Remnant

Remnants are what remains of a mortal race who died but somehow did not perish. Their bodies have died, but their soul remains bound to their flesh, which they are able to animate just as they could during the days when they lived. The origins of remnants are unclear. Some scholars say they are cousins of revenants, who deny death and become the undead for the sake of an ultimate goal they had before their passing. Others say they are the result of necromancy. Even remnants themselves may not know the source of their condition, and they seem to sprout from any and all races.

A Life Without Breath

Remnants don’t require food, sleep or anything a mortal requires to survive. They don’t become exhausted, nor hungry, and they don’t have to breathe. However, they carry within themselves an ever-existing dread of restlessness. Their dreams are abstract visions accompanied by this existential dread, as they go into their dream-realm fully conscious. They have to focus on something that can distract them from the dread within, in order to rest.

Their body resembles what they were before they turned into this abomination. They can be a human, dwarf, elf or another race’s remnant, carrying the traits and looks of its race, but a rotten version of it. Because of the status their soul provides their body, they do not decompose. However, they smell foul and their skin is extremely cold to the touch, just like a corpse. Additionally, their eyes have a blurry gray hue.

A Life Taken Away

Although some may think not being gone after death is a gift, a favor from gods or goddesses, or a stroke of luck, a remnant often realizes that its former life will inevitably slip from its grasp, more and more, as time passes. Their foul nature starts to irritate their former friends or family, and their condition eventually results in all the others passing away of old age, leaving the remnant behind. In the end, a remnant knows that there will only be the silence of their twisted grave.

Even if there are friends or family who insist on staying together, the aforementioned unknown dread haunts the remnant. Life around the remnant may seem like it is still the same, but the dread clawing at them from within makes it seem as though an apocalypse is imminent, at all times.

Lost in Time

Remnants can remain in this state for all eternity. As their body is preserved and animated by their souls, they can bear the wear and tear of time indefinitely. Still, their eternal existence is anything but pleasant. Their dreadful sleep and restlessness make them lose track of time. After a year, or a decade, of their existence as a remnant, they start to forget the date and how much time has passed between the events of their (un)life.

In this sense, some of them try to seek the aid of those who tend to live long, such as elves. If a remnant was an elf before its death, it can adapt to its endlessness more easily than a human remnant.

A Life Unseen

Many realms and kingdoms harbor hostile feelings towards the undead. In fact, common creatures outright fear walking corpses since necromancy is a well-known practice. Most often, seeing an undead is not a good sign. It can herald anything; from a curse to an invasion of undead hordes commanded by a lich. Consequently, folks are rarely pleased when they come across remnants.

Because they are exceedingly rare, remnants are often misjudged regarding their nature. Many people do not even try to listen to them, as there are undead who can talk and still have the ultimate aim to eat one’s flesh. The reactions of the temples to the remnants are even (and perhaps especially) harsh, as their instinct is to either turn or destroy them.

As a result, remnants tend to hide their true nature. They try to blend into society and be seen as normal, living people. They can wear perfumes to hide their smell and excessive clothing to hide their distorted flesh.

Rejected by the Society

Remnants try to maintain what is left of their lives without drawing attention to their nature. Their ideas of races vary according to what race they belonged to before they became remnants. Yet, they also acquire new views and stereotypes about other factions when they become a remnant.

  • Clergy. “They are hypocrites! They preach the words of their deity, and perhaps my deity as well. Yet they think of us as a curse or abomination that is to be pitied or saved.”
  • Commoners. “I understand why they fear us. I would be frozen in dread if I saw a zombie in my previous life. We have to keep them in ignorance in regard to our true nature. This would be safer for them, as well as for us.”
  • Undead. “We may look alike, but I have no sympathy for these hideous creatures. Still, this may just be me. I have heard of other remnants who accepted themselves to be undead, and do the same atrocities as they do.”

Your Former Life

Although your character’s story involves you dying and becoming a remnant, thus belonging to the remnant race, you choose to belong to the remnant race while creating your character. Thus, it is likely that you died when you were a commoner (a level 0 character not belonging to a particular class). On the other hand, you can also be a remnant who lost its abilities in (and perhaps its memory of) its former life.

Additionally, you can become a remnant in the middle of an adventure or a campaign. In this case, simply substitute all the traits of your former race with the remnant traits listed below.

Standard Traits

Your remnant character has a number of traits in common with all other remnants.

Ability Score Increase. An ability score of your choice increases by 1.

Racial Traits. Remnants lose all racial traits of their former race.

Age. Remnants can be of any age, and they always look like the age at the time of their passing.

Alignment. Remnants do not tend toward one particular alignment, but there is a higher number of remnants that are neutral-aligned or evil-aligned rather than good. It is hard to stay on the good side when you are seen as an abomination and are rejected by society. Evil remnants accept that they are monsters, and act accordingly, thinking it is better to be feared than to be pitied or rejected.

Size. Your size is the same as that of your former race.

Speed. Your speed is the same as that of your former race.

Benefits of Unlife. You do not require food or water to survive, and you are immune to being poisoned, poison damage, and diseases. You cannot fall asleep, you are immune to being unconscious except if you drop to 0 hit points. You do not suffer from exhaustion unless it is inflicted through magical means. Additionally, you do not have to breathe and therefore do not need to hold your breath underwater.

Skillful in Hiding. You have proficiency in the Deception and Stealth skills.

Unholy Rejuvenation. You are immune to necrotic damage, and, receiving damage of this type will heal you by half of the damage dealt.

Turn Vulnerability. You can be affected by the Turn Undead feature, but cannot be destroyed by it.

Languages. You know the languages you knew.

Resting by Distraction. You rest by distracting yourself enough so that you don’t feel the dread that always haunts you. You cannot sleep, and distract yourself with anything such as the sound of the campfire.

Subrace

There are two subraces of remnants. They become what they are as the result of different causes and thus have different traits. Choose one of these subraces; one that suits you and your background story.

Risen Corpse

You were long dead, but somehow, something pulled your soul back from the afterlife and raised you from the dead. You do not remember what your soul witnessed in the afterlife, but perhaps the dread that you feel is related to that. You can become a risen corpse as a result of many occasions and you can work with your GM about it. Your soul can be unlucky (or lucky) enough to encounter a necromantic ritual or someone may bring you back to learn from your experiences.

Risen corpses are outright rotten. They look even less like people and more like a zombie. It is difficult for risen corpses to hide their true nature from humanoids. On the other hand, they are less prone to effects that would overwhelm living creatures.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.

Dead cannot be Slain. You automatically succeed on your death saving throw when you drop to 0 hit points. However, if you are dealt damage while you are unconscious, you still suffer from death saving failure as normal.

Flesh for Mending. You can eat the meat of a fresh corpse (meaning one that has been dead less than 1 hour) to mend your body. As an action, you can consume the remains of a fresh corpse to regain 1d4 hit points. A small corpse is consumed totally within 2 rounds. This time is 4 rounds for a medium corpse, 8 rounds for a large corpse, 16 rounds for a huge corpse, and 32 rounds for a gargantuan corpse.

Walking Corpse. It is nearly impossible to hide your true nature. You have disadvantage on your Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Persuasion) checks to hide what you are.

Undying

Your soul somehow stayed in your body when you died, and thus you are somehow not dead. Your body is still perceived as a fresh corpse, cold and stiff, but humanoid-looking in general. You think it is the will of your soul that holds on to your body, and that leaves your (un)life intact. You don’t know what this dread you feel is. It is perhaps a side effect of what you have become.

Undying remnants look very much like living creatures, as their corpse did not decompose and was preserved by the power of their souls when they died. It is relatively easy for them to hide their true nature from others by using simple disguise techniques, but they still have to hide it to steer clear of injustice or prejudgment.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.

Possession. You possess a creature that is within 10 feet of you. When you attempt to do so, the creature makes a Wisdom saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus). On a failed save, you possess the mind of the creature (see mind possession in Possession and Exorcism section for details) for 1 minute. You cannot harm the creature’s body willingly, and the creature repeats its saving throw at the start of each of its turns, and each time it takes damage. While you possess another creature, your body lies unconscious and any damage done to it decreases your hit points. Yet, any damage (except psychic) done to you in your possessed body is not inflicted on your hit points but on that of the creature you possessed. When the possession is over and you return to your own body, you suffer one level of exhaustion. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

Disrupted Animation. The animation of your body gets disrupted when your soul and mind are harmed. When you take psychic damage, you have disadvantage on your ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws until the end of your next turn.

Willful Soul. The strength of your soul is also reflected in your mental resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened through magic.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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