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Monster Templates

Sunbaked Zombie (CR - Depends on Base Creature)

Pathfinder #80: Empty Graves pg. 88
Acquired/Inherited Template Acquired
Simple Template No
Usable with Summons No

Sun-baked zombies most often rise near pyramids and other burial sites in hot deserts, where latent necromantic energy lingers from countless arcane rituals and restless spirits. As such, sunbaked zombies are primarily found among the dunes of Osirion and the other nations that make up northern Garund. Typically animated in isolation, sunbaked zombies rarely form hordes like normal zombies, but when entire caravans fall to thirst and the desert sun, all of its members might rise as these terrible undead.

When one intentionally raises a sunbaked zombie using animate dead, the body to be raised must be left out in the sun’s rays for a full 12 hours and must be salted every hour during this time to hasten its desiccation. Spell effects that produce light work for this purpose only if they count as actual sunlight, and even then they must be combined with desecrate. Casting the animating spell at night always fails; the sun must be out and directly beating down on the corpse. Without the intense magical focus of a spell, it takes many days for the corpse to absorb enough sun and necromantic energy to rise spontaneously.

“Sunbaked zombie” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than undead), referred to hereafter as the base creature.

CR: This depends on the creature’s new total number of Hit Dice, as follows.


Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Type: The creature’s type changes to undead. It retains any subtypes except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind (such as giant). It does not gain the augmented subtype.

Armor Class: The natural armor bonus is based on the creature’s size.

Sunbaked Zombie SizeNatural Armor Bonus
Tiny or smaller+0

Hit Dice: Drop Hit Dice gained from class levels (to a minimum of 1) and change racial HD to d8s. Sunbaked zombies gain additional HD as noted on the following table. Sunbaked zombies use their Charisma modifiers to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).

Sunbaked Zombie SizeBonus Hit Dice
Tiny or smaller
Small or Medium+1 HD
Large+2 HD
Huge+4 HD
Gargantuan+6 HD
Colossal+10 HD

Saves: A sunbaked zombie’s base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

Defensive Abilities: A sunbaked zombie loses the base creature’s defensive abilities and gains DR 5/slashing and resist fire 10 (or immunity to fire if it has 11 HD or more), as well as all of the standard immunities and traits granted by the undead type.

Speed: Winged sunbaked zombies can still fly, but their maneuverability drops to clumsy. If the base creature flew magically, so can the sunbaked zombie. Retain all other movement types.

Attacks: A sunbaked zombie retains all natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. It also gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the sunbaked zombie’s size, but as if it were one size category larger than its actual size (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 301–302).

Special Attacks: A sunbaked zombie retains none of the base creature’s special attacks, but gains the following.

Death Throes (Su): When a sunbaked zombie is destroyed, its body explodes in a burst of stale dust. Adjacent creatures must succeed at a Fortitude save or be staggered for 1d4+1 rounds. The DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the sunbaked zombie’s Hit Dice + the sunbaked zombie’s Cha modifier. Creatures that don’t breathe are immune to this effect.

Fiery Gaze (Su): A sunbaked zombie’s eye sockets flicker with a small flame that gives light equivalent to that of a candle. As a standard action, a sunbaked zombie can direct its gaze against a single creature within 30 feet of it. A creature targeted must succeed at a Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of fire damage. If the sunbaked zombie has 5 or more Hit Dice, its fiery gaze deals 2d6 points of fire damage, and this damage increases by an additional 1d6 points of fire damage for every 4 additional Hit Dice the sunbaked zombie possesses. A creature damaged by this effect must succeed at a Reflex save or catch fire. Each round, a burning creature can attempt a Reflex save to quench the flames; failure results in another 1d6 points of fire damage. Flammable items worn by a creature must also save or take the same damage as the creature. If a creature is already on fire, it suffers no additional effects from a fiery gaze. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Abilities: Str +2. A sunbaked zombie has no Con or Int score, and its Wis and Cha become 10.

BAB: A sunbaked zombie’s base attack bonus is equal to 3/4 of its Hit Dice.

Skills: A sunbaked zombie has no skill ranks.

Feats: A sunbaked zombie loses all feats possessed by the base creature and gains Toughness as a bonus feat.

Special Qualities: A sunbaked zombie loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks.