Ghost Tamer (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

The ghost tamer is a medium or spiritualist who attracts new spirits as he encounters them, offering them to resolve their trauma in exchange for service. The ghost tamer is a martial artist of the way of force.

Class Information

This is a martial arts archetype, a medium or spiritualist specialized in fighting undead.

Publisher: Pathways Magazine.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Features

The ghost tamer has all the medium's or spiritualist's class features, except as follows

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Ghost tamers are proficient with all simple weapons, kukris, saps, and scythes. They are not proficient in any armor or shields.


Add the following spells to the ghost tamer's spell list at the indicated levels.

  1. Mage armor, command undead, repair undead.
  2. Phantom steedUC, sentry skullARG.
  3. Animate dead, unliving rageACG.
  4. Create undead, ethereal jaunt.

ACG: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide. ARG: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide. UC: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat.

Phantom Armor (Sp)

At 1st level, a ghost tamer can use mage armor (sp) twice per day.

At 4th level the armor bonus of mage armor and bracers of armor stack when worn by a ghost tamer. These bonuses do not otherwise stack with armor, either normal or force. The armor created by ghost tamers looks similar to their tame spirit, displaying a mix of the spirit's and tamer's aura colors.

Tame Spirit (Su)

At 1st level, when an undead creature is destroyed within 100 ft. of the ghost tamer, she has the option of absorbing its spirit into herself within the next minute. This is a full-round action. The ghost tamer learns the emotional focus or legend of the tamed spirit and can then accept it or send it on its way with no effect except the time spent.

An undead creature that is tamed cannot rejuvenate or otherwise be restored to an undead creature as long as it is tamed by the ghost tamer. It must make a Will saving throw each day when the ghost tamer prepares spells, using the Will saving throw it had as an undead creature and a save DC of 10 + half the ghost tamer's class level + the ghost tamer's Charisma modifier. If this check fails the spirit is freed from its mortal ties and will not rejuvenate or otherwise return to being an undead creature without outside help. Any phylactery or similar binding object it has loses its power. The ghost tamer can continue to use a redeemed spirit as a tame spirit until she decides to release or replace it, whereupon it will go to its final reward.

Once redeemed, the tame spirit loses its memories and motivation. Before that point, the tamed spirit keeps the agenda it had as an undead creature, but it must still accept the ghost tamer's orders and fulfill them to the letter. The tamed spirit has the undead creature's memories, but are not forced to divulge these and uses such knowledge to bargain to achieve its personal goals. If the tamed spirit is killed before the tamed spirit is redeemed, the tamed spirit immediately rejuvenates into its prior form (undead or haunt) with all hit points and limited-use abilities restored. After hosting a tame spirit for 24 hours, the ghost tamer can choose to free the spirit as a full-round action, with the same effect on the spirit as if the ghost tamer had died.

In addition to the effects on the captured undead creature, tame spirit also affects the ghost tamer, with different results for medium ghost tamers and spiritualist ghost tamers.

Designing Captured Creatures
The ghost tamer changes spirit or phantom at the drop of a hat, and this puts a burden on the GM, who is expected to design these creatures. If the GM trusts the player, it can be the player's task to create the spirit, based on a description of the undead creature. Or perhaps another player with sufficient imagination and rules knowledge can be given the task. As usual, the GM has final say and can reject or modify what the player creates.

If a particular undead is important to the plot, it automatically succeeds on redemption saving throws until its plot is resolved. This creates a conundrum for the ghost tamer, who cannot safely tame other undead until the plot is resolved.

Medium Ghost Tamer If the spirit is accepted, it works the same as a spirit gained trough a seance, except that the GM decides all the details; the spirit's legend, taboo, and spirit powers. These should all reflect abilities the undead creature had, but need not be an exact match. If the spirit would offer a duplicate of a feat or spell the medium already knows, the medium is free to pick any other feat or spell she desires, within the normal constraints of the spirit type.

The new spirit has one point more influence than the spirit it is replacing had. Accepting a new spirit restores all the medium's spell slots, spell-like and supernatural abilities with a limited number of daily uses. An unredeemed spirit that gains control either rejuvenates or uses the medium to achieve its own goals.

For every three points the spirit's challenge rating is less than the medium's class level, the spirit loses one spirit power it would normally give the medium, with the normal influence effect of channeling a weaker spirit. This is the only way a ghost tamer medium can channel a weaker spirit. The spirit remains channeled until the ghost tamer uses tame spirit to channel a new spirit, regaining all daily abilities when the ghost tamer prepares spells. This replaces seance.

Spiritualist Ghost Tamer If the spirit is accepted, it replaces the ghost tamer's current phantom. It works as a normal phantom, except that the GM decides all the details; emotional focus, skill ranks, feats, and how it has spent its attribute increases. These should all reflect abilities the undead creature had, but need not be an exact match. It begins with full hit points and all abilities unused and available.

Ghost Touch (Su)

At 2nd level, any weapon the ghost tamer wields gains the ghost touch property while wielded. Weapons fired, thrown, or dropped lose the property at the end of the ghost tamer’s turn. This replaces shared seance for the medium and bonded senses for the spiritualist.

Haunt Trap (Su)

At 4th level, a spiritualist ghost tamer gains the medium's haunt channeler ability. This replaces the spiritualist's spiritual interference ability.

When a ghost tamer uses the haunt channeler ability to completely absorb a haunt, she can choose to capture its spirit as the tame spirit ability. While tamed, a haunt cannot recharge and can be redeemed in the same manner as an undead affected by tame spirit; a haunt has a Will save bonus of 2 + half it's challenge rating.

Table: Ghost Tamer

Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Ghost armor, knacks, spirit, spirit bonus +1, spirit power (lesser), spirit surge 1d6, tame spirit
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Ghost touch, taboo
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Haunt trap
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Spirit bonus +2 1
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Spirit manifestation 1
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Spirit power (intermediate) 1
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Connection channel 1 1
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Spirit bonus +3 1 1
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Propitiation 2 1
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Spirit surge 1d8 2 1 1
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Spirit power (greater) 2 1 1
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Spirit bonus +4 2 2 1
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Ask the spirits 3 2 1 1
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Astral journey 3 2 1 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Twin spirit 3 2 2 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Spirit bonus +5 3 3 2 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Spirit power (supreme) 4 3 2 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Ghost army 4 3 2 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Spirit mastery 4 3 3 2
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Astral beacon, spirit bonus +6, spirit surge 1d10 4 4 3 2

Undead as Spirits

Various undead creatures manifest as different kinds of spirits. Here is a guide for what kinds of undead function as which spirit. If no clear group suggests itself, the GM can simply roll a die, rerolling results that seem absurd.

  1. Archmage: Any undead capable of casting arcane spells, particularly if they have a selection or actual character class levels. Daughter of the dead, lich.
  2. Champion: Undead with class levels in a fighting class or who are offensive fighters doing a lot of damage or that inflict harmful conditions. Draugr, skeleton, skeletal champion.
  3. Guardian: Defensive or slow undead creatures, often with many resistances or inflicting debilitating conditions. Incorporeal undead focused of fighting. Berbalang, mummy, zombie.
  4. Hierophant: Undead casting divine spells or with levels in or ties to a divine spellcasting class. Daughters of the dead, hecuva.
  5. Marshal: Undead with leadership or the ability to control others. These are often creatures of great Charisma. Geist, vampire.
  6. Trickster: Undead with freedom to act, able to use stealth and trickery. Undead with vulnerability to sunlight. Many of these are incorporeal, but not all incorporeal undead are tricksters. Gearghosts, ghouls, specters.

Undead as Phantoms

Various undead creatures manifest as phantoms of different emotional focus. Ideally, this should be given by the motivations and background of the creature, but often such details are not known. Then the emotional focus of the undead can be decided by its role and abilities. Here is a guide for what kinds of undead focus which emotion. If no clear focus suggests itself, the GM can simply roll a die, re-rolling results that seem absurd.

  1. Anger: Undead doing a lot of damage.
  2. Dedication: Defensive or slow undead, often with many resistances.
  3. Despair: Undead inflicting debilitating conditions or drain levels.
  4. Hatred: Undead able to use stealth and trickery.
  5. Jealousy: Undead that use charm and compulsion abilities.
  6. Zeal: Undead able to rejuvenate or otherwise restore themselves from destruction.

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Armor Proficiency
  • Seance
  • Haunt Channeler
  • Location Channel
  • Trance of Three
  • Spacious Soul

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