Gelf

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d4 or 5d20 in large ruins
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 150’ (50’) or corpses original movement.
AC: 6 or corpses (see description)
HD: 4 or corpses (see description)
Attacks: None or corpses (see description)
Damage: None or corpses (see description)
Save: L4 or Corpses
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: I, II, IV, VIII, 1d2 weapons (any, 50%), 1 suit of armor (any 50%)

These creatures resemble what humanity called ‘ghosts’ or ‘spirits’. In their true form, they appear as ethereal beings, having a vague resemblance to a human – two arms, legs, a featureless head, two eyes which glow white, and a mouth. The beings typically appear as a bluish-white wisp. They do not walk, but instead fly, and are able to reach heights of up to 500’. They

There are those who believe these beings are in fact the souls of the dead, those who died during the final wars, which almost destroyed the earth, as they seem to be tied to certain locations such as ruined cities or areas where death reigned supreme, and thousands upon thousands lost their lives.

Wasteland scholars have learned this theory has merit. Some of the weapons used during the wars released unheard of amounts of radiation, and there were weapons used that employed different types of radiation. As a result, these creatures were formed when their bodies died from the not-so-gentle caress of these strange types of radiation.

As they travel the wastes, the creatures are capable of moving through the tiniest of cracks or spaces, as they are in fact gaseous beings. Those who discover this can use it to their advantage, as energy and thermal weapons can be used against the creatures. It should be noted they are incapable of passing through soil, water, or energy fields.They are especially susceptible to thermal weapons, and avoid fires as if their un-natural lives depend on it.

Because it does.

The creatures are fully capable of speaking and communicating with those they encounter, and often appear as benign beings, simply looking for a way to go to their final rest. As strange as it sounds, the creatures need physical bodies in order to actually interact with the real world, as their near-etherealness makes it all but impossible to do so otherwise.

Living beings have nothing to fear from the gaseous creatures. They need the dead in order to possess and reanimate the corpses. Only human or humanoid corpses will work, as they are incapable of controlling animals or badly mutated humanoids (those with at least three or more physical defects, xenomorphism or chimera’s).

Taking over the bodies, the creatures gain the dead’s hit dice (or Constitution), as well as any physical abilities it possessed in life. The beings are not able to access either the memories or the mental mutations possessed by the body they inhabit.

This allows these creatures to interact with the real world. Some are content to enjoy the sensation of having a physical form once again, but others use the forms to attack and kill other humans. That is the only way these beings are capable of keeping their numbers up. They have to kill Pure Humans or Humans. They will try to do so using weapons which cause as little physical harm to the body as possible, such as poisons. Those who are killed by these creatures will have their memories and personality slowly transformed into a new member of this species, over a period of 1d3+2 days. This takes place by the killer giving up a single hit-dice (which is part of their essence), by injecting part of their gaseous form into the corpse. During this period, the corpse cannot be possessed by one of these creatures, and the transformation can be halted by simply destroying the body. If left unchecked, the life-force will become gaseous and leave the corpse, having been newly risen. Try as the being might, for some unknown reason they cannot re-inhabit their former body.

As long as the creature has the body, it can use it to interact with the real world. They will often use the body to engage in activities they miss from when they too had physical forms, such as eating, drinking, moving about, breathing air, or even engaging in carnal activities. The bodies can easily be damaged and destroyed, despite having the same hit dice or Constitution score they had during life. Once a body is reduced to zero hit points, the corpse is destroyed and the creature is forced out.

These creatures can only use a body for a limited time before they are forced to leave it. The original body will decay, the corpse losing 1 hit dice or point of Constitution every 1d3 days. As time and decay progress, the corpse will begin to take on the appearance of a zombie or other similar creature, which can lead to all manner of issues.

If the creature chooses to remain in the corpse until it hits zero hit dice or Constitution, when this occurs the body will literally disintegrate into rotten flesh, organs and bones, with a blue-white cloud of vapor hovering above it.  The downside for these beings is they are incapable of possessing another corpse for a period of time equal to half the time they ‘rode’ the body they were forcibly ejected from.

These beings do not have to wait for a body to decompose or destroyed, they can leave the body at any point in time. If they did not possess it for more than 24 hours, they can enter another corpse without having to wait for the time limit otherwise imposed on them. The other drawback is they cannot repossess a corpse they used before.

In their natural state, they cannot harm anyone, and they do not possess any mental mutations. When they are riding a corpse, they can use armor and weapons, and will do so readily.

If the beings have one driving force, it is to be able to ‘live’ again, and the will to do so is so overpowering, even the meekest and most gentle during life will turn vengeful and do anything to experience the sensations of life once again. If they go more than 90 days without having possessed a corpse, the creatures will turn a deep shade of red, and they will take on a feral appearance, and once they have found a corpse to inhabit, they will go on a rampage for 1d6 hours, attempting to kill as many people as they can. These beings have no control over this, and often it is how they generate fresh bodies for their comrades to inhabit. The way they react after such a rampage varies from individual to individual… some are remorseful; others do not give a damn.

Mutations: Possession (modified)

Source: Doctor Who series 1, episode 3 (2005)