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Dread Spectre (CR +3)

*Editor's Note
The CR adjustment for creatures using this template is likely too high if the base creature's CR is greater than 10 or for creatures with lots of natural armor. In these cases, this template should probably be considered CR +2 instead of +3.

Table: Incorporeal Touch Damage by Size

Size Incorporeal Touch Damage
Fine 1d2
Diminutive 1d3
Tiny 1d4
Small 1d6
Medium 1d8
Large 2d6
Huge 2d8
Gargantuan 4d6
Colossal 4d8

Like ghosts, dread spectres are the incorporeal spirits of living beings that continue to act after death. They haunt the places they frequented in life, seeking to grant their loved ones the same tortured existence that they now endure. A dread spectre appears much as it did in life, except that its face is twisted into a mask of hatred and despair.

Creating a Dread Spectre

“Dread spectre” is an acquired template that can be added to any living, intelligent creature killed by a spectre or a dread spectre (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A dread spectre uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +3.

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead with the appropriate augmented subtype, plus the incorporeal subtype if the base creature did not already have it. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to d8s.

Speed: A dread spectre loses all the base creature’s speeds and gains a fly speed equal to double the base creature’s highest speed, with perfect maneuverability.

Armor Class: The base creature’s armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses no longer apply, but the dread spectre gains a deflection bonus to armor class equal to its Charisma bonus or +1, whichever is higher.

Attack: The dread spectre retains all the base creature’s natural attacks, and its weapon and armor proficiencies. However, all its attacks become incorporeal touch attacks, retaining the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature. The dread spectre gains a primary incorporeal touch attack if it has no other natural attacks. A dread spectre uses its primary incorporeal touch attack when making an attack action. Because an incorporeal creature has no Strength score, its Dexterity modifier rather than its Strength modifier applies to all its attack rolls.

Full Attack: A dread spectre uses all its incorporeal touch attacks during a full attack.

Damage: The dread spectre’s incorporeal touch attacks deal normal damage (modified by its Dexterity score instead of its Strength) and energy drain (see Energy Drain, below). If the dread spectre gained an incorporeal touch attack from the application of this template, its damage is given in Table: Incorporeal Touch Damage by Size (at right.)

Special Attacks: The dread spectre loses all special attacks that require corporeal contact but gains those described here. A dread spectre cannot cast spells that require material components unless it has the Eschew Materials feat.

Command Spectres (Su)

A dread spectre can automatically command all normal spectres within 30 feet as a free action. Normal spectres never attack a dread spectre unless compelled.

Create Spawn (Su)

Any creature with a Charisma score of 16 or higher that is killed by a dread spectre rises as a dread spectre in 1d4 rounds. Any other creature slain by a dread spectre instead rises as a normal spectre in 1d4 rounds. A spectre or dread spectre created in this manner is under the command of its creator and remains so until either it or the creator is destroyed.

Energy Drain (Su)

Any creature struck by a dread spectre’s incorporeal touch attack gains 2 negative levels. The Fortitude save to remove a negative level has a DC of 10 + 1/2 dread spectre’s character level + dread spectre’s Cha modifier. For each such negative level bestowed the dread spectre gains 5 temporary hit points.

Frightful Presence (Ex)

Any creature within 60 feet that witnesses a dread spectre’s attack must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 dread spectre’s character level + dread spectre’s Cha modifier) or become frightened for 5d6 rounds. This ability affects only creatures with fewer hit dice than the dread spectre. A creature that successfully saves is immune to that dread spectre’s frightful presence for 1 day.

Unnatural Aura (Su)

Any creature of the animal type within 30 feet of a dread spectre automatically becomes panicked and remains so until the distance between it and the dread spectre is at least 30 feet.

Special Qualities: The dread spectre retains all the base creature’s special qualities that do not require corporeal contact with another creature, gains channel resistance +4, and the following:

Daylight Vulnerability (Ex)

A dread spectre is not powerless in natural daylight and does not flee from it like a normal spectre, but it does take a –4 penalty on all attack rolls, checks, and saves when in natural sunlight (but not within the radius of a daylight spell).

Abilities: Dex +6, Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +4. As an incorporeal creature, a dread spectre lacks a Strength score, and as an undead creature, it has no Constitution score.

Environment: any.

Organization: solitary, pair, or gang (3–5).

Treasure: none.