The geist is a spirit of a person that remains after a particularly traumatic death. Encountered as mental phantasms, the geist appears only in the minds of those it wishes to be seen by, and even then as a fleeting, ephemeral thing. They are frightening and can often display horrific wounds, but they are completely unable to affect the living world, or be affected by it.


Usually, a geist has some penance to pay or some deed left undone. The spirit continues to haunt the place of their untimely death, appearing to those it chooses to frighten, or to those who may be able to help it with whatever task it needed to complete, or whatever penance it may have had to pay. Rarely, a geist may be able to wander far afield of its place of death.


A geist is normally active at night. A geist is completely invisible, and leaves no trace of itself in the living world. It exists entirely in the Border Ethereal, meaning it can move through solid objects or even people if it desires. It can, however, interact with the minds of beings that travel near the area where it haunts, appearing in their minds as a phantasmal image of the person at the time of death. A geist can choose to appear to some beings and not to others, if there are multiple creatures in the area. It can also choose to disappear and reappear at will (perhaps seeming to teleport), and can fly at a movement rate of 12 (maneuverability A). When a geist appears, it may be mistaken for a ghost or a haunt -- both much more dangerous creatures. A true seeing spell, or its equivalent, shows the form of the geist as a blurry white image, even if it chooses to be invisible.

It communicates telepathically (though it can give the impression of speech), thus speaking to any creature regardless of language, and its personality and alignment are similar to what it had at the time of death (thus some geists are kind and helpful and others spread lies and others may be fearful or aggressive -- though their attacks cannot harm anything). The ability to appear and communicate with creatures in this way is the geist's only capacity to influence others. They are tenacious and bold in their missions, with an effective Morale of Fearless (19-20).

Those who see a geist will become panicked if they fail a Fear Check. A geist with horrific injuries may force the victim to make a Horror Check as well. A giest can't be hit or damaged, and can't hit or damage other creatures.

A geist is immune to all magic and spells unless specifically noted (see below). Magic fails to reveal any information about a geist -- divinations that reveal lies or alignment or any other aspect of the geist don't reveal any information when targeted at a geist.

Driving Away a GeistEdit

The spells dismissal, banishment, wish, abjure, and holy word all send a geist to its final resting place. Magical wards function normally against geists as well, and may keep them out of an area.

Because they pose no threat, driving away a geist is worth no XP reward in and of itself, though accomplishing its unfinished business or helping to pay their penance or avenge their demise may both lay a geist to rest and be worth XP.

Related CreaturesEdit

A geist type creature is an incorporeal, invisible undead spirit who cannot act with the real world fully. They often lack functional attacks, and resort to interacting with the environment and the living beings to fulfill their desires.

  • The bussengeist is a specific type of geist that manifests when the traumatic death involved great regret or remorse.
  • The greater geist is a geist who can manifest some illusory effects.
  • A poltergeist is the spirit of a creature burdened by evil deeds, whose rage manifests as thrown objects and a malevolent presence that frightens people away from the area its soul resides in.
  • A haunt is a more powerful geist-like creature driven by a task left incomplete, who can possess the bodies of living creatures in the service of accomplishing their final task.
  • A ghost is a mighty geist-like creature whose hatred of the living ages those that encounter it, leading them closer to death. Ghosts have agendas that their spirits seek to accomplish before they can be at rest.
  • A phantom is a spirit left after a surprising, unexpected, and traumatic death. It is something of a recording of the moment of death, and has no desires or will left in it.


Monstrous Compendium, Ravenloft Appendix III

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