View Full Version : Articulated Undead, template

2007-05-05, 03:45 PM
This is another thing that didn't work out for my own gameworld. I'm doing this for eventual submission for Monsters in the Playground, but I need some feedback first. This is very much "off the cuff" and needs improvement.


Articulated Undead

Necromancers are often depraved and insane, but few would ever accuse them of stupidity or lack of inventiveness. When they run into problems with their creations they often look to improve on what doesn't work. Skeletons and Zombies are often fragile or rot, so the clever necromancer can create a framework of rods, wires, springs, and cogs to hold them together. The undead don't mind, as they don't feel pain you can drive any number of metal bits into their flesh.

This creature works best in a "steampunk" or "cogpunk" setting. When creating an undead that is built up from a base creature like an Articulated Skeleton or an Articulated Zombie build the stats of the Skeleton or Zombie as normal, and then add the Articulated template after.

An articulated undead creature looks like a normal undead creature of its type, but along each of its limbs or major skeletal structures are elaborate structures made up of strong metal rods and plates held to the creature's body with nails, screws, and painful looking clamps. It makes strange sliding and ratcheting noises as it moves.

Articulating an undead requires the Craft Wonderous Items and Craft Arms and Armor feat. It also requires the services of a craftsperson able to create the intricate metalwork and scribe the runes into the frame that will be nailed into the enhanced creature.

A spellcaster can apply this template to an undead at any time after its original creation, and needs to be able to cast the spells Telekinesis, Jump, Haste, and Command Undead. The cost of creating articulation for an undead creature is 5000gp times the number of hit dice of the creature times a multiple based on the size of the creature as follows:
Fine: x100
Diminutive x25
Tiny x 10
Small x5
Medium x 1
Large x 5
Huge x 10
Gargantuan x25
Colossal x100

Articulation can be salvaged from destroyed undead, repaired, and reused. The cost of doing this varies. It depends on how badly damaged the articulation was.

Creating an Articulated Undead

"Articulated" is a template that can be added to any undead corporeal creature that has a skeletal structure for the articulation to be nailed onto. The Articulated Undead uses all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The creature's type does not change. The creature's size does not change. The creature gains the Augmented subtype. If the gameworld or campaign has additional subtypes like "mechanical" or "clockwork" then those are also added at the DMs discretion.

Speed: The articulated undead has all of the same movement types and speeds as the base creature. In addition it gains:

Spring Leap: Once every d4+1 rounds the articulated zombie can leap with a +20 circumstance bonus to the jump skill.

Armor Class: The undead creature's natural armor class is improved by +2. This stacks with any natural armor bonus the base creature already has.

Attacks: At the descretion of it's creator the articulation can include retractible claws, spikes, blades, or saws if the base creature did not already have claw attacks. If the base creature has claw attacks improve the damage to that below if they are lower. The damage and the number of these attacks depends on the shape and size of the base creature. It gets one attack per forelimb when making the full attack action.

Fine: 1
Diminutive: 1d2
Tiny: 1d3
Small: 1d4
Medium: 1d6
Large: 1d8
Huge: 2d6
Gargantuan: 3d6
Colossal: 4d6

Special Attacks: An articulated undead retains all of the special attacks of the base creature. In addition it gets the following:

The Wind Up (Ex): On the first round it makes melee attacks and every d4+1 rounds after that the articulated zombie attacks as if its strength were six points higher.

Special Qualities: An articulated undead retains all of the special qualities of the base creature, and gains those described below.

Turn Resistance (Ex): An articulated undead has +2 turn resistance, if the base creature has turn resistance then it is improved by an additional +2.

Abilities: An Articulated undead's Dexterity increases by +2.

Challenge Rating: +1 to the CR of the base creature.

2007-05-15, 09:13 PM
Hmmn. I quite like this idea, but I don't know what I think of the execution. Is this a Steam Punk Undead type?