Archives of Nethys

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Wyrmwraith

This ghostly, skeletal creature appears to once have been a dragon, but it is now something far less noble.

Wyrmwraith CR 17

Source Bestiary 5 pg. 280
XP 102,400
CE Gargantuan undead (incorporeal)
Init +16; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense; Perception +38
Aura unnatural aura

Defense

AC 31, touch 31, flat-footed 18 (+6 deflection, +12 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 profane, –4 size)
hp 252 (24d8+144)
Fort +14, Ref +20, Will +19
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, incorporeal, positive energy transference; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness

Offense

Speed fly 80 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal bite +27 (4d6 plus energy drain), 2 incorporeal claws +27 (2d8 plus divine dispelling), 2 incorporeal wings +24 (2d6), incorporeal tail slap +24 (2d8)
Space 20 ft., Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with incorporeal bite)
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 20d6 negative energy and 1 negative level, Reflex DC 22 half damage, usable every 1d4 rounds), create spawn, ectoplasmic shift, energy drain (2 levels, DC 28)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 24th; concentration +30)
At will—animate dead, command undead (DC 18), desecrate, detect undead, protection from good
5/day—create undead, control undead (DC 23), unhallow, unholy blight (DC 20)
3/day—create greater undead, quickened finger of death (DC 23), waves of exhaustion
1/day—energy drain (DC 25), soul bind (DC 25)

Statistics

Str —, Dex 34, Con —, Int 20, Wis 21, Cha 22
Base Atk +18; CMB +34; CMD 57 (61 vs. trip)
Feats Acrobatic, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (finger of death), Skill Focus (Intimidate), Skill Focus (Perception), Stealthy, Weapon Focus (incorporeal bite), Weapon Focus (incorporeal claw)
Skills Acrobatics +40, Escape Artist +14, Fly +45, Intimidate +39, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (planes) +17, Knowledge (religion) +32, Perception +38, Sense Motive +32, Stealth +31, Survival +29
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Elven, Infernal
SQ phase lurch

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary or cadre (1 plus 2–4 dread wraiths)
Treasure double

Special Abilities

Create Spawn (Su) Any humanoids slain by a wyrmwraith become dread wraiths in 1d4 rounds. Spawn are under the command of the wyrmwraith that created them and remain enslaved until its death, at which point they become free-willed dread wraiths. They don’t possess any of the abilities they had in life.
Divine Dispelling (Su) When a wyrmwraith strikes a creature with one of its claws, that creature is also affected by a targeted greater dispel magic (CL 20th) that can dispel only divine spells.
Ectoplasmic Shift (Su) A wyrmwraith can push through the ectoplasmic veil to temporarily assume a physical form made of ectoplasm. As a swift action, the wyrmwraith can become corporeal for 1d4 rounds. It can return to its incorporeal form as a free action. Once its ectoplasmic form’s duration ends, the wyrmwraith can’t assume that form again for 1d4 rounds. While in ectoplasmic form, the wyrmwraith loses the incorporeal ability (including its deflection bonus to AC) and gains a +16 natural armor bonus to AC, DR 15/—, a Strength score equal to its Dexterity score, and the phase lurch ability. The AC for a typical wyrmwraith in ectoplasmic form is 41. When in ectoplasmic form, its attacks are Melee bite +27 (4d6+18 plus energy drain), 2 claws +27 (2d8+12 plus divine dispelling), 2 wings +24 (2d6+6), tail slap +24 (2d8+18).
Phase Lurch (Su) A wyrmwraith in ectoplasmic form can pass through walls or material obstacles. It must begin and end its turn outside whatever wall or obstacle it’s moving through. It can’t move through corporeal creatures with this ability, and its movement speed is halved while moving through a wall or obstacle. Any surface it moves through is coated with a thin, silvery mucus that lingers for 1 minute.
Positive Energy Transference (Su) Whenever a wyrmwraith succeeds at a saving throw to resist positive energy damage but still suffers damage, the wyrmwraith can immediately transfer that damage to any dread wraith spawn of its choice with 120 feet that it controls. The wyrmwraith takes any excess damage beyond the spawn’s hit points. Even if the wyrmwraith has no spawn under its control, when it succeeds at its save against a positive energy effect that normally deals half damage on a successful save, it instead takes one quarter damage.

Description

Wyrmwraiths arise from the souls of powerful dragons who refuse to accept death or have an irrational fear of moving on to an afterlife. No longer concerned with amassing wealth and power, wyrmwraiths instead brood with an unrelenting hatred of all living things. They hate other dragons above all else, seeing the existence of those living creatures as a mockery of their own.

Wyrmwraiths typically haunt their former lairs or some other location where they can hide from the sunlight. They are drawn toward ancient ruins, forgotten catacombs, and other places associated with death. Litter, detritus and bones lie heaped in areas controlled by a wyrmwraith instead of the coins and gems. In the rare instances when a wyrmwraith is away from its den, the malice of its presence still lingers palpably in the cold air. Still displaying the draconic instinct to protect their homes from would-be thieves, wyrmwraiths will often create and leave behind undead guardians.

Wyrmwraiths slay those who venture near their lairs, surrounding themselves with their newly created dread wraiths and any other undead they can create or control, carving out small fiefdoms populated by undead servitors. They send their minions to collect anything and anyone with knowledge or power they believe can aid them in their dark endeavors. Captured individuals who please the wyrmwraith can expect to be reborn as powerful undead while those that fail wallow in eternal torment as dread wraiths.

On rare occasions throughout history, powerful necromancers or dark cults have managed to entice or coerce a wyrmwraith into an alliance. These collaborations are f leeting, as wyrmwraiths still retain a twisted shadow of their draconic pride, seeing all other creatures as beneath them. Unless compelled to work with others, a wyrmwraith turns on its allies once they are no longer useful to it.

Finding a way to gain a wyrmwraith’s attention is difficult because it is no longer interested in wealth or other mundane material possessions. Instead, wyrmwraiths seek knowledge or items to reverse or improve their undead condition. Their own loathing of what they have become is the only thing as strong as their hatred of the living. Yet, despite their predicament, they still fear ultimate death.

A wyrmwraith blights the land with its very presence, a slowly spreading stain tainting anything it touches. Undead activity inevitably increases in any area a wyrmwraith inhabits. Unless a wyrmwraith is destroyed, its territory often becomes a lifeless wasteland for miles.

Wyrmwraiths are very dangerous opponents in combat. They prefer to soften up enemies with their breath weapon and spells before closing in for melee. Wyrmwraiths target clerics, paladins, and other spellcasters wielding divine magic, both because they know divine magic possesses the greatest threat to them and because they see it as a chance to strike back against the gods for their accursed state. Wyrmwraiths care little about how many of their undead minions are destroyed in combat. They are merely pawns to the wyrmwraiths, who have the means at their disposal to create more.

Wyrmwraiths appear as skeletal, ghostly versions of their former selves, their features warped by malice. No matter the size they once possessed, wyrmwraiths measure roughly 50 ft. from snout to tail. Unencumbered by f lesh, they move with a silent, effortless, and deadly grace. Even wyrmwraiths’ minds become changed in undeath. Already long-lived creatures when they were dragons, some wyrmwraiths have spent an even longer time as undead. Brooding and nurturing brutal hatred for the living for so long drives these wyrmwraiths insane, causing them to become reckless—or self-destructive—and to venture out into the night to rain down destruction on a nearby settlement or even an entire kingdom, knowing that they will eventually be hunted down and destroyed.