Dipulve Assassin, Corporeal

Medium undead (incorporeal and corporeal), any non-good alignment

Armor Class 15 (studded leather)
Hit Points 91 (14d8 + 28); Wound Threshold N/A
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
11 (+0) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 11 (+0) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws Dex +7, Int +5
Skills Acrobatics +7, Deception +4, Perception +4, Stealth* +11
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren’t silvered
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages understands thieves’ cant and any two languages, but can’t speak
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Assassinate. During its first turn, the corporeal dipulve assassin has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn. Any hit the corporeal dipulve assassin scores against a surprised creature is a critical hit.
  • Evasion. If the corporeal dipulve assassin is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, the corporeal dipulve assassin instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.
  • Shell of Life. When the corporeal dipulve assassin has lost half its hp, its physical body breaks and crumbles into dust. The corporeal dipulve assassin then switches to its incorporeal form.
  • Sneak Attack (1/Turn). The corporeal dipulve assassin deals an extra 14 (4d6) damage when it hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the corporeal dipulve assassin that isn’t incapacitated and the corporeal dipulve assassin doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The corporeal dipulve assassin makes two shortsword attacks.
  • Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

ABOUT

The dipulve, sometimes also called “subface dweller,” is a usually incorporeal undead that is common in the Netherworld. It can shift between the Ethereal Plane and the Material Plane with ease, with the place where the air touches the rock surface acting like a gate between these two realities, as the dipulve is incorporeal in the rock and corporeal in the air. Due to the intensity and nature of underground magical currents, it can live alternatively amidst shadows and across corridors, and mingle with the living. A dipulve has two aspects, both of which are evocative of dust, hence its name:

Incorporeal dipulve. The natural aspect of a dipulve is a humanoid silhouette made of energy fragments of variable sizes, each like a dot from a pointillist work of art. In this state, its color is reminiscent of smoked glass.

Corporeal dipulve. Once a dipulve has accumulated enough energy, it can exit the rock, carrying with it a fine layer of mineral dust that settles all over its body, giving it the appearance of a living statue with no distinguishing features. In this form, the dipulve can wear clothes, carry equipment made for humanoids, and generally interact with all material things.

The Enemies of Dipulves

Being undead, dipulves face hostility from the clergy of Death, as well as other enemies of the “unnatural.” Their ability to go unnoticed among the living has given rise to frightening legends, and sometimes to preposterous suspicion toward especially untalkative individuals.

Informed persons-such as adventurers succeeding on a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check-might believe that since dipulves are mute, identifying them should be child’s play. But certain magic items, like the thoughtful voice, can artificially provide a dipulve with speech, thus concealing its true nature all the better.

Two dipulve profiles are provided for each variant: a scout and an assassin. For easier use, two stat blocks are provided for each profile: one for the incorporeal form, and one for the corporeal form. The dipulve retains its hp when it switches from its incorporeal form to its corporeal one, and vice versa.

A dipulve retains all the knowledge and skills of its former life, but loses all abilities related to the Awakening. It is also mute, and its memory is imperfect, worn down by the passing of time.

Only recently dead (and suitably disguised) dipulves can conceivably pass for living humanoids.

Even if a dipulve clearly remembers its past life, its features have become too indistinct to be recognizable. A dipulve that wants to prove its identity cannot rely on its current appearance alone.

For a dipulve, the simplest way of accumulating sufficient life energy to make a body for itself is to steal the vitality of living humanoids, killing them in the process. However, legends make mention of more principled dipulves that have achieved the same result by basking in the essence of maelossas.

Depending on whether a dipulve is in its corporeal or incorporeal form, it will have different Traits and Actions. For the sake of simplicity and convenience of gameplay, the dipulve’s Strength is the same as when it was alive, even if the notion of “Strength” doesn’t really apply to an incorporeal creature. In the dipulve’s case, its Strength is an expression of its energetic intensity and willpower rather than a measure of muscular mass.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Creatures Rulebook for the Fateforge Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2021 Studio Agate.

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