When applying a template like necropolitan (Libris Mortis 114-5) that changes a creature's type to undead (and its Hit Dice to d12s), does the creature's hp total change retroactively due to its new HD and (likely absent) Constitution score?

For example, if a living wizard's Constitution penalty affects his hit points, is that penalty removed if he gains a template that makes him undead?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I removed the dead link, using a page reference instead. While I was doing that, I tried to clarify the question. If that's too extreme, please roll it back or edit it further. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


Undead creatures usually don't apply their Constitution modifiers to their Hit Points, usually because they don't have Constitution scores. Some apply to their hp another ability score's modifier (for example, the charnel hound (Monster Manual III 26)), but these are rare and not usually suitable for PCs.

Thus, for example, a PC wizard with 12 Hit Dice and a Constitution score of 8 would normally have 4+11d4−12 hp (that is, on average, less than 20!). But, when that PC wizard gains the type undead and its Constitution score becomes , the wizard has 12+11d12 hp (about 83 hp!). (Note that while monsters don't get maximum hp on their first Hit Die, PCs do.)

Other effects can modify a typical undead creature's hp—such as creating it in an area affected by the spell desecrate that also contains an altar to an evil god—but such effects are usually barred to the typical necropolitan.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if someone would be so kind as to edit my answer and provide links to the desecrate spell and maybe the dread necromancer class, that'd be awesome since I can't atm :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Saryk
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would, but consensus shows those probably don't apply to a necropolitan. I can add them anyway if you really want, though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan it doesn't apply to a necropolitan, but the question asks about gaining a template that makes you undead (raise dead gives a skeleton or a zombie template) \$\endgroup\$
    – Saryk
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, undeads do not get their constitution modifier to their Hit Points, but is it going to retroactively changing the HP not just HD since he was living before this. More accurately does templates that changes the type to undead recalculate HP total or just Hit Dice? \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 17:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Simon yes they do recalculate their HP. You can read the Animate dead spell or the Skeleton template (or zombie), there is a link somewhere to "creating an undead" which follows all the steps of the creation, including HP (re)calculation \$\endgroup\$
    – Saryk
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 20:23

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