Phantom, Variant (5e Race)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: This borders on making your character either too ghost-like and nonexistent or too powerful and being able to try and possess anything they want as many times as they want. As written, the mechanics are too loose and wrapped solely in flavor. Look to the soul phantom for how this might be done with better balance.

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Phantoms are a people from between the mortal plane and the astral plane, who have died a gruesome death.

Physical Description[edit]

Ghastly Figures

Appearing to be visages of the dead, these people certainly aren't easy on the eyes. They are ghoulish looking beings that stick out like sore thumbs among the living, with them being made of a ghostly and transparent essence, rather than meat and bone. Though to the living, the most terrifying part of these beings is their scar. A wound most prominent in their body that looks horrifyingly real, like staring at the corpse it once belonged to just as it died. Orcs, humans, elves, dwarves, it does not matter race nor creed, these figures are very real and they are not to be witnessed by those of weak stomach.


Gruesome Curse

When a person dies, especially in a gruesome way, they have a chance to manifest a phantom. Their soul becomes trapped into a form that looks most ghastly, looking like that of a ghost with the scar of their death making them stand out most prominently. Some upon seeing this form, might be horrified, wishing for a death they cannot bring to themselves.

Semblance of Mortality

While supernatural and mysterious, they are not entirely ethereal. They are in fact mortal, meaning physical and magical attacks can still harm them, but they may interact with the world. When in their true form, their phantasmal presence, they are most vulnerable. If they are killed by any means, they will banished to an alternate plane of existence from which they cannot escape.


Animal Spirits

Most commonly, Phantoms who are of a good nature possess the bodies of Animals and are often believed to be Animal Spirits by those who are assisted by them. Owls that give wisdom to weary travelers, eagles that lead adventurers to nearby towns, or wolves that protect lost children from a vicious pack of mangy dogs. Often, these good willed phantoms are not interested in their own selfish wants, however these kinds of phantoms are incredibly rare.

Phantasmal Tricksters

Malevolent phantoms are the most common of these phantasmal apparitions, playing games with the living or causing havoc and misery. Some possess corpses and terrorize towns, while others commit crime and make people suffer just as they have. However, often these phantoms are found, caught, and banished, so most tend to merely mess with the living in smaller, more undetectable ways. Stealing belongings, causing people to say things they don't mean, and other such mischievous actions.

Phantom Names[edit]

Scars of how a phantom dies often remain after death, and they usually choose to name themselves after those scars. A phantom with a dagger sticking in their shoulder may choose to call themselves Dagger, whilst a phantom that burns with a ghostly flame and burns on their ghostly form may call themselves Blaze.

Scar names: Spark, Dagger, Fletch, Maul, Blaze, Douse, Venom

Phantom Traits[edit]

Life goes on even after death, but to what extent is a mystery.- Yulon the Wise, on the subject of the Afterlife
Ability Score Increase. Same as your former race.
Age. Phantoms can live as long as forever, but often move onto the astral plane at one point or fade from existence for one reason or another.
Alignment. Phantoms typically are of an evil or neutral nature, often seeking only the answer to their own selfish questions.
Size. You take on the size and shape of either the body you possess or the race you once were in life. Your largest possible size is Large.
Speed. Your base walking speed is the same as the race before your death, plus you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
Darkvision. You have 60 ft. of Darkvision.
Spectral Body. The interaction of a Phantom with the material world is complicated, Phantoms are unable to touch the beings and objects of the material plane, but the opposite also applies. You are considered Invisible for all types of living creatures as they are able to hear only the sounds produced by you being generally moans, dragging chains or any other sound characteristic of Phantoms, but you can become visible whenever you want to a number of beings equal to 1 + your Wisdom modifier, creatures under the effect of see invisibility and true seeing spells can see you normally. You can traverse and occupy the same space as any object or creature and you cannot hold any object or equip any equipment or armor, and any non-magical attack simply goes through you without doing any damage, but you also go through creatures when you try to hit them in a physical way. Your creature type is undead instead of humanoid. You don't need to eat, drink, breathe or sleep. You are vulnerable to radiant damage but resistant to necrotic damage.
Possession. As an action, you may hide inside of a body, living or dead. You have no control over your host, living or dead, but are capable of communicating with a living host via telepathy. Separately, once per day you may take possession of a body you are hiding in, given that it is one of medium size or smaller. The host must make a Wisdom Saving Throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. Should the creature fail, you will have successfully taken control of their body. This creature can attempt retake control of their body by making another Wisdom Saving Throw once every hour. This process is not needed for possessing a corpse, but depending on the quality of the body you inhabit people may think you simply gross and smelly, or an undead monster wreaking havoc on the town. Your ability scores will remain the same, regardless of the creature's or corpse's..
Haunt. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write in Common and Abyssal.

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