Dread warriors are enhanced undead created immediately after a warrior's death so that they retain at least minimal intelligence. They must be created from the bodies of fighters of at least 3rd level who have been dead for less than a day.
As former fighters, dread warriors retain their desire to fight and are both strong and skilled. Dread warriors are armed with whatever weapons they carried in life, though they do not have the sophistication to use missile weapons effectively. They can be ordered to throw spears or javelins, but do so with minimal accuracy (attack bonus +0).
Dread warriors are capable of following simple orders such as "Advance and attack the enemy," "Stay here and defend this hallway against all attackers," and so on. They are not at all sophisticated, however, and complex orders simply confuse them. Orders of up to twelve words cause no problems; there is a cumulative 5% chance for every word after the twelfth that a dread warrior will misinterpret the command - do the exact opposite, go berserk and attack anything nearby, or stand around doing nothing. This percentage is doubled if the dread warriors are in Rashemen, where the powerful magic of the spirits of the land disrupts the evil necromantic spells of the Red Wizards. Additionally, dread warriors suffer a -2 competence penalty on their attack rolls when in combat with Rashemaar nature spirits or Witches of Rashemen.
Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
In The Realms
The dread warriors' very existence is geared to the defense of Thay and the mad schemes of its rulers. Szass Tam, Zulkir of Necromancy for the Red Wizards of Thay created them over twenty years ago, intending them for an invasion of Rashemen. Myrkul's Legion, a force made up entirely of dread warriors, was unleashed on Rashemen in the Year of the Prince (1357 DR), but the berserkers turned it back after furious fighting. Now dread warriors form a part of Cyrics Legion, one of Szass Tam's largest military units. Recently, Tam has been creating more of the undead creatures, possibly in anticipation of a large-scale conflict. Although they are found primarily in Tam's retinue, he has loaned a few to trusted allies.
"Dread warrior" is a template that can be added to any humanoid of at least 3 Hit Dice or levels. The creature's type changes to "undead." It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Creating a Dread Warrior
"Dread warrior" is a template that can be added to any humanoid creature with at least 3 character levels (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A dread warrior uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and type: The creature's type changes to undead. Do not recalculate the creature's base attack bonus, base saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.
Hit Dice: All current and future Hit Dice become d12s.
Armor Class: Same as the base creature with the appropriate armor type.
Abilities: Change from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Int -6 (minimum 3), Cha -4 (minimum 3). As an undead creature, a dread warrior has no Constitution score.
Skills: Same as the base creature, except that a dread warrior gains a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Spot checks.
Feats: Same as the base creature, except that the dread warrior cannot use any feats for which it no longer qualifies.
Organization: Solitary or company (3-12).
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature.
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Sample Dread Warrior: Dread Warrior.