Skull Dice Q-Workshop

Win a set of these

Who says undead can’t have personality? While rank and file skeletons and zombies will get mowed down faster than you can roleplay, you can turn any single undead into a remarkable NPC. To do that, you just need to add a few details beyond the stat block. Today’s generator will help you do this.

Skull dice giveaway

I also have the last pack of Q-Workshop dice on my desk to give away: red and black skull dice. Details are at the end of this post.

Undead generator

Start with d10 Motives. It is good to know what your special foe wants to accomplish in the campaign.

Next, d20 Mannerisms gives you some fun roleplaying details. Build out your rumours and news with this information too.

d12 Backstories works in combination with your motive. Use the pair to create unique personalities.

d8 Interesting Lairs offers ideas on interesting places your creature might make his home base. Cemetery is not on the list. I figured that was a gimme.

2d6 Undead Themes. How is the campaign affected by your antagonist? Give it a theme to guide your designs and encounters.

2d4 Unexpected Defenses. Surprise your players!

Undead generator tables

d10 d10 Motives
1 Revenge on a fallen paladin who forced his fiance to marry the diabolical knight.
2 Gather 1000 powerful souls as part of a scheme to become immortal.
3 Become the leader amongst a secret society of undead that aims to overthrow King or empire.
4 Visit orphanages in the land, kill the masters, rescue the children, and start an orphanage “farm” of his own.
5 Thinks he is still alive but with special powers and is starting the let greed and lust control him impulses.
6 Find his murderer and make him undead too so he can inflict eternal pain and torment on the killer.
7 Cursed to free a kingdom under the withering rule of a lich by one who thinks you must fight fire with fire.
8 Seeking immortality but discovering a tortured existence instead, this poor creature only finds misery company. He now targets anything with peace or beauty and destroys it.
9 Turned into undead against her will, she now seeks a way to return to her former life. But growing more desperate and succumbing to her unnatural state, she has started turning to cruel methods to further her quest.
10 The event that turned him into undead was so traumatic he has blocked it from his memory. Now he seeks out those afflicted by the curse of undeath and wishes to assemble a support group and network. However, he is unaware this is by design, and a greater power who planted this suggestion in him at the time of his conversion plans to seize control of this network when the time is right.
d20 d20 Undead Mannerisms
1 Never stops his school-girl giggling, which gets higher pitched the more evil he performs.
2 There is a poem people in the land learn to ward off evil spirits. He never stops repeating it in a hushed voice, and he seems to time his actions to key phrases in the poem that twists the meaning of the poet in the worst possible way.
3 His hands are those of a random creature. When a hand gets severed, which he often does to himself, another random appendage appears. Yesterday, it was a giant lobster claw, which he cut off and sold to a nearby restaurant. A hoof appeared in its place, and now he’s getting a gold shoe fashioned for it.
4 Takes every chance, even if it involves breaking in, to stand over a bed and watch someone sleep.
5 Scratches hands, arms, and legs through skin to the bone unless someone makes him aware of what he is doing.
6 Has scars that magically form into patterns that seem like important information or clues, but are usually meaningless.
7 Enjoys eating people’s pets, even though he need consume no flesh to survive.
8 His face grows black blood-filled zits and boils that ooze and pop, offering materials usable as deadly poison.
9 He smells of fond memories, giving him a small bonus to any manipulative social situations.
10 Espouses the tenets of a lawful god, trying to convert everyone he can, pleased with the taint he imbues in unwitting converts.
11 Speaks in a selfless and compassionate way, making those unaware of his nature think he is a wonderful friend and loyal companion.
12 His eyes give him such an uncomfortable gaze it becomes difficult for those he stares at to lie, maintain a poker face, or not fidget.
13 Adorns himself in holy symbols, runes and icons. Tattoos, jewelry, clothes and possessions all tie to good deities.
14 Is beautiful or handsome. Perfect skin, brilliant smile, and engaging eyes makes everything think the undead is some kind of higher creature.
15 Still has masterful control of facial muscles and body functions, allowing him to continue with his hobby and craft of disguise. He enjoys impersonating others.
16 A strange sound accompanies him wherever he goes. The sound does not seem to emanate from him, and it sometimes changes. Some report hearing crickets, others a low stringed instrument, and still others animals crying out in pain.
17 Can take off his skin. He does so frequently, in front of others, either to clean it or put it on again so “it fits better.”
18 Covered in a horrible creature of the GM’s choice: moving green slime, writhing maggots, birthing botflies, starving leeches. The undead likes to get close to people and reach out to touch them in friendly gestures.
19 Cracks knuckles, which actually breaks them. The knuckles heal in a couple of minutes. Also enjoys breaking his fingers in interesting ways and watching them reknit.
20 Becomes confused when viewing any reflective surface. After a few moments of disorientation, the undead descends into a blind, destructive fury that lasts for a minute.
d12 d12 Undead Backstories
1 A jealous rival took him fishing and then drowned him in the shallow pond.
2 Was forced to drink a glass of blood by a bully who confronted and beat him one day at random.
3 Challenged a vampire who killed his family. He won, but not without being bitten first.
4 Was on a date and wandering through the house of horrors when she was attacked. She never saw her attacker, and her transformation took just a few hours. She turned on her date, who failed to protector, and he became her first undead minion.
5 Saw something shiny in a sewer opening. When reaching in to grab it, a hideous creature lunged out and clawed him. He lost his arm that day, but gained a new look on unlife.
6 Step-father beat him to near death, took all his money, and dumped his bleeding body in the bad part of town. The open wounds attracted a certain creature who drank his fill, killing the boy but giving him a chance for revenge moments later….
7 Studied for years by an undead lord, protected and subtly groomed, the wizard always suspected he had a guardian angel. When the time was right, the lord sabotaged an experiment that grievously wounded the magic practitioner.
8 They embalmed and entombed him, performing with perfection all the steps for venerating their beloved ruler…but one. A follower, wishing for longer rule, sabotaged one step, which resulted in the leader coming back as an undead.
9 His lord sent him and several other soldiers on a suicide mission to save the land. Turns out the mission was a diversion so the lord could attack a foe by surprise and pillage. The soldier died, mere inches away from his goal, and in the afterlife upon learning of the ruse, he forced his way back to the land in the form of an undead.
10 A mad priest dug his body up and imbued it with unlife. After years of service, the priest was finally slain by heroes. Freed, he managed to escape and journey to this part of the world.
11 Little did he know the book he found captures the souls of readers. Imprisoned for centuries, he was disgorged by the book as the tome can hold only a certain number of souls and then it frees older ones in favour of new readers. Upon release, however, the book turned him into undead, having drank his life while trapped.
12 A famous pit fight ironically died in his sleep. Unwilling to let his cash cow go so easily, the manager arranged for the fighter to be raised as undead (cheaper than full resurrection, plus other advantages). The fighter won many more matches until his nature was discovered. His manager was put to death but he escaped before clerics could perform their painful ceremonies on him. That was yesterday.
d8 d8 Interesting Lairs
1 Defiled church. The locals are unaware of the taint and still come to worship.
2 Black library. Profane, rebellious, and corrupting titles brush up against works of knowledge that enhance residents’ strategies and tactics.
3 Local make-out place / lover’s lane. The raw emotions attract certain undead, who fight each other for control of this area.
4 Crowded orphanage. The day to day activities mask the presence of an unspeakable evil.
5 Popular bordello. The constant flow of strangers allow undead to anonymously pass…and feed.
6 Busy hospital. Run by nuns who lock the doors of their rooms at night.
7 Asylum. Formerly a place to protect the insane from the public and themselves, a new threat tears at their sanity.
8 Travelling carnival. The strange and wondrous roll across the land and entertain crowds.
d6 2d6 Undead Themes
2 Terror
3 Dread
4 Obsession
5 Despair
6 Shock
7 Disease
8 Poison
9 Fear
10 Phobia
11 Insanity
12 Depression
d4 2d4 Unexpected Defenses
1 Immune to Good attacks
2 Heals when physically struck
3 Blinks as a move action
4 Heals when Turned
5 Turns to stone until danger passes
6 Doppelganger (switches identities so foe looks like the undead)
6 Living shield (grapples foes so foes take all damage)
6 Magic rebounds off him

Win a set of Skull Dice

Comment below with d4 more entries for any of the tables above: Motives, Mannerisms, Backstories, Interesting Lairs, Undead Themes, or Unexpected Defenses.

Enter multiple times – each helps fellow GMs roleplay their undead better.

I will mail the winner a set of cool Red & Black Skull dice from Q-Workshop.

I’ll draw a random entry Friday, just a few days away, so enter now:

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly