Ghost Captain CR 7
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 15 (+5 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 70 (6 HD; 3d10+3d8+36)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +5; +1 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities bravery +1, channel resistance +4, evasion, trap sense +1, incorporeal, rejuvenation; Immune undead traits
Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 20
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 24
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +14, Diplomacy +14, Fly +11, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (geography) +4, Perception +9, Profession (sailor) +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +20, Swim +6; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception, +8 Stealth
Languages Common, Polyglot
SQ armor training 1, rogue talents (bleeding attack +2), trapfinding +1
The ghost is disfigured through age or violence, and has a gaze attack with a range of 30 feet that causes 2d10 damage and 1d4 Charisma damage (Fortitude save negates Charisma damage but not physical damage).
By passing part of its incorporeal body through a foe’s body as a standard action, the ghost inflicts 7d6 damage. This damage is not negative energy—it manifests in the form of physical wounds and aches from supernatural aging. Creatures immune to magical aging are immune to this damage, but otherwise the damage bypasses all forms of damage reduction. A Fortitude save halves the damage inflicted.
In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a ghost through simple combat: the “destroyed” spirit restores itself in 2d4 days. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. The only way to permanently destroy a ghost is to determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research, and should be created specifically for each different ghost by the GM.
Sometimes, pirate captains’ dedication to looting and pillaging drives them to continue such heinous crimes even after death. Such vile leaders inevitably remain at sea, where they command ghost ships crewed by dreadful draugr, who recognize ghost pirates as powerful undead spirits perhaps most capable of captaining crews of undead.
Ghost Ship Haunts
Many ghost ships take the form of a haunt, usually triggered by a ship sailing at night into an oceanic region hexed by some maritime tragedy or particularly terrible event. The most common effects of these haunts are fear-related, though some of these ocean-bound terror-traps inflict various curses upon victims, such as rotting diseases, premature aging, or permanent physical debilitations. Some haunts are known to place a powerful geas on those ships that run afoul of them, requiring that their crews complete some task before being freed of a dreadful blight. Destruction of these haunts is often extremely difficult, as the bodies of the restless spirits that perpetuate such curses usually lie at the bottom of the sea or have drifted ashore on remote islands.
Some sea haunts are tied to a specific date denoting the anniversary of a tragedy near a particular point in the ocean, and thus may not reset for an entire year. Such commemorative haunts tend to be more feared and dangerous to mariners, especially since the bodies or treasures such haunts are anchored to are sometimes dragged by the tides far from where the original event that triggered the haunt occurred.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Isles of the Shackles © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Mike Shel.