10 Variant Wraiths
Wraiths are incorporeal undead born of evil and darkness. These undead appear as black vaguely shaped human clouds with fiery red eyes. Wraiths are level draining undead who shun natural light and dwell in the dark places of evil. Presented below are variants of your typical wraith. The baseline for the wraith is Labyrinth Lord, which is a retro-clone of B/X D&D and 1e AD&D. These variants are easily compatible with any OSR D&D based game.
The typical wraith requires a +1 or better weapon to be hit. Silver weapons also do damage to them but only half. The touch of a wraith does 1d6 points of damage and drains one level or hit die. Those reduced to zero levels or hit die are killed. They reappear as a wraith in 24 hours. Like most undead wraiths are immune to mind-influencing spells like charms, sleep, etc.
The variant presented below add or subtract from the baseline wraith. With any alteration you may need to adjust experience.
1. Collective: Instead of rising as a wraith in 24 hours those slain by their energy draining ability have their life essence absorbed into the wraith. For each HD of those slain the wraith gains a +1 to hit points, attack rolls, and damage rolls. A 4th level victim would grant the wraith a +4 to hit points, attack rolls, and damage rolls. These temporary bonuses last for 6 turns.
2. Visage: This wraiths facial feature constantly shift. Each round it takes on the appearance of fellow comrade of yours. Each time you attack you must save vs spell or become confused as per the confusion spell.
3. Calamity: This wraith feeds on failure. All those within 30' of the wraith who fails a roll empowers the wraith. The wraith gains 1d4 temporary hit points for each roll that results in failure. The size and shape of the wraith slightly pulses and grows with each miss.
4. Misfortune: This wraith has the uncanny ability to determine the fortune of those around it. It has predetermined outcomes that can change the course of battle. Before combat roll a d20 for each HD of the wraith. Typical wraith is 4HD. Those four rolls can replace any roll during the encounter. Once a roll has been used it is discarded. High roll might replace a wraiths attack roll. A low roll can also replace an opponents attack roll, saving throw, damage roll, etc.
5. Encroaching: By simply passing through a victims body the wraith drains levels as unnatural darkness courses through. The wraith doesn't need to attack its opponent, it simply moves through their body. The opponent must make a system shock roll check. Upon failure they lose 1 level or hit die. This replaces the energy drain touch. The wraith can move through as many opponents in a round as long as it doesn't exceed its movement rate.
6. Shadow: This wraith can forgo its attack to animate an opponents shadow. The victim must make a save vs death or have their shadow animate. The opponents shadow is treated as the creature of the same name. The shadow immediately attacks the victim until slain. The shadow attacks upon entering combat and uses the wraith initiative as its own.
7. Reversal: This wraith has strong ties to the negative elemental plane. It has an aura of 60' that reverses any positive energy. All healing spells are reversed while cast within this aura. This also applies to magical items like potions of healing.
8. Possessing: This wraith can attempt to possess an opponents body. The opponent must save vs. death or be possessed by the wraith. The victims skin tone quickly becomes pale and its eye turn fiery red. The wraith can now be hit by non-magical weapons but all damage is split between the wraith and the body possessed. The wraith can deliver its energy draining attack through its host.
9. Replicating: This wraith once slain is reborn as two wraiths one round later. These wraiths have 2HD and no level drain ability.
10. Prismatic: Created by an untimely death due to a prismatic wall this wraith has merged with that spell to create a constantly shifting humanoid cloud of various colors. This wraith generate a 5' radius aura similar to the prismatic wall spell. All those within 5' of the wraith are subject to its effects. Each time the wraith is hit in combat its colors shift randomly. The color of the wraiths body will match the color that currently is in effect.
D12 Random Prismatic Colors
1-2: Red: Stops non-magical ranged weapons. Deals 10 points of fire damage for those within 5' of the wraith.
3-4: Orange: Stops magical ranged weapons. Deals 20 points of damage for those within 5' of the wraith.
5-6: Yellow: Stops poisons, gases, and petrification effects. Deals 40 points of damage for those within 5' of the wraith.
7-8: Green: Stops breath weapons. Those within 5' must save vs poison or die.
9-10: Blue: Stops divination and mental attacks. Those within 5' must save vs petrification or be turned to stone.
11: Indigo: Stops all spells. Those within 5' of the wraith must save vs spell or become insane.
12: Violet: Those within 5' must save vs spell or be sent to another plane of existence.
If you enjoy these undead variants I have more entries on my blog. Below is links to other variant undead creature. If you enjoy this series of articles then please consider subscribing to my blog as the plan is to create variants for all of the baseline undead creatures.
10 Variant Ghouls
10 Variant Skeletons
10 Variant Wights
20 Variant Zombies