FANTASTIC FALL PREVIEWS #5: A familiar FLAYING feeling


Old-school RPGers may look back fondly (or with uttermost dread) on one of the iconic monsters of 1st Edition, squid-headed alien humanoid species that was well known as a flayer of the mind. Clearly inspired by the great Cthulhu himself but taking his madness-inducing alienness in a decidedly cephalophagic direction, that monster is one that was reserved as Closed Content and thus doesn’t really show up in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. That’s not such a bad deal for Pathfinder players, as the creature became so iconic that a lot of other monsters that could fill a similar niche got squeezed out, and their absence has allowed monsters like the intellect devourer, aboleth, and neh-thalggu grab a good bit more of the spotlight. That’s a good thing, because those monsters are terrifically mind-bending and brain-eating monstrosities on their own. Still, for the sake of nostalgia it was amusing to go back to homage the Brain Eating Squid-Headed Psychic Monster That Must Not Be Named in the course of making our own mythic derivation of the star-spawn of Cthulhu. Old-school fans and new-schoolers alike, hold onto your heads and enjoy a few of the mythic powers we’ve cooked up for this mythic mind-muncher, and if you like what you see pick up Mythic Monsters: Mythos Too right here at the Legendary Games webstore!

Mind Blast (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds, a mythic star-spawn of Cthulhu can unleash the power of its overwhelming mind in a 60-foot cone-shaped spread, stunning or staggering creatures as described. If the spawn expends one use of its mythic power, even creatures already exposed to its overwhelming mind can be affected by its mind blast.

Mind Flaying (Su) When a mythic star-spawn of Cthulhu begins its turn with a creature grappled, it can make one combat maneuver check with each of its tentacles to maintain the grapple. As long as at least one check succeeds, it maintains the grapple. For each successful check, that tentacle bores into the target’s skull (dealing normal constrict damage) and begins devouring its brain, dealing 2 points each of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma drain. A successful DC 32 Fortitude save reduces this to 1 point of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage. If any ability score is reduced to 0, the target’s brain is devoured and it dies, and the spawn gains the benefits of a death knell spell. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Overwhelming Mind (Ex) A star-spawn of Cthulhu’s mind is overwhelming in its power and alien structure. The first time a creature other than an outsider (excluding native outsiders) or aberration makes mental contact with a star-spawn of Cthulhu, it must succeed at a DC 32 Will save or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. On a successful save, the creature is merely staggered for 1 round. This effect can occur whether the star-spawn of Cthulhu initiates mental contact (such as via a demand, dream, nightmare, or sending spell-like ability, or once per round merely by telepathic communication) or another creature attempts to do so (such as via detect thoughts or dominate monster). Once a creature is exposed to a specific star-spawn of Cthulhu’s overwhelming mind, it is immune to this effect from all star-spawn of Cthulhu for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Psychic Crush (Ex) If a mythic star-spawn of Cthulhu stuns a creature with its overwhelming mind, it may expend one use of its mythic power to cause the target’s synapses to overload, affecting it as feeblemind; a successful DC 32 Will save reduces this effect to that of touch of idiocy. If the spawn expends two uses of its mythic power, the duration of the stun is doubled and if the target fails a DC 32 Fortitude save its brain implodes, killing it instantly. This is a mind-affecting effect.

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