D&D Fight Club
Drossang Tachlash
Spectral Redspawn Arcaniss
By Robert Wiese

Design Notes

With Monster Manual V coming out next month, it is time to revisit Monster Manual IV . The spellwarp sniper prestige class from Complete Scoundrel looked interesting, and the redspawn arcaniss fits the bill for a creature it would work well for. Plus, I wanted to do something incorporeal, and I needed an arcane caster for the spectral mage template from Magic of Faerūn . In higher levels, the incantatrix prestige class from Player's Guide to Faerūn adds a lot. This month's feature is very much a Forgotten Realms creature, so you might use it in Expedition to Undermountain , which comes out this month. (Have I mentioned enough products yet? If not, check my reference to Spell Compendium lower down.)

Drossang Tachlash was never appreciated among the spawns of Tiamat, and she always found herself put in lesser roles or given lesser tasks. She performed them well, but she never received proper credit or reward. So, she began seeking out training in arts that are rare among her kind, and as she became more specialized with ray spells, she gained more notice. Not in a good way, though, because a wizard in the Cult of the Dragon captured her and turned her into a spectral mage. She broke free of his control, but did not return to Tiamat's fold either. Now abandoned by the world, she roams and burns things to make herself feel better.

Subtlety in combat has been a hard lesson for her, and it is one she is still learning. Her new incorporeal state gives her advantages that she uses, like coming out of a surface, using a spell, and ducking back inside. She makes as much use of her spellwarp ability as she can, and she combines it with other feats that enhance her ray attacks. With the Reach Spell feat, she can also make touch spells into ray spells. Specifically, burning hands , any fireball spell, and cone of cold can be warped into rays to avoid the Reflex save for half damage, and any melee touch spell can be converted to a ray as well.

Drossang Tachlash as a Budding Spellwarp Sniper

With training in spellwarping, Drossang now alternates between fireball spells and fireball rays as appropriate. She can do a reach-based chill touch in a 3rd-level slot, but she prefers fire spells. Keeping to the sniper theme, she tries to fire rays from cover, and she takes cover inside objects when she can. If a foe is immune to fire, she uses sound lance and Melf's acid arrow until she has to retreat.

Drossang Tachlash CR 10
Female redspawn arcaniss spectral mage rogue 1/spellwarp sniper 1
CEMediumundead (dragonblood, incorporeal, fire)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +2, Spot +7
Aura unnatural aura
Languages Common, Draconic

AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 15; 50% chance to ignore damage from corporeal sources (except positive and negative energy, force effects, and ghost touch weapons)
(+2 Dex, +5 deflection)
hp 65 (10 HD)
Immune fire, paralysis, sleep, mind-affecting effects, stunning, poison, disease, death effects, critical hits, nonlethal damage, energy drain, ability drain, Dex damage, fatigue, exhaustion, any effect that requires a Fort save unless it is harmless or affects objects, death from massive damage
Resist turn +2
Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +8
Weakness vulnerability to cold, destroyed at 0 hit points

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 30 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +6 (paralysis) or
Ranged touch +7 (spell)
Base Atk +4; Grp +4
Atk Options Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Reach Spell, paralysis, sneak attack +1d6
Special Actions spellwarp
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 7th):
3rd (5/day) -- fireball (DC 18; CL 9th), sound lance * (DC 18)
2nd (7/day) -- Melf's acid arrow (+7 ranged touch), resist energy , scorching ray (+7 ranged touch; CL 9th)
1st (8/day) -- burning hands (DC 16; CL 9th), chill touch (+6 melee touch; DC 16), magic missile , shield , true strike
0 (6/day) -- acid splash (+7 ranged touch), detect magic, ghost sound (DC 15), message, ray of frost (+7 ranged touch), read magic, touch of fatigue (+6 melee touch, DC 15)
* Spells are from Spell Compendium

Abilities Str --, Dex 15, Con --, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 21
SQ armored mage, corporeal manipulation, fire spell affinity, incorporeal traits, item link, madness, trapfinding
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Reach Spell, Weapon Focus (ranged touch)
Skills Bluff +8, Concentration +18, Hide +10, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Listen +2, Spellcraft +14, Spot +7, Survival +8, Tumble +6

Paralysis (Su) A creature touched by Drossang must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw (DC 20) or be paralyzed for 10 rounds.

Spellwarp (Ex) As a free action during casting, Drossang can warp a spell of level equal to her class level or lower with instantaneous duration and a range greater than touch. The spell's level, components, range, and damage (if any) remain unchanged. However, the spell's area entry is replaced by an effect entry of "ray." Even if the original spell allowed a Reflex save to reduce or negate its effect, the ray does not. However, if the original spell allowed a Fortitude or Will save to reduce or negate the spell's effect, the save still applies. She can apply metamagic feats as normal to the spell, as long as they can affect ray spells.

Armored Mage (Ex) Drossang can use light armor and shields without an arcane spell failure chance.

Corporeal Manipulation (Su) Drossang can manipulate material objects as a standard action if they can be manipulated with a mage hand spell. She must be in contact with the item to use this ability. This also allows her to use magic items that do not need to be worn to function.

Fire Spell Affinity (Ex) Drossang casts fire spells at +2 caster level. In addition, she heals 2 points of damage per spell level each time she casts a fire spell.

Item Link (Su) Drossang has a magical link to the items she carried when she died. She can sense the exact location of these objects as a standard action.

Madness (Ex) Every time Drossang enters combat, she must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 15) or go mad 1d4 rounds later as the trauma of combat pushes her over the brink. This madness functions exactly like the confusion spell and lasts for 10 rounds.

Unnatural Aura (Su) Both wild and domesticated animals can sense Drossang's the unnatural presence at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.

Drossang Tachlash as a Spellwarp Sniper

Now with Rapid Metamagic, she can use Reach Spell as a standard action, so she alternates between warped fireball rays, actual ray spells, and reach-based touch spell rays. She has much the same tactics as in the previous version, but she is more willing to remain exposed briefly to get a better spot for using ray spells.

Drossang Tachlash CR 14
Female redspawn arcaniss spectral mage rogue 1/spellwarp sniper 5
CE Medium undead (dragonblood, incorporeal, fire)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +2, Spot +19
Aura unnatural aura
Languages Common, Draconic

AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 16; 50% chance to ignore damage from corporeal sources (except positive and negative energy, force effects, and ghost touch weapons)
(+2 Dex, +6 deflection)
hp 91 (14 HD)
Immune fire, paralysis, sleep, mind-affecting effects, stunning, poison, disease, death effects, critical hits, nonlethal damage, energy drain, ability drain, Dex damage, fatigue, exhaustion, any effect that requires a Fort save unless it is harmless or affects objects, death from massive damage
Resist turn +2
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +10
Weakness vulnerability to cold, destroyed at 0 hit points

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 30 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +9 (paralysis) or
Ranged touch +10 (spell)
Base Atk +7; Grp +7
Atk Options Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Reach Spell, paralysis, sneak attack +1d6, sudden raystrike +2d6
Special Actions ray mastery, spellwarp
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 11th):
5th (5/day) -- teleport , wall of stone
4th (7/day) -- fire shield (CL 13th), orb of fire * (+10 ranged touch; CL 13th), ray deflection *
3rd (7/day) -- chain missile , dispel magic , fireball (DC 19; CL 13th), sound lance * (DC 19)
2nd (8/day) -- combust * (+10 melee touch, DC 18; CL 13th), Melf's acid arrow (+10 ranged touch), resist energy , scorching ray (+10 ranged touch; CL 13th), see invisibility
1st (8/day) -- burning hands (DC 17; CL 13th), chill touch (+9 melee touch; DC 17), magic missile , shield , true strike
0 (6/day) -- acid splash (+10 ranged touch), caltrops *, detect magic, electric jolt * (+10 ranged touch), ghost sound (DC 16), message, ray of frost (+10 ranged touch), read magic, touch of fatigue (+9 melee touch, DC 16)
* Spells are from Spell Compendium

Abilities Str --, Dex 15, Con --, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 22
SQ armored mage, corporeal manipulation, fire spell affinity, incorporeal traits, item link, madness, trapfinding
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Far Shot, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Metamagic, Reach Spell, Weapon Focus (ranged touch)
Skills Bluff +9, Concentration +23, Hide +10, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (arcana) +17, Listen +2, Spellcraft +18, Spot +19, Survival +8, Tumble +6

Paralysis (Su) A creature touched by Drossang must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw (DC 23) or be paralyzed for 10 rounds.

Spellwarp (Ex) As a free action during casting, Drossang can warp a spell of level equal to her class level or lower with instantaneous duration and a range greater than touch. The spell's level, components, range, and damage (if any) remain unchanged. However, the spell's area entry is replaced by an effect entry of "ray." Even if the original spell allowed a Reflex save to reduce or negate its effect, the ray does not. However, if the original spell allowed a Fortitude or Will save to reduce or negate the spell's effect, the save still applies. She can apply metamagic feats as normal to the spell, as long as they can affect ray spells.

Sudden Raystrike (Ex) Whenever the target of one of Drossang's ray spells is denied a Dexterity bonus to AC, she deals an extra 2d6 points of damage with her ray spell if the ray spell does damage and the target is within 60 feet (ray mastery adjustment). Sneak attack bonus damage stacks whenever both abilities would apply to the same target. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sudden raystrikes.

Ray Mastery (Su) Drossang can deliver a coup de grace with a ray spell that deals hit point damage if she is adjacent to the target. Once per day, she can empower a single ray spell as though with the Empower Spell feat but without any adjustment to the spell's level or casting time. This effect applies equally to spells that are already rays and those she warps into rays.

Armored Mage (Ex) Drossang can use light armor and shields without an arcane spell failure chance.

Corporeal Manipulation (Su) Drossang can manipulate material objects as a standard action if they can be manipulated with a mage hand spell. She must be in contact with the item to use this ability. This also allows her to use magic items that do not need to be worn to function.

Fire Spell Affinity (Ex) Drossang casts fire spells at +2 caster level. In addition, she heals 2 points of damage per spell level each time she casts a fire spell.

Item Link (Su) Drossang has a magical link to the items she carried when she died. She can sense the exact location of these objects as a standard action.

Madness (Ex) Every time Drossang enters combat, she must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 15) or go mad 1d4 rounds later as the trauma of combat pushes her over the brink. This madness functions exactly like the confusion spell and lasts for 10 rounds.

Unnatural Aura (Su) Both wild and domesticated animals can sense Drossang's the unnatural presence at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.

Drossang Tachlash as an Incantatrix

Her ability to convert spells to rays and use Split Ray is very potent at this level, and Drossang uses it frequently because the casting time is the same as it would be if she didn't use Split Ray. When using combust , she can apply Reach Spell and Split Ray to cause 10d8 points of damage to two targets (no save), and it takes a standard action and uses a 6th-level spell slot. She can also warp fireball and use Split Ray to do 10d6 points of fire damage to two targets using a 5th-level spell slot. Delayed blast fireball rays are quite effective as well, as are cone of cold spells affected with Energy Substitution and Split Ray (7th-level spell slot, 15d6 points of fire damage). Remember that when she uses Energy Substitution, she gains +2 caster level on the spell because it becomes a fire spell. If she finds something immune to fire, she can add Searing Spell (+1 spell level) to most spells without going above her casting limit or use her nonfire spells. For example, warped, split, searing fireballs deal 10d6 points of damage to any two creatures and ignore fire resistance; they take a 6th-level spell slot and use a standard action for their casting times.

Drossang Tachlash CR 18
Female redspawn arcaniss spectral mage rogue 1/spellwarp sniper 5/incantatrix 4
CE Medium undead (dragonblood, incorporeal, fire)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +2, Spot +19
Aura unnatural aura
Languages Common, Draconic

AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 16; 50% chance to ignore damage from corporeal sources (except positive and negative energy, force effects, and ghost touch weapons)
(+3 Dex, +6 deflection)
hp 117 (18 HD)
Immune fire, paralysis, sleep, mind-affecting effects, stunning, poison, disease, death effects, critical hits, nonlethal damage, energy drain, ability drain, Dex damage, fatigue, exhaustion, any effect that requires a Fort save unless it is harmless or affects objects, death from massive damage
Resist turn +2
Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +16
Weakness vulnerability to cold, destroyed at 0 hit points

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 30 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +12 (paralysis) or
Ranged touch +13 (spell)
Base Atk +9; Grp +9
Atk Options Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Energy Substitution (fire), Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Reach Spell, Split Ray, paralysis, sneak attack +1d6, sudden raystrike +2d6
Special Actions cooperative metamagic, metamagic effect, ray mastery, spellwarp
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 15th):
7th (4/day) -- delayed blast fireball (DC 23; CL 17th), spell turning
6th (7/day) -- chain lightning (DC 22), freezing fog * (DC 22), true seeing
5th (7/day) -- cacophonic burst * (DC 21), cone of cold (DC 21), teleport , wall of stone
4th (7/day) -- enervation (+13 ranged touch), fire shield (CL 13th), orb of fire * (+13 ranged touch; CL 17th), ray deflection *
3rd (8/day) -- chain missile , dispel magic , fireball (DC 19; CL 17th), sound lance * (DC 19)
2nd (8/day) -- combust * (+12 melee touch, DC 18; CL 17th), Melf's acid arrow (+13 ranged touch), resist energy , scorching ray (+13 ranged touch; CL 13th), see invisibility
1st (8/day) -- burning hands (DC 17; CL 17th), chill touch (+12 melee touch; DC 17), magic missile , shield , true strike
0 (6/day) -- acid splash (+13 ranged touch), caltrops *, detect magic, electric jolt * (+13 ranged touch), ghost sound (DC 16), message, ray of frost (+13 ranged touch), read magic, touch of fatigue (+12 melee touch, DC 16)
* Spells are from Spell Compendium

Abilities Str --, Dex 16, Con --, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 22
SQ armored mage, corporeal manipulation, fire spell affinity, incorporeal traits, item link, madness, trapfinding
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Energy Substitution (fire), Far Shot, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Metamagic, Reach Spell, Searing Spell, Split Ray, Weapon Focus (ranged touch)
Skills Bluff +9, Concentration +27, Hide +11, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Listen +2, Spellcraft +22, Spot +19, Survival +8, Tumble +7

Paralysis (Su) A creature touched by Drossang must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw (DC 23) or be paralyzed for 10 rounds.

Sudden Raystrike (Ex) Whenever the target of one of Drossang's ray spells is denied a Dexterity bonus to AC, she deals an extra 2d6 points of damage with her ray spell if the ray spell does damage and the target is within 60 feet (ray mastery adjustment). Sneak attack bonus damage stacks whenever both abilities would apply to the same target. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sudden raystrikes.

Cooperative Metamagic (Su) Drossang can apply any metamagic feat she possesses to a spell being cast by a willing allied spellcaster by modifying it during the casting. Using this ability is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity, just like casting a spell, and she can use the Concentration skill with this ability as though she were casting defensively. She must ready an action to use cooperative metamagic when her ally begins casting and must be adjacent to the caster. She must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 18 + [3 x modified spell level]) to succeed. "Modified spell level" is the level of the spell slot that the spell would occupy if it were prepared with the metamagic feat applied. Any spell level increases from metamagic feats that the caster applied also count toward the modified spell level. She can use this ability 5 times per day.

Metamagic Effect (Su) Drossang can attempt to apply a metamagic feat she possesses to a persistent spell effect that is already in place. She must be adjacent to or within the spell effect and succeed on a successful Spellcraft check (DC 18 + [3 x modified spell level]. Spell slot increases for metamagic feats that were applied to affect the spell's casting (such as Still Spell, Silent Spell, or Quicken Spell) do not count toward the modified spell level, but adjustments for metamagic that change the spell's effect (such as Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, or Widen Spell) do count. She can do this 5 times per day, and using this ability is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Ray Mastery (Su) Drossang can deliver a coup de grace with a ray spell that deals hit point damage if she is adjacent to the target. Once per day, she can empower a single ray spell as though with the Empower Spell feat but without any adjustment to the spell's level or casting time. This effect applies equally to spells that are already rays and those she warps into rays.

Spellwarp (Ex) As a free action during casting, Drossang can warp a spell of level equal to her class level or lower with instantaneous duration and a range greater than touch. The spell's level, components, range, and damage (if any) remain unchanged. However, the spell's area entry is replaced by an effect entry of "ray." Even if the original spell allowed a Reflex save to reduce or negate its effect, the ray does not. However, if the original spell allowed a Fortitude or Will save to reduce or negate the spell's effect, the save still applies. She can apply metamagic feats as normal to the spell, as long as they can affect ray spells.

Armored Mage (Ex) Drossang can use light armor and shields without an arcane spell failure chance.

Corporeal Manipulation (Su) Drossang can manipulate material objects as a standard action if they can be manipulated with a mage hand spell. She must be in contact with the item to use this ability. This also allows her to use magic items that do not need to be worn to function.

Fire Spell Affinity (Ex) Drossang casts fire spells at +2 caster level. In addition, she heals 2 points of damage per spell level each time she casts a fire spell.

Item Link (Su) Drossang has a magical link to the items she carried when she died. She can sense the exact location of these objects as a standard action.

Madness (Ex) Every time Drossang enters combat, she must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 15) or go mad 1d4 rounds later as the trauma of combat pushes her over the brink. This madness functions exactly like the confusion spell and lasts for 10 rounds.

Unnatural Aura (Su) Both wild and domesticated animals can sense Drossang's the unnatural presence at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.

Additional Feats

These feats are not presented in the Player's Handbook or Monster Manual .

Searing Spell (from Sandstorm ): A searing spell is so hot that it ignores the resistance to fire of creatures affected by the spell, and affected creatures with immunity to fire still take half damage. This feat can be applied only to spells with the fire descriptor. Creatures with the cold subtype take double damage from a searing spell. Creatures affected by a searing spell are still entitled to whatever saving throw the spell normally allows. A searing spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.

Energy Substitution (from Complete Arcane ): Choose one type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, or fire). You can then modify any spell with an energy descriptor to use the chosen type of energy instead. An energy substituted spell uses a spell slot of the spell's normal level. The spell's descriptor changes to the new energy type -- for example, a fireball composed of cold energy is an evocation [cold] spell.

Rapid Metamagic (from Complete Mage ): When you apply a metamagic feat to a spontaneously cast spell, the spell takes only its normal casting time.

Reach Spell (from Complete Divine ): You may cast a spell that normally has a range of touch at any distance up to 30 feet. The spell effectively becomes a ray, so you must succeed on a ranged touch attack to bestow the spell upon the recipient. A reach spell uses up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell's actual level.

Split Ray (from Complete Arcane ): You can cause any ray spell to fire one additional ray beyond the number normally allowed. The additional ray requires a separate ranged touch attack roll to hit and deals damage as normal. It can be fired at the same target as the first ray or at a different target, but all rays must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously. A split ray spell uses a spell slot two levels higher than the spell's actual level.

About the Author

Robert Wiese has been playing D&D since 1978 after he watched a game played in the car on the way home from a Boy Scouts meeting. He was fascinated, and delved into this strange world of dragons and magic and sourcebooks. Years later, he was hired to edit tournaments for the RPGA Network, and from there progressed to running the network after his boss was assassinated in the great Christmas purge of 1996. Times were tough, but he persevered and brought the RPGA into a shining new era. Eventually he met a girl who liked to play D&D too, and he left Renton for the warmth and casinos of Reno, Nevada. Now, he works in the Pharmacology department of UNR studying mouse foot muscles and the effects of RF emissions on same. He spends as much time as possible with his wife Rhonda and year-old son Owen.


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