Monday, April 8, 2013

Monster Monday: Swordwraith


No. Enc.: 1
Size: Medium
HD: 8 (d12)
Move: 30 ft
AC: 18
Attacks: Incorporeal Weapon (1d12)
Special: Energy Drain, Incorporeal, Darkvision
     60', Daylight Powerlessness, Unnatural Aura
Saves: M
INT: High
Align: Lawful Neutral
Type: Undead (Extraordinary)
TR: Nil
XP: 900+8

A swordwraith is an extremely rare form of undead, the result of a Lawful Neutral warrior of great skill (8th level or higher) who dies due to the betrayal of a comrade-in-arms.  Three days after the warrior's death, his or her spirit may return as a swordwraith, to seek vengeance against those who betrayed their shared cause.  Upon finding and slaying the traitor, most swordwraiths then pass on to whatever afterlife awaits them, but a few continue to stalk the earth, striking down those who draw the swordwraith's ire.

The swordwraith appears as a spectral warrior, bearing the wounds and injuries they did at the moment of death, up to and including lost limbs and decapitations (of course, the loss of a head or limb does not hinder the swordwraith in any fashion).  Despite the name, a sword-wraith might use any weapon, not just a sword, depending on what weapon they specialized in during their living years; a few even use missile weapons (standard range for the missile weapon in question, with the swordwraith never running out of arrows, bolts, sling bullets, etc).  They can travel tirelessly by night, remaining relatively dormant in the shadows during the daylight hours.

Combat: A swordwraith is normally insubstantial, like a more standard wraith, and thus only magical weapons of +1 or better can affect their ectoplasmic form. A swordwraith attacks by passing through objects to attack their foes unawares. They strike, disappear back through an object, and return again, harrying their opponents unto death.

Incorporeal Weapon: The swordwraith's weapon of choice does 1d12 damage (no matter what a normal version of said weapon does).  Due to the swordwraith's great skill with their chosen weapon, that are +3 to hit with it.

Energy Drain: In addition to suffering the above normal damage, living creatures hit by a swordwraith’s attack lose one level. For each such level lost, the swordwraith heals five hit points. These losses are permanent, and can only be regained by the use of a Restoration or a Wish spell.

Unnatural Aura: Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can sense the unnatural presence of a swordwraith at a distance of 30 feet. They will not willingly approach nearer than that, and panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.

Sunlight Powerlessness: Swordwraiths are powerless in natural sunlight and flee from it. A swordwraith exposed to direct sunlight cannot attack, and must retreat.

Inspiration: Warren Zevon's "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner",  NOT based on the 'undead template' of the same name as created by WOTC (honest!)

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