Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Ghost: Is… Is that all?

Oh, the rollercoaster that is the Monster Manual. One minute, you’re talking about the all-powerful masters of the elements. The next, you’re talking about a dead guy who stuck around because his wife fucked the mailman. You never know what you’re going to get!

Lore: Hi! I’m Dead!

You know how ghosts work? You know, a soul stuck in the mortal plane? Often embodying a single emotion incredibly strongly? Banished with sacred magic or a ritual? Yeah, it’s that. But stretched over four paragraphs that explain it like you’ve never heard of a ghost before.

Boring. Next.

Design: *Shocked Gasp*

Okay, I’ve talked about some simple designs before. Hell, the last ten weeks or so have been nothing but that, with a few good exceptions. And every time, I’ve complained about not having anything to talk about.

That has never been more true than right here and right now.

What is there to be said? It’s a ghost. Not the silly kind like in kid’s cartoons. Not the horrifying kind like in a rated-R movie. Just your typical translucent blue spirit trapped between life and death.

It’s a fantasy classic, yes. But if I’ve learned anything doing this series, it’s that the classics are often the most boring.

Stats: Please, God, Be Interesting

Last chance. Let’s see what it’s got.

Number wise, it’s defenses aren’t all that thrilling. Its AC is pitiful and its HP is only slightly better. However, this is more than made up for by the long list of resistances and immunities. This angry spirit is resistant to acid, fire, lightning, thunder, and all non-magical melee attacks. It’s completely immune to cold, necrotic, and poison damage (go figure), as well as the charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, and restrained conditions.

If this were a higher-level monster, it would be a real bastard to fight. Hell, it is already.

As you’d expect, it can pass through things. It can also see into the Ethereal Plane, which is neat! You’ll see why that’s useful in just a moment.

Action wise, this thing has a surprisingly extensive list. It can use Withering Touch to deal necrotic damage as its basic attack. With Etherealness, it can slip between the two planes (Ethereal and Material), making it impossible to attack from the side it just left. With Horrifying Visage, it can frighten any non-undead creature and age them 1d4 x 10 years (brutal!) Possession is… exactly what you’d expect.

This could make for a very annoying boss fight. If the players don’t go down the route of a dispelling ritual or something like that, then they’re in for a long and frustrating battle. What with the hopping between planes and possessing party members and aging them up a couple decades every time it screams.

But if played carefully? It could be pretty fun! Key word there being could.

Placement

This thing was absolutely saved by the stats segment. Given the fact that its lore and design are basically nothing, it looked dead set to take the bottom spot from the gargoyle. But I can be at least a little generous because of its interesting combat abilities.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Ghost on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Bronze Dragons
  14. Brass Dragons
  15. Copper Dragons
  16. Gold Dragons
  17. Chuul
  18. Chimera
  19. Death Knight
  20. Fomorian
  21. Bone Devil
  22. Dracolich
  23. Faerie Dragon
  24. Ankheg
  25. Empyrean
  26. Efreeti
  27. Dao
  28. Drow (all four of ’em)
  29. Shadow Demon
  30. Marilith
  31. Drider
  32. Aarackockra
  33. Azer
  34. Demilich
  35. Spectator
  36. Marid
  37. Cambion
  38. Animated Armor
  39. Banshee
  40. Basilisk
  41. Yochlol
  42. Bulette
  43. Cloaker
  44. Darkmantle
  45. Doppelganger
  46. Ettin
  47. Pit Fiend
  48. Erinyes
  49. Chain Devil
  50. Bearded Devil
  51. Barbed Devil
  52. Spined Devil
  53. Ice Devil
  54. Djinni
  55. Nalfeshnee
  56. Glabrezu
  57. Chasme
  58. Barlgura
  59. Horned Devil
  60. Balor
  61. Shadow Dragon
  62. Vrock
  63. Dretch
  64. Goristro
  65. Hezrou
  66. Manes
  67. Duergar
  68. Quasit
  69. Dryad
  70. Flumph
  71. Planetar
  72. Imp
  73. Flameskull
  74. Displacer Beast
  75. Carrion Crawler
  76. Rug of Smothering
  77. Bugbear Chief
  78. Bugbear
  79. Vine Blight
  80. Twig Blight
  81. Needle Blight
  82. Bullywug
  83. Ettercap
  84. Gas Spore
  85. Cockatrice
  86. Lemure
  87. Solar
  88. Deva
  89. Cyclops
  90. Centaur
  91. Ghost <———————
  92. Fire Elemental
  93. Water Elemental
  94. Air Elemental
  95. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  96. Earth Elemental
  97. Galeb Duhr
  98. Flying Sword
  99. Crawling Claw
  100. Violet Fungus
  101. Shrieker
  102. Gargoyle

2 thoughts on “Ghost: Is… Is that all?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s