in straight lines, but in a weaving pattern. Throws off the yappy things from Tindalos.

The police will never believe that excuse for why you can't walk a straight line...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Uh that was Amiri not Valeros

My bad.


Set wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
You'll notice I never walk in straight lines, but in a weaving pattern. Throws off the yappy things from Tindalos.

The police will never believe that excuse for why you can't walk a straight line...

that's ok, most cops find it impossible to write up a coherent after action report after a close encounter with a Mythos critter. all that drooling, gibbering and screaming really slows down the daily grind at the office.

Shadow Lodge

Know that I will be owning a copy of this book. Oh yes, it will be mine...


Just dropping a word to say that I found the book amazing, and that I was impressed by Kekai Kotaki's cover. While I'm a big fan of his, I think he did an even more amazing job this time! I definitely hope to see more covers done by him.


Previous post eaten by post monster, so I'll keep it very brief.

This book, Misfit Monsters Redeemed, Imperial Gazetteer by Open Design and Tales of Old Margreve by Open Design are four finest books in the similar vein. My humble wish would be for first two to a bit more like latter two - more focus on personality, relations with communities, role in local folk lore and more stories.
All heartily recommended.

Regards,
Ruemere

Scarab Sages

I was reading the Lich chapter and because I only live 4 miles from Lichfield I googled 'What does Lichfield mean?

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42340

Damn!! After skim reading it, I suppose I'll have to put my stakes, holy water and holy symbol back into storage :D

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