Whether you choose to play a half-dead as one of the most bizarre characters I can imagine, or feel that they will make horrific opposition for your game, this work details a terrifying fate, that of being neither dead, undead or alive... but trapped somewhere in between, a living mind in an undead body. Will madness ensue?
This fate can befall a member of any race, provided it is sentient. As it's caused by dying while under the influence of dark and necrotic magics, it is a fate which can be held over characters when they encounter a foe capable of casting such magics. Most are driven by the need to complete whatever task they were engaged in when they fell. The victim looks like a recently-deceased member of their original race, however all undergo a similar transformation in terms of stat changes and powers while the outward manifestation of their state is a gradual sink into decay - it is difficult to conceal your true nature as time passes.
For those intending to play a half-dead character, there is plenty of detail both in terms of ideas and in rule mechanics to draw upon, including the standard new feats and powers specifically tailored to the half-dead state. Naturally, you need to determine who the character was BEFORE he became a half-dead, as he will still have access to the skills and knowledge he had in life.
While half-dead who are going to play a major role in your plot may be created using the full character rules, a half-dead template is also provided for those DMs who want to use them as monsters. A half-dead minotaur is provided as an example of the template in use... and if that doesn't give you enough ideas, some adventure seeds are given to set you thinking about ways in which the half-dead might feature in your campaign.
Overall, this is a well-designed character race or monster option with the potential to add a truely horrific slant to any campaign.
Return to Races of the Shroud: The Half-Dead page.
Reviewed: 1 February 2009