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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1593 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2021 :  00:13:50  Show Profile Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi, fellow sages!

I have a question: I remember reading in some old source (not sure if it was FR, though) about a creature that looks like undead, has undead-like powers but is a living creature. I'm not sure if it was similar to a vampire, or to lesser undead (or if there were both types in different sources). Can someone help me finding such creature(s)?

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)

Edited by - Barastir on 10 Nov 2021 00:14:17

The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2021 :  02:23:54  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My guess is you are thinking of the Living Zombie. Note, the word living is just a descriptor of its appearance. It is still undead.

They were described in Champions of Ruin as part of the section on Aumvor the Undying.

This was an adaptation of their earlier description in the old 1st Edition (?) REF5 - Lords of Darkness, under the section about Morasha - who is Aumvor's great grand niece or something.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7614 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2021 :  02:39:33  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Vampyre from 2E.

A living predator which resembles normal humans, "evolved" alongside them, and preys upon them. Abilities closely resemble an actual vampire but are generally much weaker. Vampyres are not undead, not connected to negative energy, and they cannot permanently drain their victims. But they also lack many of the vulnerabilities common to undeads and vampires.

I was never impressed with this monster entry. I dismissed it as unoriginal fallout from the Anne-Rice-inspired vampire-loving popular fixation common during those years.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 10 Nov 2021 02:47:28
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2249 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2021 :  04:57:15  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess Dhampyrs fit this category. Also, the vryloka from 4e, as well.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
853 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2021 :  18:46:50  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You could also be thinking of the "deathless" type introduced in late 3.5E and more often used in Book of Exalted Deeds and Eberron. Basically, they were good undead, but not quite undead. Baelnorns in FR should probably be reclassified as deathless from a subtype of lich that is good.
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Starrywits
Acolyte

Turkey
2 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2022 :  17:14:28  Show Profile Send Starrywits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Necropolitan came to my mind.

Sibilant night, unholy night; all is dark, the stars are blight
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1048 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2022 :  18:06:13  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I came up with something I call the "un-alive". It was a lich, who is good aligned, that is tied to the positive energy plane instead of the negative plane like a normal undead is. This iriaelich, as I called the only instance I had, had powers similar to a regular lich so instead of paralysis by touch, the touched creature would have seizures/convulsions for the same amount of time because of the sudden input of positive energy. They were also warm to the touch, couldn't rot, and were immune to fire among other things. Of course, since they were filled with so much positive energy, they were not alive, in the normal sense, and could therefore fall pray to magic designed to detect undead (stuff to combat undead would have to be looked at on a case by case basis but it COULD work if it targeted the connection to another plane and not just toss positive energy at the target).

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2022 :  18:31:53  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting thought. How does an archlich work, a good aligned creature that is not sustained by negative energy and yet is neither dead nor alive.

My own theory is that souls are just nits of positive energy encased in something that then becomes alive. As you get more positive energy you gain more sentience. You acquire positive energy from living life (experience).

Animated objects are every day items given a bit of positive energy, enough to animate them but not enough to gain sentience.

Awakened plants and animals are beings given enough positive energy to achieve sentience.

Cloning a being requires an xp sacrifice and buds off a piece of the casters positive energy to form a new and separate being that can acquire more positive energy of it's own.

Negative energy is like an opposite analogue of positive energy, but it cant exist easily in the material plant (which is positively infused or charged). You get different types of undead. Those where the soul or positive energy has entirely left the body and is replaced by an varying amount of negative energy. In some undead this negative energy slowly withers away until the skeleton or zombie crumbles to dust. In other undead they are a bit more sentient (more negative energy) and are able to consume life or souls or positive energy to replenish themselves, they only get stronger with age. Others like the lich imprison their soul or positive energy and slowly leech off it to survive until it runs out and they need more (and become a demilich).

But that doesnt explain archliches. If they are not negative energy then they must be animated by positive energy. But they are clearly dead and over time their body rots (look at lady saharel). So what is going on here.
Perhaps they died, and they are stuck in a halfway house. Their soul is still linked to their body, but it is on the outer plane, safely tucked away with their deity. That would explain why they are still moving and sentient and have the same memories. But the body rots because there is not enough positive energy provided by the link to keep the tissues living.


Just some thoughts I'm mulling over. Dont mind me.

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4135 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2022 :  18:59:43  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are several "races" of humans (humanoids?) that have the appearance of various undead; but none of their actual powers. They are called "Psuedo-Undead"

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 05 Apr 2022 19:00:06
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7614 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  02:09:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are there "undead" counterparts to constructs, automatons, golems, talking swords, and other magically-imbued "living" entities?

[/Ayrik]
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1048 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  03:13:43  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Interesting thought. How does an archlich work, a good aligned creature that is not sustained by negative energy and yet is neither dead nor alive.

My own theory is that souls are just nits of positive energy encased in something that then becomes alive. As you get more positive energy you gain more sentience. You acquire positive energy from living life (experience).

Animated objects are every day items given a bit of positive energy, enough to animate them but not enough to gain sentience.

Awakened plants and animals are beings given enough positive energy to achieve sentience.

Cloning a being requires an xp sacrifice and buds off a piece of the casters positive energy to form a new and separate being that can acquire more positive energy of it's own.

Negative energy is like an opposite analogue of positive energy, but it cant exist easily in the material plant (which is positively infused or charged). You get different types of undead. Those where the soul or positive energy has entirely left the body and is replaced by an varying amount of negative energy. In some undead this negative energy slowly withers away until the skeleton or zombie crumbles to dust. In other undead they are a bit more sentient (more negative energy) and are able to consume life or souls or positive energy to replenish themselves, they only get stronger with age. Others like the lich imprison their soul or positive energy and slowly leech off it to survive until it runs out and they need more (and become a demilich).

But that doesnt explain archliches. If they are not negative energy then they must be animated by positive energy. But they are clearly dead and over time their body rots (look at lady saharel). So what is going on here.
Perhaps they died, and they are stuck in a halfway house. Their soul is still linked to their body, but it is on the outer plane, safely tucked away with their deity. That would explain why they are still moving and sentient and have the same memories. But the body rots because there is not enough positive energy provided by the link to keep the tissues living.


Just some thoughts I'm mulling over. Dont mind me.



In my view, an archlich is still a lich that is connected to the negative energy plane. They have decided to just do good no matter their now undead status.

As for souls, they are something completely separate from positive/negative energy. Souls are created by getting a little piece of their parents' souls given during conception. Before the new soul is fully developed, an existing soul can be implanted in the fetus by an external force before birth. Otherwise, the new soul is created and is associated with that body until death.

As for that "un-alive" lich I mentioned, he had no say in his creation. He has his current status because of a collapsing Phezult's Sleep of Ages spell's interaction with a wild magic zone. He was quite surprised about it when he woke up. He was already 263 years old when he went to sleep so the magic he had used to lengthen his lifespan probably contributed to his un-life as well.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1968 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  14:17:19  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dragon #313 details the "half-undead."

Dragon #198 details the "false undead."

Monster Manual 2 (1e version) had pseudo-undead.


--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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PattPlays
Senior Scribe

409 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  03:03:38  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is defined as an undead but is also the definition of an exception- the ooollld Animus from Greyhawk. The original "no you cannot play as one of these" templates. "You can be a dragon. You can be an orc. You can even be a minotaur. You can't be an Animus." is something I imagine has been said before, haha. Thing is, every official way to make an Animus is supposed to be lost to time, etc. With the only being who might know something could be Demogorgon soooo yeah.
Still, a lot of these Animus look like proper humans. I don't know this side of greyhawk lore, but it seems like a kind of "actively living undead" that D&D should remember.

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


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The DMs Revenge
Acolyte

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2022 :  02:03:45  Show Profile  Visit The DMs Revenge's Homepage Send The DMs Revenge a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Animus were definitely very undead, with some looking like rotting corpses almost, while others did very much still look alive.

I seem to recall the churxh of Hextor and the Overking's people made them. Demogorgan created the first Deathknights in Greyhawk, i believe.

Edit:
Yeah, i got that moatly right. http://www.mojobob.com/roleplay/monstrousmanual/a/animus.html

Edited by - The DMs Revenge on 09 Apr 2022 02:05:57
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