Curse of the Deathless
“Deathless” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature with 2 or more Hit Dice (referred to hereafter as the base creature). All Deathless were once humanoids. A Deathless uses the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: No change
Type: The Deathless type changes to undead (augmented). Do not recalculate class Hit Dice, BAB, or saves.
Senses: A Deathless gains darkvision 60 ft.
Modified Undead Traits: Deathless have traits similar to, but not exactly the same as Undead Traits:
- Deathless still possess a Constitution Score (Hit Dice still calculated by class)
Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) while in Aspect Form (see below). +2 to all mind-affecting effects while in Mortal Form.
- Immunity to bleed, death effects, paralysis, sleep effects, and stunning while in Aspect Form.
- Not subject to non-lethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength), as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects while in Aspect Form. +2 to save vs ability drain, energy drain, exhaustion and fatigue effects while in Mortal From.
- Healed by negative energy while in Aspect Form, healed by positive energy while in Mortal Form.
- Immune to death by massive damage, though can die as normal if under zero HP, Spells such as Raise Dead, and True Resurrection do work, but do not make Deathless mortal, Reincarnate works but effect is identical to Raise Dead. This is the case in both forms.
- Deathless do not sleep nor breathe, and while in Aspect Form they do not not need to eat either (though see The Great Curse, below).
- Ageless: Deathless no longer age and cannot die of old age. Similarly they cannot be aged by artificial / magical means.
Armour Class: Not altered by becoming Deathless, but specific Aspect Powers may alter this.
Hit Dice: Not altered by becoming Deathless, but specific Aspect Powers may alter this.
Defensive Abilities: Each Deathless gains Damage Reduction vs a specific type of damage while in their Aspect Form, depending upon their chosen Deathless Aspect (see below). This DR stacks with any other DR they may possess.
One of Us (Su)
Mindless/Lower undead do not see Deathless as enemies but rather one of their own and will ignore them unless directly attacked. This is active in both forms.
Attacks: A Deathless may gain additional types of attacks depending upon their chosen Deathless Aspect. If this is the case, they are proficient with that attack time and most often, are considered to have weapon focus in it as well. See individual Deathless Aspect descriptions for more information.
Special Attacks: Deathless gain no special attacks from the Deathless Template, however they do gain access to Special Attacks through their chosen Deathless Aspect.
Special Qualities: A Deathless gains the following:
Deathless Tiers & Abilities (Su):
Similar to Mythic Characters, the addition of the Deathless Template opens up Tiers and Abilities. All Deathless share the Base Deathless Abilities (see below) and gain abilities tied to their Deathless Aspect as they grow in power. In the same way as Mythic Tiers, Deathless Tiers are separate to Experience Levels and work parallel to them. All Deathless gain access to universal “Base Deathless Abilities” (see below) as they progress through the Deathless Tiers.
Dual Forms (Su):
Deathless have two forms, their Mortal “Shell” and their true “Aspect” form. To begin with the Deathless do not have much control over their form-changing, though this improves with experience (by Deathless Tiers). Each Deathless also has a unique Deathless Aspect which, once chosen cannot be changed. A Deathless can assume their Aspect Form a number of times per day equal to Deathless Tier x2 + highest Ability Score modifier. Moving between forms is a standard action and costs no Deathless Power to do. The transformation lasts a number of rounds equal to Deathless Tier x2 + highest Ability Score modifier. Upon changing form into Aspect Form, all worn items (clothing, armour, jewellery etc) both mundane and magical becomes ‘absorbed’ into the Deathless’ new form. The items are still in play, but not perceivable. For example, a Fighter Graveknight Deathless who is wearing Chainmail armour, once morphing into their Graveknight form will appear to be wearing Graveknight platemail. In actuality, they are still wearing their chainmail and the Graveknight platemail, it is simply a case of only the latter being perceived. Anything carried by the Deathless (weapons, food etc) remains carried and can be dropped / disarmed as normal.
Finally, this is a magical transformation effect, not an illusionary one. Anyone who uses True Seeing or a similar ability on a Deathless in their Aspect form will not see them any differently.
Gradual Metamorphosis (Su):
As a Deathless gains in power their Mortal Form visually changes in subtle then more obvious ways into the Undead they are aspected with. At Second, Fourth and Eighth Deathless Tiers, they take on a permanent cosmetic alteration which affect their Mortal Form. For more on this see the specific Deathless Aspects.
Ability Scores: Not altered by becoming Deathless, but specific Aspect Powers may alter this.
Skills: Not altered by becoming Deathless, but specific Aspect Powers may alter this.
Feats: Not altered by becoming Deathless, but specific Aspect Powers may alter this.
Ability Score Increase: (Su)
At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th Tier the Deathless Character gets +2 Ability Points. They can put both on one Ability Score, or +1 to two Ability Score, players choice.
Turn/Control Resistance: (Su)
When a good divine caster attempts to use Turn Undead on a Deathless Character, the character receives a +2 bonus to Will Saves against the turning. This increases by +2 at Tiers 3. 5. 7 and 9, to a maximum of +10 bonus at Tier 9. This modifier is in effect regardless of whether in Aspect or Mortal Form. If an evil divine caster attempts to use Control Undead on a Deathless Character, the same ruling applies. Deathless are completely immune to all special, magical or racial mind-control effects from the Undead type with which they share an Aspect (For example a Vampire-Aspect Deathless is immune to mind effecting abilities cast by a Vampire). Even a Mythic version of the Undead they are associated with them cannot control them. Any attempt to do so instantly fails.
(Usable in both Forms)
Deathless Aspect: (Su)
At the point of becoming a Deathless, the character takes on a Deathless Aspect: a connection with a specific type of higher undead. This choice not only affects which Deathless Abilities they can choose from, but also their Aspect Form (See Power of the Grave). The Deathless Aspect is an association with the undead the Deathless chooses (or has chosen for him), and once chosen it cannot be changed (See Deathless Aspects subsection for more information). Available Deathless Aspects are:
- Aspect of the Bodak
- Aspect of the Deathweb
- Aspect of the Graveknight
- Aspect of the Lich
- Aspect of the Mummy
- Aspect of the Nightshade
- Aspect of the Shadow
- Aspect of the Vampire
- Aspect of the Frost Wight
- Aspect of the Wraith
A Deathless can assume their Aspect form a number of times per day equal to Deathless Tier x2 + highest Ability Score modifier. Moving between forms is a standard action and costs no Deathless Power to do. They can remain in their Aspect Form for a number of rounds equal to Deathless Tier x2 + highest Ability Score modifier.
The Great Curse: (Su)
Becoming a Deathless comes with many advantages, but it also leaves a stain on the soul of the bearer. Firstly, although the Deathless radiate no aura of evil, goodly-aligned creatures sense a ‘wrongness’ about them which causes all bluff or diplomacy checks by Deathless toward goodly-aligned creatures difficult, suffering a -5 modifier. This does not occur when dealing with neutral or evilly-aligned characters. Secondly, though becoming Deathless does not affect ones’ alignment it can make internal struggles a concept of worry for good-aligned characters. Many worshippers of Pharasma lose their faith entirely or struggle deeply; and Paladins, while they still receive boons from their Gods, often feel at conflict with their nature. Characters for whom alignment is more important (Paladins, Clerics etc) must spend an hour each day in prayer to their God asking for their acceptance (Characters who worship no Gods instead meditate on their predicament). Failure to do so means the character obtains the Shaken condition until they can do so. Lastly, each Deathless Aspect has a unique weakness based on their Undead-Aspect (See Deathless Aspects subsection for more information).
Power of the Great Beyond: (Su)
As the Deathless grows in power and understanding of their new fate, they realise that their mortal body is not only a connection to the material plane that acts as an emotional and psychological anchor to the world around them, but also that it is no longer their true form. They are able to shift between their Mortal Form and that of their Aspect Form, though doing so comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Donning one’s Aspect form turns them into a unique and powerful version of the Undead they are associated with, gaining many powerful abilities but also the dread and loathing of those around them. To do this (and many other special abilities), Deathless can draw upon a wellspring of power to accomplish amazing deeds and cheat fate. This power is used by a number of different abilities. Each day, you can expend an amount of deathless power equal to 3 + double Deathless Tier (5/day at 1st tier, 7/day at 2nd, etc.). This amount is your maximum amount of deathless power. If an ability allows you to regain uses of your deathless power, you can never have more than this amount. Transforming into your Deathless Aspect does not use Deathless power and lasts a number of rounds equal to Deathless Tier x2 + the modifier score to your primary statistic (your highest ability score).
Mechanically-speaking, Deathless Power is identical in its working to Mythic Power.
While in Aspect Form the Deathless gains all the modifiers listed under ’Aspect Form abilities”.
You can call upon your deathless power to overcome difficult challenges. You can expend one use of deathless power to increase any d20 roll you just made by rolling 1d6 and adding it to the result. Using this ability is an immediate action taken after the result of the original roll is revealed. This can change the outcome of the roll. The bonus die gained by using this ability increases to 1d8 at 4th tier, 1d10 at 7th tier, and 1d12 at 10th tier.
Mechanically-speaking, Deathless Power is identical in its working to Mythic Surge.
(Usable in both Forms)
Fortitude of the Grave (Su):
Deathless are most vulnerable when freshly created, once they begin to grow in power they are harder and harder to destroy. Once reaching second tier, any Deathless who is slain automatically reconstitutes under the ground where they first met their death, 24 hours later. The Deathless then needs to claw their way out and get their bearings. For a number of rounds equal to 10 minus their Deathless Tier, Deathless suffer the Confused condition immediately after rising. For 24 hours after rising a Deathless is also reduced by 1 level (minimum level of 1) and suffers all the drawbacks of such. Greater Restoration can remove this effect, Restoration is not powerful enough to work. Only a Wish or similar level spell will truly destroy a Deathless, or the utter destruction (to a molecular level) of their place of rest. (Usable in both Forms)
Once reaching this level of power Deathless finds his body begins to knit itself together, gaining Fast Healing 5. This stacks with any other healing abilities the character might possess. (Usable in both Forms)
Deathless Saves: (Su)
Once reacting the 5th Deathless Tier, Deathless characters gain a permanent +2 bonus to all saves (on top of any other saves)
Undead Majesty: (Su)
A Deathless who gains this much power becomes immune to mind-affecting abilities/spells produced by any undead of any hit dice, not just the one to which they possess an Aspect attachment. In addition, the Deathless gain the ability to control the undead of their Aspect type as per the ability Command Undead, whether or not they possess the ability to channel negative energy or not. The undead in question needs to make a Will Save with a DC equal to 10 + character level + ½ Deathless Tier + Charisma Modifier. Failure to save results in forced control as per the spell Control Undead with a caster level equal to the Deathless character level. Undead controlled in this manner do not get a SR check, only a Will Save. This ability uses a Deathless point. This ability does not work on other Deathless. (Usable in both forms)
Black Blood: (Su)
The DR afforded to the Deathless goes up to DR 20 / [Deathless Aspect]. This stacks with any other DR the character possesses. In addition, this DR is now usable in both forms, Mortal and Aspect.
This truly powerful ability augments Fortitude of the Grave. So long as the Deathless’ place of rest is intact (or, if something from there is such as a stone or some dirt), the Deathless always rises 24 hours after being slain. This cannot be stopped, and even the use of a Wish spell only delays their return by 1 month. Also, at this stage the Deathless no longer temporarily loses levels as their will is so strong that they cannot be denied. Similarly, they no longer suffer the confused condition after rising. (Usable in both forms)
Lord of Undeath: (Su)
Once a Deathless truly understands their new state of being, they forever change, both in body and mind. From this point onward they can shift from their Mortal to Aspect Form at will and select one of four powerful abilities which come into effect when in their Aspect Form only (the player chooses this and it cannot be undone once selected):
1. Skin of Steel: The Deathless’ DR / [Deathless] doubles. On Deathless who posses no extra DR from their Aspect, this brings it to DR 40 / [Deathless].
2. Unholy Vitality: The Deathless’ total HD doubles, retroactively. This effectively doubles their total HP.
3. Will of the Dead: The Deathless’ SR doubles. This stacks with any other SR. If the Deathless has no SR from any source to double, they gain SR 20.
4. Undying: The Deathless gains a misc modifier to each of their saves equal to their current total save. In other words, Fort, Ref and Will save doubles.
However, the downside to becoming one with the dark nature of the Deathless means a loosening of one’s grip on the material plane. The character immediately alignment-shifts one position toward Evil or Chaos (Player’s choice), they radiate a strong Evil / Chaos aura, and their type changes to Undead + Aberration (Chaos) or Undead + Monstrous Humanoid (Evil). Spells that effect either of those subtypes effect you. When in Aspect form you no longer cause the Frightened / Cowered condition, you now cause the Panicked / Cowered condition instead.
Note: Paladins automatically become Anti-Paladins when they receive lord of Undeath.