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Phantasmal Poltergeist


AC 13
HP 72 (6d8; bloodied 36)
Speed 30 ft.

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 13
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities fatigued , frightened , petrified , poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages understands the languages it knew in life but can’t speak

Ethereal Form. The poltergeist lives on the Ethereal Plane. While on that plane, it can’t be sensed or attacked by creatures on the Material Plane.

Ethereal Sight. The poltergeist can see into both the Material Plane and Ethereal Plane.

Phantasmal Dissolution. When the poltergeist is destroyed, it appears in its true form for a moment and dissipates into glowing dust.

Phantasmal Illusion. When a creature fails its saving throw against the poltergeist’s Horrid Illusion while the poltergeist is bloodied , the poltergeist regains 10 hit points.


Possess Object. While on the Ethereal Plane, the poltergeist magically possesses a Medium or smaller unattended nonmagical object in a corresponding space on the Material Plane. Until this possession ends, the poltergeist invisibly enters the object and exists on the Material Plane. The poltergeist can use its movement to move the object and its action to manipulate the object (such as by causing a possessed door to slam or lock, or a piano to play). While the object stays still, the possession can be detected by effects and spells like detect evil and good and detect magic or by a DC 13 Investigation or Religion check.

Any attacks or effects that would target or affect a possessed object instead target or affect the poltergeist. The possession ends after 1 minute, when the poltergeist is incapacitated , when the poltergeist ends it as an action, or when the poltergeist is turned or affected by dispel evil and good or a similar effect. When the possession ends, the object is destroyed and can not be possessed again, and the poltergeist returns to the Ethereal Plane. If the poltergeist is reduced to 0 hit points while possessing an object, the poltergeist and the object are both destroyed.

Slam (While Possessing Object). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage (depending on possessed object).

Throw (While Possessing Object). The poltergeist throws a possessed object up to 30 feet, ending the possession and destroying the object. If the object is thrown at a creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 3 (1d6) bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage (depending on possessed object).

Horrid Illusion (3/Day). While on the Ethereal Plane, the poltergeist creates a magical illusion, changing the appearance of a Large or smaller object in a corresponding space on the Material Plane. The illusion lasts for 1 minute or until the poltergeist or the object leaves its space. The poltergeist can’t change the basic shape of the object by more than a few inches and can’t create a visual illusion in an empty space.

When the illusion appears, each creature of the poltergeist’s choice within 30 feet of the illusion that can see it makes a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw . On a failure, the target gains a level of strife . On a success, the creature recognizes the illusion as false and is immune to Horrid Illusion for 24 hours.

Additional Actions (Can use only while bloodied )

Elite Recovery. The poltergeist ends one negative effect currently affecting it. It can use this action as long as it has at least 1 hit point, even while unconscious or incapacitated .

Telekinetic Cloud (While Possessing Object). The phantasmal poltergeist causes nearby Tiny objects, debris, and dust to coalesce into a swirling cloud around the poltergeist within a radius of 20 feet. A creature that enters this area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage.


The poltergeist uses Horrid Illusion to unnerve its prey. It then uses Possess Object and attacks with slam attacks. After the poltergeist is first bloodied , it ends its possession with Throw and bides its time until its foes have dropped their guard. It then uses Possess Object and attacks once more. It may repeat this pattern a third time before finally fighting to the death.

When the poltergeist attacks, it chooses the least-damaged opponent. It would rather savor several long-drawn-out killings rather than rush through one.

Legends and Lore

With an Arcana or Religion check, characters can learn the following:

DC 10 Poltergeists are undead spirits that can control inanimate objects.

DC 15 Most of the time, a poltergeist is virtually invulnerable. While a poltergeist is controlling an object, however, you can damage it by attacking that object.

Haunted Objects

Sometimes, when a poltergeist would be destroyed, it instead becomes trapped inside the object it was possessing. Denied the ability to attack its foes directly, a trapped poltergeist is still malevolent and dangerous, often terrorizing an innocent creature over the course of weeks or months and creating horrific visions that drive its victim to the edge of terror. As the creature’s mental turmoil increases, the poltergeist comes closer to freeing itself from its material prison.

A poltergeist trapped in a haunted object can use Horrid Illusion as normal, but otherwise can take no other actions. If this ability causes a creature to reach its seventh level of strife , the haunted object shatters, the poltergeist regains all its hit points, and it is able to return to the Ethereal Plane. Despite these dangers, possessing a haunted object can come with certain benefits. A creature can attune to a haunted object as if it were a magic item. While holding the object, an attuned creature can cast the mage hand and minor illusion cantrips through the item, using their choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as their spellcasting ability.


The phantasmal poltergeist is the undead spirit of a monstrously cruel villain. It feeds on fear and can use the terror of its prey to heal itself. It has the ability to extend its supernatural power, animating dozens of nearby objects and using them as deadly weapons.

In its true form, a poltergeist resembles itself in life, but with a mouthful of shark-like fangs. Outside of visitors to the Ethereal Plane, however, this true form is rarely seen, except for for a brief moment when the poltergeist is destroyed

Undead Bully. In life, a poltergeist was a cruel person who delighted in pain and fear—often someone who abused their authority or power. After death, a poltergeist returns to the scenes of its greatest triumphs of cruelty, waiting for the arrival of more victims to torment. The poltergeist begins its cruel games by causing frightening illusions and unexplained noises. Next, it seeks to panic its prey with slamming doors and supernaturally hurled objects before finally possessing a sturdy piece of furniture and moving in for the kill.

Wandering Spirit. Unlike many other undead spirits, a poltergeist is free to leave its original haunt in the pursuit of a chosen victim. Instead of killing a favorite target, it may follow them home, adopting their house as its new lair and tormenting them for weeks or months before killing them.



  1. A vase or pane of glass suddenly shatters
  2. Out-of-tune piano music drifts through the air
  3. A door loudly slams, or a lock clicks shut
  4. In a locked, empty room lies an impaled corpse
  5. A portrait or statue appears to cry blood or suddenly has shark-like teeth
  6. The remains of dozens of smashed and shattered objects
  7. Travelers or local inhabitants with stories of hauntings: roll 1d6 on this table to determine what they’ve seen

Poltergeist Encounters

Poltergeists haunt the places they once lived.

CR 0–2 poltergeist ; poltergeist with shadow ; phantasmal poltergeist

Treasure antique electrum necklace and ring, each worth 75 gp

Monster Type Description

Undead are supernatural creatures or spirits that are no longer alive but are still animate. Some have been reanimated by magic spells, such as skeletons . Others, like vampires , are the products of an evil ritual or curse.