Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Non- (0)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:0/victim's AC
Movement:6/as victim
Hit Dice:5/victim's hp
No. of Attacks:1/1, as 5-HD monster
Damage/Attack:See below/by weapon
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Morale:Champion (16)
XP Value:2,000

(Note: Statistics separated by a slash: those to the left refer to the natural state, those to the right are for a possessed victim.)

A haunt is the restless spirit of a person who died leaving some vital task unfinished. Its sole purpose is to take over a living body and use it to complete the task, thus gaining a final release from this world.

Haunts may assume either of two forms, at will: a hovering luminescent ball of light (identical in appearance to a will-o-wisp) or a nebulous, translucent image of the haunt's former body. In the later state, haunts look like groaning spirits, spectres, or ghosts, and are often mistaken for them.

Transformation from one state to the other takes one round.

Combat: A haunt must remain within 60 yards of where it died, unless it takes control of a victim's body. This 60-yard radius is called the haunt's domain.

A haunt attacks mindlessly, and always targets the first human or demihuman that enters its domain. It will continue to attack until possession is achieved or the intended victim leaves the haunt's domain.

The touch of a haunt drains 2 points of Dexterity per hit. As the character's Dexterity is drained, he suffers not only the penalties of lowered Dexterity, but increasing numbness creeps over his body. If Dexterity reaches 0, the haunt slips into the body and possesses it. Once the body is possessed, Dexterity returns to normal.

The haunt uses the host's body to complete its unfulfilled task. The task need not be dangerous, although it often is. Once the task is completed, the haunt passes on to its final rest and the victim regains control of his body. When the haunt leaves a victim, the character has a Dexterity of 3. Lost Dexterity points are regained at the rate of 1 point for each turn of complete rest. If a haunt's possessed body is slain, it will haunt the place where that body was killed.

If the victim has an alignment opposite to that of the haunt (good vs. evil), the haunt will try to strangle the victim using the victim's own hands. Unless the victim's arms are being restrained, the strangulation begins the round after the haunt takes control of the body. On the first round the victim suffers 1 point of damage, on the second 2, on the third 4, and so on, doubling each round until the victim is dead or the haunt is driven off.

Attacks on a possessed character will cause full damage to the character's body. If attacked, the haunt will use whatever weapons and armor the victim carries, but it cannot use any items that would require special knowledge (spells, scrolls, rings). The only safe way to free the victim is by casting hold person or dispel evil (good). If hold person is cast, the haunt must make a successful saving throw vs. paralyzation or be ejected from the body; dispel evil (good) destroys the haunt forever.

Haunts are linked to the sites where they died and therefore cannot be turned by priests. When in the natural state (i.e., not possessing a body) haunts may be struck only by silver or magical weapons, or by fire. Weapons cause only 1 point of damage, plus the magical bonus (if any). Normal fire causes 1 point of damage per round, but magical fire inflicts full damage. If a haunt is reduced to 0 hit points, it loses control of its form and fades away. The haunt reforms in one week to haunt the same location again until its task is completed.

Habitat/Society: The exact task to be accomplished varies, but the motives are always powerful - revenge, greed, love, hate. Often great distances need to be traveled before a task can be completed, and haunts will drive their hosts mercilessly toward the goal, ignoring the need for food or sleep.

A few haunts (10%) retain some knowledge of their former lives and can be communicated with. Often these haunts feel remorse at having to prey upon the living, but the force of the uncompleted task is too powerful for the haunt to resist.

Ecology: Haunts cling to this world by force of will alone. They have no treasure of their own unless it is connected to their quest. They prey only on humans and demihumans.