Dolmenwood: Werephasm (New Monster)

Looks something like this. Illustration by Abz-J-Harding.

A nasty monster that I just invented while writing up the hex description of one of the nodal stones in Dolmenwood. A servitor of the Drune.

Werephasm

Humanoid, lupine creatures of twisting shadow, summoned by Drune magic.

  • Behaviour: Seek to snuff out light and rend sentient beings’ souls from their flesh.

Werephasm: HD 6* (3), AC 4, Att 2 × claws (1d4 + soul-rend), 1 × bite (1d8) or 1 × howl (extinguishes light), MV 120’ (40’), ML 10, AL C, XP 500.

  • Mundane damage immunity: Can only be harmed by magical attacks or silver weapons.
  • Weakened by light: Werephasms have 6 Hit Dice, but attack as 3 HD monsters when within the radius of a light source.
  • Howl: A werephasm may let out a bone-chilling howl. Every light source within 90’ has a 4-in-6 chance of being extinguished. (This includes magical light, but excludes permanent enchantments such as continual light.)
  • Soul-rend: Each hit of the monster’s claws drains one point of CHA from the target. A target reduced to 0 CHA has its soul annihilated (i.e. can never be resurrected).

5 comments:

  1. Eh, I am not a fan of soul destroying monsters. You could take a cue from Iron Kingdoms where infernals buy or steal souls and turn them into warrior castes. And it doesn't have to be one soul, one warrior- infernals can rip a soul into 10 or 100 pieces and each becomes a weaker warrior.

    If you like that, how about a permanent Insect Plague for each soul converted?

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    1. I dunno. I really like soul destroying monsters myself. It's just a variant on the evil that is energy drain, I feel.

      Your ideas also sound fun, though. But maybe a little elaborate for what is supposed to be a one-off, summoned monster (as opposed to a monster that plays a significant role in the setting).

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  2. Well in that case, having the monster be an abductor might be a better solution. It claims one victim, usually by paralysis, and then takes them back to their home plane/reality. The only way to get the character back is for the party to follow into whatever weird realm the werephasm comes from. Gives the players a choice and a potential side adventure. It also allows the villain who summoned the werephasm to also make the trip and either interrogate or rob the victim.

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    1. That's a cool idea!

      What do you dislike about soul annihilation, by the way? And do you also dislike energy drain and the attacks of shadows?

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  3. I prefer to weaken or even give a character defects (negative mutations) than outright destruction. It allows the player the opportunity to save their character by some quest(s) if they really want to stick with the characters. If not, the character can be retired, or valiantly sacrificed, and a new one created to replace them.

    I don't like level drain because of all the math involved. Ability damage/drain is much easier to use in play. And I like the idea of creatures that do drain something to use that something in some manner. On my blog I posted an idea a couple years ago or so about a wight that turned lost levels into physical objects. You can read it here: https://d-infinity.net/blog/derek-holland/mad-scientist-wight

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