Monday, June 8, 2020

OSE Encounter Activities - Spectre

Since there is no Lich in B/X – OSE, I suppose we’ll have to make do with Spectres to somewhat fill this formidable niche. Draining two-levels per touch is pretty awful, and while not as formidable as Vampires on the surface, they lack a lot of the more traditional “short cuts” to defeat. Better have access to Magical Weapons/Magic before confronting these. A Cleric needs to be at least 5th level to have even the slightest chance of Turning them.

They’re incorporeality is notable as well and this might make them more tactically interesting: I’m imagining hit and run caresses from inside the walls of claustrophobic corridors, or simply running their ghostly fingers down the length of a footfall from below the floor. Depending on how devious you decide to make them, they can be incredibly dangerous for a party to confront due to this advantageous use of terrain. As always, I try to telegraph the danger, at least a little to the Players. It’s far more satisfying watching them wade into a mess they’re well aware of then simply springing this sort of “unexpected Spectre” on them.

To combat the “Ceaseless Spawning Cascade” that can occur with the Undead that are capable of reproducing like this, I tend to tie them to a place as guardians or bound by ancient Curses/Vows/Duties (much like I discuss with Wights and Wraiths) and am inordinately fond of having even the most benevolent Ghosts capable of sudden, dramatic transformations into Spectres if crossed or foolishly challenged. Undead should be scary after all once Skeletons/Zombies/Ghouls cease to be a challenge.

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