Father Charlatan (CR 5)

Father Charlatan CR 5

Source Pathfinder #43.

XP 1,600
CE persistent haunt (area T6)
Caster Level 5th
Notice Perception DC 20 (to notice the soft jingling of chains being jostled)
hp 22; Trigger special (see below); Reset none (see below)


Father Charlatan’s haunt is subtle and unusual—when it manifests, it requires a bit of trickery on your part. Initially, the haunt targets a single person (either the first person to touch Father Charlatan’s journal or his remains, or the last person to attempt to leave the cell), automatically haunting that person but having no other immediate effect. Detect chaos, detect evil, or detect undead reveals the presence of the haunt on this person (such observation reveals the haunt as the Father’s ghost standing immediately behind the haunted PC, his hand upon that PC’s shoulder). The haunt remains inactive until the next time the haunted PC is damaged by a trap or a creature, at which point the haunted PC must make a DC 15 Will save or immediately fall unconscious. Success prevents this effect, but the PC must continue to make DC 15 Will saves each time that he is damaged thereafter to avoid falling unconscious.

When a PC succumbs to this haunt, grimly inform that player that the damage dealt by the attack was enough to kill her, then ask the player to come with you to another room where the rest of the players can’t observe you. Once that player has been separated, inform her that her character “wakes up” some time later in a coffin with a pleasant-looking, red-haired priest of that PC’s faith standing over her. The priest informs the PC that she has been resurrected after her body was recovered from Harrowstone, but that several months have passed and the PCs’ companions have long ago moved on. Allow the player to tell you what her character wishes to do, but regardless of the action she takes (be it to query the priest, to flee, to attack, to cast a spell, to attempt to disbelieve an illusion, or whatever), have her attempt a DC 15 Will save. Success indicates that her action is successful and causes 1d6 points of damage to the haunt, while failure indicates it is not and that she takes 1d6 points of damage as horrific pains shoot through her body. Be creative in how you describe the results of the Will save—the point is to leave the player a bit confused as to why she’s making Will saves but that, obviously, successful saves are good while failures are bad.

After each Will save, regardless of its success or not, return to the main group and inform them that their companion is not, in fact, dead, but that the PC has dropped to the ground and has become wrapped in ghostly chains decorated with numerous holy symbols. The chains are slowly tightening about the PC’s body, causing her to thrash about in great pain and distress. Run through a round of combat with the PCs, allowing them to take their actions normally (either continuing the combat in which the haunted PC succumbed to the haunt, or attempting to damage the haunt itself) for that round. At the end of that round, return to the player of the haunted PC and ask for another round of actions and another DC 15 Will save to determine whether the player takes damage or the haunt does. Continue this back and forth until either the haunted PC dies (in which case Father Charlatan’s haunt returns to area T6 to await another victim) or the haunt itself is reduced to 0 hit points, at which point the ghostly chains around the haunted PC fade and that PC awakens (although she still takes any damage that was dealt by the haunt).

Obviously, this haunt’s impact on the party can vary—if it occurs during a combat, it can be quite dangerous, but if it occurs as a result of the haunted PC simply taking damage from a trap or accident, the PCs will be able to focus entirely on the problem at hand rather than on any distracting battles also going on. If the PCs notice the haunt before it activates (perhaps by using a divination spell, as detailed above), they can attempt to damage it normally.


In addition to taking damage normally from positive energy, this haunt can be damaged by certain spells cast upon the haunted PC. Protection from chaos, protection from evil, aid, or remove fear each deal 1d6 points of damage per casting—at your discretion, similar spells could have this effect as well.


Once Father Charlatan’s haunt has been reduced to 0 hit points, Vesorianna’s ghost prevents it from manifesting again.

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