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Corpsefolk

Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 31
Bodies of the dead can, if in good enough condition, be magically made into corpsefolk: free-willed and intelligent undead who remember much of their past lives. For lone necromancers, this magic is possible only if the corpse is of the recently deceased or has been preserved shortly after death. However, the bone sages of Eox have learned to magically repair even badly damaged corpses and those decayed beyond what was usable for lesser necromancers. As a result, corpsefolk make up much of the population of Eox, some serving as indentured servants to pay off the cost of their creation. Undead creatures of this type were called zombie masters in ancient days, but as a class of normal citizens on Eox and soldiers in the Corpse Fleet, they have become known as corpsefolk, balancing their humble social status with their self-willed mentality. Corpsefolk look like zombies, but unlike those undead, corpsefolk retain memories of their previous lives, skills and abilities gained from classes and experience, and the will to make their own decisions. Initially, a corpsefolk’s physical form looks gaunt and dry, with sunken eyes and a hollow torso, but it begins as intact as its corpse was when it gained undeath.

As corpsefolk age, however, their bodies can become torn and tattered. Early in their undead years, corpsefolk use surgery and magic to adopt a more wholesome appearance, but after a few decades, most cease to care what they look like, focusing only on what they can do to increase their long-term wealth and power. Corpsefolk can benefit from cybernetic implants, though many prefer necrografts, which blend more seamlessly with their animated forms.

Most living creatures see corpsefolk as walking corpses and as such fear or mistrust them, but other self-aware undead creatures treat corpsefolk as second-class undead. Bone sages view corpsefolk as barely better than zombies, while ghouls, vampires, and other undead treat them as peasants or wage slaves unworthy of respect. Because most corpsefolk exist as a result of being created specifically to serve, few enter their undead existence with wealth, power, or influence. Most corpsefolk also lack innate magic power or special abilities. Though they can learn and excel with time and practice, doing so is no easier for them than for living creatures. This fact, coupled with the prejudices they face, makes it difficult for corpsefolk to rise into important positions. Eox, for instance, has a vast corpsefolk underclass, and these ragged undead are rarely selected for any position calling for interaction with living citizens of the Pact Worlds.

Corpsefolk can be found in various roles in those societies that accept them: managers, soldiers, technicians, and workers. They can use equipment they mastered in life and gain new skills, though they vary in their ambition. Some corpsefolk lack the drive to do more than the minimum needed to maintain their existence, which is very little. Unlike undead that must consume materials from the living or those that hate the living and wish to destroy them, corpsefolk have no supernatural hunger or drive to kill. They don’t need air, food, sleep, or water, and the more apathetic corpsefolk also don’t need stimuli—when left alone, they can sit in silence for weeks or years with no sense of boredom or unease. Such corpsefolk carry out the tasks assigned to them and do little else.

Most corpsefolk, however, still experience emotions and desires, though they have duller passions than most of the living and take a long-term view. Even when tending to menial tasks, they assume their current positions are temporary, trusting that as time passes and their experience grows, they can at least improve their lot even if positions of power and influence are out of reach.

Some corpsefolk have great ambition. These drives can be tied to some aspect of a corpsefolk’s original life or an activity experienced early in their undeath that sparks significant interest. Such corpsefolk might settle old scores from their life, become fascinated with a specific kind of art, eagerly embrace new skills and opportunities, explore situations they feared in life, or seek to excel at assigned tasks as a way to track their progress through a potentially eternal unlife.

Aliens in the "Corpsefolk" Family

NameCR
Corpsefolk Marine7
Corpsefolk Operative3

Corpsefolk, Corpsefolk Operative

Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 30, Starfinder #6: Empire of Bones pg. 56

Corpsefolk Operative CR 3

XP 800
Corpsefolk operative
NE Medium undead
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +14

Defense

HP 42
EAC 14; KAC 15
Fort +3; Ref +6; Will +7
Defensive Abilities evasion; DR 5/magic; Immunities undead immunities

Offense

Speed 40 ft.
Melee survival knife +7 (1d4+4 S)
Ranged static arc pistol +9 (1d6+3 E; critical arc 2) or tactical shirren-eye rifle +9 (1d10+3 P)
Offensive Abilities trick attack +1d8

Statistics

STR +1; DEX +4; CON —; INT +1; WIS +2; CHA +0
Skills Acrobatics +9, Intimidate +9, Sleight of Hand +14, Stealth +14
Languages Common
Other Abilities operative exploits (uncanny mobility), specialization (thief), unliving
Gear graphite carbon skin, static arc pistol with 2 batteries (20 charges each), survival knife, tactical shirren-eye rifle with 25 sniper rounds

Ecology

Environment any (Eox)
Organization solitary, pair, or association (3–10)

Extra Content

The following extra content was found for this creature:
- Corpsefolk (Other) Graft Template