View Full Version : [Portrait] Ghost of the Harvest Moon (incomplete)

2005-12-17, 01:15 AM
Okay. What follows is pretty much what I whipped up half an hour after saying to myself "gee, I doubt many people are going to go with AUTUMN". Right now it's all backstory and tactics. Obviously I'm going to have to turn it into a stat sheet and figure out what parts of tactics to edit out and leave up to the evil DMs out there. And a spell/grammar check at some point would probably be a good idea. A general clean-up would probably be good, as well, since this was near-stream-of-consciousness.

Or I could just be satisfied with contributing something interesting and leave it at this....

Oh, does anyone know someplace that will host my pic for free, AND let it be pasted? (I know angelfire don't do the latter.)

I don't say this below, but this guy is a ghost template on top of a few levels of commoner. He advances by rogue levels.


The Ghost of the Harvest Moon

Backstory: Alvar Thresher was a fairly ordinary young farmhand: Rural, coarse, unambitious, uneducated, direct, and stuborn as a mule. His community was a fairly closed and xenophobic one; they had nothing against outsiders (social outsiders, not the creature type), so long as they stayed OUTSIDE, and Alvar was perhaps the worst of the bunch. Though not much of a fighter by his community's standards, he was still prone to give a quick with a punch to the nose to anyone who pissed him off. He was also something of a lady's man, and soon earned a whispered reputation for coaxing the young daughters of various farmers to rolls in the hay. Which explains why late one night, while walking back from working in the fields under the harvest moon, scythe on his shoulder and tune on his lips, Alvar was beset by three of such a maiden's brothers. He was beaten, dragged by a horse, had his throat cut, and left for dead.

The next harvest moon, Alvar's ghost appeared by the roadside ditch where he'd been murdered. He knew he was dead. He knew he'd been murdered. He wasn't quite sure how much time had past, but was certain it hadn't been more than a few minutes. He'd never gotten a good look at who'd done the deed, but he was pretty sure it had to have been one of those durned outsiders. And Alvar was pissed off. He wanted revenge.

The next harvest moon, he reappeared there again, remembering nothing about his previous haunting. And again, and again, and again, every time the harvest moon shown on the site of his death. Each time, he quickly latches onto the first group of outsiders he finds with an irrational, unshakable certainty that they are his murderers.

Though his afterlife has iterated many times, experience-wise Alvar is new to being a ghost and it shows. He has to go through learning to live as an ethereal being (Wow! Walls DON'T stop me! Double wow! I can fly! No one can see me. Dangit, I keep forgetting that!). Therefore, though he'll follow his "murderers" around, usually screaming bloody murder at them, they'll likely be completely ignorant of him. It takes time for him to learn how to manifest, and then time to learn how to use his other special attacks, and also time to figure out how to best take advantage of his etherealness. His first manifestation is ALWAYS out of sight of his targets (though usually not far), when he is distracted by a pretty young woman and makes a pass at her. (This is seldom well-received.) It is a habit which Alvar will repeat frequently, usually nearby but not in the presence of his "murderers"; he rarely goes far from them, and is too focussed on them while in their presence to be distracted by a pretty face.

Though Alvar will be prone to combat initially, if his targets prove tougher than him he will (eventually) become more devious and less directly confrontational. Rather than attacking his "murderers" directly, he will instead observe them from the ethereal plane, learn their plans, and then do everything he can to thwart them. If they have enemies, he will track those enemies down and tell them everything he knows, serving as spy and observer. If they're hiding from someone, Alvar will manifest before their hunters and point out the hiding place. He will seek out heros and explain to them his tale of woe, asking them to take revenge on his behalf. If no such brilliant insight occurs to him at the moment, he'll just make a pest of himself by showing up to spook mounts, spoil NPC encounters, or disrupt a restful night's sleep. (If he ever learns that this prevents casters from memorizing spells, it will become his prefered way of neutralizing casters.) In this manner, he will make a pure nuisance of himself until the next harvest moon.

Alvar's been around long enough for a small fable to develop around him; unfortunately, it's an inaccurate one. The fable describes his appearance accurately, but holds that he's like the reaper, come every autumn to harvest the souls of the dead, and is only visible to those who are going to die soon. The Gather Information or Bardic Lore checks on the fable is DC 15 and his true background (obscured in the distant past, little more than flimsy details) is DC 30.

If destroyed (but passing his save) or driven off, Alvar will return to haunt his "murderers" within the span of a few days at most. The only way to be rid of him permanently is to help him resolve his distrust of outsiders, or to wait until the next harvest moon, when the cycle will repeat and he'll latch on to some other misfortunate travelers.

Possible uses: Though the obvious possibility is to have Alvar mistake the PCs for his murderers, there are other ways to use him. He could have latched onto the BBEG as his murderer, and has come to the PCs to act as a spy and informant. Or perhaps he has come to them to plea that they avenge his death.

Combat: In combat, Alvar prefers manifested bare-handed fisticuffs, but if faced with an armed opponent on the ethereal plane he will use his sythe instead. His preference is to take on his enemies one at a time, usually when unarmed and isolated from the party (say, a trip to the bushes). Dirty fighting is par for the course, but magic is just plain cheating, and he will generally flee (for a while) if faced with a spellcaster or magical weapon. Any assault on his "murderers" will begin with an attempt at neutralizing or isolating the known spellcasters, usually with some sort of ambush.

2005-12-17, 01:22 AM
For your pic I suggest photobucket. (http://www.photobucket.com) But it's just a suggestion...there's a few others, if you're looking for something else. But photobucket is what I use.