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(TFT) New Monster
Deadlites in TFT.
(C) 1999 By Rick Smith
ST 0 (1 fST to 30 fST in superscripts.)
DX 9 to 14 (usually 11)
Deadlites can not be attacked by physical weapons while in wisp form. They have no physical attacks.
Deadlites are a form of undead wisp that attempts to kill sentient beings so that it can feed off their life force. The basic way deadlites operate is they possess unconscious bodies or intact dead corpses and then animate them. They are like zombies with additional weaknesses (the deadlites can be attacked directly) and advantages (when their possessed corpse is hacked apart they can animate a new one). Deadlites can not animate skeletons.
A deadlite looks like a Willow the Wisp only it is black. In total darkness they can be vaguely seen as deeper dark against the black. They are about 25 to 40 cm in diameter and roughly spherical, tho they slightly deform as they move. They can slowly drift thru the air. When they touch a body, they become a hemisphere, then shrink to nothing as they pull themselves inside.
Note on physics and theology:
The main reason that a being is able to store up and manipulate magic is so its soul will have the power to travel to another plane of existence when it dies (and defend itself on the trip). When a deadlite feeds on the 'life force' of a being, it does not destroy the soul of their victim, but it drains away the soul's mana, making it harder or impossible for the soul to go to the next plane. Victims of deadlites often become ghosts, wights or other forms of weak undead beings.
A deadlite is a mana-based spirit that feeds off of the life force of free spirits. (A free spirit is a spirit without a body.) 'Natural' free spirits have defenses against deadlite's attacks so their easiest prey is the newly freed souls of beings that just had living bodies. Deadlites prefer 'higher' souls so the souls of sentient life are more attractive than animals, and animals are more attractive than plants or insects. A deadlite will permanently gain 1 fST superscript for each soul it consumes. When a deadlite reaches 25 to 30 fatigue superscripts they split into 1 major one (with about half of the fST) and 3 to 8 smaller ones that share the remaining fST. The small deadlites will remain with their 'parent' until they are over 12 fST or so and then they drift away.
Deadlites will occasionally inhabit graveyards but clerics will quickly drive them away. In the wilderness, they will drift until they find a fresh corpse. They will animate it and go searching for live beings to kill and feed off of.
Fighting Deadlites In Wisp Form:
Directly attacking a deadlite is easy, they move so slowly that the attack is at +4 DX. However physical weapons do no damage to them in wisp form.
They will quickly die in areas with no mana and can be hurt with the Death spell or any spell that drains fST from a being. (When their fST reaches 0 they die.) They may be captured by the Trap Spirit spell.
Unarmed attacks by sentient beings who are in a state of heightened awareness (see psionics in TFT), do 1/5 normal damage (round down).
Touching a deadlite is horrible for it drains away a microscopic amount of your soul. Each time you do so, you must make a 2vsBV or be so horrified as to be unable to attack it for 5 turns. (BV = Bravery, a personality attribute, see page 7 of ITL.)
Clerics are will automatically make this bravery roll, and if a cleric is in the party, everyone gets improved moral (+2 to their bravery verses undead).
<Optional rule> You may wish to allow priests to do 1/5 unarmed damage and theologians to do 1/3 unarmed damage (round down) to deadlites in wisp form.
Fighting Deadlites When They Have Possessed a Body:
Attacking a deadlite that has possessed a body or corpse can not be done. You must first fight the body and then wait until it leaves.
When a deadlite possesses a corpse, it gains 'hits' equal to twice its basic ST. When the corpse has lost this many hits, the body is assumed to have been hacked to bits. The deadlite may remain inside to feed, or leave to animate a new corpse.
When a deadlite possesses a living body, it gains, the basic ST of that body times two, extra hits. It will attack until the body takes that many real hits (and is hacked to pieces).
Often you may wish not to kill off a body that it possesses. You may attack it with subdual damage, but subdual damage is only 1/2 as effective against the possessed body.
If the living possessed body is pinned or tied up, the deadlite will leave it within a minute or so, since it is not strong enough to feed on a soul of a living being. It will try to find a body to use or feed in. It may follow the party, or if they have discovered a way to hurt it, hide in a stump or fly away.
If a deadlite's victim is unconscious, and regains consciousness while it is animating the body, the deadlite retains control of the body, until the possessed figure makes an easy Battle of Wills (X:XvsIQ). Each of these simple Battle of Wills requires 3 turns (the roll is made at the end of the 3 turns). There is no penalty for failing other than another 15 seconds of being possessed. When the victim eventually makes the roll, the deadlite is expelled from the body thru the forehead.
Driving off a feeding deadlite:
If you believe a deadlite is feeding on the soul of a dead body, a cleric with the Last Rites rite may spend double fST on the last rite and make a simple Battle of Wills ( X:XvsIQ). If the cleric is successful, the deadlite must permanently leave that body. If the cleric fails, the Battle of Wills may be attempted again after 1 minute. If the deadlite is not driven away with in an hour or so, it will leave having completely drained the dead soul.
Deadlites are intelligent and it is not uncommon for old ones to learn a weapon talent or three to improve their effectiveness. If a parent and several children are living together, the parent will coordinate their attacks. Very rarely, extremely old deadlites gain an extra point of IQ or two. Occasionally a smarter one will learn a language. It will then use verbal wiles to taunt or trick party members.
If a deadlite in a live body is unable to harm other party members, it will try to kill the body it possesses. Armor on the possessed body will protect for only 1/3 of the normal hits at best (e.g. the body will open its mouth to allow it to stuff a dagger thru the back of the throat).
Deadlites are undead and as such, they hate life. They should be played as evil beings, and will attempt to do cruel and unholy things.
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