At 7th level, a Dread becomes immune to fear. The class feature says the following:

At 7th level, the dread gains immunity to fear (psionic or otherwise). This ability functions whether the dread is conscious or unconscious, but not when she is dead.

That's pretty cool and all, but what's the point of this being inactive when the Dread is dead?

Is there anything that can make you afraid when you're dead? Is there any situation wherein it would be useful to subject a dead creature to fear, given that they're... well... dead?

(I'm presuming that if you were fearing their ghost or something, the ghost would be undead and technically alive, not dead, and thus its immunity to fear would be fully operational.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Relevant: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/36105/1421 \$\endgroup\$ – Magician Jun 4 '14 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have the Pathfinder rules for petitioners handy. Does anyone know if they lose class features upon death? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Jun 4 '14 at 7:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/… :) \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Jun 4 '14 at 7:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Relevant: rpg.stackexchange.com/a/37131/4563 Note how the game doesn’t really define what being dead means in terms of abilities and conditions. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 4 '14 at 12:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well... if the Dread is ALL dead, there's nothing you can do. However, your friend is only MOSTLY dead. \$\endgroup\$ – Pulsehead Jun 4 '14 at 13:52

The description of the dead condition has the following:

The character's hit points are reduced to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score, his Constitution drops to 0, or he is killed outright by a spell or effect. The character's soul leaves his body.

(Emphasis mine.)

The soul then can be affected by various things, like the Soul Bind spell, etc. - not to mention that there's a whole afterlife waiting for them where this may matter. (Petitioners do "lose all special qualities, along with all abilities granted by class levels", but the RAW sometimes might emphasize this and that by repetition, for example.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for soul bind alone; The use of fear effects to manipulate and interrogate the magically-bound souls of the dead is a potent tool for any necromantically-inclined archvillain. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Jun 4 '14 at 7:42

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