Wednesday 28 November 2012

Alternative Undead 4: Mummies

Mummies are, like many undead, loaded with preconceptions due to Victorian stories and the films that were inspired by them. Egypt, pyramids, sand, scarab beetles, thick bandages, all associated with mummies. There are mummies in other cultures throughout history but the D&D mummy (including any artwork and minis) are clearly "Egyptian".

So, to move away from the classic mummy, we have this:


Mummies are the remains of those who are obsessed with material wealth, spending their whole lives stepping on others in order to gather as much as they can. In death, their will is strong enough that their spirits remain in their body, focused protecting their wealth.

Over time the mummy's body dries out, taught, leathery skin stretching over tough, rubbery muscles, and the last remains of their humanity shrivels. A mummy whose wealth is threatened is a determined and deadly opponent who follow thieves across huge distances without needing to stop for food or rest.

As far as mechanics go, I would give them varying HD and AC dependent on their age and power, and some sort clairvoyance type thing to allow them to track their stolen goods. Some minor magic powers of the "wasting curse" type would be appropriate too.

 They would be used as one off monsters in very specific locations for the most part and I wouldn't be afraid of throwing a high level one against a low level party, as a slow moving but hard to stop enemy. Just as the party think they are safe in the tavern and are dividing up the loot, smash!


  1. Mummies are definitely some of my favorite Undead (probably number two, right behind Liches). I think taking away the Egyptian theme would be better suited to fantasy campaigns, as in a different world I can't imagine such similar cultures existing. I'm not sure if I remember my lore correctly, but I believe mummies were able to cling to their physical bodies out of spite/negatively associated willpower, so greed isn't too far of a step, but different enough to make things interesting. On a side note, I really liked your zombie article, and want to give the "zombie curse" a try the next time I get around to GMing (hopefully I will...).

  2. Liches are the best undead by a long, long way, pure malevolent evil. Thinking of a really good use for one is on my to do list for my (still not started campaign), especially as both my current players have seen the lich in Adventure Time in action and there will be some understanding of what they're up against!

    That's interesting about mummies, do you know if that is part of the Egyptian mythology?

    Glad you like the zombies, hope you get to use them!