by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Dragon #307
Bodaks are the undead remnants of creatures destroyed by the touch of absolute evil. Bodaks physically resemble the creatures they were in life, although their flesh turns gray and hairless. Their facial expressions are looks of utter horror and convey more than a touch of insanity.
Bodaks speak the languages they spoke in life.
Creating a Bodak
"Bodak creature" is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature of 5 or more HD except constructs, oozes, plants, and undead (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). Creatures with this template have their type changed to "undead." It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Hit Dice: Change to d12
Speed: -10 ft. (minimum 10 ft.), with other movement types unchanged
AC: The base creature's natural armor increases by +3.
Damage: The base creature's natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. If the base creature does not have a better natural attack, it gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the creature's size:
Special Attacks: A bodak retains all the base creature's special attacks and gains those listed below. Saves for abilities listed below have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the bodak's HD + the bodak's Charisma modifier, unless noted otherwise in the ability description.
Death Gaze (Su): Death, range 30 feet, Fortitude negate 3. Corporeal creatures (except constructs, plants, oozes, and undead) who die from this attack are transformed into bodaks in one day.
Special Qualities: A bodak retains the base creature's special qualities and gains those listed below.
Damage Reduction (Su): A bodak gains damage reduction 15/silver.
Electricity Immunity (Ex): Bodaks are immune to electricity.
Flashbacks (Ex): From time to time, a bodak sees something that reminds it of its almost-forgotten life. At the start of every encounter, there is a 5% chance that it notices something about an opponent (randomly determined, if more than one opponent is present) that causes it to recall its life. If this happens, the bodak takes no action for 1 round and thereafter suffers a -2 morale penalty to all attacks directed at that opponent.
Resistances (Ex): A bodak gains acid and fire resistance 20.
Sunlight Vulnerability (Ex): Bodaks loathe sunlight, for its merest touch burns their impure flesh. Each round of exposure to the direct rays of the sun deals 1 point of damage to the bodak creature.
Undead Traits: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that require a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. A bodak cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. The creature has darkvision (60-foot range).
Saves: Same as the base creature
Abilities: Increase from base creature as follows: +2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, -4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, and +2 Charisma. Being undead, a bodak has no Constitution score.
Skills: Same as the base creature
Feats: Same as the base creature
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +4
Treasure: Same as the base creature
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: Same as the base creature.
If you're creating a bodak NPC of importance, consider the following possibility instead of having a random 5% chance at the start of every encounter that the creature notices something of its former life. Create a list of up to five triggers that will automatically generate the confusing flashback. Draw them from the background of the NPC. Here are some options:
- A creature hearing someone speaking the name it had in life.
- A bodak seeing a piece of equipment or clothing it owned in life.
- A barbarian witnessing someone going into a rage.
- A bard hearing someone using a bardic song ability.
- A cleric presented with the holy symbol of the deity it worshiped.
- A druid seeing someone wild shape.
- A fighter witnessing someone use the Cleave feat.
- A monk seeing someone use flurry of blows.
- A paladin watching someone use lay on hands.
- A ranger observing someone use Two-Weapon Fighting.
- A rogue witnessing someone tumble to avoid an attack of opportunity.
- A sorcerer seeing a familiar.
- A wizard watching someone cast a spell from a scroll.
Use caution in exercising this option. It can make the fight with the bodak much tougher or easier, depending on which memory triggers you choose.
Sample Bodak Creature: Bodak Five-Headed Hydra