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ghosts

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:45 pm
by Captain_K
Are incorporeal creatures like ghosts affected by magical spells of any type? Magic fire, lightning bolts, magic missile? Or must the spell caster also be incorporeal.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:05 pm
by Traveller
The incorporeal keyword only covers whether the creature can be struck by magic weapons. Resistance or immunity to selected spells and spell-like effects would be presented in a separate keyword. Thus the ghost can be affected by spells, and the spellcaster doesn't have to be ethereal to cast them.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:00 pm
by Lurker
Traveller wrote:
The incorporeal keyword only covers whether the creature can be struck by magic weapons. Resistance or immunity to selected spells and spell-like effects would be presented in a separate keyword. Thus the ghost can be affected by spells, and the spellcaster doesn't have to be ethereal to cast them.
I thought incorporeal could still be hit by magic weapons (of specified power) but not regular / master work weapons.

Back in the day I didn't use a lot of ghosts etc. most of the undead I used were zombie, skeleton ghoul ghast etc, or unique powerful undead - vampires death knights etc. So of course, I could be wrong and am miss remembering that about ghost incorporeal.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:07 pm
by Go0gleplex
Incorporeal creatures CAN be struck by magical weapons, though only the magical damage bonus applies when inflicting damage (though this varies between rules systems). The weapon itself will not do damage. Incorporeal creature attacks ignore armor counting only DEX bonus and Magical Bonus for computing AC. At least that is how I have always ran them since the days of 2e and I've never seen a reason to change that. :)

In some cases, such as blessed, blessed silver, or holy weapons, the incorporeal will suffer the full weapon damage.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:49 pm
by Traveller
Lurker wrote:I thought incorporeal could still be hit by magic weapons (of specified power) but not regular / master work weapons.
Correct. Isn't that what I said? I know it's not reflected in the wording for the ghost, but other creatures that can be only hit by magic weapons, e.g. the Vulcreed from Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde have it explicitly stated that they are immune to non-magical weapons, including masterwork weapons.

Then again, since masterwork weapons aren't magical anyway, the wording as is should be ok.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:21 am
by Captain_K
Only the magical bonus of the weapon does damage.. so a +3 2H sword with great str wielder behind it does 3 points of damage? That 10d8 Ghost will never be killed..

I had always played it that if the weapon were magical, then it did normal damage...

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:27 am
by Go0gleplex
Captain_K wrote:Only the magical bonus of the weapon does damage.. so a +3 2H sword with great str wielder behind it does 3 points of damage? That 10d8 Ghost will never be killed..
Yup. That's right. If I remember right, there was a bit article on it or it was answered in Sage Advice by Skip Williams. That is part of what made incorporeal enemies so absolutely scary dangerous. Touch attacks ignored armor class and even magic weapons did little damage. Things like Mace of Disruption and Holy Avenger did full damage though plus their undead smiting stuff. (1989-92 ish?) In fact it was that bit that resulted in the Monster Stat block and PC sheets having your AC: Touch AC: and whatever the third AC bit was that I don't remember off hand anymore.
And that was the whole point...like dragons...incorporeal monsters were treated more like kobolds than as real threats. It was about that time too that I changed how level drain works since the mechanic had no relation what-so-ever to the ability as described in the monster flavor text...and the flavor text made MUCH more logical sense. :ugeek: and remembering stuff like that make me realize just how bloody old I actually am. :shock: ugh! :lol:

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:34 am
by Lurker
Go0gleplex wrote:
...It was about that time too that I changed how level drain works since the mechanic had no relation what-so-ever to the ability as described in the monster flavor text...and the flavor text made MUCH more logical sense. :ugeek: and remembering stuff like that make me realize just how bloody old I actually am. :shock: ugh! :lol:

Sooooo, how did you change level drain ?

Inquiring minds want to know ?

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:56 am
by Go0gleplex
Lurker wrote:
Go0gleplex wrote:
...It was about that time too that I changed how level drain works since the mechanic had no relation what-so-ever to the ability as described in the monster flavor text...and the flavor text made MUCH more logical sense. :ugeek: and remembering stuff like that make me realize just how bloody old I actually am. :shock: ugh! :lol:

Sooooo, how did you change level drain ?

Inquiring minds want to know ?
Well...for one it doesn't drain character levels in my games. (chuckle) ;)

Basically it is portrayed as a negative energy attack against the life force of the victim in the flavor text. Life force is essentially a combination of the physical stats. Constitution and Strength which affect Dexterity as the energy is drained away.

So my level drain house rule is: The victim makes a CON save and if it fails they suffer 1 temporary point of attribute damage against STR, CON, and DEX plus the loss of a full (max hp) HD worth of hit points per level draining ability of the monster in addition to whatever physical attack damage there is. They also permanently lose a number of years off of their life span equal to the HD of the attacking undead with ghosts doing an addition 2d12 years of loss. Obviously if any of these (STR, CON, DEX, or HP hits zero or if their life span is reduced to their current age the PC dies)

The attribute damage is recoverable at 1 point per day of complete rest or magical means. Hit points recover at normal rate or magical means. Life span lost is recoverable only by means of a Wish or Greater Restoration.


It still makes the undead dangerous as all hades but has slightly less long term affect against a character's combat capability and is less frustrating to the player (and DM who is not stuck with a bunch of 4th level PCs in a 10th lvl campaign afterwards) type thing. :)

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:32 pm
by Captain_K
There is a spell that restores levels drained. In your method You'd still have bed resting PCs in the middle of your campaign.. but I see the significant mechanics and correction methods changed rather drastically. The aging is not bringing you up in years immediately but nips off the top end?

I ran the Ghost Dragon against a bunch of 10th lvls.. killed them to the man with its aging breath weapon and I did not even use the limited damage rule. That was a planned and expected TPK, it was more a contest who could hold out the longest to get X or Y done and they rose to the occasion of the self sacrifice. It turned out to be great fun. But new respect for Incorporeal creatures must be given. Thanks.

I always hated level drain without restoration coming rather quickly or part of the story. But I love the only the +3 counts unless its a "holy" weapon.. Holy weapons seem to have much more might now.

So, Where in the rules books, like M&T does it even come close to stating this is the way to do magic items against magic item hit by creatures? Not in the creature and not on the magic item. REALLY needs to be explained.

Thanks, Capt_K

Re: ghosts

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:25 pm
by Go0gleplex
You can do a bunch of look up for 3.5 rules and such too. D&D Wiki for incorporeal critters basically has them unaffected by any physical attack and even magical only has a 50% chance of doing damage at all, including holy water and such. Unless it is a ghost touch imbued weapon or armor which allows full effect...though C&C doesn't seem to have this spell. Though you could rule that a Bane weapon which is targeted specifically against incorporeal undead is the equivalent of the ghost touch effect held in 3.5 AD&D.

I do have a 4th level cleric spell in my Grimoire on the KotC site that is VERY effective against undead for weapons along with a few other things.

Lesser Restoration is a 2nd level cleric spell requiring at least 3rd level but doesn't do a lot quickly. Restoration is better at 4th level cleric needing 7th level to use. Greater Restoration is 7th level cleric spell which needs 13th level to use. So things are better covered in C&C on that score than they were in AD&D.

Basically if a lower level party runs into a level draining incorporeal undead they are dog meat if unable to run.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:40 am
by Lurker
Go0gleplex wrote:
Well...for one it doesn't drain character levels in my games. (chuckle) ;)

Basically it is portrayed as a negative energy attack against the life force of the victim in the flavor text. Life force is essentially a combination of the physical stats. Constitution and Strength which affect Dexterity as the energy is drained away.

So my level drain house rule is: The victim makes a CON save and if it fails they suffer 1 temporary point of attribute damage against STR, CON, and DEX plus the loss of a full (max hp) HD worth of hit points per level draining ability of the monster in addition to whatever physical attack damage there is. They also permanently lose a number of years off of their life span equal to the HD of the attacking undead with ghosts doing an addition 2d12 years of loss. Obviously if any of these (STR, CON, DEX, or HP hits zero or if their life span is reduced to their current age the PC dies)

The attribute damage is recoverable at 1 point per day of complete rest or magical means. Hit points recover at normal rate or magical means. Life span lost is recoverable only by means of a Wish or Greater Restoration.


It still makes the undead dangerous as all hades but has slightly less long term affect against a character's combat capability and is less frustrating to the player (and DM who is not stuck with a bunch of 4th level PCs in a 10th lvl campaign afterwards) type thing. :)
I LIKE IT ! consider it yonked and copied to my house rules !

I agree, I never liked the idea of 'draining a level' so yours fits a lot better to how I picture it working, sucking out their physical well being and aging them (again like that you take it off the end of their life span instead of aging them then and there (but I'd narrate some for aging there too)

Thanks for sharing
Go0gleplex wrote: ... Though you could rule that a Bane weapon which is targeted specifically against incorporeal undead is the equivalent of the ghost touch effect held in 3.5 AD&D.

I do have a 4th level cleric spell in my Grimoire on the KotC site that is VERY effective against undead for weapons along with a few other things.

Lesser Restoration is a 2nd level cleric spell requiring at least 3rd level but doesn't do a lot quickly. Restoration is better at 4th level cleric needing 7th level to use. Greater Restoration is 7th level cleric spell which needs 13th level to use. So things are better covered in C&C on that score than they were in AD&D.

Basically if a lower level party runs into a level draining incorporeal undead they are dog meat if unable to run.
Ohhhh a Bane undead weapon is a great idea !

I'm going to have to look at the restoration spells ...

Rgr on low level party needing to RUN , heck even a mild level party should approach a 'ghost' area with caution !

Re: ghosts

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:14 am
by Go0gleplex
Yeah. I had the hardest time understanding how a negative energy attack that goes after life force can erase what are essentially memories, ingrained muscle memory, experience and knowledge of learned skills which are what levels represent, without actually affecting the body beyond hit point damage. Did a lot of reading on undead legends and then the planes manual came out and had information on the negative plane and how such energy impacted the physical plane and positive energy...then after the dragon mag article on undead it all sort of clicked. And that's what I came up with.

Had fun with the aging because I never announced that part to the players. I kept track secretly and just gave them subtle hints like early graying of hair, a few new wrinkles or aching joints, and such. The first person to figure it out had one of those massive (and loud) HOLY S moments. :rofl:

Re: ghosts

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:40 pm
by Treebore
ENERGY DRAINS:

When hit by a creature that energy drains you get a save. The save is CON based, CL is equal to HD of the creature. If you fail the save then you lose a level and HP loss is equal to your HD average plus your CON bonus, if any So if you are a fighter you lose 5+CON bonus in hit points.

Still, all is not lost. It takes creatures about 24 hours to fully digest your life energy in my games. So if you kill the creature, or creatures, who stole your life force within 24 hours of them doing so your life force will be released and will find its way back to your body. You must be within 10 feet of the creature when it is destroyed for this to happen automatically. For every 10 feet beyond 10 feet there is a cumulative -2 penalty to your CHA (or CON, whichever the CK decides is most appropriate and beneficial to the player) save for your life force to find and return to you.

So if you are 30 feet away when the creature is destroyed you must make a save at -4 to get your life force back. 10 feet or less no save is required.

Re: ghosts

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:19 pm
by Lurker
Tree I have always liked your 'not permanently lost, if you are able to kill the beasty'

However, I like Go0's drain to stats life force instead of levels ... so my house rules are becoming even more Frankensteined ...

Re: ghosts

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:25 am
by serleran
The standard definition I used when working with incorporeal beings was that these traits were always assumed:

1) Magical weapons on some strength was required. This was most often a minimum requirement of +1; if there was a difference, it was to be mentioned in the monster description.

2) The monster is considered invisible when in darkness.

3) The monster does not make noise (unless it wants to, such as wailing and the like) and leaves no tracks.

4) Non-magical armor is ignored for its attacks -- so if you had a +10 AC from some fancy mundane armor, it didn't matter. But, if you got +2 from it being fancy + 2, great, you now get the full benefits. AC provided purely by magical means or which improve the natural state (such as say, barkskin or a bonus to Dexterity) did matter.

5) Holy water and elemental attacks, such as fire, works as normal.

And, any alteration had to be mentioned. Some incorporeal might need a +2 or just silver weapon; some might not be able to penetrate armor as easily, etc. Some might be 'chunky' incorporeal and not be invisible... blah blah.

Oh, and yeah, most such creatures can level drain. I have a similar house rule to Tree's but the distance and time is different.