Specter: Agony and Fury

Lore: Angry in Death

When a spirit is unable to pass unto the afterlife, a specter is born. Condemned to walk the world forever, with no memory of their former lives, it is no wonder they are consumed by rage. Unlike other spirits, nothing beyond destruction can set this creature free. Hurt by the sun, these creatures lurk in the night. They hate all living things, as life is a reminder of their eternal torment.

And… that’s it. No, I’m not joking. That’s really all we’ve got to work with.

There’s really nothing you can do with this. The lore is so restrictive that it actively discourages story telling! Sure, you can make a basic combat encounter out of it. But if you actually want to tell a story with a specter, you’re gonna have to put on your imagination cap and ignore the lore here.

Not off to a great start, are we?

Design: Big Angry

Uh… maybe he’s friendly?

Alright, this is a bit better!

I appreciate how minimalistic this design is. A simple spirit, nearly devoid of physical form. It’s a good approach for an incorporeal being, especially one with such sparse lore.

Its lack of features makes its one stand-out detail all the more striking. That feature being the face. A twisted expression of pure rage, utterly devoid of anything else. Fitting for this particular creature.

Still, it isn’t a particularly amazing design. Not bad, mind you, but it just isn’t as interesting or memorable as some of the monsters higher on the list. Not bad, but not amazing.

Stats: Uh… Angry Something, I Dunno

Killing a specter shouldn’t be so hard. Both its AC and HP are fairly low. However, its list of resistances and immunities make that harder than it seems. Specters are resistant to acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder, and all nonmagical melee. On top of that, they’re immune to necrotic and poison damage, as well as all conditions.

However, it does have a weakness. Sunlight. With Sunlight Sensitivity, this monster is made much weaker in the daytime, with disadvantage on attack rolls and perception checks.

It also has the Incorporeal Movement ability. With this, they can pass through living beings like they were difficult terrain, dealing damage as they go. More dangerous is their Life Drain action, which does a decent amount of damage and threatens to lower the victim’s max HP, should they fail a saving throw.

If you’re looking for a more dangerous foe, look to the specter’s variant, the poltergeist. In place of Life Drain, they have a powerful slam attack as well as the Telekinetic Thrust action, which can push enemies away and deal damage upon impact.

Also, they can turn invisible. So that’s fun.

All of this can make for a semi-decent fight. The base format can suck health from the players, adding some tension to the battle. Though the poltergeist might be the more interesting, with its telekinesis. Still, it’s not an especially interesting fight.


This is a fairly weak monster. Its lore is basically non-existent, and the remaining categories are okay at best. It’s the pinnacle of mediocrity.

With all that in mind, the Specter is going to #188 on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Mind Flayer
  4. Dragon Turtle
  5. Mummy/Mummy Lord
  6. Nagas (all three of ’em)
  7. Green Dragons
  8. Red Dragons
  9. Blue Dragons
  10. Black Dragons
  11. White Dragons
  12. Silver Dragons
  13. Couatl
  14. Behir
  15. Aboleth
  16. Sea Hag
  17. Slaadi (all six of ’em)
  18. Lamia
  19. Bronze Dragons
  20. Brass Dragons
  21. Copper Dragons
  22. Gold Dragons
  23. Chuul
  24. Kuo-Toa
  25. Gibbering Mouther
  26. Kraken
  27. Intellect Devourer
  28. Shadow
  29. Chimera
  30. Death Knight
  31. Fomorian
  32. Bone Devil
  33. Dracolich
  34. Faerie Dragon
  35. Gelatinous Cube
  36. Lich
  37. Peryton
  38. Remorhaz
  39. Orcs (all four of ’em)
  40. Magmin
  41. Shield Guardian
  42. Kobold
  43. Kenku
  44. Hobgoblins
  45. Night Hag
  46. Green Hag
  47. Black Pudding
  48. Ankheg
  49. Hook Horror
  50. Oni
  51. Purple Worm
  52. Storm Giant
  53. Hill Giant
  54. Empyrean
  55. Efreeti
  56. Grimlock
  57. Minotaur
  58. Dao
  59. Cloud Giant
  60. Manticore
  61. Scarecrow
  62. Drow (all four of ’em)
  63. Shadow Demon
  64. Modrons (all five of ’em)
  65. Marilith
  66. Drider
  67. Aarackockra
  68. Azer
  69. Demilich
  70. Spectator
  71. Gray Ooze
  72. Ochre Jelly
  73. Hydra
  74. Rakshasa
  75. Marid
  76. Salamander
  77. Harpy
  78. Werejackal
  79. Otyugh
  80. Satyr
  81. Half-Dragon
  82. Cambion
  83. Fire Giant
  84. Nothic
  85. Pixie
  86. Animated Armor
  87. Roper
  88. Banshee
  89. Basilisk
  90. Yochlol
  91. Bulette
  92. Cloaker
  93. Darkmantle
  94. Doppelganger
  95. Revenant
  96. Ghoul and Ghast
  97. Sahuagin (all three)
  98. Ettin
  99. Medusa
  100. Pit Fiend
  101. Erinyes
  102. Chain Devil
  103. Bearded Devil
  104. Barbed Devil
  105. Spined Devil
  106. Ice Devil
  107. Mimic
  108. Djinni
  109. Merrow
  110. Nalfeshnee
  111. Glabrezu
  112. Chasme
  113. Grell
  114. Barlgura
  115. Horned Devil
  116. Balor
  117. Skeletons
  118. Shadow Dragon
  119. Myconids (all four of ’em)
  120. Piercer
  121. Werebear
  122. Lizardfolk
  123. Vrock
  124. Dretch
  125. Pseudodragon
  126. Gnolls (all three)
  127. Goristro
  128. Hezrou
  129. Manes
  130. Quaggoth
  131. Frost Giant
  132. Weretiger
  133. Werewolf
  134. Duergar
  135. Quasit
  136. Dryad
  137. Shambling Mound
  138. Flumph
  139. Goblin
  140. Nightmare
  141. Rust Monster
  142. Wereboar
  143. Wererat
  144. Githyanki
  145. Owlbear
  146. Planetar
  147. Imp
  148. Ogres/Half-ogres
  149. Roc
  150. Clay Golem
  151. Flameskull
  152. Displacer Beast
  153. Carrion Crawler
  154. Githzerai
  155. Grick
  156. Invisible Stalker
  157. Rug of Smothering
  158. Bugbear Chief
  159. Bugbear
  160. Flesh Golem
  161. Vine Blight
  162. Twig Blight
  163. Needle Blight
  164. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  165. Bullywug
  166. Hellhound
  167. Ettercap
  168. Gas Spore
  169. Cockatrice
  170. Lemure
  171. Homonculus
  172. Merfolk
  173. Solar
  174. Deva
  175. Gorgon
  176. Hippogriff
  177. Griffon
  178. Cyclops
  179. Centaur
  180. Ghost
  181. Pegasus
  182. Fire Elemental
  183. Water Elemental
  184. Air Elemental
  185. Stone Giant
  186. Deep Gnome
  187. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  188. Specter <————–
  189. Iron Golem
  190. Stone Golem
  191. Earth Elemental
  192. Galeb Duhr
  193. Helmed Horror
  194. Flying Sword
  195. Crawling Claw
  196. Violet Fungus
  197. Shrieker
  198. Gargoyle

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