Spells, such as raise dead or resurrection, return the body to its original wholeness. Unfortunately, in a Faded Soul, something goes wrong with the process. Whether it’s a raise dead spell cast beyond its time limit, an imprecisely phrased wish, a curse from malfunctioning magic item, or resurrection by an unholy artifact, something has gone horribly wrong. The soul of the hapless creature is part in this world, and part in the afterlife.
Faded Souls have spent so much time between both worlds that neither world seems real. Images of shadows and light flicker in front of their eyes, distracting them from reality. Unearthly voices whisper in their ears, shutting out the sounds of life. Touch is little more than electric impulses to a mind that has already disconnected from its body. Taste is a mere memory.
A Faded Soul is typically created by accident, although you can determine any mitigating factors that might allow such a horror to be purposely created. The raised corpse must follow the same rules involving zombie animation (refer to the animate dead spell, PHB), using a reasonably intact corpse. The body of a Faded Soul may be perfectly fine, but sometimes retains all of the deformities it sustained during a tragic death. This may include, but is not limited to, broken bones, slashed flesh, rotting skin, dislocated extremities, and a host of other horrors. For obvious reasons, a Faded Soul has very few options for employment, often becoming a Physical Medium.
In many ways, Faded Souls act as if afflicted with low-functioning autism. They stare into space as if no one is there, are able to follow only simple requests, require coaxing to follow instructions, speak very little, etc. A Faded Soul can be cured by casting a miracle spell. A cured Faded Soul returns to normal statistics and abilities, but is still never quite the same. Daydreaming is common, as if playing out horrific memories over and over in their minds.
"Faded Soul" is a template that can be added to any sentient, corporeal creature that is not a construct, outsider or undead. The creature, referred to hereafter as the “base creature,” retains its normal type but changes it name to “Faded Soul [base creature].” It otherwise uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted below:
Attacks: A Faded Soul can no longer use weapons, only a slam attack with its two clasped fists causing 2d8 points of damage.
Special Attacks: These can no longer be used at will. To use any special attack the Faded Soul must make a successful Will save (DC 15). Failure indicates the Faded Soul enters a berserk rage. Add chill aura and berserk rage as described below:
Chill Aura (Su): Because a Faded Soul exists in a crack between worlds, the creature radiates cold in a 5 ft. radius. While this aura does not damage living things, it does cause the body of the Faded Soul to be cold to the touch. There is also an almost indiscernible 10% drop in light within a 10-ft. radius. In addition, animals are uneasy around a Faded Soul. Riding a horse, for example, requires a successful Handle Animal skill check (DC 14) by a Faded Soul. Riding in a carriage requires the driver to make such a roll.
Berserk Rage (Ex): When a Faded Soul is attacked, witnesses to the injury of a friend, or fails to accomplish a task, it flies into a berserk rage the following round, slamming with its deadly fists. A Faded Soul gains a +6 Strength, +6 Constitution, a +3 morale bonus to Will saves, and -3 penalty to AC during the rage. A Faded Soul cannot end its rage voluntarily. In fact, it continues to pound a dead creature until it is beat into pulp (10 rounds). If disturbed during the 10 rounds, the Faded Soul attacks the nearest living creature for the remaining time, friend or foe.
Special Quality: These can no longer be used at will, unless they involve the creature’s senses or movement. To use any special quality the Faded Soul must make a successful Will save (DC 15). Failure indicates the Faded Soul enters a berserk rage. Add second sight as described below:
• Second Sight (Ex): A Faded Soul can see as if under the affects of a true seeing spell. The schizophrenic and introverted nature of Faded Souls often causes important sightings to go unreported (at least for NPCs).
Abilities: Increase Str to maximum startup Str for that creature (usually 18). If the base creature is already at maximum, increase the total by 25%, rounding down. For example, 18 Strength becomes 22 (18 + 4.5 = 22.5 rounded to 22). All other statistics above 10 are lowered to 10, otherwise they remain the same. If a Faded Soul is cured, ability scores return to normal.
Skills: Skills can no longer be used at will. The mind of a damage soul is largely inaccessible. It has few overt memories and a berserk streak of anger. To use any skill the Faded Soul must make a successful Will save (DC 15). Failure indicates the Faded Soul enters a berserk rage for 1d4-1 rounds.
Feats: Feats can no longer be used at will. To use any feat the Faded Soul must make a successful Will save (DC 15). Failure indicates the Faded Soul enters a berserk rage for 1d4-1 rounds.
Alignment: Change alignment to CN. A Faded Soul exists in a permanent condition of "dazed" (PHB Condition Summary), except that the creature can generally follow simple instructions, such as "follow me" or "run away".