Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fianyarr: The Animate Dead

Killing skeletons ... an adventurer's favorite past time.
(The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim)
In the world of Fianyarr there are all kinds of dangerous creatures out there but there are none so feared as the Animate Dead which are either results of the unquiet dead reanimating their own bodies or, worse, the sacrilegous attentions of fell beings and dark sorceries that disrespect the bones of those who have passed.  While people may pity the former they despise the latter and there are few who garner the sort of angry responses as someone who would desecrate the former loved ones of yesteryear to advance their own fell purposes.

Even a fairly benevolent person better look out if they are caught practicing necromancy upon the remnants of the sentient races as few societies can stomach the usage of dead bodies in such a way.  All of the animate undead listed herein are fuelled by essence similarly to spirits though they generally gain it from the living by eating their flesh.  Naturally there are other kinds of the animate dead and the Storyteller is free to come up with their own varieties.  In general all forms of the animate dead are immune to mind control and mind affecting illusions although the Storyteller is welcome to create exceptions.  The Animate Dead are not immune to powers and effects

Sometimes dead bodies rise up with insatiable hungers, desires for revenge, or a simple need to keep on living.  Revenants can vary in motivation, skills, and even abilities but they have a few core basics.  First of all they only take one damage from any form of attack and that damage is always bashing damage.  Second of all they always have some bane that will make them stop.  This could be an iron spike driven through the heart, encircling them with salt, lopping off their head (five successes at a -3 penalty to target the neck, may be cumulative) or driving ash thorn into both of their eyes.  Some revenants will have their class or race blessings though many do not.  Some will be mindless, others quite sentient.  This is really a catch all for the fleshy dead.  They are otherwise built like normal WoD characters though sometimes with far reduced skills or attributes.


Unlike other forms of the animate dead, skeletons are never raised by their former consciousness because a lot of time has to pass for a body to be reduced to a skeleton and by that time the soul has well and truly fled.  While you might find a skeleton puppeted by a ghost even that is uncommon for any real length of time as it's difficult to telekinetically coordinate hundreds of bones.  Sometimes a skeleton may be raised by necromantic energy in a local area but more often than not they have been raised by necromancers who painstakingly wire together each bone to create a human form.  All skeletons take bashing damage from bladed weapons and lethal damage from bludgeoning weapons.  All skeletons also have a Power, Finesse and a Resistance stat as well as an Essence Limit of 5 but are otherwise treated as objects with Durability and Structure.  If their structure is reduced below half they take a -1 penalty on all actions.  Their Speed is equivalent to Size + Finesse.  Their Structure is equivalent to Durability + Size + Resistance.

Power 3, Finesse 1, Resistance 3, Size 5, Durability 2, Structure 10.  Initiative: 3.  Speed: 33.  Fists: 12 dice.


Gashadokuro is a giant skeleton that stands thirty feet high and performs services for a necromancer, whether by attacking his enemies or performing certain duties such as carrying heavy rocks.  Odokuro (also known as starving skeleton) are equally giant but are naturally created from necromantic energies fermenting in an area where a large number of people died from starvation.  Both types of skeletons are built with a huge quantity of bone meal from the bones of humanoids.  Odokuro will attack any mortal person it sees in the expectation that the individual will somehow sate its hunger.  As it is a skeleton, bladed weapons deal bashing while bludgeoning weapons deal lethal.

Either one only takes on damage from any attack unless that attack targets its twin glowing gems in each of its eyes either through ranged attempts or by making a Strength + Athletics roll to clamber up its body (successes equal to a 30 foot climb) to enter one of its eye sockets.  Once within the eye socket a character needs to roll Stamina + Athletics to remain in place between each strike as the creature sways its head from side to side.  If it spends its turn striking at its skull rather than attacking anyone, the character takes a penalty equal to the skeleton's successes to hang on and avoid being knocked loose (and falling) with another Stamina + Athletics roll.  If this roll fails, the person falls prone and take damage from a 30 foot drop(unless he has some way to avoid falling damage).  If this roll succeeds, the person may make another attack on the gems.  Each gem only requires one point of damage to destroy. 
Power 9, Finesse 3, Resistance 7, Size 30, Durability 4, Structure 40, Brawl 3, Weaponry 3, Essence Limit 5.  Initiative: 3.  Speed: 33.  Fists: 12 dice.  Giant Club +5B: 17 dice.

Emanating Silence: Both types of giant skeleton are surprisingly silent in both their movements and their actions.  While a person's shout could be heard, if it strikes the skeleton there will be no sound from the sword blow.  If the skeleton crushes a tree, it will topple silently.  However those within a radius of 100 feet from the creature will detect it by a ringing in one's ears. 


Draugr are undead corpses with some semblance of their pre-death intelligence.  They arise when enraged souls reanimate their own bodies to either greedily protect their treasures or to wreak revenge.  They stink of decaying flesh for while they can retain some of their will and repair some of the decomposition they face a continuing battle with their own flesh.  For every month that passes where they don't feast upon the flesh or blood of the living they lose a dot of Stamina that can't be healed.  Once they run out of Stamina they fall back into an inert and badly decomposed corpse.  They only take bashing damage unless struck with a silver, or otherwise magical, weapon.

Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 4, Strength 7, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4, Presence 4, Manipulation 3, Composure 1, Willpower 5, Defense 3, Initiative: 6, Speed 14, Health 9, Essence Limit 15.  Brawl 3, Intimidation 4, Stealth 2, Weaponry 3.

Insanity Touch: Anyone hit by a draugr must make a Wyrd + Composure roll versus the draugr's own Presence + Intimidation roll to avoid gaining a minor derangement.  If the same person is hit twice there are no further effects.  This lasts at least one full night and disappears at the dawning of the following day.

Increase Size: A draugr can increase its size by spending essence on a one for one basis up to a maximum of 10.

Mist Form: A draugr can spend a point of essence per round to turn into, and remain in, mist form which allows them to exit their graves or flee from combat. 

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