Pathfinder Book of the Dead

4.00/5 (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Book of the Dead

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The dead are rising! This blasphemous tome gives players and GMs everything they need to bring the shambling menace of the undead to their Pathfinder adventures. This book includes tools for fighting against the undead horde, but also options for the players themselves to control or even become undead creatures. GMs will find new tools and haunts, as well as information about the undead-plagued lands of the Lost Omens campaign setting. A massive bestiary section full of undead creatures brings more threats for GMs to use and summonable creatures for players, including more versions of classic undead like vampires, skeletons, and zombies. This 224-page hardcover rulebook also includes a full adventure themed around fighting the undead!

Written by: Jason Bulmahn, Brian Bauman, Tineke Bolleman, Logan Bonner, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, Chris Eng, Logan Harper, Michelle Jones, Jason Keeley, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Liane Merciel, Patchen Mortimer, Quinn Murphy, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Solomon St. John, Michael Sayre, Sen.H.S.S, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Jason Tondro, Andrew White

Available Formats

Pathfinder Book of the Dead is also available as:

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-401-7

The adventure contained within this rulebook, "March of the Dead," is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle Sheets are available as a free download (881 KB PDF).

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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4.00/5 (based on 15 ratings)

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A lore-packed book full of undead-centered options

5/5


Realistic undead traits

5/5

This book does a good job of meeting the players desire to play with undead and a Storyteller having to actually put it on the table. For example, other than the Skeleton, undeath is a class archetype. Want to be a lich, level 12, talk to your DM. Obviously some of these things can't just be picked without context or reasons but this gives access to a brand new type of character creation, playing dead PCs. I can realistically see more than one PC at previous tables taking on the mantel of a ghost archetype and having their driving goal bring them back from the beyond.

The undead companions are just so-so, honestly I'd preferred that one of the choices I get when upgrading my companion was undeath traits, rather than 'undead horse' but I can see why this was done as undead horses need an archetype specific master. I would however, had like to have the option of wolf+skeleton or wolf+zombie combination that would have let my existing beastmaster PCs bring their companions back with them, with the same-ish stat line. A Zombie Wolf with a 20 speed is a right terrible flanking buddy.

I really have enjoyed this book for hours so, that's worth my 15$ even if vampires die in the sun. However, I actually really like how all these rules work which I can say is rare with new mechanics.


5/5


2/5


Excellent GM resource, good player resource.

5/5

For GMs, the book is woah. 85 new undead monsters, gazetteer of undead lands of Golarion, an adventure, new haunts, lots of stuff to play with.

Special shout-out to the ghostly luchador and the return of night-things. Flying undead level 20 sharks ftw.

For players, there's some great stuff (skeleton ancestry, "regular" archetypes, items) and the heavily advertised undead archetypes which are fun BUT require special handling, because a bunch of level 1 ghosts could be too much for a regular adventure to handle.

It's 4.5 stars BUT I add 0.5 extra for the book tying into South American approach to death and a nice dusty pink/flowers/skulls theme instead of the done to (un)death "black, sick flesh, grey, death, angles and bones" theme most RPG books about undead use. A nice breath of freshly stale grave air.

Also, ghost corgi familiars.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Something about ghouls next, please, Aaron :)

Sovereign Court

I would like to know what level of insubstantial playable ghosts have, or at least what restrictions will be applied. Thanks.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

something about the powers we get as full vampires or liches please


The Raven Black wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
It goes on for another paragraph.
I wonder how it interacts with a Dhampir (or undead) Summoner.

Paragraph has answer for that variation?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LizardMage wrote:

@Aaron Shanks: Are there Undead options for an Inventor that takes the Construct Innovation?

Thank you :)

There are undead companions and an Undead Master archetype, but I don't see investors mentioned specifically. I'll up date this if I find otherwise.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Winkie_Phace wrote:

How long is the adventure, page wise? what levels?

The adventure is about 20 pages and starts at 3rd level.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

5 people marked this as a favorite.
belgrath9344 wrote:
I have a question how does bieng turned into a vampire effect you? do you have to drink blood to survive do vampire pcs get coffin restoration? what about pc lich do we have to capture souls in our containers? do we resurrect if we are killed? will thier be cr 24 or 25 undead? will blood magic appear in this book? will there be special metals/ crafting material for undead & necromancy?

So I am going to answer this series of questions generally in that the designers have written a set of basic and advance undead traits, as well as rules specific to each undead type. The rules discuss Negative Healing, Negative Survival (death and dying), Immunity to Death Effects, etc. One will need to read the whole chapter on playable undead to get the whole picture.

No blood magic as previous stated.

I don't see any undead with CR 24-25 here. I may find some as I look.


Sage Aaron, what is some info on the undead companions available? Can I put bolts in their necks like Frankenstein's monster?


Aaron Shanks wrote:
LizardMage wrote:

@Aaron Shanks: Are there Undead options for an Inventor that takes the Construct Innovation?

Thank you :)

There are undead companions and an Undead Master archetype, but I don't see investors mentioned specifically. I'll up date this if I find otherwise.

Undead Master sounds like Beast Master but as Undead


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber

for the Undead Master archetype what sort of prerequisites other than the usual?
for the undead companions: are there ranged options (like skeleton archer) mount options (skeletal horse/Pegasus flight at high level obviously) or like the inventor/summoner how they "build" design their companion or undead version of animal companions?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Aaron is incredibly thorough here and also very careful just in case we sneak something in: for example, he is technically correct when he said nightshades aren't in the bestiary section... under that name.

What are the "Nightshades" called now?

or at least a hint please.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

No words to describe how awesome the cover is!

Yet I'm surprised we didn't get a cover featuring Geb, the Whispering Tyrant or others of the most iconic undead NPCs.

...the guy on the cover is Geb, though. ^_^;


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

There are several guys on the cover. Are they all Geb? :-)


VivatGolarion wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

No words to describe how awesome the cover is!

Yet I'm surprised we didn't get a cover featuring Geb, the Whispering Tyrant or others of the most iconic undead NPCs.

...the guy on the cover is Geb, though. ^_^;

Indeed, he is. It's just that he is dressed up for the occasion, so I couldn't identify him at first.

You know, we can identify the Whispering Tyrant easily, but there were only two illustrations of Ged so far, and none are even close in appearance to this one. I only found out it was him when someone else confirmed it.

Liberty's Edge

Nice mural.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

7 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:


You know, we can identify the Whispering Tyrant easily, but there were only two illustrations of Ged so far, and none are even close in appearance to this one. I only found out it was him when someone else confirmed it.

We've updated Geb's look a bit for this one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've never been so excited for a bestiary. I just want a Paizo Live to get a look at more of the stuff in this thing.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

My question for sir Aaron, if he still takes any: What sort of GMing options exist in the book beyond monsters and haunts? And what sort of capstone feat does the lich archetype have, or any of the monster archetypes in general?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey Erik, given the developments and decisions over the last few days I have some questions about how they will impact this book:

1) How does the decision to move away from portraying any form of forced servitude impact this book given that Geb is one of, if not, THE most important, nations and individuals that it will feature?
2)Will the book be seeing significant cuts or revisions to remove lore, plot hooks, descriptions of, or content that relates to the nation's economy which almost exclusively relies on chattel classes and labor to function?
3) Should we expect to see delays to the release of Book of the Dead in light of these decisions or would can we simply expect a disclaimer that warns of their presence?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It went to the printer already, even if it would have changed content in here, there's no practical way that could happen at this point.

Liberty's Edge

Thank you The-Magic-Sword, I was not aware that was the case.

Perhaps it would be labor-intensive or maybe even just logistically impossible at this point, but perhaps the batching of something like "reader sensitivity warning" stickers that can be placed somewhere on or inside the book is something that can be reasonably accommodated.

I imagine that if it's already too late then the product page on the store itself where the PDF can be purchased would be a bare minimum inclusion to help ensure that the material isn't purchased without being warned of its presence.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

Thank you The-Magic-Sword, I was not aware that was the case.

Perhaps it would be labor-intensive or maybe even just logistically impossible at this point, but perhaps the batching of something like "reader sensitivity warning" stickers that can be placed somewhere on or inside the book is something that can be reasonably accommodated.

I imagine that if it's already too late then the product page on the store itself where the PDF can be purchased would be a bare minimum inclusion to help ensure that the material isn't purchased without being warned of its presence.

Tragically, that might be a bad idea. Corroborating the study, my own anecdotal experience is that they (in my case, warnings about depictions of domestic abuse) prime me to undergo trauma related side effects in a way that just coming across them cold, doesn't. It creates a self-fulfilling expectation of how my body should react to the material.

Paizo Employee Director of Community

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a string of posts discussing a recent Paizo decision. There are threads in general discussion for delving into specifics on that topic, which is adjacent but not relevant to this thread, as it is focused on the actual product.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It just hit me that we're totally going to be able to have a Skeleton Summoner with an Undead Eidolon, and (through Dhampir, if not through something else in this book) an undead animal companion. We should be able to play a small squad of undead that way at a minimum.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
It just hit me that we're totally going to be able to have a Skeleton Summoner with an Undead Eidolon, and (through Dhampir, if not through something else in this book) an undead animal companion. We should be able to play a small squad of undead that way at a minimum.

This book has me as excited as the Dragon Ancestries book Mark is working on. I am being spoiled for content.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
It just hit me that we're totally going to be able to have a Skeleton Summoner with an Undead Eidolon, and (through Dhampir, if not through something else in this book) an undead animal companion. We should be able to play a small squad of undead that way at a minimum.

Aaron did mention undead companions and Undead Master archetype, so that'll prob be a good route for it.

I'm just so excited to recreate my undead mage from WoW (Kjellthuzad), probably as a Skeleton Wizard with Alchemist Archetype.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I also hope there will be some good stuff in this. Even if I am not subscribed anymore, I think there is the potential for some good stuff. We need more love for the undead side of pathfinder and 2ed has made some things more accessible for players. Me. I am hoping we get some love for urgathoa and her whole deal. She kind of has been neglected with some aspects of her followers. Let players or clear paths for npcs to get the chance to become daughters of urgathoa by going down a path of undeath devotion and undeath trancendance of mortality. Also some variance in the methods of undead making and using could be fun.

Only hope one day we get back swallow whole in the potential players kit, though I doubt it will come in here at least for a while.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
It just hit me that we're totally going to be able to have a Skeleton Summoner with an Undead Eidolon, and (through Dhampir, if not through something else in this book) an undead animal companion. We should be able to play a small squad of undead that way at a minimum.

Dhampir gnome playing as an undead summoner with undead master archetype, animal accomplice ancestry feat, and animate dead spells will be legit minionmancy. It wont be the most action efficient or most damaging build but it will look like a character with a gaggle of undead. I'm super stoked to make my necromancer.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
WWHsmackdown wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
It just hit me that we're totally going to be able to have a Skeleton Summoner with an Undead Eidolon, and (through Dhampir, if not through something else in this book) an undead animal companion. We should be able to play a small squad of undead that way at a minimum.
Dhampir gnome playing as an undead summoner with undead master archetype, animal accomplice ancestry feat, and animate dead spells will be legit minionmancy. It wont be the most action efficient or most damaging build but it will look like a character with a gaggle of undead. I'm super stoked to make my necromancer.

Minionmancy is one of the better mancies. dominate the action economy with your boys. until the gm says not at my table of course, but who can fault you for trying.

Liberty's Edge

WWHsmackdown wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
It just hit me that we're totally going to be able to have a Skeleton Summoner with an Undead Eidolon, and (through Dhampir, if not through something else in this book) an undead animal companion. We should be able to play a small squad of undead that way at a minimum.
Dhampir gnome playing as an undead summoner with undead master archetype, animal accomplice ancestry feat, and animate dead spells will be legit minionmancy. It wont be the most action efficient or most damaging build but it will look like a character with a gaggle of undead. I'm super stoked to make my necromancer.

The Summoner can even be Good while making much use of Final Sacrifice on the animated ones.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just wanted to re-ask on a possible name for the Nightshades, I noticed when reading the Geb section in the World Guide it mentions Shades. Is that what they are now called?

Also anything on the Necrograft creature and Necrocraft rules?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

17 people marked this as a favorite.

Hi all. I'm busy training Raychael as our new Marketing and Licensing Coordinator, so I am pulling back on the preview content for now. In the new year we are planning more Book of the Dead preview content via blogs, Paizo LIVE, email, and social media. I've a few other ideas too. Also maybe a dev, designer, editor or I will return to previews here if we have the capacity. This has been a good experiment, with some pros and cons. I hope it has generated some enthusiasm for anyone on the fence about this book.

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Aaron, I indeed think it has.

I really think that these more tightly focused, yet larger books on a single theme are one of the strongest directions that the supplements can take as opposed to the way it was approached for PF1. I hope that it ends up proving my belief that this method makes for a better product by way of strong sales as well.

Looking forward to more previews in the new year!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Any chance of a new Necromancer cleric achetype?

Humbly,
Yawar


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Hi all. I'm busy training Raychael as our new Marketing and Licensing Coordinator, so I am pulling back on the preview content for now. In the new year we are planning more Book of the Dead preview content via blogs, Paizo LIVE, email, and social media. I've a few other ideas too. Also maybe a dev, designer, editor or I will return to previews here if we have the capacity. This has been a good experiment, with some pros and cons. I hope it has generated some enthusiasm for anyone on the fence about this book.

This has definately sealed the deal on me wanting to pick this up from my LFGS when it comes out next year. I'm quite happy with what you've shown off, since I was hesitant on the contents of the book being useful at my table


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Hi all. I'm busy training Raychael as our new Marketing and Licensing Coordinator, so I am pulling back on the preview content for now. In the new year we are planning more Book of the Dead preview content via blogs, Paizo LIVE, email, and social media. I've a few other ideas too. Also maybe a dev, designer, editor or I will return to previews here if we have the capacity. This has been a good experiment, with some pros and cons. I hope it has generated some enthusiasm for anyone on the fence about this book.

I got a better sense of the ratio of bestiary to player/dm tools so it made my purchase a lot more certain.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Hi all. I'm busy training Raychael as our new Marketing and Licensing Coordinator, so I am pulling back on the preview content for now. In the new year we are planning more Book of the Dead preview content via blogs, Paizo LIVE, email, and social media. I've a few other ideas too. Also maybe a dev, designer, editor or I will return to previews here if we have the capacity. This has been a good experiment, with some pros and cons. I hope it has generated some enthusiasm for anyone on the fence about this book.

Feel free to send me the PDF, I'll be happy to preview here if yall don't have the capacity :). No? Well, offer stands...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wish I could read this during Christmass...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm curious to see if the Lich Archetype will feature a path that allows one to be a Graveknight. Not exactly 1:1, but it would be interesting if you could take a series of Feats that let you do this. Or maybe we could see a separate Graveknight Archetype later.

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