The Lingering Soul is a certified DM's Guild Masterpiece by the Going Last Tabletop Gaming Podcast!
D&D has changed dramatically since 1st Edition. What was once a quest to see how long your character could last against a meatgrinder like Tomb of Horrors has become a place where players build a family of bright, interconnected characters with lovable quirks and taglines who may or may not wish to test themselves in a meatgrinder like Tomb of Horrors. What happens in a game where character death is a common outcome when players no longer want their characters to die?
It is no surprise to me that the answer came with the most popular streaming experience D&D has ever seen. Author Matther Mercer, Dungeon Master for Critical Role, has created a platform that elevates D&D characters to the level of serial TV, where death only happens when it makes the most sense to the story.
The Lingering Soul is a brilliant compromise between these two types of D&D, as well as an incredible look at playing a ghost. This PC class represents a powerful spirit who haunts an object or party member. As the Lingering Soul gains levels, they learn how to possess opponents or even fallen enemies to gain corporeal form, giving them a mountain of options over how to affect and interact with the world.
Finally, Mercer provides three archetypes each drawn from the best kinds of ghost stories. The angry Poltergeist gains the ability to manipulate physical objects, wielding weapons even in ghost form. The Wraith delves into undeath, with wicked claws dealing necrotic damage and plenty of core undead qualities. Finally, the Spirit Guardian focuses on the more divine spirit form, gaining the ability to smite and heal and otherwise feel like a powerful version of the cleric's spell.
The Lingering Soul gives plenty of options for the recently deceased PC, allowing them to swap their old character levels for new ones and remain a powerful member of their party. Will the PC eventually hope to be ressurected? Will they remain in ghost form for the remainder of the campaign? Whichever way they choose, Mercer has provided an excellent new rule set to help deal with the frustrating transition of character death.
You can hear more of my thoughts about The Lingering Soul on Episode 225 of Going Last!
[5 of 5 Stars!]