View Full Version : Revenant (Template)

Paragon Badger
2008-01-27, 08:08 AM
I was doodling in my sketchbook last year, drawing various 'ghosts' and attributing each one an emotion that dominated their afterlife.

While going through them, I decided to doodle up something appropriate.

Creating A Revenant
"Revenant" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

A Revenant uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type
The creature’s type changes to undead (augmented humanoid or monstrous humanoid). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged. The creature's subtype changes to incorporeal, but it stil retains its strength and constitution scores. (See Special Qualities)

Hit Dice
Drop any Hit Dice from class levels (to a minimum of 1), double the number of Hit Dice left, and raise them to d12s.

A Revenant retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature.

Special Attacks
Varies, depending on the Revenant's emotion.

Hate Revenants develop Natural Weapons (Claw, 1d6) and have a Barbarian-like rage ability, attacking anything that they see.

Lonely Revenants have a gaze attack that forces a character to succede a DC 20 Will Saving throw or be Shaken (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#shaken) until they receive a full-nights rest (Or 1d4 days if fear of being alone also dominates the victim). The Revenant otherwise attempts to grapple with whomever it sees, pleading with the victim to keep them company.

Nihilist Revenants do not attempt to attack or otherwise interact with people, but they go about their business, walking aimlessly around their 'home' or trying to interact with their old possessions. Touching a Nihilist Revenant forces a Fortitude Save (DC: 20) to resist suffering one negative level. A DC 5 reflex save is required to move out of the way when a Nihilist Revenant walks in your direction (But you'd be metagaming if you knew physical contact was dangerous! :-P)

Obediant Revenants (such as a fallen soldier) attempt to attack anyone they perceive as their enemy, but otherwise don't pay any attention to creatures that they come in contact with (even though as much as a nudge is motivation for some Revenants to perceive you as an enemy)

Naturally, since the powerful emotions that may keep a Revenant clinging to life are numerous, a GM may decide to create his own special attack for any sort of emotion.

Many Reverants are entirely harmless, such as a murdered child, and would flee if they were attacked.

Special Qualities

When a sentient creature becomes aware of the Revenant, they must make a Will Save (DC: The Revenant's HD+10). If they fail this save, the Revenant permanently becomes corporeal in relation to the person who witnissed it. It is otherwise immaterial and cannot be physically affected by creatures who made their saving throw or inanimate objects.

In this form, the Revenant is no longer undead or incorporeal in regards to the person(s) who failed their saving throw, and reverts back to its original subtype for the duration of their interaction. If it is killed in this form, it evaporates and fades into nothingness, much as if it had been killed in an incorporeal state.

Incorporeal Revenants usually cannot perceive other creatures in any way, unless the creature is the object that they are bound to.

Any being whose life is dominated by an emotion similiar to the Revenant suffers a -2 penalty to their Will save.

A character can retry their saving throw at any time, but 'suffer' a +2 bonus to their Will Save for each time they succede, as if they were trying to believe an illusion that had been adamantly disbelieved earlier.

Revenants are chained to one place, object, person, or even another Revenant. They cannot move more than 250 feet away from the object and will uncontrollably move towards it if they do.

Revenants cannot be killed by most normal methods. A Revenant that is 'destroyed' by any other means (whether they be magical or physical) fades away into nothingness, but returns to their favored object in 1d12 rounds.

They may be turned and destroyed by Good Clerics, but cannot be commanded by Evil Clerics. They may also be destroyed by finally coming to terms with whatever has caused their lament, though this is unlikely for many of the beings who have lost their identify to their emotions.

A Revenant retains its physical ability scores. The more powerful or willfull the Revenant had been in life, the more they may retain their personality.

A Revenant has a maximum intelligence, wisdom, or charisma score equal to their HD+5.

1 HD: Int: 6, Wis: 6, Cha: 6
5 HD: Int: 9, Wis: 9, Cha: 9
10 HD: Int: 15, Wis: 15, Cha: 15
15 HD: Int: 20, Wis: 20, Cha: 20

If a Revenant's intelligence was lowered since they were once living, they lose ranks in every skill equal to the distance of their old and new intelligence modifiers. (For example, an 18(+4) Int Wizard who was reduced to an 6(-2) Int Revenant loses 6 ranks...which would probably be all their ranks, at 1 HD.)

A Revenant retains all feats of the base creature.

Any, usually same as base creature.

Usually solitary, but may vary.

Challenge Rating


Usually True Neutral, but stronger Revenants tend to resemble their former selves.

Usually none- since most Revenants do not bother to mentally 'grow', but the more powerful ones advance by character class.

Revenants are the remains of people who have long since passed, but some powerful emotion keeps them bound to the physical world. Their spirits become consumed and twisted in this emotion, and they become a personification of their feelings. Their appearance varies, but often represents how they view their own soul.

The transition into a Revenant causes many to lose their very identidy and intelligence, and they only speak in one or two phrases (otherwise moaning or blabbering incoherently) but more willfull beings have been known to retain their speech and to some degree, their personality.

These Revenants are prone to their natural responses (Hate Revenants attacking all they see, Nihilist Revenants aimlessly wandering) but they are not forced into this behavoir. They still are bound to a certain object or person, however.

2008-01-27, 10:43 AM
The only things that bother me are the saves, which deviate from the normal system and are therefore a bit complicated, and the fact that they're called 'Revenants' when (in my mind, at least) revenants are actually physical, zombie versions of ghosts with regrets.

If someone is under attack by the Revenant, can others retry their Will save to try and help them?

2008-01-27, 12:36 PM
If someone is under attack by the Revenant, can others retry their Will save to try and help them?

in my opinion this is one of the coolest parts of the template. i love the flavor of the reverence ability. good job badger. i think that the reverence ability rates an increase in Cr all by itself, because generally the characters that are going to fail their will save are going to be the weaker members of the party (though i suppose that it could be argued that the fighter-types would be the ones to fail, the ones that might have the best chance of slaying the undead in its living guise).

i would suggest allowing the revenant to keep some of its new abilities in its living form. maybe come up with one or two abilities, more if you like, that can be used specifically against those that see it as alive. maybe abilities that are tied to the passions, addictions, or sins of its former life. or just make some of the existing abilities usable.

the other thing that i personally would like to see would be intelligent revenents. make a clause that if the living soul was particularely malevolent, or iron willed, it manages to hold on to its plotting, cunning intelligence. or you could come up with a slightly altered template for intelligent ones. or, going along the lines with the evolved undead template, maybe the revenant grows more intelligent with the passing years in its undead state.

the reason i want to see intelligent revenants is because i think they have the flavor potential to be cool npcs, not just mindless fodder.

aaron out.

2008-01-27, 12:47 PM
i was mulling this over some more. i will agree with parvum about the saves being complicated, though i like its complicatedness. but it is also backward.

i still like it like that, but it reinforces the idea that it should have some powerful effects in its living form. make so that it's near-impossible to put down permanently by those that make their saves. always comes back a few days later or something. they might be able to kill it easy enough, but can't ever figure out how to get rid of it for good. but the ones that fail their save have a harder time with the battle, but if they put it down, or convince it to move on, it is gone for good.

2008-01-27, 12:47 PM
I would love them to be intelligent. Great flavor and mechanics. Reverence is awesome. So if one party member fails their save and gets attacked then the others are powerless to stop it?

Paragon Badger
2008-01-27, 04:00 PM
Essentially, yes. (Unless they have magic weapons/ect.)

I wasn't quite too concerned with mechanics or anything other than representing how I wanted them to act fluff-wise. As ghosts who other-wise went about their business, eerily walking around in their abandoned mansion or somesuch, until they became 'aware' of someone, and they'd try to interact with that someone. Since hate was the only real violent emotion I could think of, I thought that some ghosts would try and grasp and grapple onto someone, essentially trying to make a new friend to join them in their existence. :smalltongue:

I originally wanted them to be purely non-lethal. Merely something to frighten or weaken the party so that the hostile creatures could be more dangerous, since I wanted Revenants to be more pitied than hated. But it was late, and I ran out of ideas. :smalltongue:

Now that I think about it- it's most fitting for a Heroes of Horror campaign.

I made some huge edits.

And I just noticed, you could very well make one of these into a PC! >.<

Hmmmm... That would be interesting. I kind of want to have a pair of characters where one is an adventurer, and the other is a Revenant who loved him/her in life and serves as a 'guardian' to them in death.

Thanks for all the input- I really liked this idea, myself. ^_^