Undead player


Advice


Hi all, im here to ask if there is any undead playable race (not Dhampir), or any way to become an undead??


*insert joke about incorrect use of player vs. character *

Short answer, yes. Take any undead in the game, allow player to play it. Done.

If you want an undead race balanced against core races, you're out of luck in PF core. The best thing to do would be to introduce the necropolitan. Just remove the bit about giving them d12 HD and you're good to go.


Lots of ways to become undead. Nearly all of them (stating in case there is a way I am unfamiliar with) result in the death of the character and thus, the inclusion of a new NPC in its place (control goes over to the DM).

I am currently running a homebrew game that uses the gestalt rules to introduce the players as undead (by pulling undead progresses from the 3.5e D&D Libris Mortis book). Class on one side, undead race on the other. Players are free do what they will with the remaining levels on their undead progression after they finish the 'class', whether that means taking a new class, prestige, or petitioning the GM (myself) for a template.


The only way I know to keep control of your character while becoming undead is to be a 5th level Agent of the Grave. Undeath Initiate specifically calls out that you retain your intelligence and free will if you become transformed into an undead. Without that...you become a NPC.


Add the JuJu Zombie template to whatever they want to be, and let them play their character.

Or, literally just add Undead Traits to whatever character they want to play.

Take the 5 levels of Agent of the Grave and become a Lich. Or a Vampire.


Riveling wrote:
Hi all, im here to ask if there is any undead playable race (not Dhampir), or any way to become an undead??

Duskwalker is a playable undead race, sort of. Spiritual in a flesh vessel.


This would be up to your GM.

The problem being that being a full undead has a lot of benefits, that aren't equal to pretty much anything any other players can do to simulate the benefits. It's honestly just too good, unless the GM lets the whole party be undead.

In which case making everybody a juju zombie is probably the best way to go about it.


Does it have to be the main player? And does it have to be specifically undead?

I know that chained eidolons have the "undead appearance" evolution. Unchained eidolons have the option to have the psychopomp subtype (which is a subtype of things that often fill a grim reaper role- many skeletons). This will ultimately leave you as an outsider, but that can be semantics when you have a skeleton that you can run around with.

And the Spiritualist's phantoms are very specifically spirits of the dead dead trapped in this plane.


there are issues of equivalent level when you let players take templates as characters. There has to be some level/xp loss tied to the template, otherwise a ghoul wiz diviner 1 is the same as a human wiz diviner level 1 and that's clearly not true.
It also lands you in home game territory.

3.5 used the CR as level at first, then they went with double the CR... then 3 levels got put into being self willed undead AND you picked up 4 pts of channel resistance. It was a mess and it clearly wasn't the same across types(aberrations, fey, magical beasts, undead...).
Still, CR is probably the best yardstick.
Combine that with race points for designing races and you might have a winner.
Now your GM just has to equate that to XP or Level.


1cr adjustment is 1 level in pathfinder. Skeletal champion is a fairly simple template that's 1cr that would allow a player to start as undead even at level one since it gives a small amount of racial hit die. Go on a quest to upgrade to a more potent undead as the party levels up.


If it's starting past level one, JuJu Zombie...

If you start at level one, character plus Undead traits...

If you want to play as an undead monster with character levels, then you should have to start at appropriate HD level... as an undead whatever you start with whatever HD, you must start at a level higher than the racial HD before adding class levels.

The end.

PS. Adding class levels to monsters brings HUGE bonuses, be careful...

Step 2: Add Class Levels
Once you have determined the creature’s role, it’s time to add class levels. The first step of this process is to modify the creature’s ability scores. Creatures with class levels receive +4, +4, +2, +2, +0, and –2 adjustments to their ability scores, assigned in a manner that enhances their class abilities.


doomman47 wrote:
1cr adjustment is 1 level in pathfinder. Skeletal champion is a fairly simple template that's 1cr that would allow a player to start as undead even at level one since it gives a small amount of racial hit die. Go on a quest to upgrade to a more potent undead as the party levels up.

I don't recommend this though, because 1 class level (at least at lower levels) isn't worth nearly as much as all the resistances and bonuses of being undead. Especially if the player knows they can be undead and choose their class around that (since undead have no constitution and use charisma to determine HP).

There's just no easy way to balance this.

The old CR equation or template values are guidelines on how much it increases the power of NPCs the players will fight, it's not really a good guideline on how it affects inter-party balance.


Claxon wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
1cr adjustment is 1 level in pathfinder. Skeletal champion is a fairly simple template that's 1cr that would allow a player to start as undead even at level one since it gives a small amount of racial hit die. Go on a quest to upgrade to a more potent undead as the party levels up.

I don't recommend this though, because 1 class level (at least at lower levels) isn't worth nearly as much as all the resistances and bonuses of being undead. Especially if the player knows they can be undead and choose their class around that (since undead have no constitution and use charisma to determine HP).

There's just no easy way to balance this.

The old CR equation or template values are guidelines on how much it increases the power of NPCs the players will fight, it's not really a good guideline on how it affects inter-party balance.

Actually those are the rules for monsters as pcs and how you balance it is just play the dang game, there are many races that offer immunities to things and you shouldn't be worrying about how the encounter will effect 1st level parties, do you lose sleep when you are trying to have a fight where the bad guy uses sleep effects and the party has 2 elves in it? If you do then you need to reprioritise a little bit.


doomman47 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
1cr adjustment is 1 level in pathfinder. Skeletal champion is a fairly simple template that's 1cr that would allow a player to start as undead even at level one since it gives a small amount of racial hit die. Go on a quest to upgrade to a more potent undead as the party levels up.

I don't recommend this though, because 1 class level (at least at lower levels) isn't worth nearly as much as all the resistances and bonuses of being undead. Especially if the player knows they can be undead and choose their class around that (since undead have no constitution and use charisma to determine HP).

There's just no easy way to balance this.

The old CR equation or template values are guidelines on how much it increases the power of NPCs the players will fight, it's not really a good guideline on how it affects inter-party balance.

Actually those are the rules for monsters as pcs and how you balance it is just play the dang game, there are many races that offer immunities to things and you shouldn't be worrying about how the encounter will effect 1st level parties, do you lose sleep when you are trying to have a fight where the bad guy uses sleep effects and the party has 2 elves in it? If you do then you need to reprioritise a little bit.

There's a bit of a difference between immune to sleep (around 5 spells tops and a witch hex) and immune to mind effecting (more or less an entire school of magic) and that's without all the other perks like immune to 75% of all fort save effects and only having 5 stats to worry about.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
1cr adjustment is 1 level in pathfinder. Skeletal champion is a fairly simple template that's 1cr that would allow a player to start as undead even at level one since it gives a small amount of racial hit die. Go on a quest to upgrade to a more potent undead as the party levels up.

I don't recommend this though, because 1 class level (at least at lower levels) isn't worth nearly as much as all the resistances and bonuses of being undead. Especially if the player knows they can be undead and choose their class around that (since undead have no constitution and use charisma to determine HP).

There's just no easy way to balance this.

The old CR equation or template values are guidelines on how much it increases the power of NPCs the players will fight, it's not really a good guideline on how it affects inter-party balance.

Actually those are the rules for monsters as pcs and how you balance it is just play the dang game, there are many races that offer immunities to things and you shouldn't be worrying about how the encounter will effect 1st level parties, do you lose sleep when you are trying to have a fight where the bad guy uses sleep effects and the party has 2 elves in it? If you do then you need to reprioritise a little bit.
There's a bit of a difference between immune to sleep (around 5 spells tops and a witch hex) and immune to mind effecting (more or less an entire school of magic) and that's without all the other perks like immune to 75% of all fort save effects and only having 5 stats to worry about.

It also has its drawbacks not having con makes the powers of some classes less viable, you also need to worry about healing, most of the party is likely positive energy attuned so their healing is covered and not many people plan on getting their character negative energy effects. If you wanted to play a kinetitist then you are royally gimped by being undead. You will have a lot harder time going into town to collect provisions/sell items, and a majority of the world will want to kill you a lot more than the rest of the party.


Powers of some classes being which exactly? Barbarian rage is the only one that comes to mind and for that undead have a special dispensation for it to work exactly the same more or less.

Healing isn't any more of an issue than it has been for damphirs (aka have an inflict light wounds wand rather than a cure one) and being pidgeon holed into overwhelming soul (which is indeed a lousy archtype) is a...rather niche complaint.

As for the RP stuff...frankly people have managed with goblins, drow, orcs, and all sorts of other stuff before with minimal fuss (often with a disguise check at worst and hey, as undead you have all the incentive in the world to pump charisma).

The mechanical tradeoffs aren't even worth considering and if you really want to dive down the rabbit-hole of paladins and hitmen coming out of the woodwork well, you're punishing the whole party ultimately and its a matter of rote eventually anyway, little different than when the local bbeg sends his own bounty hunters.


Any class that gains cha to fort saves lose out on that, any class that adds cha to con or con to cha for any use lose out there are certain feats that just stop working for being undead and some that key off of con which cant be used with out con.

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