|No. of Attacks:
||Invisibility, silver or magical weapon to hit
||M (6' tall)
Poltergeists are the spirits of restless dead. They are similar to haunts but
are more malevolent. They hate living things and torment them constantly, by
breaking furniture, throwing heavy objects, and making haunting noises. They are
often, but not always, attached to a particular area.
Poltergeists are always invisible. Those who can see invisible objects
describe them as humans whose features have been twisted at the sight of horrors. They
wear rags and are covered with chains and other heavy objects that represent a
multitude of evil deeds that these creatures have committed against themselves
as well as others.
A poltergeist attacks by throwing a heavy object -- any nearby object that a
strong human can throw will suffice. It has the same chance to hit as a 5-HD
monster (hence its adjusted THAC0 in the statistics given above). If the victim is
struck he suffers no damage (treat the use of deadly weapons such as knives
and swords as terrifying near misses), but he must roll a successful saving throw
vs. spell or flee in terror in a random direction (choose available exits away
from the poltergeist and determine randomly) for 2d12 rounds before
recovering. There is a 50% chance that the victim drops whatever he was holding (he drops
it at the start of his flight). Once a person rolls a successful saving throw,
he is immune to further fear
attempts by the poltergeist in that area.
Those who try to hit a poltergeist but cannot detect invisible objects suffer
a -4 penalty to their attack roll. A poltergeist is harmed only by silver or
magical weapons. Sprinkled holy water or a strongly presented holy symbol drives
back a poltergeist but cannot harm it. Poltergeists that are bonded to the area
of their death are hard to dispel; these are treated as if they were ghouls on
the Turning Undead
table. Wandering poltergeists may be turned or destroyed by a priest as if they
Some say that poltergeists are the spirits of those who committed heinous
crimes that went unpunished in life. Whatever their origins, poltergeists are
malevolent spirits whose activities can be anything from annoying to deadly. Their
purpose in existence is to haunt and disrupt the lives of those who still live.
Poltergeists often haunt families and partnerships. In the latter case, they
haunt their place of business, striking almost as much terror in death as they
did in life.
A poltergeist is often strongly bonded to a particular place, the place where
its corporeal existence ended. Bonded poltergeists almost never wander more
than 100 feet from this place. A few are wandering spirits, doomed never to find
their way home. Bonded spirits are stronger than wandering spirits (wanderers
never have more than 3 hit points).
Places where poltergeists are particularly strong have been known to have phantom shifts
. These extremely rare and terrifying illusions take the character
encountering the poltergeist back in time, to the time when the poltergeist was still
alive. They often reveal why the being was transformed into a poltergeist.
Characters in a phantom shift
may interact freely with the illusion, but any attempt to harm the illusion
shatters it and returns the characters to the present time; likewise, any
attempt on the part of the illusion to attack the characters also shatters the
illusion without any harm being done. The illusion may continue at different times,
or may repeat itself endlessly. No one can predict exactly when a place will
experience a phantom shift
, but they seem to occur on the anniversary of the poltergeist's death.
These spirits, which are terrifying and pitiable at the same time, do not
consume food and do not collect treasure. Poltergeists dissolve when slain or laid