Dread Crucifixion Spirit Creature (CR +3)

Like normal crucifixion spirits (see Tome of Horrors Complete by Frog God Games), dread crucifixion spirits are the ghostly remains of living beings executed through crucifixion. Their souls or spirits having not entirely departed the Material Plane, have risen to seek vengeance on the living, particularly on clerics or other divine spellcasters whom they blame for forsaking them and allowing them to die in such ghastly manners.

The appearance of a dread crucifixion spirit is often of a gaunt and semi-translucent creature, sometimes appearing with a translucent version of what it was crucified upon, but it always bears the stigmata of being affixed to that object. Its face is twisted in eternal pain and its eyes flicker with a reddish glow.

Creating a Dread Crucifixion Spirit Creature

“Dread crucifixion spirit” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature whose body could be subject to crucifixion (for example one could not crucify a gibbering mouther). A dread crucifixion spirit uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: +3

Alignment: Always chaotic evil.

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead with the appropriate augmented subtype, plus the incorporeal subtype if the base creature did not already have it. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to d8s.

Speed: A dread crucifixion spirit loses all the base creature’s speeds and gains a fly speed equal to double the base creature’s highest speed, with perfect maneuverability.

Armor Class: The base creature’s armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses no longer apply, but the dread crucifixion spirit gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to its Cha bonus, or +1, whichever is higher.

Defensive Abilities: The dread crucifixion spirit gains the incorporeal ability, and all of the qualities and immunities granted by the undead type. DR 5/— (if CR 6 or higher increase to 10, if CR 12 or higher increase to 15). Resist acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic 10 (if CR 6 or higher increase to 20, if CR 12 or higher increase to 30). SR 11 + CR.

Attack: The dread crucifixion spirit losses all the base creature’s natural attacks and its weapon and armor proficiencies. The dread crucifixion spirit gains a primary incorporeal touch attack. A dread crucifixion spirit uses its primary incorporeal touch attack when making an attack action. Because an incorporeal creature has no Strength score, its Dexterity modifier rather than its Strength modifier applies to all its attack rolls.

Damage: The dread crucifixion spirit’s incorporeal touch attacks deal negative energy plus a supernatural paralysis effect, a successful Fort save (DC10 +1/2 the dread crucifixion spirit’s HD + its Cha modifier) negates the paralysis. The damage taken and the duration of the paralysis are based on dread crucifixion spirit’s CR:

CR Damage Duration
3-5 1d4 1d2 rounds
6-11 1d8 1d4 rounds
12-17 2d8 2d4 rounds
18+ 4d8 2d8 rounds

Special Abilities: A dread crucifixion spirit creature retains all the special abilities of the base creature, and gains the special abilities as described below.

Command Crucifixion Spirits (Su): As a free action, a dread crucifixion spirit can automatically command all normal crucifixion spirits within 30 feet (as the command undead spell [this ignores their normal immunity]). Normal crucifixion spirits never attack a dread crucifixion spirit unless compelled.

Create Spawn (Su): Any creature with a Charisma of 15 or higher that is killed by a dread crucifixion spirit’s dread crucify soul rises as a crucifixion spirit in 1d4 rounds. A dread shadow created in this manner is under the command of its creator (as dominate monster [this ignores their normal immunity]) and remains so until either it or the creator is destroyed.

Dread Crucify Soul (Su): A number of times per day equal to the dread crucifixion spirit’s Charisma modifier (minimum +1), as swift action, a dread crucifixion spirit can point at a single living target within 5 ft. per HD and crucify its soul. This requires the dread crucifixion spirit to succeed at a ranged touch attack. If successful, the target’s soul is ripped from its body, which collapses in a heap on the ground. The target’s soul appears as a translucent copy of the victim and is suspended above the spot its body collapsed, crucified in midair to a translucent, shaped structure identical to the dread spirit’s form of crucifixion, the soul held in place by translucent spikes or nails. The victim is not dead, though its body appears dead, and is visible to all those viewing it.

A crucified soul cannot be attacked or affected by anything, cannot take any actions (other than trying to escape, see below), and experiences excruciating pain that deals a number of negative levels to it based on its CR in the round it is crucified, and one negative level each round thereafter.

CR Initial Negative Levels
3-5 1
6-11 2
12-17 3
18+ 4

The Fortitude save to remove a negative level has a DC of 10 +1/2 the dread crucifixion spirit’s HD + its Cha modifier. A dread crucifixion spirit does not need to concentrate on this ability for it to continue to affect a target. It can direct attacks against a different opponent.

A crucified creature can attempt to escape each round by making a Will save (same DC). If successful, the creature’s soul is freed from its torment and returns to its body in the same round. The target is stunned for one round, but afterwards can act normally.

A creature slain with this ability cannot be returned to life except through the casting of a wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell. Even then, there is a 50% chance that such magic fails. If the check fails, the creature cannot be restored to life by mortal magic.

Immune to Positive Energy (Ex): A dread crucifixion spirit takes no damage from positive energy such as that created by, but not limited to, channel energy and cure spells. It is also immune to effects that mimic channel energy or are based on the channel energy ability (such as turn undead and command undead).

Improved Rejuvenation (Su): In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a dread crucifixion spirit by simple combat: the “destroyed” spirit restores itself in 1d4 hours. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. The only way to permanently destroy a dread crucifixion spirit 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, but generally involves supplication or asking for forgiveness by clerics or other divine spellcasters of a particular deity or ethos. The destruction of its creator if it’s a spawn of another dread crucifixion spirit, etc. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research (minimum Knowledge (religion) DC 20 +the dread crucifixion spirit’s HD + its Wis modifier, and should be created specifically for each individual dread crucifixion spirit by the GM).

Tortuous Trample (Su): Once every 1d4 rounds, the dread crucifixion spirit may affect creatures with its Dread Crucify Soul ability (see above) and paralysis ability, simply by passing through them. As a full-round action during its turn, it can move up to double its speed in a straight line. Any creature it moves through can attempt either an attack of opportunity but at a –4 penalty, or a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the dread crucifixion spirit’s HD +its Dex modifier) to avoid the attack. A creature that fails to avoid the tortuous trample must succeed or be subject to Dread Crucify Soul and paralysis abilities. A trampling spirit can only affect each target once per round; no matter how many times its movement takes it through a target creature. A spirit cannot pass through a creature with ghost touch armor or a ghost touch shield. This ability is still limited by the number of times per day a dread crucifixion spirit can use its Dread Crucify Soul ability.

Tormenting Gaze (Su): Any creature within 30 ft. of a dread crucifixion spirit must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC10 +1/2 the dread crucifixion spirit’s HD + its Cha modifier) or suffer the tortuous pain of crucifixion, which imposes a penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks. A subject that fails its save cannot be affected by the same spirit’s tormenting gaze again for 24 hours. The amount of the penalty and its duration is based on the subject’s CR:

CR Penalty Duration
3-5 -2 1 minute
6-11 -4 1 hour
12-17 -6 8 hours
18+ -8 24 hours

Unnatural Aura (Su): Animals do not willingly approach a dread crucifixion spirit unless the animal’s master makes a DC 25 Handle Animal, Ride, or wild empathy check.

Abilities: Increase the base creature's abilities as follows: Dex +6 (+3 to incorporeal touch attacks; AC and touch AC, Initiative, and Ref saves. +3 to Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks, add +3 to any of the base creature’s Dexterity-based DCs), Wis +8 (+4 to Will saves, +4 to Heal, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive and Survival checks, add +4 to any of the base creature’s Wisdom-based DCs), Cha +10 (+5 to Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device; attempts to influence others, and Channel Energy DCs, +5 to any of the base creature’s Charisma-based DCs). As an incorporeal creature, a dread crucifixion spirit lacks a Strength score, and as an undead creature, it has no Constitution score (it uses Charisma instead).

Feats: Dread crucifixion spirit creatures gain Dodge, Eschew Materials, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Mobility, Spring Attack, Toughness, and Weapon Focus (touch) as bonus feats.

Skills: Dread crucifixion spirit creatures gain Fly as a class skill and a number of bonus ranks in that skill equal to its HD. Dread crucifixion spirits have a +8 racial bonus on Fly and Perception skill checks.

Organization: solitary

Treasure: double standard (from the collapsed bodies it has created)

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