Back when I was creating Shadowsfall, I wanted it to feel both familiar yet different. One way I wanted to accomplish this was by making higher and lower level versions of existing monsters. By allowing players to encounter a monster that is normally not seen until higher levels, it gives the feeling that this monster is more common, that this type of danger is more prevalent then say your average goblin. Similarly, by making a higher power version of the monster, you are saying that conditions are right for it to flourish and grow.
Take the spectre as an example. This classic monster is only in Pathfinder as a level 7 monster. However, by making its spawn a CR 5 monster, you can have groups of level 3 take it on and live, albeit they will be wiping their brows and healing up afterwards, but that is the point of a weakened monster. The players get experience with that kind of monster so when the face off against the normal monster, they have an idea of what they will be facing and not only be better prepared but also be weary of its deadly powers, especially if they realize that the higher CR monster looks like it can dish out more pain. Not only that, by encountering a spawn, you know that something must have spawned it, meaning there is more danger to come.
Before we share with you the spectre spawn’s stat block, I would like to point out that the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane is on sale at the JBE Shop for 75% off their regular price along with just about all of our other Pathfinder PDFs. If you prefer your Pathfinder books in print, head over to DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and order our Pathfinder books for 20% off. This is the last day of the sale so grab it now!
Spectre Spawn CR 5
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 11 (+1 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 33 (6d8+6)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +8
Defensive Abilities incorporeal, channel resistance +2; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses resurrection vulnerability, sunlight powerlessness
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +8 touch (1d6 plus energy drain)
Special Attacks create spawn, energy drain (1 level, DC 14)
Str -, Dex 16, Con -, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 13
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 18
Feats Blind-Fight, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (touch)
Skills Fly +11, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (history) +11, Knowledge (religion) +11, Perception +15, Stealth +12, Survival +9
Organization solitary, pair, gang (1 spectre or spectre lord and 2-5 spectres spawns), or swarm (2-4 spectres or spectre lords and 5-10 spectre spawns)
Create Spawn (Su) Any humanoids slain by a spectre spawn becomes a spectre spawn themselves in 1d4 rounds. Spawn so created possess the above spectre spawn stats. A spectre spawn created by a spectre spawn are under the command of the spectre or spectre lord that created the spectre spawn and remains enslaved until its death, at which point the spectre spawn become a full-fledged and free-willed spectre (as described in the Bestiary). A spectre spawn does not possess any of the abilities it had in life.
Resurrection Vulnerability (Su) A raise dead or similar spell cast on a spectre spawn destroys it (Will negates). Using the spell in this way does not require a material component.
Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex) A spectre spawn is powerless in natural sunlight (not merely a daylight spell) and flees from it. A spectre spawn caught in sunlight cannot attack and is staggered.
Unnatural Aura (Su) Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can sense the unnatural presence of a spectre spawn at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and become panicked if forced to do so unless a master succeeds at a DC 25 Handle Animal, Ride, or wild empathy check. A panicked animal remains so as long as it is within 30 feet of the spectre spawn.