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The possession lasts until the body drops to 0 hit points, the ghost ends it as a bonus action, or the ghost is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the ghost reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 ft. of the body. The target is immune to this ghost's Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends.

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Often this state of existence was because of a soul having been horrendously evil in life, [5] [6] [7] their deaths being tremendously emotional, being denied a proper burial, [5] [6] or because they had unfinished business. [1]

  • 1 Description
  • 2 Personality
  • 3.1 Biology
  • 3.2 Benign Powers
  • 3.3 Offensive Powers
  • 5 Varieties
  • 6.1 Homelands
  • 6.2 Languages
  • 6.3 Relationships
  • 7 Notable Ghosts
  • 9.1 See Also
  • 9.2.1 Adventures
  • 9.2.2 Novels & Short Stories
  • 9.2.3 Comics
  • 9.2.4 Gamebooks
  • 9.2.5 Video Games
  • 9.2.6 Board Games
  • 9.2.7 Card Games
  • 9.2.8 Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
  • 9.3 Gallery
  • 9.4 Further Reading
  • 9.5 References

Description [ ]

These spirits typically resembled how they had in life. However, some ghosts had an altered appearance due to the nature of their demise. Others were known to be capable of changing their appearance to suit their current disposition. [3] [2] Often this altered appearance was due to the alignment they had in life. [3]

Personality [ ]

A ghost's behavior was typically similar to the personality they had in life. [3] But in some cases, their personalities were altered by the process of death. [2]

The "unfinished business" that drove ghosts varied widely. Some might seek to fulfill an oath, others to relay a message to a loved one, while some might simply desire to have their death avenged. [1] They also tended to get enraged whenever items their bodies were buried with were stolen and would stop at nothing to get them back. [3]

Evil-aligned ghosts were said to hate goodness and all forms of life, [3] [5] [6] [7] being driven by a sense of wickedness and spite. [1] As well as a desire to end the lives of other creatures, [3] [5] [6] [7] in particular those responsible for or connected to its death. [1]

Sometimes ghosts were unaware that they had died and thus would continually act out the daily routine they had in life. [1] Sometimes ghosts only had fragmented memories of their life. [2]

Abilities [ ]

Biology [ ].

Being a form of undead, ghosts had no need for the air, food, drink, or sleep that they formerly required in life. They moved about by flying. Having incorporeal bodies, they could pass through solid objects. [1] Some were known to use this phasing ability to surprise enemies. [2] When moving they made no noise. [9]

Benign Powers [ ]

  • Ethereal: Ghosts were capable of phasing between the Ethereal Plane and the Prime Material plane . [1] [7] They could also see 60 feet (18 meters) into one plane whilst standing in the other. [1] Even when manifested on the Prime Material, a ghost was still partially within the Ethereal plane. [3]
  • Incorporeal (Spells) : Ghosts were resistant to all spells based around acid , fire , lightning, and thunder. They were also immune to spells based around cold, necrotic energy , or poison . [1] Prior to the Spellplague , it was impossible to harm them with spells of any kind unless one was in an ethereal state. [5] [6] [7]
  • Incorporeal (Weapons) : When it came to weapons, ghosts could only be harmed by those that were enchanted , [1] made of silver , [5] [6] [7] or had the ghost touch property. [10] They could also be harmed by holy water while in their semi-material form. [5] [6] Many also had some form of weakness tied to their former life — the ghost of a tortured person could be harmed by the implements that had been used to torture them. [1]
  • Putting to Rest: However, some ghosts were so strongly tied to the Prime Material that they would always reform a few days following being destroyed by any of the aforementioned means. [2] [3] Thus, the only surefire way to permanently rid an area of a ghost was by resolving the spirit's unfinished business. [1] [2]

Prior to the Spellplague, humans and demihumans killed by a ghost typically remained dead permanently, [7] due to having had all their life-essence drained out of them. [5] [6]

Occasionally ghosts in the Realms were capable of causing all magical items within 60 feet (18 meters) of them to glow with a cold, white radiance. [11]

Offensive Powers [ ]

  • Horrifying Visage: These undead spirits exuded a supernatural sense of fear in all non-undead creatures within 60 feet (18 meters) of them. This sense of fear caused creatures to flee and sometimes the fear would be so great that their bodies would age by ten to forty years. [3] [1] [5] [6] [7] [12] As this fear was supernaturally provoked, even the most courageous of creatures could be affected. [5] [6] This aging effect could be reversed with greater restoration , but only if done within twenty-four hours. [1]
  • Possession: Ghosts were capable of possessing the body of any humanoid that they could see within 5 feet (1.5 meters) of them. Doing so made the creature incapacitated and fully under the control of the spirit. Besides killing the possessed, a ghost could be expelled from their body by means of the spells turn undead or dispel evil and good . Once free, it was impossible for a creature to be possessed by a ghost for the following twenty-four hours. [1]
  • Magic Jar: Prior to the Spellplague, ghosts were more well known to use an ability similar to the spell magic jar on victims within 60 yards (55 meters) of them rather than possession. [3] [5] [6] [7] [12]
  • Moan of Fear: Prior to the Spellplague, many ghosts were capable of emitting a moan that provoked a fear effect in living creatures. [3]
  • Telekinesis: Prior to the Spellplague, some ghosts were known to be capable of a form of telekinesis . [3]
  • Touch: Their most direct offensive ability was a sort of withering touch that imparted necrotic energy onto a target. [1] [2] [12] Alternatively, some ghosts possessed a touch that would drain creatures of their life energy, much like a wraith . [11]

Anything they possessed when they manifested was ethereal, possessing the ghost touch property. These were often things they were buried with. [3] [9] If someone were to take the original material item that a ghost's copy was based on, then the ethereal copy would fade away. [3]

Varieties [ ]

Dragon and beholder ghosts MoF

A ghost dragon and a doomsphere.

  • Blueflame ghost : a spirit trapped within a blueflame magic item.
  • Doomsphere : the ghost of a beholder . [11]
  • Ghost Brute : the ghost of an animal, plant, or magical beast that was stuck to the Prime Material plane. [13] [14]
  • Ghost dragon : the ghost of a dragon .
  • Ghost mount : a variety of ghost unique to the land of Zakhara . In life, they were mounted animals who had been mistreated. [15]
  • Keening spirit : the ghost of an evil-aligned female elf . [16]
  • Pasocada ghost : the ghost of a humanoid who died in the Pasocada Basin and was not given a proper burial. [17]
  • Spectral harpist : the ghost of a Master Harper who died before they could complete their mission.

Society [ ]

Homelands [ ].

Ghosts were known to occur in any type of region, [5] [6] but they were most often found haunting areas at night. [5] [6] [7] Ghosts typically were tied to and haunted the area in which they died, though there were a few mobile forces of them. [18] Sailors who died out at sea alongside their vessel could potentially manifest upon an incorporeal reflection of it. [19]

Places haunted by ghosts tended to emanate sensations of profound sadness, loneliness, and unfulfilled desires. Haunted locations often had certain areas where there were strange noises, an unnatural silence, an unnatural feeling of cold, or inanimate objects moving around. Though such manifestations would be due to the ghost's presence, the spirit did not intentionally manifest them and it had no control over them. [1]

In Cormanthyr , the ghosts of many elves and dwarves haunted the ruins of the Old Elven Court . [20]

Unusually for a non-abandoned city, ghosts were a somewhat common sight in Velen . [21]

Besides the Prime Material plane, ghosts were often known to be found in the Shadowfell , [22] including the Domains of Dread , such as Barovia . [23]

Languages [ ]

Like many types of undead, ghosts knew all languages that they had known in life. [1]

Relationships [ ]

Some ghosts were willing to work with or for other creatures if they believed that doing so could help them achieve their desires. They were often seen in the company of flameskulls , larva mages , rot harbingers , and spectres . [2]

Besides mere creatures, some ghosts acted as servants of deities , such as Kiaransalee . [24] The ghosts of diligent priests of Moradin were said to haunt certain trails, old abandoned delves, and mountain passes — in these places they would appear before lost dwarves or the allies of dwarves, especially during harsh weather, and guide them along a safe route to either their destination or some form of refuge. [25]

Notable Ghosts [ ]

  • Fastred , the ghost of an infamous bandit chieftain who haunted the Vast Swamp . [26]
  • Elena , an ancient elven ghost who was roaming the halls of Dwarven Dungeons under the ruins of Myth Drannor circa 1369 DR . [27]
  • Mirror , a paladin that manifested in the Sunrise Mountains in Thay .
  • The White Lady , the spirit of Lac Dinneshere that brought individuals to their doom within its icy waters. [28]
  • The Church of Myrkul believed that annually, unseen ghosts rose from the essences of all dead bodies on the Day of the Dead and then sought out their ancestors. They believed that these ghosts would then deliver a message or warning through some non-verbal means, or just simply observe. [29]

Appendix [ ]

See also [ ], appearances [ ], novels & short stories, video games, board games, organized play & licensed adventures, gallery [ ].

A ghost from 2nd edition.

Further Reading [ ]

  • Logan Bonner  (June 2011). “Bestiary: Ghosts”. In Steve Winter  ed. Dungeon #191 ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 38–40.

References [ ]

  • ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Mike Mearls , Jeremy Crawford , Christopher Perkins  (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition . Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 147. ISBN  978-0786965614 .
  • ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Mike Mearls , Stephen Schubert , James Wyatt  (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition . ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 116–117. ISBN  978-0-7869-4852-9 .
  • ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Skip Williams , Jonathan Tweet , Monte Cook  (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5 . ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 116–118. ISBN  0-7869-2893-X .
  • ↑ James Wyatt  (October 2001). Oriental Adventures (3rd edition) . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 145. ISBN  0-7869-2015-7 .
  • ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 David "Zeb" Cook et al.  (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One . ( TSR, Inc ). ISBN  0-8803-8738-6 .
  • ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Doug Stewart  (June 1993). Monstrous Manual . ( TSR, Inc ), p. 130. ISBN  1-5607-6619-0 .
  • ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Gary Gygax  (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition . ( TSR, Inc ), p. 43. ISBN  0-935696-00-8 .
  • ↑ Black Isle Studios (August 2002). Designed by J.E. Sawyer . Icewind Dale II . Interplay .
  • ↑ 9.0 9.1 Andy Collins , Bruce R. Cordell  (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 144. ISBN  0-7869-3433-6 .
  • ↑ Andy Collins , Bruce R. Cordell  (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 20. ISBN  0-7869-3433-6 .
  • ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 James Wyatt , Rob Heinsoo  (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn . Edited by Duane Maxwell . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 88. ISBN  0-7869-1832-2 .
  • ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Andy Collins , Bruce R. Cordell  (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 146. ISBN  0-7869-3433-6 .
  • ↑ Andy Collins , Bruce R. Cordell  (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead . ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 101–103. ISBN  0-7869-3433-6 .
  • ↑ Jennifer Clarke Wilkes , David Eckelberry , Rich Redman  (February 2003). Savage Species . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 118. ISBN  0-7869-2648-1 .
  • ↑ Wolfgang Baur , Steve Kurtz  (1992). Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix . ( TSR, Inc ). ISBN  l-56076-370-1 .
  • ↑ James Wyatt  (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen . ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 126–127. ISBN  0-7869-1212-X .
  • ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet  (April 1992). City of Gold . ( TSR, Inc ), p. 80. ISBN  978-1560763222 .
  • ↑ Ed Greenwood , The Hooded One (2011-07-11). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2011) . Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2021-08-09.
  • ↑ Mike Mearls , Kate Welch  (May 2019). Ghosts of Saltmarsh . Edited by Kim Mohan . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 210. ISBN  978-0-7869-6686-8 .
  • ↑ Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka  (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves . ( TSR, Inc ), p. 107. ISBN  0-7069-0761-4 .
  • ↑ Bruce R. Cordell , Ed Greenwood , Chris Sims  (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide . Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes , et al . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 191. ISBN  978-0-7869-4924-3 .
  • ↑ Bruce R. Cordell , Ed Greenwood , Chris Sims  (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide . Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes , et al . ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 65, 69. ISBN  978-0-7869-4924-3 .
  • ↑ Christopher Perkins , Tracy Hickman , Laura Hickman  (March 2016). Curse of Strahd . Edited by Kim Mohan . ( Wizards of the Coast ), pp. 5, 30. ISBN  978-0-7869-6598-4 .
  • ↑ Eric L. Boyd  (November 1998). Demihuman Deities . Edited by Julia Martin . ( TSR, Inc. ), p. 24. ISBN  0-7869-1239-1 .
  • ↑ Eric L. Boyd  (November 1998). Demihuman Deities . Edited by Julia Martin . ( TSR, Inc. ), p. 78. ISBN  0-7869-1239-1 .
  • ↑ Chet Williamson  (July 1998). Murder in Cormyr . ( TSR, Inc. ), chaps. 1, 32, pp. 2–4, 213–214. ISBN  0-7869-0486-0 .
  • ↑ Stormfront Studios (2001). Designed by Mark Buchignani , Ken Eklund , Sarah W. Stocker . Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor . Ubisoft Entertainment .
  • ↑ Christopher Perkins  (September 2020). Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden . Edited by Kim Mohan . ( Wizards of the Coast ), p. 70. ISBN  978-0786966981 .
  • ↑ Julia Martin , Eric L. Boyd  (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars . ( TSR, Inc. ), p. 126. ISBN  978-0786903849 .
  • 3 Mind flayer
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Richie Moriarty, Román Zaragoza, and Danielle Pinnock in Ghosts (2021)

After Jay is kicked out of a Dungeons and Dragons game with his city friends, Sam agrees to facilitate a new one between him and the ghosts; Isaac confronts his feelings for Nigel, a ghost f... Read all After Jay is kicked out of a Dungeons and Dragons game with his city friends, Sam agrees to facilitate a new one between him and the ghosts; Isaac confronts his feelings for Nigel, a ghost from whom he's been keeping a gigantic secret. After Jay is kicked out of a Dungeons and Dragons game with his city friends, Sam agrees to facilitate a new one between him and the ghosts; Isaac confronts his feelings for Nigel, a ghost from whom he's been keeping a gigantic secret.

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  • Trivia Utkarsh Ambudkar has participated in actual play D&D shows. In Force Grey, he played the character "Hitch" in celebrity D&D games with other celebrity players like Deborah Ann Woll , Joe Manganiello , Dylan Sprouse , Brian Posehn , and Matthew Mercer . Apparently, he's playing "Hitch" in the show's game as well. He also guest-starred as Bor'dor Dotson in Critical Role's 3rd campaign.
  • Goofs When Samantha is with the contractor, Mark, to disassemble the shed Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Chessum comes out with his men protesting the barracks as the sovereign territory of "His Royal Highness King George III." A British officer of the Revolutionary War would have referred to his monarch as "His Britannic Majesty King George III" and would not have used the title "Highness," which is used to refer to princes, not kings.

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ghost 5e guide

Unresolved Business – A Ghost 5e Guide

A soul departed from its once mortal form, doomed to haunt until they are finally at peace. They may be bound to drift aimlessly through a manor that housed them when they lived, tied to the pocket watch that broke upon their murder or silently guarding those dearest to them.

Ghosts are an iconic piece of any fantasy world or supernatural jaunt. Their capability for any alignment gives them a flexibility that few other creatures in Dungeons and Dragons have the luxury of, allowing them to range from peaceful and forlorn souls to malicious entities lurking just behind. Welcome to a Ghost 5e Guide.

Table of Contents

Not Even Death Can Do Them Part

Ghosts are identified in the Monster Manual as medium undead of any alignment. They remain on the mortal plane rather than finding their way into the caring hands of the Matron of Ravens due to unfinished business. They yearn to complete some unresolved task in their life.

This task can range from wanting to avenge their own death to relaying a message or gift to a loved one. Their sheer force of will, when alive, managed to push their spirit to continue on even after death.

While some ghosts may have realized they have died, others may still continue their daily routine, unaware of their undead nature. Due to their highly flexible nature, ghosts are the perfect enemy or friendly NPC for almost any campaign.

d&d ghosts

Typically ghosts will take on the appearance of what they once appeared as in life, though their appearance can alter depending on the nature of their untimely demise. For a ghost who was beheaded, their head may float just above their body, attached only by the thinnest sliver of skin.

They will generally be wearing the clothes they had on at the time of their death. However, if there is a specific outfit they were known for wearing while living or wore consistently enough that it made an impact on their very being, they may appear adorned in that clothing instead.

Ghosts aren’t bound only to humans, either. Any creature can become a ghost, which is unfortunate for the near-immortal elves. Just when they thought that their long elven life was finally coming to a merciful end, they get to “live” even longer as a ghost!

This is arguably worse than just continuing on with immortal life, however, considering that they are now deprived of many of life’s pleasures like food and drink. Interacting with the living might prove exceptionally difficult for a ghost as well, given their immaterial form.

Although the Monster Manual defines ghosts as a medium undead creature, I would take this size with a grain of salt and allow yourself, as a DM, to change this form as it suits you. Just because the book  says, medium doesn’t mean that you can’t have a Goliath ghost.

Ghost Abilities and Stats

As we delve into the stats and basic abilities of a ghost, I recommend you keep in mind that everything can be changed or manipulated in some way. As the Dungeon Master, you have complete control over your game.

There is no reason why you should or shouldn’t stick to the numbers that have been already laid out for you, so feel free to have some fun with it.

Personally, I would recommend changing the basic stats to try and help orient your ghosts toward who they would have been when alive, assuming that they will be around for more than a single fight.

  • AC 11, HP 45 (or 10d8)
  • 40-foot fly speed. Ghosts are incapable of “walking” and hover above the ground.
  • Str 7 (-2) Dex 13 (+1) Con 10 (+0)
  • Int 10 (+0) Wis (+1) Cha 17 (+3)
  • Damage Resistances: Acid, Fire, Lightning, Thunder; nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing.
  • Damage Immunities: Cold, Necrotic, and Poison.
  • Condition Immunities: Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Grappled, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone, and Restrained.
  • Senses: Darkvision up to 60 feet. Passive perception of 11.
  • Languages: Any that were known when alive.

Ghosts have an ability called Ethereal Sight, allowing them to see into the Ethereal Plane up to 60 feet while on the Material Plane. When on the Ethereal Plane, they can see on the Material Plane up to 60 feet.

With their Incorporeal Movement passive ability, ghosts can move through other creatures and objects as though they were difficult terrain, halving their movement speed for that duration. A ghost will take 1d10 force damage if they end their turn inside of an object.

Sending a Ghost to the Raven Queen

d&d ghosts

There are a few ways to permanently get rid of a ghost. The best way is just to help them with their unfinished business, though there is a strong likelihood that this could take a while or a few sessions, if not an entire campaign’s worth of time. However, if you are looking to get rid of one quickly, a surefire way is to weaken the ghost by invoking a weakness tied to its life or its cause of death.

For a ghost who was formerly a gardener, as the Monster Manual suggests, you could easily weaken them by exposing them to a potent floral fragrance or killing them with their own gardening equipment.

Utilizing Ghosts for Progress

There isn’t must lore that comes with the concept of ghosts in Dungeons and Dragons. They’re a vague entity that can make an appearance in your game or may not. However, this lack of lore gives more power to the DM. Whereas entities like Demogorgon or Vecna have a lot of lore associated with them, ghosts are tied to who they were in real life.

The Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide don’t give you much direction with them, so you’re free to do as you please. Ghosts can be malicious entities hellbent on destroying your player characters or taking over their bodies to achieve their goals, or they can be helpful NPCs who only seek to fulfill one goal or another to move on to the afterlife.

You could effectively utilize either one of these ideas to build out a story arc for your players to go through, building up an attachment (or hatred) for this NPC before letting them pass on to the next life, be it with tears or applause.

If you have a player who can’t be at the table for one reason or another or needs to take a few sessions off, consider setting up possession of your player’s character (with their consent!)

During this time, your ghost NPC can take control of the player character, and for the short period the actual player has to step away from the game, your other players can work through a story arc to help this ghost achieve its goal or to banish it.

Setting up a Story Arc

d&d ghosts

If you decide to go down the route of utilizing a ghost to progress the story or to build a small story arc for your players to experience, you need to come up with one idea or another.

In a Halloween one-shot I did in 2021 for some friends, I sent them through a dungeon dive to try and put an end to a cult. In the process, my players stumbled across a room where a lonely woman sat in wait, in possession of an engagement ring they needed to access the final door to the BBEG.

The ring, in combination with a few others, would open the gates, and they could fight out the final battle. Thinking it easy, the players approached only to find out that the woman waiting was a ghost. There were a few ways I thought that it could go.

They could attack her and take the ring, at which other ghosts would pour out from the walls to defend their companion, or they would talk with her and help her to finish her current business. Much to my delight, my players took a much more peaceful route.

After approaching her, my players learned that the young woman was waiting for her fiancé to return to her. She told the players that he had brought her down here to meet the man benefactor of their wedding but had trouble remembering what else had happened after entering the room. She described what he looked like, and they promised to return to her with information about her.

Upon some more searching, they found the man responsible, learning that he has sacrificed his fiancee to join the cult. After the woman learned this, she used Horrifying Visage on her ex-husband, and I, surprisingly, rolled a 4 on my d4. Before the player’s eyes, her ex-fiancé aged 40 years in a matter of seconds.

Upon becoming eighty-something years old, he promptly had a heart attack from fright and died. With this knowledge, however, the woman was finally at peace enough to move on with her life. She gave the players the ring and bid them farewell before fading away with the crow of a raven in the background.

Obviously, you don’t have  to do something like I did with a friendly NPC. Instead, you could use a malicious ghost NPC who isn’t immediately throwing your players into a fight. Instead, assuming you can play it off well enough, your ghost could attempt to manipulate your players into destroying the lives of those they used to know, stealing objects, or causing general unrest and chaos.

It could even be that your malicious ghost may attempt to convince your players that a friendly ghost is actually evil, resulting in your players destroying a kind soul. This, admittedly, could end up being a very mean route, so I would recommend consulting with your players about what their limits are and what they are comfortable doing (without exposing too much information).

Question: Can I play a ghost as a player character? 

Answer: You can, though it’s not a race in the Player’s Handbook. You would have to work with your DM to find a homebrew that would work or make your own homebrew.

Question: Can ghosts be charmed in 5e? 

Answer: No, they can’t. As part of their condition immunities, ghosts are immune to the charmed effect, as they are every other effect in the book. However, it really is up to a DM to decide whether or not this actually holds true. The best way to find out is to either just fight a ghost or to ask your DM outright what their policy is on modifying races and monster stat blocks.

Question: What does ‘undead’ mean for Dungeons and Dragons? 

Answer: It means a creature that was once living but has been brought back to life, whether through necromantic means or other ways. This creature no longer has a heartbeat and thus cannot be classified as living. Other races that would fall into this category would be Revenants, Liches, Vampires, Zombies, and more.

Finishing Unfinished Business

I genuinely love ghosts. They’re such an iconic creature within the world of dnd and within supernatural stories. They don’t have to be part of every story, but there’s part of me that feels every story becomes better with them in it.

I hope I’ve drilled it in far enough that ghosts don’t have to be malicious and evil beings intent on destroying everything and everyone around them. In the same vein, though, despite what I’ve portrayed, they don’t have to be sad people, simply waiting for time to take them as a forgotten memory.

They’re highly flexible in both characteristics and utility. Whether you, as a DM, want a quick and spooky fight or something like a sad but wholesome story, ghosts are the perfect creature to provide that.

Although I first brought them in with a Halloween one-shot, I encourage you to think of ghosts as beings that can exist outside the atmosphere of the spooky season.

They are one of the best, if not the best,  tool to explore concepts of life, death, and the afterlife in your game.

These topics can be heavy, but they don’t have to be sad or scary. Plus, if you’re concerned about getting attached to an NPC, or getting your players attached to an NPC, make it a ghost – then you can’t kill them.

Or when you do give them a farewell, it’s not unexpected and soul-destroying. Ghosts are sad, but in a good way, and we all need a little bit of a good-sad sometimes.

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Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Adventure for Levels 1-12

Where To Buy

Available at your local game store, bookstores, or online retailers. Also available through our digital partners.

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Nestled on the coast of the Azure Sea is Saltmarsh, a sleepy fishing village that sits on the precipice of destruction. Smugglers guide their ships to hidden coves, willing to slit the throat of anyone foolhardy enough to cross their path. Cruel sahuagin gather beneath the waves, plotting to sweep away coastal cities. Drowned sailors stir to unnatural life, animated by dark magic and sent forth in search of revenge. The cult of a forbidden god extends its reach outward from a decaying port, hungry for fresh victims and willing recruits. While Saltmarsh slumbers, the evils that seek to plunder it grow stronger. Heroes must arise to keep the waves safe!

Ghosts of Saltmarsh combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic ‘U’ series and some of the best nautical adventures from Dungeon magazine:

  • The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
  • Danger at Dunwater
  • The Final Enemy
  • Salvage Operation
  • Isle of the Abbey
  • Tammeraut’s Fate

All adventures have been faithfully adapted to the fifth edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons. Furthermore, this book includes details on the port town of Saltmarsh, as well as plenty of hooks to kick-off each adventure. Play through each story in a seafaring campaign leading characters from level 1 through level 12, or pull out sections to place in ongoing campaigns in any setting. The appendices also cover mechanics for ship-to-ship combat, new magic items, monsters, and more!

“The Saltmarsh series consistently ranks as one of the most popular classic D&D adventures,” said Mike Mearls, franchise creative director of D&D. “With its ties to ocean-based adventuring, it was an obvious step to augment it with additional sea-based adventures and a robust set of rules for managing a nautical campaign.”

Hoist your sails, pull up anchor, and set a course for adventure!

21st May, 2019

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