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 applied to any undead creature (referred to hereafter as the “base creature”). The creature’s type does not change, and it uses all of the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Aura: Undead lords gain the following aura in addition to any auras possessed by the base creature:
Undead lords constantly project an aura in a 20–foot radius that functions as a permanent desecrate spell. The DC to resist negative channeled energy within this area gains a +3 profane bonus. Undead within the area (including the undead lord) gain a +1 profane bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves. 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: An undead lord has the following defensive abilities in addition to those possessed by the base creature:
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.
Attacks: The undead lord retains all the attacks of the base creature. Recalculate its base attack bonus based on its new HD and any ability modifiers or use the base creature’s base attack bonus (adjusted for any ability score changes), whichever is higher.
Special Attacks: An undead lord retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains those listed below.
Undead lords command or rebuke undead creatures of the same type as itself as a cleric with the Command Undead feat equal to its current Hit Dice. If the base creature can already command or rebuke undead, this ability stacks.
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.
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 1.5. Undead lords cannot summon an undead creature that has more HD than it does.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: 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.
SQ: An undead lord retains all the special qualities of the base creature and also gains those listed below.
Environment: Same as base creature.
Organization: Solitary or troupe (undead lord plus 1–4 undead creatures of the same type as the base creature)
Treasure: Same as base creature.