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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 (3)
Discussions (25)
Customer avatar
Chris F December 11, 2017 5:43 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you so much Matt. This is the exact kind of thing I need for the campaign I'm currently running. Thx again and have a wonderful holiday - E
Customer avatar
Curtis R December 03, 2017 12:45 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Matt got a quick question for you. If a Rogue or Druid died and became a Lingering Soul, would they lose their knowledge of Thieve's Can't or Druidic?
Customer avatar
Matthew M December 03, 2017 2:47 am UTC
CREATOR
DM's discretion, but I would probably allow that knowledge to remain.
Customer avatar
Trent H November 28, 2017 11:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
I was brainstorming an idea for a reoccurring antagonist to be used in my next campaign centered around the idea of a murder who becomes a ghost and shows up randomly to XXX off my players, possessing them or their enemies mid battle to throw a wrench in the fight. I was just going to use the ghost stats in the MM but was worried about maintaining balanced encounters throughout the campaign.

You just solved my problem in the most beautiful way. I can't wait to introduce my players to Mordecai, the Lingering Soul Wraith.

Thanks Matt!
Customer avatar
Josh C November 27, 2017 10:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm enjoying the concept of The Lingering Soul and am hoping (but not hoping - character death and all...) that a chance to use it will present itself or maybe even using it with an important NPC.

Anyways, one minor correction - on the first page it reads: "Leaping from body to body, wrestling control from your foes..." it should be "wresting control", no 'l'. You can see it being used here: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/wresting
Customer avatar
Jakob P November 23, 2017 10:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome work and I'm a big fan of Critical role and all your work matthew. This one is awesome as well.

Something i find it curious is that Ghostly form mentions nothing about fly speed but Guardian transformation does. Would this be a ghost/poltergheist/wraith/spirit that walks around or flyes around. Since it can move through objects I would assume it flyes around. Could you clarify this for me

If you decide to give it a fly speed like normal Monster manual ghosts, consider giving it a flyspeed with (hover) which is partly the reason why ghosts are immune to prone.
Customer avatar
Matthew M November 25, 2017 1:07 am UTC
CREATOR
The class gains flight at level 10 after learning easier means of shifting through the physical world (mainly for game balance at earlier levels).
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
Matthew M November 20, 2017 6:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
Precisely! It acts as if you had the object itself, only you are unable to give it to another individual.
Customer avatar
James O 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
Benjamin 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.
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