Undead is a term that collectively refers to once-living creatures which have been animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.[citation needed] Some deities employed undead as divine servants; for example, the dwarven god Dumathoin would sometimes use undead dwarves as divine messengers.[1]

All undead have darkvision out to 18m (60 feet). Undead have a wide array of immunities, including being immune to: all mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects. They are also not subject to critical hits(other than disruption based weapons), nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain.

Origins of undeathEdit

There are six basic ways a living creature can become undead.

  • Purposeful personal reanimation-This is where a living creature willingly undergoes the transformation to undeath. In most cases, the creature will already be evil, but this is not always the case. The most common reasons a creature seeks undeath are: fear of dying of old age, fear of dying from a wound and power.[2]
  • Minions-This is where an intelligent creature creates undead creatures to serve their own ends. Undead are often used as guards. Evil spellcasters often create hordes of undead to do their bidding.[3]
  • Atrocity calls to unlife-This is where a creature commits an evil, heinous act and is transformed into an undead creature. Not every such act results in undead creation and it is completely random. It's common enough for evil creatures to become undead this way, but anyone who commits an evil enough act can become undead because of it.[4]
  • Unfinished Business-This is where a creature dies or is killed with an important deed left undone. Not every creature with such a need results in them becoming undead and it is completely random. Any intelligent creature, of any alignment can become undead in this way.[5]
  • The Dark Curse-This is where the evil forces simply create undead at random. This can happen to any creature, anywhere and at anytime.[6]
  • Death by wounds caused by another undead-Most forms of undead will cause their victim to become one of their type by causing a mortal wound. This is common in ghouls and vampires. This can affect a creature of any alignment.

Types of UndeadEdit






  1. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  2. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  3. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  4. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  5. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  6. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), pp. 1–2. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.