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Undead that arise due to specific circumstances without deliberate intent. Due to this, they make up the majority of undead one will encounter or hear about, in theory at least. To return to the main undead page, click here.
Templates and Groups
When creatures are killed by psychic attacks, their subconscious aspects may survive the destruction of their thinking mind and form an animus shade.
- Body Horror: Their appearance is often warped and mangled in ways reflecting the deepest fears and darkest impulses of their living minds.
- The Corruptor: Anyone who harms an animus shade gets a bit of psychic backlash that feeds their doubts, fear, and subconscious desires, which conflict with their attempts to destroy the shade and sometime warp their mind entirely.
- Mind Rape: Rend Psyche has the shade feed power into the animus of its foes, causing their minds to tear themselves apart. They can also lock off parts of a target's mind with a touch, leaving them incapable of intelligent or coherent behavior.
- No-Sell: The shredded remains of their mind are too piecemeal to grasp and pass judgement on, so they're immune to all alignment based effects.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: As incorporeal beings that often appear to be bearing mortal wounds, animus shades are frequently mistaken for actual ghosts. While the mistake is understandable and could be considered correct depending on the particular definition of "ghost", this rarely ends well for the one who made the mistake.
- Villain Team-Up: Averted, their nature makes it nearly impossible for them to cooperate with anything. Even multiple animus shades whose living selves were allies and were killed by the same creature will attack one another.
Restless souls who've formed bodies from material drawn from the Ethereal Plane.
Echohusks are the walking corpses of creatures slain by powerful psychic attacks and animated by the mental energies that caused their deaths. The mind and soul of an echohusk are erased from its being, leaving nothing but the psychic echo of the creature that scoured its mind.
The animated exoskeletons of giant arthropods.
- Raising the Steaks: Exoskeletons are basically the equivalent of undead skeletons for arthropods.
The bodies of those killed in floods, driven by panic and despair to spread the very death that claimed them.
When a creature dies from the cold, its bitter anger over such a fate may allow it to persist as a frostfallen creature.
The spirits of the departed, Ghosts are much more diverse and sympathetic than other undead.
- Dark Is Not Evil: They are still creatures of Negative Energy, but they are not inherently evil. (Though most become evil anyway out of sheer spite and misery.)
- Ghostly Goals: Though the incorporeal form of a ghost can be dispersed, they always reform after a few days until whatever turned them into a ghost is resolved.
Clad in unholy armor and powered by sheer hate, graveknights are to fighters what liches are to wizards.
- Artifact of Doom: Their armor.
- Ax-Crazy: The worst graveknights will carry out terrible atrocities in an attempt to feel the excitement they once did, growing more and more depraved as each attempt fails to yield a response.
- Blood Knight: Many graveknights throw themselves into battle to distract themselves from the tedium of an existence deprived of physical sensation. Unable to accept that they will never again feel a surge of adrenaline or the heady thrill of triumph, they wade ever deeper into the carnage, blood, and misery that defined their mortal lives.
- Cross-Melting Aura: They're the center of a constant desecrate spell that impairs all attempts to use positive energy in addition to its normal effects.
- Elemental Powers: Every graveknight is affiliated with a particular type of energy related to how they died. They deal extra damage of this type with their weapon attacks and can unleash it in a cone of energy three times a day.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Often Paired with Red Eyes, Take Warning for added effect.
- Hellish Horse: Once an hour graveknights can summon a skeletal horse with a unique appearance related to their master.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Though many graveknights hate their own existence, they cannot seem to commit suicide and they will never intentionally take actions that make it easier to kill them, like going easy on an opponent or giving away the secret of their rejuvenation. They have to be killed rightfully or not at all.
- The Nothing After Death: Graveknights use threats of this to play mind games with opponents. As their Sacrilegious Aura causes positive energy to fizzle and instills living beings with dread and uncertainty, they claim those slain by their hand die out of sight of the gods and are doomed to pass on with no hope of an afterlife.
- Night of the Living Mooks: They can bend other undead to their will as minions, though they have no power to create such creatures themselves.
- The Power of Hate: They rise out of sheer rage and bloodlust.
- Pride: While Revenge can satisfy them for a time, graveknights often come to believe that their new nature is proof of their innate superiority over all, even Death itself. Even those who regard their existence as a curse see it this way; in their decaying minds, this unholy gift was granted to them because they were the most capable, the most driven, the most fearsome, and the most deserving of rule. They become incapable of regarding others as equals, even other graveknights, and alliances are made only under the belief that its allies are masters in areas it does not concern itself with because they're inferior disciplines.
- Sadist: Graveknights tend to be cruel in their attempt to feel alive again by taking life from others. From an account of a graveknight's attack on a town, a graveknight drowned people in wells, nailed them to doorways, and burned them alive in a church, and that bored him. Then he started getting creative. He made mothers fight each other with hammers to see whose child would live, tortured a priest until he broke and named someone else to take his place, and he still wasn't satisfied.
- Sense Loss Sadness: Graveknights can't enjoy food, drink, sex, sleep, or any fleshly pleasures, and even experiences like the rush of fear during battle or pain from injury are lost to them. All that's left is a sort of grim satisfaction from victory, which they go to grotesque lengths to feel again.
- Soul Jar: Their soul is bound to their armor in the same way a lich's soul is bound to their phylactery. So long as it remains undestroyed — and as long as even a single piece of metal endures the armor may as well be intact, for the graveknight's purposes — the graveknight will reform within it, tendrils of undead flesh growing from the crevasses to twine and fuse into a new body.
- Transhuman Treachery: The vast majority of graveknights arise spontaneously, but creatures can voluntarily undergo the transformation through a lengthy process that involves multiple violent conflicts, eleven levels, an evil patron, a set of heavy armor worth a decent fortune, and suicide by a certain energy type. And after all that, they only get a 75% chance of becoming a graveknight.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Graveknights place no value in physical objects, save the few magic items that can make them more effective fighters. Other items may be given to minions who can make better use of them, but they usually destroy them just to see what sort of reactions they can get from people.
- Zombie Infectee: A subtle version. If someone loots a graveknight's armor and wears it, the graveknight will instead be reborn from their body. They simply don't realize the fissures and puncture wounds in their body when they remove the armor and are mentally compelled to hid the wounds from others. After the rejuvenation period is complete the graveknight is reborn, destroying the wearer's mind as they warp into the graveknight.
An unusual form of undeath that takes no physical form, but instead permeates an area. A haunt arises from physical or mental suffering, with a single instance of suffering sometimes creating multiple haunts or multiple causes consolidating into a single haunt.
- Appeal to Worse Problems: Averted. The strength of a haunt is determined by the magnitude of the suffering, not the power of the source. For example, a spoiled nobleman who dies of a gut wound in a murderer's dungeon would make a stronger haunt than a hardened adventurer who suffered the same fate but was comparatively hardened to the experience.
- Mechanically Unusual F Ighter: Haunts are more like living traps than monsters.
- Mook Maker: One of the strongest haunts is a deathgate, a portal to the negative energy plane that regularly summons minor deaths.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: The weakest haunts are simple manifestations of sensation like cold spots or tapping in the walls.
- Dark Is Evil: They manifest as horrible monsters made of pure shadow.
- Eldritch Abomination: Nightshades are composed of a warped mixture of shadow and evil, empowered by negative energy in the same way as normal undead.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: All nightshades' eyes glow red on their dark bodies.
- Living Shadow: Well, not living, but, y'know..
- The Minion Master: They can summon and command other undead, and strengthen them by their presence.
- Non-Human Undead: The spirits of demons and other fiends slain and fallen into the Negative Energy Plane.
- Omnicidal Maniac: They are on the same page as the Daemons on this one.
- Was Once a Man: Twice removed or more (as the main fiendish races are derived from mortals), but no matter how bizarre and terrifying they may be, they were all once the souls of living creatures.
- Weakened by the Light: They are impaired by bright light, especially natural sunlight.
- Giant Spider: Nightskitters have spider-like bodies and can also weave webs.
- Bat Out of Hell: Nightwings are enormous, bat-like creatures.
- Giant Flyer: A nightwing has a 80-foot-long wing span.
- The Starscream: Nightwings are often seen in the service of a mortal master, whom they always hope to kill some day.
- Horned Humanoid: A nightwalker is a dark-skinned giant with ram horns.
- Creepy Centipedes: Nightcrawlers have a centipede-like body.
- Flying Seafood Special: Nightwaves are shark-like monsters that can rise up over the waves.
- Giant Flyer: The nightwave is a whale-sized shark capable of flying.
- Sea Monster: The nightwave is most at home in the oceans deeps.
- Threatening Shark: Nightwaves, the most powerful of their kind, take the form of titanic sharks surrounded by crushing darkness and cold from the depths of the ocean.
Unliving suits of armor animated by the spirits of their former owners, arising because they were killed by treachery or because they were killed in a war crime.
- Animated Armor: Each one is a suit of armor brought to life by a restless spirit.
Victims of demonic plagues who fail to find relief even in death.
The most bog-standard undead you'll ever see.
- Elite Zombie:
- Alchemical zombies are more resistant to positive energy, due to not having been created through necromancy, and the alchemical treatments used to animate their flesh make them noticeably tougher than regular zombies.
- Zombie Lords differ from regular zombies in that they have increased resistance to Channel energy, are considerably faster, are not permanently staggered, and most important of all they retain their intelligence.
- Underground Monkey: There are numerous variations of the basic, common zombie, with their own gimmicks, resistances, and abilities:
- Many are defined by how exactly they're created and raised: besides the basic necromantic zombie, there are alchemically created zombies, which are sturdier than other kinds and more resistant to positive energy; brain-eating zombies, which raise their victims as more of their kind; and zombies created through curses.
- There are also bloated gasburst zombies, which explode in a cloud of noxious gas when killed, and host corpses, which house swarms of aggressive vermin inside their rotting flesh.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Brain-eating zombies, which are directly inspired by classic zombie movies, can easily turn into this through their ability to raise their victims as more brain-eating zombies.
When creatures die in the desert and become desiccated from heat and sun, they may arise a sunbaked zombies.
Other Spontaneous Undead
Animated masses of digestive fluid and half-melted flesh formed from the stomach contents of giant monsters killed by necromantic effects.
Undead created from those killed by storms saturated with extraplanar energy.
Undead created when a creature is killed by a massive burst of negative energy.
Their 3.5 stats can be found in Hungry are the Dead. Their Pathfinder 1st Edition stats are in Bestiary 3 or online here.
When a hellknight is decapitated, their spirit may imbue their blodied helm to continue their work.
Their stats can be found in Age of Ashes: Hellknight Hill or online here.
Undead created from humanoid beings who died at sea in regions infested with evil spirits or dark energies.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Draugr captains have a higher CR than regular Draugr.
- Ghost Pirate: Chaotic Evil seaborne undead, often found crewing the remains of their old ships. Technically speaking anyone who dies at sea can become a Draugr, but they were clearly designed with pirates in mind. The stronger ones are even called 'Captains'.
- Meaningful Name: Depending on how far back you want to trace the roots, it can mean "revenant," "phantom," or "deceive." Those first two are fairly self-explanatory, while the third makes sense as a corpse making a deception of not being dead.
- Public Domain Character: Draugr are undead revenants from Norse mythology.
- Ominous Fog: Draugr captains can create it.
- Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Draugar are constantly coated in a sickening, rotting mixture of flesh, seaweed and filthy water.
Undead clerics who committed heresy and blasphemy against their gods before they died.
Restless spirits bound to a location, either that of their death or of their body.
- Poltergeist: Yes, that is what they are.
Animated skin formed when a living creature is skinned alive.
Pitiful undead creatures that manifest when a living being is sealed within a structure and perishes there.
Undead created by those who kill themselves out of madness.
- Dem Bones: They look like ghostly skeletons wrapped in shadows.
- Driven to Suicide: What creates them, specifically when the cause is insanity or other madness.
- Enthralling Siren: They constantly babble and the sound is hypnotic to others, putting them in a trance and allowing the allip to approach before attacking.
- Mind Rape: Attempting to make contact with their minds, whether to control, communicate, or just to read their thoughts, causes Wisdom drain as their tortured minds fray the sanity of others. Their attacks do much the same thing, though with additional Wisdom damage on a critical hit.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Rather than being spectral copies of the deceased, they're warped specters whose insanity has overwhelmed their minds and altered their bodies.
- Talkative Loon: Allips constantly babble incoherently.
Beings who die through spontaneous combustion are more vulnerable than usual to necromantic energies, frequently returning as combusted.
Drekavacs are the undead remains of children who perished from disease, particularly in plague-ridden areas where many such deaths occurred in a short period of time.
- Meaningful Name: Drekavacs are demons from Slavic mythology, though these drekavacs have very little to do with them.
When the practice of magically binding genies was new, some attempted to bind their elemental servants forever. This proved a mistake when such bound genies died, with their still-trapped souls becoming edimmu.
- Meaningful Name: Edimmu is the name of a type of demon from Sumerian mythology.
When many are slain by volcanic activity their spirits may take form using the molten lava that killed them.
Undead that spontaneously arise from those who die of slow suffocation in a confined and lightless space.
- Axe-Crazy: Some come to find the final desperate gasps of their victims intoxicating and roam farther from their bound location to search for more victims.
- Buried Alive: One way to make an immured, though usually immured come about when people are killed in deliberate acts of malice, Cask of Amontillado style.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: There is no air within ten feet of an immured. You either get farther away, manage to hold your breath, or die horrifically from suffocation.
- Dragged by the Collar: A very dark version. Immured are able to make the drag combat maneuver as a free action whenever they deal nonlethal damage with their slam attack, which they use to drag victims through the rifts they make using their Breach ability and leave them there to die.
- Explosive Leash: Immured are bound to the location of their death. If they get too far from it, they start taking damage every hour that can't be healed until they return.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Simply knowing a person is nearby will drive an immured into a violent rage.
- Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: An immured's Breach ability essentially allows them to create these. They can temporarily make walls intangible (though not transparent) and drag victims through them. They usually use to trap people in spaces that would normally have no entrance at all, or at lest not one that can be used.
- The Speechless: Immured know common but cannot speak. It makes perfect sense when you consider their Aura of Breathlessness, as there's no air around them for sound to travel through.
Seasoned travelers who died in a humiliating way due to an error they made.
- Agony of the Feet: Trailgaunts have malformed legs, and tend to mutilate the legs of anyone they can catch.
- Handicapped Badass: Trailgaunts always have twisted, broken legs, making them slower than almost any other monster - but they're also The Determinator, and a Perpetual-Motion Monster, so they're frighteningly good at chasing down prey anyway.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Trailgaunts are extremely good trackers. Once a trail-gaunt has decided to hunt you down, it will follow you until it catches up.
- Talkative Loon: Trailgaunts constantly ramble angrily.
The malignant spirits of wolf-like creatures.
- Brown Note: Anyone who meets a vukodlak's gaze becomes paralyzed with fear.
- Horse of a Different Color: They're often ridden like horses by more powerful undead creatures.
- Non-Human Undead: Vukodlaks form from evil wolflike creatures such as worgs, winter wolves and werewolves.
- Public Domain Character: They're based on undead creatures from Greek mythology that could transform into wolves.
- Savage Wolves: Monstrous, ravenous lupine undead that were evil wolf monsters in life.
- Weakened by the Light: While vukodlaks aren't hurt by the sun like vampires are, they still hate sunlight and only ever hunt at night.
- Wolf Man: They're at the less humanoid end of the scale, but still have hands and the ability to walk on two legs.
Vicious undead halfway between ghoul and spectre.
- Day in the Limelight: They're one of the focus undead in Undead Revisited.
The vengeful remains of soldiers left behind by their armies. Their stats can be found in Tears at Bitter Manor or online here.
- Official Fan-Submitted Content: The abandoned one was created by a participant in Paizo's RPG Superstar 2013 event.
Undead created from a lonely or neglected child's death.
- Child Eater: They can remain dormant for decades, until a child appears and they reawaken.
- Creepy Child: Childish mentality, murderous capabilities.
- Dancing Pants: Rather than animating the body or appearing in a ghostly form, they're composed of tattered clothes, abandoned toys, dust, and other items that represent their neglect in life.
- Forced Sleep: Their bite causes people to become increasingly tired until they fall into a cursed sleep that ends only through magic or the death of the attic whisperer.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: They want a playmate and will try to lure in a living child to be their friend forever. This is implied to generally end... poorly.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: In-universe. The voices it steals can be heard faintly singing songs and tunes it knew in life when you get close to it, as well as whispers and sobs.
- Nursery Rhyme: There's a Varisian nursery rhyme about them. It's... suitably creepy.
- Orphanage of Fear: A common spawning place.
- Tragic Monster: Many types of undead that arise spontaneously do so because of evils they committed in life, but attic whisperers are created by the evil done to them.
- Undead Child: They're the spirits of children who died of neglect.
- Voice Changeling: They can steal voices with a touch, silencing the victim temporarily but retaining the ability to mimic them forever.
Undead conglomerates of bone created when numerous animals die in terrible agony.
Undead created from the souls of sailors and other sea travelers killed in shipwrecks.
The souls of those buried alive, forming new bodies out of dirt to inflict their fate on others.
- Achilles' Heel: The consecrate spell leaves them staggered and weak if caught in its area.
- Blob Monster: There's nothing of the gravebound's actual body in their undead form, just animated dirt. This grants them the amorphous ability, allowing them to squeeze through small spaces and act without restriction in small spaces.
- Buried Alive: What creates them and what they like to do to others.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Gravebound can manipulate earth to create and fill in pits.
- Fast Tunneling: They can burrow just as quickly as they can run.
- Haunted Fetter: Gravebound can't move more than 1000 feet away from their corpse.
- Impossible Item Drop Destroying a gravebound allows one to salvage a shovel from their remains, a symbol of their obsession but also a useful tool to saving their victims. How this possibly happens, given that a gravebound is just a bunch of dirt animated in the shape of a person, is unclear.
- Not Quite Dead: Their attacks inflict a disease called "false death" that makes victims fall into a coma and appear dead for one week. Given their obsession, they actually prefer to leave their victims in such a state and allow their friends to bury them alive rather than outright killing them.
- Wolverine Claws: They attack with claw attacks that expose victims to disease.
Deep within the Dreamlands a city called Ib was constructed by an amphibious race on the shores of a deep lake. They were slain by humans for their strange appearances and worship of the Great Old One Bokrug, but one thousand years later the shades of the slaughtered race arose from the waters to bring doom upon the human city built in place of their old home.
Undead plants poisoned by lands infected with mass bloodshed. Their stats can be found in Tears at Bitter Manor, Bestiary 5, or online here.
When people die due to love taking a tragic turn, the spirit may focus on the heart and cause it to tear its way free of the body. Such a creature is a lovelorn, dedicated to destroying all they cared for in life.
The spirits of lost wanderers slain by exposure and despair. They hunger for life, warmth, and a home theyre cursed to never find again
Wraithwings are strix that were captured and killed by their Chelish enemies, and then rose again fueled by their lingering hatred.
Undead created when creatures are killed in an arcane disaster.
Undead gamblers whose lust for cards and dice couldnt be sated in life.
Undead created when someone dies of suffocation.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Due to their unreasoning aggression and simple intellects, choking shades would rather make futile attempts to kill living beings than consider conversation for even one second.
- Ghostly Goals: Choking shades seek to take from others the life-giving air that was denied to them in their final moments. Certain rituals can be used to appease them and put them to rest, most commonly the extinguishing of a ritual candle whose flame feeds on the oxygen that they were denied.
- Intangible Man: They're a form of intangible undead, composed entirely of swirling dust and bone fragments.
- Logical Weakness: As they're made of swirling dust, wind effects can dissipate and weaken them.
- Mook Maker: Those killed by a choking shade's Gravedust ability will become a choking shade themselves.
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: They project an aura holding the emotions of their final moments, the desperation for one last breath or air mingling with the terror of death. Their melee attacks also force targets to save against the effect, potentially overruling a previous successful save.
- Super Smoke: Their Gravedust ability lets them enter a creature's lungs and cause it to suffocate.
- Touch of Death: They attack with touch attacks dealing negative energy damage.
- Underground Monkey: There are as many variations of choking shades as there are ways to suffocate, from crucifixion to diaphragm paralysis.
- Crushed shades died in cave-ins and inflict a permanent claustrophobia on anyone whose lings they enter.
- Drowned shades died from water inhalation and leave muck behind in their victim's lungs even when forced out.
- Smoking shades died from smoke inhalation and deal fire damage along with their Gravedust ability, burning victims from the inside out.
- Strangled shades were murdered by strangulation, dealing bludgeoning damage with their Gravedust ability and leaving victims unable to speak afterwards.
Undead that arise from those who die while lost underground. Many were dwarves who fell during the Quest for Sky, but miners and explorers may also succumb to similar fates.
Their stats can be found in Down the Blighted Path or online here.
- Non-Human Head: In place of a head, they have a mass of pale glowing light.
The unquiet souls of thieves killed by traps.
The resulting creations of resurrections gone wrong.
- Achilles' Heel: Any resurrection spell cast on an unrisen instantly destroys it.
- Body Horror: Being not quite alive but not quite undead does a number to a body, leaving it a mess of decaying flesh, tangled bones, and rotting organs.
- Brown Note: Just seeing an unrisen causes nausea, an effect that is supernaturally enforced.
- Came Back Wrong: They are the result of a resurrection attempt Gone Horribly Wrong.
- No-Sell: Unlike normal undead, unrisen heal from positive energy. And don't think that means that means negative energy hurts them, that still heals them too.
- Resurrective Immortality: Due to the lingering resurrective magic, once an hour an unrisen can reform at half hit points when destroyed. The only way to avoid this is to destroy it with fire damage, disintegration, or resurrection.
Undead servants of the Negative Energy Plane, wraiths arise from the souls of murderers whose violent ways persist beyond the grave.
- Ghastly Ghost: They're light-hating specters closely connected to the deadly powers of the Negative Energy Plane, and are born from the souls of murderers. They remember little of their lives beyond a powerful sense of hatred and anger, and consequently despise all living things. They victims are raised as more wraiths under their murderer's control, becoming free-willed but no less hateful should their master be destroyed.
- Life Drain: They can absorb Hit Points from creatures they're in physical contact with; dread wraiths do this to anything in their immediate vicinity.
- Monster Lord: Dread wraiths are much more powerful undead born from the souls of warlords and bloodthirsty generals, and are often found ruling over groups of lesser wraiths.
- Walking Wasteland: A dread wraith drains life from living creatures through its mere presence.
- Weakened by the Light: Wraiths are left stunned and uncoordinated when in direct sunlight.
- Zombie Apocalypse: A spectral variant — humanoids killed by a wraith arise as new wraiths under their killer's control, remaining that way until their maker dies. Should this happen, they become full wraiths themselves — and gain the power to create spawn of their own. A small group of wraiths, if left unchecked, can quickly grow into a dangerous plague.
When multiple addicts perish in the throes of a shared drug addiction in an area infused with pain and misery, those tortured souls sometimes cling to each other, and their overwhelming hunger for just one more fix sometimes anchors them to this world as wretchghosts.
When followers of a false faith die, they are confronted in the judgement of their afterlife that their devotion was all for naught and their "god" was a fraud. This knowledge traumatizes and enrages them, driving their spirits to avenge themselves upon those who deceived them in life. On Golarion nearly all apostasy wraiths arise from followers of Razmir the Living God, haunting Razmiran almost exclusively.
The undead remains of a member of an evil organization, either driven out or slain by their comrades.
Gale spirits are the remnants of wicked individuals who have fallen a great distance through the air and died alone, broken on the ground, while cursing the world for leaving them to their terrible demise.
Undead who yearn to live again, attempting to continue their former lives.
- Public Domain Character: They based on beings from the mythology of the Taíno people, where hupias were simply souls that were making their journey from their body to their earthly paradise. That said, they were still feared in the original mythos, as they were spirits of the night and the dead.
Monks who died under circumstances that violated their monastic oaths.
When savage warriors die in a rage, only to later have their burial place disturbed, they may rise as ragewights.
- The Berserker: What they were in life and what their Savage Fury ability allows them to be in death. Notably, the time limit on Savage Fury is 24 hours a day, allowing them to maintain a berserker frenzy nonstop.
- I Control My Minions Through...: Mind control, as all undead a ragewight creates are under its command until it is destroyed, with no limit to how many it can make or control.
- Man Bites Man: They have a bite attack, though their normal sword attack is superior in every way, making it more of a last resort.
- Monster Lord: If they aren't quickly destroyed after their creation they quickly assemble an army of lesser wights.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Those it kills become cairn wights. The exception is humanoids with at least 6 hit die, which become more ragewights.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A ragewight's typical response to their creation is to slaughter everyone involved with defiling their resting place before building an army to get revenge on those who killed them originally.
Physical undead driven by a need for revenge.
Undead dryads whose trees have died and become driftwood.
- Non-Human Undead: Dryads exclusively rather than humans.
Infants or children who died near areas of high necromantic energy.
- Public Domain Character: Based on vampiric creatures from Philippine mythology.
The opening of the Worldwound brought many horrors to the world, and one of the more tragic and horrible results was the elimination of the Sarkorian people. The mass deaths of these people spawned roiling clouds of unquiet spirits called drocha swarms. Each made of the spirits of hundreds of Sarkorians who died at once, these ghostlyswarms reveal the screaming faces of those who once lived and thrived in this verdant land.
- Brown Note: Their cries can force listeners to see visions of their own deaths.
- Flight: Their only method of movement.
- Unique Enemy: They were created in the one-of-a-kind circumstances of a massive portal to the Abyss opening on the Material Plane, instantly killing millions and infusing their souls with Abyssal energy.
Undead created from sailors who died ashore and failed to receive burial at sea.
- Burial at Sea: The only sure-fire way to prevent someone coming back as a Duppy, apparently.
- Ghost Pirate: Incorporeal undead created when a particularly cruel and brutal sailor dies on land.
- Hell Hound: A Duppy can send out a pack of spectral dogs which are functionally a manifestation of its own malevolence.
- The Paralyzer: The touch of a Duppy does strength drain, permanently weakening the victim and quite possibly rendering them literally unable to move if they had a low enough Strength score to begin with.
- Public Domain Character: Duppies are undead spirits from Bantu folklore.
Miserable remnants of souls who died in despair. Their stats can be found in Tears at Bitter Manor or online here.
- Official Fan-Submitted Content: The ephemeral echo was created by a participant in Paizo's RPG Superstar 2013 event.
The spirits of the especially greedy or jealous people, driven by a hunger for the pleasures of the material.
The minds of psychics who died in unexpected violence.
Spirits of the murdered or the evil who refuse to pass on.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Animals can sense a spectre's unnatural and evil aura, and will not come within thirty feet of them of their own will. If forced within a spectre's presence, they will panic and attempt to flee as long as they remain too close to them.
- Ghastly Ghost: Spectres arise from murder victims, their souls given unlife by their rage at their fate. They hate all living things, haunting the sites of their deaths and killing anyone who comes close. Like wraiths, they are repulsed by light and raise their victims as more of their kind.
- Murder Into Malevolence: Spectres can originate as humanoids of any alignment, but their impotent fury at their murders inevitably turns them evil in unlife.
- Weakened by the Light: Spectres are rendered powerless in natural sunlight and will try to flee from it at all costs.
- Zombie Apocalypse: A spectral variant — humanoids killed by a spectre arise as new spectres under their killer's control, remaining that way until their maker dies. Should this happen, they become full spectres themselves — and gain the power to create spawn of their own. A small group of spectres, if left unchecked, can quickly grow into a dangerous plague.
When spellcasters die in an area of aberrant magic they may rise as spellscar fexts. Most spellscar fexts on Golarion are found in the Mana Wastes of Garund.
When someone dies of a preventable cause with multiple onlookers who do nothing, they arise as a tatterlorn. Their stats can be found in Seers of the Drowned City or online here.
Souls of those who lived by lust and excess, seeking to continue their indulgence at the expense of others.
- Body Horror: Not themselves, but inflicted on any unfortunate soul they get their claws on. For every minute they have with a helpless creature a totenmaske can shape the flesh of their victim's face to remove major features. This also doesn't come with any ability to survive without features they remove, leaving victims blind, deaf, or even suffocating.
- Creepy Long Fingers: Their fingers are very long and aren't made any less creepy by what happens when they claw someone.
- Eyeless Face: They have a gaping fang-filled mouth, but no eyes.
- Greed: One of their drives, though less consuming than their lust and gluttony as they can indulge in it without needing a stolen identity.
- Lust: One of the carnal sins they love to indulge in using stolen forms.
- Meaningful Name: It means "death mask" in German.
- Mistaken for Granite: Variant totenmaskes from the city of Ird can shapeshift into golden statues of their Fleshdrink victims rather than identical copies.
- Self-Harm: Facial features they remove with their Shape Flesh ability are still there, just covered with the surrounding flesh reshaped to cover them. A sufficiently motivated person, such as one whose nose and mouth have been sealed and begun suffocating, can carve their face open to undo the totenmaske's work.
- Sense Freak: Even the feeling of sunlight and wind on their copied skin is enough to make them thrill in the sensation.
- Villainous Glutton: One of their primary drives is gluttony, which they use their shapechange power to fulfill in where their undead forms can't properly let them indulge. It's made more prominent by their Lean and Mean physique, which emphasizes how no matter how much they eat it can never be filling.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: They can shapeshift into the form of the last humanoid create they used their Fleshddrink ability on. This degrades over time as their own corrupted forms infect the stolen form, requiring them to either regularly drink from a target to keep their identity or find a new victim.
- Wolverine Claws: Their fingers end in long hollow claws that liquidize and suck up any flesh they hit.
The souls of violent werewolves who persist after death due to a desperation to kill more.
- Meaningful Name: A Lithuanian word corresponding to evil spirits, particularly those related to werewolves.
Undead formed from the souls of clerics, paladins, and priests who died while doubting their god.
Exposure to pure, unrestrained evil is sometimes enough to kill and reanimate mortals as bodaks.
- Bald of Evil: Completely hairless after their transformation.
- Body Horror: Their transformation involves their skin withering, their eyes burning into ash, and their bones warping even as they undergo a series of seizures. Oh, and this whole process lasts 24 hours.
- Brown Note: What created a bodak. They witnessed something so indescribably evil it destroyed them body and soul.
- Day in the Limelight: They're one of the focus monsters in Undead Revisited.
- Dumb Muscle: Much stronger than they are smart. This trait makes them desirable minions for liches and demons, who often employ them as guards and assassins.
- Eye Beams: A particularly lethal version called a Death Gaze.
- Eye Scream: If they kill a victim but are unable to convert them into a bodak they'll gouge out the eyes and carry them as trophies.
- Handicapped Badass: The seizures they suffer as part of their transformation does permanent damage to their muscles, leaving them with a slow, plodding gait. While this means one can just walk away from a bodak if they get enough advanced warning, this doesn't make them any less lethal if they get close.
- Horror Hunger: They yearn to show others the signs they've seen through their death gaze because that's the only way they can get even a modicum of relief from their torment.
- Humanoid Abomination: The barely-recogniseable result of a person being transformed by witnessing Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.
- Mind Rape: The event that created the bodak constantly replays in their mind and those who are hit by its death gaze see snippets of it, though they don't see the whole event unless the attack kills them.
- Monster Progenitor: That pure, unrestrained evil that creates bodaks? Their death gaze is one such example, allowing them to convert others into bodaks.
- Our Zombies Are Different: A type of corporeal undead that exist primarily within the Abyss.
- Omnicidal Maniac: They hate all living creatures, though they're slightly more ambivalent to things that aren't technicaly alive like outsiders.
- Weakened by the Light: Sunlight scorches their skin and damages them every round they're exposed to it.
- Wolverine Claws: When their gaze isn't enough, they make do with the claws that tip their fingers.
When a defeated legion is unwilling to accept defeat even in death, the bones of its soldiers may rise into a whirling undead maelstrom.
Rightful crusaders denied passage to their afterlife.
Undead formed from an evil soul intermingling with many other spirits, often because they were buried in a mass grave or entombed in an ossuary.
Occasionally, the desire to cause fear and misery survives even when a bugbear dies, creating an incorporeal creature that can detach part of its vile nature to create haunts.
When people fear a particularly evil person will rise form the dead they often dismember and scatter the body. This sometimes isn't enough, the broken fragments replacing their missing components with stone, dirt, and wood to continue their evil acts.
- Public Domain Character: They're based off the guecubu of the Araucanian tribe, where they were evil spirirts who worked to thwart the Great Spirit Togin.
Powerful and dangerous undead that rise from the corpses of those who killed many people while alive, such as mass murderers or berserkers.
- Calling Card: If they had a preferred method of killing in life, they will often employ it in undeath.
- Day in the Limelight: They're one of the focus undead in Undead Revisited.
- Dem Bones: They resemble normal undead skeletons, except with a mass of writhing, prehensile entrails filling their torsos and extending up and out of their mouths.
- It Can Think: Despite their desperate need to kill they employ tactics, picking off the most dangerous opponent first and preferring to strike at isolated targets.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: They arise from a serial killer who is executed for their crimes, meaning a party catching a killer and handing them over to the proper authorities can create a much worse monster than they stopped.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Anyone they kill turns into a zombie, and their favorite trick is to make them pretend to be dead until they have a small army buried in the local graveyard.
- Overly Long Tongue: Their intestines reform and extend up through their mouth to act as a grotesque ten-foot long tongue.
- The Paralyzer: Their tongue paralyzes people, and they take particular satisfaction in the helplessness of their victims.
- Serial Killer: Mohrgs arise from people who were these in life, and becoming undead strengthens their urge to kill.
- Underground Monkey: Certain specific variants of mohrg, each with its own unique abilities, can arise from the bodies of murderers executed under specific conditions:
- Desert mohrgs arise from the bodies of killers executed through exposure in hot, arid environments, and their victims rise as burning skeletons rather than as zombies.
- Frost mohrgs, by contrast, are created from murderers killed by exposure to cold. They retain most of their flesh — although black with frostbite — and deals cold damage in melee.
- Fleshwalker mohrgs are created from nonviolent executions that do not mar the body. Their flesh does not rot, meaning it's often impossible to determine their true nature until their tentacular entrails come slithering out of their mouths.
- Mohrg-mothers are a particularly horrific variant formed when the executed murderer was a pregnant mother. In this case, the resultant mohrg will have the undead remnants of its fetuses or embryos still clinging to its guts, and will possess the ability to turn one victim per day into another mohrg instead of a zombie.
A waldgeist arises when a gnome who was a woodlands dweller or who had a deep spiritual connection with such an area dies while in a large forest.
The spirits of women who froze to death and never received a proper burial.
- An Ice Person: The mode of their deaths has woven elemental ice firmly in each yuki-onna's soul — they can inherently cast cone of cold and ice storm, they are surrounded by a constant blizzard and their touch alone is enough to deal cold damage.
- Elemental Hair: Official art tends to depict yuki-onnas with bright blue hair, matching their association with ice.
- Hypnotic Gaze: People who look into a yuki-onna's eyes risk being drawn into a fascinated stupor.
- Meaningful Name: Japanese for "snow woman".
- No Body Left Behind: When a yuki-onna dies, her body quickly melts away into nothing more than a small puddle of cold water.
- Yuki-onna: A fairly direct interpretation of the Japanese myth, being ghostly pale beings formed from the souls of women who died lost and alone and now seek to share the misery of their fate with everyone else.
Hunters obsessed with the chase and savoring the kill who die without brining down their quarry will sometimes rise as baykoks.
- Bottomless Magazines: It creates arrows of bone to fire, without needing to carry ammunition. If it wants it can use other arrows but doing so denies it the negative energy damage and aralysis effect its bone arrows have.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Baykoks have a howl that can paralyze those who hear it with fear.
- Meaningful Name: Derived from the Anishinaabe word bakaak, which roughly means "skin-draped bones."
- The Paralyzer: The arrows it shoots can arpalyze a target.
- Public Domain Character: Baykoks are based on the monsters from Ojibway stories.
- Your Soul Is Mine: They can consume the souls of the dead and dying, preventing them from being resurrected unless the spell used is powerful enough to overcome their hold on the soul.
The creations of psychic creatures who died violent deaths.
- Emotion Bomb: Occupying the same space as a caller in darkness subjects you to a blast of despair.
- Empty Shell: They consume the minds of those who get too close and make them into this, though it just outright kills the creature if they get to entirely consume them.
- Flight: They can fly faster than other creatures can run.
- Telepathy: Owing to their psychic nature in life they have several psychic magic spells, all of which are meant for mental and emotional manipulation.
Evil individuals killed by haunts who refused to pass on.
- Flight: They move entirely through flight.
- Ghastly Ghost: Spectral undead created when a humanoid is killed by a haunt — a non-creature manifestation of the negative emotions created by a great tragedy or loss of life — and remains shackled to the material plane by its bitterness and anger. They can control existing haunts, and emit horrific laughter capable of sending living creatures into a mindless panic.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Geists seize control of haunts, causing them to reset quicker and choosing whether they're active or not. A giest can control haunts from up to a mile away and such haunts cannot be destroyed even by their typical appeasement means unless the geist is destroyed as well.
- Intangible Man: Geists are incorporeal undead.
- Man Bites Man: Their only attack is a negative energy bite.
- Meaningful Name: It's just German for "ghost".
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: A geist's laugh is terrifying to those who hear it, reducing other to dropping their weapons and fleeing as quickly as they can.
- Trap Master: Due to their lackluster combat abilities, they tend to let their haunts whittle down adversaries before ganging up on targets during moments of weakness.
- Weakened by the Light: They are rendered powerless and confused when in direct sunlight.
The spectres of hags or witches.
- Non-Human Undead: Witchfires are the ghosts of hags.
Gunslingers slain by a hated enemy or denied their vengeance due to their own death may sometimes arise as pale strangers.
- The Gunslinger: What they were in life. If anything, undeath has improved their skills.
- Murder Into Malevolence: The immense, frustrated rage these people feel as they die corrupts them and raises them as an undead horror, which will always be Neutral Evil regardless of their alignment in life. The rage that corrupted a Pale Stranger will stay with it forever, and after taking its revenge on the cause of its death it will take to wandering the wastes, venting its constant, unending anger on anyone it finds.
The restless souls of pyromaniacs or arsonists who were killed in the fires they started.
Ghost-like creatures created when a victim is murdered in a natural setting.
- Demonic Possession: They can possess animals, though not sentient creatures.
- Kryptonite Factor: Cold iron weapons overcome the defenses they get by being incorporeal.
- Meaningful Name: There's no direct translation, but "bhūta" is a Sanskrit word that carries connotations of "past" and "being."
- Our Vampires Are Different: Something more like a ghost, but capable of sucking blood out opens wounds from an arms reach away.
- Public Domain Character: The name is taken from Hindu mythology, though they're closer in character to the similarly named bhoots that the benevolent bhutas.
- Spot the Thread: One can see through their disguise as a living being by looking at their feet, which are on backwards.
- Unfinished Business: Important business left unfinished or desires left unfulfilled are part of what creates a bhuta.
Copsewights are formed from trees that died of magical or supernatural blight.
- Meaningful Name: Copsewight means "spirit of a group of trees." Not very elaborate, but accurate.
Beings who venture beyond the farthest reaches of the multiverse and become lost, returning as monsters warped in body and mind with an undying hunger.
- Day in the Limelight: They're one of the focus undead in Undead Revisited.
- Humanoid Abomination: A lot of undead count to one degree or another, but Devourers may have the best claim, being warped, soul-stealing remnants from beyond the edges of time and space.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Devourers threaten all souls with oblivion.
- Soul Eating: The souls killed by a devourer will be trapped within its chest and can't be brought back until the devourer is destroyed or forced to release it.
Undead created when an innocent woman was murdered in some unspeakable manner.
Vengeful spirits arising from a combination of shame and sorrow with the drowning of a child.
Cruciaruses are the disembodied spirits of those who died while being tortured.
Undead that rise from the fey victims of virulent disease.
- Meaningful Name: German for "after living" and the name of a type of German vampire.
Ossumentals are found exclusively in the enigmatic location called the Slave Trenches of Hakotep. Obelisks bound with elemental spirits were erected throughout the system of trenches, and as time crept along, some of these spirits escaped their prisons and fused with the remains of the slaves who once toiled there.
- Breath Weapon: All ossumentals can breathe a cone of energy, either ice, acid, fire, or electricity depending on their element.
- Dem Bones: They're made of nothing but bones imbued with elemental power. They can also let themselves collapse into a pile of ordinary looking bones as camouflage, which is how they spend most of their time until a living creature gets too close.
- Elemental Powers: Each ossumental is bound to a particular type of elemental energy that determines their breath weapon.
- Impossible Task: They try to keep the trenches clear of sand, trenches that are in the middle of a windy desert.
- Multiarmed And Dangerous: Ossumentals have four arms and can make attacks with all of them every round.
- Teleport Spam: When they use their breath weapon, they can teleport to any empty square it affects.
- Unique Enemy: They're found only in one place on Golarion and were only created under very specific circumstances.
Undead created when someone dies while gripped by extreme emotion.
Enraged spirits who either betrayed those they loved or were themselves betrayed in their final moments.
- Antimagic: With a touch attack they can attempt to dispel any one spell effect on the target in addition to the normal damage and fear effect.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: They can hear hearbeats and nothing can suppress this ability.
- Emotion Bomb: The touch of a banshee causes overwhelming terror.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: The banshee wail is a classic, and it deals massive amounts of damage with a penalty to the save if the one making the save is under a fear effect.
- Our Banshees Are Louder: Spirits fueled by grief over betrayal who visit their pain on others through a soul-wrenching shriek.
Enormous skeletons formed from the collective bones of those who died from mass starvation.
- Breath Weapon: They can exhale a hail of bone shards.
- Dem Bones: They resemble outsized human skeletons.
- Gashadokuro: As per their inspiration in Japanese folklore, they're giant skeletons created from the collective remains of those who died of starvation and were left unburied.
- Horror Hunger: Gashadokuros are created by starvation and are ruled by a desperate, gnawing hunger in unlife. They can never sate it, but constantly try to do so by devouring crops, livestock and any unfortunate people who cross their path.
- Meaningful Name: It means "starving skeleton."
When a person wise in jungle lore is not properly buried the jungle itself may embrace their spirit.
- Meaningful Name: "Obambo" means "forsaken one" in some Bantu languages, referring to the ghost of someone who died in the jungle without proper burial.
When a creature was assigned to guard a location, object, or creature and is slain in the course of its duty it may rise as a chained spirit. Bound in spectral chains representing the bonds of its duty, it can reach out and chain others to itself as allies in its eternal guard.
Manifestations of the inevitability of death. They manifest in locations stained by many untimely deaths and take on an appearance immediately recognizable to local cultures as a personification of death.
- The Grim Reaper: Not in purpose, but most danse macabres use the look.
- Leitmotif: It's one of the only Pathfinder monsters to have its own theme music in the form of the identically named orchestral piece Danse Macabre, though the song did come first.
- Meaningful Name: French for "dance of death."
- Shout-Out: Their write-up contains a block explicitly mentioning Camille Saint-Saëns's Danse Macabre.
A hungry mist forms from a host of restless, angry spirits, typically the result of a catastrophe that suddenly killed hundreds. Mindless in its fury, this ghostly swarm seeks to drain the life from any creature it encounters.
Their 3.5 stats can be found in Blood of Dragonscar or online here.
Misplaced souls who failed to pass on due to some oversight or error in the judgement of the psychopomps.
- Demonic Possession: Not strictly demonic, but the idea is the same. Dybbuks can possess and control living victims, puppeting their bodies as they please.
- Ghastly Ghost: Dybbuks are the souls of criminals, sinners or suicides who remain in the world of the living to stave off the judgement that awaits them. They take out their dread and anger at their inevitable doom on the living, spreading death and mayhem wherever they go.
- Meaningful Name: Derived from the Yiddish "dāḇaq" that means "cling," referring to how they cling to their victims minds.
- Mind over Matter: Dybbuk can cast telekinesis as a spell-like ability at will.
- Public Domain Character: Dybbuks are possessing spirits from Judaic mythology.
Undead titans formed from collective horror and pain when a large group dies at sea.
- Yokai: Based on the umibōzu, a Japanese spirit that would sink ships.
Individuals executed by tyrants and left as a display, risen again to wield the tools of their own deaths.
When a whale dies after escaping whalers but succumbing to its wounds after days of anger and pain, it can rise as a bakekujira.
- Emotion Bomb: They can still sing whalesong, varying from a tune of wistful memory for its living existence to hatred at those who hunted it. Depending on the tune, those who hear it are either entranced or terrified.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: With the transition to undeath, whale calls became deadly sonic attacks that can decimate ships and weaker opponents.
- Meaningful Name: It literally means "ghost whale".
- Monster Whale: The undead husks of whales who died lingering, painful deaths after being attacked by whaling vessels. They're animated by festering hatred, their flesh animates anything that eats into an undead thrall and they will viciously attack any ship or coastal settlement they encounter.
- Mook Maker: They're surrounded by and covered in swarms of undead fish and birds that tear apart any living creature that gets to close. Some will also be accompanied by larger minions, usually sharks, albatrosses, or other large sea creatures with the skeleton or zombie templates.
- Raising the Steaks: The bakekujira is an undead skeletal whale.
- Yokai: The bake-kujira was an apparition followed by flocks of birds and bringing misfortune to wherever it's seen.
Beings that spent centuries in magical or technological stasis, only for an accident to leave their soul scattered across time.
Undead born of the coldest depths of the Negative Energy Plane.
The souls of dragons who refuse to pass on, either due to fear or rage.
- Breath Weapon: They breathe pure negative energy.
- Dracolich: Wyrmwraiths are formed from the ghosts of evil dragons who didn't accept death.
- Elite Mook: Wyrmwraiths formed from particularly powerful dragons, or regular ones that endure for centuries without being destroyed, become much more powerful elder wyrmwraiths.
- Life Drain: They can drain life from other creatures through their bites, healing themselves in the process.
- Soul Eating: An elder wyrmwraith can suck out the souls of all creatures less than sixty feet in front of it, which kills any creature whose soul is successfully eaten and prevents their resurrection until the wyrmwraith is destroyed.
The collective spirits of entire crews bound to the skeletons of giant sea creatures into the shape of a ship.
- Boarding Party: Some of the spirits that make up its collective consciousness can split off and form spectral bodies to board other vessels.
- Evil Is Visceral: An unliving ship of meat and bone that constantly fills the sea around it with blood. May be a Womb Level if you ever manage to bard one.
- Healing Factor: Bone ships can patch up damage by assimilating the bodies of others, using muscle and ligament to hold together the framework of bone.
- Ghost Pirate: More a ghost pirate ship, but the idea applies.
- Mind Hive: There's a lot of souls in a bone ship.