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Libris Mortis: The Book of the Undead (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.5 Fantasy Roleplaying) Hardcover – October 1, 2004
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About the Author
Bruce R. Cordell, an Origins-award winning author, has designed over 30 game titles, including The Sunless Citadel and the Expanded Psionics Handbook. He also co-authored the Epic Level Handbook, Underdark, the D&D Miniatures Handbook, and the Planar Handbook.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a host of new feats for both undead and players. For players an example is vampire hunter which allows you to know if spawn are closeby and makes you immune to their gaze ability. For the undead there is an improved energy drain.
There are new prestige classes. The DM would need to determine which of these would fit into his campaign. One class is deaths chosen which reminds me of Reinfield from the orginial Dracula movie. There is a bard prestige class the dirge singer, a druid prestige class master of radiance and one for a evil spellcaster and one for a necromancer. The priest one seems similar to the sacred exorcist from the complete divine. There are also monster prestige classes also.
New spells some very nasty. Blade of pain and fear level two d6 plus one every two caster levels and a st vs being frighten. Comsumptive field greater 7th level. Check it out. There are also spells beneficial to the good guys.
New magic items and monsters. 31 new undead monsters and templates in all.
There is a chapter for tactics for various undead and campaign ideas for using inteligent undead as well as mini-adventures to put into your campaign.
The only reason that it didnt get five stars was that I am not going to use everything in the book but I consider it one of the best expansions out there right now
For DMs, however, this is great stuff. The new monsters and templates alone make this a pretty good buy (I could build an entire campaign around one of the templates, which gives undead the ability to turn into a swarm of bats, rats, dust, even organs... perfect for a villain that keeps coming back for more).
Outside of the monsters, there are a load of undead-empowering feats (gotta love feats that improve every single undead creature you summon or control), and a lot of "flavor text" and more colorful information. And in case you ever wanted to know, there's a full-page table that lists the feeding needs and desires of nearly every undead critter in print.
Overall, good stuff. I'd say it's one of the best buys out there for DMs right now (assuming, of course, you're using undead or plan to... maybe I'm biased, I'm running an undead-heavy campaign). Not for players, but by focusing on DMs the book is able to pack in a lot of great content.
FOR THE DMs: The book details pretty much everything you ever needed to know about running undead monsters in your campaign, and then some. The material is extremely well-organized and concise, allowing it to be used readily and requiring little, if any, prior research on the part of a DM to incorporate both "new" and "traditional" undead monsters into the campaign. Updated definitions of abilities and traits are included (even incorporating descriptive material from the Monster Manuals through MM3). Without getting too boring, details are given on the methods and motivations of all of the "traditional" undead types (skeleton, zombie, ghoul, ghast, shadow, wraith, spectre, ghost, mummy, mohrg, vampire, and lich), with information given on creation methods above and beyond the typical myths surrounding these monsters and the mundane "game mechanic" procreation abilities possessed by some of them -- all excellent fodder for creating new adventure hooks or plotlines to jazz up any "haunted house" adventure. In addition, a number of ready-to-use horrors and their backstories occupy a section of the book all to themselves, just waiting for you to pick up and run with them. The latter portions of the book detail more new undead creatures -- fair warning: while there is, at least, no nudity, the illustrations in the New Monsters section makes much of the artwork from the Book of Vile Darkness seem tame.
FOR THE PLAYERS: For those of you out there that enjoy running uniquely interesting campaigns with a twist, there are rules and options presented for playing an undead horror as a PC. Setting up and running an undead character using this book is slightly more involved than running undead creatures as monsters, but the superlative organization and breakdown of information makes this a much more simple task than one might expect. In the same vein as the "Savage Species" sourcebook, Libris Mortis presents the "standard" undead creatures from the Monster Manual as character classes, detailing progression and ability acquisition from 1st level on upward. Since all of the "basic" undead monsters are covered, it's not difficult to extrapolate your own progression for less mundane undead creatures should you desire to expand your options. I was particularly impressed with how smoothly and effectively the character rules presented take all of the best concepts about the old 2nd edition "Requiem" campaign from Ravenloft and simplifies them in 3.5 edition standards.
FOR BOTH: A number of prestige classes (mostly for villains, but with a few foes of the walking dead thrown in) appear here, including updated revisions of a number of prestige classes that originally appeared in the "Defenders of the Faith," "Tome & Blood," and other sourcebooks (including the True Necromancer, the Master of Shrouds, and the Pale Master, among others). A respectably sizeable feats section caters to players and DMs alike, with a plethora of options available for both undead creatures and those that hunt them. With the New Spells and Magic Items sections comparable in size and variety to those provided by the "Complete Divine" sourcebook, there literally is a little something for everyone in the book.