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The Undead were once-living creatures that had been animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.[1] Some deities employed undead as divine servants; for example, the dwarven god Dumathoin used undead dwarves as divine messengers.[2]

Undead were extremely resilient to a number of effects and substances that were extremely harmful to the living. They were immune to: all mind-affecting effects, poison,[3] sleep effects,[4]. paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects. In addition, it was not possible to drain their life force in any manner.

Origins of undeathEdit

There were six basic ways a living creature can become undead:

Purposeful personal reanimation
A living creature willingly underwent the transformation to undeath. In most cases, the creature possessed a disposition towards evil, but this was not always the case. More common reasons included fear of dying of old age, fear of dying from a grievous wound and a thirst for power.[5]
Minions
An intelligent creature created undead servants as a means to their own ends. These mindless minions were created by malevolent spellcasters to serve as guards or otherwise carry out their bidding.[6]
Undead. They got back up and started fighting again—this time, against the rest of us... They fell, they died, they got back up.
— Deneirrath priest of Spirit Soaring[7]
Atrocity calls to unlife
A living creature committed an evil and heinous act that transformed into an undead creature. The intensity and specificity of the required act was somewhat random and not entirely uncommon.[8]
Unfinished Business
Undeadthreat

Adventurers defending against a horde of undead.

An intelligent creature died or was killed with an important deed left incomplete. In a similar manner to atrocities, the specifications surrounding undeath achieved in this manner were often left up to chance.[9]
The Dark Curse
Malign forces created undead beings seemingly at random. This had the potential to befall any creature, at any location and seemingly at any time.[10]
Death by wounds caused by another undead
Many forms of undead creatures inflicted their undeath upon others when striking them with a mortal wound. Perhaps most famously, this occurred in the case of vampires and their bite.[11]

Types of UndeadEdit

Ghoul2

A ghoul feasting.

SkeletalEdit

CorporealEdit

IncorporealEdit

AppendixEdit

Further ReadingEdit

AD&D 1eEdit

AD&D 2eEdit

3eEdit

3.5eEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 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.
  3. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786965614.
  4. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  5. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  6. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  7. R.A. Salvatore (July 2010). The Ghost King. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7869-5499-5.
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