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The bussengeist is a harbringer of disaster, a spirit of a person who brought about a great calamity, and felt a wrenching regret for their actions that survived their own death. These entities of regreat and despair now wander the world, traveling to places where a disaster of the type that they caused in life is imminent, and mourning it again. Scholars of history and warfare have reported their presence at great battles -- always causing a great loss for one side.


A bussengeist is born out of regret and remorse for having caused some calamity. For instance, consider a repentant king who failed to pay for the upkeep of a dam which broke, flooding his city. If the king felt regret for his actions, he may become a bussengeist. Regret is the prerequisite, however -- a king who desired the flood, or cared not one whit for the damage it caused, would not become such a creature.

A bussengeist resembles the creature it was in life, but the grief and remose have twisted them, and they appear much older than they were at the time of their death. They are insubstantial, and move with unearthly speed at a movement rate of 9.


After death, the regret keeps the spirit tethered to the world, and the punishment for their misdeed in life is to appear at the site of similar disasters. For instance, the king above may appear at the site of other city-destroying floods. The bussengeist appears 1d6 days before the crisis strikes, so the clever and the wise may yet have a chance to avert the disaster. Once the disaster is averted, or has happened, the bussengeist moves on, seeking to witness its next horror.

While in a location awaiting a disaster, the bussengeist radiates an aura of despair. Creatures within 120 ft. who are trying to prevent the disaster must make a save vs. spell or take a -4 penalty on all attack rolls, damage rolls, and proficiency checks (and other rolls, at the DM's option).

A bussengeist is neutral evil in alignment, and its goal is to witness again the destruction that has driven it to such grief. It wants to cause itself -- and everyone else -- the suffering it caused in life. They are so driven in this ideal that their Morale is effectively Fearless (20).

Driving Away a Bussengeist[]

A bussengeist cannot be attacked, damaged, or incapacitatd in any way. Bussengeists, unlike most undead, cannot be turned. There are several spells which will turn a bussengeist away from a given location -- control undead, holy word, limited wish, or dismissal. A bussengeist driven away in such a method will return in 2d6 hours. A forbiddance spell will prevent a bussengeist from entering the area protected by it for as long as the spell lasts. A bussengeist can be permanently destroyed using wish, or dispel evil.

Overcoming a bussengeist offers no XP reward in and of itself, as the creature presents no real danger. However, the disaster that a bussengeist presages might be worth some XP if prevented or thwarted somehow.


The essence of these tragic creatures is a powerful magical component. Their breath can be used to fan the fires of forging cursed weapons, and their powers are harnessed in the creation of drums of panic and harps of discord.

Related Creatures[]

The bussengeist is a type of geist.


Monstrous Compendium, Ravenloft: Appendix I & II