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Tavern Prowler (Dread Codex Monster)

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Tavern Prowler
Size/Type: Small Undead (Incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 4d12 (26 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 11 (+1 size, -1 Dex, +1 deflection), touch 11, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: 1d6 thrown objects +1 ranged (1d4 per object) or 1 thrown object +1 ranged (3d4)
Full Attack: 1d6 thrown objects +1 ranged (1d4 per object) or 1 thrown object +1 ranged (3d4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Energy Drain
Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 5/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Incorporeal Traits, Spell Resistance 12, Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +3
Abilities: Str 9, Dex 9, Con —, Int 8, Wis 9, Cha 9
Skills: Climb +4, Hide +9, Listen +6, Spot +6
Feats: Alertness, Lightning Reflexes
Environment: Any land (taverns)
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 4-8 HD (Small); 9-12 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment:

This creature appears as a faintly glowing humanoid. It wears the unkempt clothing of a commoner and its eyes flash with a white radiance as loose items fly off the bar counter.

All adventurers see the barflies that inhabit every location of drunkenness and revelry in each community. Some of these wretched drunkards were former adventurers themselves. But too many waste their lives away on the barstool, waiting for some kind of emotional pain to dissipate or for good paying work to materialize out of thin air. It is no surprise that these men (and some women) die either inside or on their way to/from the tavern. These are the souls that become tavern prowlers.

Having no goals in its living existence, the tavern prowler finds one in undeath. A spirit returns to the same tavern it frequented one month to the day after its death. The people inside the bar experience a sudden chill when the tavern door blows open mysteriously even though there may have been no wind outside. This is the only physical manifestation to clue patrons in on what has happened. For the rest of its existence, the prowler remains inside the tavern, feeding off the lives it never had during the long nights.

Combat Edit

If a tavern prowler is attacked, it can hurl the objects in a room at its attacker in a typically drunken fit of anger. A tavern prowler can, with the sheer force of its anger, hurl 1d6 objects weighing up to 5 pounds (1d4 damage) each per round without penalty, or one object that weighs up to 30 pounds (3d4 damage).

Energy Drain (Su): Tavern prowlers draw energy from sleeping mortals over the course of an entire night. To drain a victim successfully, the prowler must be in "contact" with a victim's sleeping form for a minimum of six hours. During this time, the victim is wracked by terrible nightmares and may wake up with a successful DC 11 Will save. If the victim wakes up, the tavern prowler's drain attempt fails and it flees the room. If the life drain is successful, the victim pays a steep price, suffering 1d2 negative levels, and he ages five years, appearing older with drawn skin and graying hair. Removing a negative level requires a successful DC 11 Fortitude save.

Treasure Edit

None — As an incorporeal being, the tavern prowler has no treasure; and even if it did, that would have gone toward buying a pint of ale long ago.

In Your Campaign Edit

For the most part an innocuous monster, the tavern prowler can still make for an interesting detail in the party's favorite tavern. For whatever reason, the same powers which gave the prowler life also gave it a purpose—protect its former home. If the tavern comes under attack or is in danger of being destroyed by a fight, the prowler instinctively intervenes to stave off the destruction. PCs getting into a bar fight might find themselves on the receiving end of a tavern prowler attack. Most assuredly, they become the target of its energy drain once they retired to upstairs quarters.

In some taverns, the prowler is a known entity, celebrated for his eternal vigilance in guarding the establishment. A prowler can easily be the subject a bard's tale or perhaps a plot hook when knowledge of a past incident is required. The incident took place in the bar room during the prowler's living tenure and the party must somehow convince it to give up that knowledge. Locating the tavern prowler can be as easy as asking for it aloud to following the faintest smell of ale into the tavern's cellar.



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