How does the knight class's ability loyal beyond death (Player's Handbook II 27) function for an undead creature? If an undead creature's hp are reduced to 0, it is destroyed, but what if the creature possesses the aforementioned ability?
Loyal Beyond Death (Ex): […] If your body is somehow destroyed before your next action (such as by disintegrate), then you cannot act.
(Player’s Handbook II, pg. 27)
- Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.
This is the fundamental problem: we have no direct information on what it means for “it,” the undead creature, to be “immediately destroyed,” and whether or not that means that their “body is […] destroyed.” I’ve seen campaigns where undead are treated as immediately disintegrating upon reaching 0 hp, leaving nothing behind with which they could act “loyal[ly] beyond death.” I can find nothing in the core rules or in Libris Mortis that directly states that something like this should—or explicitly should not—happen, so it seems pretty up to the DM.
There is at least one indirect statement that undead creature’s bodies are not automatically destroyed when the creature is. The revive undead spell (Libris Mortis or Spell Compendium) has a target of “Destroyed undead creature touched,” that specifies that “The body of the undead to be revived must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is reanimated.” That wouldn’t be possible if the body of formerly-undead creatures were destroyed at the same time that the undead creature was.
Thus, my take is that the most consistent ruling is that loyal beyond death works normally for undead creatures, allowing them to go below 0 or even −10 hp and yet still function for 1 round without being destroyed.
Now if only there were any good knight class features from 5th to 19th to make becoming a 20th-level knight worthwhile...