Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Campaign Design - Race: Deathbound

(adapted from the White Wolf Quarterly/Sword & Sorcery Insider: Vol. 3.2 (Spring 2005))

The deathbound are a created race, made via powerful dark rituals performed by the priests and priestesses of Tuni and Tunar. Through the vile necromantic magics known only to the members of the White Hand, a living creature is killed and in the same moment cursed with unlife as a twisted mockery of the being it was. In regions controlled by the White Hand, whole villages and towns are subjected to the deathbound curse, resulting in an unliving populace serving the dark masters of the necromantic arts.

Personality: The deathbound are the creation of dark nectomantic magics, and as such, whatever personalities they had in life have been warped and twisted. Under the influence of Tuni and Tunar's power, most have turned to evil, but some attempt to reclaim their lost humanity by acting in kind and helpful ways. Most allow the hatred and rage in their hearts to fester into malice and cruelty.

Physical Description: The deathbound look like dead people. Their skin is gray and rotting, showing bone and muscle in places. Their pupil-less eyes glow with dim, white ghost light. Their muscles are withered, making them scrawny. Their movements are slow and jagged. Deathbound hardly ever smile unless their lips have rotted away, in which case they smile all the time. The necromantic magic of the deathbound curse keeps them somewhat preserved, but natural decay still proceed, just more slowly than normal.

Relations: The deathbound have tolerable relations with the other servants of the White Hand, although other living servants often view the honored position held by the deathbound with jealousy. Outside of the structure of the White Hand, most humanoids hate and fear the deathbound. Gnolls have an odd relationship with the deathbound, either regarding them as a potential ritual meal, or (more rarely) revering them as emissaries of their infernal master.

Alignment: Most deathbound are lawful evil, reflecting their nature as the creation of Tuni and Tunar. A small minority diverge from this alignment, mostly tending towards neutral or chaotic evil, especially those who find themselves aligned with Kivutar. A very tiny number of deathbound are able to reject their cruel masters and turn towards good.

Deathbound Lands: There are no deathbound lands, but they are common wherever the White Hand wields power, most notably Loring. They are also fairly common in evil lands such as Polthia and the Hallitsijainen Empire.

Religion: The deathbound are living undead, created to show the power of Tuni and Tunar over life and death. As such most are enslaved to the worship of the gods of the White Hand. Some very strong-willed and iconoclastic members turn to other faiths, most frequently becoming devotees of Kivutar, but the deathbound can be found among the ranks of the adherents of all of the Lords of Hell. Although there are no known deathbound adherents of the faiths of the Lords of Heaven, such individuals would not be an impossibility.

Language: The deathbound speak the languages they knew in life. As the devoted servants of the White Hand, all deathbound also speak Infernal.

Names: The deathbound keep the names they had when they were alive. As most deathbound were human, these tend to be human names. If a deathbound cannot remember their name, they may make up a suitable name or read one from a headstone or other inscription.
  • Type: Undead.

    • The deathbound do not have a Constitution score and gain no bonus hit points per hit die.
    • The deathbound are immune to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects)
    • The deathbound are immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.
    • The deathbound are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. They are immune to damage to their physical ability scores, as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.
    • The deathbound are healed by negative energy effects, and damaged by positive energy effects.
    • The deathbound do not heal naturally.
    • The deathbound are immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save, unless that effect also works on objects or is harmless.
    • The deathbound use their Charisma modifier for Concentration checks .
    • Not at risk of death from massive damage. Unlike other undead, the deathbound are not destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. Instead, at 0 hit points, a deathbound is disabled and only able to perform one move action or standard action each round, but does not risk further damage from strenuous activity. Between -1 and -9 hit points, a deathbound is unconscious and cannot act, but does not risk further damage (unless his enemies attack him or some other unfortunate event befalls him). At -10 hit points, a deathbound is destroyed.
    • A deathbound is not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection spells and effects can affect the deathbound by returning a destroyed deathbound to their undead life. The deathbound curse makes it virtually impossible to bring a deathbound back to life as the creature it was before it died. Only a wish or miracle can accomplish that.
    • The deathbound do not breathe, eat, or sleep. Deathbound spell casters dtill need 8 hours of uninterrupted meditation and contemplation before preparing their spells.

  • Ability Scores: +2 Strength, -2 Dexterity. Undeath grants physical power but dulls reflexes.

  • Size: Medium size.

  • Movement: The deathbound have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Deathless Sight: The deathbound can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight. The deathbound can function perfectly well with no light at all.

  • Racial Levels: Unlike humans and some other races, the deathbound can take levels in the "Deathbound" class to develop their racial qualities more fully.

  • Automatic Languages: Infernal plus any one other language, depending on the the deathbound's origin.

  • Favored Class: Fighter.

  • Favored Class: Warrior.

  • Exclusive Class: Deathbound.

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