The material below is Open Game Content
Haunts function somewhat like traps, but are difficult to detect since they do not “exist” until they are triggered. When a haunt is triggered, its effects manifest at initiative rank 10 on a surprise round; the haunt effect vanishes as soon as the surprise round is over and things return to normal (haunts never persist into actual round-by-round “combat”). Those in the haunt’s vicinity can make a specific skill check to notice the haunt in time to react—if a character notices it, he may make an initiative check to determine when he acts in the round. Once a haunt is active, a successful turn undead attempt against the haunt’s effective Hit Dice ends it immediately, though the character making the turn attempt must notice the haunt and must act before it in the surprise round it is activated. If the turning attempt results in a destruction result, that particular haunt is exorcised and permanently disabled. Once a haunt triggers, it cannot trigger again for 24 hours.
A haunt is assigned a CR score, calculated as if it were a trap. For experiencing and surviving a haunt, award the entire party XP as if it had defeated a creature of that CR. All haunts are mind-affecting fear effects, even those that can produce physical effects.
The dwarves had enough gold to buy food to last them years, but nowhere from which to buy any, a powerful irony that one dwarf obsessed on in the final days before he was murdered by his brother. His spirit, still driven by hunger, manifests in this room as he appeared in life in healthier times, as a balding dwarf with a few facial scars and a full beard separated into two lengths by gold rings. When the PCs first enter this room, he appears to be squatting in the southeast corner of the room, his back to the doors as he scoops up handfuls of gold dust from the ground near the chute. When the PCs enter, he turns around, gold dust thick in his beard and dripping in slobbery strings from his lips, and says, “You! You have to try this! It’s so… delicious!” As he says this, he stuffs another handful of gold dust into his mouth and swallows. Of course, the “dust” he’s eating is in fact arsenic-tainted grit.
Gold-Eating Dwarf CR 8
Notice automatic; Effective HD 16
Trigger proximity; Reset automatic (24 hours)
Effect Silas’s words function as a mass suggestion spell; anyone who hears him must make a DC 19 Will save to resist the compulsion to scoop up and eat a handful of the arsenic-tainted dirt on the floor of the room. The haunt enhances the already deadly effects of the arsenic in this case—anyone who eats the stuff must make a DC 20 Fortitude save to avoid taking 2d6 points of Constitution damage, and then 1 minute later must save a second time to avoid taking another 2d6 points of Constitution damage. Silas watches as anyone eats, and as the victim feels the poison flowing through his system, the haunted character sees Silas suddenly shrink in on himself, grow emaciated, and then fly apart in a red explosion of bite-sized morsels of flesh and bone. An instant later, he is gone.
To separate the gold from the rock matrix, the dwarves used an arsenic solution. Over the years, this arsenic-rich debris has leached into the surrounding ground and destroyed all plant life in the region, with the exception of the lichens and fungus that grow so well on the cabin itself. Anyone coming in contact with the fine black dust risks arsenic poisoning (ingested Fort DC 13; initial 1 Con, secondary 1d8 Con).
As soon as the tipping stairs are triggered (or just before the PCs are about to exit the room), the spirits haunting the cabin manifest by animating the chain hanging from the ceiling here. The chain twists like an immense snake as it animates, coiling over and across itself and swinging the metal ore bucket with deadly effect. Unlike most haunts, the animated chain persists for 5 rounds. Treat it as a colossal animated object, save that it can only strike targets in the stairwell or in area B7 and has a speed of 0 feet. Though the chain only takes up a 5-foot square, its reach accounts for much of its size.
Haunted Chain CR 7
Animated object (MM 14)
NE Colossal construct
Init 10 (fixed); Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen –5, Spot –5
AC 11, touch –1, flat-footed 11
(–8 size, –3 Dexterity, +12 natural))
hp 256 (32d10+80)
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +5
Defensive Abilities Hardness 10; Immune construct traits
Spd 0 ft.
Melee slam +25 (4d6+13)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 60 ft.
Special Attacks constrict 4d6+13
During Combat The haunted chain lifts anyone it constricts to the top of the shaft and on the next round drops him after attempting (and possibly succeeding) on a second round of constriction damage.
Morale The haunted chain continues its attacks for 5 rounds or until destroyed.
Str 28, Dex 4, Con —, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +24; Grp +49
Haunted (Ex) The chain is haunted, and as such can be affected as a standard CR 7 haunt by turn undead checks. Its effective Hit Dice against turn undead checks is 14 HD.
Have each PC make a Spot check when the group reaches this area. No matter what the results are, tell the player who had the highest result that he feels strange here, as if he were being watched by something or someone. Since, by this point, the blizzard created by the wendigo is likely in full force, you can even tell this player he might have seen a humanoid shape
staggering in the snow just at the edge of vision to the east. This is a manifestation of Silas Vekker as he attempted to escape his hungermad kin by racing into the snow. One round after this brief glimpse, the haunt manifests in force as Silas notices the characters.
Partially Eaten Dwarf CR 5
Notice Spot DC 25 (to notice the shape turn to face the party);
Effective HD 10
Trigger proximity; Reset automatic (24 hours)
Effect A dwarven man (recognizable as the same one from the haunt in area B5) staggers out of the snow. His eyes are wild with fear, his clothes in tatters, and blood drips from several cuts on his exposed flesh. When he sees the PCs, he cries out, “RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! THEY’RE GOING TO EAT YOU!” With that, the dwarf flees into the snow. All PCs in the area must make a DC 20 Will save to avoid being overcome with the conviction that the other members of the party are cannibals and are about to attack them—those who fail this save become panicked for 1d6 rounds, dropping all held items and attempting to flee from their allies at top speed. Characters who race blindly into the blizzard in this manner have a flat 50% chance each round of running off the edge of the cliff, in which case they fall 60 feet to the ground below.
As the PCs investigate this room, they begin experiencing subtle twinges of hunger. Without much more warning, those twinges erupt into full-blown pangs of painful starvation and unholy urges to feast on their companions. While these hunger pangs pass quickly, the damage to the mind is more persistent.
Cannibal Urgings CR 8
Notice Wisdom check DC 18 (to notice sudden twinges of unnatural hunger); Effective HD 16
Trigger proximity; Reset automatic (24 hours)
Effect When the hunger pangs strike, all characters in the room must make DC 20 Fortitude saves to resist taking 10d6 points of nonlethal starvation damage from the sudden phantom hunger. Accompanying this ravenous sensation is the conviction that only the flesh of the other PCs can sate the hunger. Any character who took starvation damage must then make a DC 20 Will save to resist taking 2d6 points of Wisdom drain as the cannibal urgings overwhelm the PC and drive him to the brink of madness.
The first person to examine the bones is in for a rough surprise—on one of the bones, he recognizes his own jewelry: a ring on a skeletal finger, a necklace draped over a ribcage, or a belt dangling over ivory hips. With this discovery comes the conviction that the bones are, in fact, that character’s own. An instant later, that character becomes surrounded by a whirling storm of shadowy forms as the ghosts of the cannibalized dead attempt to add that PC to their number.
The Hungry Dead CR 10
Notice Listen DC 25 (to hear the rising whispers and slobbering grunts of the hungry dead); Effective HD 20
Trigger touch; Reset automatic (24 hours)
Effect To observers, the haunted character suddenly begins thrashing wildly, as if dozens of invisible hands were tugging and pushing him about the room. At the same time, bloody wounds from invisible teeth appear across the victim’s body. The haunted character perceives that he has suddenly been surrounded by a dozen emaciated but fantastically strong dwarves, all of whom are attempting to eat him alive. The ghosts make 10 attack rolls against the PC at a +15 bonus; each hit deals 2d6+7 points of damage and threatens a critical hit on a 19–20. A character reduced to –10 hit points by these bites is torn apart so that nothing remains but a red skeleton draped in his gear.
This haunt starts innocently enough, with strange sounds from elsewhere in the cabin indicating that the PCs aren’t the only ones here. These sounds rapidly grow in power, until it seems as if an entire army of invisible, shrieking lunatics is on the loose. Unlike a normal haunt, each of these haunts takes place over the course of a full round (not a surprise round). Allow the PCs to take actions as they wish each round; the haunt’s actions always occur on initiative count 10.
Cannibal Fury CR 12
Notice Listen DC 25 (to hear the sound of knocking downstairs); Effective HD 24
Trigger timed; Reset none
Effect This complex haunt adheres to the following round-by-round schedule.
Rounds 1–3: Allow the PCs to each make a DC 25 Listen check. Anyone who succeeds hears a faint knocking coming from the lower portion of the cabin, probably the outer door at area B3, as if some lost traveler were seeking shelter from the storm. PCs in the lower rooms of the cabin or the stair shaft need make only a DC 10 Listen check to hear this knocking. The knocking continues for 3 rounds, during which time PCs might head down to see whom it might be. Attempts to see the ground outside the cabin are fruitless due to the whirling snow flurries, unless the PCs are within 5 feet, and then they still see nothing present that could have caused the knocking.
Round 4: The strange knocking grows silent for 1 round.
Round 5: A loud crack followed by a mighty hammering sound suddenly fills the cabin as its walls begin to shake and groan, almost as if the structure were giving up its purchase on the cliff edge and sliding off. On each PC’s turn, he must make a DC 15 Balance check; failure indicates he cannot move for that round, while failure by 5 or more indicates he falls prone. A character in area B6 at this time falls off the stairs if he falls prone.
Round 6: The hammering continues, but now the faint images of starving dwarven ghosts can be glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. Each character suddenly experiences painful hunger pangs and must make a DC 15 Fortitude save to resist taking 4d6 points of nonlethal damage.
Round 7: Voices can now be heard, in most cases wordless cries of pain, but now and then snatches of sentences like “eating us…” or “don’t let him…” or “so hungry….” The hammering continues, but now the starving ghosts seem to notice the PCs for the first time. Each PC must make a DC 18 Will save—failure indicates that the haunt possesses him as the ghosts themselves seem to flow into the PC’s body.
Round 8–10: For the last 3 rounds of this complex haunt, the shaking and hammering continues. Characters possessed by the haunt do not need to make Balance checks to move and take whatever actions they can to render non-possessed characters unconscious or helpless, using whatever tools they have at their disposal. If a possessed character is adjacent to a helpless, non-possessed character and is not threatened by any other nonpossessed character, he attempts a coup de grace action against the helpless character.
Round 11: With a sudden lurch, the haunting stops. Possessed characters immediately regain control of their faculties. The cabin shows no signs of damage from the violence aside from anything the PCs themselves have done to it.