Banshee: Elite Controller

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Banshee; Level 14 Elite Controller; 2,000 XP
HP 260 Bloddied: 130
AC: 27 Fortitude: 23 Reflex: 25 Will: 28
Immune: Fear, Charm
Hover 8
Initiative +9; Perception +10
Saving Throws: +2 Action Points: 1

Incorporeal: The banshee takes half damage from all physical attacks. Physical attacks which deal half damage upon a miss deal 0 and have no additional effects
Bound: The banshee may only move within 10 of where its chains bind it
Telepathy: There is a telepathic link between the banshee and her thralls, and they act as not only her protectors, but as her eyes and ears.

Standard Actions:
Bind in Misery; At-Will: Range 20
Attack: 2 targets, +18 vs. Will
Hit: 4d6 + 10, and the target is dominated until the banshee dies. If this attack would reduce the target to 0 hit points or fewer, the target is reduced to one hit point.

Triggered Actions:
Glimpse of Misery (Psychic)
Trigger: The Banshee is hit with a physical attack
Effect: +16 vs. Will. 3d6 + 8 Psychic damage, the target takes a -2 penalty to Will defense (save ends). On a critical, the target may not make attacks against the banshee until the end of the targets next turn.

Str 10           Int 23
Con 10         Wis 17
Dex 15         Cha 20

Allignment: Chaotic Neutral       Languages: --

Misery Incarnate:
The story of a banshee is one of sorrow and pain beyond comprehension. In life, a banshee would have been a woman of kindest heart, yet the death or loss of a person (or persons) dearly beloved to them would have caused their final days to be wracked in abject misery; death by a broken heart to put it poetically. In death they return to as Spirits black and wispy in form, their faces hidden and with long, trailing tatters of a robe that cloaks them. Chains also drape them, manifestations of what binds them to this world.

Forever Bound:
One of the banshee's chains, connected at its heart, binds it to this world, most often at a location with great relevance to the sorrow that transformed them into their present form. The surrounding area, a town or gravesite being common, become the banshee's haunt. Mists cling to the area, and melancholy seems to hang in the very air.

Bound in Sorrow:
The banshee's chains can bind not only the banshee, but in the misery that wracks this spirit it may become malevolent, and seek to trap others in the sorrow it knows. These chains can be used to bind unwary or perhaps simply reckless souls as thralls of the banshee, tied to her by a chain like the one that keeps the banshee herself trapped in this world. To break the chain or where its end connects to the heart of the banshee's thrall, or to kill the thrall, will break the bond, but the soul is also lost to oblivion. At the heart of the banshee is where the bond must be broken if the soul is to be saved just the same.

Not Yet Free:
If a banshee is destroyed, the thralls are free from their bondage but the banshee herself is still bound. Upon destruction of the banshee, the geist of a maiden garbed in a mourners clothing will appear, a chain binding her to the same spot connected at her heart. The spirit will have no memory of her time as a banshee, but will be all but inconsolable and will prove difficult to communicate with. The spirit will return as a banshee in 1d10 days unless whatever binds her is rectified. This could be in the form of consoling the maiden or a quest to bring this spirit peace by bringing closure to whatever sorrow first bound her. To break her ties by force (DC 30) will mean the spirit meets the same end as a thrall released in such a manner; oblivion.

Designing an encounter with a banshee
An encounter like this requires a fair bit of planning, primarily in the forms of designing the backstory of the banshee and the creatures haunt. The first gives the DM great freedom in crafting backstory, as well as setting up a potential non-combat encounter or new quest line. For when a banshee is first 'destroyed', the result is somewhat akin to that of killing a lich. A maiden appears and, unless freed, will revert back to a banshee.

For the haunt, this is likely determined by the backstory designed for the banshee. Yet one stipulation is setting up its parameters. The first is for the movement of the banshee itself, the second is the border of the haunt as the point at which the thralls become agressive.

And for perhaps the most important portion of all, the thralls themselves. Any new thralls dominated by the at will power Bind in Misery retain all the powers and traits of the original character. However, for her original thralls, there is a bit of prep required. First, the origianl thralls are identical to the creature used as a template, with the additon of the trait incorporeal. Also to be planned is the number and level of the thralls, as this will be a great determinate of the difficulty. By determining the borders of the haunt, you also determine the 'length of their leash'; so long as they are so bound, they may not leave the haunt. Though under domination by the banshee, they are not aggressive until the haunt is trespassed, and still have the power of speech. Bound in the same misery as the banshee, their speech is typically limited to pleading cries for the unwary to turn back, or agonized apologies when they are forced to attack.

Encounters with banshees often involve planning on part of the party, as well as a chance to bring roleplaying into things given the fate of the thralls and the banshee should their bonds be broken recklessly. A quest line or interesting role-playing encounter can also be brought in by whatever may be necesary to properly and finally free the maiden from her fate. My Daily D&D blog - cities, dungeons, NPC's, and more