I need creatures that don't leave a corpse when killed


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

Scarab Sages

Hello everyone, I'm in a situation in which I need to place a creature that doesn't leave a corpse when killed.
I would be more exhaustive on the reasons, but my players could read this thread and I don't want them to suspect anything, even if they don't know my username here.
It is better if level 10ish, but I can work with something fairly more powerful or weak.
Incorporeal creatures would be ok, but again (and I'm sorry for it) I can't explain you why they aren't.
Also, I need the encounter to NOT generate any suspects once resolved. For example: summoned creatures are not ok because they will, of course, investigate on who summoned them and why. Same thing for vampires, they will likely search for the coffin.
In short words I need something that looks like a random encounter, it seems stupid, but you have to trust me on this lol.
Any creature that does't drop a body when killed is ok, it doesn't need to literally disappear, it could melt, explode, disperse in a swarm (like a worm that walks)... Anythign works as long as there is no trace after and it doesn't generate suspects or desire to investigate.

Thank you very much. ;)

Liberty's Edge

Is this something that needs to make like... in Golarian lore sense or can you possibly just give something the old Ghost Train treatment rule of cool and have some (or all) enemies simply disappear in a red mist when they expire?


Enoren wrote:


Also, I need the encounter to NOT generate any suspects once resolved. For example: summoned creatures are not ok because they will, of course, investigate on who summoned them and why.

How would that be possible?

The adventurers find a corpse.

How would they able to get that it was a summoned creature and not a creature of that kind?

And if the summoned creature doesn't use unarmed attacks ( in order not to leave wounds made by specific unarmed attacks ) but simply weapons ( a dagger, a short sword, and so on ), how would be the adventurers be able to get that it was a summoned creature?

Scarab Sages

Themetricsystem wrote:
Is this something that needs to make like... in Golarian lore sense or can you possibly just give something the old Ghost Train treatment rule of cool and have some (or all) enemies simply disappear in a red mist when they expire?

Yes, the creature itself has to make sense, I don't like to homebrew creatures because I want my players to develop a (false) sense of control lol. But anything paizo is cool.

Scarab Sages

HumbleGamer wrote:
Enoren wrote:


Also, I need the encounter to NOT generate any suspects once resolved. For example: summoned creatures are not ok because they will, of course, investigate on who summoned them and why.

How would that be possible?

The adventurers find a corpse.

How would they able to get that it was a summoned creature and not a creature of that kind?

And if the summoned creature doesn't use unarmed attacks ( in order not to leave wounds made by specific unarmed attacks ) but simply weapons ( a dagger, a short sword, and so on ), how would be the adventurers be able to get that it was a summoned creature?

Sorry, I didn't make it clear, but the players will FIGHT the creature, so it would be obvious (or at least suspicious) to them that it is a summoned creatures, because they just pop out of the world when they die (or at lease they do in my campaign).


How about a 7th level or higher Red Mantis Assassin?


You could make a template, one that perhaps has the monster turn to ooze or ash when it dies.

Most any monster that explodes upon death would work.
Ex. Frost Worm (12), Elemental Inferno (11), Icewyrm (10), Firewyrm (9) Caligni (leveled up). There are more, these were simply those that immediately came to mind.

You could make an item that does one of the above. It could be similar to the cyanide pill of spies, handed out by an evil organization so no corpses remain (because spells can get info from them).

The Red Mantis Assassins have the Crimson Shroud ability (level 6 feat) where they disperse into red mist upon dying. (Of course their presence implies an employer, and perhaps an escalating struggle vs. assassins.)


Here's some creatures around that level that explode when they die:
Elemental Inferno
Firewyrm
Icewyrm
Xulgath gutragers (if they self detonate)

Oozes or Elementals could work for you as well. There isn't an official description of what happens when they die, but my GM usually describes them as losing cohesion when they die (oozes and water elementals become puddles, air elementals become dust, fire elementals become ash and earth elementals become rubble).

Liberty's Edge

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I think it's arguable that many 'Outsider' type creatures discorporate on death. The rules and setting don't definitively say and I can see it going either way, but I doubt anyone would question it.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think it's arguable that many 'Outsider' type creatures discorporate on death. The rules and setting don't definitively say and I can see it going either way, but I doubt anyone would question it.

While many elementals could work, I would think any air elemental, people would likely not expect there to be any corpse left, as anything that was it, would probably simply drift away in the air indescribable... unless you wanted there to be some sort of trace.

Illusions would certainly be something that wouldn't leave a trace when destroyed. Shadow creatures would likewise be an option.

Scarab Sages

First of all, thank you everyone, many of these are ok (some elementals, mostly. I'm afraid the explosions from the wyrms would as noticeable as the body itself).
Something medium size would be perfect. I forgot to mention that it has to be some sort of vicious creature or, if sentient, blantantly evil.
thanks again


The ice golem explodes too, but I think it's level 5.


Enoren wrote:
Anythign works as long as there is no trace after and it doesn't generate suspects or desire to investigate.

I think you're asking for the impossible.

Something attacks the party, they're going to be curious regardless of whether or not it leaves a corpse.

Unless you're having the party walk though the wilds and be attacked by wild animals there's going to be something deeper, or at least your players will think so.

I really think you would be better off if you could give us a more complete understanding of the situation. With the vague requirements you've given I simply think it's impossible. Especially if you have a curious party who is using speak with dead on everything to investigate why. Suddenly having something attack them which leaves no trace and gives them no leads is only going to make them want to investigate more.

Scarab Sages

Claxon wrote:
Enoren wrote:
Anythign works as long as there is no trace after and it doesn't generate suspects or desire to investigate.

I think you're asking for the impossible.

Something attacks the party, they're going to be curious regardless of whether or not it leaves a corpse.

Unless you're having the party walk though the wilds and be attacked by wild animals there's going to be something deeper, or at least your players will think so.

I really think you would be better off if you could give us a more complete understanding of the situation. With the vague requirements you've given I simply think it's impossible. Especially if you have a curious party who is using speak with dead on everything to investigate why. Suddenly having something attack them which leaves no trace and gives them no leads is only going to make them want to investigate more.

Basically, an NPC will attack one of the party members alone while disguised into another creature (with a heightened illusory disguise), then after a few rounds it will feign death with the Drop Dead spell and leave. I cant't tell you the reasons for this (I know it probably makes no sense for you).

I'm looking for a creature for him to disguise into. It can't leave a corpse because in that case, after a minute, the fake corpse will disappear and the player will, of course, suspect something weird happened. I also want the player to believe that the problem is solved once the creature is dead, avoiding any kind of investigation. The creature can't be incorporeal because he would notice that it is not, when he strikes it.
The npc will take the same disguise in the past days to scare the people in town, that will spread the word that "that creature" is causing trouble. So, knowing the player, he shouldn't suspect that something's fishy.


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By strict rule I think drop dead will make an illusory corpse of the actual creature, not of the disguise the creature is using.

And there will be some sort of corpse, so using Drop Dead on a creature that normally leaves no corpse...I don't think that's going to work out.

You could just (and should) probably just say screw the rules on this one and just make a unique NPC ability, because if you're players are ever able to figure it out they might call you out for those things not really working that way.


It's a bit low level but a denizen of leng would be perfect.
https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=604

They dissolve 1d4 rounds after being killed.
The only problem is that they leave their equipment behind. That will require to be a bit crafty to make that work.


Zergor wrote:

It's a bit low level but a denizen of leng would be perfect.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=604

They dissolve 1d4 rounds after being killed.
The only problem is that they leave their equipment behind. That will require to be a bit crafty to make that work.

Yeah one of those with elite adjustments could work, or bumping the numbers to a higher level threat if you have access to the GMG.

In a similar vein I'd suggest one of these bad, bad doggos which I always imagine collapsing in a tangle of angles upon death.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd say air elemental. Once killed, it's just more air in a world full of the stuff.


I remember something about outsiders slain on the material plane just vanishing.


Another option is to have the attacking creature's death faked by falling into a deep pit, cliff, fire, lava, or even into thick bushes where a convenient body is hidden for the party to find.


Caligni bodies go poof when they die.


Grothluts have a messy demise. Only CR 3 creatures, tho.

Dark Archive

All of caligni's bodies disappear in flash of light when they die, so you could have higher leveled caligni yeah


Any noncorporal monsters would do too.

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