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Barrow Wight[]

Summary::"Barrow wight" is a template that can be added to any sentient creature with an organic body and a culture with death rituals and has recently died either by a barrow wight’s energy drain ability or naturally; if naturally, the creature must be raised as a barrow wight by some magical force (referred to hereafter as the “base creature”). The creature's possession of a soul is a determination for the GM to make, but in most campaigns it includes any dragon, giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid. Fey, elementals, and other such creatures depend on the campaign’s cosmology; creatures that are a type of spirit are not subject to being raised as a barrow wight. It uses all the creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted below.

Size and Type[]

The base creature's type changes to undead. As base creature.

Hit Dice[]

Change to d12, and adjust hit points bonus for ability score modifications.


Same as the base creature but 5 ft. in daylight.

Armor Class[]

The barrow wight has +4 natural armor or the creature’s natural armor, whichever is better, though it loses any manufactured armor bonuses.

Base Attack[]

A barrow wight has a base attack bonus equal to one-half its Hit Dice.


The barrow wight retains any natural attacks, and gains 2 natural claw attacks if it doesn’t already have them, though it loses any attacks with manufactured weapons. Adjust retained natural attacks for ability score modifications.


Creatures without natural weapons gain 2 claw attacks based on the barrow wight’s size category. If the creature already has claws that do more damage, the creature retains these, but adjusted for ability score modifications.

Size Claw Damage
Fine -
Diminutive 1
Tiny 1d2
Small 1d3
Medium 1d4
Large 1d6
Huge 2d4
Gargantuan 2d6
Colossal 2d8

Special Attacks[]

A barrow wight retains all of the special attacks of the base creature. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 barrow wight’s HD + barrow wight’s Cha modifier. It also gains the following:

Create Spawn (Su): Any sentient creature with a soul and death rituals slain by a barrow wight’s energy drain rises as a barrow wight the next night, as per this template. The new barrow wight is under the command of the barrow wight that created it and remains enslaved until its master’s destruction as well as the destruction of every master in the direct line of creation back to the first master barrow wight of that line. Once the creator line of wights is destroyed, the wight spawn has free will. From that point on, every time the barrow wight uses its create spawn ability on a creature with a soul, it gains 1 HD and remains its original size.

Energy Drain (Su): Living creatures hit by a barrow wight’s claw attack gain one negative level. For each negative level bestowed, the barrow wight gains 5 temporary hit points. A barrow wight can use its energy drain ability once per round.

Special Qualities[]

A barrow wight retains all the special qualities of the base creature and receives those special qualities listed below.

Damage Reduction 10/silver (Ex): The barrow wight ignores 10 hit points of damage from most weapons and natural attacks. A silver weapon or better negates the ability.

Fire Vulnerability (Ex): A barrow wight takes double damage from fire attacks unless a save is allowed for half damage. A successful save halves the damage and a failure doubles it.

Life Sense (Ex): The barrow wight can sense the presence of any creature subject to its energy drain attack. One round of concentration reveals the presence of life forces within 30 feet of the wight. A second round of concentration reveals the general number and strength (Hit Dice) of the life forces. A third round of concentration reveals the exact position of the life forces.

Nature Rejection (Ex): The barrow wight’s connection to the Negative Energy Plane is tangible to natural creatures within 200 feet of the wight, and they react accordingly. Animals and fey become agitated in the presence of barrow wights, often exhibiting fear reactions.

Sunlight Vulnerability (Su): A barrow wight’s connection to the Negative Energy Plane is significantly impaired in sunlight. In sunlight, the wight’s abilities are all effectively reduced to 1, its speed is reduced to 5 feet, and the wight can only take partial actions. The wight cannot use its energy drain ability in sunlight and loses its damage reduction but not its natural armor. Time spent in sunlight does not count for recovering for those barrow wights who are spellcasters.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A barrow wight has +3 turn resistance.

Saves: As base creature, modified by changes to abilities.


As base creature, though an undead creature has no Constitution score.


Barrow wight class skills when advancing are Climb, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, and Spot. Barrow wights otherwise use the skills of the base creature and also gain a +8 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.


Any land or underground.


Solitary, gang (1 barrow wight and 1-4 spawn), or pack (1 barrow wight and 5–10 spawn).

Challenge Rating[]

As the base creature +2.


Varies from none to double standard.


Usually chaotic evil.


Special; see the create spawn ability.

Sample Barrow Wight[]


Annis Hag Barrow Wight
Size/Type: Large Undead
Hit Dice: 7d12 (45 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 40 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (–1 size, +1 Dex, +10 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+14
Attack: Claw +9 melee (1d6+7)
Full Attack: 2 claws +9 melee (1d6+7) and bite +4 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Create spawn, energy drain, improved grab, rake 1d6+7, rend 2d6+10, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/silver, darkvision 60 ft., fire vulnerability, life sense, nature rejection, SR 19, +3 turn resistance, undead traits
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +6
Abilities: Str 25, Dex 12, Con -, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 10
Skills: Bluff +8, Diplomacy +2, Hide +13, Intimidate +2, Listen +10, Spot +10
Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Great Fortitude
Environment: Any land or underground
Organization: Solitary, gang (1 barrow wight and 1-4 spawn), or pack (1 barrow wight and 5–10 spawn)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: As undead creature
Level Adjustment: -


Nearly eight feet tall, this spindly female humanoid has clearly been dead for some time. The crone’s desiccated skin is wrapped tightly around the bone and an eerie gray haze plays about its eyes.

This annis barrow wight, after several centuries, is finally freed of a master. The creature has taken to its old haunt in a cold marsh, spurning the company of other undead, and has established itself once again as a brigand commander. Calling herself Manx, the barrow wight has learned patience over the years and is willing to let months or years pass by before enacting a plan. But as slow as Manx is in plotting actions, she is all too quick to react to danger or personal insult. Manx throws caution to the wind if a creature is obviously trying to hamper her plans. For example, the leader of the brigands was an obvious and immediate obstacle, so she walked into his tent, dragged him from his bed, and slew him in front of the assembled band. Unsurprisingly, Manx’s leadership has gone unchallenged ever since.


Though physically powerful, this undead hag does not favour simple assaults, but tries to divide and confuse its foes before combat. Using either of its spell-like abilities can provide just enough of a distraction to slay a single enemy quickly before its companions can form a defense. If the annis barrow wight does manage to slay a creature during its surprise attack, it makes certain to throw the corpse’s bits at its fellows before striking at them.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an annis barrow wight must hit a Large or smaller opponent with a claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Rake (Ex): Attack bonus +9 melee, damage 1d6+7. An annis barrow wight can attack a grappled foe with both claws at no penalty.

Rend (Ex): An annis barrow wight that hits with both claw attacks latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an extra 2d6+10 points of damage.

Spell-Like Abilities: Caster level 8th; 3/day - disguise self, fog cloud.


Standard—Manx has a great deal of treasure, but keeps a certain supply reserved for herself. That supply is what this treasure hoard details.

Banded agate (x3) [8 gp each] Tourmaline (x3) [90 gp each] Ring of jumping [2,500 gp] 606 gp

In Your Campaign[]

The obvious way to get PCs involved with Manx is to come into conflict with her brigand band. More than anything, the former annis desired control of her own life. Being a barrow wight temporarily compromised that freedom, but now she is back with a vengeance. Caravans passing anywhere near the wight’s marsh must pay tribute or be destroyed. Investigating PCs must not only locate her lair, but also fight through her fanatically loyal band of brigands (their loyalty is bought and paid for many times over thanks to the riches Manx has been able to gather).

For higher-level campaigns, Manx may decide to make her brigand group more powerful by adding giants beneath her rule. However, the annis barrow wight knows that the local hill giant chieftain will not react well to dealing with an undead creature. So, she sends her trusted lieutenant to broker a deal.

Can the PCs stop this political move by the annis’s band, or will interference incur not only Manx’s anger but that of the giants as well?

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