Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Undead Revisited (PFRPG)

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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

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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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Dark Archive

I think you should release this in Oct instead... but only October 2010. SO best get to writing. :)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Between this, Classic Horrors Revisited, and the Carrion Crown adventure path, horror enthusiasts are set for life. Wonderful stuff!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dark_Mistress wrote:
I think you should release this in Oct instead... but only October 2010. SO best get to writing. :)

An October release of this book would not provide support for the Carrion Crown adventure path, alas.

Scarab Sages

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

SWEET!!!!!!

Shadow Lodge

I second an Oct release.

Shadow Lodge

Aberzombie wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.
SWEET!!!!!!

I CONCUR!!

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

Hey, that reminds me...tell my in-laws I said hello!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I wish the Revisited books were either their own line, or part of RPG. Ah, well. That's what the sidecart is for.

Contributor

This sounds awesome :D

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Ravenmantle wrote:
Between this, Classic Horrors Revisited, and the Carrion Crown adventure path, horror enthusiasts are set for life. Wonderful stuff!

Just askin.... Is there any overlap between this and Classic Monsters Revisited? Will Undead Revisited highlight 10 different monsters?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As far as I can tell from the description of this book, there won't be any overlap. Classic Monsters Revisited features bugbears, gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, lizardfolk, minotaurs, ogres, orcs, and trolls while this book focuses exclusively on undead critters (minus ghosts, ghouls, mummies, vampires, skeletons, and zombies, all of which were featured in Classic Horrors Revisited).


James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Aberzombie wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.
Hey, that reminds me...tell my in-laws I said hello!

I would have said ex-wives, but you beat me to the jo,e.

Sovereign Court

Tom Qadim wrote:


Just askin.... Is there any overlap between this and Classic Monsters Revisited? Will Undead Revisited highlight 10 different monsters?

There will never be overlap in the Revisted series. That would be stupid on Paizo's part.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Where the horror lives.

Nah, you're thinking of Antlers, Oklahoma. They have chupacabres, and multiple Mammy Grauls.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Ravenmantle wrote:
As far as I can tell from the description of this book, there won't be any overlap. Classic Monsters Revisited features bugbears, gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, lizardfolk, minotaurs, ogres, orcs, and trolls while this book focuses exclusively on undead critters (minus ghosts, ghouls, mummies, vampires, skeletons, and zombies, all of which were featured in Classic Horrors Revisited).

Oops. I meant Classic Horrors Revisited.

Yeah, I couldn't imagine there would be any overlap.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cappadocius wrote:
Tom Qadim wrote:


Just askin.... Is there any overlap between this and Classic Monsters Revisited? Will Undead Revisited highlight 10 different monsters?
There will never be overlap in the Revisted series. That would be stupid on Paizo's part.

First of all... one thing that I always try to tell my authors is to avoid statements like that unless you're 100% sure that you won't be painting yourself into a corner. It's generally bad to say, "This dungeon is the DEADLIEST dungeon in the world," because then you have to make sure every other dungeon is not as deadly as that one. Likewise, it's bad to say "This city has more halflings living in it than any other," because then you have to track halfling populations for EVERY city.

In other words... saying our Revisited lines will NEVER overlap is not something we'll ever promise. Some day, we might do something that does incorporate entries from older books in this line—who knows?

In any event, though, there will not be any overlap between "Classic Horrors" and "Classic Undead."

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Quote:
as well as the villainous ravener, otherwise known as an undead dragon!

How has nobody else noticed this part yet? Finally, Pathfinder-ized dracoliches! Or, at least a really nasty undead version of a dragon to terrorize PCs with.

(I know there's nothing mechanically stopping a Pathfinder dragon from having the lich template if it can create a phylactery, but still, dracoliches were fairly different from conventional D&D liches, so it'll be nice to see something along those lines.)

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:


In other words... saying our Revisited lines will NEVER overlap is not something we'll ever promise. Some day, we might do something that does incorporate entries from older books in this line—who knows?

Thankfully, I'm not on the payroll, and haven't a hope of being ON the payroll, so I can make whatever hyperbolic claims and start whatever wild rumors I want! :D

(Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Classic Vermin Revisited in 2012!)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kvantum wrote:
Quote:
as well as the villainous ravener, otherwise known as an undead dragon!

How has nobody else noticed this part yet? Finally, Pathfinder-ized dracoliches! Or, at least a really nasty undead version of a dragon to terrorize PCs with.

(I know there's nothing mechanically stopping a Pathfinder dragon from having the lich template if it can create a phylactery, but still, dracoliches were fairly different from conventional D&D liches, so it'll be nice to see something along those lines.)

In Pathfinder, a dragon can become a lich using the lich template.

The ravener is NOT a dracolich. It IS an undead dragon, but it's something different than a dracolich.

It'll be revealed in all its glory in Bestiary 2.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:


The ravener is NOT a dracolich. It IS an undead dragon, but it's something different than a dracolich.

Can I create one with the create greater undead spell?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cappadocius wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


The ravener is NOT a dracolich. It IS an undead dragon, but it's something different than a dracolich.
Can I create one with the create greater undead spell?

Nope.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
cappadocius wrote:
Can I create one with the create greater undead spell?

Nope, you need the create awesomer undead epic spell at a minimum, I'm sure.

Dark Archive

I.WANT.THIS.NOW!

(IMO 'Classic Horrors Revisited' is an amazing book -- so many cool undead variants and variant abilities and I've already used so many of them... *sigh*. I need more! :))


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
cappadocius wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


In other words... saying our Revisited lines will NEVER overlap is not something we'll ever promise. Some day, we might do something that does incorporate entries from older books in this line—who knows?

Thankfully, I'm not on the payroll, and haven't a hope of being ON the payroll, so I can make whatever hyperbolic claims and start whatever wild rumors I want! :D

(Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Classic Vermin Revisited in 2012!)

I heard they're planning to do an Adventure Path where all the adventures are based on Beatles-songs.

Dark Archive

Kajehase wrote:
cappadocius wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


In other words... saying our Revisited lines will NEVER overlap is not something we'll ever promise. Some day, we might do something that does incorporate entries from older books in this line—who knows?

Thankfully, I'm not on the payroll, and haven't a hope of being ON the payroll, so I can make whatever hyperbolic claims and start whatever wild rumors I want! :D

(Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Classic Vermin Revisited in 2012!)

I heard they're planning to do an Adventure Path where all the adventures are based on Beatles-songs.

'Sgt. Asgetrion's Lonely Hellfire Club Band'? ;)


James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

Good news! Hammer Horror, here comes Paizo!

But what is the 'graveknight', and does it even have a writeup as yet?


Eric Hinkle wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

Good news! Hammer Horror, here comes Paizo!

But what is the 'graveknight', and does it even have a writeup as yet?

It's Paizo's version of the Death Knight. The write up is in the Bestiary section of one of the Council of Thieves books...I think it's part 3.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The graveknight is an OGL deathknight. It's in PF Adventure Path #26, and it's really cool.

Edit: Doh! Beaten to the punch!

Contributor

Julian Neale wrote:

The graveknight is an OGL deathknight. It's in PF Adventure Path #26, and it's really cool.

Edit: Doh! Beaten to the punch!

It's in...curses, beaten to the post again!

Contributor

Eric Hinkle wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Book sounds awesome! More undead is always a good thing in my mind.

But...Carrion Crown? This I had not heard.

Carrion Crown is the Adventure Path that starts in February, after Serpent's Skull ends. It's set in Ustalav. Where the horror lives.

Good news! Hammer Horror, here comes Paizo!

Ah, the joy of hearing Hammer's name again:)

Dark Archive

Julian Neale wrote:

The graveknight is an OGL deathknight. It's in PF Adventure Path #26, and it's really cool.

Edit: Doh! Beaten to the punch!

+1. Darrin created the coolest undead monster I've yet seen in D&D; I just can't wait for the opportunity to use a graveknight in my campaign! :)


Talomyr, Mister Neale, Mister Pett, thank you all for the responses. I guess I know now what my next Paizo purchase will be.


Any chance we'll see some rules on playing undead, or some undead "races" or templates on a power level equivalent to the core races?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Any chance we'll see some rules on playing undead, or some undead "races" or templates on a power level equivalent to the core races?

Given Paizo's policy on monster PCs and Wes Schneider saying that no undead as PCs rules are planned for Carrion Crown: very unlikely.

Scarab Sages Silver Crescent Publishing

I did like the undead monster classes found in Libris Mortis by Wizards of the Coast. I just wish Pathfinder has a few monster classes like that.

Does the monster-class concept need to be in the OGL in order create our own monster classes?

Contributor

Daniel Marshall wrote:
Does the monster-class concept need to be in the OGL in order create our own monster classes?

What you write for your own game doesn't involve the OGL at all.

Contributor

I would just like to say that my monster is in. Take that, other freelancers!

(this just gives Sean more time to beat it up)

Contributor

Colin McComb wrote:

I would just like to say that my monster is in. Take that, other freelancers!

(this just gives Sean more time to beat it up)

Bah. Showoff. :)


OK, this is a definite want for me. I'm a big fan of Ravenloft. But I'd rather use Arthaus's Tarokka deck then a Harrow deck in Carrion Crown.


For those working on this book I have a question, will there be information on making the various undead discussed from other monsters? I am thinking of making a hag into a wight with as much crossover in special abilities to vex my players. Will this book help at all on that front? The book is going my want list regardless but I am curious as it will add more value to me when I purchase it.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

cappadocius wrote:
(Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Classic Vermin Revisited in 2012!)

Hey, that actually sounds pretty interesting.

Say, any chance that this book will have undead-specific prestige classes or stuff like that? Savage Species and Libris Mortis both did, as I recall, and I liked them quite a bit.

Grand Lodge

gbonehead wrote:
cappadocius wrote:
(Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Classic Vermin Revisited in 2012!)

Hey, that actually sounds pretty interesting.

Say, any chance that this book will have undead-specific prestige classes or stuff like that? Savage Species and Libris Mortis both did, as I recall, and I liked them quite a bit.

Following the vein of previous books, I would guess no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

gbonehead wrote:
cappadocius wrote:
(Rumor has it that we'll be seeing Classic Vermin Revisited in 2012!)

Hey, that actually sounds pretty interesting.

Say, any chance that this book will have undead-specific prestige classes or stuff like that? Savage Species and Libris Mortis both did, as I recall, and I liked them quite a bit.

No chance at all. Prestige classes aren't really appropriate for the Revisited line of books.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The product image and description have been updated to reflect the finished product.


A Kekai Kotaki cover piece? In any event, it looks awesome!

Dark Archive

I really like this cover.

Dark Archive

Wow, that's a gorgeous cover! :)

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