... now with 35% more arrogance!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Phantasm to Ghost Undead Ranks

The third group of ranks of the undead is the incorporeal or spectral undead, meaning those undead that have lost their physical forms and exist as ethereal spirits. Wraiths, spectres and ghosts are the best known of these.

The dead and other spirits (like Angry Spirits) are related to the incorporeal undead but there's a distinction: true spirits tend to be invisible and completely non-material, while spectres and their kin are often quite visible and retain a pseudo-materiality, especially in their weaker forms, shedding their materiality as they grow more powerful. I imagine them to be sort of thick masses, something like a cross between a mass of fog and a clump of spider webs floating through the air in a humanoid shape (the technical name for this being "ectoplasm".) This is the result of their being drained by other undead; a wraith or spectre's attack should drain substance as well as life. causing victims to feel a little weightless as they approach death.

Because they are partially substantial in their weaker stages, they are still vulnerable to physical attacks, but they become invulnerable a little quicker than the corporeal and skeletal ranks of the undead. All are nearly silent (+1 to surprise.)

I've changed the ghost a bit to fit the spectral progression and to eliminate some AD&D-isms, so I'll probably doing a separate post on them. The new low ranks (phantasm, shade, phantom) all have names that have been used before, but for quite different monsters.
Vulnerability to Sunlight
Starts at the 1 HD (Phantasm) level as a morale effect (-1 on all attack rolls, Move reduced to 3; GM-controlled undead flee if morale breaks.)
Ghosts (10 HD) can't materialize to attack in daylight
Fearful Grip/Gaze
Starts at the 1 HD (Phantasm) level as a slowing touch (Move is halved, strike last every round; Elves and Heroes are immune, and they can break the grip of fear by shaking or slapping a victim.)
At 2 HD, creatures of less than 4 dice are paralyzed when touched.
At 10 HD +, their gaze causes minor aging.
Immunity to Mundane Weapons
Starts at the 1 HD (Phantasm) level as an immunity to normal missiles; both magical and silver arrows will still do standard damage, as will ordinary melee weapons.
At 4 HD, silver arrows do half damage
At 5 HD, can only be struck by magical weapons
At 10 HD +, can only be struck by magic weapons when they have materialized; otherwise, they can only be attacked by ethereal opponents.
Level Drain
Starts at the 3 HD (Phantom) level as 1 level drained per hit.
At 5 HD +, drains 2 levels per hit.
At 7 HD +, touch has additional effect (see variant Angry Spirits for possible attacks)
At 10 HD +, level drain is replaced with aging.

Corporeal Undead Progression Track
HDUndead RankCumulative Features
1Phantasmfears the sun (-1 attack, Move 3), touch slows victims, gust of wind slows and does 1 point damage, no damage from normal missles (unless silver)
2Shadeparalyze victims with fear (elves or heroes counteract)
3Phantomdrain 1 level/hit
4Wraithhalf damage from silver arrows, no damage from gusts of wind
5-6Spectredrain 2 levels/hit, hit only by magic weapons
7-9Spectral Lordattack has additional special effect
10+Ghostaging gaze/touch, can't be physically attacked unless materialized

No comments:

Post a Comment