RavenloftCampaign Setting Logo

Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Very to exceptional (11-16)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:10
Hit Dice:3
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Haunting
Special Defenses:Nil
Magic Resistance:Nil
Morale:Unsteady (5-7)
XP Value:35

Recluses are female Vistani who have decided to forego their clan and commune with the spirits that thrive on the Demiplane of Dread. Now they cackle gleefully at dark shadows flitting past their campfires and speak long-dead languages to ancient spectres only they can see.

Recluses dress in the bright gypsy garb common to all Vistani. Their constant communication with the cryptic and often dangerous spirits of Ravenloft makes their eyes and attentions jump randomly, behavior most simply see as eccentric or insane.

The typical recluse speaks the Vistani tongue, as well as a half dozen or so languages of normal men. It isn't uncommon for a recluse to have learned three or four long-forgotten languages from the spirits she communicates with.

Combat: Recluses are physically decrepit creatures. As such, the thought of one entering melee combat is almost laughable. Indeed, if a recluse is attacked, she will take no action to defend herself. This does not mean, however, that the recluse is defenseless.

Recluses are masters of the Vistani evil eye. Anyone who kills a recluse will be instantly stricken with a deadly curse. For example, any enemy who attacks the character will always do maximum damage or any saving throw the character is called on to make will always fail.

In addition, the character will become a magnet for spiritual activity. Within 24 hours after the death of the recluse, a ghost, spectre, or other incorporeal undead will begin to torment the murderer. As each day passes, another spirit will arrive. Eventually, the character will be surrounded by spirits determined to cause him harm. Only by restoring the recluse to life can the character escape these hauntings.

All recluses have mastered the Vistani art of tarokka casting. By means of these prophetic cards, the recluse may cast any spell from the sphere of Divination or the school of Lesser/Greater Divination. All of these spells are assumed to have a casting time of 1 round and require no material components other than the old woman's tarokka deck. All of these spells are cast as if the recluse were a 13th level character.

Habitat/Society: Recluses live solitary lives communing with spirits that are as maddening as they are insightful. As the years pass, they drift farther and farther out of touch with the real world. Eventually, they will pay little or no attention to the affairs of man, giving themselves wholly over to the world of spirits.

Those who seek out the recluse in hopes of learning some important fact will be required to pay for the service. Most frequently, the fee will take the form of some action that benefits one of the spirits with whom the recluse is in communication. For example, the characters might be asked to solve a murder so that the victim's spirit could rest easily in his grave. Only when this task is done will the gypsy answer their questions.

Because of the rambling nature of a recluse's thought patterns, making sense of an answer may be as hard as getting one. After all, these women are considered by most to be utterly mad. Any questions asked of a recluse are likely to be answered with metaphors, riddles, and other difficult to fathom answers.

Ecology: Recluses tend to eat strange things such as boiled bat wings and lizard tongues. It may be that these things heighten their perception of the spirit world, but no one can say for sure. It might just be that these are the most easily available foodstuffs in the strange places recluses pick to inhabit.