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Dragon Spirit

by Jamie Baty

Dragon 158

Dragon spirits are the souls of dead dragons that have gone to the Draconian Cluster after their demise. They are the most common inhabitants of the planes of the dragons and serve their rulers faithfully. Once every 10,000 years, they are reincarnated into dragon form on one of the Inner or Outer Planes. Usually, this reincarnation will be into the same form they once used (a white dragon will remain a white dragon). However, if a lesser dragon was especially prominent in its past life, it may be elevated to a mightier form of the same alignment (blue to jade, gold to ruby, etc.).

Like most Outer Planar creatures, dragon spirits can be killed permanently only if they are killed on their appropriate home plane. If they are killed outside the Draconian Cluster, they reform on their respective planes in one to four weeks. These spirits are fanatically loyal to their rulers and never surrender in the service of those rulers.

These beings have transparent, incorporeal forms that can be harmed by only magical weapons or spells. However, once every 20 hours while on the Outer Planes, a dragon spirit can assume its original mortal form for 10 minutes. Dragon spirits cannot be subdued, as they consider their duty to their ruler more important than personal honour.

After death, dragon spirits retain their intelligence, but their memories of previous lives tend to be hazy... hazy, that is, until those memories are jarred back to life by the arrival of beings known in their past, such as the group of adventurers that killed them! A dragon spirit may be quite surprised to see its former enemies, but it holds no grudges for past misdeeds. Indeed, a dragon that was friendly with the characters may offer them extra information or aid. Dragon spirits are able to speak in any tongue, a power granted them by their rulers as necessary. Because of their loss of memory after death, spells they knew in life are not available to them, so dragon spirits cannot cast spells unless specifically enabled by their ruler. The Great One often gives his personal bodyguards major spell-casting powers, but the other rulers do not do so unless absolutely necessary, for doing so drains their magical energies.

Dracologists are unclear on the distinction between a Dragon Soul and a Dragon Spirit and why some dragons become souls and some spirits. It is suspected that those dragons who accomplished things in their mortal lives are allowed to become spirits, while those that were unable to leave their mark become souls. How this theorised process works is unknown to any but the Draconic Rulers.

Creating Dragon Spirit
Dragon Spirit is an acquired template that can be added to any True Dragon (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A Dragon Spirit uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The dragon's type changes to Deathless. It retains any subtypes and gains the Extraplanar and Incorporeal subtypes. It does not gain the augmented subtype. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Increase the base creatures Hit Dice to d12s.

Speed: Same as the base creature, except the dragon's fly speed increases to 250 ft if not already.

Armour Class: As an incorporeal creature, the base creature loses its natural AC bonus, but gains a deflection bonus equal to its charisma modifier.

Base Attack Bonus: Same as the base creature.

Attack: A dragon spirit maintains all of the attacks it possessed as a normal dragon.

Full Attack: A dragon spirit maintains all of the attacks it possessed as a normal dragon.

Damage: Dragon spirits inflict 1d4 Str damage with each successful hit.

Special Attacks: A dragon spirit loses all special attacks except Frightful Presence, and as noted below.

Breath Weapon (Su): A dragon spirit may breathe (every 1d4 rounds) a billowing cone of a hazy material, the range is based on the dragon spirit's size. Any creature caught within the cone must make a will save or be panicked for a number of rounds equal to the spirit's HD. Those that make their save are shaken for one round. The save DC is Charisma based. This replaces the base dragon's original breath weapon.

Strength Damage (Su): A successful hit by a dragon spirit deals 1d4 points of Strength damage to a living foe. A creature reduced to Strength 0 by a dragon spirit dies. This is a negative energy effect.

Special Qualities: A dragon spirit retains all the special qualities of the base dragon except any spells and spell-like abilities, and gains those described below.

Alternate Form (Su): A dragon spirit, once every 20 hours, can assume its mortal form. It regains all of the abilities, attacks, special attacks, and special qualities of its mortal form, including its natural AC bonus, breath weapon and Str score. However, it does not regain any spellcasting or spell-like abilities. While in its mortal form, it loses its incorporeal subtype and attacks deal normal damage (no Str damage is inflicted). A dragon spirit can maintain this form for no more than 10 minutes at a time.

Tongues (Sp): A dragon spirit is constantly under the effect of a tongues spell.

Turn Immunity (Ex): A dragon spirit cannot be turned, rebuked, commanded, or bolstered.

Incorporeal Subtype: Can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, or magic, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. Can pass through solid objects at will, and own attacks pass through armour. Always moves silently. Please see the 3.5E Monster Manual for additional information on incorporeal traits.

Deathless Traits: A deathless has the following traits.
No Constitution score.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charm compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.
Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, or ability drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution) as well as fatigue and exhaustion effects. Unlike undead, the deathless are subject to energy drain. Like living creatures, deathless are harmed by negative energy and healed by positive energy
Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save, except for energy drain attacks, effects that also work on objects, and harmless effects.
Cannot use the run action.
Uses Charisma modifier for Concentration checks.
Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hp or less, it is immediately destroyed.
Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect the deathless if they are willing. These spells turn deathless creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming deathless.
Evil clerics can turn or destroy deathless creatures as good clerics turn or destroy undead. Good clerics and paladins can rebuke, command, or bolster deathless creatures as evil clerics rebuke, command, or bolster undead.
Deathless creatures gain the same benefits from consecrate and hallow as undead do from desecrate and unhallow, and they are hindered by desecrate and unhallow as undead are by consecrate and hallow. Hide from undead and undeath to death also work against deathless. Detect undead and deathwatch also reveal deathless and allow the caster to distinguish deathless creatures from undead. Evil casters can be stunned by overwhelming auras of deathless creatures as good casters can be stunned by overwhelming undead auras. Use "undead" line in the detect evil spell description when deathless are in the area of detect good spell. Deathless are healed by disrupt undead and damaged by unholy water as undead are by holy water. Deathless are not affected by disrupting weapons. Spells that have greater than normal effect against undead creatures - including chill touch, magic stone, searing light, sunbeam, sunburst, and wall of fire - do not have these enhanced effects against deathless creatures. Deathless take only 1d6 points of damage per two caster levels from searing light. Spells such as command undead, control undead, create undead, create greater undead, and halt undead do not affect or create deathless creatures.
Proficient with its natural weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entries.
Proficient in whatever type of armour (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Deathless not listed as wearing armour are not proficient with armour.
Deathless do not breathe, eat, or sleep.

Saves: Base save bonuses are unchanged.

Abilities: As an incorporeal creature, a dragon spirit has no Strength score. As a deathless creature, a dragon spirit has no Constitution score.

Skills: A dragon spirits skills are unchanged.

Feats: Dragon spirits have the same feats as the base creature.

Environment: Any plane of the Draconic Cluster

Organisation: Solitary, pair, or pack (2-5)

Challenge Rating: Same as base creature

Treasure: None

Alignment: Same as base creature.

Advancement: ---

Level Adjustment: ---