View Full Version : Protection from Evil for undead? (3.X)

2008-11-02, 06:42 AM
I have an undead character in one of the games I'm in. The rest of the party includes a druid, and none of them (IC) trust me very much due to the simple fact that I'm undead. Note that in this setting undead are not necessarily evil, but they are very much reviled by Nature. There has been some talk of at some point in the future, casting Halt/Control Undead on me, taking me out to a forest clearing, and having the druid sacrifice me for power. Naturally I'm keen to avoid this, so my question is thus: Is it reasonable to consider Halt/Control Undead as Enchantment (Compulsion) effects for the purposes of Protection From Evil preventing them? If not, is there another spell that would provide this effect that could be turned into a magic item?

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 06:45 AM
I would say that's perfectly fair. How did your character become an Undead, and what type are they? Also, what alignments are the other characters? (I'm assuming you're at least Neutral.)

2008-11-02, 06:59 AM
Homebrew world, there's an entire nation of sentient undead who firmly believe that undeath is far superior to normal life, and are faily evangelistic about this. We got involved in a war with them a while back, and I as the scout ended up getting captured by an ambush and "freed". Other characters are NG Druid who loathes undead - the only reason he's not already killed me is because I'm very carefully not giving him any reason to distrust me at all, LG Fighter and LG Paladin who the party are quite adept at going behind the backs of, CN Rogue/Dragon Disciple, CN Sorceror, Wizard (not sure of her alignment but I think it's something neutral) and me, CN Ranger/Horizon Walker. I'm mostly just zombie, but I've picked up a few ghoul traits as well, due to the fact I never managed to get used to not eating, so I mutated into a form that could taste again. I also have a Cloak of Blending specifically formulated to hide the fact I'm undead - fools most magical methods of detection.

2008-11-02, 07:28 AM
Actually, no. It's not an enchantment/compulsion. Those are spells that twist the mind. Halt undead manipulate the energies that give undead life, to directly hijack your form. Similar end result, but different process.

That's because undead are immune to enchantment/compulsion effects as a byproduct of their type.

2008-11-02, 07:35 AM
Again, the rules are slightly different from normal. In this setting, undead aren't actually immune to mind-affecting stuff, if they're sentient. Obviously mindless undead can't be affected, but the DM couldn't see any good reason why someone who could think as well as the next man but just happened to be powered by negative energy instead of positive would be immune to enchantment effects. The question is though, does PfE protect me from it? If not, what does?

2008-11-02, 07:37 AM
Well you will get a saving though again it, and being a ranger you should have some wisdom to get you some sort of a will save.
Find ways to increase it to get more protection from this even.

Alternatively prove yourself incredibly useful to the others of the party. So much so that they would rather loose the Druid than you. Always take watch, carry more with your inability to get tired... Small things that they will love having someone else to help with.
And it fits with the 'undeath better than normal life' as they can't do all this stuff, you are showing them the superior way.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 07:48 AM
That's a good idea. How do people become Undead in your campaign, and how easy is it to reverse it, Heliomance?

2008-11-02, 08:31 AM
Maybe Protection from Good or Law would be thematically more appropriate?

2008-11-02, 08:53 AM
Control Undead is a 7th level spell... any ranger facing 7th level spells is going to have some difficulties (Dimension Door or Teleport followed by great hiding might be an answer). Find a wizard to Craft a Contingent escape spell on you?

Halt Undead is a different story. Its effect ends when you are attacked. As a Ranger, you may rely on your Animal Companion (or even a pet that you've specifically trained) to attack you for nonlethal (whenever you go limp? whenever it smells someone take out both sulfur and garlic?)

2008-11-02, 08:53 AM
Right, quick rundown of what I know about undeath. The normal way does work still, and necromancers everywhere still do it traditionally. Most of those are evil, I believe, but not all. Then there's the Free Souls. Some time ago, a Necromancer 20/Sorceror 20 (variant sorc rules mean they make incredible specialists, this guy was decked out to the ears in necromancy) came up with a ritual that would raise people as fully sentient undead, possessing all the memories of life, and which bound their soul into an object that was important to them to act as a phylactery, protecting them. (Not the same as a lich's phylactery, but it does mean that undead can survive going below 0 HP, they just weaken gradually until they can't hold on to this world anymore if they don't get healed.) He then started Freeing people, and taught this ritual to the casters he Freed.

Nature abhors undeath, so naturally druids are diametrically opposed to it as well. In becoming undead I lost my spellcasting and my animal companion - Nature refused to grant them to such an abomination.
The normal methods of resurrecting someone work, and in addition we know of the existance of a ritual which can restore someone to life with no outlay of gold and no lost levels. We've had this done for us once, to resurrect another party member. The catch, which we don't know about IC? It requires the sacrifice of one innocent per hit die of the person being raised.

Anything else you want to know?

EDIT: Also, my Will save is 4. I'm unlikely to be making that save.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 09:07 AM
I've just got one more question thanks: can the ritual be used to raise someone against their will, and does it cause HD/level loss at all?

2008-11-02, 09:07 AM
While this isn't contributing, I just wanted to say that that's a seriously awesome setting idea.

2008-11-02, 09:25 AM
I've just got one more question thanks: can the ritual be used to raise someone against their will, and does it cause HD/level loss at all?

Doesn't cause HD/Level loss, no. No idea if it can be used on an unwilling target though - they'd certainly have to be helpless as it takes a while. I don't know whether it would fizzle or not.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 09:41 AM
Thanks. Does the target need to be dead for it to be used on them? Also, what sort of things affect the type of Undead they come back as? (I assumed it was just a case of bringing dead people back as zombies.)

2008-11-02, 10:13 AM
What benefits did you gain from losing spellcasting and companion? By the looks of it, you would be better off with them. Demand a Stitched Flesh animal companion and patronage of a god of Death.

2008-11-02, 01:40 PM
Benefits? Undead immunities - even without the immunity to mind affecting, there are a lot of them. No need to sleep. No need to breathe. Ability to work tirelessly, to sprint flat out until I get bored, etc. Ability to take undead only feats - fast healing, lifesense, etc. Bite attack, with DC 18 paralysis poison. Zero LA. I only had one spell anyway, and I was planning to multiclass anyway, I just got chucked out of the class a level before I expected. Besides, in a couple levels I'll drop a level in the Planar Ranger variant class, and get some planar creature as an animal companion. If I got an undead one, the druid would kill me.

Tempest Fennac: No, the target doesn't need to be dead for the ritual. It can restore undeath straight to life. And yes, dead people come back as zombies, but their type is mutable. When you become undead, you get three will saves - one to get used to not eating, one to get used to not breathing, and one to get used to not sleeping. Most people can take 10 on these checks, but because I'm an elf and hence more tied to nature, the DC was higher and I only made the one to get used to not sleeping. This meant that I craved food despite my digestive system not working, so when I next levelled up, my form shifted to one that could satisfy my cravings - I picked up a ghoul's paralysing bite. Stay undead long enough, and as your form decays you'll become a skeleton. Things like that.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 02:06 PM
Thanks for explaining. What are the drawbacks for failing Will saves? It sounds like you benefitted from failing the hunger save. Also, is there a way of avoiding becoming a skeleton?

2008-11-02, 02:27 PM
Before I became more ghoulish, I had to make a will save every time I was around food - which included dead enemies - or go into a feeding frenzy, shoving it down my throat as fast as I could.This resulted in meat being mage handed out of my stomach at least once. Failing the sleep one is very nasty - each night is save or take wisdom damage. Failing the breathing one means that if I get into a stressful situation (combat not included, I'm an adventurer, I can handle that) then I have to save or go into a panic attack over the fact I'm not breathing, getting a new save every minute to break out of it. Luckily that's only happened a couple of times. I don't know if it's possible to avoid becoming a skeleton - I've managed to postpone it for a good while by slathering yself with Unguent of Timelessness, so each year only inflicts my body with a day's worth of decay. Each time I level up I have to make a new will save or pick up some more ghoul traits - as I'm pretty sure the next one I'll get is the stench I don't want that, so I've taken to sitting up with the Paladin letting his aura boost my saves to the point where I can take 10.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 02:30 PM
That would be useful. How was your character "freed", and did it happen during the game or when he was rolled up?

2008-11-02, 03:29 PM
Happened in game. As I said, we got involved in a war against the Free Souls before we knew much about them other than that they were undead. I was the scout for our unit, and I managed to stumble into an ambush. A few wraith touches later, I was helpless and they took me off and Freed me. We've since found out a lot more about them, and discovered that actually as a country, they're probably the closest thing to good that exists in the world. They're certainly the only people with an actual order of Paladins. It's a very cynical setting.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 03:37 PM
That is kind of ironic. It sounds kind of bad considering how you ended up losing class features because of it (admittedly, I hate undead things anyway). If you don't mind me asking, what exactly does the "Freeing" ritual consist of, and do you think you'll end up curing your condition later on?

2008-11-02, 03:40 PM
You could try and get an item to grant you Greater Spell Immunity (control undead, halt undead, heal, one other) but it would either have to be set up as activated by a contingency somehow, or a very expensive always active item.

Can you get access to Libris Mortis? I don't have it, but if any book has your answer, it would be that one.

2008-11-02, 03:43 PM
Meh, I didn't much care about the loss of class features. I only had one spell - Speak With Animals - and I'll get an animal companion back again with a dip into Planar Ranger. It's not like a ranger's animal companion is any great shakes though. I'm happy with the trade-off, I think I came out better. No idea what the ritual consists of though - I wasn't concious at the time. I can't see myself curing it except under duress. I like the abilities I get from it. Course, if the druid starts telling me I have a choice between true life and true death, I might have to reconsider that.

This has all got wildly off topic though. The question is, how best to protect myself from becoming a sacrifice to appease Nature?

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 03:47 PM
Sorry about that (I like asking questions). I just have 1 more: did you have a choice between being freed or being killed, or did the DM just decide to capture you and "Free you? Would making an item which perminantly recreates a Protection from Whatever effect be easy to do?

2008-11-02, 03:54 PM
I have an amulet of Protection from Evil already. Looted it from some cultists we busted up. Anything more undead specific, I could probably get from the Free Souls once I have Dimension Door every 1d4 rounds to get me there faster. And no, I didn't have a choice in being made undead, but I've had a couple of chances to get raised since which I've turned down. Getting captured was my own stupid fault though. We knew we were fighting undead. The encounter went something like this.

DM: You notice suddenly that the ground you're walking on is bumpier than you'd expect, and your animal companion seems very nervous.What do you do?
Me: I take my sword and stab one of the lumps to see what's underneath it.
DM: Something goes ouch. The ground begins to heave and break, and a couple of hundred zombies and skeletons start digging themselves out of the ground.
Me: Well, crap.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 03:55 PM
That sounded like a mistake (I was just curious due to how not everyone would be comfortable with playing an undead). Is the amulet always active? If it is, it should handle the job well enough on it's own, unless I misunderstood how it works regarding surpressing compulsion effects.

2008-11-02, 03:58 PM
The thing is though, Halt/Control Undead are Necromancy spells by RAW, not Enchantment (Compulsion).

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-02, 04:02 PM
I forgot about that. I would have thought that PfE should be able to protect from those due to how they are basically Compulsion Effects with a different School to the other Enchantments.