Consider two templates, the ghost and the skeleton.

Both templates explicitly change the resulting creature's type to Undead, and both state the resulting creature "uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here". Regarding saving throws, the ghost template is silent; but, the skeleton template specifically notes:

Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

These are the exact same saves as are the default for the Undead type. Is the inclusion of this line a redundancy in the rules, or does the absence of that line in the ghost template mean the base saving throws from the base creature are retained?

Using an Adult Silver Dragon as a base creature, the resulting skeleton unambiguously has Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +10; however, the resulting ghost might have either Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +17 if recalculated as the Undead type base saves or Fort +17, Ref +12, Will +17 if recalculated with Dragon type base saves.

Which is it, and why?

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you find weird that a dragon ghost don't have undead default saves, you can think about the fact humanoids are supposed to have d8 for HD but a human barbarian would get d12. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


The ghost template specifically says (from the link you provided):

Type: The creature's type changes to undead. Do not recalculate the creature's base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. It gains the incorporeal subtype.

RAW, the base save doesn't change when the Adult Silver Dragon becomes a ghost.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow. I guess that's a bad example due to hasty reading. \$\endgroup\$
    – Addamere
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 22:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Eh. It's caused me to realize that, though it's not mentioned in the ghost template, Charisma is used to calculate the Fortitude saves of all the ghosts, and now I'm trying to track down where it says explicitly to do that. So congrats on causing me to go chasing off after that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ There it is: Undead creature type. Curiosity sated. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the clear intention is to use Charisma in place of Constitution wherever Constitution would ordinarily be involved; for example, the Ghost template explicitly notes to use Charisma to calculate a Ghost's special attacks, so the above Adult Silver Dragon's breath weapon would have a Charisma-based DC of ... 25? \$\endgroup\$
    – Addamere
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 23:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is darn close to a word-for-word of the description from the undead template, so kudos to you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 23:11

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