Excerpts Archive | 1/12/2009
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Excerpts: Spirit Possessed
Open Grave

In today’s Open Grave preview, we take a look at undead templates and alternate powers.

Undead come in as many varieties as there are phobias and nightmares. The templates here transform living creatures into servants of undead and adapt existing undead into even more horrifying and potent creatures.


Spirit Possessed

Some spirits can inhabit and control living creatures. These creatures hide among the living, aping the actions of the host. Under this guise, a spirit works covertly toward its malicious goals.

“Spirit possessed” is a template you can apply to a living creature to represent a subject whose body is possessed by an undead spirit.

Prerequisites: Living creature, level 11, Charisma 13

Spirit Possessed
Elite Controller
XP Elite
Defenses Will +4
Resist 10 necrotic at 11th level, 15 necrotic at 21st level
Vulnerable 10 radiant at 11th level, 15 radiant at 21st level
Saving Throws +2
Action Points 1
HP +8 per level + Constitution score
Close Burst Psychic Assault (minor 1/round; at-will) Psychic
Close burst 10; targets one creature; spirit possessed’s level + 2 vs. Will; 1d6 + Charisma modifier psychic damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the spirit possessed’s next turn.
Close Burst Spirit Barrage (standard; recharge 56) Psychic
Close burst 2; targets enemies; spirit possessed’s level +3 vs. Fortitude; 2d6 + Charisma modifier damage, and the target is knocked prone.
Close Burst Spirit Transfer (when the spirit possessed is reduced to 0 hit points) Charm, Psychic
Close burst 3; targets one creature; spirit possessed’s level + 3 vs. Will; 3d6 + Charisma modifier psychic damage, and the target is dominated and takes 20 ongoing psychic damage (save ends both; also see below). If the target of the attack is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer by the attack or the ongoing damage, the target spends a healing surge to regain half its maximum hit points. The target is dominated (no save) by the spirit and gains all the characteristics of the spirit possessed template. In addition, all the powers associated with the template are recharged.
Successful Saving Throw: The spirit possessing the subject is destroyed. Miss: Half damage, no ongoing psychic damage, and the target is not dominated. In addition, the spirit possessing the subject is destroyed. Hit or Miss: The spirit’s former host falls prone and is unconscious at 1 hit point until it takes a short rest.

Alternate Powers

The powers attributed to undead described in the Monster Manual are typical of those creatures, yet they are by no means exclusive. This section presents alternative undead powers that you can substitute for others to make new and interesting undead opponents.

Lich Powers

Most undead animate spontaneously or arise through profane rituals. A few mortals willingly become undead, though, viewing the condition as a form of immortality. These liches gain resilience from the transformation, yet some instead gain the power to teleport. A few liches give up the ability to paralyze their foes for the power to bestow weakness so that they can enjoy the foes’ feeble attempts at resistance.

Lich Step

A lich can have this power instead of second wind.

Lich Step (move; recharge 56) Teleportation
The lich teleports up to 8 squares and recharges one encounter or recharge power (including lich step).

Mind Spike

A lich made from the template in the Dungeon Master’s Guide can have this power in place of spellmaster.

Ranged Mind Spike (standard; recharge 6) Psychic
Ranged 5; lich’s level + 2 vs. Will; the target loses the use of one randomly determined encounter power. If the target has no remaining encounter powers, it instead takes 1d12 + Intelligence modifier psychic damage.

Friday 01/16: A further look at liches!