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Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooks and spirits

 A few paranormal beasties for your Halloween enjoyment.


Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 1* to 4*
Move: 150' (50')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1 point to 1d4
No. Appearing: 1d6 (1d6)
Save as: Magic-user:6
Morale: 5
Alignment: Neutral

In some places, the boundary between the material world and strange outer realms is compromised, either temporarily or permanently, allowing psychic and magical energies and shreds of ectoplasmic stuff to seep through from beyond.  Sometimes these energies agglomerate and attain a semi-sentient state.  The bizarre ghost-like entities that result are known as phantasms.  A phantasm may have almost any appearance imaginable.  They typically have features of humans or other "normal" creatures - eyes, noses, mouths, arms and hands, claws, etc. - but not necessarily in normal numbers or placement.  

Phantasms are incorporeal, and can pass through solid objects with ease.  They also have minor telekinetic powers which enable them to manipulate small objects at close range.  The creatures are curious and malevolently playful, and items left unattended in a phantasm-haunted area are unlikely to remain where the owner left them.  Phantasms are generally non-combatant; their "attacks" consist of colliding with a target, exerting a hard bump of psychokinetic force that leaves the target dazed and splattered with a residue of ectoplasmic slime. 

Being insubstantial, phantasms can be harmed only by magic weapons and spells.  They share the immunities of the undead to all sleep, charm, hold, and mind-affecting magic, but are not truly undead and cannot be turned by clerics.


Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 1/2*
Move: 300' (100')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d2+special
No. Appearing: 1d20
Save as: Normal human
Alignment: Neutral

 These minor spirits are left behind in places where sentient creatures have died but lacked unfinished business or sheer strength of will to bind them fully to the mortal plane as ghosts or similar entities.  Instead, each creature leaves behind a "psychic smudge" of energy.  Wisps appear as faintly glowing balls or ribbons of vapor with no discernible features.  Being incorporeal and unconstrained by the laws of gravity and inertia, wisps may hover and move with startling rapidity, changing speed and direction instantaneously.

Though unintelligent, wisps can sense psychic disturbances nearby, including strong emotions such as anger and fear, and are easily agitated by them.  They attack by literally flying through their target, inflicting a numbing chill that causes 1-2 points of damage and the temporary loss of 1 point of Dexterity.  This loss lasts for one day, or until removed with a dispel evil or restoration spell.  A creature reduced to 0 Dexterity is paralyzed for the duration.

Wisps are immune to non-magical weapons and to all spells except dispel evil and those that inflict damage through raw magical power, such as magic missile.  Weapons empowered with a bless spell inflict 1 point of damage per hit.  Wisps are turned as zombies.


Armor Class:7
Hit Dice: 8**
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
No. Appearing: 1 (1)
Save as: Magic-user:8
Morale: 12
Alignment: Chaotic

The terrible banemage is the undead remains of a magic-user who has had his or her magical ability completely burned out.  Typically this occurs as a result of an act of great hubris, such as attempting a magic spell or ritual far beyond the caster's power.  The resulting abomination is a creature devoid of all intellect and all ambition besides an overwhelming hunger for magic to fill the burned-out void within. 

A banemage appears much as it did in life, but its skin is a sickly pale gray and its eyes are completely black.  It instinctively senses the presence of magic within 150' and will move toward it.  Within 20' of the monster, all magical effects are dispelled as the enchantment is absorbed.  Spells cast at the creature from a greater range are likewise absorbed as soon as they enter its near vicinity.  In combat, the banemage seeks to touch sources of magical power, including magic armor, weapons, and other items.  The monster prefers to target spell casters or creatures with innate magical abilities. Its touch drains the highest-level spell from a spell caster's memory, and the victim must save vs. paralysis or fall into a trance and allow the banemage to feed, losing an additional spell per round until rescued.  Once all spells are gone, the banemage feeds on the character's very life force, draining one energy level per round.  Should a magic-user be completely drained of spells and life force in this way, he or she will rise as a banemage in 1d4 hours.  Creatures with innate magic, rather than spell casting ability, are simply energy drained in the manner of a caster after his spells are gone.

If no spell casters or creatures with magical life force are available, the banemage targets magic iems. Its touch drains one "plus" from a magical weapon or armor, or 1d100 charges from a charged item.  Potions and scrolls are instantly destroyed.  Permanent items without pluses are deactivated for 1 day per hit; three hits renders the item forever non-magical.  Even artifacts are not immune to the monster's insatiable leeching; such powerful items are deactivated for 1 day per hit, and permanently destroyed after 10 hits. 

Banemages are immune to magical weapons of all kinds.  In fact, striking it with a magic weapon drains the weapon's enchantment exactly as if the creature had touched it with its own attack.  They are also invulnerable to most normal weapons.  Only weapons of non-enchanted silver or wood will harm it.  Banemages are turned as vampires.

The monster derives neither comfort nor sustenance from its magic-draining attacks; it is simply driven by a mindless, bottomless hunger for that which it has lost.