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Undying

The undying are the chosen few who have been selected to continue the war against darkness through eternity. They each select an animal deity as their patron, who bestows upon them even greater power.

The undying undergo a ritual to preserve their corpses, wrapped in sacred bandages that lock their souls into their bodies. When the ritual is complete, the undying is forever bound to a shabti, a small animal amulet that is with them at all times. The undying can only pass as normal mortals only reluctantly if they wear full-body clothing. In their full glory, they wear nothing but bandages and their shabti, their withered flesh a frightening sight where it peeks through.

The undying are created to combat the forces of darkness and evil, but the process of making an undying can be so punishing that it twists those who were supposed to ascend to guardianhood into something malicious and vengeful. Most undying tend to be lawful, but some take their punishment of wrongdoers to extremes.

Each undying aligns itself with a shabti. This animal is more than symbolic, bestowing a form of magical armor unique to the undying. Undying are fond of forming teams, often reanimated together, where they work as a group to further their aims.

Male Names: Haroeri, Kontar, Nasch-ti-nebef, Nuhem, Onuris, Pisem, Salih, Sen-ma, Serbes, Uah

Female Names: Arbasutanifu, Khaa, Maa, Nebet, Nes-a, Pen-ures-nes, Quibilah, Ta-khot

Family Names: Kohsem, Grixom, Jisoc, Mirross, Nex, Set, Trislim, Vessac, Zer

Racial Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Type. You are considered both human and undead.

Speed. An undying’s speed is 25 feet.

Age. Undying are adults when interred but they never age after that.

Alignment. Most undying are lawful good, but those who are interested only in rule can be lawful neutral. Rarely, undying become obsessed with punishing those who wronged them, even ancestors hundreds of generations later, and these become lawful evil.

Hekau Form. As a bonus action, you can summon magical armor unique to you. This armor lasts for 1 minute, until you die, or until you revert to your normal appearance as a bonus action. When you summon your hekau, you gain benefits that depend on your subspecies, described below. Once you summon your hekau, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. Because of this power, you gain no benefit from wearing armor, but if you are using a shield, you can apply the shield’s bonus as normal. You cannot summon your hekau if you are wearing armor.

Undying Nature. You are very difficult to destroy. If you are below half your hit point maximum at the start of your turn, you regain 1 hit point. If you die, you return to life 24 hours after death. If your body is destroyed, you reform within 1 mile of the place of your death at a spot determined by the DM. If your equipment is also destroyed, you do not regain it. You have the shapechanger tag.

Animated Bandages. As an action, you can use up to two of your bandages to grapple a creature. Each one is also a natural weapon, which you can use to make an unarmed strike with. If you hit, you can try to grapple the target as a bonus action. These bandages are not dexterous enough to use weapons, magic weapons, and other specialized equipment.

Undying Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned, and you have resistance to poison damage; You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe; You are immune to disease; You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

Undying Rest. When you take a long rest, you must spend at least six hours in an inactive, motionless state, rather than sleeping. In this state, you appear inert, but it doesn’t render you unconscious, and you can see and hear as normal.

Subraces/Subspecies

Different subspecies of undying are aligned with the deity who grants them their powers.

Cat

Assassins and spies, cat undying specialize in taking on foes who are otherwise inaccessible by direct means.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.

Hekau Form. While your hekau form is active, you have a base AC of 12 + your Dexterity modifier. You also have a climbing speed of 20 feet. In addition, your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Falcon

Traditionally seen as the leaders amongst the undying, these undying seek to unite others, usually worshippers of their religion. They are not above coercing those they consider beneath them into service.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.

Hekau Form. While your hekau form is active, you have a base AC of 12 + your Dexterity modifier. You also have a flying speed of 30 feet and are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d4 slashing damage + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Ibis

Seekers of knowledge, ibis undying have a vast trove of magical resources to draw on. Unfortunately, those resources reveal themselves sporadically, given at the whim of the deities they serve.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.

Hekau Form. While your hekau form is active, you have a base AC of 12 + your Dexterity modifier. You also gain the ability to cast cantrips and spells randomly determined from a short list. At 1st level, you can cast a cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can also cast a 1st-level spell. At 5th level, you can cast a 2nd-level spell. You can cast a spell gained from this trait only once until you complete your next long rest. You can cast a cantrip gained from this trait at will, as normal. For 1st-level spells whose effect changes if cast using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you cast the spell as if using a 2nd-level slot. Spells of 2nd level are cast as if using a 2nd-level slot. At the end of each long rest, you lose the cantrips and spells previously granted by this feature, even if you did not cast them. You replace those cantrips and spells by rolling for new ones on the Ibis Spells table. Roll separately for each cantrip and spell. If you roll the same spell or cantrip you gained at the end of your previous long rest, roll again until you get a different result.

d6 1st Level 3rd Level 5th Level
1 dancing lights bless aid
2 true strike cure wounds continual flame
3 light divine favor gentle repose
4 message heroism lesser restoration
5 spare the dying searing flame magic weapon
6 prestidigitation shield of faith zone of truth

Ram

Stalwart and loyal, ram undying literally put their heads to good use. They act as bodyguards and muscle to other undying and defenders of the weak.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.

Hekau Form. While your hekau form is active, you have a base AC of 15 (your Dexterity modifier doesn’t affect this modifier). You can also use your head and horns to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. You also count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Snake

Sages and advisers, these undying are frequently turned to darkness by their jealousy of those in power who get all the glory. That said, their snake-like nature does not mean they are all evil.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.

Hekau Form. While your hekau form is active, you have a base AC of 13 + your Dexterity modifier. Your gain a long tail which is a natural weapon that you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your constrict attack, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, and the target is grappled (escape DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and you can’t constrict another target. You are also immune to poison damage and can’t be poisoned.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
5E RPG: Gothic Adventures. Copyright 2021, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.