There are a lot of abilities that would be thematically appropriate for a wide range of undead creatures, because, let’s face it, a lot of undead are pretty similar, when you get right down to it. The differences between ghosts, specters, and shades is largely mechanical, not flavorful, and the same goes for zombies, draugr, and countless others. Each of these undead gets a couple of fun abilities to make it different from the rest, but if you’re looking for classic undead abilities, there’s no reason to make a new monster, when all you really need to do is make a few feats that can easily be taken by the undead in question. That brings us to today’s offering, a collection of feats specifically for undead creatures.
Ectoplasmic Manifestation (Monster)
You can create a solid body for yourself out of ectoplasm, although it doesn’t last long.
Prerequisite: Incorporeal undead.
Benefit: As a full-round action, you can manifest a corporeal body for yourself out of ectoplasm. While manifested in this way, you effectively lose the incorporeal subtype and all incorporeal traits. While corporeal in this fashion, your Strength score is equal to the lower of your Dexterity or Charisma scores. Your body, while solid, is translucent, and obviously unnatural. If you are partially or completely inside a solid object when you use this ability, you suffer 1d6 points of damage and are shunted to the nearest unoccupied space. You can remain corporeal in this fashion for a number of minutes equal to your Charisma modifier, after which you must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + 1 per previous save) at the beginning of your turn each round, or be forced to spend a full-round action returning to your incorporeal state. Each time you use this ability, you must wait 1d4 hours before you can use it again.
Independent Limbs (Monster)
When your limbs are severed, you can control them as easily as if they were still attached.
Prerequisite: Reassembling Flesh.
Benefit: When your limbs are separated from your body, you can control them just as easily as if they were still attached. You can rip off one of your own arms or legs as a full-round action, inflicting 4d6 points of damage to yourself, to which damage reduction does not apply, although if your limbs are severed by other means, this ability functions just as well.
A severed limb uses your statistics, modified for its current form. A severed arm is treated as two size categories smaller than you, and a severed leg is treated as one size category smaller than you. Both severed arms and severed legs are treated as having a Strength score equal to half your Strength score (rounded down, minimum 1). Similarly, they benefit from only half your natural armor bonus to AC. Severed arms have a speed of 10 feet and a climb speed of 10 feet, while severed legs have a speed of 15 feet. If severed yourself using the method described above, each limb has a number of hit points equal to the damage you suffered severing it. If severed any other way, the limb has hit points equal to 1/4 your hit point total.
Each of your limbs acts on your initiative, and can take a full round’s worth of actions. A limb that moves more than 60 feet away from you can no longer be controlled until it is once again within this range. A limb that is reduced to 0 hit points can no longer act, but can still be reattached to your body.
Reassembling Flesh (Monster)
The same forces that animate your corpse can also restore it from severe damage.
Prerequisite: Corporeal undead.
Benefit: You are not destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points, although you do immediately go into a death-like state during which you are unaware and cannot act. Each hour, you heal 1 hit point, until you reach 1 hit point, at which point you awaken from this death-like state. You are still destroyed if your negative hit point total equals or exceeds your Charisma score. Additionally, if any of your limbs are severed, you can reattach the limb by holding it in place for 3 rounds. You can even reattach your head to your body in this fashion, although typically this requires outside assistance, unless you have some other means of controlling your body while your head is detached.
Spawning Worms (Monster)
The worms in your body can lay eggs in those that they bite, spreading the infection.
Benefit: Any creature damaged by your worms is exposed to the wormpox disease. The saving throw DC for the disease is equal to 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier.
Type disease, injury; Save Fortitude varies
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves.
Your undead flesh is riddled with parasitic worms, which provide a variety of benefits.
Prerequisite: Undead, must have flesh of some kind.
Benefit: Your corpse is host to dozens of parasitic worms, which bore their way through your body and slowly consume your dead flesh, but which grant you a number of benefits. Whenever you grapple a creature with flesh on their body (whether alive or not), the worms on your body eagerly seek out this fresh meat, and whenever you end a turn grappling or grappled by such a creature, that creature automatically suffers 2d6 points of damage, and must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) or be nauseated for 1 round, similar to a swarm’s distraction ability.
The worms do take a toll on your own body, however, as they eat and gnaw through your flesh, and each day you suffer 1d8 points of damage per three Hit Dice you possess.