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Savage Undead: 13 Hindrances, 13 Edges, 13 Archetypes

 
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 2418
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Savage Undead: 13 Hindrances, 13 Edges, 13 Archetypes Reply with quote

With Halloween coming up, I thought it might be fun to put together some guidelines for playable undead.

You can download them from here: Savage Undead

The Undead ability isn't explicitly priced in the core rules, but it's mechanically the same as Construct (which is +2) and +2 Toughness (which is +4), bringing the total up to +6 according the race creation rules.

Although I consider Construct very strong for a +2 ability, I also feel that +1 Toughness is a bit weak for a +2 ability (Brawny gives +1 Toughness and increased carrying capacity, which means better weapons, shields and/or armour), so rating the total package at +6 didn't seem unreasonable, particularly if it was offset with some harsh Hindrances.

Because anyone can become undead, I decided it would be more useful if the overall value could be reduced to +0, rather than the usual +2 for races. If you actually want to play an undead as a race, you can just pick human and use your free Edge to take Free Will. But it means that if someone becomes undead during play, they should remain balanced against the rest of the group.
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tigerguy786
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Joined: 26 Nov 2011
Posts: 648

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool stuff! No idea how to use it, but I'm storing it away for safe keeping. I'll bet I can come up with something eventually.
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"Well, you do know what those who underestimate tigers always say right?"
"What?"
"They scream, 'Oh god help me I'm being mauled to death by a tiger.'"
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 2418
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! It should be useful for any situation in which a PC gets turned into an undead. Here are some examples:

Combine it with an Age of Sail setting to create a game in the style of Pirates of the Caribbean, where the crew are turned into undead after stealing cursed Aztec gold.

Savage "Being Human"! Ghosts and vampires are already covered. Werewolves aren't really undead, but you could build them with the same rules.

Revenants were inspired by the movie "The Crow". A PC who was killed by the BBEG and his minions might have to the chance to come back for revenge, or this could be the entire focus of a campaign.

A PC necromancer could apply undead templates to Edges like Beast Master, Sidekick or Followers. They could also undertake the process of transforming into a lich, without suddenly overshadowing the rest of the party.

Apply undead templates to existing monsters to quickly create undead variants - zombie bears, skeletal lions, dracoliches, mummified crocodiles, etc.

Design new undead witchbreeds for the Accursed setting. Want to treat them as playable races? No problem, just give them Free Will and they'll be balanced as a +2 race.

The PCs are killed but you don't want to end the campaign - have them come back! This could apply to anything from a zombie apocalypse setting to a traditional fantasy dungeon crawl.

Savage "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" - you could use Savage Undead to create Mina Harker and Dorian Gray.
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Dapifer
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Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for sharing your work Zadmar!

I am saving this for a proper read later, but looks solid on a very quick glance.
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xaielao
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Joined: 16 Oct 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made heavy use of your SavageArmoury Zadmar, I'm sure I'll find myself using this quite a lot as well. You and your fellow of artists and testers rock. Very Happy
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The Dread Polack
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Joined: 02 Mar 2011
Posts: 543
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got around to reading this one. Thanks for another great pdf, Zadmar. I hope to get a chance to use it.
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 2418
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was recently toying with the idea of some rules for creating lycanthropes, but after some consideration I realised that it can already be done using Savage Undead. The basic template is as follows:

Ravenous: A craving for raw flesh.
Subservient Spawn: Werewolves are subservient to their pack alpha (they gain Feral Spawn if they have no pack).
Weakness (Minor): Silver inflicts +4 damage.

Then we add an Edge and two Minor Hindrances:

Blush of Life: The werewolf isn't literally undead, and therefore doesn't suffer from Grave Touched.
Allergy (Minor): Wolfsbane causes 2d6 damage.
Marked (Minor): Animals can smell the predator and become highly agitated.

Then apply another addition:

Mortal limitations: Still need to eat, drink and sleep, and still vulnerable to called shots.
Enhanced Smell: +2 to smell-based Notice rolls.

The Undead ability means the character ignores wound modifers, while Predator and Free Meal mean they require food to remove wounds. In the case of werewolves, this is used as a trapping for their amazing healing factor - their wounds close up almost instantly (which is why they don't suffer the wound modifiers, and why Healing rolls don't work on them), but doing so rapidly burns through their body's resources, and they need to eat raw meat to restore what their body has used (representing the actual mechnical removal of the wounds).

On the night of the full moon, a werewolf transforms into their wolf form. They become extremely aggressive during this time, have the overwhelming urge to hunt for prey, and always use Wild Attack in combat. If the werewolf wishes to assume wolf form at other times, they must take the Wolf Form Edge.

Wolf Form
Requirements: Novice, Spirit d6
You can now assume your wolf form at will, even when it's not a full moon, although doing so requires a successful Spirit roll. If you get a raise then shapechanging counts as a free action, otherwise it consumes your full action for the round.

Their wolf form is larger than a normal wolf, and has the following racial modifications (balanced at +0):

Beastial Might (+3): Werewolves are much stronger in wolf form. Their Strength increases by +2 die steps, and this can increase their Strength above d12.
Fleet of Foot (+2): Werewolves have a base Pace of 8 and a running die of d10.
Bite (+1): The bite of a werewolf inflicts Str+d6 damage.
Low Light Vision (+1): Werewolves ignore penalties for dim and dark lighting.
No Hands (-2): Werewolves don't have hands, and therefore cannot wield weapons or use tools.
No Armour (-2): Werewolves cannot wear armour or clothing. If they don't strip before shapechanging, their clothing is usually ripped apart, although particularly tough clothing may instead entangle them.
No Speech (-2): Werewolves are not capable of human speech, although they can communicate with each other in a very limited fashion using body language, yips, growls, etc.
The Curse (-1): Any creature who is Shaken or wounded by a werewolf bite but survives must make a Vigor roll, on a failure they will become a werewolf on the next full moon. If left to their own devices they will kill and draw attention to themselves, attracting werewolf hunters and investigators, as well as any local werewolf pack. A careless werewolf who leaves a trail of infected victims will soon gain the Wanted and/or Enemy Major Hindrance (they gain no additional points for these Hindrances).
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sniffycrab
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Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 195
Location: Woonsocket, RI

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally I can make Casper and the Crow in the same setting and genre. Thank you Zadmar.
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AlienMasters
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this is excellent, thank you very much Zadmar!
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one_man_show11
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Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What're the undead race' s abilities balanced as?
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 2418
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one_man_show11 wrote:
What're the undead race' s abilities balanced as?

Undead is +6 for the reasons given in my first post.

Walking Corpse is -1, it's like the Outsider Minor Hindrance.

Grave Touched is -1, you literally have to take another Minor Hindrance.

Spawn is -2, you have to take one of the Spawn Major Hindrances.

Ravenous is -2, it's similar to the Habit Major Hindrance (although a bit harsher).

Predator is based on the Repair limitation that's usually paired with Construct, but modified to better fit undead. I wrote it up as if it were a separate ability to make it easier to read.

Free Meal is tied in with Ravenous and Predator, and once again isn't really a separate ability, but a clarification of what your options are when incapacitated.

Torpor is primarily a flavour ability, and isn't priced.
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