The Dark Tide

The Dark Tide

Official locaion for whatever Dark Tide rules I choose to reveal.
  1. The Dark Tide wallows deep in the realms of Rule 0.
    • Rules lawyering the Dark Tide is a futile gesture.
    • The Dark Tide, in character and out of character, is a shifting, work in progress. Its hardly perfect.
      • Or balanced...
      • ...or fair...
      • ...but such is the nature of the universe.

The Dark Tide

Current Status
  • Source: Unknown
  • Validity: Unconfirmed
  • Severity: Unstoppable
  • Spread: Unconstrained

Magical Effects
  • Healing
    • All spells, spell-like abilities and spell effects with the [Healing] Descriptor, are reduced by 3 caster levels, when reduced past the minimum caster level at which they can be cast, that spell can no longer be cast by the caster.
  • Necromancy
    • All spells, spell-like abilities and spell effects from the Necromancy School, are increased by 3 caster levels.
      • The casting time for Necromancy Spells can be freely reduced; Standard Action Spells can be cast as Swift Actions, Full-round Action Spells can be cast as Standard Action, spells with a casting time of two to ten rounds are cast with a casting time of one round less than normal.
      • Necromancy spells of an unmentioned casting time are unaffected.
      • You can choose to ignore this effect; that is, you can opt to cast a spell using its normal casting time.
      • This effect super-cedes that off Arcane Spellsurge.

Encounter Effects
Undead Host
  • Undead Host: One is discouraged from bypassing the material nature of the world via the Ethereal Plane by a host of undead. One become aware of the undead host only if they attempt an ethereal jaunt or any other means of entering the Plane Unseen. One or more undead, typically ghosts and the like, arrive and attack, according every 1d4-1 rounds that the character maintain a presence. These undead may follow the characters onto the Material Plane, and may also attack randomly.
  • Ethereal Intrusion: Etherealness, Ethereal Jaunt, and other similar-spell-like abilities, and generally Ethereal planar travel, are no longer blocked or affected by spells like the Dimensional Lock.
  • Undead can use their hit dice in a caster level check to by-pass walls of force as a full-round action.

Weather Effects
  • Heat Death: A character in very hot conditions (above 90° F) must make a Fortitude saving throw each hour (DC 15, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. Characters wearing heavy clothing or armor of any sort take a -4 penalty on their saves. A character with the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and may be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well. Characters reduced to unconsciousness begin taking lethal damage (1d4 points per hour).
Fell Strikes
  • Shadowy Vision Conditions: In an area of shadowy illumination, a character can see dimly. Creatures within this area have concealment relative to that character. A creature in an area of shadowy illumination can make a Hide check to conceal itself.
  • The Call Lightning and Call Lightning Storm Spells are all Fell-metamagic'd...
Blood Rain
  • Rain reduces visibility ranges by half, resulting in a -4 penalty on Spot and Search checks. It has the same effect on flames, ranged weapon attacks, and Listen checks as severe wind.
  • Any living, nonevil creature in the area of a rain of blood must succeed at a Will save (DC 20) or take a
    –1 morale penalty on attack and damage rolls, checks, and saves for 24 hours. Undead gain a +1 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls, checks, and saves. Roll them.

Effects on the Undead
  • All undead benefit from the Dark Tide Template.
  • All of these effects are to be considered circumstance modifiers, and thus stack with other, and even identical effects from other sources.
  • Undead with the wildshape class feature, benefit from the Corrupted Wildshape Feat
  • Ghosts have all three (Su) special attacks
  • Dark Tide
    • Vampires can enter a Blood Frenzy
    • In the blood frenzy, a vampire can deal an additional energy drain attack
    • The vampire can perform a Blood Drain on every attack or successful grapple check when it has an opponent pinned, and adds its Charisma modifer to the Constitution Damage.
    • Rather than rat swarms, bat swarms or wolves, when using the Children of the Night ability, vampires call packs, flights and packs, respectively.
    • A creature who is one-shotted by a blackfire attack opens a portal to the Deep Negative Energy Plane, and descends there, and unleashes a blightfire elemental with equal hit dice in their place.

Oasys, this is a note from me now, to you, later.
Make the undead dependent on getting a necrotic reserve.

The Dark Tide Template

Size/Type: Unchanged, Size can be changed by Dark Advancement
Hit Dice: Max d12s + 3HPs + 3HPs/Hit Dice, from and Toughness, Evolved Undead and Improved Toughness
Initiative: +4 from Dark Tide Corpsecrafting: Nimble Bones
Speed: +10 ft. to all speeds* from Nimble Bones
Armor Class: +3 Natural Armor if Corporeal Undead/+3 Deflection if Incorporeal Undead
Base Attack/Grapple: For the course of the Dark Tide, all undead are using the BAB and Defense Bonus of Clerics, instead of Wizards.
  • All undead gain a Slam Attack, as a Zombie, according to size. If they already have one, it advances one step.
  • All undead gain the Energy Drain Supernatural Ability, as a Wight. If they already have that Supernatural Ability, they get Perfect Energy Drain.

Full Attack:
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities:
Saves: Fort +X , Ref +X, Will +X
Abilities: Str X(+X), Dex X(+X), Con X(+X), Int X(+X), Wis X(+X), Cha X(+X)
Skills: **
Challenge Rating:
Level Adjustment:





Extraordinary Ability(Ex)

Supernatural Ability(Su)

Untyped Ability

Typical [Class] Spells (XXX Spell Points; save DC XX + spell level)

Spell-Like Abilities



*The Base AC of 10 is now modified by the halved and permanent, scaling-by-level and class, Defense Bonus.
**Skills have been combined to create newer, streamlined replacements.
House Rules


During the Dark Tide, almost every undead, from the dumbest to the most cunning, wants one thing; to increase it Necrotic Reserve, and in doing so, become 'Perfect'.

"Dark Tide Template"

Size/Type: Unchanged
Hit Dice and Hit Points: 3HPs+3HP/HD
Initiative: +4
Speed: +10 ft./rd.
Armor Class: +3 natural or +3 deflection if incorporeal
Base Attack/Grapple: Unchanged
Attack and Full Attack: Unchanged
Damage:+1d6 cold damage on natural attacks,
Space/Reach: Unchanged
Special Attacks: Supernatural energy drain and/or blackfire,
Special Qualities: +4 turn resistance, destructive retribution, positive energy resistance 10, dark advancement
Base Saves:
Skills: If Intelligence 10, 4+1 Skill Point/HD
Feats: Toughness, Improved Toughness

Energy DrainEnergy Drain (Su)
  • All undead-type creatures have Energy Drain, as a vampire.
  • Undead-type creatures who already have the Energy Drain Supernatural Ability can use blackfire as a Charisma-based Supernatural Ability in place of an Energy Drain attack.
  • On a critical hit, drains twice listed amount.
  • On a successful hit, the creature gains 5HPs/negative level, and twice that on a critical hit.
  • +2 to the DC for all saving throws against the special attack
    • -1 to Skill Checks and Ability Checks.
    • -1 to Attack Rolls and Saving Throws.
    • -1 effective level.
    • Loses access to highest available spell.
  • Last 24 Hours, and are removed with a Fortitude Save.
  • If drained past level 1, can rise as a Wight.
  • Improved Energy Drain
    • +1 bonus on skill checks, ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws/negative level for 1 hour.
  • Life Drain
    • Add Charisma modifier to HP Damage from Energy Drain, and gain damage amount.
  • Spell Drain
    • Can cast spells lost from Energy Drain.
  • Blackfire
    • On a successful natural attack a creature engulfed in blackfire must make a successful Fortitude save each round that the spell is in effect or take 1d4 points of Constitution damage and become nauseated.
    • A creature that makes its save takes no damage for that round and is sickened instead.
    • Any living creature adjacent to a creature engulfed in blackfire must succeed on a Reflex save or become engulfed itself.
    • Any creature whose Constitution is reduced to 0 or lower by the spell is reduced to a pile of black ash, and can be returned to life only by true resurrection or wish, the caster of which must succeed on a DC 30 caster level check to restore the victim to life.
    • If a creature succeeds on its Fortitude save in 3 consecutive rounds, the blackfire affecting it gutters out.
    • Cannot otherwise be extinguished by normal means (such as immersion in water or smothering), but an antimagic field, a successful dispel magic, a remove curse, or a break enchantment spell snuffs it out
    • As well, a creature protected by death ward has immunity to blackfire's effects.

Frightful Moan
Frightful Moan (Su)
  • +2 to the DC for all saving throws against the special attack
  • Emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic necromantic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by the same ghost’s moan for 24 hours.
    Baleful Moan
    • You can emit a moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your HD + your Cha modifi er) or become shaken for 1 minute.
    • The DC to resist your frightful moan ability increases by 2.

Paralysis (Ex) (Su)
  • Cannot move, helpless, Strength and Dexterity 0.
  • Squares can be moved through, but counts as 2.
  • Can't move, speak, or be moved. Only mental actions.
  • No new saves each Round.
  • +2 to the DC for all saving throws against the special attack
    Improved Paralysis
    • +4 to DC
    Contagious Paralysis
    • Any creature touching a creature that you have paralyzed is immediately affected as if you had delivered a paralyzing attack upon it (using the same save DC to resist, if allowed).
    • If a creature successfully saves against your contagious paralysis attack, it can’t be affected by your attack for 24 hours.

  • +3 Hit Points
Improved Toughness
  • Gains Hit Points equal to Hit Dice, each new Hit Dice produces one new Hit Point.

Dark Tide Corpsecrafting
Dark Tide Corpsecrafted
  • +4 bonus to Strength
  • +2 hit points per Hit Die.
Dark Tide Destructive Retribution
  • Releases a burst of negative energy upon its destruction, dealing 1d6 points of damage plus an additional 1d6 points per Hit Dice to every creature within a 10-foot spread (Reflex DC 15 half). This damage comes from negative energy, and it therefore heals undead creatures.
  • +2 to the DC for all saving throws against the special attack
Dark Tide Hardened Flesh
  • +2 natural armor bonus to Armor Class if corporeal and +2 deflection bonus to Armor Class if corporeal
Dark Tide Bolstered Resistance
  • +4 turn resistance
Dark Tide Nimble Bones
  • +4 bonus on initiative checks and a 10-foot increase to its base land speed.
Dark Tide Deadly Chill
  • Extra 1d6 points of cold damage with its natural weapons.
Dark Tide Positive Energy Resistance
  • You gain resistance 10 against positive energy effects, such as cure spells.
Dark Tide Quicken Manifestation
  • Once per round, you can manifest from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane as a free action. Turning ethereal still requires a standard action.

Awakening and Evolution
Dark Tide Awakening
  • All mindless undead have a minimum Intelligence of 10
  • Undead also regain any extraordinary racial abilities they had in life, such as poison or scent.
  • Gain a +2 profane bonus on their Will saving throws to resist control undead.
  • +2 turn resistance
Dark Tide Evolution
  • +1 natural armor if corporeal, +1 deflection if incorporeal
  • One Charisma-based Spell-like Ability for every two hit dice with a caster level equal to the evolved undead's HD
    • Circle of Death, a circle of death snuffs out the life force of living creatures, killing them instantly.
    • Cloudkill, this spell generates a bank of fog, similar to a fog cloud, except that its vapors are yellowish green and poisonous.
    • Cone of Cold, cone of cold creates an area of extreme cold, originating at your hand and extending outward in a cone.
    • Confusion, this spell causes the targets to become confused, making them unable to independently determine what they will do.
    • Contagion, the subject contracts a disease.
    • Creeping Doom, when you utter the spell of creeping doom, you call forth a mass of centipede swarms.
    • Greater Dispel Magic, a dispelled spell ends as if its duration had expired.
    • Greater Invisibility, become invisible, vanishing from sight, even from darkvision.
    • Haste, move and act more quickly than normal. This extra speed has several effects.
    • Hold Monster, the subject becomes paralyzed and freezes in place.
    • See Invisibility, you can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible.
    • Unholy Blight, you call up unholy power to smite your enemies. The power takes the form of a cold, cloying miasma of greasy darkness.
  • Fast Healing (Ex): An evolved undead heals 3 points of damage each round so long as it has at least 1 hit point.
  • +2 Strength and +2 Charisma.
  • An evolved incorporeal creature gain +4 Charisma.

Assorted Abilities
Empowered Ability Damage
  • All variable, numeric effects of an empowered ability damage or ability drain special attack are increased by 50%.
Endure Sunlight
  • You can resist all dangerous effects of sunlight for a number of rounds equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1 round). After this time, if you are still exposed to sunlight, you take the normal effects as appropriate for your kind.

Dark Inspiration
  • All undead have one spellcasting ability score increased by +4. If the undead does not cast spells, it can apply this ability score to one of its physical abilities.
  • All undead can make use of Dark Chant.

Dark Perception
Dark Tide Deathwatch
Dark Tide Lifesense

Dark Efficiency
  • Necrotic Reserve
    • On days when you have created a reserve, you are weakened but not destroyed when you are dealt enough damage to reduce your hit points to 0 or lower.
    • weakened undead acting on the strength of its necrotic reserve may take a single move action or standard action each round (but not both, nor can it take full-round actions). It moves at half speed. Taking move actions doesn’t risk further injury, but performing any standard action (or any other action the DM CHAPTER 2 CHARACTER OPTIONS 29 deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting a quickened spell) immediately expends the necrotic reserve.
    • A weakened undead acting on the strength of its necrotic reserve is also destroyed if it is dealt additional damage after the attack that first weakened it.
    • The energy taken by negative levels MUST go somewhere; the first recipient is whatever undead made the attack or used the weapon. If no such creature is within the immediate area, then the nearest undead is the recipient. If no such creature is in the immediate area, then the nearest dead body receives it and is immediately animated. If such conditions are still not met, a randomly determined Greater Undead is spawned within 1d4+1 rounds.
    • Undead 'save' the negative levels they bestow.
    • When the undead has bestowed a number of negative levels equal to its Hit Dice, it undergoes an advancement
    • The undead immediately performs a destructive retribution as an attack, and gains another hit dice, and regains all its hit points

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