Living Ghost (3.5e Template)

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Living Ghost[edit]

Living Ghosts are an extremely rare kind of ghosts who are as close to life as they are to death. Since they are so incredibly rare, they are mostly unheard of.

  • This template is recommended to be used along with the variant rule Ghost Features.

Creating a Living Ghost[edit]

Living Ghost is an acquired template that can be applied on any living creature (any creature that isn't an undead, elemental or construct) (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A Living Ghost uses all of the base creature's statistics, abilities and special abilities of the except as noted here.

Size and Type[edit]

The creature’s type changes to Undead. They gain the subtypes Augmented and Unliving. Do not recalculate the creature’s base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice[edit]

All current and future racial Hit Dice become d12s.


See the base speed multiplier in the table under 'Aging'.

Armor Class[edit]

See in the table under 'Aging'.


A Living Ghost retains all the attacks of the base creature, and also receive a slam attack which deals 1d6 + (their strength modifier, never negative) hit points damage.

Full Attack[edit]

A Living Ghost fighting without weapons would use their slam attack along with any natural attack they retain from their mortal life. They also use their supernatural powers.

Special Attacks[edit]

A Living Ghost retains all the special attacks of the base creature. In addition, if they so desire, Living Ghosts can make any of their attacks deal negative damage.

Special Qualities[edit]

A Living Ghost retains all the special qualities of the base creature, and also gains those described below. By age category, those are the qualities of a novice Living Ghost.

Rejuvenation (Su): It is difficult to destroy a Living Ghost through simple combat: the “destroyed” Living Ghost will reform in 2d8 days. Only the destruction of their soul can prevent their rejuvenation.

Turn Immunity (Ex): Living Ghosts are completely immune to being turned

Ghost Vision (Ex): Living Ghosts can see perfectly regardless of the illumination level. Living Ghosts can naturally perceive the Ethereal Plane. Furthermore, if the Living Ghost had any defect to their senses while they were alive, they no longer suffer from it.

Gravitational Independency (Ex): Just like normal ghosts, Living Ghosts are not subject to gravity; they have flight speed equal to twice their land speed, with perfect maneuverability. They can also walk on any solid/liquid surface as though gravity were directed to it.

Healing Factor (Ex): Living Ghosts possess a potent healing factor, and can quickly heal any harm; they have fast healing 1 and restore 1 point of ability damage per minute and 1 point of drained ability per hour. They are able to regenerate lost body parts. However, they can still be destroyed (although only temporarily, see "Rejuvenation") if reduced to -10 or minus their HD hit points, the lower of the two.

Resistances: Living Ghosts have resistance 10 to cold and resistance 5 to electricity and fire, and spell resistance equal to 10 + their HD.

Half-Alive, Half-Dead: Living Ghosts are healed by both positive and negative energy; they are not in burst danger from positive energy or in withering danger from negative energy.

Earthbound (Ex): Unlike normal ghosts, Living Ghosts naturally exist on the Material Plane; however, they can still cross into the Ethereal Plane (on different levels), at will. For the purpose of planer banishment, Living Ghosts are considered native to the Material Plane.

Selective Corporeality (Ex): Unlike most ghosts, Living Ghosts are naturally corporeal. They can however become intangible at will. They can stay intangible as long as long as they want.

Selective Visibility (Ex): Unlike most ghosts, Living Ghosts are naturally visible. They can become invisible at will, and, while invisible, gain a +20 bonus on Move Silently and Hide checks.

Spell-Like Abilities: At Will: Command, Daze Monster, Dimension Door, Ghost Sound, Telekinesis. General caster level is equal to 4 + HD.

Undead Traits: Though Living Ghosts can blend in among the living far easier than most ghosts and other undead creatures, they are still undead and thus have the following traits:

  • Living Ghosts have a significantly lower core temperature than the base creature; though they aren't icy cold, the difference can still be noticed via prolonged physical contact. Also, Living Ghosts lack vital signs, such as heartbeat. A successful Medical check at dc 10 will expose their undead nature.
  • Living Ghosts are still dead, thus don't age naturally. Like normal ghosts, they can alter their appearance to a degree, including changing their seeming age.
  • Living Ghosts are still ghosts and therefore require no sleep, sustenance or oxygen, but unlike normal ghosts they can eat and breathe if they so desire.
  • Living ghosts are immune to energy drain and unholy damage.

Aging: Like normal ghosts, Living Ghosts grow in power the longer they exist. This process is often referred to as aging. All the statistics regarding aging are concluded in the following table:

Living Ghost Age Categories1
Category Age (Years) 2 Str
AC Bonus
Base Speed
Novice 0–99 +6 +2 +4 +2 +4 +2 +2 1.5
Experienced 100–799 +12 +4 +8 +4 +6 +4 +4 2
Expert 800–2999 +18 +8 +12 +6 +8 +6 +6 4
Elder 3000–9999 +24 +12 +16 +8 +10 +8 +8 8
Superior 10000+ +30 +16 +20 +10 +12 +10 +10 16
  1. Bonuses from different age categories overlap, not stack.
  2. Years as a living ghost.

Experienced: A Living Ghost that has existed for a while and has learned a few tricks.

  • Their elemental resistance improves to 15 to cold, 10 to electricity and fire and 5 to acid.
  • They gain the ability Possession. This ability works similarly to the spell Magic Jar (caster level 4 + their HD Hit Dice, whichever is higher), except that it does not require a receptacle.
  • Experienced living ghosts gain the spell-like abilities Blight, Cause Fear, Charm Monster, Confusion, Detect Thoughts and Sleep, which can be used at will.

Expert: A Living Ghost that has existed for centuries and learned how to defend themselves, as well as tricks that can really terrify the living.

  • Their spell resistance improves to 15 + HD.
  • Their elemental resistance improves to 20 to cold, 15 to electricity and fire and 10 to acid.
  • Their Possession ability improves and they can now possess ghosts (but not living ghosts).
  • Their healing factor improves to fast healing 5, and restore 1 point of ability damage per round, and 1 point of drained ability per minute.
  • Expert living ghosts gain the spell-like abilities Darkness, Disguise Self, Minor Creation, Modify Memory, Persistent Image, Probe Thoughts, Programmed Image, Remove Emotion and Teleport (no mishap chance), which can be used at will.

Elder: An old and experienced Living Ghost that is both respected and feared by those aware of their true nature, since no mortal is crazy enough to face their wrath.

Superior: Amongst the scariest and most dangerous entities around. Even the bravest and most powerful heroes usually consider knowingly facing a superior Living Ghost to be a total madness.

  • Their spell resistance improves to 20 + HD.
  • Their elemental resistance improves to immunity to cold, 20 to electricity and fire and 20 to acid.
  • Their Possession ability improves and they can now possess living ghosts of lower age categories.
  • The range of their Life Sense ability increase from 120 feet to 300 feet. They also gain Blindsense out to 150 feet and Blindsight out to 30 feet, as well as a +6 bonus on all Spot and Listen checks.
  • Superior Living Ghosts gain the spell-like abilities Call Lightning Storm, Control Weather, Control Winds, Fog Cloud, Greater Teleport, Sleet Storm and Whirlwind, which can be used at will.
  • Superior Living Ghosts gain the ability to moderately warp reality; they gain the spell-like ability Limited Wish, which can be used once per encounter per HD.


See in the table under 'Aging'.


Living Ghosts gain a +6 bonus on Athletics checks. Experienced/Expert/Elder/Superior gain a +2/+4/+6/+8 bonus, respectively, on Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Religion) checks.


Living Ghosts acquire the feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Endurance, Iron Will and Track, even if the base creature doesn't meet the prerequisites.


Any, usually same as the base creature. Living Ghosts often attempt to remain near the location they used to live, but tend to keep their distance and minimize contact with the living.


Living Ghosts are such incredibly rare that they have no society, since they almost never meet others of their kind unless they came back together.

Challenge Rating[edit]

Novice +2, Experienced +4, Expert +8, Elder +16, Superior +24 (overlapping)


Anywhere between a fourth to five time the regular for the base creature. Depending on their age and personality, Living Ghosts may have little belongings or a vast hoard.


Any. Due to their special nature, Living Ghosts aren't warped by undeath. Living Ghosts also seldom go vengeful, and even if they do, this isn't as bad as this is with normal ghosts.


By HD or by class, whichever is quicker.

Level Adjustment[edit]

Novice +6.

Living Ghosts Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research Living Ghosts to learn more about them. Also, when a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana)
DC Result
5 Living Ghosts are a special and very rare kind of ghosts.
10 Living Ghosts are as close to life as they are to death.
15 Describe the Living Ghost's Undead Traits.
20 Rumors about a specific person who is told to be a Living Ghost and their location.

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