Ghost (5e Race)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: The balance issues on the talk page back from 2015 are still relevant. "Undead Nature" alone would use up the whole balance budget. Furthermore if you are taking the ability score increase from another race, the obvious choice is human, since that's +1 to each, making this particularly overpowered.

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In life, Karn Gardenoak was a silent giant of a man, who would frequently be seen on the ramparts of the Old Wolfstone Castle, peering out into the darkness with his piercing blue eyes. In death, the guardian of Wolfstone had not changed. He still was silent, his figure still massive, and he continued to watch the walls of the broken citadel. The only difference was his body was now flickering and transparent, as if he was made from the thick fog that surrounded the castle, and 10 orcish arrows now adorned his chest, covering his breast plate with shimmering silver blood.

Physical Description[edit]


Ghosts are flickering remnants of their past lives, appearing as they did before death, however they are now transparent and have a coloured tinge to them that drowns out all colour of their body.

If the ghost is still coming to terms with its death, it's appearance may reflect how it died. For example, a ghost that had drowned in a previous life may be dripping with glowing water droplets that disappear as soon as they hit the ground. A ghost that died in battle may still have the wounds it sustained in life- open and flowing with silver blood.

Similarly, if the ghost instead is more transfixed by guilt or regret at its previous life it is instead wrapped in ethereal chains. This is because the image of a ghost is controlled by its own mental state and such transduction with death or regret manifests in its image on the Material Plane.

It is possible for ghosts to be completely free of regret or transfixed by its death, but it would mean that the only thing tying it to the Material Plane is the ghost's own willpower, which makes its bond to the Material Plane weaker than the other two types of ghosts.


Ghost have been present in the world since the earliest days of creation, especially around places where the influences of the Shadowfell are the strongest.

Some societies even attempt to draw forth the ghosts of their ancestors for guidance in a sort of benign necromancy. However, in general ghosts have been feared more than revered as the reasons why a ghost lingers on the Material Plane may not always be considered good.


Ghosts sometimes form societies in long-dead crypts or abandoned cities in an attempt to preserve what little feeling of life remain. However, often those societies do not last long as either too many ghost pass on from the Material Plane or the ghosts lose hope and wander away from the settlements.

Ghost Names[edit]

Ghosts often take the name they had before their death. However, some take on the name of the goal they are trying to achieve in their new unlife.

Ghost Mission Names: Vengeance, Penance, Help, Light, Lament, Fear

Ghost Traits[edit]

Death is less permanent than you think.
Ability Score Increase. See the Before Death racial trait.
Age. A ghost can "live" for a very long time as they can remain on the Material Plane as long as their willpower allows them, though they usually pass on after they fulfill a goal they could not accomplish in life.
Alignment. See Before Death racial trait.
Size. Ghosts have no weight and are as tall as they were in life. See Before Death racial trait, your size is usually Medium.
Speed. You float no more then 5 feet off the ground. See Before Death racial trait.
Before Death. You were living once. As such you gain ability score increases, speed, alignment and size of your form before death. However, as a ghost, you lose the traits that your race may have had when you were alive- for example, an Elf Ghost has none of the Elf race traits; just ability score increases. You still have a physical presence- meaning physical weapons affect you as they would for any other race.
Undead Nature. Your creature type is humanoid and undead. You do not require air, food, drink or sleep. You are immune to poison, being poisoned and diseases. Due to your lack of a physical body, you are immune to the state of exhaustion.
Ethereal Form. You may move through objects and creatures as if they were difficult terrain. Ending your turn in a square occupied by an object or creature causes you to be pushed to the nearest unoccupied square and take 1d10 force damage.
Possession. You gain the ability to possess a humanoid within 5 feet of you. The humanoid must succeed a Charisma saving throw or become possessed. You then disappear, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. You now control the body but you can't deprive the possessed target of awareness. You can't be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect, except ones that turn undead, and you retains your alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores. You otherwise use the possessed target's statistics but you don't gain access to the target's knowledge, class features, or proficiencies. The possession lasts until the body drops to 0 hit points, you end it as a bonus action, or you are turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, you reappear in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to your Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends. You regain use of this trait once you have completed a long rest.
Leaving the Material Plane. As a bonus action, you may step into the Ethereal Plane, becoming incorporeal. While incorporeal, you loose the ability to realize any physical actions, such as basic/weapon attacks, and you become resistant to non-magical damage from creatures in the material plane. As a bonus action, or if reduced to 0 hit points you re-enter the Material Plane.
Will to Remain. You have advantage in death saving throws. Being hit while you have 0 hit points does not result in failed saves unless the attack is magical.
Languages. See Before Death racial trait.

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