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stenver
2009-08-26, 03:59 PM
Im a DM in a game that has lasted for 8 sessions. My game focuses more on roleplaying and less on combat. We have very few combats, if any, in a session, usually 1 or 0, because my players have learned that combat is dangerous.

But thats that and not important

Level 12 party sorcerer decided to cast a phantasmial killer on a little creepy girl, who happened to have spell turning on him. Guess what, he failed both saving throws against his own spells, and died.

So there comes our Cleric and the rest of the party, who decided that they want their old pal back. They COULD raise dead, but that would cost 5000 gold AND a level AND possibly a spell slot.
They COULD resurrect, but that would cost 10000 gold and none of them have that much individually and are too jelaus to share.

So my party cleric found an exellent solution, Create undead!

He decided to make our good old sorcerer a ghast, after all, he is trying to make an undead army anyway.

However, libris mortis way of creating undead(taking 8 levels of ghoul) is not for our taste. So we decided to go for level adjustment way. But there arnt really any rules to how to create a ghast (unlike skeleton or zombie), so i would like to know, what is the best way to make a sorcerer/ghast

He is level 13 sorcerer(level up before death), and ghast level adjustment is +4

I personally tought that he should stay sorcerer 13, get ghast abilities and stuff(although im not sure what exacly are the abilities i should give) and get an effective level 17 (not getting another level, until other players catch up with him

HOW does create ghast work EXACLY

PinkysBrain
2009-08-26, 04:23 PM
Why not make him a gravetouched ghoul? It's a much more workable template. There are no rules for creating creatures like this ... the only template with LA I'm aware of for which there are explicit rules to is the necropolitan.

If he converts to Doresain he could get a cheap miracle scroll (one without XP component). I'd say Doresain would be willing to convert the sorcerer into a gravetouched ghoul for free ... although I'd do a hidden roll and give him 50/50 odds of being given the template too at the same time.

Myou
2009-08-26, 06:57 PM
As a sorcerer being a ghast and getting +4 LA will make him pretty weak in combat, since it adds nothing to his spells.

So if he actually wants to play a ghast then just give him it as a template for free. Remove the bad smell ability perhaps, but other than that, it should be fine. It's not like you even fight often.

If you don't like that idea, just find some way for him to be raised, but don't gimp his character with worthless LA. :smallyuk:

Starbuck_II
2009-08-26, 07:20 PM
Im a DM in a game that has lasted for 8 sessions. My game focuses more on roleplaying and less on combat. We have very few combats, if any, in a session, usually 1 or 0, because my players have learned that combat is dangerous.

But thats that and not important

Level 12 party sorcerer decided to cast a phantasmial killer on a little creepy girl, who happened to have spell turning on him. Guess what, he failed both saving throws against his own spells, and died.

So there comes our Cleric and the rest of the party, who decided that they want their old pal back. They COULD raise dead, but that would cost 5000 gold AND a level AND possibly a spell slot.
They COULD resurrect, but that would cost 10000 gold and none of them have that much individually and are too jelaus to share.

So my party cleric found an exellent solution, Create undead!

He decided to make our good old sorcerer a ghast, after all, he is trying to make an undead army anyway.

However, libris mortis way of creating undead(taking 8 levels of ghoul) is not for our taste. So we decided to go for level adjustment way. But there arnt really any rules to how to create a ghast (unlike skeleton or zombie), so i would like to know, what is the best way to make a sorcerer/ghast

He is level 13 sorcerer(level up before death), and ghast level adjustment is +4


Wait, Libris Mortis's Ghoul is 4 HD and 4 LA. Did you notice 1/2 of those levels you gain no HD.

If you are giving him the LA only then just add the ability + LA, but I'd remove some LA (at least 1) since he is a caster (and now needs more EXp to level and gain spells).

Irreverent Fool
2009-08-26, 08:13 PM
Wait, Libris Mortis's Ghoul is 4 HD and 4 LA. Did you notice 1/2 of those levels you gain no HD.

If you are giving him the LA only then just add the ability + LA, but I'd remove some LA (at least 1) since he is a caster (and now needs more EXp to level and gain spells).

I'd agree. If it's part of the plot and the abilities don't enhance what he already does, it's hardly worth a level adjustment. Non-associated class levels and all that.

obnoxious
sig

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-08-26, 10:51 PM
Does it need to be Ghast? There are much better templates for players, especially casters, out there.

stenver
2009-08-27, 01:22 PM
The reason why he would become ghast is because our party cleric is level 13 and create undead wont do any better

XP is not a problem.

No, the player doesnt want to be raised as an undead, but, dead as he is, he doesnt really have any way to affect clerics actions, now does he :P. Where i come from, our D&D have rarely been "noble". Party has often turned amok, but of course, the world and aligment responds acordingly. (as of now, they have will save nightmares every night, they are haunted, they are cursed, they have bounty on their head)

You sure level adjustment is not necessary? What if the sorcerer casts transformation on him(which, he infact, DOES have), he would be better then most fighters out there with his paralyzing touch.

Starbuck_II
2009-08-27, 01:27 PM
The reason why he would become ghast is because our party cleric is level 13 and create undead wont do any better

XP is not a problem.

No, the player doesnt want to be raised as an undead, but, dead as he is, he doesnt really have any way to affect clerics actions, now does he :P. Where i come from, our D&D have rarely been "noble". Party has often turned amok, but of course, the world and aligment responds acordingly. (as of now, they have will save nightmares every night, they are haunted, they are cursed, they have bounty on their head)

You sure level adjustment is not necessary? What if the sorcerer casts transformation on him(which, he infact, DOES have), he would be better then most fighters out there with his paralyzing touch.

If he cast (Tensar's) transformation: he can't cast any spells.

Let him be some what competent.

Now if he was a Cleric: Divine Power grants full bab and still cast spells: maybe he would be fearsome then, but otherwise...eh.

Remember, Ghoul touch is a low level arcane spell. yes, he could already cast what the ghoul grants him.
He has in fact gained only ability score bonuses and lost his Con (so loss of hps).



Necromancy
Level: Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Living humanoid touched
Duration: 1d6+2 rounds
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

Imbuing you with negative energy, this spell allows you to paralyze a single living humanoid for the duration of the spell with a successful melee touch attack.

Additionally, the paralyzed subject exudes a carrion stench that causes all living creatures (except you) in a 10-foot-radius spread to become sickened (Fortitude negates). A neutralize poison spell removes the effect from a sickened creature, and creatures immune to poison are unaffected by the stench.

Material Component
A small scrap of cloth taken from clothing worn by a ghoul, or a pinch of earth from a ghoulís lair.


Remember, a ghoul has a Cha based affect, but he can already cast the spell (unless he banned Necro/avoids it) and hit more often with the spell.

Only thing he gains that is new is the ability to create more (he is basically a Resident Evil zombie).

So 12th level Sorceror gains a Ghoul touch DC 16 (assuming he has 12 HD) + Cha. But must bite/claw enemy so less chance of success.
or
cast Ghoul's Touch DC 12 (2nd level spell) + Cha (although you can take spell focus: Necro). But Touch attack so easy to hit.

The paralysis is HD based for a ghoul so that helps.

Remember:
A Fighter can have a magic sword to go through DR, but the ghoul's claw/teeth aren't. You can buy Necklace of Mighty Fists for his Attacks, but that is over priced. Plus, only helps against DR/magic.

So 1 or 2 LA is fine, but the total 4: that seems excessive for a caster.

Johel
2009-08-27, 01:45 PM
@Starbuck_II :

You forget that, before dying, the sorcerer had to cast the spell to use ONE time the Ghoul touch, and only for a few rounds.

Now, he get it as an at-will ability with no casting necessary.

@stenver :

I don't have the Liber Mortis.
But I'm sure there are drawbacks at being a Ghast (or any type of undead, actually). And I'm not talking of the stat-wise drawbacks. I'm talking "psychological" ones.
The adventurers will basically create an intelligent monster whose "Always chaotic evil".

"A humanoid who becomes a ghoul [in this way] retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast, not a ghoul."
Also, the stench (over which the Ghast has probably no control) :

The stink of death and corruption surrounding these creatures is overwhelming. Living creatures within 10 feet must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1d6+4 minutes. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same ghastís stench for 24 hours.

Starbuck_II
2009-08-27, 01:51 PM
True, the fact that he becomes a Resident Evil zombie (yes, in resident evil 2 and others the change was gradual so slowly they became evil if you heard the tapes) and stinks is an aspect elaborate on.

Vampires crave blood, but there are stories of them being good (Twilight not withstanding as they are sparkle vamps).

So the ghoul Sorc could eat every foe they kill...

Kylarra
2009-08-27, 01:55 PM
The reason why he would become ghast is because our party cleric is level 13 and create undead wont do any better

XP is not a problem.

No, the player doesnt want to be raised as an undead, but, dead as he is, he doesnt really have any way to affect clerics actions, now does he :P. Where i come from, our D&D have rarely been "noble". Party has often turned amok, but of course, the world and aligment responds acordingly. (as of now, they have will save nightmares every night, they are haunted, they are cursed, they have bounty on their head)

You sure level adjustment is not necessary? What if the sorcerer casts transformation on him(which, he infact, DOES have), he would be better then most fighters out there with his paralyzing touch.

So your argument is:

They don't want to spend money on him.
They are raising him against his will.
You want to force 4 levels of LA on him, that he doesn't want, probably doesn't fit his character idea, and will gimp his casting.


Yeah, I'd put good odds for me leaving that campaign or suiciding my char.

Delaney Gale
2009-08-27, 02:01 PM
I'm going to go with what everyone's said upthread- this would be a really cool thing to do, if and only if you don't screw the character over. Raise Dead would lose one level, and here you're essentially making the character lose four? Not a great idea.

If you're really running a low-combat, high RP game, I'd just let the character have it. He picks up enough undead weaknesses that it should balance out... maybe house-rule it so that he's not immune to critical hits, which would probably get rid of the vast majority of the advantage an undead would have.

stenver
2009-08-27, 02:07 PM
The chaotic evil alignment isnt much of a problem for them, what i know, will be a problem for them, is, when they finally reach a city, then the ghould cant enter it. Or if any of the guards see them with the ghoul, they will attack the PC on sight, given the current conditions in the campaign.

From libris mortis Ghoul character i would have given him, but im sure i did something wrong.

loss of CON and undead traits.
4d12 HP
+6 ranks in balance, hide, climb, jump, move silently, spot
multy attack, toughness, stench, paralysing touch, bite, 2 claws, +2 turn resistance
+4 natural AC
+4 str, +4 dex, +2 int, +2 wis, +4 cha

This is how i understood the Level adjustment system. Is even 1 or 2 for all that too much?

@Kylarra

Yeah, but were all friends, and party is having fights within itself quite often. The cleric and sorcerer never got along too well, so yeah, none of them are willing to share very much.
Besides, we already discussed this and there is a very good chance the sorcerer will jump on cleric the minute he is raised
They are not power players, they play for fun... well.. mostly

Im just trying to figure out how to best transform him from half elf, into a ghoul

Optimystik
2009-08-27, 02:13 PM
Ghasts are intelligent, but do not contain the dead character's soul. Only a Corpse Creature (BoVD) has that, and your cleric isn't high enough to raise one (needs CGU, IIRC.). So rather than get his buddy back, your cleric will basically be getting an NPC cohort with access to his buddy's memories.

Note: this is the thing that V raised Mama Dragon as in the strip (hence her remembering her family etc) so that he could torment her/use her for Familicide.

Tyndmyr
2009-08-27, 02:14 PM
0-1 level adjust. Punishing him more than raise dead would is harsh.

If necessary, adjust the template so the power level fits. The at will ghouls touch is relatively worthless if his casted version is superior, since in a low combat game, a sorc just isn't going to run out of spells for it anyhow. Keep in mind that in NPC interactions, he's going to have some huge disadvantages for any actions more complex than intimidate.

Kallisti
2009-08-27, 02:15 PM
Yeah, I'm going to join the chorus here. DO NOT FORCE 4 POINTS OF USELESS LA ON HIM! It's really, really unfair. Let him have the template. It doesn't do all that much for him.

stenver
2009-08-27, 02:27 PM
i actually thought i was talking about template all the time, but libris mortis said that template gives level adjustment, or i just understood something wrong.

But what optimystic said, changed things

So when they raise him as a true ghoul he hasnt got the PC soul, so... they the PC would just be replaced with an NPC and he has to either roll another character or wait until resurrected? I think when i tell cleric that, he will reconsider things.

EDIT:
Now im actually confused. What exacly is a template. I though they just give the undead stuff and level adjustment and you can continue your old class normally.

lsfreak
2009-08-27, 02:32 PM
There is no template for making a ghast, that's the problem. By the rules, creating a ghast removes all the class levels the guy had (not to mention the soul, i.e. the sorcerer is no longer there, just a soulless evil husk).

sdream
2009-08-27, 04:31 PM
Story/Fun trumps rules.

1 - Did the character die through his own fault, or general bad luck?

2 - Can the party truly not afford ressurection or are they just skimping?

DM is god of gods in RPGs - you can homerule that the strange magic in his soul that lets him cast spells without spellbooks, also interferes with the undead creation spell, giving him a soul and a pathway back to humanity that he and the party are going to have to work on.

Let that be your next few plot hooks dangling in the breeze. Treat this as an opportunity to overcome adversity, but make sure you make it enjoyable, and not just - "Oh, unlucky. Rules say you suck now, forever more, or lose your character permanently".

Salt_Crow
2009-08-27, 04:51 PM
Just make him into a Necropolitan and be done with it. It's much simpler that way :)

lsfreak
2009-08-27, 05:22 PM
2 - Can the party truly not afford ressurection or are they just skimping?

That's a good point. Ten thousand gold in debt to the party is a good way of making people do things they wouldn't normally do in order to pay off that debt (because no one likes to lose 10k gold), and provided you are able to keep OOC and IC separate can lead to some interesting situations.

EDIT: I case I wasn't clear, Rez him and then demand the payment back via cuts in treasure and other things, like demanding he always cast a certain spell on a certain party member at the beginning of the day/the beginning of combat.

Milskidasith
2009-08-27, 05:26 PM
At level 13, 10k isn't even that much, is it? It's like, a tenth of WBL. It's not trivial, but you can't seriously be too cheap for a group of multiple people to spend less than 10% of their wealth each... unless you run a low wealth game, in which case gold costs for spells should be lowered accordingly.

stenver
2009-08-27, 07:47 PM
The player was well aware that the girl had some kind of spell reflection on him. He had repeatedly cast spells on her before, but since he failed his spellcraft check, he didnt know EXACTLY what she had. At that one moment he god so mad against the girl, because of the nightmares and ghosts pursuing them and all other, that he decided to attack her. So its his fault entirely.

The party has had plenty of changes to loot all kinds of silver and golden miscellaneous stuff, like spoons and forks, but they havent really looted much, because they want to stay light weight. Speed is very important in my game. And they only have one lesser bag of holding (We calculate gold weight as well in the game). So as far as i remember(not sure), The rogue has about 4000 gold and the rest of the 3 have 1000, but i might be wrong, as i dont keep tracks on their equipment. They do have stuff to sell, that would get them 10000 gold all together.

That said, they DO all have +3 weapons, armor and ability increasing item. And some 2 or 3 staffs.

I WAS thinking about letting the cleric raise him as a ghast and still give him a soul, because the cleric has a powerful necromancy bloodline in the past, which he hasnt uncovered himself, yet.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-27, 08:06 PM
The player was well aware that the girl had some kind of spell reflection on him. He had repeatedly cast spells on her before, but since he failed his spellcraft check, he didnt know EXACTLY what she had.
There is one spell in core which does it, he has it on his spell list ... he didn't fail his spellcraft check, he failed a DC2 wisdom check.

PS. as I said before, the gravetouched ghoul template is a lot more workable.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-08-27, 11:51 PM
Weaken the template, give it 1 LA. I'd recommend going with:Ghast Sorcerer
No changes to size, HD, speed
Undead type
+2 Natural Armor
Attacks with Claw/Claw/Bite(primarily for flavor, at this point I doubt the caster will ever do this)
Ghoul Fever, paralysis, stench. Make the stench require a Standard action to activate, make the Paralysis for one round only instead, and they should be avoid breaking the game.
Darkvision, undead traits
+2 ChaYes, he's gaining stuff, but LA hurts, especially for a caster, and I doubt he'll ever use any of that except for the Cha-boost and the undead type. By this point, he's never running low on spells anyways, so a couple of at-will abilities that he has to be in melee to activate won't come up.

stenver
2009-08-28, 12:05 AM
@pinkysbrain

No, the girl actually has a more powerful enchantment on her, not spell turning, but thats home made and part of the campaign, not from any rulebook.

@everyone

Thank you very much for your help. You have been most helpful. Just 1 more question:

Why is create undead considered more powerful, then animate dead?
Animate dead has tables, how to make a skeleton or zombie the same HD, what level he was in real life. So when characters kill a level 14 villain or hero, they get 14 HD skeleton.

But Create undead, by definition, only creates 2 HD ghoul or 4 HD ghast and so on and forth, unless we dont use templates, as stated in this thread.

Johel
2009-08-28, 03:12 AM
Why is create undead considered more powerful, then animate dead?
Animate dead has tables, how to make a skeleton or zombie the same HD, what level he was in real life. So when characters kill a level 14 villain or hero, they get 14 HD skeleton.


Only if the villain had 14 racial HD. Class levels don't count for skeletons and zombies. Also, animated undeads are just that : animated corpses. They aren't intelligent and, on their own, not really that powerful.

Create Undead allows you to eventually create a Morgh who, while not that powerful by himself, can quickly create an army of zombie commoners under his control, without HD limit.

All you need is to cast Command Undead on him on a regular basis and remain on his good side ("-I brought you a gift... *drop a little girl in the room*. All yours. Have fun, Mr Morgh") and you can get yourself an army of several thousands of undeads.

Once you can cast Create Greater Undead, however, Shadows are a far better alternative. Too dumb to be a real threath but intelligent enough to take initiatives. Also, they replicate themselves. Sweeeeet... :smallamused:

Sintanan
2009-08-28, 03:42 AM
Might be a little late for my two cents, but I would recommend using one of the templates from Dragon #313, specifically the Ghul or the Deathtouched.

Ghuls carry a +3 LA, but have a fun roleplaying trait called Gruesome Hunger. If you allow a ghul, I would allow LA buyoff as in Unearthed Arcana.
Deathtouched (also called mortif) carry a +1 LA, but aren't all that interesting roleplay- or rollplay-wise...

There are others in the mag too, half-vamps, half-zoms, and half-ghosts.

And the beauty of both of these is the character's type isn't changed to undead, so you retain a con score... and the cleric can't just turn/rebuke the sorc whenever he feels like it.

stenver
2009-08-28, 04:17 AM
unfortunately i dont have dragon 313


@johel
wait, so creature HD isnt the same as creature level? I always tought that HD and Level are more or less the same. That HD 20 balor is level 20 demon. So i guess i got it all wrong? what is level 12 PC effective HD then?

If i would animate skeleton army, i wouldnt leave them on their own anyway, most of the time at least.

Johel
2009-08-28, 06:44 AM
@johel
wait, so creature HD isnt the same as creature level? I always tought that HD and Level are more or less the same. That HD 20 balor is level 20 demon. So i guess i got it all wrong? what is level 12 PC effective HD then?

If i would animate skeleton army, i wouldnt leave them on their own anyway, most of the time at least.

I'll try but I'm not good at short, clear answers.
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/skeleton.htm

Hit Dice
Drop any Hit Dice gained from class levels (to a minimum of 1) and raise remaining Hit Dice to d12s. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it canít be made into a skeleton by the animate dead spell.

A human 5th level fighter would become a 1HD skeleton because, when he was alive, his 5HD were from Class levels, not from racial HD.
A ogre 5th level fighter would become a 4HD skeleton because, when he was alive, he has 9HD, out of which 5 were Class levels and 4 were racial HD.
A level 12 PC has 12 HD from his Class levels. But if he were to be animated, he would have only 1 HD (unless his race had some racial HD. None of the "classical" playable races have)

Myou
2009-08-28, 08:06 AM
Here's an idea. Rather than gimping and totally derailing his character, just toss the players a scroll of Raise Dead or something. Or have someone appear offering to raise him, but demanding he work for them to pay the debt. Hello plot hook.

Tyndmyr
2009-08-28, 08:12 AM
Having read the later replies, I say give him (privately!) the choice between the +1 LA template and being raised by an NPC, and the party being on hook for the gold.

Frankly, I'd be a bit annoyed if I died due to a "custom spell" I didn't know existed, and then had the DM/party try to take control of my character.

stenver
2009-08-28, 08:32 AM
it wasnt completely custom spell, they had repeatedly attacked her with spells before and they were well aware of that spell turning would have ran out by then AND the girl never cast any spells, because she didnt even know how(they even tried to teach her at one stage, by giving her a scroll)

@Johel
Thank you for HD explanation!

Lysander
2009-09-06, 10:36 PM
You know, being undead would suck for him but it can be temporary. They can raise him as a monster, and his share of the loot can go towards a 10k gp "resurrection fund." When he has enough they can kill his undead self, then resurrect him as a living person once more.

Thurbane
2009-09-06, 10:51 PM
The Dragon Magazine Compendium has a Ghastly Creature template (p. 202). Originally from Dragon # 307. Although technically, it's only for giants and monstrous humanoids...