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The Lingering Soul - Class/Post-Death Option
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The Lingering Soul - Class/Post-Death Option

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The Lingering Soul

An Optional Class or Death Alternative for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Mortality. All who draw breath fear the icy grip of death, the promised end. It is the primal fear that drives much of history, and the promise of a restful afterlife brings weight to the influence of any temple.

Your afterlife, unfortunately, is not so restful. You’ve been cut down, left to die, and your spirit now remains, unable to pass on when so filled with fear, with anger, with questions. Binding to whatever symbol will anchor you to the world of the living, you feel the hunger for answers rival your need for vengeance as you learn to control this ethereal existence thrust upon you.

With the aid of still-living allies, you continue the pursuit of your goals using your spectral gifts to frighten, manipulate, and control those who would stand in your way. Leaping from body to body, wrestling control from your foes as you send them to a worser fate than yours, you continue to fight for another chance at life... or embrace your ghostly talents to do what living mortals cannot, ever fighting the cold and hungry urges that encompass the curse of undeath.

This is a complicated class the DM can offer as a choice upon character creation, or offered by the DM when a player character death is surrounded by enough violence or mystery to cause the soul to cling to the mortal world. It can allow the continued play of a beloved character when resurrection is unavailable, or as a reward for a party seeking to restore the narrative lost when a central figure has fallen. Players should not be able to select to become a Lingering Soul upon death; it should be offered with good reason, and it should be an option granted sparingly.

v1.1 Update

  • Fixed a number of spelling and usage mistakes!
  • Tied Secondary Saving Throws to your Phantom Calling choice for balance.
  • Clarified that Spirit Binding is indefinite once bound, only changing when the bound creature or object is destroyed.
  • Added clarification on some rules regarding Consume Enchantment.
  • Added clarification on when Pervade the Fallen ends and destroys the corpse.
  • Replaced lvl 19 Spectral Transformation with the standard Ability Score Improvement and added it as a Spirit Guardian lvl 15 ability.
  • Altered "Ravage Soul" for balance purposes (closer to as intended).
  • Adjusted damage on the Wraith's Scything Claw.
  • Lessened the Spirit Guardian's Savior Spirit aura to balance with having a new lvl 15 Ability.
 
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Reviews (1)
Discussions (20)
Customer avatar
Ethan F November 18, 2017 9:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey M&M, love ya work, big fan.

I've already played this class in one session and I'm loving what it's bringing to the story so far, and I'm enjoying my character 'Discovering' what he can do in his new ghostly form.
Quick question the the intended effect in 'Ghostly form', the bullet point stating "You cannot physically carry any object or wear equipment.". Now, I understand this may be more up to the DM than any proper ruling, but I'm curious to know your intent/ruling.
Does this imply that the Lingering soul can still interact with the world around them in a number of ways, eg: Making an unarmed attack, opening a door, pushing, grappling or disarming an opponent, pulling a lever or pressing a switch, or rolling a heavy rock out of the way?

I'm very eager to hear your thoughts, and to know if you purposefully left this ambiguous to allow for DMs to tailor the experience to the individual game.

Thanks for your time and amazing material,
Ethan...See more
Customer avatar
Jordan G November 17, 2017 8:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
How would you rule consuming a wand of spells? As normal for all other consumable enchantments, the player gains the ability to cast spells based on charges and they regain charges as normal?
Customer avatar
November 17, 2017 3:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
If your race already gives dark-vision how does the wraiths dark-vision interact with that?

Also, how does this class interact with the lizardfolks natural armor?
Customer avatar
Jeremy G November 16, 2017 8:08 pm UTC
"wrestling control from your foes as you send them to a worser fate than yours" would read better as "wrestling control from your foes as you send them to a fate worse than yours."

Worser isn't a word, much like betterer. Worse already implies what 'worser' would. If the need to illuminate how much worse it is remains, words like worse work with 'more' and it's synonyms.

For some words we just ad 'er' to the end to signify the difference. Tall vs taller for instance is one example of this case, where if we were to say Tall vs more tall we would be incorrect.

I hope this helps my fellow English speakers with descriptors! :)
Customer avatar
Ben F November 16, 2017 5:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any suggestions on healing a lingering soul, apart from using hit dice during a rest, or the Wraith's Scything Claw?
Customer avatar
Mathew D November 16, 2017 2:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I have a question, is it intended that poltergeists can't use their Haunt ability if they are currently possessing someone? In most places it will say you can use this feature while possessing a host.
Customer avatar
The Hand Of Fate G November 16, 2017 3:12 am UTC
PURCHASER
Lovely bit of fun here. Mr. Mercer always keeping things fresh!
Customer avatar
Alex A November 16, 2017 2:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. Last week a beloved character died in a low-level party, who also happened to be quite central to my (planned) story arc for the campaign. This gives him a perfect opportunity to play his character, while also preventing me from having to rework the story of the campaign. Can't wait to see how this class plays!
Customer avatar
November 15, 2017 11:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question: If a Varient Human Lingering Soul takes Magic Initiate as his Feat and takes Disguise Self as his sole Spell, could he make himself look like a normal non-undead Human being?
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 16, 2017 2:06 am UTC
CREATOR
Up to the DM, but it could make for a fun little attempt to pass off as living, until inspected closely!
Customer avatar
Matt K November 15, 2017 11:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Loving this so far, but quick question. Perhaps I missed something but how do I attack at level 1? Do unarmed attacks still work? Because I cannot pick up weapons so normal attacks are out of the question, andyou don't get possession till level 2.

Also, if I fail to possess a target, am I also barred from possessing them for 24hrs?
Customer avatar
Matt K November 15, 2017 11:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Okay so you can mostly ignore the first question. On second glance I realize that you get a way to attack(or boost other's attacks) at first level from your calling. Missed that.

The second question still stands though.
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 16, 2017 2:00 am UTC
CREATOR
If you fail to possess a target that is resisting you, then yes, you cannot possess them for 24 hours. You'll have to try another one, or possess one of your allies in the mean time.
Customer avatar
Louis D November 15, 2017 11:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hello!
I'm currently translating your documents into french, do you mind? I can send or post the documents if you want.
Customer avatar
Dayten R November 15, 2017 11:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
On the Unseen Passenger trait, it says, "Whenever you force the host to do anything, they can make a Wisdom (Insight) check..." When you say "they can," does that imply that, if the action you're forcing them to do is a reasonable action they may have taken anyway, they may also not? Or is "they can" just another way of saying "they do?"
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 16, 2017 2:01 am UTC
CREATOR
It leaves it up to the DM. If you force them to drop something, or scratch somewhere, or do something small... it may not require a save. Just a "man... I am off today" reaction. If its anything too big/weird, then a save is in order. ;)
Customer avatar
Stijn V November 15, 2017 10:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
First of all, love the class and how you executed it, but I have a slight concern. At level 15 with Create Specter, you can summon up to 4-5 specters that will stay indefinetly. This seems extremly strong also because you can just keep refilling them. I can see this becoming way to much.
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 16, 2017 2:04 am UTC
CREATOR
By the time you're lvl 15, having 4-5 allies who have 22 hp, 12 AC, +4 to hit, and 3d6 damage against CR 15+ monsters isn't that game breaking, imo. Fun and helpful, but not game breaking. We'll see how playtests pan out. :)
Customer avatar
Stijn V November 16, 2017 9:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
That's very true. Thank you for the quick answer, i'm a big fan of your work.
Customer avatar
Armand B November 15, 2017 5:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Quick question.
Say one of my players is killed in an area where souls are known to rise (like the graveyard in Barovia) and I decide to offer this option. Cool.
"If a deceased player character returns as a Lingering Soul, they lose all previous class levels and abilities, instead returning with a number of levels in Lingering Sould equal to one less than their previous character level"
Ok, so Dave was level 5, died, now hes a level 4 lingering soul. He continues this way, they put his body somewhere safe, and they go off adventuring for a few years. Eventually, the party hits level 20 and shortly after, so does Dave. As a coup de gras, they use Wish to return Daves body to him. Heres where my question lies:
"Should you ever be brought back to life via a spell or resurrection effect, you immediately lose all levels in Lingering Soul and return to life as your previous, living self. You gain back class levels in your original classes as they were upon death, plus one additional...See more
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 15, 2017 7:34 pm UTC
CREATOR
Since 20th level is the current maximum level, he'd just be a 20th level adventurer. He'd also likely be a lvl 19 Lingering Soul by the time the rest of the part hit 20.
Customer avatar
Edward D November 15, 2017 10:31 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Matt can correct me but I think the intent is for you to come back to life without loosing ground compared to the rest of the party. By the time he hits 20 the rest of the party will be 20 + 1 epic boon, making him effectively the same. He could reword it to say that the character reverts to how they were at the time of their death plus whatever experience they gained as a Lingering Soul. I'm not sure which is clearer and/or simpler.
Customer avatar
Marn M November 15, 2017 4:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks like the perfect solution for my just dead wizard with a grudge to bear.

A small thing with the writing; on page 6 near the end of the Phantasmic Force ability. It says; "The second creature also takes 1d8 bludgeoning damage per 10 feet moved and is knocked prone on a failed save, or half as much damage and is not prone on a successful one."
I think adding a "knocked" for the successful save would make it less likely to be misunderstood.
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 15, 2017 7:34 pm UTC
CREATOR
Good find! Fixed!
Customer avatar
Adam B November 15, 2017 2:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
A first impressions - This review was written as I have read through the PDF of the Lingering Soul class but not used it.*

A first impression of this class so far impresses me.

Of the core class abilities, they seem to fit the theme provided, of an unseen spirit returned from the grave, with the abilities nicely focussed around the core of the possession class feature and a few other abilities for when not possessing someone.

In particular, possession does not grant total control of the possessed party, instead allowing for one of two actions with more added as the class progresses, including one for fouling the efforts of enemy spellcasters.


The Phantom callings (Subclasses) are worth of note, neatly divided into their respective abilities.


The Poltergeist is all about the manipulation of the material world around you, objects at first and then living beings later, which is a handy ability and one I can see uses for outside of combat...See more
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on November 14, 2017.