Author Topic: The Ghost Handbook: Making the most of your second life - by The_Mad_Linguist  (Read 10892 times)

Offline nijineko

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{This handbook was created by The_Mad_Linguist. I added a couple of useful things when I ported it over, which are notated.}


Some see death as the end.  Nowhere to go, moving on to the happy hunting grounds or the seven heavens or baator or whatever.  Not you.  No, you're far too invested to give up now.  With this guide, you'll soon realize that death was the best thing that ever happened to you.  After all, without those fleshy meats to hold you back, the world is your oyster. 

Allergic to oysters?  Not anymore.

Quote from: Ember the Monk
Woah, like, I feel all level appropriate and stuff.
That's the spirit!


There are two ways to play a ghost - either take a few levels of the savage progression, or take the actual template.  Both have advantages and disadvantages.  I might handle ghost brute and ghostly dragon templates as well, but they're not as good.  Not handling keening spirits from City of the Spider Queen, or the fake lame ghosts from ghostwalk.


Savage Progression (here)

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Note that the ghost savage progression, like the other web ones, is somewhat special - you don't have to take the whole thing at once.
Quote
Characters are not required to complete all the levels of a given template class in uninterrupted succession. For example, a character who takes a level of wereboar could then take a level of fighter and a level of rogue (or any other combination of other class levels) before taking another level of wereboar. A character must still take the first level of wereboar before taking the second, just as with a normal class.

Nijineko's Addition: It is also worth noting that the Savage Progressions bring the concept of breaking down creatures into levels from the hybrid 3.0/3.5 book Savage Species solidly into 3.5. Using the Savage Progressions as a guide to clarify the more obscure wordings of Savage Species, the combination of the two rulesets can be used to perform complete level breakdowns on any template (and race).




Full Template
The primary benefit of taking the full template is that you can select your ghost powers from sources other than those listed in the template class, and aren't limited to a major/minor power separation.  Changing your type with a feat is also less controversial for these guys.

Dungeon Magazine (130)
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Frostburn (frostfell ghosts)
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Ill Wind of Friezford (adventure, located here)
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Libris Mortis(page 151)
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Monsters of Faerun (88)
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FEATS


Taint feats
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Ghost power enhancing feats
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Type-changing feats
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Misc feats
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Ghostwalk [Ghost] feats can be taken by any creature, living or dead, but can only be used by "ghosts unfettered by a physical body". depending on interpretation, this could apply to an Unbodied 10 (psionic prestige class), any similar ability, someone using the ghostform spell, or any other incorporeal undead. Living creatures with [Ghost] feats simply cannot use them when not a ghost. These feats can be used to add abilities to your ghost character or cohort which they do not otherwise receive. Also, some feats are in a chain with lesser and greater version. A DM might allow a character to qualify for a feat that they already have the equivalent ability for, instead of having to take one or more of the lesser feats. ***(added by nijineko)

The feats are:
(click to show/hide)
***(added by nijineko)





Classes and stuff

LA Buyoff Trickery    (Nijineko's comment: For a full analysis of LA buyoff trickery, see the LA mini-handbook here.)

The level adjustment buyoff rules are rather vague, but basically any way you interpret them makes them highly exploitable.  Here are the three most common LA buyoff interpretations, and how to use them to buyoff your ghost savage progression most effectively
A) Total Historical LA buyoff.  Basically, look at your total LA, including any LA you've previously bought off.  Then, multiply it by three.  That level, and every three after it, is the level at which you can buy off level adjustments.  Decent RAW support, but the problem is it doesn't tell you what happens if you acquire a template at higher levels.
How to exploit: take one level of ghost before level 3.  Buy it off.  Take your second level of ghost before level 6.  Buy it off.  Et cetera.
B) Deletion LA buyoff: If you have multiple sources of LA, each is bought off separately.  A source of LA fully bought off is ignored.
How to exploit: take one level of ghost at level 3.  Buy it off.  Take one level of ghost at level 3.  Buy it off... et cetera.  Personally, I don't like this interpretation at all, and I think it's barely tenuously supported.
C) Acquisition LA buyoff: Whenever you get a template, look at your current level.  Use the chart relative to your current level to determine how long it will take until you can start buying it off.
How to exploit: Ideally, you'd treat this as (A), getting the template as soon as possible (when it costs fewer xp).  Extremely punishing to people getting templates at later levels.
D) Catchup LA buyoff: The 3/6/9 cutoffs are the minimum levels necessary to buy a template off.  So if you acquire a LA+2 template at level 10, you can spend your next two levels buying it off.  Probably the fairest of the lot, and decent RAW support, this is the one actually use.
How to exploit: Buy off as soon as you can.  This has the side effect of making everyone level 3-6 probably have a LA+1 template, and everyone 9+ have LA+2 of templates, but honestly I think that's probably an OK effect, since dudes gaining power also gaining better bodies is a mythic thing.

Prestige Progression Trickery
No level adjustment buyoff?  No problem!  If you can't buy off the level adjustment from the savage progression, you can still stay ahead of the curve by using one of the full advancement prestige classes.
For instance, you could take one level of the savage progression, then pick up a legacy item (from Weapons of Legacy, naturally) and continue as a Legacy Champion, progressing the ghost template class.

Similarly, you can take levels of Uncanny Trickster (Complete Scoundrel) for the same effect.

You'll get hit dice, saves, and skill points for those savage progression levels.  Way to go.


Master of the Unseen Hand
For those who want to push their telekinesis to the limit, there's no better class.  While ghosts don't (easily) get access to the gamebreaking combination of chain spell and full attack telekinesis, there's still synergy enough provided you don't care about casting spells.  And honestly, if you wanted to be a full caster, you wouldn't take LA.
The breakpoint here is probably at level 4; with improved violent thrust you significantly increase your TK damage and frequency, and Telekinetic flight lets you reposition your allies with a move action.  Fling Skyward is lame since Violent Thrust already lets you fling creatures straight up.  It's actually worse than getting no class feature, since Fling Skyward does it worse.


The nightstalker base class variant of the mystic base class from Dragonlance gains three ghost cohorts at various levels. iirc, this is independent from Leadership and related. the cohort ghosts are explicitly called out as gaining free class levels along with the attached character. if you do not wish to play a ghost, but wish to have one in your party, this might be for you or your cohort. ***(added by nijineko)


Items

Ring of Manifestation (Ghostwalk, 10k).  Unlike other ghostwalk items, this isn't limited to the ectoplasmic degenerates who call themselves ghosts.  You use it, you're no longer incorporeal.  If you like touching people, buy this ring.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 02:38:00 PM by nijineko »
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https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dbmkg8efcbn4eak/AABSjyTbZIEDdIWm0I_uVFkpa?dl=0 The Archive.


Offline nijineko

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Rules quote on the tainted feats being four not two please

sorry, what? i don't have that book. could you be more specific please?
http://crystalballsoft.com/cblite.html  The best dice roller on the planet, bar none. Read the FAQ to see why.

https://www.box.com/s/du6s5uysdwfony9dfd3p  The Official Complete Psionic Errata.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dbmkg8efcbn4eak/AABSjyTbZIEDdIWm0I_uVFkpa?dl=0 The Archive.

Offline phaedrusxy

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Since I didn't see a discussion thread for this, posting here.

The Choke Hold feat could be great fun for a ghost who aspires to be a Dark Lord of the Sith. It's basically like Reaping Mauler as a feat, but better. May or may not work with Scorpion's Grasp for even more fun (qualifying with no Str score might be hard, but since you have one while ethereal (right?) maybe not...). I'm working on an arena character based on this combo.

The Lurking Terror PrC from LM seems like it would be pretty good for ghosts, as it would add its class level to all of your saving throw DCs (since they are all Su abilities).
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 06:41:10 PM by phaedrusxy »
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Rules quote on the tainted feats being four, not two, please.

sorry, what? i don't have that book. could you be more specific please?
Ug. Let's take this slowly:

The taint rules in Heroes of Horror are great for undead.  You get an automatic taint score, and have no penalties whatsoever from taint.  Since taint grants you bonus feats, you may be eligible for up to four free feats!
Do you see where I bolded the word "four?"

Please verify the information I quoted by posting a rules quote that explains the four free feats. I remember only 2 free feats; unless depravity counts more separately than I thought.

Offline nijineko

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i think i understand now. however, i am unable to verify the original author's claim without the book/source in question. i just ported it over due to personal interest in the ghost rules.
http://crystalballsoft.com/cblite.html  The best dice roller on the planet, bar none. Read the FAQ to see why.

https://www.box.com/s/du6s5uysdwfony9dfd3p  The Official Complete Psionic Errata.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dbmkg8efcbn4eak/AABSjyTbZIEDdIWm0I_uVFkpa?dl=0 The Archive.

Offline Nytemare3701

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Correction: Skilled Telekinetic is not in Heroes of Horror, it's in Lords of Madness (page 45).

Edit: Also, I checked Heroes of Horror for you. It's a free feat at Moderate corruption, then another at Severe.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 03:52:54 AM by Nytemare3701 »
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