Excerpts 10/01/2004

Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead

Almost every culture on the planet has its own legends of restless spirits, blood-drinking fiends, and the animate corpses of beloved relatives coming back to haunt their unsuspecting relations. Libris Mortis collects many of those bits of folklore, literature, and pop culture and presents them in formats appropriate for D&D. Within these covers the DM can find new horrors to include in his game, ideas for how to incorporate the undead in his campaign world, tips and tricks for running undead encounters, and a range of sample undead and undead encounters to drop right into his game. Players will find optimal tactics for battling the undead, new tools for the fight -- including equipment, magic items, spells, feats, and prestige classes -- and even some guidelines for playing an undead creature as a player character. So whether you like your undead pustulent and hungry for brains or aristocratic and thirsty for blood, you won't go wrong with this book. A word to the wise, though: you might want to leave the lights on while you read.

Libris Mortis: New Feats

Corpsecrafter [General]

Undead you raise or create are tougher than normal.

Benefit: Each undead you raise or create with any necromancy spell gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and +2 bonus hit points per Hit Die.

Corrupted Wildshape [Monstrous]

You have learned to use the necromantic energies that power your undead form to overcome the inability of undead creatures to wildshape. You can assume the form of an undead, rotten creature with the use of your wildshape ability.

Prerequisites: Undead type, wildshape class ability.

Benefits: You can use your wildshape ability even though you are undead. The ability functions just as if you were a living creature using the ability, with the following exceptions:

You do not gain a Constitution score in the new form, and you retain all of the immunities of the undead type while in your new form. The form you assume looks half decayed, with missing patches of fur and rotted worm-eaten flesh. While in this form, the rank odor of death hangs around you.

Normal: Since it is based on the polymorph spell, wildshape works only on living creatures.

Destruction Retribution [General]

Undead you raise or create harbor a retributive curse that is unleashed if they are destroyed.

Prerequisite: Corpsecrafter.

Benefit: Each undead you raise or create with any necromancy spell releases a burst of negative energy upon its destruction, dealing 1d6 points of damage plus an additional 1d6 per two Hit Dice to every creature within a 10-foot spread, Reflex save (DC 15) for half damage. This damage consists of negative energy, and it therefore heals undead creatures.

Fell Animate [Metamagic]

Living foes slain by your spell may rise as zombies.

Benefit: You can alter a spell that deals damage to foes. Any living creature that could normally be raised as a zombie and that does not possess more than double your HD, when slain outright by the fell animated spell, rises as a zombie under your control at the beginning of your next action. Even if you kill several creatures with a single fell animated spell, you can't create more HD of undead than twice your caster level. The standard rules for controlling undead (see animate dead on page 198 of the Player's Handbook) apply to newly created undead gained through this metamagic feat. A fell animated spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell's actual level.

Necropotent [General]

Your special melee or ranged attack with one type of weapon is especially efficacious against undead.

Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Weapon Specialization with selected weapon, fighter level 4th.

Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on all damage rolls you make using the selected weapon type against undead.

Special: A fighter may select Necropotent as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Stitched Flesh Familiar [General]

Stitched Flesh Familiar

When you are ready and able to acquire a new familiar, you may choose to gain a stitched flesh familiar.

Prerequisites: Ability to acquire a new familiar, ability to cast three or more necromancy spells.

Benefit: When choosing a familiar, you may choose a stitched flesh familiar. A stitched flesh familiar appears similar to any of the standard familiars available in the Player's Handbook, except that the stitched flesh familiar is obviously sewn together from many different creatures of that kind, and to a practiced eye, is undead.

The stitched flesh familiar is magically linked to its master in the same way as a normal familiar. The stitched flesh familiar uses the basic statistics for a creature of its kind, as given in the Monster Manual, except as noted below.

Hit Dice: The stitched flesh familiar has a d12 Hit Die and gains no bonus hit points from Constitution (as an undead creature). For effects that depend upon Hit Dice, use the master's character level or the familiar's normal Hit Dice total, whichever is higher.

Hit Points: Use 1/2 the master's total or the familiar's normal total, whichever is higher.

Attacks: Use the master's base attack bonus or the familiar's, whichever is better.

Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the familiar's base save bonus or the master's (as calculated from his character level), whichever is better.

Familiar Special Abilities: Use the second table in the Familiars sidebar on page 52 of the Player's Handbook to determine additional abilities, just as you would for a normal familiar. Stitched flesh familiars do not grant their masters any of the benefits that appear on the first table in that sidebar. Instead of the noted special ability, a stitched flesh familiar grants its master the ability to control +4 more HD of undead than he is normally capable of controlling (both through the rebuke undead power and through spells such as animate dead).

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