All Archetypes
Artifact | Class | Combat Style | Core | Faction | Multiclass | Mystical | Profession | Undead

Undead Archetypes

These archetypes relate to becoming undead.

PFS StandardGhostDedication Feat 2

Source Book of the Dead pg. 46
Prerequisites You died and returned as a ghost.
Your ties to the living world cling to you in death, your unfinished business reducing you to a spirit. Your soul carries on, but your body is gone. Your mind, too, may have changed: though death can impact thoughts and desires in all sorts of ways, most ghosts experience stronger, more volatile emotions and are frequently overcome by their past ties. A need to reconcile the past overwhelms other needs. Motivations can change over time but are always strong. Pragmatism, compassion, and foresight fall before a ghost's fundamental desires.

PFS StandardGhoulDedication Feat 2

Source Book of the Dead pg. 48
Prerequisites You were killed by ghoul fever.
You died from the necrotic disease known as ghoul fever and rose anew as a ravenous ghoul, forever craving the flesh of sapient creatures. While you can temper your hunger with long-dead flesh stolen from ancient graves, you much prefer devouring those who are freshly dead, whether as a scavenger or because you killed the creature yourself to ensure a fresh meal.

Whether they stalk through the graveyards and crypts of Golarion or work together with other ghouls to build empires in the Darklands, ghouls care most about the consumption of dead flesh. The moment you become a ghoul, your existence focuses upon satisfying this endless craving. Ghouls who go more than a few days without feeding on freshly dead humanoid flesh find themselves in constant pain; those who go for more than a week might be driven to the edge of delirium, becoming bestial in their craving.

When you succumb to ghoul fever and become a ghoul, you don't lose your mind or memories. You keep your personality only to have it warped by the never-ending need to consume flesh. A brave warrior remains brave, but under the curse of the fever, that brave warrior's prime directive is to consume flesh. A rogue might go from finding clever ways to pick pockets to finding ways to waylay opponents and devour them.

Since most societies don't allow cannibalism, ghouls who wish to continue their old lives must satisfy their cravings in secret, finding a way to balance society's rules while feeding the constant gnawing hunger inside them. Some take up professions that allow them to secretly eat dead flesh or create dead bodies to feed upon. There are tales told of ghoul mercenary troops who satisfy their cravings and profit, while ghoul spellcasters can use their magic to procure and preserve flesh.

Ghouls who won't restrain themselves with rules of the living may join or establish ghoul societies. These caste systems base their hierarchy on how much flesh one has consumed and can provide for other ghouls. Hunger and ambition drive ghouls to rise through the ranks, which allows them to feed their hunger even more.

PFS StandardLichDedication Feat 12

Source Book of the Dead pg. 50
Prerequisites expert in Crafting; living creature, ability to cast 6th-level or higher spells from spell slots, completed ritual to become a lich and crafted a soul cage
The path to lichdom is long and winding, with many pitfalls that overcome all but the most accomplished and precise spellcasters. Despite the trials you underwent and decades spent sequestered away with magical tomes, you know with every fiber of your being that it's all been worth it. You devised a unique and incredibly evil ritual to tear your soul from your body, and you painstakingly crafted a receptacle to house your freed soul. Immortality now lies within your grasp.

Becoming a lich requires much more than just magical knowledge. It demands fierce intelligence, bold ingenuity, incredible determination, unending patience, and a strict adherence to perfection, along with incredible skill as an artisan, for each lich must create their own soul cage. A mispronounced word or flaw in the construction of your soul cage would end not in immortality but ignominious death. You have all these skills in abundance and now, with your ascension, you've proven your superiority beyond a shadow of a doubt.

As a lich, you understand better than any the power and potential of magic. Many liches strive to increase their magical skills and foil the magic of any who dare oppose them. Others delve so deeply into necromantic arts and foul rituals that their flesh can burn the living, causing biological processes to falter and filling those who behold them with uncontrollable fear.

Regardless of what paths they pursue, nearly all liches are obsessed with their soul cage, spending untold hours and a veritable fortune to protect it, surrounding it with magical and mundane hazards, and guarding it with powerful, loyal defenders. Some liches prefer to secure their soul cage through obscurity rather than force, enshrouding it in magical abjurations or illusions to hide it from prying eyes. The most gifted crafters among liches tinker and improve their soul cage over time, rendering it nigh indestructible. This is a dangerous proposition, undertaken by only the most confident and arrogant magical engineers, as physically altering one's soul cage could have unintended consequences on its function. Many wizard liches instead learn to tap into the soul cage's magical energy from afar to fuel their own spellcasting.

PFS StandardMummyDedication Feat 2

Source Book of the Dead pg. 52
Prerequisites you are dead and were mummified (by natural or ritualistic means)
Mummification is a common funereal rite across the breadth of Golarion throughout the ages. Becoming a living mummy—one capable of both motion and thought—is another thing altogether.

Most of those forced into undeath as mummies are bound to tombs, temples, and vaults as guardians. Some willingly undergo the process, embracing death to live beyond it. These willing mummies become the most powerful of their kind, rising above their brethren like an emperor above their subjects.

The horrifically painful living mummification process must be performed by others—usually a team of well-trained necromancers, priests, or ritualists—upon a still-living subject. Death by mummification is gruesome, but to be kept alive for as long as possible throughout the process is a thousandfold worse. The process usually takes weeks, beginning with forced starvation, followed by the consumption of spices and tonics that desiccate the subject's internal organs.

Very rarely, mummies are created by natural processes occurring in locations that are cursed or inundated by negative energy. These mummies most often rise in deserts, bogs, swamps, at high altitudes, or in frigid locales. Although the process through which they are created is less painful and far shorter in duration, the spiritual shift from living to undead is no less traumatizing.

Mummies are most commonly found in Geb and Osirion, as well as the surrounding nations of Thuvia, Katapesh, and Qadira. They have a foothold in the Gravelands, the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and the Mwangi Expanse, particularly around Mzali. Outside the Inner Sea, mummies are found in Vudra and Arcadia, particularly in places once ruled by the Razatlani empire.

PFS StandardVampireDedication Feat 2

Source Book of the Dead pg. 58
Prerequisites You were a killed by a vampire drinking your blood.
After being exsanguinated by a vampire, you've risen again, pulling yourself from the earth as an immortal undead. You're a creature of the night, harmed by the light of day and thirsting for blood.

PFS StandardZombieDedication Feat 2

Source Book of the Dead pg. 60
Prerequisites You died and were animated as a husk zombie.
You are a zombie, a rotting corpse animated by necromantic magic. Although most zombies are mindless brutes, you're a husk zombie, preserved through necromantic rites and alchemical reagents. The process worked especially well on you, and you retained your intelligence and identity to a far greater degree than other husk zombies.

It's not easy being a corpse. Your body continues to rot and putrefy, and the stench is ever present. Your old self keeps slipping away, more and more as the weeks pass by. Your reflexes have slowed, you're beginning to lose your sense of touch, and your emotions are dulling. As your body continues to decay, so too, does your mind. Your memory's not perfect, and although you haven't noticed any huge gaps or flaws yet, you have a feeling they're there somewhere.

Unlike your other senses, your hunger has intensified. You ceaselessly crave the raw flesh and brains of the living—the smarter the better—and satisfying this hunger is the only thing that makes you feel alive. When you eat, you're reinvigorated; feeling returns and the constant mental torpor you live under vanishes. You feel like yourself again... for a time.

One day you might be nothing more than a walking corpse, but for now, you retain your personality and your free will. Feeding your hunger might allow you to remain that way.