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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Unholy Toughness

    One thing that irks me about playing an undead character is the painful reality that they:

    A. Have no buffer between functioning and dead. This makes things a bit more dangerous and frightening because even though you are made of d12's, you get no bonus to them and average out at 6.5 HP per HD. Add a generally large Level adjustment to the equation and a maximized fireball just got REALLY ugly.

    B. Have myriad immunities and defences according to their type, but always seem to have one or two glaring weaknesses (daylight powerlessness sucks).

    The second problem can usually be shored up with clever use of spells and items but the first....well spamming Toughness and it's improved cousin will only get you so far because of the lack of HD, Class levels and general weakness that will be caused by blowing potentially powerful feats on things like this.

    Enter Unholy Toughness.

    I saw this at one point and flipped, Charisma instead of Constitution to HP? Yes please! But alas it was not meant to be, this feat was no feat but a feature of the Dry Lich(Sandstorm) and as such left me mildly annoyed.

    I don't want to play a Dry Lich, I want to play a ghoul or vampire, but here I am gimped for HP and looking at almost every party my group constructs thinking "nope, not this one either...."

    So here we are, at the point of my unnecessarily long and boredom inspired tale. How do we make Unholy Toughness a feat? Would setting Toughness as a prerequisite be cruel enough or would a HD requirement also be in order? Obviously the Undead type would be a necessity. How do we compensate for the undead's tendency to use charisma for so many abilities in addition to this potential boost to HP?

    I know it's powerful but I want it and I think it would open up an entire creature type to the people who are similarly disgusted at the thought of being dropped by one bad shot.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Well, it really boost Lich Sorcerers, as a feat. But, overall, it's pretty fair, I think, though I'd present the feat with pre-reqs of...

    Pre-reqs: Undead, Cha 15, Great Fortitude

    That way, they need a high Cha to take it, and have to burn a feat on Great Fortitude, as well. Should be a helpful balance factor. It's helpful for undead, yes, but overall not as helpful as several others for spellcasters and such.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by JackMage666 View Post
    Well, it really boost Lich Sorcerers, as a feat. But, overall, it's pretty fair, I think, though I'd present the feat with pre-reqs of...

    Pre-reqs: Undead, Cha 15, Great Fortitude

    That way, they need a high Cha to take it, and have to burn a feat on Great Fortitude, as well. Should be a helpful balance factor. It's helpful for undead, yes, but overall not as helpful as several others for spellcasters and such.
    Great Fortitude's a good feat for undead anyways, since those few annoying things that can destroy you (Undeath to Death for example) have fort saves.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by Starsinger View Post
    Great Fortitude's a good feat for undead anyways, since those few annoying things that can destroy you (Undeath to Death for example) have fort saves.
    Especially that one pest Disintegrate.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicKitKat View Post
    Especially that one pest Disintegrate.
    Mmm....Lasers.

    I suppose, given the fact that people capable of forcing undead to make fort saves know how to do so and that it is generally a good idea, that may boost the usefulness of Great Fortitude beyond what a simple look at the number of spells capable of doing so indicates.

    The feat looks good, I think I'll pitch it next time I am rolling a character. Although it requires prioritizing charisma I think the effects make that completely acceptable.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Seems like the kind of thing any given vampiric blackguard would need. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have seen this as a feat or something somewhere, because I don't have Sandstorm and have never used a dry lich, but the name seems remarkably familiar.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    Seems like the kind of thing any given vampiric blackguard would need. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have seen this as a feat or something somewhere, because I don't have Sandstorm and have never used a dry lich, but the name seems remarkably familiar.
    Aye, I get the same impression. Perhaps I've just heard it referred to on these boards, but I would've thought I'd remember something like a "Dry Lich" being mentioned if it were.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by The White Knight View Post
    Aye, I get the same impression. Perhaps I've just heard it referred to on these boards, but I would've thought I'd remember something like a "Dry Lich" being mentioned if it were.
    The Dry Lich isn't the only undead creature to have the Unholy Toughness special quality. It features on a number of nasty things in various non-core books.

    It probably should have been included on a number of core undead, but I don't think anyone thought up the property until much later. Does anyone know if there were any creatures with Unholy Toughness in 3.0? Kinda curious if there was a concious decision to keep it off of 3.5 Liches and Vampires.
    Last edited by Shhalahr Windrider; 2007-08-27 at 05:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    There's a feat in Libris Mortis that lets characters keep necrotic-reserve points every time they feed off something. They can then use these points in order to take final actions when dropped below 0hp in order to survive.

    It's called Necrotic Reserve.
    Last edited by goat; 2007-08-27 at 05:56 PM. Reason: looked up the name

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    This is one of those things where if you make it a feat, EVERY undead is going to take it. Most intelligent undead get a charisma boost, which makes it incredibly worthwhile. It's not even like Power Attack, which any hard-hitting character would take; It's something EVERY undead would want. It's too powerful.

    Now, putting the normal Toughness as a prerequisite feat on it makes people stop and make sure they want it that much. A sign of good balance is when you feel indecision.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    I don't really see a problem. Turn Undead messes up low level Undead. Higher level ones face Disintegrates and Searing Lights, etc. I would expect a high level Undead to be ridiculously tough to hack apart with brute force(or spell force, etc.).
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Tome of Necromancy

    This is a very good read for anyone interested in using undead or necromancy in their campaign, and addresses many common problems. Where WotC fails fans find great success.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Well, beyond home-brewing feats, you really have only a few options to increase the durability of undead critters. They would be, in no particular order, Corpsecrafter (Granted, it would require some serious debate with the DM to allow the benefits to PCs.), Toughness (Not that appealing, I know.), Improved Toughness (Better, but still falls a bit short) and taking class levels in Stalwart Sorcerer (The variant class option from Complete Mage.). Stalwart Sorcerer grants two extra hit points per level of Sorcerer, so it circumvents the undeads' constitution-challenged state. And being undead, they get d12 hit points instead of the d4. Not bad if you're the spellcasting type. If not, by RAW you're fudgesickled. More or less.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by Pestlepup View Post
    And being undead, they get d12 hit points instead of the d4.
    AAAAAAAAAAA!!!! d12 HD is a feature of the Undead type, not a trait...saying that Undead get d12 instead of d4 HD for Sorcerer levels is like saying that Humans get d8 instead of d4 because they're of the Humanoid type. Advancement by Character Class is just that...Sorcerers get d4 HD, Fighters get d10 and Rogues get d6. Advancement by HD would grant d12 hit points every level, but most playble/powerful Undead advance by character class.

    True, some Undead templates raise "all current and future HD" to d12 (like Lich), but most either replace racial HD (like Skeleton) or raise "all current" HD to d12 (like Necropolitan). Unless the template specifies that all future HD are d12, you're stuck with whatever class HD you take. This breeds one of the advantages of taking the Necropolitan template later than 3rd level...you get more d12 HD (e.g. a 3rd level sorcerer performs the ritual of crucimigration, loses a level and raises his 2 HD to d12's. If he continues to level up in sorcerer, all his future HD are d4. A 12th level sorcerer performs the ritual of crucimigration, loses a level and raises his 11 HD to d12's with all future HD as d4).

    Sorry for the off-topic rant, but it's one of my pet peeves that people assume that all HD an Undead ever takes are d12...just look in the Monster Manual at the Mummy Lord entry for proof...
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned this yet;

    The desecrate spell.

    It gives undead in the area of effect a +1 to hit, damage(?), and saves(?), and +1hp per hit die I believe, and also gives a -3 on attempts to turn undead in the area. If it is in the area of a shrine dedicated to an evil diety or somesuch, the bonuses are doubled!

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    AAAAAAAAAAA!!!! d12 HD is a feature of the Undead type, not a trait...saying that Undead get d12 instead of d4 HD for Sorcerer levels is like saying that Humans get d8 instead of d4 because they're of the Humanoid type. Advancement by Character Class is just that...Sorcerers get d4 HD, Fighters get d10 and Rogues get d6. Advancement by HD would grant d12 hit points every level, but most playble/powerful Undead advance by character class.

    True, some Undead templates raise "all current and future HD" to d12 (like Lich), but most either replace racial HD (like Skeleton) or raise "all current" HD to d12 (like Necropolitan). Unless the template specifies that all future HD are d12, you're stuck with whatever class HD you take. This breeds one of the advantages of taking the Necropolitan template later than 3rd level...you get more d12 HD (e.g. a 3rd level sorcerer performs the ritual of crucimigration, loses a level and raises his 2 HD to d12's. If he continues to level up in sorcerer, all his future HD are d4. A 12th level sorcerer performs the ritual of crucimigration, loses a level and raises his 11 HD to d12's with all future HD as d4).

    Sorry for the off-topic rant, but it's one of my pet peeves that people assume that all HD an Undead ever takes are d12...just look in the Monster Manual at the Mummy Lord entry for proof...


    I've been told this no less than thirty times but I can't seem to get it into my head. Stupid liches....

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietus View Post
    This is one of those things where if you make it a feat, EVERY undead is going to take it. Most intelligent undead get a charisma boost, which makes it incredibly worthwhile. It's not even like Power Attack, which any hard-hitting character would take; It's something EVERY undead would want. It's too powerful.
    I hardly think that taking a feat to somewhat compensate for a glaring and otherwise irremovable flaw in a type is too powerful. Is it a good feat? Yes it is, but it is underpowered if anything.

    "Wow, you get to spend a feat so that you can gain 3(Maybe 4 or even 5 if you're a Sorcerer!) more HP per HD! Nevermind that y'know everything that's not undead gets it for free. Also, nevermind that undead don't even get d12 HD every level, so they already have about an average of 4.5, 5.5, or if they're a mage, 2.5 HP per level and they are destroyed at 0."

    I guess that I just convinced myself: undead are way too powerful, you should not make this a feat ever unless the undead has to take dodge, blindfight, and great fortitude as prerequisites.

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    Last edited by TSGames; 2007-08-28 at 11:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Aye, see, I agree with the above poster. Undead should be scary when you try to just hack them apart. Instead, they end up seeming frail, always.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    AAAAAAAAAAA!!!! d12 HD is a feature of the Undead type, not a trait...saying that Undead get d12 instead of d4 HD for Sorcerer levels is like saying that Humans get d8 instead of d4 because they're of the Humanoid type. Advancement by Character Class is just that...Sorcerers get d4 HD, Fighters get d10 and Rogues get d6. Advancement by HD would grant d12 hit points every level, but most playble/powerful Undead advance by character class.

    True, some Undead templates raise "all current and future HD" to d12 (like Lich), but most either replace racial HD (like Skeleton) or raise "all current" HD to d12 (like Necropolitan). Unless the template specifies that all future HD are d12, you're stuck with whatever class HD you take. This breeds one of the advantages of taking the Necropolitan template later than 3rd level...you get more d12 HD (e.g. a 3rd level sorcerer performs the ritual of crucimigration, loses a level and raises his 2 HD to d12's. If he continues to level up in sorcerer, all his future HD are d4. A 12th level sorcerer performs the ritual of crucimigration, loses a level and raises his 11 HD to d12's with all future HD as d4).

    Sorry for the off-topic rant, but it's one of my pet peeves that people assume that all HD an Undead ever takes are d12...just look in the Monster Manual at the Mummy Lord entry for proof...
    Actually

    From the improving monsters with templates section
    Hit Dice and Hit Points

    Most templates do not change the number of Hit Dice a monster has, but some do. Some templates change the size of a creature’s Hit Dice (usually by changing the creature type). A few templates change previously acquired Hit Dice, and continue to change Hit Dice gained with class levels, but most templates that change Hit Dice change only the creature’s original HD and leave class Hit Dice unchanged.

    If the Hit Dice entry in a template description is missing, Hit Dice and hit points do not change unless the creature’s Constitution modifier changes.


    And

    From the vampire template
    Hit Dice

    Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.


    Usually templates don't change class HD, but in the case of undead templates they usually do.

    Just check out the sample Vampire in the monster manual. It's 5th level fighter with 5d12
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    There's still improved toughness, not great, but still another hp/lvl.

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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I can't believe nobody has mentioned this yet;

    The desecrate spell.

    It gives undead in the area of effect a +1 to hit, damage(?), and saves(?), and +1hp per hit die I believe, and also gives a -3 on attempts to turn undead in the area. If it is in the area of a shrine dedicated to an evil diety or somesuch, the bonuses are doubled!

    Craft a portable shrine and have your cohort follow you around like an aquilafier and you'll always be near a shrine.
    Descrate will not give undead extra HP for wandering into the area. That would be silly. It gives undead extra HP when they are created or summoned within an area of desecration. This up shot of this is it never says those bonuses leave. Ever.
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    Default Re: Unholy Toughness

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