Death
Table of Contents
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Ultimate Spheres of Power
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You may command the powers of unlife.

Ghost Strike

As a standard action, you may make a ghost strike, summoning negative energy as a melee touch attack or a ranged touch attack within medium range. A ghost strike is considered a negative energy death effect, and as such has no effect on undead, constructs, elementals, and other creatures immune to such things (although some talents provide exceptions). Ghost strike effects do not stack with themselves, and are subject to spell resistance.

You gain the following ghost strike when you gain the Death sphere:

Exhausting Strike

The subject of your ghost strike becomes fatigued for 1 round per caster level (Fortitude negates). You may spend a spell point to increases this effect to making the target exhausted for 1 minute per caster level (Fortitude negates). On a successful save, the target is still fatigued for 1 round. Unlike regular fatigue and exhaustion, these conditions end as soon as the duration expires.

Reanimate

As a standard action, you may touch an intact dead body and spend a spell point to reanimate it as a zombie or skeleton (depending on the composition of the body in question) for 1 minute per caster level. This creature gains the zombie or skeleton template and obeys your commands, although only basic commands such as “go”, “stay”, “follow me”, “attack”, or “guard” are understandable. While specifics can be given (“guard this area against humans but let goblins pass”), undead are unintelligent and easily fooled.

A reanimated body cannot speak and has no knowledge or ability to think and so cannot answer questions or reveal anything it knew in life. When the duration expires, the body collapses until reanimated again. It does not regain hit points between reanimations. If reduced to 0 hit points, the body collapses and is destroyed; it cannot be reanimated again.

You may have a total number of reanimated creatures active at any one time whose combined Hit Dice does not exceed twice your caster level. If you attempt to reanimate a creature that would push your total beyond this limit, you must choose which creatures cease to be reanimated or are released from your control. You cannot reanimate a creature with more Hit Dice than twice your caster level. Temporary increases to caster level (such as from implements or the thaumaturge’s forbidden lore class feature) do not increase the statistics, maximums, or number of undead the caster controls.

Animate Dead:
Undead created through the Death sphere count against the total number of undead that can be controlled by the animate dead spell, if using both spells and spheres in the same game.

Death Talents Types

Some Death talents are designated (ghost strike), which provide you with additional types of ghost strikes.


Death Talents

Corpse Bomb

You may make any of your ghost strikes against any corpse capable of being raised as a skeleton or zombie, or against any corporeal mindless undead under your control. The corpse explodes in a 20-foot radius, affecting all creatures in range as if they had been struck by the chosen ghost strike; if the ghost strike does not allow a saving throw, creatures affected are allowed a Reflex save to negate its effects.

The corpse or undead collapses and is destroyed; it cannot be reanimated or targeted by another Corpse Bomb.

Corpse Manipulation

You can alter a corpse in one of the following ways by touching it as a standard action:

  • You grow flesh on a decomposed or skeletonized corpse, providing it with sufficient flesh that it can be animated as a zombie rather than a skeleton. The corpse looks as it did just before death. The new flesh is not fit for eating.
  • You decompose the flesh from a corpse, leaving behind a perfectly cleaned skeleton.
  • You can spend a spell point to touch a collapsed or destroyed undead corpse, mending it so it is a valid target to be reanimated again.
  • You can spend a spell point to preserve the remains of a dead creature for 1 day per caster level so that they do not decay. Doing so effectively extends the time limit on raising that creature from the dead. Days spent under the influence of this spell do not count against the time limit. Additionally, this makes transporting a slain (and thus decaying) comrade less unpleasant. This ability also works on severed body parts and the like.
  • You can reshape the dead body to look like another creature or even a specific person so long as you have firsthand knowledge of how that creature or person actually looks. You can make the corpse one size larger or smaller or change its apparent type, gender, or age. Attempt a Disguise check to determine how convincing the change is, though you may substitute your caster level for ranks in Disguise if desired.

Cryptic Strike [strike]

As a standard action, you may make a single weapon attack in conjunction with making a ghost strike. This casting cannot be reduced below a standard action, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless as usual if making a ranged attack. If the target is struck by the attack, it is also struck by the ghost strike. If using a scatter weapon, the strike only applies to a single target, chosen at the time of attack.

Dark Sacrifice

Whenever you would take hit point damage that would reduce you to 0 hit points or less, you can spend 1 spell point as an immediate action to sacrifice a mindless undead creature you control within close range (or the range of your Master’s Presence, whichever is greater), destroying it instantly; reduce the damage you take by the sacrificed undead’s current hit points (to a minimum of 0).

Empowered Reanimate

All creatures you reanimate gain a +4 enhancement bonus to their Strength and Dexterity.

Expanded Necromancy

When you reanimate a creature you may reanimate it as a variant skeleton or zombie, such as a bloody skeleton, burning skeleton, fast zombie, or plague zombie. When reanimating a creature in this way, they count as twice their Hit Dice against the total amount you may have reanimated at once.

Gravetongue

You may spend a spell point as a standard action to gain the ability to speak with undead and corpses for 1 minute per caster level. You can communicate with, ask questions of, and receive answers from them. A mindless undead or corpse spoken to with gravetongue does not maintain any memory of its life or death - only the time that has elapsed since its death (and reanimation).

A normal corpse’s sense of its surroundings is limited, so it will not be able to give (or recognize) detailed descriptions of creatures or answer questions about events outside its immediate vicinity. The spell does not make undead creatures any more friendly or cooperative than normal, and while mindless undead and corpses will always answer truthfully, their ability to answer more than simple questions is restricted. You do not need to share a language with the target.

Greater Ghost Strike

When making a ghost strike, you may spend an additional spell point to form your ghost strike into a close-range cone, allowing you to make an attack roll against every target within this area.

Greater Reanimate

Increase the total Hit Dice of creatures you may have reanimated at once by an additional 1 per caster level. You may select this talent up to 3 times.

Haunting Apparition

You may place a ghost strike of your choice onto an adjacent, unoccupied area up to one 5-foot square per two caster levels (minimum one 5-foot square), that lashes out at the first creature who enter its area, similar to a haunt.

The first creature who steps onto an affected square is affected by your ghost strike. If the ghost strike does not allow a saving throw, the creature affected is allowed a Will save to negate its effects. After activation, this haunt disappears.

A haunting apparition lasts for 10 minutes per caster level before becoming inert. It shares your alignment, and its Perception DC and hit points are equal to its save DC. You may only have one active haunt apparition at a time; placing a second haunting apparition deactivates the first. You may select this talent multiple times. Each time it is taken, increase the number of haunting apparitions you may have active at once by 1.

Icy Grip

When you use a ghost strike, instead of unleashing an attack yourself, you may have an undead you control within range deliver the attack as a melee touch attack sometime within the next round. This charge is ‘held’ through the round; if the undead gets multiple attacks, it can attempt to deliver the touch attack additional times if the first attempt failed. If you spend an additional spell point, you may grant a use of this ghost strike to each undead you control, but multiple undead cannot affect the same target with the same ghost strike that round.

Instill Death [instill]

As a standard action you may touch a small container of liquid and instill a reanimate inside it, which functions as an oil. This cannot be combined with Sustained Reanimation, and undead created through an instilled liquid still consider you their creator, counting against your totals and following your commands.

Alternatively, you may spend a spell point to instill a ghost strike. As a standard action, this can be primed and thrown as a splash weapon. All targets affected by the splash (5-foot radius) must save against any ghost strike effect requiring a saving throw, but any target not affected by a direct hit treats any dice rolls from the effect as if they had rolled their minimum.

An instilled liquid remains potent until you rest to regain spell points. If you have equipment on hand (such as an alchemy lab), the cost of bottles and water is considered negligible. You may target food but not an already-magical item, such as a potion. All spell points must be spent and all variables of the sphere effect must be chosen at the time the instilled liquid is created. You cannot instill multiple effects in a single liquid, nor create multiple instilled liquids with a single action.

Killing Curse

Your ghost strikes can rip the very soul from the living. If a target fails their saving throws against your ghost strikes 3 times within a 1-minute period, they immediately die (Fortitude negates). If a ghost strike does not allow a save, it is not usable with this talent.

Lingering Necromancy

When you reanimate a corpse or corpses, they remain for 1 hour per caster level instead of 1 minute per caster level.

Mass Reanimate [mass]

When using your reanimate ability, you may spend an additional spell point to reanimate multiple creatures at once. Your Hit Dice limits apply to the total number you may reanimate at once with this ability.

Master’s Presence

You can telepathically order and communicate with undead creatures within close range that you control. You do not need line of sight or effect to maintain this connection. Only targets completely under your control are valid; charmed undead are not truly under your control, and as such as such do not qualify.

Giving basic commands to an undead is a free action, but your increased control allows you to master complex commands for your undead as well. Choose any 2 tricks + 1 per 5 caster levels that can be taught to an animal or the Pose as Scenery trick (see the Handle Animal skill). Mindless undead you control are able to perform these tricks when ordered to as a move action. This does not allow you to train undead for a purpose, “push” an undead to perform a task it normally would not be able to, or accomplish other effects of the Handle Animal skill.

You can select this talent up to 3 times; each time you do after the first, increase its range by one step (close to medium, medium to long) and increase the number of tricks your undead can perform by 2.

Additionally, so long as an undead you control is within this range, you may, as a full-round action, concentrate on that undead to perceive that creature’s surroundings as if you were standing where that creature was. While you may use the creature’s special sense (i.e., darkvision, etc.), you must use your own Perception skill if attempting a check.

Ranged Death [range]

Increase the range at which you can reanimate corpses to close, and increase the range of your ghost strike to long. You may select this talent multiple times. For each additional time this talent is taken, increase the distance at which you can reanimate corpses by one category (close to medium, medium to long).

Reanimated Warriors

Choose a combat talent, combat feat, or teamwork feat you possess. Undead you reanimate and control gain the benefit of this talent or feat when they are within close range of you (or the range of your Master’s Presence, whichever is greater). You cannot choose a feat that has another feat as a prerequisite nor feats that grant open-ended bonuses (such as Extra Combat Talent), but your undead do not otherwise need to meet the feat’s prerequisites.

Whenever you rest and recover spell points, you may change the feat or talent chosen. You may take this talent multiple times; each time you do, you may grant an additional combat talent, combat feat, or teamwork feat to your undead.

Shroud

Whenever you succeed on an attack roll made as part of a ghost strike, you can choose to mark the affected creature with necrotic energy as a free action. If a marked creature dies within close range (or the range of your Master’s Presence, whichever is greater) within 1 round per caster level, you can spend 1 spell point as an immediate action to reanimate its body. If you possess Sustained Reanimation, you may use this talent to reanimate the body without spending a spell point if you sustain it via that talent. You can only have a number of creatures marked at a time equal to your casting ability modifier (minimum 1).

Sustained Reanimation

When you reanimate a corpse, you may do so without spending a spell point, but the duration is changed to ‘concentration’. A sustained undead only counts as half their Hit Dice (rounded up, minimum 1) against the total amount you may have reanimated at once. You can never have more than 1 sustained undead at a time.

Taint Soul

Whenever a target fails their saving throw against your ghost strike, the creature affected has all healing effects used on it halved for 1 round per 2 caster levels. If you spend an additional spell point, it cannot heal hit point damage by any means for the duration, including fast healing and regeneration. In addition, you can touch a willing creature as a standard action to cause them to be healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy for 1 minute (Fortitude negates if unwilling); as normal, fast healing is unaffected.

Tomb Of Flesh

You can make a melee touch attack against a living creature up to your size to attempt to absorb it into your body, similar to the swallow whole ability (Reflex negates).

Being absorbed causes a creature to take negative energy damage each round equal to 1d6 + 1d6 for every three caster levels you have (undead are not affected). An absorbed creature gains the grappled condition, while you do not. An absorbed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon (the amount of cutting damage required to get free is equal to 1/10 your total hit points), or it can just try to escape as if escaping a grapple (using your CMD or your MSD, whichever is higher). The armor class of your interior is 10 + 1/2 your caster level, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity. If an absorbed creature cuts its way out, you cannot use this talent again until the damage is healed.

Alternatively, you can touch a corpse or undead that you control as a move action to absorb it into your body or to expel an absorbed corpse or undead into an adjacent square. While absorbed, an undead cannot use any of its senses or take any actions, and time passes normally - corpses rot and reanimate’s duration continues to pass.

You can have a number of corpses or controlled undead absorbed at a time equal to 1 plus 1 for every 3 caster levels you have. You can spend a spell point to expel all absorbed corpses and undead with a single swift action. While you have at least one undead absorbed, you give off an aura that can be detected by Divine Undead equal to the highest Hit Dice undead absorbed, but your appearance is not otherwise changed.

Creatures and bodies storied within your tomb of flesh are stored in an extradimensional space; you do not increase in size no matter how many creatures and bodies are stored inside you.

Undead Whisperer

Undead you reanimate and control gain one skill rank per caster level. These skill ranks cannot be spent on a Knowledge skill, but otherwise any skill is valid as long as either you or the creature (when it was alive) possess ranks in the chosen skill. The undead cannot possess more ranks in a skill than either you possess or that it possessed in life. You may command these undead to use their skills as a basic command.

If you possess Master’s Presence, your undead may use your skill ranks in place of their own for any valid skill check, so long as they are within your Master’s Presence range.


Ghost Strike Talents

Bleeding Wounds (ghost strike)

You may make a ghost strike that deals 1 bleed damage per caster level (minimum 1; no save). Targets take damage on the round they are hit, plus each additional round until the bleed effect stops (usually through the Heal skill or an application of magical healing). You may spend a spell point to improve this effect to 2 bleed damage per caster level (minimum 2).

Command Undead (ghost strike)

You may spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that grants you a measure of control over an undead creature (Will negates). For 1 minute per caster level, an unintelligent undead creature falls under your control or an intelligent undead becomes friendly toward you. You can give an intelligent undead creature orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it would not ordinarily do. Retries are not allowed. An intelligent commanded undead never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing. Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the commanded undead (regardless of its Intelligence) breaks this effect.

Your commands are not telepathic; the undead creature must be able to hear you. Intelligent undead remember they were manipulated and may seek revenge.

Curse (ghost strike) [curse]

You may spend 2 spell points to make a ghost strike that bestows a permanent curse on the target (Will negates). Curses may be removed with the Break Enchantment Life talent, rituals such as break enchantment or remove curse, wishes, upon your death, or by your choice as a free action, but otherwise cannot be dispelled.

Choose one of the following curses to bestow upon the target:

  • The target suffers a -4 decrease to an ability score plus an additional -2 per 5 caster levels (minimum 1).
  • The target suffers a -3 penalty on all attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks plus an additional -1 per 5 caster levels.
  • Each turn the target has a 25% chance to take no action. This chance increases by 5% per 2 caster levels (maximum 75%).

Curses do not stack with themselves, but a target can be afflicted by multiple different curses. With GM permission, you may invent your own curse, but it should be of equal power to those listed. The following effects would be considered appropriate:

  • Clumsy: The target cannot move faster than half their speed without an Acrobatics check vs. the curse’s DC. On a failure, the target falls prone.
  • Extreme Hunger: The target must eat and drink three times as much as normal every day or begin suffering from thirst and starvation.
  • Fumble: Anytime the victim picks up or retrieves an object (including drawing a weapon or ammunition), there is a 50% chance that he immediately drops it. If ammunition is dropped, the attack being made is lost. Any remaining attacks in a full attack action may still be attempted.
  • Greater Pain: Whenever the victim takes damage, he is staggered for 1 round.
  • Magically Conductive: When the victim is adjacent to the area of a damaging spell or spell-like effect, the area expands to include the victim.
  • Old Age: The target gains the penalties (but not the benefits) of advancing to the next age category. This does not actually increase their age.
  • Repel Healing: The victim cannot heal naturally, and magical healing heals the victim by only half the usual amount (minimum 1 point). Fast healing and regeneration are likewise halved.
  • Unfocused: The target suffers a penalty equal to your casting ability modifier to all skill checks governed by an attribute of your choice.

Drain (ghost strike)

You may spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that imposes 1 temporary negative level on the target for one hour per caster level (no save). This increases by 1 die size per 5 caster levels (1d2, 1d3, 1d4, and 1d6). Unlike with other ghost strikes, negative levels stack. While normally negative levels have a chance to become permanent and can kill a target whose negative levels equal its Hit Dice, these negative levels do not last long enough to become permanent, and if a negative level from this ghost strike would reduce the creature to 0 Hit Dice, the creature instead takes 4 points of Constitution drain for the duration of the effect. If a negative level lasts longer than 1 day, the target must succeed at a Fortitude save per negative level or have the negative level become permanent. If this ability is used on an undead creature, it instead grants the creature 5 temporary hit points per negative level, which last for 1 hour.

Fowl Infestation (ghost strike) [curse] [Jester's HB]

You may spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that permanently curses the target to become plagued by chickens, ducks, or another similar bird of your choice (Will negates). Whenever the target draws a weapon or pulls an item out of a container, they have a 50% chance of drawing a live bird instead. The bird’s starting attitude toward the target is hostile, and will react appropriately to being drawn out by its ankles (or other part of its body). A bird’s body created by this effect disappears if it dies.

If you spend an additional spell point when casting this sphere effect, the target always draws the same live bird, even if it was killed previously. Drawing this bird causes it to disappear from wherever it was and appear in the target’s hands. The bird remembers the target and will behave appropriately, usually becoming angrier with each draw. With enough time, some birds may realize peace was never an option.

Hunger (ghost strike)

You may spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that saps a creature of its energy (Will negates). On a failed save, the subject is fatigued and takes nonlethal damage equal to 1d8 per caster level. This is considered starvation damage, and as such the fatigue and nonlethal damage cannot be healed, even by magic, until the target consumes some sort of food (a standard action, assuming the food is on hand and need not be dug out of a backpack first). If no food is available, the target begins to attempt Constitution checks per day as normal for starvation.

Multiple applications of hunger do not stack; only the highest nonlethal damage applies.

Inflict Disease (ghost strike)

You may spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that causes the target to contract a disease (Fortitude negates). The subject contracts one of the following diseases: blinding sickness, bubonic plague, cackle fever, filth fever, leprosy, mindfire, red ache, shakes, or slimy doom. The disease is contracted immediately (the onset period does not apply). Use the disease’s listed frequency and save DC to determine further effects.

Lich Strike (ghost strike)

You may spend 2 spell points to make a ghost strike that paralyzes the target for 1 round per 2 caster levels on a failed Fortitude save. A creature is allowed a new saving throw each round as a full-round action to end this effect early. Anyone paralyzed by a lich strike seems dead, though a DC 20 Perception check or a DC 15 Heal check reveals that the victim is still alive.

Manipulate Undeath (ghost strike)

You may make a ghost strike that harms undead, dealing 1d8 damage per 2 caster levels (minimum 1d8, Will half). You may spend a spell point to instead heal the undead for this amount.

Necrotic Feeding (ghost strike)

You may make a ghost strike that causes a living creature that is below 0 hit points but stabilized to resume dying. You may also spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that, when it strikes a target below 0 hit points, kills it instantly (Will negates).

If the target fails their saving throw, you gain temporary hit points equal to twice the target’s Hit Dice, as well as a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity, which increases by +2 for every 8 Hit Dice the target possesses. These effects last for 10 minutes per Hit Die of the slain creature. Bonuses from multiple creatures do not stack; only the highest bonuses apply.

Poltergeist (ghost strike)

You may make a ghost strike that attaches a vengeful poltergeist to the target, disrupting their actions. Whenever the target makes a d20 roll within 1 round per caster level, you can choose for them take a -3 penalty to the roll, ending this effect. This penalty is increased by 1 for every 6 caster levels you have.

If you spend a spell point when you use this ghost strike, you can impose the penalty on up to one d20 roll the target makes each round for the effect’s duration, and imposing the penalty does not end the effect. A creature can only be affected by one poltergeist at a time.

Sickening (ghost strike)

You may make a ghost strike that causes the target to be sickened for 1 round per caster level (Fortitude negates). You may spend a spell point to cause the target to instead become nauseated. On a successful save, the target is still sickened for 1 round.

Vampiric Strike (ghost strike)

You may spend a spell point to make a ghost strike that deals 1d6 damage per 2 caster levels to the target (minimum 1d6) and grants yourself an equal number of temporary hit points that last 1 minute per caster level (Fortitude half). You cannot gain more temporary hit points in this manner than the subject’s current hit points + their Constitution score. If you strike multiple targets at once with the same vampiric strike (for example, through the Greater Ghost Strike talent) you cannot gain more temporary hit points than 3 per caster level (minimum 6).

Weakening (ghost strike)

You may make a ghost strike that inflicts a 1d4 point penalty to the target’s Strength or Dexterity (your choice, Fortitude negates) for 1 round per level. You may spend a spell point to increase this reduction by half your caster level (minimum 1) and cause a successful Fortitude save to only halve the effect instead of negate it. This cannot reduce the target’s Strength or Dexterity scores to less than 1.


Advanced Death Talents

Advanced talents are part of an optional rule and are only available with GM permission.

Astral Projection

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Project Spirit), caster level 10th.

When using the Project Spirit advanced Death talent, you may spend an additional spell point to project your spirit into the Astral Plane instead of the Ethereal Plane. You may bring up to 1 additional willing creature per 2 caster levels with you, provided these creatures are linked in a circle with you at the time. These fellow travelers are dependent upon you and must accompany you at all times. If something happens to you during the journey, your companions are stranded wherever you left them.

While you are on the Astral Plane, your astral body is connected at all times to your physical body by an incorporeal silver cord. If the cord is broken, you are killed, astrally and physically.

Luckily, very few things can destroy a silver cord. Unlike a regular use of the Project Spirit talent, you and your companions may travel through the Astral Plane in this manner indefinitely, until you either choose to end the effect (which returns you to your body) or it is ended by some outside means. This effect may be dispelled like any other sphere effect by targeting either your astral form or your physical body. Dispelling this effect immediately returns you to your body.

Astral Travel

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Astral Projection, Project Spirit), caster level 15th.

When projecting yourself and/or your allies into the Astral Plane, you may spend an additional spell point (bringing the total to 3) to allow you and your allies to travel astrally to any of the other planes that border the Astral Plane. If you choose to enter one of these planes, you form a new physical body (and equipment) on that plane of existence, exactly like your true form, although the silver cord remains invisibly attached to this new body, and magic items used still count against the item’s total uses. You are still subject to the weaknesses of an astral form (you may be dispelled, your cord may be broken, etc.). If your new form is killed, you are returned to your original body, gaining 2 permanent negative levels as normal.

Corpse Forge

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Corpse Manipulation), caster level 3rd.

As a standard action, you can destroy one undead you reanimated and control within your reanimate range (or the range of your Master’s Presence, whichever is greater) to add its Hit Dice to another undead you reanimated and control within range. The creature receiving the benefit of this talent does not gain any other abilities of the sacrificed creature beyond the increase in Hit Dice, although its own abilities are recalculated using the higher Hit Dice. Add their current hit points together (to a maximum of their new total hit points), and use the longer of their durations. The resulting undead can have Hit Dice above 20, but still cannot possess Hit Dice greater than twice your caster level. When the reanimate duration ends, all combined corpses separate into their original forms.

Create Haunt

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Haunting Apparition), caster level 5th.

You may spend 1 minute and 5 spell points to create a haunt with a CR equal to or less than 1/2 your Death sphere caster level. These haunts share your alignment. Haunts created through this talent have a destruction condition of being successfully affected with the Break Enchantment talent from the Life sphere or other effects that would counter a curse.

Greater Curse

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Curse (ghost strike)), caster level 15th.

When you successfully apply a curse through your Curse ghost strike, the DC to remove it is increased by +5. Additionally, you may apply much more powerful curses to the target, examples of which are outlined below:

Curse of Ages: The target ages 1 year every day.

Daybane: The target suffers 1d6 points of nonlethal damage for every minute of exposure to bright light, including daylight. This does not become lethal damage if the target falls unconscious.

Dayblind: The target is blind except in dim light or darkness.

Famine: Any food that the target attempts to consume instantly rots into a putrescent mass. The target can attempt a Fortitude save to choke down the spoiled food. If the target fails at the check, she takes 1d2 points of Constitution damage. In either case, attempting to consume food leaves the target sickened and unable to eat for 1d4 hours. Food created by magic can resist spoilage with a successful magic skill check against the DC of the curse.

Font of Truth: The target is unable to intentionally lie. In addition, anytime the target is asked a question, she must succeed at a Will save or answer in exacting, truthful detail. The target receives an additional save once per minute to cease elaborating upon her answer.

Insanity: The target gains either amnesia, mania/phobia, multiple personality disorder, paranoia, psychosis, or schizophrenia, as detailed in the Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide.

Lycanthropy: The target becomes afflicted with lycanthropy.

Ravenous: The target must attempt a Fortitude save every hour. If it fails, it must eat a full day’s worth of food. If sufficient food is not available, starvation advances at the rate of 1 day per failed Fortitude save.

Unluck: Once per hour, the target must reroll one roll (decided by the GM) and take the worse result.

Venerable: The target gains the penalties (but not the benefits) of advancing to the venerable age range. This does not actually increase their age.

Vulnerability: The target gains vulnerability to a single energy type. This has no effect on targets immune to the chosen energy type.

Greater Undead

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Lingering Necromancy, Permanent Undead), caster level 5th.

You may spend 3 spell points and 1 hour to reanimate a body as a greater form of undead, including banshees, vampires, wights, and others. This is always an instantaneous effect, creating permanent undead that cannot be dispelled.

The created undead cannot have a challenge rating above 1/2 your caster level, and the created undead are not automatically under your control; alternate means of control must be established. Many undead have specific requirements for their creation listed in their descriptions (banshees are the spirits of female elves who either betrayed a lover or were betrayed by one, bodaks are extraplanar undead created in the Abyss, allips are the spirits of insane suicides, etc.). These prerequisites must be met in order to create a specific kind of undead.

At caster level 15th, you may create any form of undead, regardless of CR, provided you meet its additional prerequisites. GMs always have the final say over what prerequisites an undead might require.

Mercy Killing

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Corpse Manipulation or Killing Curse (ghost strike)).

As a standard action, you may target a conscious and willing creature with your ghost strike, and they immediately die without any pain or discomfort. However, for 1 day per caster level the creature is treated as having died for no more than 1 round for the purposes of the Resuscitate talent and other spells or abilities that are used to bring creatures back from the dead. While this effect lasts, the remains of the dead creature do not decay and cannot be reanimated by anyone but you without a successful magic skill check made against your MSD.

Permanent Undead

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Lingering Necromancy), caster level 5th.

When you reanimate a corpse as a skeleton or zombie, you may spend 2 spell points to make the reanimation an instantaneous effect. The undead creature exists independent of your concentration, has no duration, and cannot be dispelled. These undead still count against the total number of undead you may have reanimated at any one time. If you create more undead than your total, old permanent undead are not destroyed; instead, they are simply released from service and will attack you or any other nearby living creatures.

Possession

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Project Spirit), caster level 10th.

When you project your spirit by use of the Project Spirit advanced Death talent, you may move into the same space as a material creature and attempt to possess it. You must spend a spell point to attempt a possession, and the target is allowed a Will save to negate. If their saving throw fails, the target’s soul is repressed, and yours assumes control of the body. You may only possess a physical creature with a soul (this includes most living creatures and intelligent undead but not constructs, unintelligent undead, or outsiders).

Attempting to possess a body is a full-round action. You may only attempt to possess a creature once during any individual projection of your spirit.

If you are successful, your life force occupies the host body. You keep your Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, level, class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, feats, talents, alignment, mental abilities, extraordinary abilities, supernatural abilities, and magical abilities such as spells and sphere abilities. The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities. A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal. You cannot choose to activate the body’s extraordinary or supernatural abilities.

The creature’s spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body. You may possess a body for up to 1 hour per caster level, but may always end the effect early as a standard action. If the host body is slain, you return to your body and suffer 2 permanent negative levels. As is usual when projecting your spirit, this effect may be dispelled at either your body or the host’s body.

Project Spirit

Prerequisites: Death sphere, caster level 10th.

You may spend a spell point to project your spirit out of your body for up to 1 round per caster level. During this time, your body falls into a state of suspended animation; it requires neither food nor water and does not age, although it may be slain through normal means.

Your spirit manifests as an ethereal version of you with your hit points and abilities, and carries a copy of all of your equipment. It is invisible, insubstantial, and capable of moving in any direction, even up or down, albeit at half normal speed.

It can move through solid objects, including living creatures, and may see and hear its surroundings, although as it is on the Ethereal Plane, it can only see and hear the Material Plane to a distance of 60 feet. When the time limit expires, your spirit immediately returns to your body. Using magic items (such as scrolls, wands, potions, and other items with a limited number of charges or uses per day) while ethereal counts against the item’s total remaining uses when you return to your body.

Your spirit cannot attack or otherwise affect creatures and objects on the Material Plane nor generally be affected by them, although some effects (such as force damage) specifically target ethereal creatures when used by material creatures. Certain material creatures or objects also have attacks or effects that can specifically affect creatures on the Ethereal Plane. These effects do not work in reverse to allow your spirit to affect material creatures.

Your spirit treats other ethereal creatures and ethereal objects as if they were material. Your spirit may use any magic you possess, but such magic can only affect other ethereal things.

If your spirit self is slain, your spirit instantly returns to your body, reviving it from its state of suspended animation. This is a traumatic affair, however, and you gain two permanent negative levels.

Soul Drain

Prerequisites: Death sphere, caster level 5th.

Each time you use a ghost strike that does not cause negative levels or immediately kill its target (such as Killing Curse), you can choose for it not to count as a death effect, meaning it can affect creatures normally resistant or immune to death effects, such as outsiders with the daemon subtype. This allows you to affect constructs and undead with your ghost strikes. Such creatures gain a +4 bonus to any granted saving throw, and may still be immune to the effects caused by your ghost strike (disease, etc.).

Soul Trap

Prerequisites: Death sphere, caster level 15th.

As a standard action, when adjacent to a creature that has died very recently (within 1 round per caster level) you may spend 3 spell points to trap their soul into a gem. The target is allowed a Will save to negate the effect, and the gemstone’s value must be at least 1,000 gp per Hit Die of the creature you are attempting to trap. If successful, the creature’s soul becomes trapped within the gemstone. A trapped creature cannot be resurrected or have its spirit summoned, unless the caster is in possession of this gemstone. The creature trapped inside the gemstone always fails its saving throws if the holder of the gemstone uses the Summon Spirit advanced Death talent on it.

If the gemstone is broken, the spirit is released. If the spirit is called through the Summon Spirit advanced Death talent, the caster may choose to release the spirit, in which case it travels to the afterlife, leaving the gem empty and reusable.

Summon Spirit

Prerequisites: Death sphere, caster level 5th.

You may spend 3 spell points and 1 hour to summon the spirit of a dead creature. You must know the exact creature you are trying to summon and be able to designate them (such as their name or place and time of death, etc.) and the more familiar you are with the spirit and the more recently they died, the more likely they are to appear. The spirit you are trying to summon is allowed a Will save with the following modifiers depending on your knowledge and connection to the target, as well as its time of death:

Table: Familiarity (Spirit)
Knowledge Will Save Modifier
None^ +10
Secondhand (you have heard of the subject) +5
Firsthand (you have met the subject) +0
Familiar (you know the subject well) -5

^You must have some sort of connection (see below) to a creature of which you have no knowledge.

Table: Connection (Spirit)
Connection Will Save Modifier
Likeness or picture -2
Possession or garment -4
Corpse/remains -10
Table: Time Deceased
Time the Creature has been Dead Will Save Modifier
1 year +2
10 years +4
100 years +6
1000 years +8

On a successful saving throw, the target does not appear and may choose to retaliate spiritually, giving you 2 temporary negative levels that last 24 hours (meaning you must save against them becoming permanent). While friends may choose to purposefully fail their saving throw and come willingly, in most other cases being ripped from the afterlife is a horrid experience and can turn even the nicest of spirits hostile. If a spirit succeeds at their saving throw against this effect they cannot be summoned again by the same caster for 1 month. Sometimes, the spirits of heroes, kings, and others are protected by a deity and are simply unable to be summoned.

Once a spirit has been summoned, you may do any of the following:

  • You may ask one question per two caster levels. The corpse’s knowledge is limited to what it knew during life, including the languages it spoke. Answers may be brief, cryptic, or repetitive. A creature who would have opposed you in life may attempt a new Will save to refuse to answer or to lie with the Bluff skill.
  • You may use the spirit as a component when creating an animated object or undead creature (Will negates if unwilling; if the spirit succeeds at its save, it immediately returns to the afterlife as if it had made its original saving throw). You must create the undead creature or animated object as usual, but by placing the spirit into the target, the spirit is brought back to life within this new body. The object or undead creature gains the mental attributes, personality, memories, etc. of the selected spirit, but otherwise is normal for its new creature type. (At the GM’s discretion, a spirit bound to a permanent animated object or undead creature may recover or gain class levels over time, but loses at least 1 level per CR of its new form.) An undead creature or animated object created in this way is not automatically under your control.
  • If you possess the Resurrection advanced Life talent, you may place the spirit into a new body, bringing the soul back to life, even if you do not have the target’s body, it is missing vital components, or the target has been dead for longer than the time limit. You must possess either a soulless body (such as one created through the Fleshcraft and Create Materials advanced Creation talents), or else a body assembled from other, recently slain bodies. (Assembly requires either the target’s body with one additional body for every replaced vital component, or else a minimum of six different bodies—one for each limb, the torso including head, and the brain. In some cases, more bodies may be necessary. Special unguents and bindings worth 500 gp are also required.) You may bring the target back to life with the Resurrection advanced Life talent. The target retains its ability scores and class levels (even those dependent on blood, such as sorcerer levels) but its race and appearance depend on the body possessed.

Death Sphere Feats

Anemic Wounds

Foes find the wounds you inflict hard to heal.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Bleeding Wounds (ghost strike)).

Benefit: Magical healing does not stop your bleed effects unless their caster succeeds at a magical skill check against you. Healing from class features (such as lay on hands) use their class level as their MSB for this purpose. In addition, the DC needed to remove your bleed effects with the Heal skill increases by an amount equal to your caster level.

Animating Possession (Dual Sphere)

You can project your soul into an object to give it a semblance of life.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Master’s Presence), Enhancement sphere (Animate Object (enhance)).

Benefit: When you use Animate Object, you may automatically possess the object as the Possession advanced talent. Your animated object always willingly fails its saving throw against this effect. You do not have to share a space with them, and you may possess the object despite it being a construct. In addition, you can shift concentration of a single Enhancement sphere ability or effect to an undead you control as a free action. If its concentration is broken (using your concentration modifier), the enhancement is ended as normal.

Baleful Storm (Dual Sphere)

When thunder rolls and lightning cracks, your minions rise.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Mass Reanimate), Weather sphere (Rain Lord).

Benefit: When you use control weather to create or control Precipitation of severity 4 or more, you may choose to spend 2 additional spell points. If you do, you may reanimate any number of corpses within the area of controlled weather each round as a move action without paying the base ability spell point cost. Your Hit Dice limits apply to the total number you may reanimate with this ability, and the reanimated undead only last as long as your control weather is creating or controlling Precipitation of at least severity level 4.

Channel Resistance

You and undead you create are resistant to channeled energies.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You and all undead you reanimate gain channel resistance +2. This stacks with other sources of channel resistance.

Channeled Detonation (Channeling)

You can overcharge your connection with your undead using your channel energy ability.

Prerequisites: Death sphere, ability to channel negative energy, caster level 5th.

Benefit: You can spend a use of your channel energy ability as a standard action to detonate a mindless undead you control within 30 feet (or your Master’s Presence range, whichever is greater), destroying it, but causing your channel energy to burst outwards from its location; your channel deals (or heals, as appropriate) 1 additional point of damage per Hit Die of the undead sacrificed.

You can activate this ability as an immediate action whenever a mindless undead you control is reduced to 0 hit points by spending a spell point (and a use of channel energy, as normal).

Cooperative Reanimate (Teamwork)

Undead you and your allies create resonate with each of your souls.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You may give simple commands to undead under the control of an ally who also possesses this feat; if they receive conflicting orders, they act under their controller’s orders. In addition, if at any time you would fall unconscious or be dropped to 0 hit points or less, you may choose to transfer any undead you have control over to another ally with this teamwork feat for 1 minute (or their normal maximum duration, whichever is shorter). Transferred undead may be returned to their owner during this time period as a move action, but can never be transferred to a third ally. After the duration expires, they are considered under your ally’s control and count towards your ally’s maximum Hit Dice total of undead they can have reanimated at once.

Corpse Explosion (Dual Sphere)

You can cause a corpse to explode like a literal bomb.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Corpse Bomb), Destruction sphere.

Benefit: You may use a destructive blast to activate your Corpse Bomb talent instead of a ghost strike. Affected targets are allowed a Reflex save for half damage.

Crimson Theurgy (Dual Sphere)

Prerequisites: Blood sphere, Death sphere.

Benefit: When determining the range of your ghost strike and Blood sphere effects, you may use the longer of your blood control and ghost strike ranges. This does not increase the size of the cone from the Greater Ghost Strike talent.

When you deal damage to a creature with the Bleeding Wounds ghost strike, you may spend a spell point as a move action to target that creature with blood control. If you possess both Mass Control and Greater Ghost Strike talents, you may target a number of creatures affected by the ghost strike up to the maximum allowed by Mass Control.

Dispatch The Weak

Weakened bodies make for easy targets for your death effects.

Prerequisites: Death sphere, caster level 3rd.

Benefit: Creatures that are fatigued or exhausted take a -2 penalty on saving throws against death effects originating from you.

Flesh Absorption Master

Your body reaches peak conditioning for digesting prey and holding corpses for fodder.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Tomb Of Flesh).

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to your CMD and AC against creatures absorbed by your Tomb Of Flesh, and you may carry up to 2 additional creatures inside your Tomb Of Flesh at a time. You may choose whether or not to deal negative energy damage to your absorbed creatures or not, but must make the same choice for all absorbed creatures.

If you possess Necrotic Feeding, when a creature within your Tomb Of Flesh dies you may target it with a Necrotic Feeding ghost strike as an immediate action, spending a spell point as usual. If the target fails its saving throw against this ghost strike, you may absorb its entire corpse into you, increasing the duration of your Necrotic Feeding bonus to hours per Hit Die rather than 10 minutes per Hit Die. Absorbing a corpse in this fashion does not absorb its equipment, which is expulsed harmlessly from your body.

Flexible Ghost Strike (Dual Sphere)

You can make ghost strikes in a variety of configurations.

Prerequisites: Death sphere, Destruction sphere (one (blast shape) talent).

Benefit: You can apply (blast shape) talents to your ghost strikes as if they were destructive blasts. They still count as a ghost strike for all purposes, and they use your caster level for the Death sphere to determine all parameters (range, area, etc.). If the ghost strike does not allow a saving throw, your target is allowed a Will save to negate its effects.

Might Of The Grave (Dual Sphere)

When you reanimate a body, you can grant it magical enhancements for a short time.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (reanimate ability), Enhancement sphere (any (enhance) ability).

Benefit: When you reanimate a corpse or corpses, you can apply an enhancement to them as part of the same action. Enhancements that require additional spell points must have that cost paid as well. This enhancement remains in effect as long as the undead is not destroyed, and cannot be dispelled separately, though neither Permanent Undead nor Lingering Necromancy can extend the duration of these enhancements past the base duration of reanimate.

Piecemeal Animation (Dual Sphere)

Prerequisites: Death sphere, Telekinesis sphere (Divided Mind).

Benefit: When you reanimate a dead body, it does not need to be intact. So long as at least half the body remains you can animate it as if it was intact, stitching its broken form together with telekinetic forces that keep it upright and stable. You may even work with worse material than this, merging smaller pieces of different bodies and animating them as single whole so long as you have enough material and all pieces come from the same kind of creature.

Plague Lord

Diseases you inflict fester at an alarming rate.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Inflict Disease (ghost strike)).

Benefit: When a creature fails its save against Inflict Disease, it must attempt another saving throw against every disease it currently suffers from - successful saves do not count towards a disease’s cure, and failed saves immediately inflict the disease’s effect.

Poltergeist’s Malice (Dual Sphere)

Every mistake your foes make brings them closer to your service.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Poltergeist (ghost strike)), Telekinesis sphere (Telekinetic Maneuver).

Benefit: You gain a bonus on CMB checks equal to your Poltergeist penalty when making Telekinetic Maneuver attempts against creatures suffering from your Poltergeist effect.

Rage Of The Grave (Combat)

Your revenant-like anger fuels you even in death, granting you one last chance to take down your killers.

Prerequisites: Death sphere, rage class feature; caster level 6th or base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: Whenever you are dealt hit point damage that would kill you, you can spend all your remaining rounds of rage as an immediate action. If you do, you are immediately reanimated as a fast zombie as if you had reanimated yourself, except you possess Hit Dice equal to your racial Hit Dice plus your class level, and your duration is equal to the number of rounds of rage you spent to use this ability. You gain all passive benefits and detriments of your rage despite being undead, and may still use rage powers. Each round, you must attempt to kill the creatures that killed you to the best of your ability, (as determined by the GM), or the duration immediately expires.

When the duration expires (assuming you were not destroyed while a fast zombie), you are returned to life with -1 hit points (stable), gaining 2 temporary negative levels that last 24 hours.

You must have at least one round of rage remaining to use this ability, and you can only use this ability once per day.

Superior Reanimation

Undead you create are even stronger than usual.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Empowered Reanimate).

Benefit: All creatures you reanimate gain a +6 enhancement bonus to their Strength and Dexterity, or a +8 enhancement bonus to either Strength or Dexterity. These bonuses supercede those of Empowered Reanimate.

Swift Demise (Dual Sphere)

Your chronomantic power extends to blurring the moment between life and death.

Prerequisites: Death sphere, Time sphere.

Benefit: You may use your Slow and Haste abilities as ghost strikes. Additionally, when you reanimate a body or bodies, you may augment them with your Haste ability as a free action. If the undead creatures are maintained through concentration (such as through the Sustained Reanimation talent), you may concentrate on Haste and the reanimation as part of the same action.

Sylvan Necromancy (Dual Sphere)

Plant and animal matter are equally suitable focuses for your magic.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Expanded Necromancy), Nature sphere.

Benefit: You can use your (plant) geomancing abilities on corpses instead of plants. In addition, you can reanimate dead plant life as zombies (or skeletons, if they are made of wood) with the grab special ability. These animated plants are treated as animated objects when determining their statistics, although they do not gain construction points. If you possess Hazardous Terrain, undead plant life and plant creatures you create add damage on a successful grapple attempt as if it were an entangle effect.

Twisted Reanimation (Dual Sphere)

When you reanimate a corpse, its remains shifts to suit your purposes.

Prerequisites: Alteration sphere (Undead Body), Death sphere; or Alteration sphere, Death sphere (Corpse Manipulation).

Benefit: When you reanimate a dead body, you may apply a single trait you have access to through the Alteration sphere to the new skeleton or zombie as a polymorph effect; this effect remains as long as the undead stays reanimated. When reanimating multiple bodies at once, you must grant each body the same trait. As a standard action, you can touch an undead you control benefiting from this effect to change the trait granted.

Undead Animal Companion

Your animal companions serve you beyond the grave.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Undead Whisperer); animal companion or mount class feature.

Benefit: You can gain the services of an undead animal companion with the skeleton or zombie template, either by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of prayer in an environment where the new companion typically is buried, or to replace (or reanimate) an animal companion that has perished. It keeps its Intelligence and Wisdom scores, and you may use the higher of its Constitution and Charisma for its new Charisma score. It retains the same feats, tricks, and skills of a living animal companion, and you can continue to use the Handle Animal skill to direct it. It keeps all special abilities gained as a part of being an animal companion (i.e. evasion) and as a member of their species. For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger’s favored enemy and bane weapons), it counts as both animal and undead.

If you possess Expanded Necromancy, you may make your animal companion one of the options available through that talent at no extra cost.

Variant Necromancy

You are experienced with maintaining control over unusual undead.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Expanded Necromancy).

Benefit: When you reanimate a variant undead from Expanded Necromancy, they only count as x1.5 their Hit Dice (rounded up) against the total amount you may have reanimated at once.

Versatile Feeding

You have learned the art of funneling necromantic power between yourself and your minions.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Necrotic Feeding (ghost strike)).

Benefit: Whenever you use your Necrotic Feeding ghost strike, you may make either or both of the following choices: You may use Necrotic Feeding to consume a mindless undead you reanimated and control (regardless of its actual hit points); if you do, it automatically fails its saving throw.

You may grant the bonuses gained from your Necrotic Feeding to an undead you control within close range (or the range of your Master’s Presence, whichever is greater). Only one creature can benefit from your Necrotic Feeding bonuses at a time, and additional uses of Necrotic Feeding overlap (do not stack).

Vudu (Dual Sphere)

Prerequisites: Death sphere, Illusion sphere (Illusionary Touch (sensory, touch) x2, Illusionary Disguise ability).

Benefit: Anyone struck by your ghost strike takes damage from your Illusionary Touch in addition to any other effects.

Special: Your reanimated undead gain the benefits of the Illusionary Disguise glamer appearing as they did when they were alive. You do not need to know what the creature looked like when it was alive to gain this benefit.

Warded Bones (Dual Sphere)

Undead that you create are even harder to destroy than normal.

Prerequisites: Death sphere, Protection sphere.

Benefit: When you reanimate a corpse, you can also apply an aegis to the undead. The spell point cost of the aegis must be paid as well. This aegis remains in effect as long as the undead is not destroyed, and cannot be dispelled separately. If combined with Mass Reanimate, each aegis must be paid for separately.

Neither Permanent Undead nor Lingering Necromancy can extend the duration of these aegises past the base duration of reanimate.

Warlord Of The Damned (Dual Sphere)

You can rally the hearts of your people - even after they have stopped beating.

Prerequisites: Death sphere (Master’s Presence), War sphere; or Death sphere, War sphere (Hallowed/Unhallowed Totem (totem)).

Benefit: As a free action, you can shift concentration of a single active totem to an undead you control (using your concentration modifier); if its concentration is broken, the totem is ended as normal. In addition, undead you control can benefit from morale bonuses granted by your totems and rallies.


Necrosis Feats

Necrosis feats represent ongoing necromantic modification, corruption, or experimentation the character has made on her body to bring it closer to undead anatomy. Necrosis feats are distinct from more common feats in two ways.

Tainted: Upon taking a necrosis feat, the character’s body becomes contaminated with negative energy. From that point on, if the character dies, returning him to life proves to be more difficult. Any spellcaster who attempts to bring the character back from the dead must attempt a magical skill check (DC = 10 + the slain character’s Hit Dice) or have the effect fail. Effects that may only bring a creature back that has died within 1 round (such as the Resuscitate talent) gain a +5 to this check. Each necrosis feat beyond the first increases this DC by 1.

Greater Power: Necrosis feats increase in power relative to the number of necrosis feats a character possesses. Most necrosis feats grant far greater effects to characters with at least four necrosis feats. For necrosis feats that require an immediate action to activate them, you may activate as many necrosis feats as you desire as part of the same immediate action (although you must spend the required spell points for each activated feat).

Between Two Worlds (Necrosis)

You can reverse the flow of your body’s energies, changing what will heal and harm you.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You gain +1 spell point. You can spend a spell point as an immediate action to reverse your reaction to positive and negative energy for 1 round per necrosis feat you possess - a living creature would now be healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy, while an undead creature would be be healed by positive energy and harmed by negative energy. Using this ability again while it is active returns you to your normal state.

Four Necrosis Feats: As a full-round action, you can reverse your reaction to positive and negative energy for 24 hours without spending a spell point. Using this ability again while it is active still returns to your normal state.

Cold Heart (Necrosis)

Your blood flow slows and heartbeat grows erratic without significant harm to you, increasing your ability to survive freezing temperatures and electric shocks.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You gain +1 spell point. You can spend a spell point as an immediate action to gain cold resistance 5 and electricity resistance 5 for 1 round. For each necrosis feat you possess beyond this one, the cold and electricity resistances increase by 5 and the duration increases by 1 round.

Four Necrosis Feats: You always have cold resistance 10 and electricity resistance 10, and when you spend a spell point, you gain immunity to cold and electricity for a number of rounds equal to the number of necrosis feats you possess.

Deadened Flesh (Necrosis)

Your nerves fail, increasing your pain tolerance and general resilience.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You gain +1 spell point. You can spend a spell point as an immediate action to gain a +1 bonus to natural armor and DR/- for 1 round. For each necrosis feat you possess beyond this one, the natural armor bonus and damage reduction increase by 1 and the duration increases by 1 round.

Four Necrosis Feats: You gain half the normal benefit of this feat at all times (increasing to the full benefit when you spend a spell point).

Hemomancy (Necrosis)

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You gain +1 spell point. You gain blindsense 15 feet against bleeding creatures. If you pay 1 spell point as a swift action, you can afflict such creatures directly through their blood with ghost strikes for 1 round regardless of line of sight or effect. For each necrosis feat you possess beyond this one, increase the range of your blindsense against bleeding creatures by 15 feet and the duration when you spend a spell point by 1 round.

Four Necrosis Feats: When you spend 1 spell point as a swift action to activate this feat, you can affect bleeding creatures within the blindsense range granted by this feat with any talent that requires a touch attack, Fortitude save, or Will save regardless of distance, line of sight, or line of effect.

Numb Mind (Necrosis)

Your emotional and reflex responses fade, allowing you to shrug off distracting conditions.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You gain +1 spell point. You can spend a spell point as an immediate action to gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against bleed, death effects, disease, energy drain, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning for 1 round. For each necrosis feat you possess beyond this one, the bonus and duration increase by 1.

Four Necrosis Feats: When you use this feat, you also gain a new saving throw against one of the above effects currently affecting you (your choice).

Wandering Spirit (Necrosis)

Your soul begins to loosen its grip on your body, preparing itself to flee if threatened.

Prerequisite: Death sphere.

Benefit: You gain +1 spell point. By spending 8 hours creating an intense mystical connection between you and an object, you can designate it as your phylactery. When you would die/ be destroyed from hit point loss, you can spend a spell point as an immediate action to transfer your soul to your phylactery, as long as it is in close range. Your soul stays in its phylactery for 1 round. During this time, your body may be healed, as long as your phylactery remains unbroken.

If your new hit point total is greater than a negative amount equal to your Constitution score (or greater than 0, if you are undead), then you come back to life and stabilizes at your new hit point total. You otherwise remain dead. If you are brought back to life in this manner, you gain a temporary negative level. For each necrosis feat you possess beyond this one, your soul remains in its phylactery for one additional round. Your phylactery has a number of hit points and break DC equal to 5 times the number of necrosis feats you possess, and a hardness equal to triple your necrosis feats.

Four Necrosis Feats: Your soul stays in its phylactery for up to 1 minute per necrosis feat, and your phylactery functions as long as it is within long range.


Archetypes Specializing In Death

Bonewright

Bonewrights are Armorists who learn how to turn bones and corpses into weapons.

Cursed Stranger

Cursed Strangers are Gunslingers who use cursed bullets that can debuff their foes.

Dread Crusader

Dread Crusaders are Mageknights who use Cryptic Strikes to weaken their enemies.

Famine Spirit

Famine Spirits are Shifters who use an increasingly-dangerous bite attack to infect their enemies.

Gravecrawler

Gravecrawlers are Symbiats infested by worm-like aberrations who implant drones and use a variety of swarm-based powers.

Jikininki

Jikininki are Rangers who can devour fallen enemies and gain increasingly powerful stealth abilities.

Soul Adept

Soul Adepts are Elementalists who can transform into wraith-like forms and use Ghostly Admixtures to affect incorporeal creatures.

Spectral Infiltrator

Spectral Infiltrators are Rogues and Unchained Rogues that gain a selection of ghost-like powers, including the ability to turn incorporeal for a short time.


Skeletons and Zombies

Skeletons and zombies lose all class levels (races that only gain class levels are treated as if they had 1 racial Hit Die) as well as all skill ranks and feats. They lose all special attacks and special qualities of the base creature, except extraordinary special qualities that improve their melee or ranged attacks.

Skeletons and zombies gain darkvision 60 feet. Skeletons and zombies lose their Constitution and Intelligence scores, and change their Wisdom and Charisma scores to 10, and use Charisma instead of Constitution when determining bonus hit points.

Skeletons and zombies use Table: Skeletons and Zombies to determine their basic abilities based on their racial Hit Dice.

Table: Skeletons and Zombies
Creature Racial Hit Dice (d8’s) Average Hit Points Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Base Attack Bonus
1 4 0 0 +2 0
2 9 0 0 +3 +1
3 13 +1 +1 +3 +2
4 18 +1 +1 +4 +3
5 22 +1 +1 +4 +3
6 27 +2 +2 +5 +4
7 31 +2 +2 +5 +5
8 36 +2 +2 +6 +6/+1
9 40 +3 +3 +6 +6/+1
10 45 +3 +3 +7 +7/+2
11 49 +3 +3 +7 +8/+3
12 54 +4 +4 +8 +9/+4
13 58 +4 +4 +8 +9/+4
14 63 +4 +4 +9 +10/+5
15 67 +5 +5 +9 +11/+6/+1
16 72 +5 +5 +10 +12/+7/+2
17 76 +5 +5 +10 +12/+7/+2
18 81 +6 +6 +11 +13/+8/+3
19 85 +6 +6 +11 +14/+9/+4
20 90 +6 +6 +12 +15/+10/+5

Special Skeleton Adjustments

A skeleton gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity, DR 5/bludgeoning, immunity to cold, the Improved Initiative feat, and 2 primary claw attacks (1d4, 1d3 Small). A skeleton can only fly if the base creature used magic (and not wings) to fly. A skeleton retains all natural attacks, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, except those dependent on flesh to use.

A skeleton uses Table: Skeleton Size Bonus to determine its natural armor bonus: This replaces any previous natural AC

Table: Skeleton Size Bonus
Skeleton Size Natural Armor Bonus
Tiny or smaller 0
Small +1
Medium or Large +2
Huge +3
Gargantuan +6
Colossal +10

Zombie Special Qualities

Zombies gain a +2 bonus to Strength and a -2 penalty to Dexterity. They gain the Toughness feat and gain one slam attack (1d6, 1d4 Small). They retain all natural attacks, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. A zombie can fly if the base creature could fly, but if its flight was powered by wings instead of magic its maneuverability is reduced to clumsy.

Zombies are naturally staggered (they may only perform a single move action or standard action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round as a charge action).

Zombies gain natural AC and bonus Hit Dice (which increase all aspects as regular Hit Dice) according to Table: Zombie Size Bonus.

Table: Zombie Size Bonus
Creature Size Natural AC (replaces any previous natural AC) Bonus Hit Dice
Tiny or smaller 0 0
Small +1 +1
Medium +2 +1
Large +3 +2
Huge +4 +4
Gargantuan +7 +6
Colossal +11 +10

Wild Magic

Wild Magic Generator

Wild Magic Table

d100 Result
1 The caster loses knowledge of any of the talents used in the effect (but not the base sphere) for the length of the effect (minimum 1 round).
2 The effect fails and the action is lost. Spell points or spell slots are not lost.
3 The caster’s heart stops beating for 1d4 days. although their body is preserved magically for that duration. During this time, the caster does not need to breath and any diseases and poisons have no effect on him until the duration ends.
4 All undead creatures within medium range of the caster must succeed on a Will save or attack the caster to the best of their ability for 1 round plus 1 round per 5 caster levels. This effect applies to any undead within range created by the triggering effect.
5 The caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or be infected with a disease per the Inflict Disease (ghost strike) talent. Roll 1d10 to determine which disease (1 blinding sickness, 2 bubonic plague, 3 cackle fever, 4 filth fever, 5 leprosy, 6 mindfire, 7 red ache, 8 shakes, 9 slimy doom, 10 roll twice and take both, ignoring further results of 10).
6 All creatures within long range of the caster that are at 0 or fewer hit points are instantly slain. This is a death effect.
7 For 1 hour per caster level, the caster exudes the scent of decaying flesh, attracting the attention of carrion feeders and causing most creatures interacting with the caster have their disposition drop by one step until the end of this effect.
8 Any undead under the control of the caster enter a rage, as a 1st level barbarian (core or unchained, the caster’s choice). Bonuses or penalties to Constitution are applied to Charisma instead. This rage lasts for 1d6 rounds. During this time, the undead remain under the caster’s control, but must attack targets within range; if no enemies are to be found, they will attack allies.
9 For 1 round per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that forces all living creatures that end their turn within it to succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1 negative level. All negative levels from this effect stack. The caster is included in this effect.
10 All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1 temporary negative level. This increases to 1d2 negative levels at caster level 5 and by one additional die size every 5 caster levels thereafter. These negative levels last for 1 minute per caster level and cannot cause the creature’s negative level total to equal or exceed the creature’s Hit Dice.
11 The caster emits an aura out to close range for 1d4 rounds, dealing 1d6 points of negative energy damage per 2 caster levels (minimum 1d6) to all creatures in that area at the beginning of his turn, not including the Caster. A Fortitude save halves this damage.
12 The caster takes 1d4 points of Constitution damage even if he would normally be immune to ability damage. Creatures without a Constitution score instead take Charisma damage.
13 All creatures within close range of the target or center of the target area must succeed on a Fortitude save or be nauseated 1 round per caster level.
14 The caster gains knowledge of one talent of his choice from this sphere for 1 round.
15 The caster loses his current creature type and gains the undead type for 1 minute per caster level and the caster appears as a zombie. Do not recalculate hit points, saves, or base attack bonus. Any effect dependent on having the undead type that is ongoing on the caster ends when this effect ends.
16 Undead creatures created by the effect or within close range of the caster when it is cast, for 1 hour per caster level afterwards, will explode in a deadly cloud when destroyed. When such an undead creature is destroyed, it creates a cloud out to close range, as the heavy mist option of category 2 rain per the Weather sphere for 1d6 rounds. Any creature that starts its turn inside this cloud takes 1 point of negative energy damage per caster level.
17 All creatures within medium range take bleed damage equal to caster level/2 (minimum 1) for caster level rounds or until receiving a DC 15 Heal check or any magical healing.
18 The caster takes untyped nonlethal damage equal to caster level. This damage does not force concentration checks to cast or maintain sphere effects or spells.
19 All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or become exhausted.
20 The caster loses his current creature type and gains the undead type for 1 minute per caster level and the caster appears as a skeleton. Do not recalculate hit points, saves, or base attack bonus. Any ongoing effect dependent on having the undead type that is ongoing on the caster ends when this effect ends.
21 For 10 minutes per caster level, a floating skull (Tiny-sized of a common humanoid race) follows the caster, giving sarcastic commentary on events and the caster’s actions. This skull has a 30 ft. fly speed (perfect) and is immune to all effects and damage.
22 (Combat) The caster and the nearest hostile creature that is a valid target switch bodies for 1 round per caster level. This functions as the Possession advanced talent.
23 The casting time decreases by 2 steps.
24 Undead creatures created by the effect or within close range of the caster when it is cast are staggered for 1 hour per caster level.
25 For 1 minute per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that forces all living creatures that end their turn within it to succeed on a Fortitude save or become fatigued. Fatigued creatures are unaffected. The caster is included in this effect.
26 All creatures within close range of the target or center of the target area must succeed on a Fortitude save or be sickened 1 round per caster level.
27 Roll twice and choose the result. Ignore any results that require rerolls. If both rolls thus ignored, there is no effect.
28 The caster is healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy for 1 minute per caster level.
29 All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or become fatigued.
30 The caster makes a single magical skill check against all Death sphere and necromancy school effects within medium range to dispel them as if using the Counterspell feat. This is resolved after the triggering effect.
31 (Combat) For 1 round per caster level, all creatures of the undead type within medium range of the caster are confused. This bypasses immunities granted by the undead type.
32 For 1 minute per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that deals untyped damage to undead creatures equal to caster level during any turn that the begin or end within it.
33 (Combat) All allied creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or be nauseated 1 round per caster level.
34 All allied creatures within close range of the target or center of the target area must succeed on a Fortitude save or be sickened 1 round per caster level.
35 The caster loses access to this sphere for 1d6 rounds.
36 All creatures within close range of the target must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1d4 + CL/2 points of Dexterity damage that disappears after 1 round per caster level.
37 For 1 minute per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that grants undead creatures fast healing equal to half the effect’s caster level during any turn that the begin or end within it.
38 The target must succeed on a Fortitude save or be infected with a disease per the Inflict Disease (ghost strike) talent. Roll 1d10 to determine which disease (1 blinding sickness, 2 bubonic plague, 3 cackle fever, 4 filth fever, 5 leprosy, 6 mindfire, 7 red ache, 8 shakes, 9 slimy doom, 10 roll twice and take both, ignoring further results of 10). If the target is undead, it instead inflicts this disease on the first creature it strikes with a natural attack.
39 The caster takes 1 temporary negative level. This increases to 1d2 negative levels at caster level 5 and by one additional die size every 5 caster levels thereafter. These negative levels last for 1 minute per caster level and cannot cause the caster’s negative level total to equal or exceed the caster’s Hit Dice.
40 The caster makes a single magical skill check against all Death sphere and necromancy school effects within medium range to dispel them as if using the Counterspell feat. This is resolved before the triggering effect.
41 All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1d4 + CL/2 points of Strength damage that disappears after 1 round per caster level.
42 (Combat) The caster is nauseated for 1 round.
43 The caster is compelled to exhume the body of 1 creature of the humanoid type per 3 caster levels (minimum 1). This compulsion will not cause the caster to deliberately enter dangerous situations, but overrides all other concerns. This effect persists for one day per caster level or until the compulsion is fulfilled.
44 All creatures within close range of the target or center of the target area must succeed on a Fortitude save or become exhausted.
45 Nearby dead invertebrates of Tiny size and smaller animate as undead and follow the caster for 10 minutes per caster level. Their noise imposes a penalty on Stealth checks equal to half caster level (minimum 1).
46 All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1d4 + CL/2 points of Dexterity damage that disappears after 1 round per caster level.
47 All corpses within long range of the caster (other than those targeted by the triggering effect) become undead per reanimate for 1 round per caster level. These undead are hostile toward the caster.
48 The caster takes a -4 penalty on all saves against disease for 10 minutes per caster level.
49 All creatures within close range of the target must succeed on a Will save or be paralyzed for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
50 For 1 hour per caster level, all living creatures find the caster unsettling. A Handle Animal check with a DC equal to 10 + caster level/2 is required to make any animal approach within 20 ft. of the caster and all creatures interacting with the caster have their disposition drop by one step until the end of this effect.
51 (Combat) All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Will save or be paralyzed for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
52 For 1 minute per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that forces all living creatures that end their turn within it to succeed on a Fortitude save or contract a random disease. Roll 1d10 to determine which disease (1 blinding sickness, 2 bubonic plague, 3 cackle fever, 4 filth fever, 5 leprosy, 6 mindfire, 7 red ache, 8 shakes, 9 slimy doom, 10 roll twice and take both, ignoring further results of 10). The caster is excluded from this effect.
53 Undead creatures created by the effect or within close range of the caster when it is cast, for 1 hour per caster level afterwards, will explode in a miasmic cloud when destroyed. When such an undead creature is destroyed, it creates a cloud out to close range, as the heavy mist option of category 2 rain per the Weather sphere for 1d6 rounds. Any creature that starts its turn inside this cloud must save against filth fever, using your Death sphere DC in place of the disease DC.
54 The caster takes a -4 penalty on all saves versus death effects for 10 minutes per caster level.
55 Effect receives a +2 bonus to caster level.
56 For 1 minute per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that forces all living creatures that end their turn within it to succeed on a Fortitude save or contract a random disease. Roll 1d10 to determine which disease (1 blinding sickness, 2 bubonic plague, 3 cackle fever, 4 filth fever, 5 leprosy, 6 mindfire, 7 red ache, 8 shakes, 9 slimy doom, 10 roll twice and take both, ignoring further results of 10). The caster is included in this effect.
57 The spirit of a dead ancestor appears behind the caster for 1 hour. This shade is a ghost, but with no magic or touch attacks; it has no ability to interact with the world at all except for speech and sight. There is a 50% chance the ghost will serve and aid the caster as best it can, but otherwise the ancestor is critical of the caster’s life choices and will spend the entire time loudly critiquing the caster’s decisions, preventing any form of stealth or sleep.
58 The casting time increases by 1 step.
59 (Combat) The caster is stunned for 1 round.
60 All creatures within close range of the target must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1d4 + CL/2 points of Strength damage that disappears after 1 round per caster level.
61 A harmless ghost follows the caster for 10 minutes per caster level, loudly lamenting its fate but taking no other actions. This ghost has hit points and saves per a Conjuration sphere companion of the effect’s caster level and reforms 1 minute after it is destroyed, continuing its lament.
62 The caster emits an aura out to close range for 1d4 rounds, dealing 1d6 points of negative energy damage per 2 caster levels (minimum 1d6) to all creatures in that area, including the caster. A Fortitude save halves this damage, though the caster does not receive a save.
63 The spell point cost of the effect increases by 1d4. If the caster does not have enough spell points, he is instead dazed until the end of his next turn.
64 (Combat) For 1d6 rounds, the caster leaves behind a shadowy trail of negative energy. Any creature that enters a square that has been occupied by the caster since the beginning of the caster’s previous turn takes negative energy damage equal to caster level. Creatures healed by negative energy are instead healed. A creature may only be affected by this ability once per turn.
65 The spell point cost of the effect increases by 1. If the caster does not have enough spell points, he is instead staggered until the end of his next turn.
66 All creatures within close range of the target must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1 temporary negative level. This increases to 1d2 negative levels at caster level 5 and by one additional die size every 5 caster levels thereafter. These negative levels last for 1 minute per caster level and cannot cause the creature’s negative level total to equal or exceed the creature’s Hit Dice.
67 All undead creatures within medium range of the target must succeed on a Will save or attack the caster to the best of their ability for 1 round plus 1 round per 5 caster levels. This effect applies to any undead created by the triggering effect.
68 For 1 day per caster level, one of the caster’s limbs (usually an arm) becomes skeletal. This has no mechanical effect, but may cause negative reactions if not concealed.
69 The casting time decreases by 1 step.
70 (Combat) The caster is dazed for 1 round.
71 The caster becomes imperceptible to undead creatures for 1 minute per caster level.
72 Undead creatures created by the effect or within close range of the caster when it is cast lose their immunity to mind-affecting effects for 1 hour per caster level. For the purpose of such effects, treat them as if they were the creatures they were in life.
73 Roll again on the Universal wild magic table.
74 The caster emits an aura of pestilence out to close range for 10 minutes per caster level. All creatures within this area, including the caster, take a -2 penalty on all saves against disease.
75 All creatures within close range of the target or center of the target area must succeed on a Fortitude save or become fatigued.
76 For 10 minutes per caster level, the caster becomes unable to control undead creatures by any means.
77 For 1 day per caster level, one of the caster’s heads becomes skeletal. This has no mechanical effect, but may cause negative reactions if not concealed.
78 The caster emits an aura of death out to close range for 10 minutes per caster level. All creatures within this area, excluding the caster, take a -2 penalty on all saves versus death effects.
79 The caster becomes unable to perceive undead creatures for 1 minute per caster level.
80 For 1 round per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that forces all living creatures that end their turn within it to succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1 temporary negative level. All negative levels from this effect stack. The caster is excluded from this effect.
81 As an instantaneous effect, all dead creatures within long range of the caster are animated as skeletons per the reanimate ability of the Death sphere. The caster has no control over these creatures and they do not count against the number of undead he can active at one time with his reanimate ability. These skeletons are hostile to all living creatures.
82 As an instantaneous effect, all dead creatures within long range of the caster are animated as zombies per the reanimate ability of the Death sphere. The caster has no control over these creatures and they do not count against the number of undead he can active at one time with his reanimate ability. These zombies unerringly seek out the caster to attack him until destroyed.
83 For 1 hour per caster level, all creatures within long range of the caster when this result is triggered exude the scent of decaying flesh, attracting the attention of carrion feeders and causing most creatures interacting with them to have their disposition drop by one step until the end of this effect.
84 The caster is fatigued.
85 The caster emits an aura of death out to close range for 10 minutes per caster level. All creatures within this area, including the caster, take a -2 penalty on all saves versus death effects.
86 The effect fails, but the action is not lost. Spell points or spell slots spent are lost.
87 The caster takes a number of points of ability damage to his casting attribute equal to the effect’s caster level/4 (minimum 1) even if he would normally be immune to ability damage.
88 The caster and the nearest creature that is a valid target switch bodies for 1 round per caster level. This functions as the Possession advanced talent.
89 The casting time increases by 2 steps.
90 The effect fails and the action is lost. Spell points or spell slots are lost.
91 (Combat) All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or be nauseated 1 round per caster level.
92 The spell point cost of the effect decreases by 1. If the effect did not require any spell points, the caster instead gains 1 temporary spell point that expires at the end of his next turn.
93 The caster emits an aura of pestilence out to close range for 10 minutes per caster level. All creatures within this area, excluding the caster, take a -2 penalty on all saves against disease.
94 For 1 minute per caster level, the caster emits an aura out to close range that forces all living creatures that end their turn within it to succeed on a Fortitude save or become fatigued. Fatigued creatures are unaffected. The caster is excluded from this effect.
95 Wailing spirits fill an area out to long range of the caster with their cries for 2d4 rounds. All concentration checks within this area suffer a penalty equal to half caster level (minimum 1) and all spells with verbal components suffer a 10% chance of failure. Deaf creatures are immune to this effect.
96 Effect receives a -4 penalty to caster level (minimum 1).
97 Roll twice and take both results. Ignore any results that require rerolls. If both rolls thus ignored, there is no effect.
98 The caster is exhausted.
99 (Combat) All creatures within close range of the caster must succeed on a Fortitude save or be sickened 1 round per caster level.
100 All corpses within long range of the caster (other than those targeted by the triggering effect) become undead per reanimate for 1 round per caster level. These undead are helpful toward the caster.

Gamemastering

Necromancy and Morality

When you are a living creature, death can be scary. Death is the end of the world we know. For many people, this association between fear and death often leads to avoidance and disgust of all things connected with death - corpses, graveyards, mortuaries, and the like - and a mistrust of those that willing associate themselves with such things.

As widespread as these attitudes are, there are people, cultures, and worlds with other ways of conceptualizing their relationship with death.

What follows are three possible ways to handle this situation, though they are not mutually exclusive: A GM could create multiple sources of power over undeath and allow players to choose between them.

Death Sphere as Neutral

For the rules closest to those presented in the base Spheres of Power book, the following suggestions are made:

Creatures of all alignments may reanimate undead to accomplish their goals.

Skeletons and zombies are always neutral, and do not automatically attack the living when uncontrolled.

Classes that channel positive or negative energy (such as a cleric or soul weaver) may choose which kind of energy they channel regardless of alignment; once this choice has been made, it cannot be changed.

Abilities that channel positive energy still harm undead.

Death Sphere as Evil

For those wanting to integrate the Death sphere into their campaigns with morality judgements the same as the cleric and wizard’s spellcasting, the following suggestions are made: The reanimate ability gains the [evil] descriptor. Creating undead is a grievous act of evil that requires atonement. Ghost strikes that create disease, immediately kill a living creature (such as Killing Curse or Necrotic Feeding), possess, or trap a soul gain the [evil] descriptor. Skeletons and zombies are always neutral evil.

Death Sphere as Lawful

For an alternate world-building seed, consider a world in which a judge-like god of the dead and community rules necromantic magic: The reanimate ability gains the [lawful] descriptor. To create an undead is to honor the life and work of a person and deem them worthy of reanimation. To continue to use the reanimate ability, a caster must maintain the favor of the deity. This includes participating in a ritual feast at least once each year in which the forebears of a community are awakened to walk the streets to inspire the living and renew collective identity.

Skeletons and zombies are always lawful neutral. Access to items and abilities that allow living creatures to be healed by negative energy are widespread.

Necromancy and Society

When including necromantic players, NPCs, and activity in your games, remember that people don’t have to base their opinions on necromancy purely on alignment.

A good or neutral metropolis might allow necromancers to practice in their university - even in a world where raising the dead is utterly evil - to allow other casters to keep an eye on their activity and not excessively provoke them. Even in a world where the Death sphere is neutral, a farming community might be fine with an adventuring party reanimating the bandits that were harassing them, but might object to raiding the mausoleum and leaving with the remains of their ancestors.

Wrestling with the complicated ethical questions or reveling in the moral gray areas situations like these provide is often one of the attractions of playing a necromancer. Creating robust and varied attitudes towards undead will give your players more chances to engage in the roleplaying side of walking around with a bag of bones. Here are some sample ideas:

Venerated: Undead and those who can create them hold the highest positions in society. Powerful forces within the setting may attempt to ally with necromantic PCs to gain credibility or attempt to quietly dispose of them to nip a new rival in the bud.

Regulated: Undead are welcome, but must be registered with the proper authorities, have a license from the authorities, and pay nominal dues. Some undead (particularly those that can replicate themselves violently) may be outlawed entirely. Sophisticated systems to detect and control undead exist. Chain gangs of zombies pull huge wagons for public transportation or turn mills to grind grain.

Curiosities: Undead are extremely uncommon on nonexistent in this area. Reactions vary: Friendly questions, amused denial, or deep suspicion are all likely. Death magic might just be poorly understood - or it might be suppressed by nearby arcane energies.

Contraband: Undead are a hot, illegal commodity. Labor might be scarce, or work might need to be done that is impossible for the living (mining at the bottom of a lake, hauling toxic cargo, etc.). Having a necromancer is as vital for a criminal group as having a lockpick or a fence. Their legal status might be due to the origin of the corpses, the use of the undead, past tragedy, or religious tension.

Craftsmanship: Creating undead is seen as a form of expression, similar to music or sculpture. Pristine, sparkling skeletons in royal regalia stand at key points, ready for a use of Necrotic Senses to quickly observe distant locations. Ballets involving dozens of elaborately-costumed zombies are popular entertainment.

Hunted: Out of hatred, duty, or sport, a cabal of undead-hunters scours the area. They may or may not care about apprehending the necromancer behind the reanimation, so long as they’re able to take down their quarry.


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