Non-living and unliving are terms that refer to creatures that have never been alive. The term non-living was introduced in the Shadow of Death manual, the only use of non-living in the manuals (used to describe creatures unaffected by the Elixir of Life). Unliving is not used at all in the manuals but replaces non-living in the in-game description of the Elixir of Life. The manual states that the artifact "does not work on undead or non-living creatures". Additionally, the non-undead creatures not affected by the health bonus of the Elixir of Life, (golems, elementals and gargoyles), have other immunities in common, which allows them to be considered one group of non-living creatures.
Stone gargoyle and obsidian gargoyle are also considered non-living, but they are still affected by morale and mind spells. In Horn of the Abyss, they are called "Bloodless" instead of non-living.
Although war machines as units on the battlefield can be considered non-living in some sense, they have their own system of immunities.
Crystal dragons are described as being "made entirely from red crystal and brought to life through magical means..." and are referred to as dragon golems in the campaign. Despite these references they don't have any features that would set them apart from any other living creatures.
The only common trait of golems among all other non-living creatures is spell damage resistance.
- Air and Storm Elementals
- Water and Ice Elementals
- Fire and Energy Elementals
- Earth and Magma Elementals
- Psychic and Magic Elementals
All non-living creatures are unaffected by the 25% health bonus of the Elixir of Life, by morale (except for gargoyles), and the following spells and abilities:
Mind spells (except for gargoyles)
- Azure Dragons: • fear
- Ghost Dragons: • aging
- Lich and Power Lichs: • death cloud
- Mighty Gorgons: • death stare
- Pit Lords: • summon demons
- Vampire Lords: • life drain
- Wyvern Monarchs: • poison
- Sea Serpents and Haspids: • poison
- Zombies: • disease
- Horn of the Abyss: • Fangarm summon