So, Game mastery advice required on undead.


Advice


I like GMing.

And when I GM I like to let people go wild creatively with new toys (for my group) like running monstrous races only campaigns and the like. My current in the workshop campaign, is "lets be undead" and it sounded like a good idea, it looks like it will be fun, but in the spirit of things people got very creative....

My question is, how powerful are templates, specifically am I going to be giving people ridiculous power if I say, let them apply undead templates to their chars...

Additionally, am I going the wrong way about this, is there a better way to play as undead? This seemed the most straight forward way, but I'm by no means a veteran Gm....


Make sure your character isn't optimizing the template. If their stats include a dumped con and through the roof cha, then you should smell the velvita...


To be honest The Undead Templates have crazy modifiers and stat alterations.

If you want to make them undead just add the undead template after they make their character this dumps con to zero but then turns charisma into your HP stat

Grand Lodge

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You might also modify the initial point buy and tell them they cannot use any build points for Constitution.

More specific build rule:
Build as a normal character, except for the following:
1. Type becomes undead.
2. No build points in Constitution. Constitution becomes --
3. Gain the usual undead traits and immunities (Bestiary 310)
4. Not proficient with any armor or shields except through class abilities.
5. Pick one of the two:
a. Fleshy - gain DR 5/slashing and a slam attack (1d4 small, 1d6 medium)
b. Skeletal - gain DR 5/bludgeoning and two claw attacks (1d3 small, 1d4 medium)

If you want more varieties of undead, I'd increase the number of options and abilities in step 5. For example, for the fleshy option you might grant Toughness as a bonus feat and +10 ft. movement; for the skeletal option you might make it bloody and grant fast healing and channel resistance. Then you might add an incorporeal option and a ghoulish option. You'll need to adjust the effective starting level of your campaign, of course.

Incorporeal is the ability that is most problematic and subject to abuse; if you allow it be sure to exclude Strength from build point expenditure as well, and maybe reduce the number of points overall to spend on attributes slightly.


Byrdology wrote:
Make sure your character isn't optimizing the template. If their stats include a dumped con and through the roof cha, then you should smell the velvita...

I've sort of thrown power playing out the window as a ruling. I'm fond of the group I'm playing with as they tend to be more interested in their character as a character than as a power house god with serious conflagrations of rules scrawled char sheets with min maxing or severe optimizing.

Damien_DM wrote:
Incorporeal is the ability that is most problematic and subject to abuse; if you allow it be sure to exclude Strength from build point expenditure as well, and maybe reduce the number of points overall to spend on attributes slightly.

Thats one of the major things I was eyeing off....

One of the players wanted to build a ghost oracle, which I like the flavour of..... but as you say, invisible and silent are EXCESSIVELY good things to start with, sure latter levels they arnt amazing, but early on......

So far I've left it up to them, with me reserving the right to chop and change the templates abilities as they bring them up and ditching the templates feats ability modifiers and skills modifiers, which... is clunky.... at best.

Now, Damien, I like your idea and had thought of trying something of those lines, (though you've simplified it and made it easy for me) BUT I'm a HUGE fan of house rules and creativity and personalization, so I find your a little short, now I realize tyou explained how it could be expanded, but then it seems.... static and linear? It feels less undead than.... sort of spray painted over the top, you know?

Grand Lodge

I was going for balanced, and the best way to do that is to keep the playing field as level as possible.

If you want more options, tell everyone they have to start with, say, a CR 5 undead build, which can either be from a straight CR 5 undead or a lower-CR undead with suitable class levels to compensate.


In my opinion letting your players be Undead is overpower. The immunities gained from Undead are too good. Along side the fact that you'll probably end up with Oracles and Sorcerers rather than a Wizard and Cleric since they can pump charisma as both their HP boosting and casting stat. It's a terrrible idea. Not too mention by RAW a barbarians Rage wont work since Undead are immune to Morale effects.

Overall it's just a terrible idea to do. It is a power equivalent to that gained by a 20th level Knight of the Sepulcher (AntiPaladin Archetype).

Quote:
Undying Champion (Ex): At 20th level, a knight of the sepulcher joins the ranks of the undead. His DR increases to 10/bludgeoning and good. His type changes to undead, and he acquires all undead traits. Although immune to disease, he can still carry and spread diseases with the antipaladin's plague bringer ability. The undying champion no longer has a Constitution score. He uses his Charisma score for calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special abilities that rely on Constitution. This ability replaces unholy champion.

Edit: I see you already mentioned someone wanting to play a ghost Oracle. That player clearly knows how to minmax and optimize the system. Just say no to letting them play as Undead. Being able to combine casting stats and the stat you derive HP from is too good, and the added immunities that general undead have, let alone incorporeal just puts this way over the top.

I smell the strong odor of Limburger.

Grand Lodge

Another possibility, if you have the Advanced Race Guide, is use the Race Builder system in chapter 4 to have your players build unique custom undead. The base undead form is worth 16 RP (page 217); you could then give them 6 or 10 additional RP to buy additional abilities (and can gain more points by taking weaknesses). Once done they need to come up with a backstory to explain their unique undead creation and its abilities.


Just to be clear, the 16 RP is just to have the undead type appied to the characters. That would mean a complete non-descript race with no ability bonuses or other features. Take a human but remove the +2 ability bonus, the bonus feat, the +1 skill per level and apply the undead type to it and thats what you'd have.

Normal races are 9-11 rp points, and that assumes that the Race Builder rules are at all balanced (they are not by the way). Giving them more points would put them on par with being Noble Drow characters, which is also a terrible idea. And players should never be allowed to custom design races because they will always take drawbacks that are irrelevant to them so they can purchase other things that are useful.

Ultimately: If they want to play something with a Undead feel you should consider letting them play as Dhampir and maybe move around the +2 to Dex to any other physical ability and the +2 charisma to any other mental ability. To me thats more than fair.


I disagree with Claxon, an Undead game sounds awesome.

Here's an idea, maybe they have to 'earn' parts of their Template, just like with a Class. You know, Barbarians don't start with all their Rage powers, they gain more as they gain levels. Wizards don't start with all their spells, they gain them as they gain levels. I can see Templates being treated the same way. A level one Vampire isn't gonna get all his cool little abilities, he's gonna get like, one of them every few levels.

That's what I think, anyway.


Actually. the RP numbers say nothing about a Race's power

you can build a 5 point race, whom through flaw exploitation, is better than a 35 point race

or a 10 point race that is better than a 20 by picking synergistic powers

so you still need your instincts

being 10 or 15 RP above the norm is fine if those RP are spent ineffectually.

Grand Lodge

Per the OP, I don't think it matters too terribly if all the undead PCs are significantly more powerful than core races, as long as they are roughly in balance with one another. Of course the gamemaster will need to design or modify scenarios to take this power increase into account. Just like I would see nothing wrong with, say, a campaign where everyone runs a noble drow character, so long as they are not intended to be considered equivalent to normal races.

Definitely if you want to give the players the option to custom-build undead you should review each creation carefully and evaluate them to ensure they are roughly on par with one another. If that sounds too overwhelming, then I'd say stick with the template method.

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