Ghostly Dragon

A ghost template is found at Ghost. The ghostly dragon template presented here provides an alternative method of creating ghostly dragons to have them retain more of their innate draconic power and deadliness.

Ghost dragons are most often created when a powerful dragon is slain and its hoard looted. In such a case, the ghostly dragon can only be laid to rest by returning its lost treasure (or the equivalent value) to the creature's lair. (You can estimate the ghostly dragon's hoard by using the average treasure value for an encounter with the dragon, were it still alive.) Should this occur, the ghostly dragon settles upon the new hoard and disappears into nothingness, taking the hoard with it into the afterlife.

Creating A Ghostly Dragon

"Ghostly" is an acquired template that can be added to any dragon. The creature (referred to hereafter as the base dragon) must have a Charisma score of at least 8.

A ghostly dragon uses all the base dragon's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The creature's type changes to undead. It gains the incorporeal subtype. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: The base dragon's Hit Dice remain the same, but it loses any Constitution bonus to its hit points (see Abilities, below). However, a ghostly dragon gains bonus hit points equal to twice its HD.

Speed: A ghostly dragon has a fly speed of 30 feet, unless the base dragon has a higher fly speed. Regardless of its fly speed, the ghostly dragon has perfect maneuverability.

Armor Class: A ghostly dragon's natural armor bonus is the same as the base dragon but applies only to ethereal encounters. When a ghostly dragon manifests (see below), its natural armor bonus is +0, but it gains a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier or +1, whichever is higher.

Attacks: A ghostly dragon retains all the attacks of the base dragon, although those relying on physical contact do not affect non-ethereal creatures. It also gains an incorporeal touch attack, which it can use with any body part normally capable of attacking (which may include the bite, a claw, a wing, or a rail). Apply a ghostly dragon's Dexterity modifier, not its Strength modifier, to its incorporeal touch attack.

Damage: Against ethereal creatures, a ghostly dragon uses the base dragon's damage ratings. Against nonetheless creatures, a ghostly dragon usually cannot deal physical damage but can use its special attacks, if any, when it manifests (see below).

Special Attacks: A ghostly dragon retains all the special attacks of the base creature, although those relying on physical contact do not affect non-ethereal creatures. The ghost gains the manifestation ability plus other special attacks described below. Saves against a ghostly dragon's special attacks (including those of the base dragon) have a DC of 10 + 1/2 ghostly dragon's HD + ghostly dragon's Cha modifier unless otherwise noted.

Breath Weapon (Su): In addition to any breath weapons it had in life, a ghostly dragon gains a breath weapon that creates a cone-shaped cloud of gray mist. Any creature caught within is affected by a catastrophic ability drain, permanently losing a number of points of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution equal to the base dragon's age category (Fortitude negates). A creature that successfully saves against the effect cannot be affected by this breath weapon from same ghostly dragon for 24 hours (though it can be affected by the ghostly dragon's other breath weapons as normal). This breath weapon can be used once every 1d4 rounds and a maximum of three times per day.

Energy Drain (Su): With a successful touch attack, a ghostly dragon bestows, two negative levels on the target. A ghostly dragon does not bestow negative levels with any of its natural attacks (claws, bite, wing, tail, and so on).

Manifestation (Su): A ghostly dragon dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When a ghostly dragon manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. A manifested ghostly dragon can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. A manifested ghostly dragon can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armor. A manifested ghostly dragon always moves silently.

A manifested ghostly dragon can strike with its touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon. A manifested ghostly dragon remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. The creature can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ghostly dragon's incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

When a spellcasting ghostly dragon is not manifested and on the Ethereal Plane, its spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When a spellcasting ghostly dragon manifests, its spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. A manifested ghostly dragon's touch spells don't work on non-ethereal targets.

A ghostly dragon has two home planes, the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. It is not considered extraplanar when on either of these planes.

Withering (Su): A ghostly dragon's touch acts as a rod of withering, dealing 1d4 points of Strength damage and 1d4 points of Constitution damage with a successful touch attack (Fortitude negates). If a ghostly dragon scores a critical hit, the damage is ability drain instead.

Special Qualities: A ghostly dragon has all the special abilities of the base dragon (except for any subtypes possessed). If the base dragon had any immunities based on its subtype (such as immunity to fire for the fire subtype), it keeps those immunities despite losing the subtype. It also gains the incorporeal subtype and the special qualities described below.

Rejuvenation (Su): In most cases, it's difficult to destroy a ghostly dragon through simple combat: The "destroyed" spirit will often restore itself in 2d4 days. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. A ghostly dragon that would otherwise be destroyed returns to its old haunts with a successful level check (1d20 + ghost's HD) against DC 16. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a ghostly dragon for sure is to determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A ghostly dragon has +4 turn resistance.

Undead Traits: A ghostly dragon is immune to mind-effecting effects, poison, magic sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. It has darkvision out to 60 feet (unless the base creature had a greater range).

Saves: As undead, ghostly dragons are immune to anything that requires a Fortitude save unless it affects objects.

Abilities: As the base dragon, except that the ghostly dragon has no Constitution score, and its Charisma score increases by 4.

Skills: Ghostly dragons have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Search, and Spot checks.

Organization: Solitary

Challenge Rating: Same as the base dragon +2.

Treasure: None.

Alignment: Usually same as the base dragon.

Advancement: Up to +2 HD.

Sample ghostly dragon: Ghostly Adult Green Dragon.

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