Spectral Minion


Spectral Minion
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Average (8-10)
No. Appearing:1-20 or more
Armor Class:2
Hit Dice:Varies
No. of Attacks:0, 1, or 2
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:+1 or better to hit
Magic Resistance:20%
Size:M (5-7’ tall)
Morale:Elite (13)
XP Value:Philosopher: 975
Reveler: 975
Searcher: 975
Guardian: 1,400
Warrior: 1,400
Berserker: 1,400

Spectral minions are the spirits of humans or demihumans who died before they could fulfill their vows. Even in death, spectral minions are bound to the vows or quests placed upon them while they were alive.

Spectral minions appear as they were in life, except that they are nearly transparent. Like ghosts, spectral minions do not fully exist on the Prime Material plane. Spectral minions retain the Hit Dice, attack, damage ratings, alignment, and language of their former selves. Regardless of their intelligence in their previous lives, all spectral minions are average intelligence. They retain some but not necessarily all of the memories of their original forms, as spectral minions, their uncompleted quests and vows dominate their minds. All spectral minions have a movement rate of 30.

There are six general types of spectral minions: berserkers, guardians, philosophers, revelers, searchers, and warriors. The types cannot be distinguished by appearance, but their attitudes and behavior are quite different, as detailed in the description of each type.

Combat: Spectral minions can inflict damage only if they died holding weapons. Such weapons become a part of their spectral forms. Long swords are the most typical, but daggers, bows, staves, and other melee weapons are also common. These weapons inflict the same amount of damage as they would if wielded by living creatures. Since their weapons are part of them, spectral minions cannot be disarmed.

The speed of spectral minions gives them a -1 bonus to all initiative rolls. They can be hit only by +1 or better weapons. Though spectral minions cannot use magic themselves, they are 20% magic resistant.

If a spectral minion is destroyed, or if its vows or quests are fulfilled, the spectral minion (and its weapon) disappears forever. This also occurs if remove curse or a similar spell is cast upon it. A spectral minion cannot be turned.

Certain types of spectral minions have special attacks. These are explained in the individual listings.

Habitat/Society: Spectral minions are cursed to relive the events leading to their death, endlessly trying to fulfill their vows. Outdoors, they must stay within 1,000 yards of where they died. Indoors, they must stay in the corridor or room where they lost their lives. On very rare occasions where a quest required them to perform an act over a wide area, they are tree to roam within that area.

Ecology: Spectral minions do not age, nor do they perform any physiological functions; though they may appear to be eating or drinking, these actions have no meaningful effects.


Some spectral minions become overwhelmed by despair. Losing all hope of ever being freed from their charge, these minions are eventually driven into a berkserking frenzy. Others become mindless killers as soon as they become minions because of an unresolved obsession in their former lives; for instance, a spectral minion cook might become a berserker because someone in the past criticized his cooking and was no longer around to apologize for the remark.

All berserker spectral minions are of chaotic evi1 alignment. They fanatically attack any intruders who stumble into their territory. They refuse to parley and pursue intruders as far as possible. All berserker spectral minions are armed and gain a +1 bonus to their attack and damage rolls. Additionally, berserkers can make two attacks per round, they are the only spectral minions with this ability.

In all cases, berserker spectral minions have rebelled against their quests and have no hope of ever being freed from their charges. Even if a sympathetic character is able to discover the nature of a berserker minion’s unfulfilled quest, resolving it will not cause the spectral minion to disappear; in the case of the spectral minion cook, finding the poor soul who insulted him in his former life and forcing him to apologize will not cause the minion to vanish. Berserker spectral minions can only be vanquished if they are destroyed or if remove curse or a similar spell is cast upon them.


These spectral minions were quested to defend a room, a passage, or an object. In most cases, they served as guards for some important location and died at their posts.

Guardian spectral minions are freed from their confinement it they successfully defend their posts against intruders for 100 years and a day, or complete some other assigned task.

Occasionally, guardians respond to a password or signal, allowing characters to pass safely.

All guardians are armed and are usually of chaotic or neutral good alignment. They defend themselves if attacked or if their post is threatened, but otherwise they are not particularly hostile. More than anything, guardian spectral minions want to be released from their vows and to be freed of their responsibilities.

The following are some examples of guardian spectral minions:


Philosophers are spectral minions who spend their time in study and contemplation, usually in libraries or museums. They are extremely knowledgeable. If given the chance, they talk at great length about subjects that interest them.

Philosophers can be of any alignment. Often they arc found in groups of two or more engaged in heated debate; it is their curse to endlessly discuss philosophic issues left unresolved in their former lives. Philosophers usually do not tolerate interruptions, but they have been known to ask intruders for their opinions about an issue under discussion. They attack only if their honesty is questioned or if they have to defend themselves.

A party may sometimes encounter a group of spectral minions hovering off the ground about 1d4+1 feet. These are philosopher minions lost deep in thought. The floating philosophers often invite questions from an intruder. With each response, the philosophers drop a foot closer to the ground. If the philosophers reach the ground, they become enraged that the intruder has asked too many questions, then summon help, usually 1d8 warrior minions from an adjacent area.

Similarly, a group of philosophers may be encountered floating several feet off the ground while involved in an animated discussion. They, too, invite questions from an intruder. However, when one philosopher has given his response, one of the others totally disagrees, triggering a pointless argument that continues for 1d6 rounds with half of the minions taking one side and half taking the other. As before, the minions drop a foot closer to the ground with each response, but in this case, the entire group disappears as soon as one of them touches the ground.


These minions are cursed to celebrate madly for all eternity. When encountered, they are engaged in one of the following activities:

Reveler spectral minions arc chaotic evil. Though unarmed, they can be quite dangerous. Any character seen by the revelers may be surrounded by them, if they’re looking for more guests for their party (as determined by the DM). The revelers beckon to the character, laughing and shrieking, urging him to join their fun. If the character joins the revelers for at least three consecutive rounds, he must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell to resist them. It the character successfully resists them, the revelers ignore the character and resume their frolicking.

If the character fails the saving throw, he immediately slumps to the floor in a deep sleep. The affected character cannot be awakened by dispel magic or by any other magic short of a wish. While asleep, the character’s spirit essence visibly leaves his body to join the minions in their revelry. Meanwhile, the character loses one level of experience for every turn his essence is engaged in revelry with the minions. If all of the revelers (except the character) are slain, the character revives; lost experience is regained at the rate of one level per four hours after the character awakens. Some revelers may even trap the character forever unless rescued, but such situations are rare.

If the revelers have no interest in inviting intruders to their party, they surround any intruders who provoke them as described above; if the intruders remain in the room with the revelers for three consecutive rounds, they must roll successful saving throws to resist falling asleep and losing experience levels.


Searchers are spectral minions that stalk endlessly through their territory, searching for a particular object to fulfill their quest. These creatures were questing when they died in their original forms, and usually the object of the quest is not to be found within he searcher’s range. Only if someone brings the object of the search to the minion can the creature’s spirit be freed.

All searchers are armed and are usually lawful evil in ailgnment. They are very dangerous, for they destroy anything that stands between them and their unreachable goals.


These minions are the spirits of mortals who were locked in combat at the time of death, usually soldiers who died in bloody battles. Groups of 100 or more warrior spectral minions are typically encountered on a battlefield, including fighters of differing alignments from both sides or a battle.

Warrior minions are always armed and fight each other constantly. However, in all cases, the minion-versus-minion combat produces no lasting damage, and the net effect is an eternal conflict between the groups. Only through the intervention of mortals can the tide of battle be turned in favor of one side or the other. Typically, characters of good alignment are approached by the leader of the good spectral minion warriors, who tries to convince them to join his side in an upcoming battle the good minion leader promises to help them, usually by supplying needed information, if good triumphs over evil. Usually, the characters need to slay at least 80% of the evil minion forces to win the battle. If the battle is won, the evil warriors disappear and the good warriors respond with a victory shout. After the good leader helps the characters as promised, he and the other good minions disappear, at last released from their quest.

Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:04:36 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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