PDA

View Full Version : Buffing Up a Ghost



batsofchaos
2008-02-11, 07:15 PM
A campaign I am starting needs a BBEG of the incorporeal undead variety that can possess intelligent beings for potentially an indefinite amount of time. I was going to go with a ghost, but the Malevolence power is limited in its duration to less than a day, even at 20th level. I can't think of any other monsters that fit the bill, so I'm taking the plunge to modify the Ghost into a slightly more robust creature.


Greater Malevolence (Su)
Once per round, an ethereal ghost can permanently merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to the normal Malevolence Supernatural Ability except the affect is permanent. To use this ability, the ghost must be manifested and it must try move into the targetís space; moving into the targetís space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 15 + ghostís Cha modifier). A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same ghostís malevolence for 24 hours, and the ghost cannot enter the targetís space. If the save fails, the ghost vanishes into the targetís body. The target can attempt to shake off the ghost once every 24 hours with a successful Will save (DC 15 + ghosts's Cha modifier + cumulative number of days possessed) for a number of days equal to their Wis modifier (minimum 1). If successful, the ghost is forced out and the target is shaken for 2d4 rounds. If unsuccessful, they are trapped until the ghost freely leaves or is otherwise coerced to leave.

Is this balanced enough? Should the target creature get more save chances? And what would the LA be on a SRD ghost with this added, it's gotta be higher than the current 5.

Also any suggestions on a monster I missed that can do something like this would be welcome.

Parvum
2008-02-11, 07:23 PM
Wasn't there a book entirely dedicated to ghosts?

And the power... harmful. Makes Spirit Shamans more useful, though.

Jack_Simth
2008-02-11, 08:15 PM
It's a plot device. As long as it's out of the PC's hands, it's fine. Really. Under most circumstances, it doesn't even merit a CR increase - as far as CR is concerned (one battle), five days and five hours aren't particularly different. It's slightly different if you plan on using it on a PC, but that's no fun for most players - they get no control at all, and have nothing to do but just sit there; I wouldn't recommend using it on the PC's.

batsofchaos
2008-02-11, 09:09 PM
The plan is definitely not to use it on the PCs, nor give them access. This ghostie is controlling the king of the Gnolls in my campaign, so he needs to be able to maintain that control for an extended period of time. They might be confronted with this guy and have the power used on them, but a Dispel Magic should force the ghost out anyway, so it's not going to be character-destroying.

Jack_Simth
2008-02-12, 06:56 AM
The plan is definitely not to use it on the PCs, nor give them access. This ghostie is controlling the king of the Gnolls in my campaign, so he needs to be able to maintain that control for an extended period of time. They might be confronted with this guy and have the power used on them, but a Dispel Magic should force the ghost out anyway, so it's not going to be character-destroying.

Supernatural Abilities

These abilities cannot be disrupted in combat, as spells can, and they generally do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or to being dispelled by dispel magic, and do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated.(Emphasis added).

That doesn't work. The Protection From alignment line of spells "keeps out a possessing life force but does not expel one if it is in place before the spell is cast".

Mal666
2008-02-12, 07:02 AM
cant remember the exact abilities, but the Fiend of possession PrC from the Fiend Folio might be easily adaptable to what you need. it allows puppetlike controll of a creature, and also it couild evactuate into a weapon or other item if necessary.

hehe, sacred Exorcist's would love your campain.

batsofchaos
2008-02-12, 11:00 AM
(Emphasis added).

That doesn't work. The Protection From alignment line of spells "keeps out a possessing life force but does not expel one if it is in place before the spell is cast".

I wasn't aware of that. Ah well.

The ghost isn't really going to be interested in the PCs; the BBES (big, bad, evil scheme) that he has requires the possession of a monstrous humanoid. Any party possession would solely be to escape in tact from a combat scenario.

Jack_Simth
2008-02-12, 04:18 PM
I wasn't aware of that. Ah well.

The ghost isn't really going to be interested in the PCs; the BBES (big, bad, evil scheme) that he has requires the possession of a monstrous humanoid. Any party possession would solely be to escape in tact from a combat scenario.
Right. And that's why it has no impact whatsoever on the CR.

In fact, as you're not going to do any long-term possession of PC's, the rules for it flat-out don't matter beyond what you will be doing - which I suggest limiting to a few minutes, at most, for practical considerations. For that matter, a Ghost doesn't even need to do that to escape - it's incorporeal and ethereal. Dive below ground, de-manifest, and you're on a different plane entirely. Even with a Force Effect that would normally affect a character on the ethereal, you've got Total Cover from the ground. If they follow onto the ethereal plane, he's still got total concealment. No catching him. For practical purposes, he wants to possess the leader of the mooks. You don't need rules for that. It's just the normal malevolence except that it hasn't expired.

batsofchaos
2008-02-12, 07:22 PM
Sounds good. Yeah, this guy is all about caution and non-detection. He possesses those who he can use to further his goals, whether that means physical work that Telekinesis is unsuited for, or using personal influence to further his goals. If he possesses a PC during combat he has the other PCs tailing him (something he definitely does not want) and he cannot make real use of their reputation. It would be at most used inside of a single combat in an attempt to thrash the PCs with one of their own. If using the normal form of Malevolence, he'd be able to do so for 17 hours, so him being able to do it 'indefinitely' inside of a single combat is relatively no difference.

Okay, thanks folks!