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Wretchghost

This ghostly, emaciated figure’s mouth hangs agape in an endless howl, and its abnormally long arms almost touch the ground.

Wretchghost CR 5

Source Pathfinder #98: Turn of the Torrent pg. 90
XP 1,600
CE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16

Defense

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+2 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 52 (8d8+16)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +8
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses susceptible to addicts

Offense

Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 incorporeal touches +9 (2d6 plus addiction)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. vs. addicts)
Special Attacks tormented howl
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
1/day—ray of exhaustion (DC 15), touch of idiocy
Special Attacks tormented howl

Statistics

Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Fly +22, Perception +16
Languages Common
SQ associated drug (opium), hungering reach, voracious frenzy

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or gang (3–8)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Addiction (Su) A wretchghost’s touch causes wracking pain in the form of 2d6 points of damage—creatures that are specifically immune to pain or unliving creatures (undead or constructs) are immune to this damage, but otherwise this damage bypasses all forms of damage reduction. A creature that takes damage from a wretchghost’s touch must succeed at a DC 16 Fortitude save or become addicted to the drug associated with that particular wretchghost. If a creature fails this save and becomes addicted, it immediately takes that drug’s damage but does not gain its effects. Once a creature becomes addicted to the drug, it can still take damage from the wretchghost’s touch but suffers no additional effects from its addiction ability—indeed, the creature might now find itself at something of an advantage over the wretchghost because of the creature’s susceptibility to addicts. For 1 round after a wretchghost causes a living creature to become addicted, the wretchghost receives a reprieve from the wracking phantom pains that torment it and gains a +2 bonus on all attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws during that round. The save DC is Charisma-based, and replaces the associated drug’s normal addiction save. Rules for drugs and addiction appear on pages 236–237 of Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide.

Associated Drug (Ex) All wretchghosts are associated with a specific type of drug. Although some wretchghosts might have been addicted to multiple drugs in life, one addiction always takes precedence over the others when such an unfortunate becomes a wretchghost. This spirit is in constant agony as if suffering from withdrawal from the drug—a pain that can be very briefly limited only by causing living creatures to become addicted to that drug. A wretchghost’s associated drug determines which addiction it causes with its incorporeal touch, which addicts that its hungering reach affects and that can affect it, with which substance its voracious frenzy interacts, and which once-per-day spell-like abilities it can access. Listed below are the spell-like abilities for all of the drugs detailed on pages 236–237 of the GameMastery Guide plus alcohol—use these as inspiration for coming up with spell-like abilities for other drugs. The standard wretchghost presented here is associated with opium.

Aether: Dispel magic, calm emotions (DC 14).
Alcohol: Hideous laughter (DC 14), suggestion (DC 15).
Dwarven Fire Ale: Fire breathAPG (DC 14), protection from energy.
Elven Absinthe: Eagle’s splendor, reckless infatuationUM (DC 15).
Flayleaf: Hold person (DC 15), slow (DC 15).
Opium: Ray of exhaustion (DC 15), touch of idiocy.
Pesh: Displacement, mad hallucinationUM (DC 14).
Scour: Cat’s grace, vision of hellUM (DC 15).
Shiver: Daze monster (DC 14), deep slumber (DC 15).
Zerk: Blur, haste.

Hungering Reach (Su) Against foes that are addicted to its associated drug, a wretchghost has reach as if it were one size category larger (10-foot reach for most wretchghosts).

Susceptible to Addicts (Ex) A creature that is addicted to the same drug associated with a particular wretchghost can affect the wretchghost with weapons or spells as if the wretchghost were not incorporeal.

Tormented Howl (Su) Once per day as a standard action, a wretchghost can emit a terrible howl of need that leaves those within 40 feet staggered for 1d4+1 rounds (Will DC 16 negates). This is a sonic, mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Voracious Frenzy (Su) When in close proximity to a substance to which it was addicted in life (20 feet or less), a wretchghost goes into a mad frenzy that increases its speed but hampers its defensive reflexes. As long as this state persists, the wretchghost’s fly speed increases by 10 feet, it gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls, and it takes a –4 penalty to its AC.

Description

When multiple wretched addicts perish in the throes of a shared drug addiction in an area infused with pain and misery, those tortured souls sometimes cling to each other, and their overwhelming hunger for just one more fix sometimes anchors them to this world. In these miserable situations, mortal souls can linger on after death as wretchghosts.

The nature of the addiction a wretchghost suffered while it lived strongly influences its personality as well as its supernatural abilities. In all cases, it loses much of the awareness of its former life and identity— only its gnawing, toxic hunger remains. The residue of personality clinging to its psyche is ruthless and filled with hate, and it is overwhelmingly jealous of the living, who can still enjoy the bliss of its associated drug. As an incorporeal shade, the wretchghost can no longer revel in this bliss, save for brief moments when it infuses living flesh with this chemical desire. Regardless of its addiction, a wretchghost looks like a cadaverously thin phantom with sunken, glowing eyes and limbs that seem to writhe and twist more like tentacles than articulated arms and legs.

Ecology

Wretchghosts are found most often in the types of places addicts frequent, such as the seedier districts of urban settings, where dealers in illicit substances ply their predatory trade. This might mean a sordid street corner, an ill-lit back alley, or an underground opium den. However, rumors persist of these undead wandering beyond their former haunts, tormenting people who once enabled or profited from their hateful addictions. On even rarer occasions, a wretchghost somehow arises from an obsessive attachment to an object that held significance for it when the agonized soul was among the living: a pipe, an item of jewelry, a piece of furniture, or an article of clothing. Tales even exist of wretchghosts displaying addictions to specific, still-living people.

A wretchghost can become inexplicably dormant for months or even years, merging its incorporeal form with some solid object (the wall of a structure or the watery depths of a sewer, for instance). Sometimes one of these dormant undead beings emerges for a moment to emit its ravenous howl of unsated desire, only to quickly retreat back into its shelter. An enigmatic combination of factors can awaken an inactive wretchghost, including the concentrated presence of living souls, magical energies, the use of its drug of choice in close proximity, or other less discernible causes.

Habitat and Society

Wretchghosts are most commonly found in small groups—those encountered alone are almost always sole survivors of a once-larger gang of wretchghosts. It is rare but not unheard of for a pack of wretchghosts to include multiple different associated drugs. A wretchghost has little left of its former personality or ambition, but when it comes to the task of addicting the living to its drug of choice, these creatures can be shockingly cunning and sneaky, particularly in the way they use their spell-like abilities.

Certain enterprising and unscrupulous necromancers or priests of religions associated with undeath have taken to keeping small groups of wretchghosts under their control for the use of their addictive touch, either treating the undead as an unlimited source of the drug’s effects, or using the addictions they cause to aid in controlling other underlings. These tactics are as vile as they are dangerous, for a wretchghost that escapes such control invariably seeks out its onetime master to extract revenge as best it can.