This beautiful, ghostly elven woman glides through the air, her long hair flowing around a face knotted into a mask of rage.
Banshee CR 13
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +26 (14d6 negative energy plus terror)
Special Attacks wail
Str —, Dex 32, Con —, Int 5, Wis 20, Cha 19
Base Atk +14; CMB +25; CMD 40
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Step Up, Weapon Focus (touch), Wind Stance
Skills Fly +19, Perception +31, Sense Motive +7
Languages Common, Elven
A banshee can sense the beating hearts of living creatures within 60 feet, as if it had the blindsight ability.
A creature damaged by the banshee’s touch attack must make a DC 23 Will save. Failure means that the victim cowers in fear for 1d3 rounds. If a target is protected against fear by a dispellable effect (such as heroes’ feast or mind blank), the banshee’s touch attempts to dispel one such effect with greater dispel magic (CL 14th). Negative energy damage caused by a banshee’s touch can only harm the living; it cannot heal undead. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Once per minute, a banshee may wail as a full-round action. The wail lasts until the beginning of her next turn. All creatures within 40 feet of the banshee when she begins her wail, as well as all creatures that end their turn within that radius, must make a DC 23 Fortitude save. (This save is only required once per wail.) Creatures under the effects of a fear effect take a –4 penalty on this save. Creatures that make their save are sickened for 1d6 rounds. Those that fail take 140 points of damage (as if affected by a CL 14 wail of the banshee). If a wailing banshee is damaged during a wail, she must make a Will save (DC 15 + damage taken) to maintain the wail; otherwise it ends. This is a sonic death effect. Banshee wails are supernaturally powerful, and penetrate the effect of any spell of 3rd level or lower that creates silence. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Variants or with Templates
When a female elven bard of at least 10th level perishes under conditions that would normally transform her spirit into a standard banshee, she instead becomes a much rarer and more dangerous variant of the banshee. Known variously as dread banshees, white women, caoineags, or simply as greater banshees, these spirits have the abilities of standard banshees, but with the following three additional abilities.
Those who fail to save against a greater banshee’s wail are slain immediately rather than being reduced to –1 hit points. Any female elf slain by a greater banshee’s wail rises in 1d4 rounds as a banshee under the control of the greater banshee who slew her. These newly created banshees are always standard banshees—a greater banshee cannot spawn another greater banshee.
Greater banshees retain their minds and are capable of executing long and complex plots to spread death and dismay. A greater banshee has an Intelligence score of 16 rather than 5, and gains additional skill points as appropriate for her Intelligence score. She gains Bluff, Intimidate, Knowledge (any), and Perform as class skills.
A greater banshee casts spells as a 10th-level bard. A typical greater banshee knows the following spells:
4th (1/day)—dimension door, hallucinatory terrain (DC 19)
3rd (3/day)—crushing despair (DC 18), dispel magic, fear (DC 18), slow (DC 18)
2nd (4/day)—darkness, minor image (DC 17), shatter (DC 17), whispering wind
1st (5/day)—animate rope, lesser confusion (DC 16), silent image (DC 16), unseen servant
0th (3/day)—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 15), mage hand, message, open/close, prestidigitation
A greater banshee is a CR 15 monster, although many of them are advanced in Hit Dice beyond the standard banshee, increasing their CR by 1 for each additional 4 Hit Dice gained. The most powerful greater banshees also have additional bard levels—these bard levels stack for the purposes of determining what caster level and additional spells the greater banshee has access to.
A banshee is the enraged spirit of an elven woman who either betrayed those she loved or was herself betrayed. Maddened by grief, a banshee visits her vengeance on all living creatures—innocent or guilty—with her fearsome touch and deadly wails.
A banshee is the undead spirit of an elven woman who, in her last moments of life, either committed some sort of heinous betrayal of her friends and family or was herself dealt a soul-shattering, torturous death at the hands of those she thought were her allies and loved ones. In either event, the spirit of the slain elf rises with the next sunset as a creature of indiscriminate vengeance whose hatred of the living targets both innocent and guilty with equal ferocity. Only the cleansing rays of true sunlight, a symbol of healing, renewal, and forgiveness, evokes anything resembling fear in these nearly mindless harbingers of death.
Habitat & Society
As undead elves, banshees are generally found in regions where elves are prominent, yet elves find banshees to be shameful and hideous Curses, and swiftly mobilize to destroy those that appear within elven society. As a result, most banshees dwell in regions where elves once dwelt but, for whatever reason, were forced to abandon. Curiously enough, banshees rarely if ever rise from the drow—the right mix of catalysts in a dying drow’s soul simply aren’t tragic enough when compared to an uncorrupted elf who falls to betrayal or mortal sin.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 2, © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Graeme Davis, Crystal Frasier, Joshua J. Frost, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, James Jacobs, Steve Kenson, Hal MacLean, Martin Mason, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor, and Greg A. Vaughan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.