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World of d20d20 Modern Horror

Sometimes death isn’t the end, for either body or soul. When the will lives on but the body perishes, a living person becomes a ghost. When the will continues to drive the body, she becomes a revenant instead—similar to a zombie, but capable of acting with purposes more complex than “eat more brains” and with at least some clear memories retained from life. The revenant is always animated by some sustained desire, which can be as focused as “get revenge on those who kill me” or as open-ended as “continue to experience the world, as long as physically possible”.

Revenant Origins

A treatise on the soul.

Revenant Society

No such thing.

Revenant (Template)

Template Traits

The following features pertain to the Revenant advanced class.

Type: Undead zombie.

Hit Dice: Each die is replaced by 1d12, regardless of class. Revenants have no Constitution score, so they get no bonuses to their HD.

Ability Modifiers: Revenants get +2 Strength and +2 Dexterity. They don't have Constitution scores.

Advancement: Revenants advance by character class, primarily the revenant class. They can have all normal and advanced classes not specifically prohibited.

Allegiance: A revenant only has one allegiance, the one that made her a revenant.

Taint: A revenant always has a corruption score equal to 1 + one-half its Charisma score.

Special Qualities

All Revenants possess the following qualities as soon as they rise from the grave (or otherwise reenter the lands of the living.)

Revenant Regeneration (Su): The Revenant loses any regenerative or fast healing qualities she possessed in life, and develops this instead. Although only damage that bypasses her immunities and other defenses actually reduces her hit points, the player or GM should keep track of damage from other attacks. When that damage equals or exceeds the Revenant’s current hit point total, she falls prone, and is immobile and helpless for 2d6 rounds. During this time, any further damage she suffers heals instantly. When the period of helplessness ends, she regains self-control and the non-vulnerability damage total is erased to start over.

Speed (Ex): You get +2 squares to your speed.


The Revenant starts off with 4 of the following weaknesses. She may take one additional weakness at to get an additional basic quality, and one additional weakness at 5th revenant level to get an additional intermediate quality.

Dead Appearance (Su): The Revenant is pale, cold, and detached. She suffers a -5 penalty to all social interactions relying on charm or good will.

Impaired Healing (Ex): The Revenant heals at half normal rates, and major wounds always leave scars and other marks.

Need for Violence (Su): The Revenant depends on the physical and psychological rush from violence to sustain her precarious existence. She must make at least one successful attack (even if it does no damage) against a target of hostility based on her animating drive every 24 hours. She takes 2 points of temporary ability damage to her Charisma each day that goes by without such an attack, and if she’s reduced to 0 Charisma this way, she’s destroyed. If her drive does not include revenge or other innate antagonism, targets can include anyone who gets in the way of her pursuit.

Sensitivity to Bright Light: Sunlight and strong artificial light make the Revenant uncomfortable, flooding her senses and making her no-longer-living skin itchy and prone to rashes. She suffers a -2 circumstance penalty to all attack rolls and skill checks while in bright light; this penalty stacks with the one from Dead Appearance, if she has that weakness as well.

Special Vulnerability (Su): Each Revenant is particularly vulnerable to a kind of attack related to the way she died. Attacks of this sort do normal damage to her, and if they reduce her to 0 hit points, she is destroyed. Common vulnerabilities among Revenants include fire, cold, electricity, and ballistic damage, but any sort of damage is possible if the GM approves it as relevant to the Revenant’s death. A Revenant who died from suffocation, starvation, or other causes that don’t inflict hit point damage directly is instead vulnerable to a kind of damage she particularly feared or associated with trauma before she died.

Vulnerability Fear (Su): The Revenant is terrified and repelled by items directly associated with her death—the gun that shot her, for instance, or the rope with which she hung herself. Illusions and other deceptions don’t induce the vulnerability fear; somehow the Revenant’s innermost soul recognizes the true thing. When she sees the item, she must make a DC 15 Will save or be shaken for 24 hours. If the save is successful, she’s shaken for 1d4 rounds. If the item is used to attack her, whether or not it’s normally included in her special vulnerability, she must make a DC 20 Will save to avoid being panicked for one minute and shaken for 24 hours thereafter. If she succeeds at this save, she’s shaken for one minute.

Revenant (Power Class)

The following information pertains to the Revenant advanced class.

Requirements: To qualify to become a Revenant, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Death: The potential Revenant must die.

Cause: The potential Revenant must have an allegiance (personal, moral, or otherwise) strong enough that she wishes to return to life to continue pursuing her destiny. When it’s fulfilled, she has 12 hours to conclude her affairs and is then destroyed.

Power: Someone or something makes it possible for the Revenant to return to the land of the living. This is up to the GM, and depends on the nature of the campaign world. It might be a spirit guide, a god with authority over the entrances to the underworld, an impersonal force of vengeance or desire, a powerful magician, or something else entirely.

Hit Die: 1d12. Being undead, you gain no Constitution modifier.

Defenses: Fortitude +2, Will +4. Note that a revenant is immune to most Fortitude effects, being undead and all.

Table: Revenant Power Class
Level BAB MR Skills Class Features
1 2 Basic Qualities
2 +1½ +1 Basic Quality
3 +2¼ +1½ 1 +1 Str, Basic Quality, Bonus Feat
4 +3 +2 Intermediate Quality
5 +3¾ +2½ 1 Intermediate Quality
6 +4½ +3 +1 Dex, Bonus Feat
7 +5¼ +3½ Intermediate Quality
8 +6 +4 1 Advanced Quality
9 +6¾ +4½ +1 Str, Bonus Feat
10 +7½ +5 1 Advanced Quality

Basic Qualities

At 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level, the Revenant acquires special qualities chosen from this list. Each quality can be taken only once unless specifically noted otherwise. All these qualities are considered Su (supernatural).

Blindsense: The Revenant can sense her surroundings with hearing, scent, and touch even when her sight is useless. She does not have to make Spot or Listen checks to pinpoint the location of anything within her normal line of sight. Concealed foes have total concealment, with the regular penalties, and the revenant is still denied her Dexterity bonus to Defense against attacks from sources she cannot see.

Constriction: The Revenant can apply briefly overpowering strength to crush her enemies. Each round after making a successful grapple check, she inflicts 1d6 points of damage to her imprisoned target. The target can escape with a successful Strength check, DC 20 + the Revenant’s class level +1 per round it’s been constricted.

Dedicated Search: The Revenant can apply unnaturally focused concentration in the service of her drive. At the start of an encounter, the player declares a dedicated search to the GM, and the Revenant gains a +2 bonus to Spot checks and Sense Motive checks while within a 30-foot square area containing some connection to her drive. If the area includes her vulnerability fear (if she has that weakness), she gains an additional +2, and the shakes do not affect these particular checks.

Eavesdropping: The Revenant can sit or stand absolutely motionless, in some corner or alcove near a place people are visiting casually, like a bar or fairground. Each hour she spends this way, she can make a special check with a bonus equal to her Intelligence modifier + her class level to gain a specific piece of information useful to her drive. The DC is 10 for common knowledge known to at least a substantial minority of those speaking nearby, 20 for uncommon knowledge known to a few there, or 25 for obscure knowledge that may well be someone’s secret and alluded to only unintentionally. Each additional hour she spends listening before making a roll gives her a +2 bonus, up to a number of hours equal to her class level, but she cannot use Eavesdropping after that for one full day. While eavesdropping, the Revenant adds half her class level (rounded down) to the difficulty of others’ efforts to detect her.

Extraction of Secrets: Once per day, the Revenant can press a subject for additional and concealed information relating to her drive. She must spend at least 15 consecutive minutes in his presence (with or without his knowledge), then make an Persuasion check, DC 10 + the subject’s Will save. If successful, she learns whatever the subject knows that bears directly on her drive, giving her a bonus of onehalf her class level (rounded down) to upcoming Persuasion or Perception checks. She can apply this bonus to one check per point of Intelligence modifier, with a minimum of 1 check enhanced this way. She can’t stack bonuses to further enhance any one check.

Hidden Self: The Revenant can add her class level to the difficulty of others’ efforts to discover her drive and unnatural condition. If a check would have succeeded apart from this additional penalty, the person making the check can tell that something is wrong but not what it is.

Quick Action: When the Revenant speaks with others before initiating combat with them, she gains a free readied action that she can use for either a move or attack action if anyone else decides to start hostilities. She can take that action before initiative checks are made, giving her the effective benefit of surprise.

Obsession: The Revenant may designate one skill related to her drive as a particular specialty. She can take 10 with it even when distracted, under stress, or in other circumstances that normally prevent taking 10. At 7th level she can add a second skill for this treatment.

Uncanny Entrance: The Revenant can choose to make an unusually dramatic entrance, moving with a peculiar power not available to the living. She adds her class level to rolls to determinate NPCs’ initial reaction to her. The uncanny entrance does not affect subsequent encounters with the same individuals. She suffers a -2 penalty to checks involving efforts to remain inconspicuous in any situation where more than half the observers haven’t seen her before.

Intermediate Qualities

At 4th, 5th, and 7th level, you acquire special qualities from this list. You don't have to take the basic version of a quality before getting the intermediate version, and can choose to acquire an additional basic quality instead of an intermediate one. Each quality can be taken only once unless specifically noted otherwise. All these qualities are considered Su (supernatural).

Abnormal Strength: The Revenant gets a bonus to her Jump checks, + 10 +her class level, and to her Tumble checks, +5 + her class level. She also gains Tumble as a class skill. These bonuses stack with any gains from Ability Boost I and/or II.

Need rewrite

Discordant: The Revenant can make her enemies turn against each other with a few well-chosen words. She must take a full round to make her distressing accusations and manipulations, and must know the names of at least two of her targets. Her targets, up to a number equal to her class level, must each make a Will save, DC of 15 + her class level + her Charisma modifier. Those who fail have their attitudes toward the others in the targeted group worsen by two levels: helpful to indifferent, friendly to unfriendly, indifferent or unfriendly to hostile. A success on the Will save makes a target immune to further attempts for 24 hours. Multiple uses of this quality don’t stack; they can simply affect more targets.

Dread Aura: Without saying or doing anything overt, the Revenant may nonetheless radiate an aura that inspires deep fear in the living. Once per day, she may spend a move action concentrating on projecting dread. For 10 + her class level minutes, she gets a bonus of +4 + half her class level (rounded down) to Intimidate checks, and anyone within 20 feet must make a Will save, DC 15 + her class level + her Charisma modifier, to avoid being shaken for one minute. Those who move out of range recover the following round, but must make another save if they move back in range.

Empty Mind I: The Revenant may temporarily shut down much of her mind temporarily, entering a trance similar to the condition of zombies. She can instruct herself with orders summed up in two simple sentences (three simple sentences at 8th-10th level). For a period lasting up to 30 minutes, she becomes immune to stunning and mind-affecting effects and to ability loss and ability drain. She remembers everything that happened to her while in the empty-mind state, but while in the midst of it can remember nothing except what’s necessary for carrying out her orders.

Hard to Shoot: The Revenant unconsciously bends and twitches in ways that make it difficult to hit her with ranged attacks. Whenever she begins combat and is not herself armed with a ranged weapon, she adds half her class level, rounded down, to her Defense against all ranged attacks. This benefit stops applying if she picks up a ranged weapon at any point in the course of the fight.

Relentless Pursuit: The Revenant can identify a single person important to her drive by looking at him in person. (He doesn’t have to be aware that she’s observing him.) She must make a DC Perception check. If it’s successful, for the next while, up to a number of days equal to her class level, she has an intuitive sense of what direction he’s in and about how far away he is. She can also tell if he’s alive or dead, though not if or how severely he’s injured.

Tormented Expression: The Revenant gets a bonus equal to her class level to all Crafts and Perform checks, as long as her subject is her drive or something closely connected to it. Her artistic expressions can never inspire positive emotions, only anger, despair, grief, and the like.

Unliving Weapon: The Revenant can us her fists interchangeably, and supplement their attacks with blows from her elbows, knees, and feet. She can make unarmed strikes even when her hands are full, and suffers no penalty for off-hand attacks when striking unarmed. She does 1d6 points of damage with unarmed strikes at 4th-7th levels, and 1d8 points at 8th-10th levels.

Voice of Command: The Revenant may give an order to a subject she’s not currently attacking, backed with the peculiar tones from being dead and driven. The target must make a Will save, DC 15 + the Revenant’s class level + the Revenant’s Charisma modifier, to avoid obeying the command. It can be any single simple sentence, and cannot direct the subject to place himself in life-threatening danger (though lesser injury is possible). He will interpret the order in the way most favorable to the Revenant. The commanded action must be completed in a number of hours equal to the Revenant’s class level; the subject regains his self-control at the end of that time.

Advanced Qualities

At 8th, 9th, and 10th level, the Revenant acquires special qualities chosen from this list. The Revenant does not have to take the basic and/or intermediate versions of a quality before getting the advanced version, and can choose to take an additional basic or intermediate quality instead of an advanced one. Each quality can be taken only once unless specifically noted otherwise. All these qualities are considered Su (supernatural).

Critical Strike: Once per day, the Revenant may confirm a threat as a critical hit automatically, without needing to make a critical roll.

Diseased Touch: As the Revenant’s body shuffles through its unliving existence, it becomes a carrier of potent disease. Any living creature she touches is vulnerable to infection by some obscure rotting condition: DC 13 + Revenant’s class level Fortitude save to negate, 1d6-1 hours incubation period (if the result is 0, the disease breaks out the following round), initial 1d4 points of Constitution damage, secondary 1d4 points of Constitution damage.

Empty Mind II: The Revenant’s consciousness becomes more consistently unnatural. She is immune to stunning and mind-affecting effects, and to ability loss and ability drain. She can also selectively tune out distractions, adding half her class level (rounded down) to Concentration checks. Anyone attempting to read her mind or emotions senses only the Revenant’s animating drive.

Enhanced Regeneration: The Revenant’s body becomes almost impossible to destroy, as long as she has some time to force recuperation. She heals back a number of hit points equal to her class level for every minute she spends concentrating on healing. If disturbed, she must start over. She can regrow severed limbs and other major damage in ten minutes of sustained concentration. Enhanced regeneration requires a DC 12 Concentration check, or DC 15 if one or more limbs have been severed.

Mental Blow: The Revenant may project her anger and her drive as a psychic attack, either as a circle with a radius of 10 feet + 5 feet/2 class levels or a foot-wide beam 50 feet long, + 10 feet/class level. Every unobstructed target in the affected area takes 1d6 points of damage per the Revenant’s class level. The mental blow strikes each target as a medium-sized combatant using the Improved Bull Rush feat. If a target is knocked over by this effect, anyone behind the fallen target and within range is also subject to the mental blow. This requires an attack action, and the Revenant may perform it once per day per point of Wisdom modifier, with a minimum of once per day. The mental blow is not quite invisible; it makes mirage-like ripples in the area, which observers can take note of as something unusual with a successful DC 18 Perception check (DC 8 if the observer is himself affected by it).

Selective Obscurity: The Revenant may designate one target within her range of sight. For a period of days equal to her class level, he cannot see, hear, or otherwise sense her unless she attacks him. If others try to point her out, he won’t be able to follow their indications, and while he may see her on mechanical and electronic sensors, he’ll dismiss her as irrelevant. She can obscure herself this way against a number of targets equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum of one).

Bonus Feats

At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the Revenant gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Revenant must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it.

Combat Reflexes, Combat Throw, Deflect Missiles, Frightful Presence, Improved Combat Throw, Improved Damage Threshold, Lightning Reflexes, Martial Arts I, Powerful Charge, Quick Draw, Quick Reload, and Run.

See Also

  • GURPS Undead.
  • The Crow.

Modern Horror

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