According to the universal monster rules, incorporeal creatures (read: ghosts) have no Strength score:

[An incorporeal creature] has no Strength score, so its Dexterity modifier applies to its melee attacks, ranged attacks, and CMB.

The ghost touch special ability allows a piece of armor to both function properly when being struck by an incorporeal creature, and to be "picked up, moved, and worn by corporeal and incorporeal creatures alike."

However, armor still has weight, and all incorporeal creatures have an encumbrance limit of 0 due to their lack of a Strength score.

Does this mean that it's actually impossible for a ghost to wear ghost touch armor even if it's technically able put it on?


3 Answers 3


Consider that creatures wearing ghost touch armor "can still pass freely through solid objects."

Consider that "incorporeal creatures have no weight."

It seems pretty clear that, narratively, the armor itself becomes incorporeal when worn by a ghost, and thus has no weight.

Regardless, the magic armor has an ability that lets it be worn by incorporeal creatures. If the general rules for incorporeal creatures seem to make that impossible, then this ability, specifically designed for incorporeal creatures, obviously trumps that! :)

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd go for *the armor must be incorporeal and thus weightless for the ghost to wear it" instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jun 3, 2014 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel I don't quite follow what you mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Jun 3, 2014 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ You tell us that an armor becomes incorporeal when a ghost uses it but I don't think a ghost can wear a corporeal armor, let alone turn it into an incorporeal one. He could get the incorporeal version of the armor he had when he died, or use a different incorporeal armor, but I don't think he can have an armor that becomes incorporeal at any point in time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jun 3, 2014 at 23:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Zachiel: Presumably this theory would suggest that the ability to turn incorporeal when a ghost wears it is what the Ghost Touch ability is doing. Having said that, I think it's more likely that the Ghost Touch ability simply allows the ghost to bypass the weight rules entirely for the purposes of wearing the armour. \$\endgroup\$
    – kastark
    Jun 7, 2014 at 16:25

Although it was never ported to Pathfinder, there is precedent in d20 for ghosts being able to wear and use ghost touch armor: the Ghostwalk campaign setting. It was one of the last books released by Wizards for 3.0, though they released a free Web enhancement to update it to 3.5. When worn by a ghost, it works pretty much as one would expect.

Worth noting is that Ghostwalk reduces ghost touch to a +1-equivalent bonus from +3-equivalent, due to the idea that ghost touch items ought to be more common in a setting where there are lots of ghosts running around: it would be in high demand among ghost-fighters and ghosts alike. That's a setting-specific thing, but if you're planning to make ghosts common in your campaign, you might want to consider doing the same.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ghosts worked very differently in 3.5; they lived on the etheral plane, and were only treated as incorporeal when using a special manifestation ability. As such, they had regular old strength scores. \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Jun 3, 2014 at 16:43

If it is a ghost with at least a Level in the Aegis class, I guess it could summon the astral suit, which is an armor.

Other than that, I guess one could produce an incorporeal armor?


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