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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 (5)
Discussions (39)
Customer avatar
Robert M May 22, 2018 9:07 pm UTC
Matthew, my DM has presented this class as a possible option to play after my PC died (damn succubus). I was wondering what you feeling would be on if you absorbed the power of a healing potion as one of the 5 enhancements you can consume?
Customer avatar
Ben B April 25, 2018 4:04 pm UTC
Thanks for this Matthew! This looks super cool! Do you think this would make a good class for a ghost that is possessing a PC?
Customer avatar
Travis F April 09, 2018 7:18 am UTC
PURCHASER
Mathew I love your work and I am absolutely loving the second campaign, so I have a question about possession. When the Lingering Soul forces their host to take the attack action do they use the host's attack stats or is it a straight d20 roll?
Customer avatar
Matthew M April 24, 2018 1:34 am UTC
CREATOR
The host is making the attack, so it would use the host's attack/damage stats. :)
Customer avatar
Joshua C March 27, 2018 9:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Matt, love the class. Quick question for you. Since it is stated that the player retains their racial features when they become a Lingering Soul, how does that interact with races that have natural armor like Lizardfolk, or even heavier stuff like Tortle's natural AC 17?
Customer avatar
Matthew M April 24, 2018 1:47 am UTC
CREATOR
For the Natural Armor, I could say that the spirit has a denser energy that is more resistant to attacks, or in the instance of the Tortle, you would say that it haunts the hollowed-out shell of it's former body.
Customer avatar
Joshua C April 24, 2018 7:59 am UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome, thank you! Can't wait to spring that shell idea on my Tortle player should they ever die *evil grin*
Customer avatar
Joshua S February 04, 2018 7:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Matt, got a question! I have a fellow PC playing your class and is spiritually bound to another PC's ring. In combat, my PC was possessed by the lingering soul when I had Banishment successfully casted on me. What happens to the Lingering Soul? Thanks in advance!
Customer avatar
Matthew M April 24, 2018 1:35 am UTC
CREATOR
In this instance, the Lingering Soul would remain behind, being left where the banished host once stood.
Customer avatar
Kaleb B February 03, 2018 8:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
Can i use weapon ? Cause it say that i cant carry equipment but it also say that i have a simple weapon and i can une absorbed enchantment on weapon attack...so can carry stuff like weapon or not ?
Customer avatar
Joshua C April 24, 2018 8:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
Under starting equipment it states you get the listed items "though carrying this equipment may prove difficult without aid".
As for attacks, and weapon enchantments you have absorbed, it depends on what archetype or "Phantom Calling" you chose as to how those attacks are carried out.
Poltergeist can just equip and use weapons as normal, as well as use them as ranged attacks by throwing them via Haunt.
Wraiths get a Scything Claw attack as a melee attack.
Spirit Guardians seem more focused on buffing others, and as such do not seem to have a melee attack in and of themselves, but instead can buff their allies abilities (although I assume these buffs would not include any weapon enchantments you absorbed).
Customer avatar
John S January 30, 2018 8:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Fantastic class with a lot of exciting possibilities! Quick question: Does forcing a possessed creature to take one of the specified actions use that creature's action, thereby preventing it from otherwise using its action to do something else?

I ask because the relevant paragraph states, "A possessed creature acts as normal on its turn." However, it also says, "You can instead use your action to force the possessed creature to Dash in a direction of your choice, or TAKE THE DODGE ACTION." (Emphasis added.)

I read the possession ability as allowing a forced (free) action that is independent of the possessed creature's own, normally available action. Yet the emphasized language above arguably suggests otherwise.

Additional questions: Is the Lingering Soul capable of casting spells (such as via the Magic Initiate or Ritual Caster feats)? If so, can the Lingering Soul cast such spells while possessing a willing host?
Customer avatar
Matthew M April 24, 2018 1:37 am UTC
CREATOR
No worries! It does NOT take up or prevent the host from using their action. You are effectively giving them an additional action to do any of those specific things.

As for casting spells, I imagine you could (so long as the spell didn't have any material components)
Customer avatar
James O January 24, 2018 1:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just wondering since you don't truly have a physical presence do you still gain the benefits of Natural Armor if you are playing a Lizardfolk
Customer avatar
Matthew M April 24, 2018 1:40 am UTC
CREATOR
In this case, I could make a case for your spiritual essence being more sturdy than other spirits, so yes.
Customer avatar
Jerry B January 20, 2018 1:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
Anyone have a Fantasy Grounds parse of this? I may need to use it soon and wanted to get this as a .mod too.
Customer avatar
Ted B January 18, 2018 3:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
In my Exandria campaign, my DM controlled Cleric of the Blood Domain (Vesh deity) died to a bunch of Drow. Bringing him back as a Lingering Soul for the party to find his body. Looking forward to playing this out and developing the Cleric into the villain he will eventually become. LOVING this option.

Question just for clarification. When using the Spirit Guardian heal ability, the host gets ONLY the modifier and NOT the roll+ modifier unless the host is the target, correct?
Customer avatar
Matthew M January 23, 2018 12:22 am UTC
CREATOR
Correct! As long as the host is not the target, the host only regains hit points equal to your Mod.
Customer avatar
Ted B January 23, 2018 4:35 am UTC
PURCHASER
Much appreciated! Loving Campaign 2 thus far. Keep up the amazing work!
Customer avatar
A K J January 11, 2018 2:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
Question: Can a lingering soul speak to other players?
Customer avatar
Matthew M January 11, 2018 2:57 am UTC
CREATOR
It can indeed!
Customer avatar
A K J January 11, 2018 3:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the quick response! Super excited for tomorrow night!
Customer avatar
Bryce W January 09, 2018 6:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
The wording for possession is causing some confusion for me. It says as an action I can make the person I am possessing attack, dodge, or move. Does this happen on my turn or do I make it happen on their turn and my turn is spent queuing these actions?
Customer avatar
Matthew M January 09, 2018 7:50 pm UTC
CREATOR
You can only take your Action on your turn, so you can only force your host to take those actions on your turn.
Customer avatar
hayden M December 28, 2017 4:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Wanted to say what a cool Class this is.

At first, the power gamer in me thought I had found a sweet exploit in using the level 15 spirit guardian ability. Using Guardian transformation, to make possessed enemies bury themselves a dash action deep into the ground or mountain side, then ending the possession and making them lose the ability to move through objects. Which would logically end in their instant death, unless they had earth glide or the like. Unfortunately, you can only end the possession at the start of your next turn. Which means that using normal rules the enemy could use their action on their next turn to dash back out of the ground. (assuming they weren't entirely disorientated by the whole experience).

So not as exploitable as I thought. That was until I remembered my group started using a variation on the Mike Mearls variant initiative system. Which means potentially a pc using this class could have another turn before the enemy gets theirs, and end the possession...See more
Customer avatar
Nicholas W December 23, 2017 11:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How does multiclassing work?
Customer avatar
Matthew M December 24, 2017 9:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
There is no multiclassing with this class, as the features of other classes require a living, physical body. ;)
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.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on November 14, 2017.