D&D 5E Wights....problem with RaW...

jgsugden

Legend
I have a variety of homebrew monsters, including variant wights. However, I also use the wights as written.

They have an incentive to kill using their life drain touch to raise their zombie servants. One wight that sneaks into town and turns four families into zombies can send them on a killing spree and kill scores of NPCs, easily. I can take you a tale where an evil NPC used mass suggestion to send a small group of wights to murder and turn townsfolk ended up killing thousands of townsfolk in a night before it could be stopped... and that was just a few wights.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I just ran an encounter from ToA that had "tomb dwarves" stated as wights. They were wearing masks that looked like the green yawning devil (classic from Tomb of Horrors) so I had them "suck" your life-spirit out with that creepy gaping mouth.

It can be anything you want it to be.
We just had this encounter in ToA. I was wondering why the wights seemed so feeble (they scared the utter hell out of me in 1E/2E) - the DM wasn't using their Life Drain attack at all.
 



...so I am supposed to assume we have this undead warrior dude whacking people with his sword and then......go up and slap someone with his hand for a life drain? Visualising this just strikes me as wonky. I prefer to make them sorta like Tolkien, so their weapons have the negative energy in them like an estension of themselves, hence the life drain is added on top of the weapon damage. I describe them as giving off an evil black vapour...including their armour and weapons..to scare players.

Would this make more sense with your visualisation? The wight makes either two normal weapon attacks or one necrotic-powered life drain weapon attack. It shouldn't change the odds or the damage done in any significant way.

Multiattack. The wight makes two longsword attacks or two longbow attacks. Alternatively, it can make one Life Drain attack.

Life Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage and 5 (1d10) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

A humanoid slain by this attack rises 24 hours later as a zombie under the wight's control, unless the humanoid is restored to life or its body is destroyed. The wight can have no more than twelve zombies under its control at one time.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage, or 7 (1d10 + 2) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage.​
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
We just had this encounter in ToA. I was wondering why the wights seemed so feeble (they scared the utter hell out of me in 1E/2E) - the DM wasn't using their Life Drain attack at all.

Hey- did you hear about the Suloise / Undead Alliance dedicated to bringing Level Drain back to Greyhawk?

It's called Wight Power.


.......On to the Poconos!
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I think your variation is very legit... the attack itself doesn't even say exactly with what the wight is attacking so you could definitely say it's delivered by its sword
Doesn't it? I could swear that the stat block clearly differentiates between the sword attack and the life drain attack, with the implication that it has to touch you with its hand/skin to drain your life energy.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
...so I am supposed to assume we have this undead warrior dude whacking people with his sword and then......go up and slap someone with his hand for a life drain? Visualising this just strikes me as wonky. I prefer to make them sorta like Tolkien, so their weapons have the negative energy in them like an estension of themselves, hence the life drain is added on top of the weapon damage. I describe them as giving off an evil black vapour...including their armour and weapons..to scare players.

Even more fun. A variant stone giant wight using boulders as a bowling ball (in my version of Caverns of the Stone Giant Thane/STK)..the rock gets the black vapour and drain as well
@FitzTheRuke , whatever you do, don't read this for your Against the Giants PbPs. ;)
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Doesn't it? I could swear that the stat block clearly differentiates between the sword attack and the life drain attack, with the implication that it has to touch you with its hand/skin to drain your life energy.
Yes, but as GM4P already said, it doesn't actually specify how it's delivered other than it's melee... although even if it did say that it was with a claw, I wouldn't see any problem narrating it as done with the weapon.
they are 2 diffrent attacks but it doesn't say WHAT or HOW the life drain attack works in story
 

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