Monday, October 31, 2011

Fantomist (Wermspittle)

No. Enc.: 1d4 (3d6)
Alignment: (80%) Chaotic, (20%) Neutral
Movement: 150' (50')
          Levitate: 300' (100')
Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 1 + spells
Damage: 1d8+residue, by spell
Save: F5
Morale: 10

Liars, cheaters, thieves -- worst of all thieves-- but not of the vulgar sort, no that would not do for these horrid, wretched villains. They traffic in contraband spirits, abducted and purloined souls, encysted minds and the flickering remnants of other people's loved ones--they trade in shadows and memories and they are cruel in their dealings for they love no one.

Pallid, gaunt humanoids wreathed in masses of flowing and swirling ectoplasm, the Fantomists are terrifying even to those who know nothing about them. Those who do know their illicit and damned trade often find themselves fleeing before they have to face one of these hateful, greedy soul-mongers. (Treat this as a 10' radius Fear effect, as suggested by a brief perusal of Shane Mangus' excellent rules for Horror and Sanity in Fantasy available at his blog, Swords Against the Outer Dark.)

Fantomists are not quite undead. No longer merely living, they occupy a strange limnal state in-between, a grim twilight from which they derive a great deal of knowledge and power. They know the secrets that only the dead can whisper and they know the fear and loathing that can only burst forth from a still-beating heart. They know much that is forbidden, forgotten or better off lost for the sake of sanity and all that is good.

A Fantomist attacks with an ectoplasmic bolt or a range of spells and symbols. The ectoplasmic bolt does 1d8 damage and leaves a corrupting residue on the target that makes them more susceptible to necromantic effects for 2d4 turns. (-4 penalty on all saves versus Fantomist spells, -2 penalty against all other necromantic effects for duration of the residue. Also anyone dying while suffering from the residue has a base 40% chance to become some form of undead. Determine type randomly.)

But a Fantomist cares nothing for sanity, nor for the paltry concepts of good or evil. They are beyond such distinctions, doing as they please and wreaking havoc upon all who dare to oppose their nefarious schemes and long-range ambitions.

The Fantomists are nothing if not consummate schemers. They are ruthless yet patient, for they have all the time in the world, should they require it. Masterminds and manipulators behind the scenes, they specialize in blackmail, manufactured sedition, a hundred crimes and more--they care not one whit about laws or convention save that they are useful to their plans and give them such a wonderful web to work with like master weavers. And the worst thing of all is that they walk freely amongst the living and the dead, they capture souls, imprison minds and have been known to arrange for especially meddlesome interlopers to be incarcerated in the deepest dungeons where they have languished forlorn and forgotten, only to die and give up their soul unto their enemies who then set them to working mischief and mayhem on their behalf.

One might consider buying back the soul of someone dearly departed, but oftentimes what comes back isn't what you'd expect or hope for. Caveat Emptor.

Fantomists have a long-running enmity and wage a pernicious slow motion war of attrition against other necromantic factions such as possibly the Barrow-Men, the Soulless and/or the empty-eyed and alley-haunting Mediums all too familiar to the denizens of the shanty-camps of Wermspittle, should any such dwell within a city or town that the Fantomists have taken up residence within.

A Fantomist has a minimum of 4 levels as a spell caster and they always have the following spells: Cause Fear, Curse, Magic Jar, Phantasmal Force, Confusion, Feeblemind, Death Spell, Trap the Soul, and a range of Symbols unique to themselves. Fantomists also have a repertoire of spells unique to them, several of which have already been detailed here at Hereticwerks.

There are several competing groups of Fantomists in Wermspittle, necromantic mercenaries who switch their allegiances between the Ignobles and others based on what rewards they are promised and the rewards that they demand in the pursuit of their own weird agendas...

Fantomists employ agents to scour the markets and fairs. They seem to be looking for rare manuscripts, half-rotten scrolls and odd compendia that most of the book-sellers and looters have never heard of...yet.


  1. I like the difference, the way it's just familiar enough to get a grip on, but fresh. It feels like a full concept. They make a freaky bridge between worlds.

  2. @Porky: You'll be seeing more of the Fantomists in September...and yes, they certainly do form a very bizarre bridge between worlds...


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