Powers of the Undead


Undead survive on the energy released by death; unnatural death is more nourishing than natural death. Blood-bathing skeletons, brain-gobbling zombies, corpse-munching ghouls, blood-sucking vampires... all of them rely on death for their power. Liches that can avoid having plants wither at their touch are rare.


All undead possess the power of Deathsight, which allows them to see anything that is alive, much like a neon “Eat at Joe’s” sign; it is blocked by a few inches of stone or half a foot of solid wood, or by other living things. Cruder undead usually need to be programmed to navigate around obstacles; skeleton and zombie guards usually move in set patterns because they would bump into walls if they didn’t have a program to follow. More advanced undead can see by light as well as Deathsight— for instance, liches integrate spells into their beings (which usually create a glow in their eyesockets), while mummies have enchanted jewels swivelling in their eyesockets.


A variant on Soul Twist that inflicts necromantic warping equal to the Soul Twist damage. Healing magic applied immediately after the combat can change the warping points to wound points, which must then be healed by Medicine or Healing.


Undead with a Mind of 0 are immune to all mind-affecting powers. Their sole initiative is to feed, if their programming permits or is wearing thin against their need.

Weaknesses of the Undead

Divine power that is opposed to Unlife is dangerous to all undead. Holy water— as long as it’s holy to the right sort of deity— acts like strong acid when thrown on them, and drinking or bathing in the stuff is an excellent way to counteract necromantic warping.

The light of the sun turns the wheel of ecos; since necros runs in the opposite direction, sunlight is inimical to the undead to varying degrees. Light attacks do +2 damage against most of them, and weapons blessed by an appropriate deity negate any damage immunities they may possess against that weapon.



A crude undead, animated by a nearly mindless spirit. Not as tough as a zombie, but faster. Bod 5, Chi 0 (Mag 4), Mind 0, Ref 6. Crawling Claws. Melee 7, Creature Powers 7. Summoning AV: 8.


A blackened skeleton wreathed in balefire, a sickly greenish flame that works through the heat of accelerated decay. It does damage on touch; wounds that it inflicts tend to fester instead of being cauterized. When their skulls are crushed, they explode. A superb terror weapon. Bod 6, Chi 0 (Mag 6), Mind 0, Ref 8. Elemental Aura (balefire), Blaze of Glory, Crawling Claws, Damage Immunity (fire). Melee 8, Creature Powers 8. Summoning AV: 9.


Tougher than skeletons, but slower and more smelly. Bod 8 (Tough 10), Chi 0 (Mag 4), Mind 0, Ref 3, Damage Immunity (blunt weapons), Death Grip, Death Resistance, Inevitable Comeback, Crawling Claws. Melee 6, Creature Powers 6. Summoning AV: 8.


Anthropophagic creatures, the most common result of necromantic warping upon a human being. They usually have powers of Foul Stench, Foul Spew, Rancid Breath, and can pass on infectious diseases. Their long, tough fingernails qualify as a single level of Abysmal Spines. Nearly mindless, but the last vestiges of mortal greed lead to them robbing graves of valuables as well as nourishment, taking what they can wear or carry in whatever is left of their clothing. Bod 6, Chi 0 (Mag 5), Mind 1, Ref 6. Melee 6, Creature Powers 6. Summoning AV: 9.


Intelligent ghouls with some power of command over other undead. Bod 6, Chi 0 (Mag 7), Mind 4, Ref 7. Summoning AV: 12.


Ghosts infused with unlife. They have powers of fear and necromantic warping. They manifest as a dark, charnel mist with malevolent green-yellow eyes. They can be hit with fu powers, and magical or blessed weapons. Insubstantial, Damage Immunity (mundane weapons). Bod 4, Chi 0 (Mag 6), Mind 0, Ref 6. Creature Powers 8. Summoning AV: 10.


Intelligent wraiths; they can often assume a transparent human form, much like a ghost. Like ghasts, they can influence other undead. Bod 4, Chi 0 (Mag 7), Mind 5, Ref 7, Creature Powers 8 (13 when named). Insubstantial, Damage immunity (mundane weapons). Summoning AV: 15.


One of the most sophisticated of the undead. A potential player character. A Supernatural Creature with the schticks Abysmal Spines (retractile fangs), Blood Drain, Regeneration, Corruption, and Domination. As they grow in power, they can purchase more schticks. There are a number of drawbacks, such as damage from sunlight... Ritual AV to create one: usually around 20. Bod 7, Chi 2 (Mag 8), Mind 5, Ref 8.


Rich folk who fear death sometimes pay necromancers to preserve them against the ravages of time. Longevity magicks only last so long; the long haul is only reliably available through advanced necromancy. Without the sorcerous power to become a lich and hold together under their own power, a mummy must rely on enchantments to continue their immortal existence.

Mummification involves the decanting of vital organs into enchanted jars, which are then left in a very secure location. The body is treated with resins and wrapped in bespelled bandages to help hold itself together.

Mummies are tremendously strong, and capable of inflicting warping damage on touch, which charges up their ability to bestow curses upon their opponents. Some rich merchant families are run by mummies who seldom leave their manors or tombs. Due to desiccation, mummies are also highly flammable.

Destroying a mummy’s vital organs in their jars will break the enchantment, sending the spirit on to the transcendental realm. Destroying the mummy’s body will render the spirit inert for a time, though it will eventually return as a ghost that haunts the tomb that holds its vital organs. Separation the vital organs from each other leads to a great deal of discomfort for the mummy; the only barrier that will prevent a mummy from knowing the direction to each of its vital organs is the Chaos between islands.

Ritual AV to create one: usually around 25.


An undead sorcerer; one of the most terrifying opponents. They need no mummy-like preparation to continue their existence beyond life; the power of necromancy sustains them. Powers vary a great deal. Soul Twist is popular.

Ritual AV to become one: usually around 30.

Animals and Chimeras

Animals can also be reanimated as skeletons and zombies, and intelligent beings can be turned into higher-order undead.

Pieces of undead can be formed into unusual assemblages— walking tables made of bones are not uncommon in necromantic laboratories, and larger chimerical creations are also possible...


Zombie Moss

Soft grey moss that emits warping and can be used to feed zombies. Sleeping on it will usually cause a human to arise as a zombie. Can be processed into necrocaine, preferred nose candy of necromancers everywhere.


Crabgrass with attitude, capable of boring through a leather boot to drain blood. It is green, but a few shades too dark for proper grass, with little white flowers that turn red when blood is drained nearby. (A beautiful touch stolen from P C Hodgell.) Undead can pass freely over it and derive a certain amount of sustenance from its radiations. Blood Drain (wound transfer), Armor Killer.

Strangler Vine

Death Grip, Tentacles...

Vampire Trees

Pale, thorny leaves that flit off the tree, suck blood, and return to their parent tree. (Stolen from Michael Moorcock’s Elric books.) The deep red fruit of vampire trees is nourishing to a variety of undead. The blood drain works like the Torrent of Spines attack (Golden Comeback p96): everyone within Magic meters has to dodge the leaves. Roll the tree’s Creature Powers, and anyone whose Dodge is smaller takes damage equal to the Outcome, ignoring toughness and armor. The leaves can wrap around physical objects to protect the tree, but energy attacks go right through. Blood Drain, Armor, ...