View Full Version : 3.5 Monster: deathforged (PEACH)

2017-05-17, 09:55 PM
I plan on throwing these at my party next session. Help with CR? The goal was somewhere around 5-7.


Size and Type: Medium An undead construct is a creature formed from a body similar to a golem or other construct, but powered by negative energy and inhabited by an undead spirit.

They have a d12 hitdice and gain bonus hitpoints according to size as a construct (nothing for fine,
diminutive, or tiny creatures, 10 for Small, 20 medium, 30 large, 40 huge, 60 gargantuan, 80 colossal)
3/4 BAB
Good Will saves
skill points equal to 4 + int x HD with quadruple hitpoints at first HD (however, many are mindless and do not gain skills or feats)
No constitution score.
Immune to any effect that requires a fortitude save unless it also works on objects.
Immunity to all mind-affecting effects
Immunity to Poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, death from massive damage.
Does not eat, sleep, or breathe.
Proficient with no armor.
Proficient with natural and simple weapons
Healed by negative energy and does not heal naturally. If it has the fast healing quality, it functions as normal.
Subject to effects that specifically target undead.
Goes inert when subject to turn undead. This lasts for the normal turn duration, or if it would have been destroyed, until it receives negative energy in the form of an inflict spell or a rebuke or command undead use. It can be rebuked or commanded as normal if it is not inert.
Goes inert at 0 to -9 hitpoints and can be restored with inflict spells, but is destroyed at -10 hitpoints. It does not lose hitpoints when below 0 hitpoints.

Hit Dice:5d12+20 (53 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 30 feet

Space and Reach: 5 ft/5 ft.

Armor Class: 27 (+15 Natural, +2 Dex) Touch 12, Flatfooted 25.

Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d8+2+2d6 negative energy)

Full Attack: 2 slams +5 melee (1d8+2+2d6 negative energy)

Special Attacks: Negative Energy Touch, Berzerk, Death Throes

Special Qualities: Undead Construct traits, DR 15/Adamantine, Lightning Immunity, Half damage from fire/acid/cold.

Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4

Abilities: Str 14, Con -, Dex 14, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1



Environment: Any

Challenge Rating: ?

Alignment: Always Neutral Evil

Level Adjustment:-

This man-sized and shaped creature appears to be an animated statue of onyx stone, polished to a glistening sheen. Its movements are graceful yet straightforward and mindlessly determined.

The first deathforged was an experiment by a wizard dabbling in immortality. This wizard found lichdom to be distasteful, but he had a greater familiarity with that process than with golem construction, so he created a body of onyx and animated it with negative energy. Supposedly, this process worked quite well and he functioned essentially as a lich whose body and phylactery were one and the same, a 500 pound automaton of black gemstone. Very few deathforged exist, as the wizard's purpose made the 50,000 gp price tag worthwhile for a new immortal body, but as a mindless servant, it's difficult to justify such expenditure. The statistics given here are for a mindless deathforged. Mindless deathforged obey their creator unquestioningly.

Negative Energy Touch: The deathforged is imbued with negative energy throughout its body. Its natural attacks deal an extra 2d6 negative energy damage, and heal the deathforged by half the amount of negative energy damage dealt. It gains any excess as temporary hitpoints.

Berzerk: If the deathforged has all its hitpoints and gains temporary hitpoints from its Negative energy touch, it gains +2 to attack and damage rolls.

Death Throes: The deathforged's body shatters in a burst of negative energy when it reaches -10 hitpoints, dealing 4d6 damage to all creatures within 10 feet.

Deathforged Lich: If a mortal spellcaster transfers his soul to a deathforged body, it gains his BAB if higher, his saves, his mental ability scores, the deathforged's physical ability scores, his skills and feats, his spellcasting abilities and class features, and his HD turn to d12's + 20 hitpoints and no constitution bonus. The deathforged lich will have all other attacks, special qualities and immunities of a deathforged, and lose any racial bonuses or abilities the spellcaster had in life. It has a Level Adjustmnt of +4

2017-05-18, 01:00 AM
Offensively, this looks reasonable, dealing out a respectable amount of damage but inaccurately, about the same as a unoptimized rogue. Defensively, though, it's absurd, with near-immunity to melee attacks. Meanwhile, it's heavily resistant to most forms of magical damage, with no clear logic pointing to which it's immune to vs. resistance to. On the other hand, it has strangely few hit dice, giving it has abnormally low saves and accuracy, as well as lower hit points than normal.

CRing this is extremely hard due to its extremely polarizing matchups.
It just sort of bounces off your standard fighter due to both having high ACs relative to the other's accuracy (and it DRing through anything any martial can do to it), and it either wins or loses vs. your standard wizard depending almost exclusively on whether the caster has a spell with a save that it isn't virtually immune to (ex. jump off a cliff -> Baleful Transposition, Web/Grease/Glitterdust, etc) or not, thanks to its extremely low saving throws but wide set of immunities.

Drop the DR and natural armor by like 15 points each (Most fighters can't touch this thing), raise the HD by two or three to help it out with hitting. Convert the % energy resistances to static numbers, in keeping with standard practice.
Add a saving throw to the death throes- either Reflex or Fortitude.

With this in mind, a comparable creature is the earth elemental, around CR 5.

Grizl' Bjorn
2017-05-18, 01:52 AM
It's a personal sentiment, and you're free to disagree, but I find monsters that explode when you kill them distasteful. If a PC dies as a result, they're basically gonna feel like their reward for killing it was death- for which there was quite possibly no warning.

Grizl' Bjorn
2017-05-18, 01:53 AM
Also, if CR works in 3.5 like it does in 5, DR 20 is a lot.

2017-05-18, 07:44 AM
OK, I did a little more comparing to similar monsters and actually looked up the hardness of onyx, and decided to lower the DR and natural armor to 10 and 15 respectively. Onyx just isn't as strong as I thought, and as a construct of similar material but smaller size than the stone golem, I decided that 15 natural armor (compared to 18 for the stone golem) and identical DR makes more sense. As for his defenses vs offenses: it's not that unheard of to take half damage from things, and his immunities are standard for undead and constructs except the energy resistance. More importantly to me, it makes logical sense that the wizard who built him cared about durability far more than offensive capabilities, because he planned to inhabit the body himself, giving it his spellcasting and making its physical attacks nearly inconsequential. The best thing to compare it to is a lich if the template was applied to a 5th level commoner instead of a spellcaster. So in short, I'm more concerned with logical consistency with the material used and the goal of the creator than with the game rules and standard balance. Also, he's going up against a 10th level party, so it might take 3 or more to even represent a speed bump. That being said, I appreciate the feedback and trust that you have both responded consistently with your own priorities, which is a good alternate viewpoint for me to consider.

2017-05-18, 10:43 AM
If it's a level 10 party, then yeah, the defenses make sense.

Call it CR 5, then, based on the low accuracy+saves/high AC. I think that a Large earth elemental is a fair comparison as a beatstick, and this has around 10 points more AC, and 8 points lower attack rolls, which maybe balances out. (similar damage numbers, lower HP but more DR)

Similarly, it fails pretty much every save it tries, but takes half damage from most blasts anyway.