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Driftdead

Driftdead CR 2

XP 600
NE Medium undead (extraplanar)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7
Aura confusion (30 ft., Will DC 11)

DEFENSE

HP 22
EAC 13; KAC 15
Fort +4; Ref +4; Will +3
Defensive Abilities spatial incorporeality;
Immunities undead immunities

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (Su, average)
Melee claw +10 (1d6+4 S)
Ranged Drift rip +7 (1d4+2)

STATISTICS

Str +2; Dex +4; Con —; Int –4; Wis +1; Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +7, Stealth +12
Languages Common
Other Abilities unliving

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Confusion (Su)

Any creature that comes within 30 feet of a driftdead must succeed at a DC 11 Will save or be confused for 2 rounds.

Once a creature has attempted this save, whether successful or not, it can’t be affected again by the same driftdead’s aura for 24 hours.

Drift Rip (Su)

Just as hyperspace tears away chunks of planar material, a driftdead can pull apart the molecular bonds of matter, ripping apart nearby creatures. This is a ranged attack against EAC that has a range of 30 feet.

Spatial Incorporeality (Ex)

Within hyperspace, a driftdead has a physical body, but if removed from that plane, its physical body phases out of normal reality.

On the Material Plane or otherwise outside hyperspace, a driftdead gains the incorporeal special ability. If returned to hyperspace, a driftdead immediately loses the incorporeal special ability as its physical body is restored.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (hyperspace)
Organization solitary

When a mortal creature dies within hyperspace while consumed with a strong negative emotion, it might become a driftdead, a restless undead spirit bound to that plane, unable to escape the confines of hyperspace and reach its final judgment. What’s left of a driftdead’s fragmented psyche is filled with confusion, rage, and a hatred for the living. So overwhelming is this flux of emotions that a driftdead psychically broadcasts its confusion, affecting all who venture too close.

A driftdead leaves its mortal remains behind and forms a new undead body out of the mingled planar energies of hyperspace—just as hyperspace contains material snatched from countless planes. This body, however, is inextricably linked to hyperspace. If a driftdead ever travels to the Material Plane (or any other plane), its physical body remains within hyperspace, and the driftdead becomes an incorporeal spirit. The driftdead resumes its corporeal form as soon as it returns to hyperspace.

Though humanoid driftdead are the most common driftdead, hyperspace travelers sometimes report encounters with undead entities created by the death of non-humanoid beings—indeed, driftdead can spawn from any sapient species. On their own, these solitary undead tend to haunt the sites of their own death, reliving the moment in which they perished again and again in an agonizing loop. Their shattered memories, while not coherent enough to foster ordered thought patterns, often draw them to places, objects, or beings they were familiar with in life. Alternatively, driftdead might wend their way through hyperspace, with no real direction other than trying to escape the anxiety associated with the places they died.

Occasionally, multiple driftdead gather near hyperspace beacons or other entry points to the Material Plane that radiate life energy. On rare occasions, these lost souls fuse together into terrifying amalgams that are far more dangerous and powerful than a solitary driftdead. Sutured together by a combination of the planar energies of hyperspace and its constituents’ powerful emotions, driftdead amalgams are far more likely to make their way into the Material Plane in search of living creatures. When these howling horrors sense the presence of a live mortal, driftdead amalgams relentlessly pursue and attack their targets until they either slay their victims or are destroyed. Even those who survive such attacks often find themselves wracked with mental anguish, the agonizing pain experienced by driftdead amalgams indelibly imprinted upon the victims.

Though driftdead retain a shred of the intelligence they possessed in life, their minds are irreparably shattered by the trauma of their deaths, leaving little room for higher thought as they singlemindedly seek the living. When it can sense no life to latch on to, driftdead are attracted to objects and places once frequented by living creatures. Driftdead, therefore, frequently haunt derelict starships or congregate near flotsam and jetsam from the Material Plane infused with life energy.

Some evil and intelligent undead have even been known to deliberately lure and collect driftdead, installing the creatures as traps for the unwary living. Rumors claim that the Corpse Fleet conducts regular trawling missions through hyperspace wreckage to recover driftdead and then weaponize them against the living. Whether renegade military truly engages in such a practice or whether this is a case of fear mongers spreading misinformation is unclear.

Unfortunately, few survivors of Corpse Fleet aggression remain to shed light on the issue.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Starfinder Alien Archive 3 © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Saif Ansari, Kate Baker, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Katina Davis, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, Leo Glass, Sasha Lindley Hall, Amanda Hamon, Thurston Hillman, James Jacobs, Jenny Jarzabski, Virginia Jordan, Jason Keeley, Natalie Kertzner, Luis Loza, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Crystal Malarsky, Robert G. McCreary, Hilary Moon Murphy, Adrian Ng, Joe Pasini, Lacy Pellazar, Samantha Phelan, Jessica Redekop, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Jason Tondro, Diego Valdez, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.