Bodaks (pronounced: /ˈboʊdæk/ BO-dæk listen) were what was left of a humanoid that had been destroyed by the touch of pure evil, such as that of a nightwalker. Undead creatures devoid of personality or souls, bodaks were cruel and relentless hunters, either of their own volition or at the behest of some greater power, such as the nightwalker that created them.
Bodaks resembled their living form to a certain extent, being roughly the same size and shape, though some described them as looking sexless and muscular. Beyond that, there were a number of differences which were immediately obvious to the eye. A bodak's skin was a deathly pale white or gray, devoid of any hair at all. More eerie still was its face, which was twisted into an inhuman visage of sheer madness and horror with empty, milky-white eyes outstretched to the shape of vertical ovals.
Although mostly devoid of any semblance of their past selves, bodaks occasionally experienced flashbacks of their life, an occurrence sometimes triggered within combat. In such cases, a bodak might take pause for a moment, stopping whatever it was doing. If an enemy triggered this flashback, the bodak was less likely to take effective action against the enemy for sometime thereafter.
Bodaks possessed a number of unusual abilities granted to them by their undead state. For instance, each bodak had the capacity to gaze into the soul of a nearby creature, gravely injuring or killing them if they were already weakened, an attack often known as a "death gaze". Some said this gaze was effective from up to 30 ft (9.1 m) away. Some bodaks had an extension of this ability that was not a commonly held trait of their kind — when creatures were not killed by their death gaze, bodaks would then cause their victims to see an unsettling vision of their own death.
Those killed by a bodak's death gaze were likely to subsequently become bodaks themselves. Similarly, bodaks projected an aura of death around them, injuring and hindering the actions of any creature within roughly 25 feet (7.6 meters) of them.
Like many undead creatures, bodaks had an inherent weakness against brilliant light, and therefore shunned sunlight whenever they were able to. They were, however, completely invulnerable to disease or poison and had a strong resistance against the effects of necrotic power.
Bodaks generally fought in a defensive manner, giving their death gaze more time to work. They rarely ever fought with conventional weaponry, though were often seen wielding them. A sub-type of bodak, "reavers," were the ones most likely to fight with them. They typically wielded greataxes and could even be seen wearing plate mail.
Bodaks were rarely ever encountered in places outside of the Abyss, or Shadowfell except when being conjured to the Prime Material plane at the behest of some evil spellcaster. Though they were occasionally encountered in the Upper, Middle, and Lower regions of the Underdark.
- The Throne of Bloodstone • Tales of the Outer Planes, "The Sea of Screams" • Dungeon #84, "The Harrowing" • Dungeon #94, "Spiral of Manzessine" • Expedition to the Demonweb Pits • Tomb of Annihilation
- Circle of Skulls
- Video Games
- Neverwinter Nights series (Neverwinter Nights • Neverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the Moonsea)
- Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
- Unusual Opposition
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