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Ghosts are the spectral remnants of intelligent beings who, for one reason or another, cannot rest easily in their graves.

It greatly resembles its corporeal form in life, but in some cases the spiritual form is somewhat altered.

Ghost 5e Stat Block

AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator

Ghosts are departed mortal souls who wear chains (or other visual representations) representing their sins in life. Though ethereal, they can interact with physical objects. They might haunt locations, though many move freely. Not all ghosts have unfinished business, and some are unable to resolve past grievances over time.


Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom or Charisma score (your choice) increases by 1.

Age. To a ghost, age is irrelevant. Ghosts can linger for hundreds of years.

Alignment. A ghost has been allowed to return to life to atone for past sins or to deal with unfinished business. Ghosts strike a balance in focusing on personal goals and following the laws of society so as not to transgress further. Most ghosts are neutral, and many are good or try to be. Nobler spirits try to create a world better than they left it. Some ghosts are bitter about being trapped on the Mortal Plane and become poltergeists; such spirits are cruel and thus chaotic evil.

Rarity. Rare.

Size. A ghost is the size the creature was in life but nearly weightless except for the burden of their sins, manifested as spiritual fetters. Your size is typically Small or Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Ectoplasmic Movement. Double the distance you can jump. Your spiritual body also allows you to reduce the cost of moving through difficult terrain by 2 feet per foot you move. When you crawl, you can do so at full speed. In addition, you can enter spaces small enough to admit Tiny creatures without squeezing.

Floating Ectoplasm. You know the mage hand cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast feather fall, targeting yourself. You regain the use of this spell each time you finish a short or long rest. At 5th level, you can cast levitate, targeting yourself, once per day. When you reach 7th level, you regain the use of levitate each time you finish a short or long rest. Wisdom or Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells, and you need no material components for them.

Living Spirit. You are a humanoid, but your undead nature gives you the following traits.

  • You are immune to disease, and you have resistance to poison damage and damage you take from falling. Also, you can add your proficiency bonus to saving throws against being poisoned. If you have proficiency in such a saving throw, your proficiency bonus with it is doubled against being poisoned.
  • You need not eat, drink, or breathe.
  • You are vulnerable to lightning damage, which severely disrupts your ectoplasmic body.
  • Although you can be healed as if you’re humanoid, and the raise dead spell works on you (returning you to “life” as a ghost), you are otherwise considered to be undead whenever it is detrimental for you.

Spectral Form. Using your action, you can alter the vibration of your ectoplasmic body, becoming incorporeal for a time along with everything you’re wearing and carrying. This form lasts while you focus on it, as if you are concentrating on a spell. In it, you have a flying speed of 30 feet, you can hover, and you can enter and occupy the space of another creature.

Other creatures can enter and occupy your space. You can move through solid objects and creatures, but each foot you move when doing so costs you 1 extra foot of movement. The surface of an object must remain within your reach, and if you end your turn within a creature or object, you take 2d6 psychic damage and return to the point from which you entered that creature or object. In this form, you can’t manipulate objects, attack, or cast spells, and objects that transformed with you can’t be interacted with. You can use this ability again only after you finish a long rest.

Languages. You speak, read, and write Common and Shadowtongue.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tales of Arcana Race Guide © 2021 Arcanomicon, LLC Author(s) Matt Knicl, Chris S. Sims


Ghost – AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator

‘Ghost’ is an acquired template that can be added to any aberration, animal, dragon, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, or plant. The creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature) must have a Charisma score of at least 6.

A ghost uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

  • Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead. Do not recalculate the creature’s base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. It gains the incorporeal subtype. Size is unchanged.
  • Hit Dice: All current and future Hit Dice become d12s.
  • Speed: Ghosts have a Fly speed of 30 feet, unless the base creature has a higher Fly speed, with perfect maneuverability.
  • Armour Class: Natural armour is the same as the base creature’s but applies only to ethereal encounters. When the ghost manifests (see below), its natural armour bonus is +0, but it gains a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier or +1, whichever is higher.
  • Attack: A ghost retains all the attacks of the base creature, although those relying on physical contact do not affect creatures that are not ethereal.
  • Full Attack: A ghost retains all the attacks of the base creature, although those relying on physical contact do not affect creatures that are not ethereal.
  • Damage: Against ethereal creatures, a ghost uses the base creature’s damage values. Against nonethereal creatures, the ghost usually cannot deal physical damage at all but can use its special attacks, if any, when it manifests (see below).
  • Special Attacks: A ghost retains all the special attacks of the base creature, although those relying on physical contact do not affect nonethereal creatures. The ghost also gains a manifestation ability plus one to three other special attacks as described below. The save DC against a special attack is equal to 10 + 1/2 ghost’s HD + ghost’s Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted.
  • Corrupting Gaze (Su): A ghost can blast living beings with a glance, at a range of up to 30 feet. Creatures that meet the ghost’s gaze must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 2d10 points of damage and 1d4 points of Charisma damage.
  • Corrupting Touch (Su): A ghost that hits a living target with its incorporeal touch attack deals 1d6 points of damage. Against ethereal opponents, it adds its Strength modifier to attack and damage rolls. Against nonethereal opponents, it adds its Dexterity modifier to attack rolls only.
  • Draining Touch (Su): A ghost that hits a living target with its incorporeal touch attack drains 1d4 points from any one ability score it selects. On each such successful attack, the ghost heals 5 points of damage to itself. Against ethereal opponents, it adds its Strength modifier to attack rolls only. Against nonethereal opponents, it adds its Dexterity modifier to attack rolls only.
  • Frightful Moan (Su): A ghost can emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic necromantic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by the same ghost’s moan for 24 hours.
  • Horrific Appearance (Su): Any living creature within 60 feet that views a ghost must succeed on a Fortitude save or immediately take 1d4 points of Strength damage, 1d4 points of Dexterity damage, and 1d4 points of Constitution damage. A creature that successfully saves against this effect cannot be affected by the same ghost’s horrific appearance for 24 hours.
  • Malevolence (Su): Once per round, an ethereal ghost can merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a Magic Jar spell (caster level 10th or the ghost’s Hit Dice, whichever is higher), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the ghost must be manifested and it must  try move into the target’s space; moving into the target’s space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 15 + ghost’s Charisma modifier). A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same ghost’s malevolence for 24 hours, and the ghost cannot enter the target’s space. If the save fails, the ghost vanishes into the target’s body.
  • Manifestation (Su): Every ghost has this ability. A ghost dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When a ghost manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. A manifested ghost can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. A manifested ghost can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armour. A manifested ghost always moves silently. A manifested ghost can strike with its touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon (see Ghostly Equipment, below). A manifested ghost remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. A manifested ghost can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ghost’s incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal
  • When a spellcasting ghost is not manifested and is on the Ethereal Plane, its spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When a spellcasting ghost manifests, its spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. A manifested ghost’s touch spells don’t work on nonethereal targets.
  • A ghost has two home planes, the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. It is not considered extraplanar when on either of these planes.
  • Telekinesis (Su): A ghost can use telekinesis as a standard action (caster level 12th or equal to the ghost’s HD, whichever is higher). When a ghost uses this power, it must
    wait 1d4 rounds before using it again.
  • Special Qualities: A ghost has all the special qualities of the base creature as well as those described below.
  • Rejuvenation (Su): In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a ghost through simple combat: The ·destroyed· spirit will often restore itself in 2d4 days. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. A ghost that would otherwise be destroyed returns to its old haunts with a successful level check (1d20 + ghost’s HD) against DC 16. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a ghost for sure is to determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research.
  • Turn Resistance (Ex): A ghost has +4 turn resistance.
  • Abilities: Same as the base creature, except that the ghost has no Constitution score, and its Charisma score increases by +4.
  • Skills: Ghosts have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Search, and Spot checks. Otherwise same as the base creature.
  • Environment: Any, often as base creature.
  • Organization: Solitary, gang (2-4), or mob (7-12).
  • Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2.
  • Treasure: None.
  • Alignment: Any.
  • Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +5.

Ghostly Equipment

When a ghost forms, all its equipment and carried items usually become ethereal along with it. In addition, the ghost retains 2d4 items that it particularly valued in life (provided they are not in another creature’s possession). The equipment works normally on the Ethereal Plane but passes harmlessly through material objects or creatures. A weapon of +1 or better magical enhancement, however, can harm material creatures when the ghost manifests, but any such attack has a 50% chance to fail unless the weapon is a ghost touch weapon (just as magic weapons can fail to harm the ghost).

The original material items remain behind, just as the ghost’s physical remains do. If another creature seizes the original, the ethereal copy fades away. This loss invariably angers the ghost, who stops at nothing to return the item to its original resting place.


Evandar_TAybara of the Wizards Community forums.
On this Thread
Henry Fuseli – Hamlet and his father’s Ghost (1780-1785, ink and pencil on cardboard, 38 Ă— 49,5 cm)

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can learn more about ghosts. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Religion)
12This incorporeal creature is a ghost, the remnants of one who cannot rest in peace after death. This result reveals all undead and incorporeal traits.
17A ghost lies on the Ethereal Plane and cannot normally interact with the Material Plane. However, it can manifest itself in order to do so. While manifested, a ghost can sometimes be harmed by corporeal sources and magic.
22A defeated ghost reforms 2d4 days after its “destruction” – the only way to permanently defeat it is to find out the reason why it is unable to pass on.
27This result reveals the reason for the ghost’s existence.
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