Spectre (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Spectre
D&DSpectre.JPG
Characteristics
Alignment Lawful Evil
Type Undead
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the spectre is an undead creature.

Publication history[edit]

The spectre was one of the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)[edit]

The spectre was one of the first monsters introduced in the earliest edition of the game, in the Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974). There they were described as having no corporeal body, being able to drain life energy levels, and identified with Tolkien's Ringwraiths.[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

The spectre appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[2] where it is described as a powerful undead human that haunts the most desolate of places, such as tombs and dungeons, and drains the life energy of opponents.

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the spectre, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977),[3] and Expert Set (1981 & 1983).[4][5] The spectre was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991),[6] and the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

The spectre appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[7] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[8]

The spectre undead dragon appears in Dragon #234 (October 1996).

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

The spectre appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[9]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)[edit]

The spectre appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

The spectre appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).[10]

Description[edit]

A spectre is an incorporeal creature that resembles a ghost, with a hatred for all living things. A spectre drains the life energy from living creatures, turning them into new spectres upon death. A spectre is powerless in natural sunlight and flees from it.

A spectre is always lawful evil. A spectre appears as a humanoid, but with a mostly transparent and faintly luminous form. A spectre looks much as it did in life, and can be recognized by someone who knows what the person looked like.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson. Dungeons & Dragons (3-Volume Set) (TSR, 1974). The identification with the Nazgûl persisted as late as the J. Eric Holmes Basic Set: see the 1978 Holmes blue book, p. 32.
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
  4. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
  6. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  7. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  8. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  9. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  10. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)