Melancha (5e Template)

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Melancha[edit]

Witness: a village, barren. A city, its streets crawling with men and women screaming, trying to kill each other and themselves. A town, its inhabitants falling on their own knives or simply keeling over in the dirt- unwilling to make the effort even to breathe. These places, and those like them in between all these states, the place of a Melancha's birth.

None go to these places, for they are a special kind of abyss. Demons can be fought, devils can be slain, but sorrow is eternal. None shall inhabit these places in the years to come, not while the Weeping Dead, the Melancha, call it their haunt.

-

A sentient creature dies, through the ultimate form of loss. Suicide. Life is no longer bearable, and they ache for any form of afterlife, as anything would be more tolerable than walking the earth. Their spirits rise again, though, denying them even that respite from the mortal planes- and soon, the spirit discovers this haunting half-life is so, so much worse. Doomed to watch what they cannot be, haunted by everything they've lost, their despair and melancholy twists from mere depression into a sinister power most undead can only dream of. The Melancha may never realize this, their haunting no different and ever more empty, devoid of solace.

But their victims certainly do.

What was once a mere spectral being is now multiplanar, dwelling somewhere between the planes of the dead and living, yet present in both. Their yearning to undo their own mistakes, and perhaps die properly or seek a life they left behind having never realized what they've lost until its too late drove them there. Rather than a ghostly form, they are instead purest-white beings composed entirely of coalesced dust in a scintillating form, bearing black scars relating to the manner in which they took their own life. Poison might have left them with black, jagged veins around their neck. A noose could leave a thick black line around their shoulders. A stab or slash could leave similar black-dust lines etched into their striking shapes.

A Melancha fights to be as close to life as it can- and it is always life that suffers, for the attempts.


Prerequisite

Base creature must be sentient, with an INT above eight. Base creature must possess a Charisma score in excess of 12 before the template is applied. Base creature must have committed suicide, and currently reside as a ghost.

More often than not, a Melancha is born as a result of another Melancha's presence, lives cut cruelly short by sorrow that was not theirs. Other times, it can be by their own hand and uninfluenced.

Statistics[edit]

Type.

The Melancha adds Undead to its list of types, if it did not have that type already through whatever reason. It loses all other types.


Equipment.

A Melancha receives no special equipment, though they may have sought out and found any that they used in life. They are proficient in any weapons, armor, tools and similar that they used before death.


Abilities.

A Melancha gains +5 to Charisma and Constitution, due to the nature of their remaking and their long time spent controlling a power that sentient creatures cannot wholly deny reside in a part of themselves. A Melancha immediately gains hit dice as if it were becoming a creature twice its level.


Damage Immunities.

A Melancha is immune to necrotic, piercing, slashing, poison and cold damage.


Damage Resistances.

A Melancha is resistant to bludgeoning, fire, force, thunder and lightning damage.


Condition Immunities.

A Melancha is immune to all conditions that would not affect a typical non-sentient corporeal undead, all conditions that would not affect a ghost, all mind-effecting conditions and any grappling, restraining, paralyzing or incapacitating effect. A Melancha cannot be Controlled or Turned. A Melanchia cannot be stopped, unless it is permanently rended asunder.


Languages

A Melancha can speak any languages it knew in life, though it will likely not without good cause- preferring to cry or wail, or even haltingly and sadly sing to itself in an effort to stave off its own melancholy.


Skills

A Melancha has proficiency in any skill it knew in life, and gains +6 to all perception and investigation checks as it knows its haunting space better than any who have tried to live within it.


Senses

A Melancha gains Darkvision and Tremorsense up to 120', if it did not have them already. A Melancha has spent much time in a very small stretch of land, and knows its landscape like it knows sorrow- any small change, no matter how infinitesimal, can alert the creature. Similarly, darkness holds no surprises or secrets from the dead that are darker within.


Alignment

A Melancha remains as lawful or chaotic as it was in life, though by its very nature and desire it is likely now Evil. This is not a definitive alignment, but the most usual one.


Spellcasting, Feats and Powers.

A Melancha retains all spellcasting powers, all feats, and all spell-like powers it had in life, with the exception of spells and abilities granted by a non-evil deity or a paladin-like cause. Its spellcasting is now powered by Charisma, regardless of what it was (or they were) previously.


Traits[edit]

Body of Dust - A Melancha can move through any obstacle that would not impede a Tiny creature or larger, flowing around and through anything in the way, or over rough terrain. A Melancha's movement speed is 10 feet, and cannot be higher. A Melancha loses access to both being Incorporeal and any non-spell Flight ability, if it had them. A Melancha's initiative bonus is always 0, regardless of its ability scores or other bonuses. A Melancha is uniquely susceptible to acid damage, and suffers an additional 1d10 damage whenever acid damage is inflicted.

Aura of Despair - Any creature within (one hundred feet * Melancha's charisma bonus) of the Melancha must make a Constitution save vs. DC 14 each hour while within its radius of effect. On a success, the Aura does not affect that creature this hour. On a failure, the creature is Frightened and suffers one rank of Exhaustion, to a maximum of 3. The Aura cannot inflict levels of exhaustion higher than 3. Levels of exhaustion are not removed until the creature gains a Long Rest outside of the Aura's radius, or until it is removed magically.

Crying in the Mind - A Melancha is susceptible to psionic damage, and any time it suffers damage of that type it loses 1 point of Charisma. If a Melancha ever loses all its charisma through this method, it loses this template and becomes what it was previously until 2d4 weeks have passed.

Sympathetic State - Any non-evil sentient creature glimpsing the Melancha while not in combat must roll a Wisdom save vs. DC 16 or immediately become Charmed, overcome with sorrow and remorse that such a thing exists. Creatures Charmed in this way will begin attacking or subverting their fellows while weeping (depending on what they believe to be most effective with their skillset, and subterfuge is possible), mistakenly believing that the Melancha requires suitable corpses to be given a 'second chance'. This is a mind-effecting power that is removed by any spell that would normally protect against or remove Charmed statuses. Being Charmed in this way does not remove any effects caused by the Aura of Despair.

Anchored to this place - A Melancha cannot move more than a half-mile away from the place of its death.

This Isn't Life - Slaying a Melancha is no simple matter. It requires first determining one great sorrow of the monster and then rectifying it, whatever that may be. Secondly, the Melancha must be bested in combat until its form disperses (either through loss of HP or Charisma). Finally, one must explain to the spirit what sorrow has been rectified, and offer the spirit some form of solace (be it a gesture of remembrance, a gravestone, or similar). If this is not done, the spectre will return to full power within 2d4 weeks. If this is done, and the Melancha is appeased, it will never return again- passing on from this life entirely. Attempting to resurrect the Melancha before it is disposed of properly does not resurrect the Melancha, but instead grants 2d10 temporary hit points to the monster (if it is manifest) or causes it to immediately re-manifest as if its 2d4 weeks have passed (if it is not manifest).

Attempting to resurrect the Melancha after it has been properly disposed of? ...Well, that depends on whether the Melancha wants its second chance, doesn't it. At that point, it's only dead- not unnatural.

Actions[edit]

Choke Hope - With a frosty, dusty touch (touch attack), the Melancha pushes some of its own sorrow into a victim's mind in a feeble effort to reduce its own sensation of pain, forcing a sentient creature to make a Wisdom save vs. DC 15. If they succeed the save, they are Stunned for 1d4 rounds. If they fail the save, the creature will immediately be overcome with a wracking sense of loss- roll a 1d4. On a roll of 4, the creature does nothing until spoken to by a party member or friend, and are no longer considered to be actively engaging in combat. On a roll of 3, the creature falls prone, and does nothing until spoken to by a party member or friend, and are no longer considered to be actively engaging in combat. On a roll of 2, The creature suffers all of the above, but is screaming so loudly that only a touch from those same people will shake them back into cognizance. On a roll of 1, the creature will attempt to kill themselves on their next turn via whatever easy method is at their disposal, and immediately fall into death saves. A creature that has failed to save against Choke Hope cannot be affected again by it until the beginning of their next turn.

Keening Wail - With a cry of soul-rending despair, all within earshot must make a Constitution save vs. DC 12. On a success, the target(s) become Deafened for 1d4 rounds. On a failure, the target(s) immediately gain 1 rank of exhaustion.

Draw Life - Breathing deeply in a vain attempt to steal what life her opponents have permanently for its own, the Melancha forces all living creatures within a 25' radius to make a Charisma save vs. DC 20. On a success, a character loses 1 level of Exhaustion, and the character feels a renewed sense of self, and of being alive. On a failure, the character suffers 1 point of necrotic damage equal to 20 minus the end result of their save, to a maximum of 10. Similarly, the Melancha regains 1 hp for each creature that fails the save, its dusty white form becoming temporarily more lifelike and colorful for a handful of seconds. Any creature in Death Saves while under the effect of this ability instead is considered to have failed an additional death save. This ability may be used once every three turns.


CR Calculation[edit]

-Do make suggestions here, I'm not the best at figuring this out. As this is not something you will want your characters to see a lot of (it's best as a one-off boss for a spooky horror subplot), I expect it to be something quite high.


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