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D&D 3E
New Template idea: Gray Man 
1st-Jul-2005 07:35 pm
Rot Lop Fan
This template was an idea born from the fact that I needed an undead character that wasn't stupid and slow like a Zombie, but not with ridiculous ECL adjustments like the Vampire. So, I made this. I've run it through an ECL checker, but I'd like it if someone could tell me if the adjustment makes sense.

Also: Oh hey, I don't have the Libris Mortis. This si the other reason why. 'Else I would have used the Necropolitian. Because it;s been suggested twice. at two different places. 6_6

Template: Gray Man.

This template may be added to any sentient living being that has a body made of flesh (ie, no Dryads, Warforged, Vampires, or Elementals.)

Description: The Gray Man is a marvel of necromancy, an incredibly advanced form of undead that is near identical in appearance and in mental acuity to its living counterparts. A creature with the Gray Man template looks almost exactly as if living, but with a grayish, yellowish, or amberlike shine to it's skin, and has its limbs and a few other areas (such as the chest and face) heavily coated in lacquer, creating a hard coating. There are also a few well-placed scars on the abdomen, where the organs were removed.

Becoming a Gray Man: a creature can be made into a Gray man only if his skull is completely intact and unharmed. His body must also be in good condition, but being in one piece is not necessary. The creature must have at least 3/4 of its limbs intact. The spells Raise Dead and Gentle Repose must be cast on the body by a caster of at least 10th level, and the body must be specially treated; his internal organs must be removed and replaced with suitable approximations, his flesh must be preserved with concoctions and the Gentle Repose spell, and his major orifices must be sealed, in order to lessen the risk of mold and other things hiding inside the body. Even though the flesh won't deteriorate, it is never a good thing to have a wasp's nest inside a chest cavity. These things all cost 1000 GP, including the needed payment to the caster. If you start off as a creature with the Gray Man template, you do not have to worry about these costs, but a Gray Man is usually in the service of another to pay off this cost. Consult the GM.
-note: this is supposed to be priced as a distractingly attractive alternative to a Resurrection from a temple. adjust the costs accordingly.

HD: all HD become D12, and you lose all Con-bonus HP.
Saves: as your class, except the Fort save doesn't matter anymore.
AC: you gain an AC bonus equivalent to the Zombie's template (see the SRD 3.5) Medium creatures gain +2 AC.
Str: +2 Your flesh is harder and tougher and generally stronger.
Dex: -2 Your flesh is a bit, ah, gummy from the resins and lacquers.
Con: Null. as an undead, you have no Con.
Int: +/- 0 Your brain is perfectly preserved, through the Gentle Repose spell. Almost good enough to eat :D.
Wis: +2 You died. You saw death and the great beyond. That widens anyone's horizons.
Cha: -2 You look creepy and off. Not to mention the slight reek of formaldehyde and the other things used to preserve you.

Hollow Innards: You have enough room in your abdominal cavity to hide things. These things can only be accessed by cutting open the stitches that keep your pseudo-guts inside. A Medium-Sized creature can hide 5 pounds of stuff, and for every size category, add 5 more pounds. a Small can store about 3 pounds, and every size category below it can hold half as much as the one above it. Unstiching yourself is a move-action, and grabbing an item from inside is a separate action. You can stitch yourself (or get someone to help you) shut, but it takes 5 minutes (as a Medium creature. Add 5 minutes for every size category up, and half it for every one down) to do so. You can sneak anything in your hollow innards past someone with a Bluff check DC 35, and they have to be suspicious of you. Most people don't think about these things. You can fit things inside within reason. No hiding a greataxe inside a medium creature, no matter the weight. Those things are big.

Senses: you have no sense of smell or taste. You cannot Track by scent.

Water Weakness: If you are out in the rain/in water for 10 minutes without protection (Protection being a cloak and boots, a wide-brimmed hat and jacket, or something that keeps the rain off your skin and feet in the rain. In water, you need a wetsuit. In both cases, you could use Protection from the Elements.), the chemicals and resins that keep you together begin to re-liquefy. Every 10 minutes in the rain without some protection, take 1d4 Dex damage. This can be repaired by being hit with an inflict spell that heals as much HP as you have Dex in one go, being dried out by a spell (If you are hit by one of those spells in the soggy state, you instantly lose all Dex damage, but are not healed), or hanging out by a fire for (1/2 Dex score) hours, doing nothing but attending to yourself, respreading the resins equally so you don't end up all gummy. You are considered flatfooted and unarmed for that time (if you can deal lethal damage with a natural weapon, you are still armed then.). If your Dex hits 0, you are unable to move or speak, and must be repaired by a spellcaster of at least 10th level that can apply the Gray Man template. The cost to repair you is 1/2 your Dex x100 GP, +200 GP to pay a NPC to help you.
-note: just stepping outside for a nip isn't going to damage your Dex. We're talking walking around in a good rainstorm. Being dunked for some time will hurt your Dex, wading through a puddle (quick) won't, so long as you change your outermost layer of clothes.

Turning: You can be Turned, Rebuked, or Bolstered, but never Commanded. You can be destroyed outright. You also have +4 Turning resistance.

Desiccating Absorption: You are not only unaffected by spells that try to dry you out, you are healed by them. Gain 1 HP back for every 3 damage that would have been dealt to you.

Abilities: you keep all class and racial abilities, and gain one new one:
Wail: as a full round action, you can let out a wail from the Great Beyond. Everyone in a 15' cone makes a Will save with a DC of [10+(1/2 your Clvl)+your Cha Mod]. if they fail, they are Fear'd, like the spell (how long does Fear last?). If they save, they are instead Shaken for a round. You may use this ability a number of times a day equal to your Charisma Mod, minimum once a day. Despite the description, this is not sonics-based.

ECL: +1

2nd-Jul-2005 01:08 am (UTC) - Instead of Fear'd
How about this?

Wail(Su): As a full round action, you can release a piercing wail from the Great Beyond. Everyone in a 15' cone in front of the Gray Man makes a Will save (DC 10+(1/2 your level+Cha Modifier)). If a person so afflicted fails, they are shaken for one round. You may use this ability 1+your Cha modifier times per day. Creatures that are deafened add a +4 bonus to their saving throws. This ability is not a sonic ability, so sonic resistance does not prevent the effect. (What are you getting at with the divine part?

2nd-Jul-2005 01:47 am (UTC) - Re: Instead of Fear'd
I just said it's not sonic.

I forogt to shop off the divine bits.
*does so*
2nd-Jul-2005 08:29 am (UTC)
Sounds a lot like the Necropolitan from Libris Mortis only with a different flavor. Necropolitans get some measure of turning resistance though and the process to make them in both crazy expensive and drains a level a la Raise Dead, which on the other hand means they can get away with no LA. Also they heal themselves like a living person would (though it's suggested that all intelligent undead have a strong enough connection to the neg plane to get 1hp/level back a night.
2nd-Jul-2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
Aren't Gray Men from the Wheel of Time?
2nd-Jul-2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
um. maybe?

I have no idea.

I've, er, never read thoe books.
2nd-Jul-2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Those are different. Those particular grey men are still alive, though they have given their souls to the dark one and are somehow less noticeable for it.
3rd-Jul-2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
Duly noted, I was just remembering where I remembered the name from. ;D
2nd-Jul-2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
Thing is, I don't have the Libris Mortis.

9th-Jul-2005 05:42 am (UTC)
Just a suggestion on storing objects within the grey man. Instead of going by weight, maybe go by size, with a weight cap in mind based on the usual weight system. For example, maybe let the Grey Man carry something of two size categories smaller than itself within its cavity, this way it goes by a combination of volume and the weight system already provided in the rules. So a medium Grey Man could carry maybe a housecat within itself, then add the weight as if it were baggage and modify movement based on that. This just seems a little more in depth and could make for more interesting situations. Just a suggestion, though. One question as well, do the Grey Men retain memories and dispositions, or are they malleable pieces of clay like children, receptive to shaping? Cool idea, though.
9th-Jul-2005 05:58 am (UTC)
They retain all memories and stuff. I think I said that...

huh. I didn't. I suck. I suppose a good blow to the dead man's skull (we're talking concussion) could make a Blank.

I like your idea. It makes sense.

I had a suggestion from my Brother of: 'Gray Man Druid. Animal Familiar is a swarm...of WASPS.'

10th-Jul-2005 10:34 pm (UTC)
My suggestions can be summarised as follows:
Nix the charisma reduction. Try a +5 DC to civil social interactions.
Nix the Fear spell and replace this with Scare -- usable once a day only.
Nix the +4 Turn Resistance and replace this with +1 Turn Resistance at first level and +1 Turn Resistance every 3 levels thereafter.

If all these changes are implemented, this template would probably be at a +2 ECL. If none of these changes are implemented, considering the Fear effect, I think the ECL would be at +5 or +6.

Considerations for the above changes that are suggested follow:

Charisma might not be effected so greatly, as Charisma tends to be a mental ability: the power of personality. However, you might impose a DC increase of five or more to any attempt at pleasant social interaction, plus the realistic consideration that any civilised creature will probably consider the character a marauding evil undead monster.

Also, Fear is a 4th level Wizard/Sorcerer spell or a 3rd level Bard spell, which generally speaking, is a bit powerful, especially if it can be done a few times a day in addition to any other class abilities this monster might have. Just so that we're both on the same angle, Fear as a spell can be cast by 7th level characters, usually speaking. If it can be cast several times a day by beginning characters, this sets them at a power level at least three or more levels higher than their own (scare the monsters, take the treasure, leave the area, rest a day, go on to the next monster lair). I suggest replacing this with the 2nd level spell-effect Scare, not usable in a cone. Since Scare is limited by level of caster, this should gradiate with the character level.

A +4 Turn Resistance is signifigantly powerful, moreso than the ECL would suggest at. Dessicating Absorbtion is also a mite too powerful for what the ECL would feasibly allow. Instead, I suggest providing the creature with a +1 Turn Resistance at first level and every three character levels thereafter.

Since most battles in D&D do not last for more than half an hour, the monster is poorly balanced between strengths and vulnerabilities. Also, smart players can get around a weakness like the one you described.

I'd suggest, if all considered you decide to keep every ability described here as is given, to modify the ECL to +7, if not more. If you decide to drop (or reduce as suggested) the dessicating absorbtion, the fear power, and the turn resistance, this ECL bonus could become either negligable or reduce to a +2.

Consider also a limited movement like zombies have, but this would reduce the ECL by one perhaps.
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