Why don't more rpgs include playable undead races that compose entire kingdoms like the Forsaken. It's an interesting concept beyond "humans but with pointy ears" and the aesthitic is pretty damn cool.
The closest thing I can think of are 3.5e's Necropolitans from Libris Mortis, but they were never developed into an actual culture.
a) Because they are not a race, undead is a state of existence.
b) System concerns (no HP, or no con, to powerful, to weak, doesn't heal naturally
c) requires high magic in setting
d) requires prevalent sentient undead in setting
e) not pretty enough
f) not vampires, see above
g) may indeed be covered by vampires, depending on your demands for undead
h) game does not wish related themes
i) game does not wish for related aesthetics
The short answer? Because it's a dumb concept.
Undead either retain their memories, in which case they'd have a strong tie back to their original countries, or they don't, in which case they don't make much sense to be playable.
What if a whole country has died? Dominions does this with Ermor, where attempts to resurrect Jesus went wrong and damned all of Rome to eternal life, with Lemuria, where a portal to the underworld was opened, and the nation's dead came up from below and then immediately started winning all the elections due to being older and wiser than anyone (and the cold of the underworld killed off the mortals after a generation) and Therodos, where a nation pissed off the gods and got killed, but since they didn't notice they were dead they just kept on farming and dancing and doing Phoenician shit.
How are any of those not suitable to the concept?
Don't forget the reproduction difficulties. Undead don't breed, so attrition is a big deal. Not easy to replace killed peasants.
Which is actually a really big deal for the Forsaken.
You can't maintain a kingdom if you can't at least keep the population stable.
I mean, sure, you could go around killing others and raising them as undead, but that's painting a giant "WE ARE EVIL AND NEED SMITING" sign on your head, so enjoy all your neighbors ganging up to wipe your kingdom out.
Or, you know, all the newly raised undead defecting because they still remember what you did to them.
Setting a friend and I made has a race called the nhem, who are born in cocoons of negative energy. Normally they're native to negative energy planes, but some cross over, and others are born in plague pits or battlefields. Most of those are killed by peasants or priests, but some survive, and of those who survive, some find their way to others like them, and start small, secret communities.
The original goal was to have a civilized race for the shadowfell, but we went a little past that.
They're not really evil, but they have a tendency to go mad as they age, though they're physically immortal.
Because it's an edgy concept. A kingdom of men, women and elves slain by an Undead army are resurrected as Undead to bolster their ranks. But they break free and are now aimless and ultimately useless to the world at large. Absolutely every faction in warcraft is itching for an excuse to kill the Forsaken, but there needs to be a balance of races so they won't despite Sylvanas being a huge cuntnugget.
So tell me OP,why would you want a race like this in your game? The concept works best as a small city at best, trying to pick up their lives after some passing necromancer dicked them over, but a full race? Nah
What if, instead, families brought their dead loved ones to this country to have them raised? As payment, the raised undead will have to stay and work for the country for a while, but after that, they're free to become citizens or return home to their families?
I always pictured a society of rotting undead as a group of British cockneys who are always doing dumb or amusing shit. Though I can see the edgelord potential in an undead race.
Because the Forsaken are terrible and there's no purpose of a being that doesn't fill a specific niche, which for undead tends to be the "desecration of the natural order of life" niche. And for what reason would most settings have nice undead running around? What would the aforementioned niche be taken by, and how long before you want them to be generic PC races too?
Like imagine the look on the PCs faces when they roll up to a town expecting some hot wenches in a fancy tavern, only to be greeted by a small group of zombie like prostitutes; the leading lady shambling up to them and saying in the most gritty female British accent "Ello bois, care for a shaggin from m'lasses?" as a song and dance routine from a gang of sewer skeletons chimes in "We'll waggle our bones and take yur thrones, as we're sing an' dance an' holler an' prance..."
Is Sunless Sea good? I dropped Fallen London after a couple of weeks of becoming a Person of Some Importance and doing nothing but clicking the same five buttons over and over, and Sunless Sea wasn't out at the time.
It's free right now, so try it. It has the flavor of Fallen London and the events use basically the same mechanics but the format is way different. You can live a fair few lives before it gets repetitive.
It's certainly not as bad as Fallen London when it comes to grind. Dying and restarting involves repeating most storylines, and it is a fairly slow paced game all around, but it absolutely beats out the FL grind while keeping the atmosphere and quality of writing.
Pathfinder has a nation called 'Geb' which is basically this. Even has three castes; the quick, undead aristocrats of various types, the living, who have protected rights, and chattel, mindless human cattle. Mildly amusing with the country having mass inefficiency problems as all the undead think because they're undead they deserve to never work a day in their lives.
There was just a Christmas event, I know that. >>45113449
Yeah, but Sunless Sea doesn't give you the backstory of the Tomb Colonists up front. I can get into it if you want, but my connection is essentially nonexistent.
Fucking retcons, I remind back then Geb had a working class made entirely of mindless undead, so the living basically work as white collars and the quick pretty much are economist and scholars.
Maybe Call of Cthulhu, or another system related to the mythos? I suppose it depends on what exactly you'd be going for in the campaign (investigative Watchful challenges vs going out and hunting zee-monsters or what have you), but I feel like you could make it work with that.
Eberron has the deathless, who are a different kind of undead. They're not really playable though.
Exalted has both the Abyssal Exalted, and the cities (like Thorns) that are in Shadowland and has a large undead population.
It still kind of does, they have a magnificent mindless military who are constantly rented out to the undead lords to work the fields and so on.
Basically you have a mindless working class that we hear nothing about as they're mindless and thus boring.
And a cocaine fueled decadent overlord class of vampires, sexy ghouls and the slut-queen.
I mean, let's be real here, if the undead are able to communicate with the living in a way that doesn't result in them getting brutally killed, I think that would mean they at least don't look completely hideous.
Forsaken are one of the more interesting races in the Warcraft universe. I loved playing them in WoW. I piloted a Forsaken Warlock through the original game and the first expansion.
21/40 Shadow Bolt spam is still the best nuke build Ive ever played in a game.
Yeah, Forsaken are arguably one of the only really interesting and new ideas in the entire setting, though like all of Azeroth, it's gotten repeatedly shit upon by modern WoW. But the core idea is still pretty dope.
Lightslayers were here. Fuck yo churches.
Eh, Azeroth was originally actually pretty great, it's just suffered greatly at casualization and the whoring out of Blizzard. I mean, fuck, even as retarded as Thrall and the noble savage orcs have become, when Warcraft 3 dropped, the idea was pretty dope. Not forgotten shit like the quilboar, the Forsaken, ever-devolved goblins, etc.
Don't judge the universe solely on Cata-era WoW and onwards. Or the writing of Knaak and Golden.
Originally, the factions were literally Orcs and Humans. The occasional good ideas that bubbled up have been minor notions, not fully explored and soon abandoned. None of the shit you mention really fits that description, though.
To be honest, even WoW itself flip-flops with the idea of noble orcs. Even now, a lot of the orcs are either just noble or savage. But I tend to focus on Alliance-side because I RP there.
You started your post off with
"The short answer? Because its a dumb concept."
Thats doesnt sound like an opinion. But you're gonna be an argumentative faggot, so go ahead and fuck off.
Tomorrow's Sunday. If you're going to insult him for using poorly conceived terms at least do so in an intelligent manner.
He obviously has church in the morning, followed by Sunday school.