This is the sixth post of a series converting Dragon’s Dogma enemies to GURPS. Previous posts can be found below:
In Gransys, the word “undead” applies to those walking corpses more commonly known as zombies in other media, but here we use it in the more traditional Dungeon Fantasy sense to encompass all sorts of horrors from the grave. Undead make up a large enemy subtype that remains relevant all through the original game, so any discussion of them necessarily involves spoilers.
Undead in Gransys are generally similar to those found in countless other fantasy settings. They infest any place that has seen a great deal of death and not much in the way of ritual purification, or where dark forces are actively at work. Since many dungeons fall into both categories, they tend to have a lot of undead.
These creatures tend to be more active at night, and while it’s common to find large groups of undead they rarely cooperate with other types of monster, which they view as targets just like any other living creature. In large dungeons, undead and living monsters tend to have distinct territories and keep to them, with the occasional fight redefining their borders.
There’s little to say about the zombies of Gransys that hasn’t been said a thousand times elsewhere. They’re slow, they moan a lot, they come in large numbers and they like holding you down and biting you to death. The Horde Zombies from GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2 and the Servitor Zombie from DF 9 should do nicely to represent the bulk of them. Of note is that Gransys zombies are usually not infectious. They rise because of necromancy, ambient dark magic, or divine curse, not a plague. Of course, an industrious coven of necromancers could still get a zombie infestation going by doing all the animating themselves.
Interesting zombie variations include:
Zombie Warrior: Increase ST and give them skill equal to DX with a weapon. Give them a suit of armor and a weapon covered by the skill.
Giant zombie: Double ST, increase SM to +1, and add Resistant to Turning (+3).
Common skeletons are little more than faster, more fragile zombies, but they get interesting rather quickly. Like zombies, they don’t keep any of the original person’s memories or personality, but they do often retain their skills! Skeletons that rise from old battlefields tend to be skilled soldiers. Old temples and mage towers will often contain skeleton wizards. None of them can improve on these skills after death, but if a 400-point delver falls in the depths of a death-tainted dungeon, they’re likely to become terrible monsters.
Basic skeletons were commoners in life, and follow the Servitor Skeleton template from DF 9 without any weapons or other equipment. For more dangerous specimens, create a human opponent and apply the Servitor Skeleton modifiers as a racial template. Using some of the ready-made opposition here works, but unique high-point skeletons also exist.
Ghosts are incorporeal undead that resemble spheres of eerie light. They tend to appear at night over bodies of water, but some may also appear in drier settings if they died there. In either case, ghosts never stray too far from the site of their death. Ghosts attack by “entering” a victim and slowly draining their life. This is erroneously referred to as possession by the inhabitants of Gransys, but the victim is still in control of their actions while this goes on.
Physical attacks pass harmlessly through these creatures, but spells affect them normally. Properly fighting them requires a magician with the right spells - Affect Spirits or “pure energy” attack spells like Fireball or Sunbolt. A group that lacks any of this is reduced to running and hoping they get far enough away from the creature’s territory before they succumb to it
ST –; DX 12; IQ 6; HT 10
SM -1; Dodge 8; DR 0;
HP 10; Will 12; Per 10; FP 10
Basic Speed 5.5; Move 10 (flight with Hover).
- Drain Life (12 vs. Will): Causes injury equal to the margin of victory. Cosmic, ignores DR. If the ghost is wounded, it heals the same amount of HP. The ghost must touch the victim to use this attack.
Traits: Flight; Insubstantial (not vs. Magic); Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Injury Tolerance (No Blood, No Brain, No Neck, No Vitals, Homogenous); Fragile (Unnatural); No Manipulators; Divine Curse (must stay within 20m of place of death), Supernatural Features (Glows).
Wights and Liches
The prime example of sapient undead in Gransys, these are powerful spellcasters who used forbidden magic to turn themselves into immortal undead. They retain their memories and personality and can keep on improving in their craft after the transformation. The difference between a wight and a lich is one of degree, not of kind - a wight is simply a lich who’s still relatively new to the business.
For both, use the Lich from Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1 as a starting point. Wights generally have less of everything that makes a Lich dangerous: spells, Magery, IQ, resources and minions. Proper liches use the published stats.
A note on the Unkillable trait: this is a big feature of the published Lich, but the video game doesn’t seem to ascribe anything like this to its version of them aside from the tendency all monsters there have of respawning after a while. The easiest way to translate this would be to split the difference and say Wights don’t possess the Trait, as they’ve yet to master the trick to it. As variant mana levels are very rare in Gransys, it could make sense to have liches use the more traditional philactery instead.
A lich that has a philactery as its weakness still has Unkillable 3: to kill such a creature, both the philactery and its current body must be destroyed. If the PCs somehow manage to deal with the philactery first, they must still contend with the Lich, and do so before it has time to make another philactery to kill it for good.