The Death Sworn
Some Demon Lords, Arch Devils and Evil gods have truly fanatic followers. Those few men and women pledge their souls to eternal servitude and slavery for a resurrection and certain other powers granted by their masters after they are killed in their service. These dammed creatures are called Death Sworn. They are some of the most valued mortal minions of their evil masters. Even after they and their helpers are beaten and killed they rise again. Full of life and power but even stronger than before their first death. Even though their souls are now in the hands of their dark lords, they can strike out in revenge against those who defeated the Death Sworn. Many noble Heroes, exhausted after a grim battle fell to the power of a newly risen Death Sworn, unable to use the weapons, spells and prayers that killed him the first time.
“The Death Sworn” is an acquired template that can be added to any creature that knowingly sells it soul to an evil entity (Demon Lord, Arch Devil, or evil Deity) in exchange for certain powers.
Size and Type: Size and Type are unchanged, but the creature gains the evil subtype if the base creature did not already have it
Armor Class: A Death Sworn gains a +2 profane bonus on Armor Class.
Special Attacks: A Death Sworn retains all the base creature’s special attacks.
Special Qualities: A Death Sworn retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described here
Death Pact (Su): A Death Sworn has sold his soul to an evil entity in return for abilities granted by this template. This pact is thought to be irreversible. Most of the abilities will only be granted after the death of the Death Sworn in direct exchange for his soul (see Life through Death and Power through death abilities). The evil entity will wait until the Death Sworn dies a second time and re unites with his soul. Then it will use the Death Sworn for its own ends.
No Demon Lord or Arch Devil or evil God will voluntary relinquish such a soul bound, to him in servitude for eternity. If there are ways to redeem such a soul reverse a Death Pact, not even the wise know of them and the powers granting the Death Pact will certainly not speak of them.
Resurrection Resistance (Su): The Death Sworn can not be raised or resurrected by any means if he dies a second time. The entity which granted the template has a firm hold on his soul (see Death Pact) and will not relinquish it.
Life through Death (Su): If the Death Sworn is killed by unnatural causes (most likely through PC intervention), he will immediately subjected to a True resurrection Spell, cast by the entity granting the template. But instead of healed by the warm and life giving power of positive energy the Death Sworn will be infused with negative energy will experiencing unbearable pain and numbing coldness. Furthermore, if the Death Sworn has the ability to cast spells or to use spell like abilities, he regains all memorised spells, spell slots and per day/week uses of the abilities as he had them after the last time he regained spells, spell slots or spell like abilities.
Power through Death (Su): The Death Sworn is granted certain abilities according to the cause of which he died. The cause of death is always the source of damage which put the Hit Points of the Death Sworn to –10 or more.
Death by a Weapon (including magic weapons): The Death Sworn gains DR +5/50 to the Weapon type which struck the Death blow (i.e. slashing, piercing, bludgeoning). If the weapon has more than one type (e.g. Morningstar) he gains DR against both types. Furthermore he gains an additional +8 profane bonus to AC (which stacks with the +2 gained before to an overall +10 bonus AC). This is a supernatural effect that cannot be dispelled but it is suppressed in an anti-magic field.
Death by Fire (mundane, magic or dragon breath): The fire that killed the Death Sworn is still burning. But it is contained within the body and he controls its power. Flames seem to burn under his red tinted skin. He gains immunity to Fire. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can call up the flames to his fingertips and launch a cone of fire with a range of 60 feet that deals 1d6 points of fire damage per hit dice of the Death Sworn. A Reflex Saving throw with a DC of the Death Sworn’s Hit dice +5 halves the damage.
Death by Acid (mundane, magic or dragon breath): The Acid that burned and killed the Death Sworn before is now absorbed in every pore of his body. His skin glows with a sickly green light from within and the stench of sulphur and chlorine emanates from him. The Death Sworn gains immunity to Acid. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can release the acid from his body to create a billowing mass of misty vapors similar to that produced by a solid fog spell with a 20 radius around himself. In addition to slowing creatures down and obscuring sight, the vapors are highly acidic. Each round on the Death Sworn’s turn, the fog deals 2d6 points of acid damage to each creature and object within it (excluding the Death Sworn and his gear). The acidic mist disperses after a 1 round/ Hit dice of the Death Sworn.
Death by Electricity (mundane, magic or dragon breath): The electricity that killed the Death Sworn is not diminished. Electric discharges crackle over his skin and bathe the him in an eerie light. The air is filled with the stench of ozone. The Death Sworn gains immunity to electricity. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can focus the electricity in his body and release it. Lightning arcs from him in all directions in a single plane out to 100 feet at a height of 5 feet dealing 1d6 points of electricity damage per hit dice of the Death Sworn to all within the area (excluding the Death Sworn and his gear). A Reflex Saving throw with a DC of the Death Sworn’s Hit dice +5 halves the damage.
Death by Cold (mundane, magic or dragon breath): The coldness that killed the Death Sworn has sunk deep into his body. His skin is covered with rime and he emanates a numbing coldness. The Death Sworn gains immunity to Cold. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can focus the cold within his body into a small, 1 inch wide sphere. He can direct this sphere to any space within a range of 400 foot. There it explodes in a burst of intense cold and ice shards dealing 1d6 damage per hit dice of the Death Sworn. Half of the damage is cold damage, half is piercing damage. A Reflex Saving throw with a DC of the Death Sworn’s Hit dice +5 halves the damage. If the sphere impacts upon a material body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed range, it detonates at that point. (An early impact results in an early detonation.) If the Death Sworn attempts to send the sphere through a narrow passage, such as through an arrow slit, he must “hit” the opening with a ranged touch attack, or else the sphere strikes the barrier and detonates prematurely. The exploding sphere freezes and damages objects in the area. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the detonation may continue beyond the barrier if the area permits; otherwise it stops at the barrier.
Death by Sound(mundane, magic or dragon breath): The sound that killed the Death Sworn is still resonating through his body creating ripples on his skin like pebbles thrown in still water. A sound, now low and humming an then high and keening permeates the air around the Death Sworn. He gains immunity to Sound based attacks. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can build up a crescendo of sound in his body and release it as a powerful wave from his fingertips out to 120 feet. The wave is 10 feet wide and has an amplitude of 5 feet. It deals 1d6 sound damage per hit dice of the Death Sworn to all creatures and objects in its path. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the wave may continue beyond the barrier if the range permits it; otherwise, it stops at the barrier. A Reflex Saving throw with a DC of the Death Sworn’s Hit dice +5 halves the damage.
Death by Arcane Magic (other than the energies described above): The arcane magic that killed the Death Sworn is now cursing like blood through his body. His skin seems to scintillate in all the colours of the rainbow. He gains a spell resistance of 15 + Death Sworn’s hit dice or 25, whichever is higher. This spell resistance works only against arcane magic. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can cast greater dispel magic with a caster level equal to his hit dice or 10, whichever is higher.
Death by Divine Magic (other than the energies described above: The divine power that killed the Death Sworn was taken by his patron and changed into something dark and given back to him. Now his body glows with unholy energy. Crimson glowing runes, prayers of unspeakable depravation crawl like living spiders just under his skin. A feeling of hopelessness permeates the air. He gains a spell resistance of 15 + Death Sworn’s hit dice or 25, whichever is higher. This spell resistance works only against divine magic. Up to 3/day the Death Sworn can call upon the dark powers in his body and release them. Negative energy spreads out in all directions up to 30 feet radius with the Death Sworn as its centre, dealing 2d8 points of damage +1 point per hit dice of the Death Sworn to all creatures chosen by the Death Sworn. The negative cures undead in its area rather than damaging them. A Will Saving throw with a DC of the Death Sworn’s Hit dice +5 halves the damage.
Abilities: Change the base creature as follows: Str +4, Con +6, Cha +4 (these are gained after the Death Pact is made, before the Death of the Death Sworn)
Alignment: any evil
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature + 4
Level Adjustment: Same a base creature + 8
How to apply this template:
The Death Sworn is a rather unique template because most of the abilities gained through it, can only be applied after the base creature has been killed. Some of the Special Attacks and Special Qualities are dependent on the cause of the death. Therefore this template tries to keep the modifications that have be applied “on the fly” to the base creature simple. All numbers can be easily calculated. Though it might be best to write the down beforehand.