Dungeons & Delvers: Undead Bloodline Talent Preview

Here's the current talent list for the Red Book sorcerer's undead bloodline:
  • Animate Dead
  • Animate Monster
  • Breath of Death
  • Chill Touch
  • Clutch of Death
  • Command Undead
  • Contingency Corpse
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • Death's Black Rider
  • Decaying Touch
  • Dismember
  • Draining Touch
  • Dust to Dust
  • Eater of the Dead
  • Ectoplasmic Armor
  • Ectoplasmic Touch
  • Frightener
  • Ghastly Pallor
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Ghost Rider
  • Ghostly Apparition
  • Gravedigger
  • Haunting
  • Heartgripper
  • Huge Undead
  • Land of the Dead
  • Large Undead
  • Memories Made Manifest
  • Nightvision
  • Paralyzing Fear
  • Poltergeist
  • Rotting Touch
  • Scavenger
  • Scream
  • Sixth Sense
  • Soul Eater
  • Speak With Dead
  • Spectral Hand
  • Stir of Echoes
  • Summon Ghost
  • Through Death's Halls
  • Touch of Death
  • Vampiric Touch
  • Viscerulacum
  • Wraithblade

The sorcerer class gets 16 talent choices over a 20-level spread, so we're aiming to include at least 30 for each bloodline so there's some variety even within the same bloodline. Since undead has over 40, not counting the general stuff or comparing to the other bloodlines (which are 10-15 talents behind), safe to say it's good to go.

The general idea of each bloodline is that dragon is supposed to be melee oriented, lots of damage and burning shit up. Frost giant is combination melee and ranged, with a bunch of area-effects and crippling the opposition with Slow, Immobilize, and even Restraining. Defense-wise they're both pretty tough, though dragon punishes attackers with burning blood.

Undead is probably going to be the toughest overall, and the quickest to bounce back: no penalties when healing in a dungeon, and we can even implement WP recovery since short rests are limited each day. Melee-focused, but unlike dragon--which gets multiple attacks, allowing them to take out multiple enemies at once--undead focuses on one thing at a time, and cripples them while draining HP to keep going. If you get into trouble Dust to Dust and Ghostly Apparition will let you get away quickly.

More utility stuff than dragon: turn invisible, fly, phase through walls (or phase an arm), use Dismember to collapse into a pile of limbs and roll about. Ghastly Pallor lets you play dead and frighten enemies, Gravedigger lets you excavate faster than usual, or you can burn some Mana to gain a Burrowing Speed.

We're also tweaking the overall sorcerer class, scrapping some of the built-in transformations that trigger when you hit 0 Mana and/or VP. In actual play there can be a lot to track, which is also quite a bit to overlook, the 0 VP stuff just doesn't come up very often, and when it does players often short rest or Vigor Potion out of it asap.

Thinking of running with the original 4th Edition sorcerer idea, the one they were thinking on back before 4th Edition even came out. I think it was the Worlds & Monsters book, and the idea was something like whenever you use your magic there's a kind of lingering or aura effect.

For example, dragon sorcerer might deal fire damage to everything nearby for a turn, or get a temporary AC and/or DR boost to reflect scales growing or hardening. Frost giant might have a cold aura that Slows, and undead could impose necrotic vulnerability or a temporary damage penalty. We just feel like something smaller-but-more-consistent is easier to remember and implement.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want (the PDF is also on sale on DriveThru)! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

The first issue of The Delver, a magazine featuring fungal-themed content for both players and GMs (including an adventure in which myconids find religion), is available!

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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