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Everquest Spectre attacking with its scythe

Generic spectre (aka Emissary of Thule)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Everquest , released in 1999, was one of the first modern Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) . Though an early effort aimed at a hardcore public, it was remarkably successful and invented many MMORPG genre conventions.

It paved the way for another landmark game, World of Warcraft, which drew liberally from Everquest but made it more accessible, players-friendly and polished.


  • This profile features tabletop RPG mechanics about the video game’s gameplay – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.

  • Background

    • Base Of Operations: Plane of Fear and similar.
    • Height: About 6’ and floating 2’ high Weight: Unrevealed.
    • Eyes: Glowing, hateful red Hair: N.A.


    Powers and Abilities

    Spectres are very strong and durable undead creatures, and not wholly material. They do not usually display fancy abilities, nor do they need to.

    They just swoop in in a terrifying manner, gleefully reaping opponents with their enormous scythe. This large weapon has a long blade made of a bronze-looking metal. It can easily slash through two or even three opponents standing close to each other – especially if they are paralysed with fear.

    Spectres particularly enjoy reaping multiple opponents in this way, cackling to themselves as they do.

    Other capabilities

    Spectres can stun with a glance – cruelly freezing minor opponents through sheer fear (in DC Heroes terms, Intimidation + Strange Appearance). Most spectres also know a minor necromantic Ritual spell to siphon life force (Vampirism).

    A spectre flying in the desert with the floating green skulls effect

    To most, the spectres of Thule are an unstoppable engine of death and terror. It takes a powerful creature, special magical tactics (such as an experienced necromancer) or a superior fighting force to destroy one.

    How Spectres are created is unknown. They might be planar creatures, animated corpses, enthralled souls, ectoplasm, etc.. That they are affected by magic targeting the undead is an important clue, but still leaves too many possibilities as to their nature.


    History

    Spectres are magically-created undead creatures serving the God of Fear, Cazic Thule . They also have been seen as servants for some of his relatives such as Terris Thule the Dreams Scorcher, Lady of Nightmares – and some allied gods such as Rallos Zek, Saryrn or Bertoxxulous.

    Potent necromancers have also assembled spectre-like creatures (such as the “cold shades” created by Velketor), but these are not as powerful as the real thing.

    Painting of the spectres in the Desert of Ro around the island

    Small teams of spectres are occasionally sent to another plane to perform simple missions. Usually, it is to stand eternal watch over some point of interest to their master. Such a troop of spectres stands guard deep in the swamp of the Feerrott, in the hidden caverns where the portal to the Plane of Fear is situated.

    Death in the desert

    Most famously, spectres stand guard in the Oasis of Marr, deep in the Desert of Ro. The island in the middle of the oasis holds some sort of ancient tower or temple, about which wild rumours keep circulating. Most such speculations have to do with the structure holding a portal toward another plane.

    The Oasis sees a fair bit of traffic. This includes mercenaries who have come to fight the local orc forces (to earn bounties from Freeport) or the giant crocodiles (to sell the skins). From time to time one such fool will try to have a look at the strange tower.

    This will inevitably trigger the wrath of the terrible spectres, implacably chasing the fleeing would-be explorer and slaying anything in their path. Since a person running for their life will initially be faster than a spectre — until fatigue sets in — such chases can last a while and result in widespread panic and a significant body count.

    Master and servant

    Some of the most powerful necromancers know rituals to supplicate Cazic Thule (or other spectre-creating dark gods) and summon a spectre minion. Part of the ritual is that the emissary be allowed to spread fear and misery – which is usually not a problem for necromancers.

    Seeing a person guarded by an Emissary of Thule (or very similar creatures such as one of Saryrn’s Companions, or a Child of Bertoxxulous) is bad news indeed.


    Description

    See illustrations.

    Spectres around a tower in the desert


    Personality

    Spectres are intelligent and cruel, but generally devoid of emotion and not bothering to communicate.


    Misc. Universe History

    Spectres are quite straightforward in appearance and abilities. They are meant to be recognisable for what they are and inspire fear.

    This iconic quality makes them usable anywhere there are undead, magic, etc. as guardians, bodyguards, vanguard shock troopers, etc.


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    Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

    Tell me more about the game stats

    Generic Spectre (aka Emissary of Thule)

    Dex: 06 Str: 06 Bod: 07 Motivation: Uphold Fear
    Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 06 Occupation: Killer
    Inf: 06 Aur: 03 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
    Init: 016 HP: 015

    Powers:
    Air-walking: 00, Aura of Fear: 03, Cold immunity: 01, Gliding: 01, Magic field: 05, Mind field: 05, Self-Link (Animate dead): 07, Systemic antidote*: 07, Thermal vision: 03, Ultra-vision: 09, Vampirism: 04

    Bonuses and Limitations:

    • Aura of Fear is Always On.
    • Mind field and Magic field are both Self Only and Always On, and only protect against effect affecting MIN and/or SPI.
    • Neither Mind field nor Magic field function against effects that only affect the undead.

    Skills:
    Charisma (Intimidation): 04, Weaponry (Scythe)*: 06

    Advantages:
    Iron Nerves, Life Support (Full).

    Connections:
    Normally none.

    Drawbacks:
    MPR (movement speed is capped to 03), Catastrophic Rage, Strange Appearance.

    Equipment:
    Scythe [BODY 10, EV 05 (07 w/STR), Advantage: Scattershot].


    Design notes

    The Weltanschauung informing the power levels is that of a very early Everquest level – back when soloing was extremely hard, PC power levels low, the game pretty punishing, reaching level 50 was remarkable, etc.

    Which means in turn that most adventurers have very reasonable stats – this also helps explain why taking on major mob requires the assistance of 71 of your closest friends, which in DCH game terms means that an old-school full EQ raiding party is essentially a military unit, somewhere between a platoon and a company, and uses the rules in World at War.


    By Sébastien Andrivet.

    Source of Character: Everquest MMO.

    Helper(s): The pen-and-paper Everquest RPG ; Darci.

    Writeup completed on the 23rd of October, 2010.

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