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Corpse Candle

Corpse Candle
Corpse Candle – AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator

A pale man with hollow eyes looks up impassively from beneath the rippling surface of the dark water, a dim glow gives his form a ghostly translucence.

Corpse candles are formed when creatures are sacrificed by ritualistic drowning to a sea or water deity. The fear of dying coupled with the hatred of the ones performing the ritual infuses the victims’ spirit with energy that often lingers in the area and empowers the corpse with unlife, raising it as a corpse candle. Corpse candles hate the living, and have a particular dislike for clerics. Corpse candles are bound to the area of their death in the sense that they cannot leave that particular body of water (be it a sea, river, lake, or ocean).

A corpse candle appears as a translucent image of its living self. Its body shows little, if any, signs of death, though as its ‘ages’, the corpse candle’s translucence seems to grow faint and fade (as if a light were burning out). Some sages have researched this phenomenon and believe that corpse candles can actually die of old age. Perhaps some remnant of their former lives binds them to the mortal world or perhaps sages are just reaching for answers to some unknown equation.

Corpse candles detest the living and seek to lure wayfarers to their doom using trickery and misdirection. Corpse candles use their ability of deception to lure unsuspecting victims to their doom. When a corpse candle successfully fascinates a creature, it waits until the creature draws near and then attacks relentlessly with its incorporeal claws.

Corpse candles are particularly fond of luring sailors, swimmers, and other seafarers to their watery graves by first fascinating them, draining sapping them of their strength, and finally allowing them to drown as the lights sap their vitality. Drowned victims are left as food for any aquatic carnivores in the area.

Corpse Candle

Corpse Candle
Corpse Candle – AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 55 (10d8 + 10)
Speed fly 50 ft., swim 50 ft.

6 (-2)15 (+2)13 (+1)13 (+1)13 (+1)17 (+3)

Skills Deception +5, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Infernal
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Incorporeal Movement. The corpse candle can move through other creatures and objects in a body of water as if they were¬†difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object or outside its body of water.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the corpse candle has disadvantage on¬†attack¬†rolls, as well as on¬†Wisdom¬†(Perception) checks that rely on sight.


  • Watery Touch.¬†Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach ft., one target.¬†Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) necrotic damage, and the target‚Äôs¬†Strength¬†score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its¬†Strength¬†to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or¬†long rest. A humanoid slain by this¬†attack¬†rises 24 hours later as a¬†zombie¬†unless the humanoid is restored to life or its body is destroyed.
  • Hypnotic Lights. The corpse candle creates a twisting, dancing pattern of ever-shifting colored lights in a 10-foot cube at a point it can see within 60 feet of itself. The pattern appears for a minute then vanishes. Each creature in the area who sees the pattern must succeed on a DC 13¬†Wisdom¬†saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes¬†charmed¬†for 1 minute. While¬†charmed, the creature is incapacitated and has a speed of 0. When a¬†charmed¬†creature takes damage it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on a success. A creature that starts its turn within the 10-foot cube of lights must succeed on a DC 13¬†Constitution¬†saving throw or the target‚Äôs¬†Constitution¬†score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its¬†Constitution¬†to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or¬†long rest.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Horrors¬†¬© 2018, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors: Kevin Baase, Erica Balsley, John ‚ÄúPexx‚ÄĚ Barnhouse, Christopher Bishop, Casey Christofferson, Jim Collura, Andrea Costantini, Jayson ‚ÄėRocky‚Äô Gardner, Zach Glazar, Meghan Greene, Scott Greene, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Ian S. Johnston, Bill Kenower, Patrick Lawinger, Rhiannon Louve, Ian McGarty, Edwin Nagy, James Patterson, Nathan Paul, Patrick N. Pilgrim, Clark Peterson, Anthony Pryor, Greg Ragland, Robert Schwalb, G. Scott Swift, Greg A. Vaughan, and Bill Webb


Corpse Candle
Corpse Candle – AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator

XP 1,600
NE Medium undead (incorporeal, water)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13


AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13 (+3 deflection, +2 Dexterity, +1 dodge)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +5; Ref +4; Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits


Speed fly 50 ft. (good), swim 50 ft.
Melee incorporeal touch +7 (1d6 Strength damage)
Special Attacks hypnotic lights


Strength -, Dexterity 15, Constitution -, Intelligence 13, Wisdom 13, Charisma 17
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 21
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative
Skills Bluff +10, Fly +16, Intimidate +13, Perception +13, Sense Motive +3,
Stealth +12, Swim +8

Languages Common, Infernal


Hypnotic Lights (Su)

The corpse candle possesses the ability to create a dancing, twisting pattern of ever-shifting lights that slowly change colors. The corpse candle can create these lights within 20 feet of itself, covering an area in a 10-foot radius spread (usually underwater). Creatures viewing the pattern within 50 feet must make a successful Will save (DC 18) or become fascinated. If the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by that corpse candle’s hypnotic lights for one day. The lights remain for as long as the corpse candle concentrates plus 1 minute. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

A fascinated victim moves toward the lights, taking the most direct route available at its normal movement rate. The creature avoids certain dangers (walking off a cliff, walking through fire, etc.) and skirts around such obstructions if possible, but it will swim towards the light if necessary, paying no heed to the need for air. If no path to the light is available, the fascination is broken. Any living creature within the area of light at the end of its turn takes 1d2 points of Constitution damage. This is a death effect.

Environment any aquatic
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Section 15: Copyright Notice – Tome of Horrors Complete

Corpse Candle from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene.

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