Greater Specter | New Monster for Fifth Edition

A specter is the angry, unfettered spirit of a humanoid that has been prevented from passing to the afterlife. Specters no longer possess connections to who or what they were, yet are condemned to walk the world forever.

Greater specters are older specters who maintain a piece of their undying quest. Although more rational than their lesser kin, they are also far more dangerous.

Undead Nature. The greater specter does not require air, food, water, or sleep.

A Greater Specter’s Lair

Greater specters influence the locations they haunt, exerting their will over their surroundings. Often, the specter’s lair is a tomb where its original body rests. Some long-forgotten mission binds it to that location. Then, the intense psychic energy the specter emits distorts and changes the place. Thick, musty mist clings to the floors. It’s always cold, even in the middle of summer. And dark, pervasive thoughts echo through the thoughts of trespassers.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the specter takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the specter can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • Telekinetic Thrust. The specter targets a creature or unattended object within 30 feet of it. A creature must be a Medium or smaller to be affected by this magic, and an object can weigh up to 200 pounds. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Strength check or the specter hurls the target up to 30 feet in any direction, including upward. If the target then comes into contact with a hard surface or heavy object, the target takes 1d6 damage per 10 feet moved. If the target is an object that isn’t being worn or carried, the specter hurls it up to 30 feet in any direction. The specter can use the object as a ranged weapon, attacking one creature along the object’s path (+9 to hit) and dealing 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage on a hit.
  • Dread Moan. The specter targets one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. The creature must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened by the specter. While frightened, the target’s speed is halved and it can’t use reactions.
  • Snap Freeze. Each creature within 30 feet of the specter must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, a creature gains one level of exhaustion. Creatures with resistance or immunity to necrotic damage automatically pass the saving throw.

Greater Specter

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14

Hit Points 135 (18d8 + 54)

Speed 0 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)

Abilities Str 1 (-5), Dex 18 (+4), Con 16 (+3), Int 13 (+1), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Int +6, Wis +6, Cha +10

Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages understands all languages it knew in life but can’t speak

Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

Incorporeal Movement. The specter can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 4 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the specter fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The specter has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the specter has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.


Multiattack. The specter makes two life drain attacks.

Life Drain. Melee Spell Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 28 (8d6) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the creature finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0, and returns as a wraith in 1 minute.

Legendary Actions

The specter can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The specter regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Forceful Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (3d6) force damage.

Invisibility. The specter magically turns invisible until it attacks or casts a spell. Any equipment the specter wears or carries is invisible with it.

Life Drain (Costs 2 Actions). The specter uses its life drain attack.


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Art by Wizards of the Coast.

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