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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Mummified Dead

The mummy kind of stands out among the ranks of the undead. A mummy is definitely corporeal, but it is unique in that the body has been prepared in a specific way. In the horror movies where the mummy originated, mummies are specifically created, a sort of advanced Animate Dead that traps some (The Mummy's Tomb, 1940) or all (The Mummy, 1932) of the spirit or soul in the corpse. The process is part of the embalming procedure and inflicted as a punishment, for Kharis, but it is the effect of a curse laid by the mummy himself, for Imhotep. The Monsters & Treasure write-up is closer to Kharis than Imhotep.

Because of this, I'd rather have mummies separate from other corporeal undead. Unlike M&T, I'm going to use both Kharis and Imhotep as my guidelines (and maybe a little Mumm-Ra.) Kharis himself changes in the movies, starting first as an automaton that must obey the will of the priests of the Egyptian gods, but then "waking up" when he sees the reincarnation of his true love. That suggests at least three different level of mummy, with Imhotep at the top. My overall concept is that mummies are as frightening in appearance as skeletons, become immune to mundane weapons sooner, but have a weakness to fire and are slower to increase in other powers. The central feature of mummified undead is their bandages becoming drier, more flammable, and more infected as they age.

Interesting names were in kind of short supply, so I re-used one AD&D name, the revenant, although I didn't re-use the stats or concept.
Vulnerability to Sunlight
Starts at the 1 HD (Bound Corpse) level as a morale effect (-1 on all attack rolls, Move reduced to 3; GM-controlled undead flee if morale breaks.)
Reduced at the 10 HD + level.
Vulnerability to Fire
No guaranteed extra damage to start, but bandages catch fire if damage roll is 5+ (1 point of damage per round after being struck, for the rest of the combat.)
Continues to be vulnerable to mundane fire throughout progression
At the 7 HD level, takes double damage from fire, plus can still catch fire
Fearful Appearance
Starts at the 1 HD level as a morale check for NPCs (flee in panic if morale breaks)
At 4 HD, causes fear in PCs of 4 HD or less who fail a save (-1 on all attack rolls, Move reduced to 3 unless fleeing.)
At 7 HD, causes panic in PCs of 4 HD or less who fail a save (player's choice: flee or be paralyzed.)
Immunity to Mundane Weapons
Starts at the 2 HD (Niche Lurker) level as an immunity to normal missiles; both magical and silver arrows will still do standard damage, as will ordinary melee weapons.
At 4 HD, only magic weapons are effective
At 5 HD, magic weapons do half damage
Mummy Rot
Starts at the 3 HD level as a cloud of dust when it strikes for 5+ damage (save vs. poison or stunned 1d6 rounds by choking.)
At 5 HD, wounds caused by mummies take ten times longer to heal

Mummified Undead Progression Track
HDUndead RankCumulative Features
1Bound Corpsefears the sun (-1 attack, Move 3), catches fire easily, frightens NPCs
2Niche Lurkerimmune to normal missiles
3Moldering Lurkerchoking rot
4Tomb Stalkercause fear, immune to mundane/silver weapons
5-6Mummyrotting disease, half damage from magic weapons
7-9Mummy Lordcause panic, embalm victims, double damage from fire
10+Revenantvulnerable to fire/sun only when bandaged, regenerates

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