A spectral mage is an undead arcane spellcaster given unlife by magic, sometimes willing, sometimes not. Incorporeal and only able to interact with the corporeal world with difficulty, a spectral mage retains all the abilities it had in life and uses those abilities to punish those who affront its undead existence.
A spectral mage appears much as it did when it died, and is immediately recognizable by anyone who knew it in life. Its face is haunted with the horrors of undeath, and its appearance is wasted and tired. Its incorporeal form appears to bear the same magic items the creature had when it died, although these are not actual items.
Spectral mages can be created with the create greater undead spell cast by a cleric of at least 16th level.
Creating a Spectral Mage
"Spectral mage" is a template that can be applied to any arcane spellcaster (referred to hereafter as "the character"). The creature's type changes to "undead (incorporeal)" It uses all the character's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Hit Dice: Increase to d12.
Speed: 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (good).
AC: A spectral mage, like all incorporeal creatures, has a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma bonus (minimum +1).
Attacks: The spectral mage cannot make normal physical attacks but gains an incorporeal touch attack at its normal base attack bonus plus its Dexterity modifier.
Damage: A spectral mage's incorporeal touch attack inflicts no damage, but causes paralysis (see below).
Special Attacks: A spectral mage retains all the special attacks of the character (except those that cannot be used by incorporeal beings, such as grappling) and a has paralysis incorporeal touch attack. Saves have a DC of 10 +1/2 spectral mage's HD + spectral mage's Charisma modifier.
Paralysis (Su): A creature touched by a spectral mage must make a Fortitude saving throw or be paralyzed for a number of rounds equal to the spectral mage's hit dice.
Special Qualities: A spectral mage retains all the special qualities of the character (except those that cannot be used by incorporeal beings) and those listed below, and gains the undead (incorporeal) type.
Corporeal Manipulation (Su): A spectral mage can manipulate material objects as a standard action. Its ability to manipulate objects is limited to what can be accomplished with a mage hand spell. This allows a spectral mage to use material components for spells and turn pages in its spellbook so it can prepare spells. The spectral mage needs to be in contact with the item to use this ability, so it must be touching the components it wishes to use in order to cast spells needing those components. This also allows the spectral mage to use magic items that do not need to be worn to function.
Item Link (Su): A spectral mage has a magical link to the items it carried when it died. It can sense the exact location of these objects as a standard action. Most spectral mages search for and gather their material possessions, guarding them to a paranoid extent.
Madness (Ex): Every time a spectral mage enters combat, it must attempt a Will saving throw (DC 15). If it fails, it goes mad 1d4 rounds later as the trauma of combat pushes it over the brink. This madness functions exactly like the confusion spell and lasts for 10 rounds.
Turn Resistance (Ex): A spectral mage has +2 turn resistance.
Unnatural Aura (Su): Both wild and domesticated animals can sense the unnatural presence of a spectral mage at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.
Abilities: As undead (incorporeal) creatures, spectral mages have no Strength or Constitution scores.
Skills: A spectral mage receives a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Intimidate, and Survival checks. Otherwise as the character.
Feats: Spectral mages gain Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, and Improved Initiative, assuming the character doesn't already have those feats.
Climate/Terrain: Same as the character and underground.
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-5).
Challenge Rating: Same as the character +2.
Treasure: Same as the character.
Alignment: Always evil.
Advancement: A spectral mage cannot gain class levels but can gain Hit Dice equal to its original class level (advancing as undead).
Sample Spectral Mage: Spectral Mage.