Sunday, August 9, 2015

10 Variant Wights

The Wight and its oh so nasty energy drain. When an adventuring party encounters a Wight its best to head the other way. Nothing is worst to a player then losing a level, especially if there is no restoration readily available. As a DM I use energy draining creatures sparingly and when I do I might create a slight variation on their defining ability.

The baseline for the Wight is Labyrinth Lord, which is a retro-clone of B/X D&D. In LL Wights are 3HD undead with the ability to touch a victim and drain a level. No save is given. If your levels are reduced to zero you die and become a Wight in 1d4 days. Wights also enjoy immunity to sleep/charms spells plus can only be hit by silver or magic weapons. In the undead hierarchy they are the next progression from Ghouls.

Wights are simply terrifying opponents. Below are 10 variants of the Wight. The variant will have its energy drain ability swapped out. So if you feel a bit more forgiving(or less) hopefully one of these variants will do you well.

Positive Energy: This Wight has a connection to the positive energy plane rather then the negative energy plane. Its touch causes HD gain instead of drain. The opponents gains only the benefits of additional hit points, not any additional class features, bonus to saving throw progression, attacks bonus, etc. Bonus HD fade at a rate of 1 per hour. If an opponent has gained twice its starting HD it explodes in radiant light and cannot be resurrected.

Spellstealing: The touch of the Wight drains spells. Any touch will randomly drain the highest level spell memorized. The spell drained should be determined randomly. Once the Wight has drained twice its HD in spell levels it explodes in a 30' radius doing 6d6 points of damage. If a Wight is killed with spell levels absorbed it still explodes just for less damage. Each spell level drained does 1d6 points of damage. (For example if the Wight drains one second level spell slot and two first level spell slots then the damage would be 4d6 upon death.)

Alternatively, the Wight could drain the spell memorized and recast the spell the following round.

Lunacy: Each touch from this Wight causes 1d4 wisdom drain. If reduced to zero wisdom the character dies. For each point of wisdom drained there is a 10% cumulative chance of gaining an insanity. Roll for insanity should be made after each attack.
                                        d6 Random Insanity (Or consult the AD&D 1E DMG)
                                        1. Catatonia
                                        2. Melancholia
                                        3. Monomania
                                        4. Dipsomania
                                        5. Kleptomania
                                        6. Hebrephrenia

Lingering: The touch of this Wight does 1d4 points of damage. For each round thereafter the victim wounds continue to bleed. He continues to take an additional 1d4 points of damage after the first round until the wound is bandaged or a cure spell is cast. Multiple touches by these Wights are cumulative.

Festering: Each touch from this Wight does 1d4 points of damage. This damage cannot be healed naturally. All curative spells and magic only heal half as much.

Disease Bearer: This Wight has various diseases incubating throughout its body. The touch of this Wight does 1d4 points of constitution drain. Characters reduced to zero constitution die. Also for each point of constitution lost there is a 10% chance of contacting a disease.. Roll should be made after each attack. AD&D 1E DMG has great section on diseases and game effects.

Depleting: Each touch attack drains 1d4x100 experience points. For each 100 experience points drained the Wight gains one Cognition Point. These points can be used to augment their abilities. Cognition Points can be spent freely once per round. They also fade after 1 hours.
                                                   Cognition Point Cost
                                         1 Point: Next attack drains 1d6x100 experience points.
                                         1 Point: Increase armor class by 1.
                                         1 Point: Increase attack bonus by 1.
                                         1 Point: Heal 1d4 hit points.
                                         2 Points: Next attack also causes paralysis for 2d4 turns.
                                         2 Points: Can only be harmed by +2 magic weapon for 1 round.
                                         2 Points: Movement increases by X2.
                                         3 Points: Next attack roll 2d20 and take the better of the results.
                                         4 Points: Next attack drains a level.
Withering: Each touch drains the vitality from a random body part. The affected area becomes lifeless and unusable. Touching an arm will make holding a weapon impossible. Touching a leg will knock the opponent prone and require that person to hop around, etc. Touching the head however will put the victim into a coma and requires a system shock roll(or con attribute check). Failure results in instant death. The DM should adjudicate game mechanic effects. Vitality to the afflicted area will return after a nights rest.
                                        d6 Random Body Part
                                        1. Right Arm
                                        2. Left Arm
                                        3. Right Leg
                                        4. Left Leg
                                        5. Torso
                                        6. Head

Umbral: The touch of this Wight drains color and eventually turns the victim into a Shadow. The first touch drains all vibrant colors from the victims body and clothes. He appears dark and dull grey. The second touch turns the victim clothes and body into solid darkness. The third touch the body becomes incorporeal and the victim immediately becomes a Shadow.

Tumor: Each touch causes a large pulsating cyst to form on the victims body. The following round the cyst burst doing 1d6 points of damage and birthing a Homunculus. The Homunculus is linked to the Wight and attacks the victim the following round.