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Undead Minion

Source Alien Archive pg. 114
The most commonly encountered undead in the galaxy are the mindless minions of greater undead (such as necrovites and vampires) or of powerful spellcasters (including both mystics and technomancers of all races). As creatures with no motivations of their own, undead minions can also be found leaderless in the remains of ruined structures on planetary surfaces, adrift in derelict spacecraft, and even floating through the void of space. Whether encountered as servants of a mastermind who coordinates their movements or as a mindless threat in the wake of a cataclysmic disaster, undead minions are always a force to be reckoned with and a scourge to the living.

Though there are countless types of mindless undead who serve as minions, the most common are cybernetic zombies, occult zombies, and skeletal undead. Both occult zombies and skeletal undead are animated by magical or supernatural forces and created either in dark necromantic rituals (including the create undead spell) or by strange and mysterious reactions between the Material and Negative Energy Planes. Cybernetic zombies, on the other hand, arise as the result of technological implants that continue to function after their hosts have died, causing the body to act in a sad, shambling imitation of real life. Without control from an external force, these three kinds of undead simply go through the motions of their former lives, without reason, purpose, or the promise of an end to their miserable existences.

In the Pact Worlds, most undead hail from the dead world of Eox and were created by the bone sages, though zombies and skeletal creatures are also found among the wreckage of ancient battlefields on Akiton and the enigmatic, alien structures on Aucturn. In contrast, cybernetic zombies are most often found on worlds with high levels of technological development, such as Aballon, Castrovel, and Verces.

Those cultists of Urgathoa who see undeath as the pinnacle of being surround themselves with undead minions, both to use their abilities to terrorize innocent folk and to study their physiology in order to become undead themselves. While these worshipers would prefer to become more intelligent undead creatures, they often find that their fate is to rise up as a skeleton or zombie. Priests of Pharasma, on the other hand, often go out of their way to destroy all undead creatures, especially their mindless minions.

Undead minions can be formed from the corpses of any type of creature, though most of those appearing in folklore from across the galaxy are animated versions of whatever culture is telling the tale. Humanoids tell of ambulatory corpses rising from their ritual burial grounds, while aberrations, dragons, and magical beasts have their own legends of mindless dead of their own species returning to plague the living. Whatever the undead creatures’ original form, they often maintain natural attacks and other physical characteristics of their living counterparts even in undeath, though their mindless nature means they lose the ability to carry out complex tactics, conduct intricate or detailed tasks, and cast spells or take other mentally engaging actions. Yet the creatures’ mindlessness makes them all the more frightening and threatening, as they can be neither reasoned with nor cowed.

Use the following template grafts to create other versions of the undead minions presented here.

Aliens in the "Undead Minion" Family

NameCR
Cybernetic Zombie3
Occult Zombie1
Skeletal Undead1/2

Undead Minion, Occult Zombie

Source Alien Archive pg. 114

Occult Zombie CR 1

XP 400
NE Medium undead
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5

Defense

HP 24
EAC 11; KAC 13
Fort +3; Ref +3; Will +3
DR 5/magic; Immunities undead immunities
Weaknesses staggered

Offense

Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +8 (1d6+5 B)

Statistics

STR +4; DEX +2; CON —; INT —; WIS +1; CHA +0
Skills Athletics +10
Other Abilities mindless, unliving

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, pack (3–12), or horde (13+)

Special Abilities

Staggered (Ex) An occult zombie is always considered staggered and can never take more than a single move or standard action in a round. It can’t take full actions.

Extra Content

The following extra content was found for this creature:
- Cybernetic Zombie (Undead Minion) Graft Template
- Occult Zombie (Undead Minion) Graft Template
- Skeletal Undead (Undead Minion) Graft Template