Netbook of Ghosts

From Traykon Campaign Setting - Pathfinder
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Original Information
The Netbook of Ghosts
I. Marc Carlson
13 February 1994


Ghosts are merely restless spirits whose passing onto the next world is prevented for a number of reasons: for instance, the person may have died with an urgent need to pass on an urgent message, or to accomplish some unfinished task. In other cases, the ghost may be angered over its betrayal and murder in life, and cannot rest until the one who committed the crime is properly punished. A ghost might also, through its misbehavior in life, find itself bound to an unhappy existence between worlds until it finds some sort of way to atone for its actions. A relatively weak spirit might remain under the domination of a greater creature, tormented and unable to rest until the creature is destroyed. Finally, a ghost may just not know that it has died.

Ghosts are the transparent image of a person, usually at the at the time of their death. Since death can be violent, ghosts may have broken necks or gaping, fatal wounds. Others, who dies more peacefully or perhaps as a result of poison, may show no outward sign of trauma. Ghosts are usually clothed in the garments they wore at the time of death, or in what they were fond of wearing prior to that.

In most cases, these spirits are confined to a limited area. Ghosts are usually limited to remaining near the area of their original demise. They may, however, wander about the vicinity, although their weakness makes it difficult for them to make their presence known. In some rare cases, ghosts have been known to be tied to particular objects or people -- usually something it was fond of in life -- accompanying the object when it is removed elsewhere.

Ghosts leave no trace of themselves on the real world. During their wanderings, ghosts are usually nonmaterial. They have no odor, and, with the exceptions listed below, cannot manipulate physical objects. Even the sight or sound of a ghost is elusive; like an hallucination, they are only seen and heard in a person's mind. Their presence might otherwise be noted through a gentle wafting of air as they pass by, and some individuals seem to be able to sense their presence psychically. People who are immune to psionics are generally immune to ghosts. At times, a ghost may be seen and heard by some people in a group, and not others. Many ghosts can select who can sense it, and who can not. Ghosts are non-corporeal, and are usually noticed only by others in a like state.

One clue that ghosts are present is through encountering certain sounds that are obviously out of place to their surroundings. These creatures can project the sounds that were significant to them in life. This can range from children at play to the merriment of balls and dances, or even just footsteps. The sound will usually seem to be coming from behind a door or a wall, and they will cease when someone living enters the area.

Places where ghosts are particularly strong have been known to have phantom shifts. These extremely rare and terrifying illusions appear to take people encountering them back in time to when the ghost was still alive. They often reveal why the being was turned into a ghost. People in a phantom shift may freely interact with the illusion, but any attempt to significantly alter the outcome can shatter it. The illusion may continue at different times, or may repeat itself endlessly. No one can predict accurately when a place may experience such an effect, by they often occur on the anniversary of the ghost's death, or other meaningful dates.

Ghosts can give the impression that they are teleporting. It decided to not be visible , moves to a new spot and materializes there. Ghosts can move through most physical objects unimpeded. Magical things can block ghostly travel. Some ghosts are able to materialize into a physical shape. Ghosts may be fought with silver or magical weapons, but only when they are in a material state. Note that while ectoplasm (the stuff that material ghosts are made from) is massless, the ghost may be assumed for the purposes of combat to generally have the same mass it possessed in life.

Most ghosts can be turned by Priests, or repelled by holy herbs or symbols.

Most ghosts have no real means of attack, except where detailed below, other than acting in a threatening manner when their lair is penetrated. They may, however, possess physical objects for up to ten minutes, causing, for example, the chines of a clock to ring, or the strings of a musical instrument to be strummed. The supernatural power of these creatures is such, however, that the mere sight of them, or realization of their presence, can be so frightening (at the ghost's whim) as to terrify the observer, sometimes even aging them 10-40 years, unless a save versus spells is made. If the save is failed, the person is under a Fear spell, and must make another saving throw. If the second is failed, the character ages. Priests above 6th level are immune to this effect, and all others above 8th level gain a +2 to their saving throw.

Ghosts may, for several minutes, possess an individual in order to communicate. The host must usually allow the physical contact to be made, although the ghost may attempt to touch the target, gaining temporary possession of the body if successful. The maximum duration of this possession is ten minutes, although the target may make a saving throw versus spell to eject the ghost.


The poltergeist is a mischievous spirit, a wild, wandering, supernatural force with a minuscule intelligence. The odd little thing flies about looking for a good source of psychic energy to feed on. It is especially attracted to families with children, psychics, occultists, and places of power. Once such a place or person is found, the ghost settles in for a long haul. It is almost oblivious to eh activity of the humans who share its home, interested only in humans as a source of food or play. They are simple energy beings with no real shape. Poltergeists attack by throwing stuff, but it is very rare that this stuff will do serious damage.

Poltergeists steal only one or two Vril Points a day from an individual, this can be easily regenerated. Powes are: Empathic, See invisible, Detect Magic, Telekinetic, May animate objects.

Syphon, or Trapped Spirit

The syphon is an evil entity that inhabits inanimate objects. Immediately upon inhabiting an object the entity is trapped, forever imprisoned, until the object is destroyed. The syphon can inhabit any form of no living matter. The creature will then feed off of the psychic energy of whoever touches it, often creating tales of being a powerful magical item. It is only really vulnerable to attack while in its free energy form.

Syphons will steal only one or two Vril Points a day from an individual, this can be easily regenerated. Powers are: Coercion abilities; Mind Bar; See Invisible; Detect Magic; Telekinesis.

Tectonic Spirit

One of the most powerful and dangerous of entities that craves and feeds on the suffering and pain of living creatures. Often to achieve its goals it trails its intended victims to a secluded spot, then "builds" a body out of any available materials or debris (leaves, twigs and wood, skeletal remains, toys, rags, junk, dirt and rocks, etc). All objects must be small and not currently alive. To build its body, it pulls these objects into an humanoid mound. The entity can inhabit and animate small humanoid or animal shaped objects, such as dolls, puppets, skeletons, mannequins, and some statues. The entity can generally only build or inhabit a body once per day. Note that setting fire to the animated object won't hurt the spirit, and will create a animated burning monster, for the duration of the fire.

Tectonic Spirits will usually steal only one or two Vril Points a day from an individual, this can be easily regenerated. However, in combat, they can and will steal the energy needed to perform any action from anyone who is not Shielded in the vicinity. Powers are: Empathic, Mind Bar, See invisible, Detect Life, ESP, Detect Magic, Levitation, Telekinetic

Possessing Spirit

Also called Oden, Haunt, or Dybbuk (Not the same as the monster). The Possessing Entity is often considered to be the most powerful and dangerous of these entities. They can be an intelligent and malevolent force that relishes torment and anguish. Like the others, they can be psychic vampires, feeding on the energy of its victim, and those unshielded around it.

The touch of a Possessing Spirit drains 2 points of Dex (or Pow) per hit. As the character is drained, he suffers not only the appropriate penalties, but feels a creeping numbness over his body. If the score reaches 0, the haunt enters the body and possesses it. Once the body is possessed, the scores either return to normal, or become those of the entity. Thereafter, should the entity voluntarily relinquish control over the body, it will star with minimal Dex (or Pow). These points are regained at a rate of 1 for every hour of complete rest. A successful possession means the entity has fully inhabited the body of a living creature and totally dominates it. The spirit can enter the body by entering an orifice, such as the mouth, nose or ears. Once inside the body, the spirit is immune to any spell except Exorcism, Wish (Full) or Magic Jar and banishment, control, or summoning spells are ineffective while they are in possession of a body, although the body is still quite vulnerable to harm. When it is inside a body, there is a faint astral aura bout the face.

Often the Possessing Spirit does not kill its victim or deaden his or her thoughts. As if the victim's body were a coach, and the mind its driver, the odem would bind and gag the driver and take the reins himself. Like the poor driver who sits bound and gagged in the coach, the person whose body has been highjacked is completely aware of what the spirit is doing. He is simply helpless to act. He can even communicate mentally with the spirit. If the spirit is driven out, the person returned to normal. Of course, the victim may be "handed the reins" to a body that is weary at best, and mortally wounded at worst.

Often though, the essence and intellect of the original person is completely submerged, as if asleep, and will have no idea of the the Entity is doing with his or her body. Similarly, the Entity can allow the victim to regain his/her facilities and momentary control without leaving the body, but by releasing its domination over the host. The Entity can regain control instantly, and, unlike the victim of the possession, always has a complete awareness of what is going on when it isn't in command.

The goals of Possessing Spirits are often to cause mayhem and destruction. It feeds on the fear, Anger, and hate of those around it. Since it is unharmed by the death of its host, it considers the host to be expendable. Getting rid of such an Entity is very difficult. Another method is to try to talk or trick the thing into leaving, by it is very difficult. Psychic powers can be used to attack the Entity, but these can damage the body, and will likely provoke the Entity to violence. Incapacitating the body with drugs or magic for long durations (months or more) may entice the thing to leave. Powers are: Possession, Empathic, Mind Bar, See invisible, Detect Life, ESP, Detect Magic, Levitation, Telekinetic, Telepathy

Haunting Spirit

A haunting entity is sort of a misguided and confused psychic bloodhound. Although we may not see it, we leave a psychic impression wherever we have been. Our homes and work places hold the strongest emanations, because that is where we spend our time. Generally, the psychic impressions fade or are so weak that they are imperceptible. However, strong emotions leave a deeper, lasting mark. More importantly, these intense emotions can leave portions of the soul of the once living locked into those brief snatches of a life. The haunt will reenact that fragment of a memory endlessly, often because there is something important that needs to be completed (although just what that thing is, may not be part of the memory fragment that the entity is made from), or perhaps, it doesn't realize that it is dead.

Haunts steal only one or two Vril Points a day from an individual to survive, and can be easily regenerated. Powers are: Empathy, Telempathic Projection, Mind Bar, See Invisible, Detect Life, Ectoplasm.

Greater Ghost

These are the ghosts as portrayed on TV and in movies such as Beetlejuice. They can generate ectoplasm, and therefore manifest themselves; they may form doppelgangers, they may alter their shape, although they will have a "true shape" to which they must eventually return. Many have significant other magical abilities. Powers are: Possession, Empathic, Coercion abilities, Mind Bar, See Invisible, Detect Magic, Telekinetic

Lesser Ghost

These are the ghosts as portrayed on TV and in movies such as Ghost and Here comes Mr. Jordon. They are the "Basic Ghost" as described above. While they may individually have more powers that are listed below, they will not have less. Possession, Mind Bar, See Invisible, Detect Magic, Telekinetic

Ghost, Diabolic

These truly evil creatures feed on the life essences of those around them through a variety of different methods. There are a number of lesser variations that are based on these different methods. For example, there is the Ghost (Book or Monster Manual); any creature within 60 yards of a ghost is subject to a Magic Jar attack, and any creature whose life energy is so drained, dies. Other variations of the diabolic ghost are the spectres, wraiths, etc.


Legends are filled with headless phantoms that, like the Banshee, herald an imminent death. These often drive a black coach or ride a black horse. Dullahan generally either carry a whip, which when cracked, can be heard up to two miles away, carry explosive projectiles (such as flaming pumpkins). These items can blind, or do magical damage (as per 10d6 fireball). Dullahans are terrifying, and, in addition to the aging effects of the fear aura, there is the possibility of causing insanity. As a rule, everything about a Dullahan is insubstantial, except when it is used to attack the living.

Dullahans usually only appear at night. If they manifest as a Death Coach, the coach may carry headless passengers as well (These are part of the Dullahan manifestation and not necessarily separate entities.

Dullahans usually cannot run over living objects or running water, thought they have no trouble with marshes. If the Dullahan can not force the living object out of its path, it will remain until it is defeated, or until sunrise when it will return to its place of rest, usually a graveyard. If a person passes through a Dullahan's graveyard, or other haunted site, the creature will chase them.

If the Dullahan can kill its victim, it will drain all life energy from the corpse, although it doesn't always kill its victims.


These are the communicating & materializing spirits of mediums and spiritualists. They are not a separate monster type, but rather a personality type.