Capture an incorporeal creature


I'm prepping a one-shot, and my PCs are going to need to capture a ghost. Ghosts are incorporeal undead, which makes it tricky -- they can pass through physical restraints, and can't be rendered unconscious.

I'm aware of the Force Net from Blood of the Night, which would fit the bill nicely. If necessary I'll arrange for them to gain access to one, but I'd also like to know what other options there are. Suggestions?

Oh, and I have only a vague idea what the PCs are going to be like. Probably a time oracle, and a rogue, but no one has gotten definite choices back to me yet.

Shadow Lodge

There are a few spells that might help - you could make scrolls available if necessary. They are generally sort duration so it depends on how long they need to keep the ghost contained.

Chain of Perdition can entangle a ghost, though it can't actually immobilize it. It's an oracle spell (clr/oracle 3, sorc/wiz 3) though only has a rounds/level duration.

Incorporeal Chains grapple incorporeal creatures, which is better in terms of immobilization but also deals damage, which might be problematic. It's also less accessible as a spell, psychic 6 spiritualist 5 only. Duration is concentration, though, which is nice.

Grapsing Hand grapples without damaging. Rounds/level duration again, and high level: Sorc/Wiz 7.

Resilient Sphere could entrap a ghost for a few minutes, though you can't move the sphere. Sorc/Wiz 4.

What level will the one-shot be?
How long does it need to be trapped for?
A few suggestions:

Instead of the Force Net could you not just allow a regular ghost touch net to work?

You could devise a ghost trapping occult ritual which the players must learn, find the components and then perform. Probably something involving grave dirt, iron/silver and a mirror.

There's Ghost Powder. This works for 8 hours.

Silver Nail. This only works for one minute.

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Would casting Mage Armor on the ghost help?

An invisible but tangible field of force surrounds the subject of a mage armor spell....Since mage armor is made of force, incorporeal creatures can't bypass it the way they do normal armor

Now just bind the forcefield around the ghost with restraints and it can't escape the restraints due to the forcefield.

An interesting idea. Assuming it cannot be removed.

Decimus Drake wrote:
An interesting idea. Assuming it cannot be removed.

There's nothing to suggest that it could be removed. It's described as an "invisible but tangible field of force" and allows a Will save to negate. This leads me to believe it probably isn't intended to be a removable field of force.

HetBlik, this is a very clever way to deal with ghosts. If you need to run away from one, for instance, you could cast mage armor on it and then close the door. Good luck turning the handle with those incorporeal hands, ghostie!

It should be noted that there is a 50% chance that the ghost will just ignore the effects of the spell when it is the target of it (see the description of incorporeality), in addition to the Will save. But still, brilliant idea.

@Decimus: level 9, and they need to restrain it long enough to haul it back to the tomb where its body lies -- a distance of roughly half a mile. A minutes-per-level solution might do if they move fast.

@HetBlik: that is absolutely brilliant.

Let's see. Mage armor lasts hours per level, easily long enough. It's dismissable by the caster, so they could free it when needed.

Would it prevent the ghost from moving? Ordinary wizards walk around with mage armor running all the time, no hindrance at all. But then again, ghosts don't have a strength score. Maybe the "tangible field of force" requires you to exert pressure on it in order to move.

Even if the ghost would be capable of moving in a mage armor field, though, it would NOT be able to pass through walls or anything. And since the field is tangible, you could grapple the ghost and tie it up. Whacky!

I'm so glad I asked. That's totally made my day!

You can make a trap with Tiny Hut. It is a force effect.

Force net is a bit expensive. Why not just ghost touch nets? Does roughly the same job and if the party has enough on the ghost, it's not getting out any time soon. Enough time to set up for the mage armour trick!

I don't think an ordinary ghost touch net would work. I mean, sure, you could entangle the ghost. But on its next turn it would just seep through one of the holes in the net as part of a move action.

Unless you're suggesting that ghost touch applies to the air between the threads of the net, as well as the threads themselves?

Compare to force net, which explicitly states that it can entrap incorporeal creatures. That's the whole point of the item.

Still geeking out about the mage armor approach. <3

The Ghost Touch net rational assumes that the ghost cannot alter it's size to seep through the holes in the net.

Telekinetic sphere cast from a scroll lasts 15 minutes. You can move it 30 feet per round. So to move it 0,5 miles (2640 feet) takes 88 rounds which is 528 seconds= 8,8 minutes. Plenty of time.
Of course, it is reflex negates and SR=yes so it's far from a sure thing. Also it costs 3000gp a pop.

I'm liking the Mage Armour idea. I think putting a Lesser Ectoplasmic Rod into the would be quite reasonable too.

Scarab Sages

Ectochymist alchemists can create a trap to stick an incorporeal creature in a bottle.

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