Hanging from a tree branch by its bent legs, the green skinned humanoid looks at you sarcastically. It flips in the air and leaps down from its perch, grinning and staring at you all the while. It looks like it is some kind of green vampire or ghoul, with short spiky hair and red eyes. The creature is naked.
Monster Encyclopaedia II: The Dark Bestiary
Author J. C. Alvarez
Series Monster Encyclopaedia
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2005
The vetala is a wicked spirit inhabiting dead trees and graveyards (preferably dead trees in graveyards). Vetalas are very wise and smart beings; they love to mock and harass mortals, playing grim and often deadly jokes on those passing through their domains. Second to vetala comes their passion for conversation and mind games, which often end in the ridicule or death of a mortal or two.
A vetala looks like a monstrous humanoid with green skin, red eyes and pointed ears; their clawed hands and feet are oriented backwards. Their ability to possess and animate corpses and their bestial physical features have led many to the belief that vetalas are somehow related to vampires. Vetalas rarely appear in their true forms, preferring to manifest through their undead possession ability. They do not always wear clothes; when they do, they favour loose pants and shirts or black cloaks.
Vetalas speak Common, Draconic and Sylvan.
|Hit Dice||8d6+16 (44 hp)|
|Speed||40 ft. (8 squares), Climb 30 ft., Fly 40 ft. (good)|
|AC||22 (+5 Dexterity, +4 deflection, +3 natural), touch 19, flat-footed 17|
|Attack||Claw +7 melee (1d4+3)|
|Full Attack||2 claws +7 melee (1d4+3) and bite +2 melee (1d4+3)|
|Space/Reach||5 ft. /5 ft.|
|Special Attacks||Possession, song, spells|
|Special Qualities||Damage reduction 10/good or magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Low-Light Vision, Spell Resistance 19|
|Saves||Fort +4, Ref +13, Will +11|
|Abilities||Strength 16, Dexterity 21, Constitution 14, Intelligence 17, Wisdom 17, Charisma 18|
|Skills||Balance +24, Bluff +15, Climb +22, Diplomacy +17, Disguise +15 (+17 when acting in character), Escape Artist +27, Intimidate +6, Knowledge |
(Arcana) +14, Listen +14, Spot +14, Rope Use+5 (+7 with knots)
|Feats||Iron Will, lightning reflexes, Skill Focus (Escape Artist)|
|Alignment||Usually chaotic evil|
|Advancement||9-16 HD (Medium)|
Despite its mean disposition, a vetala does not always go all the way to killing its opponents; quite often it is content with torturing and humiliating them. For this it uses its spell-like abilities and undead possession power, later employing its skills to escape retribution. It rarely enters actual combat, seeing it as an unsubtle way of solving problems. When it does, it at least attempts to make sure its opponent is at a clear disadvantage
Possession (Su): As a standard action, a vetala can enter and animate the dead body of a Small or Medium humanoid. The possessed corpse appears as a typical undead creature, such as a zombie, skeleton or ghoul, though retaining enough of the features it had in life to confound and terrify its living friends and relatives (great fun at family gatherings and parties!).
The vetala physically and spiritually enters the body of the possessed corpse, retaining its Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, base attack bonus and base save bonuses, plus all of its special attacks. The vetala loses all of its special qualities while inside a host body, except for its Spell Resistance. The host body has the Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities and automatic abilities it had in life; it does not have any of its previous extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like abilities. A host body with extra limbs does not allow the vetala to make more attacks (or more advantageous twoweapon attacks) than normal.
If the host body is slain, the vetala leaves it unharmed. Possession of a host is not possible if a protection from evil or similar spell is in effect on the dead body at the moment.
Song (Su): The song of a vetala can drive listeners crazy. As a full-round action, a vetala can emit a song requiring all living, intelligent creatures within 60 feet of the vetala to succeed at a Will save (DC 18, Charisma based) each round or become either panicked or confused (as the spell) for that round. The vetala may choose whether its song is aimed at causing panic or confusion.
Spells: A vetala can cast arcane spells as a 7th level wizard. Save DCs are Intelligence based.
Typical Wizard Spells Memorised (4/5/4/3/1; save DC 13 + spell level):
- 0 – dancing lights, daze, message, prestidigitation;
- 1st – disguise self, expeditious retreat, obscuring mist, sleep, ventriloquism;
- 2nd- command undead, daze monster, invisibility, scare;
- 3rd – displacement, ray of exhaustion, suggestion;
- 4th – fear.
Skills: A vetala receives a +8 racial bonus to all Balance, Climb and Escape Artist checks; it gains a +8 racial bonus on grapple checks. It can always take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.