For every type of undead, there exists an undead lord, a being of great power that commands the lesser of its kind. They are powerful creatures that inspire awe and fear in those they rule.
Undead lords are extremely dangerous opponents. They are stronger, tougher, and more intelligent than the ones they command. As such, they are rarely encountered by chance (and rarely encountered alone). Most maintain a lair far away from civilization where they plot and plan, sending their minions on missions to further their goals.
Undead lords appear as normal undead of their type, though there seems to be a strong aura of evil and power resonating about them.
“Undead Lord” is an inherited template that can be added to any undead creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). An undead lord retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as the base creature +2. If the base creature was advanced to 5 HD (see Hit Dice above), its CR is increased an additional +1.
Aura: Undead lords constantly project an aura in a 20-foot radius that functions as a permanent desecrate spell. Undead within the area (including the undead lord) gain a +1 profane bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves. In addition, all channel checks made in the area suffer a –3 profane penalty. Summoned or created undead that appear in the area gain +1 hit points per HD.
Hit Dice: An undead lord’s HD is equal to 5 or the base creature’s HD (including class levels), whichever is greater.
Defensive Abilities: Undead lords retain all the defensive abilities of the base creature, and gain the following:
Undead lords with 5 to 7 HD gain DR 5/magic; undead lords with 8 or more HD gain damage reduction 10/magic. If the base creature already has damage reduction/magic, use it or the one above, whichever is better. If the base creature has another type of damage reduction (bludgeoning, piercing, and so on) its type modifiers stack. For example, a base creature with 5 HD and damage reduction 5/piercing that becomes an undead lord now has damage reduction 5/magic and piercing.
Special Attacks: An undead lord retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains those listed below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the undead lord’s HD + the undead lord’s Charisma modifier unless noted otherwise.
A creature slain by an undead lord rises in 1d4 minutes as an undead creature of the same type as the undead lord. Spawn are under control of the undead lord. This replaces any other create spawn ability the base creature possesses.
Spell–Like Abilities: Once per day, the undead lord can cast darkness and fear as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to its total Hit Dice. The save DC is 10 + spell level + the undead lord’s Charisma modifier.
Once per day, an undead lord can summon a total number of HD worth of undead (of the same type as the undead lord) equal to its HD x 1–1/2. Undead lords cannot summon an undead creature that has more HD than it does.
Abilities: Str +4 (unless incorporeal), Dex +2, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +4. Undead lords have an Intelligence of at least 10, so mindless undead such as zombies and skeletons gain an Intelligence score of 10. Incorporeal creatures do not gain the Strength bonus (since they have no Strength), but instead gain an additional +2 bonus to their Dexterity score.
Feats: Undead lords gain Command Undead as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the prerequisites for it. The undead lord may use this feat a number of times per day equal to three plus its Charisma modifier (minimum 1). It may only command undead of the same type.
Languages: Undead lords speak all the languages they spoke prior to gaining the template. Undead that were previously unintelligent speak Common. In addition, all undead lords gain the following:
Organization: Solitary or troupe (undead lord plus 1–4 undead creatures of the same type as the base creature).