Crypt Warden

( Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 167)

Medium Deathless

Hit dice: 9d12 (58 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 20 ft. (in breastplate) , 30 ft.

Armor class: 21 (+1 Dex, +3 natural, +5 masterwork breastplate, +2 masterwork heavy steel shield), touch 11, flat-footed 20

Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+6

Attack: Masterwork bastard sword +8 melee (1d10+2 plus 1 holy)

Full Attack: Masterwork bastard sword +8 melee (1d10+2 plus 1 holy)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks: Animate objects, holy smite

Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/bludgeoning, deathless traits, spell resistance 19

Saves: Fort +3 Ref +4 Will +7

Abilities: Str 15, Dex 12, Con —, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16

Skills: Climb +10, Diplomacy +17, Intimidate +15, Jump +10, Knowledge (religion) +14, Sense Motive +13, Tumble (negative) +1

Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword), Sanctify Martial Strike (bastard sword), Subduing Strike, Weapon Focus (bastard sword)

Environment: Underground

Organization: Solitary

Challenge Rating: 8

Treasure: Double standard

Alignment: Always lawful good

Advancement: 10–13 HD (Medium); 14–27 HD (Large)

Evil undead are not the only creatures that guard ancient tombs: crypt wardens are protectors of the resting places of saints and heroes.

Unlike animated undead that stand eternal guard over their haunts, crypt wardens lie inanimate until their tombs are disturbed. When intruders enter, the crypt warden's spirit returns from its enjoyment of the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia, animating its corpse in deathless form to protect the holy ground it guards. When the threat is over, its soul returns to its rest.

A crypt warden's basic form is indistinguishable from a skeleton or similar creature. It wears a fine breastplate and carries a shield and sword to use in its tomb's defense. It speaks Common and Celestial.


Crypt wardens fight fearlessly, for they literally have nothing to lose—win or lose, their spirit returns to heavenly bliss when its task is done. They are far more intelligent than they appear, and quickly surprise tombrobbers who assume them to be nothing more than mindless skeletons.

Animate Objects (Su): As a standard action, a crypt warden can cause a statue or another object within the tomb it guards to animate, as if affected by the animate objects spell. It can animate one object of Large size or smaller each round; this ability otherwise works as the spell cast by a 10th-level cleric.

Holy Smite (Sp): A crypt guardian can use holy smite at will. Caster level 10th; Will save DC 17. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Deathless Traits: A crypt warden is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save, except for energy drain attacks, effects that also work on objects, and harmless effects. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or death from massive damage. It is not subject to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution damage. A crypt warden cannot be raised or resurrected. A crypt warden has darkvision (60-foot range).

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