Dungeons and Dragons: Wight

The Wight,

is an enigmatic entry from the tome of Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual I.  A loathsome creature of the undead, its a step up from the zombie or the underappreciated skeleton.  With powers that could drain the life of a hero and the take the life of the party at the table.

“… are most evil and hateful, seeking to destroy any life form they encounter.”

As a 4th-level monster, the Wight is a promotion from the zombie.  It’s one of the first undead creatures a dungeon master may look for to challenge his up-and-coming heroes.  The artwork boasts a hideous form and may inspire more cruel locals for adventuring.  However, the manual imbued particular powers that made the wight exceptionally dangerous!

While it’s physical attacks inflicted a paltry 1 to 4 hit points, a strike deleted one full level of experience!  The manual even dedicates a section explicitly explaining the full consequence in case you didn’t believe your eyes.  Furthermore, the Wight could only be harmed by silver or magical weapons.  To give an idea how powerful your party should be before encountering a wight, a high-level spell, Raise Dead, will kill it instantly.  But be warned, any humans killed by Wight will become a half-powered wight under its control.

As a 4th-level monster, it should have been part of adventures for heroes twice that level.  I never was a dungeon master to look to steal levels.  Therefore, the Wight made rare occasions.  Looking back, it is more apt as the heart of the story, the finale.  The Wight can be carefully crafted as an exciting boss.   On the other hand, as a random encounter, its just cruel.

Trivia: Defeating the Wight earned 540 XP.

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