Thursday, 26 June 2014

Wight is the new Black

The Wight. This is where the undead start to get interesting. Skeletons and zombies are classic foes obviously (with the latter being a pop culture obsession in the last decade,) and ghouls are good, paralysis is a great threat for the average PC. The wight however is a truly deadly opponent, that level drain is a total bitch, especially for your low level PCs who are staring death in the face with no saving throw.

Barrow Wight by verraux on deviantart

The Swords and Wizardry Complete rules has this to say about Wights:

"Wights live in tombs, graveyards, and burial mounds (barrows). They are undead, and thus not affected by sleep or charm spells. Wights are immune to all non-magical weapons, with the exception of silver weapons. Any human killed or completely drained of levels by a wight becomes a wight. "

Mentzer Basic D&D says this:

"A wight is an undead spirit living in the body of a dead human or demi-human. It can only be hit by silvered or magical weapons. Wights are greatly feared, as they drain life energy when striking a victim. "

Wikipedia says:

"In its original usage the word wight described a living human being.[3] More recently, the word has been used within the fantasy genre of literature to describe undead or wraith-like creatures: corpses with a part of their decayed soul still in residence, often draining life from their victims."

Dragon Warriors says this:

"Wights are ancient undead, greatly feared because of their passionless evil and strange magical powers. They are the shamans and wizard-kings of a bygone age, and dwell in the bowels of their lonely burial-mounds. Transformed and sustained by their own necromantic magic, Wights appear sallow and desiccated, sunken eyes glittering with an eldritch light."

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay defines Wights thusly:

"Wights are the remains of mortal heroes, animated beyond death by their own evil wills, and by strong magic woven ivy those who interred them in their grave-mounds many centuries earlier. Wights are almost always arrayed in full armour but their pale faces are visible beneath the helm, the spectral remnants of their long-decayed bodies."
This guy.

For my Grim North setting wights are going to be more along the lines of the undead remains of sorcerer kings, the witch lords of a bygone age. Vulnerability to magic weapons only is an issue given the rarity of such items in the setting but let's say all non silver weapons do half damage. The touch of a wight will be ennervating but with some temporary attribute draining touch something like save vs 2d6 strength loss, rather than the dreaded level drain, although any victim not slain will soon recover if brought out into sunlight. In addition they will have some spells and unique powers (in addition to its spell casting DW allows a wight a poisonous breath weapon, the ability to raise fog, and cast illusions that cause paralysis through terror, all once per day.) The wight will be armed and armoured with its burial finery so there's scope for some serious treasure, given its status when alive, with the additional possibility as afforded in WFRP that when wielded by its unded owner a wight's blade takes on some of the creature's dark, unholy power.

I'm going to have to work on the stats, although I'm leaning towards making each one unique in some way.

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