I recently shared my Tauren adaptation. Now, it’s time for Forsaken! Details are in the Tauren article, but I’d like to just remind you that I don’t claim this is AL-level balanced. It’s meant to be fun, it’s meant for my style. If you want to use it, I suggest you make some tweaks.
Knowledge and Skills
All Forsaken start with the Undead (Forsaken) and any 3 topics.
All Forsaken are proficient with Stealth.
All Forsaken know Gutterspeak, very limited Orcish, plus the languages they knew in their former life. If they only spoke 1 language in their former life, the player can choose another language that they learned during their undeath (which can be Orcish).
When the Forsaken regained their minds back from the grasp of the Scourge, they noticed they instinctively knew a new form of communication using guttural sounds. Not relying on air, teeth, tongue or even a jaw, this form of communication allowed mindless or damaged undead and monstrosities of all shapes and sizes to call out dangers, pass along orders and coordinate.
However, this wasn’t a full language, instead a set of words and phrases suited for Scourge’s use and more importantly, no written form. So most didn’t care for it and actually disliked it as it was a reminder of their slavery to the Lich King, even though they found themselves using it instinctively in the heat of battle.
Initially, the Forsaken tried to speak their own languages, which were mostly Common with a bunch of Elven and a tiny bit of Dwarvish. After their rejection from the Alliance, most found it distasteful to speak their former languages, some because of the rejection itself and others because it reminded them of a past they can’t go back to.
It was clear to Forsaken that they were outcasts and had to fend for themselves. An eager assassin rising through the ranks called Belmont brought up the language that was sometimes aptly called “Gutterspeak”, a language used mostly by smugglers, thieves’ guilds and such. It had a structure that aligned with their guttural sounds, it was meant to be a secret language and had a cryptic written form as it employed a little Dwarven and Thalassian. Varimathras found the assassin’s knowledge and understanding of linguistics a bit suspicious but it all made sense. With Sylvanas’ approval, many linguists quickly created a new form of Gutterspeak and adopted it.
Forsaken’s Gutterspeak is fully guttural and usable even underwater. It uses mostly Common but integrates Dwarven, Thalassian and Zandali letters but is impossible to be understood directly by the speakers of any of those languages.
Will of the Forsaken
Once per long rest, the forsaken can choose to reroll any dice that affects the control of their body or mind (eg stun, charm, fear).
Alternatively, it can be used to remove all similar effects already inflicted on the Forsaken.
WotF can be used on the death roll and counts as a natural 20. When used this way, it takes an additional long rest to recharge.
The Forsaken can but don’t have to eat, drink or breathe. Immune to most normal and many magical diseases. Immune to some poisons. Immune to sleep spells. Immune to bleed and blood drain.
The forsaken do not have proper anatomy. They do not heal naturally and can’t gain hit points during rest unless they consume fresh meat during that process (See cannibalize).
The Light can heal them but causes pain unless they genuinely share the faith of the healer. At DM’s discretion, depending on how different their stance on light is and how much healing is involved, his can lead to being stunned or even incapacitated temporarily.
Regular healing aids also do not work on them, but forsaken apothecaries can brew special potions and salves.
The Forsaken can consume raw flesh as easily as cooked ones. In fact, they have an instinctive preference toward it. They can consume any flesh, including beasts, dragons and monsters but their real hunger is for humanoids’.
They can consume raw flesh every time they rest and if they do, they are able to heal HDs like other races. However, unless they consume fresh humanoid (alive or undead) flesh, they can only heal 1 HD worth of hit points during short rest and up to half their HDs in a long rest.
They can also cannibalize a freshly stricken foe in combat. The target doesn’t need to be struck by the Forsaken and technically, it doesn’t need to be a foe, just needs to have flesh. This takes up to 4 rounds and requires a full turn. At the start of their next turn, they roll an HD Dice and heal as much. At the start of their second turn, they roll 2XHD and so on. This healing is separate from their cannibalization.
Cannibalization is a taboo for almost all races. Anyone but trolls and other Forsaken see it as borderline criminal at best. Others might attack the cannibal on sight. Trolls can stomach it but most will find it despicable. Even some Forsaken, who haven’t come to full terms with what they are, might not stand the sight of it.
Even with cannibalization, the Forsaken has limited healing, which can cause permanent wear and tear to their body in the following situations:
- They are struck by a critical hit that causes at least 1 damage.
- They take 25% of their hp or more from a single hit, minimum of 6
- Their HP hits 0 or below
In these cases, the forsaken rolls a Constitution saving throw. The difficulty is 10, +1 for each condition above that applies. If the attack has a cold or necrotic component, the base difficulty is 5. If the attack has a fire or acid component, the base difficulty is 15.
If the forsaken succeeds, nothing happens but the next similar dice receives a +1 difficulty. This stacks until the forsaken fails, which then resets. This needs to be tracked by the player.
More importantly, the maximum hitpoint of the forsaken is decreased by 1. This is permanent, but this number needs to be tracked too.
The death roll for the Forsaken works differently too. When their hit points reach 0 or lower, the Forsaken simply falls down, technically conscious but in a hard mental fight against whispers that drag them to the realms of death. Here is the breakdown:
1: A “fail”, plus they take 1 permanent damage (as described above)
2–8: A fail
9–14: nothing happens — Forsaken can choose not to roll as many times as their Con modifier every long rest
15–19: A “win”
20: Dark revitalization: They revive with hp equal to their con modifier.
At 3 wins, they get back up, keeping the damage they’ve taken. At 3 fails, they die permanently. Party members can aid them with Forsaken-made salve and potions.
When the forsaken receives enough damage, they usually seek to replace the body parts. This requires an expert that is hard to find outside the Undercity.
A simple graft can heal up to 5 max hp damage but still keeps 1 damage.
An advanced graft can heal up to 10 max hp damage and includes limb and body part re-/attachment. These are very expensive.
An expert graft heals up to 15 max hp, includes body re-attachments and can also include additional functionality, such as an abomination arm. These are not only expensive but aren’t granted to anyone with enough money. It’s a privilege to be earned.
As usual, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed working on it. Do you see yourself roleplaying a Forsaken? How do you think it compares to Tauren? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Next one: Pandaren