A ball of pale yellow light bobs and floats in the distance, its flickering pattern beckoning.
Neutral evil Small undead
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 68 (8d6 + 40)
Speed fly 50 ft. (hover)
|1 (-5)||20 (+5)||10 (+0)||9 (-1)||18 (+4)||8 (-1)|
Saving Throws Con +3, Cha +2
Skills Deception +5, Perception +7, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances all damage types except force
Condition Immunities exhaustion, fright, grappling, poisoned, prone, restraint, unconsciousness
Senses darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Understands Common, but can’t speak
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
- Mind Bend. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1d10 + 4 psychic damage plus 1 level of exhaustion, and the creature must make a successful DC 15 Wis saving throw or lose 2 points from Intelligence and Wisdom.
- Out of Phase Bog lanterns exist partially in the Ethereal Plane and partially in the Material Plane. This accounts for their resistance to most damage. Weapons, spells, and other attacks that are capable of striking into the Ethereal Plane or that come from ethereal attackers aren’t affected by this resistance.
Whether the bog lantern is simply an undead will-o’-wisp or a separate creature that is superficially similar is unknown. The only traits the bog lantern seems to share with its potential cousin are its appearance and a desire to lure passers-by off the relative safety of the roads and paths meandering through boglands.
A typical bog lantern is about 3 feet in diameter. Most of the time, they opt to float 4 to 5 feet off the ground, though they can move around in three-dimensional space adroitly. On closer inspection, a bog lantern is observed to resemble a glowing skull etched with hundreds of mysterious runes that appear to penetrate completely through the glowing bone into its dark, inscrutable interior. A pair of glowing points of light hover within its dark eye sockets. Unlike the will-o’-wisp, a bog lantern cannot alter its color, brightness, or pattern of illumination. It is an “always on” glowing ball shedding yellow light equal to a torch. To simulate flickering patterns, bog lanterns move in and out of the brush and other foliage or cause their eye socket lights to roam around within the dark interior to cause light to shine intermittently through the dark runes that cover its surface.
In this way, it can appear to be several flickering lights — perhaps a large colony of fireflies, for example.
Bog lanterns feed directly on the damage they inflict to their target’s mental abilities. They prefer to feed on mental energy from humanoids — they simply find the “taste” to be a delicacy — and in particular, young humanoids. However, many a trapper has found the desiccated remains of an alligator, panther, or other beast unfortunate enough to cross paths with a hungry bog lantern. A bog lantern attacks by lashing at adjacent foes with psychic energy. The attack appears to be a flash of light (sometimes confused with an electrical discharge because of the bog lantern’s similarities to a will-o’-wisp), but it’s actually the bog lantern forming a tendril-like appendage and touching its prey.
The Tome of Blighted Horrors, © 2016, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors John Ling, Authors Richard Pett, Pete Pollard, Alistair Rigg, Jeffrey Swank, and Greg A. Vaughan.
Additional Credit Author John Ling, based on material by Richard Pett.