Thursday, November 17, 2022

Grognard's Grimoire: Gorodaka

Gorodaka (Haughty Dead)

A gorodaka by Zhu Bajie
Death knows no distinctions of power or status. This abiding truth has not stopped sorcerers throughout time from seeking a means of sidestepping it. One such means is laid out in the Kadil Sho'i ("The Breaking of the Cycle"), which provides a complex alchemical formula for extending one's life indefinitely. The successful execution of the formula arrests the process of physical decay, transforming the sorcerer into something simultaneously greater and less than human – a  gorodaka.

Initially, a gorodaka looks no different than it did in life, except that it no longer breathes, eats, or sleeps. Over time, putrescence sets in, leading many gorodaka to hide their rot behind masks, as well as ornate suits of armor or other similar finery. Despite their unnatural origins, not all gorodaka are wicked, though nearly all see themselves as superior to the living.

DR 19, HD 9+5**** (45hp), Att 1 × touch (1d10 + paralysis), AB +8, MV 60’ (20’), SV F8 D9 M8 E11 S4 (Sorcerer 14), ML 10, XP 3700, NA 1 (1), TT A

  • Undead: Makes no noise, until it attacks. Immune to effects that affect living creatures (e.g. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells.
  • Energy immunity: Unharmed by cold or electricity.
  • Mundane damage immunity: Can only be harmed by spells or magic weapons.
  • Paralysis: For 2d4 turns (fortitude save). 
  • Spell immunity: Immune to magic causing death or polymorph.
  • Sorcerer: Casts spells as a 14th-level sorcerer.


  1. What the end-state of the process or do even I want to know. :)

  2. Gorodaka looks no different, but do they; generate body heat, produce saliva, sweat or tears, will they bleed, can they feel pain? If the bodily processes are halted, can a Gorodaka heal after they have been injured? Might they be limited to magical healing?

    I am supposing that the execution of the formula, is lethal even if it does not transform the subject into a Gorodaka.

    How long after creation do they show signs of putrification? months, years, decades?

    Are there any spells that can nullify the magic that created the Gorodaka?

  3. I like this - it feels like what a lich should be like.

  4. I really like this one. I wonder if they would try to preserve their flesh or see it as a inconvenience, and whether they would try to mask the smell.

    1. Would they even know when they started to stink? Presumably breathing is something they have to consciously think about doing, and then only to speak - and even that ends when their vocal chords or lungs rot away sufficiently.