What is a Wraith in Pathfinder 2e? Wraiths are malevolent undead who drain life and shun the light. Their shadowy, incorporeal forms are dotted with burning eyes that reflect their hatred for the living, and shadowy claws are weapons enough to steal the vitality from their enemies. A wraith may be created by foul necromancy, but more often they are the result of a hermitic murderer or mutilator who even in death could not give up their wicked ways.
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Wraiths may form packs with others of their kind in places where death and mayhem are commonplace—countrysides ravaged by war, metropolitan underworlds run by criminal overlords, or sites of fiendish cultic rituals. In these places, the living do well to tread with sunrods and powerful clerics in tow. Ruins, sewers, and abandoned buildings provide sanctuary for wraiths during the day, as the creatures hunt exclusively at night or in dark places. They are smart enough to take advantage of their incorporeality in combat, so they keep to tortuous caverns or structures with hallways and avoid open areas.
Wraiths Can Drain Life
When the wraith damages a living creature with its spectral hand Strike, they gain 5 temporary Hit Points and the creature must succeed at a DC 23 Fortitude save or become drained 1. Further damage dealt by the wraith increases the amount of drain by 1 on a failed save to a maximum of drained 4. Remember drain reduces your maximum hit points and can be healed at 1 drain per night’s rest. They are particularly vulnerable to positive energy, such as that provided by clerics who can channel positive energy to harm undead creatures. They are also susceptible to magical attacks that target their incorporeal nature.
A living humanoid slain by a wraith’s spectral hand strike rises as a wraith spawn after 1d4 rounds. This wraith spawn is under the command of the wraith that killed it. It doesn’t have drain life or wraith spawn and becomes clumsy 2 for as long as it is a wraith spawn. If the creator of the wraith spawn dies, the wraith spawn becomes a full-fledged, autonomous wraith; it regains its free will, gains Wraith Spawn, and is no longer clumsy.
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Wraith Adventure Idea
The players are hired by a wealthy merchant to retrieve a valuable artifact from a haunted mansion. The wraith who resides there has been causing the locals to avoid the area, and the merchant is willing to pay a large sum to recover the artifact. What else could be in this mansion beside a wraith? Minor undead or animals could have moved into the mansion. You could even have a group of bandits that are occupying a different floor than the wraith and have been able to keep it at bay but aren’t willing to help the players.
The players stumble upon a village that is being terrorized by a wraith. The village elders offer a reward for anyone who can defeat the wraith and lift the curse that has befallen the town. This one could be turned into a mystery. A villager is going missing once or twice a week. The bodies aren’t ever found. The village is getting desperate to figure out what is hunting them. They have some vague notions of what could be hunting them, but it isn’t obvious it is a wraith. The players can be hired as they pass through or maybe they are found in the town nearby and approached for help.
The Hidden Crypt
The players are tasked with investigating a series of disappearances at a local cemetery. It turns out that a wraith has been feeding on the mourners and the deceased, and the players must put an end to its reign of terror.
The wraith is living in a hidden crypt that is labyrinthine in nature that existed centuries ago when the graveyard was unknowingly built overtop of it. The stairs into the crypt are labeled as c, which is near room 21 in the upper left corner of the map.
If you want more of a challenge for your players you can fill this crypt with undead or even more wraiths in any of the circular or oddly shaped rooms.
Feel free to populate the crypt as you see fit. Some of the rooms could be caved in and barely passable. Giant spiders or rats could also be inhabiting some of the other areas of this crypt as well.
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About the Author:
Dwight Scull has been playing tabletop role-playing games (starting with Dungeons and Dragons 3.5) back in 2001. He started being a dungeon master around 2005.
He loves to play many different types of TTRPGs, including Pathfinder, GURPS, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension (and other White Wolf Games), Nights Black Agents, and others.
Fan of mysteries, light horror, co-op board games, true crime, sci-fi, and fantasy.