Perram here, subbing in for Luis for this week’s Monstrous Physique. On the recent Know Direction: Beyond, we celebrated Halloween by each creating a monster for the season using the Alien Builder rules for Starfinder. Again I was impressed at how easy the system makes creating nearly any creature we could think of. So, here are the three monsters that each of us brought for your players to dread in their next session.
During the episode, Alex spent a lot of time dropping hints and trying to get us to guess where this spooky monster came from. It took us a while, and James was completely stumped. With its Mindflay ability, and its Hive Mind, it is a truly powerful foe. And at CR 19 it was the strongest of the bunch! Eventually I managed a quick guess. This was the massive monster from Stranger Things Season 2! Well, with the serial numbers rubbed off at least.
Catakenhum CR 19
CE Colossal aberration (extraplanar)
Init +2; Senses blindsight (thought) 1 mile, darkvision 60 ft., sense through (blindsight); Perception +5
Defense HP 350 RP 6
EAC 32; KAC 33
Fort +16; Ref +16; Will +23
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; Immunities ability damage and drain, aging, death, cold, electricity, mind-affecting, negative energy; Weaknesses fire, sunlight powerlessness
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (Su, perfect)
Melee 4 tentacle +29 (9d8+28 B plus mindflay)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19th; melee +29; ranged +27)
1/day—control gravity (DC 28), mass suggestion (DC 28), shadow walk (DC 28), terraform
3/day—synapse overload (DC 27), telekinesis (DC 27), unwilling guardian (DC 27)
At will—cosmic eddy (DC 26), mind probe (DC 26)
Str +9; Dex +2; Con +4; Int +6; Wis +5; Cha +11
Hive Mind (Su) A catakenhum can force creatures it has dominated with its mindflay curse into a join hive mind that it monitors and commands. A catakenhum treats all creatures it has cursed with its mindflay ability that are at the latent stage or higher as being within its hive mind. A catakenhum can communicate with its hive mind as if using telepathy if those creatures are within range of its blindsight and it requires no action to change a dominated creature’s orders. In addition, it constantly receives full sensory input as interpreted by the minds of those within its hive mind, requiring no action to access this information. Control can be maintained across planes, provided that the catakenhum’s blightsight can reach the creature. If a creature in the catakenhum’s hive mind is abruptly removed from the hive mind for any reason, it must succeed at a DC 26 Fortitude save or have its neural pathways fried, making it completely unable to take actions of any sort, including breathing. If the target breathes, they drop to 0 Hit Points and begin dying on a failed save. The next round, the target ties. If the target is somehow prevented from suffocating, its mental facilities can be restored using the psychic surgery spell.
Mindflay (Su) As a standard action, a catakenhum can attempt to forcibly infuse a living creature with its essence. This requires a melee touch attack against the target’s EAC. If the catakenhum’s attack hits, the target must succeed at a Will save or gain the mindflay curse (see below).
Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex) Whenever a catakenhum is within an area of bright or normal light, it is staggered and cannot attack. This weakness applies only to sunlight; light reflected from another celestial body (such as a moon) or created from a spell do not cause a catakenhum to suffer this weakness.
Type curse; Save Fortitude DC 26
Track mental; Frequency 1/day
Cure Target must be subjected to hot temperatures of 100° F or hotter, which allows the target to attempt a new save each hour to end the curse.
Effect Progression track is Healthy—Latent—Weakened—Impaired—Befuddled—Dissassociated—Dominated. Dominated is the end state. At the latent state and beyond, the target is added to the hive mind of the catakenhum who inflicted the curse upon it. At the impaired state, the catakenhum treats its divination and enchantment spell-like abilities as having a planetary range when targeting the target. At the befuddled state, any divination or enchantment spell-like abilities that the catakenhum targets the target with have their duration changed to permanent (D), ending automatically if the curse is lifted. At the dominated state, the target takes none of the penalties associated with the mental disease track and acts as if under the effects of a dominate person spell, except the target can be of any creature type, a successful DC 26 Will save to resist the control allows the target to act for 1 minute as if unaffected instead of ending the effect, and the catakenhum doesn’t need to concentrate on the spell to maintain the domination.
James was up next and explained that he was inspired by the stories of evil fey creatures. But he wasn’t going to be settled for a Red Cap or some twisted fairy. No, what he brought to the table makes skin crawl. Literally. His Insidious Cluster is a CR10 critter that is actually thousands of fey dragonfly all wearing the same skin suit. But they don’t want the world to know it, and can be quite… aggressive in protecting their secret.
CN Medium fey (shapechanger)
Init +8; Senses low-light vision., blindsense 60 ft.[Scent], darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +19
EAC 23; KAC 25
Fort +14; Ref +14; Will +9
Defensive abilities Swarm Defenses (when Disassociated)
Speed 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee Slam +21 (2D10+14 B)
Swarm Damage +21 (1d10+14 P), DC 16 Fortitude negates Distraction
Str +5; Dex +8; Con +0; Int +0; Wis +0; Cha +3
Skills Acrobatics +19, Disguise +24, Intimidate +19
Languages Aklo, Sylvan, Common
Other abilities Change Shape, Disassociation, Reconfiguration, Tussauds Facade.
Disassociation (Ex) As a move action_____s humanoid form flies apart into a roiling mass of insects that occupy a 10 foot square, 5 feet tall. The _____ gains Swarm Defenses, Swarm Attack, and loses its slam attack and Tussaud Facade. The _____ keeps its other physical and mental abilities.
Reconfigure (Ex) As a 1 round action the swarm coalesces into a medium-sized humanoid or monstrous humanoid figure. _____ loses its Swarm Attack and Swarm Defense traits and regains its slam attack and can start to regenerate its Tussauds Facade..
Tussauds Facade (Ex) 24 hours after the most recent time Reconfigure is used, the _____ outer waxy coating grows back. This wax is as strong and pliable as skin and will only get soft after 1 minute in 150F° heat exposure. This waxy coating allows the _____ to try to hide in normal society. Within an hour after the last Reconfigure the _____ can instruct its form to mold the wax in a new humanoid or monsterous humanoid form, along with changing identity. If this is not done within that hour the wax regrows to the previous form. Once the wax is complete the ______ can roll a disguise check to mask its true or chosen species or personal identity. The _____ makes this check taking no penalties for gender or for changing into a humanoid or monstrous humanoid. A Tussauds Facade cannot be used to disguise the ____ as a creature large or larger, or tiny or smaller.
Swarm Attack (Ex) The creature deals automatic damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its turn, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover.
Swarm Defenses (Ex) Swarms take damage from weapons differently depending on how the weapon targets them. A swarm is immune to attacks and effects that targets a single creature (including single-target spells), with the exception of mind-affecting effects if the swarm has an Intelligence score and an ability similar to the formian’s hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from effects that affect all targets in an area, such as grenades, blast and explode weapons, and many evocation spells. A swarm takes normal damage from an attack or effect that affects multiple targets (including lines and fully automatic mode attacks). For the purpose of automatic fire, the swarm counts as five targets. For example, if an automatic attack is made using 12 rounds of ammunition, it can attack a maximum of six targets, so it can damage a swarm normally. However, if two other targets are closer to the attacker than the swarm, they must be attacked first, leaving only four attacks to target the swarm, so it takes no damage.
I wanted a monster that was truly horrifying. Something that goes bump in the dark corridors of space ships. And everyone knows my favorite horrific outsider. The daemons! And so I present to you all, the Prodidaemon! This evil outsider is attracted to murders that take place in the cold loneliness of space. There, they imitate the deceased and create scenes of horror at the scene of the crime, trying to get the remaining crew or any explorers that happen upon the spot to grow paranoid and turn on each other.
NE Medium outsider (daemon)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception+14
EAC 18; KAC 19
Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +12
Immunities acid, death effects, disease, poison; Resistances electricity 10, fire 10, cold 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee claws +14 (1d8+7 S)
Daemon Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th)
1/day – summon allies
Spell-like Abilities (CL 7th; ranged +12)
3rd (1/day) – fear (level 3) (DC 20), hologram memory (DC 20)
2nd (3/day) – hold person (DC 19), holographic image (level 2)(DC 19), invisibility (DC 19), mind thrust (level 2) (DC 19)
1st (at will) – disguise self (DC 18), unseen servant
Str +0; Dex +0; Con +4; Int +0; Wis +5; Cha +2
Skills Bluff +19, Intimidate +19, Sense Motive +14
Languages Common, Infernal, Limited telepathy, telepathy
Remake Horror (Su) The Prodidaemon can, as a Full Round Action, alter the appearance of a location where a sentient being murdered with an area no larger than a 60’ diameter in order to make it appear as it did at the time of the murder. The daeomon may also exaggerate the the horror, gore, and violence of the appearance. Any creature inside the area is subject to the Daemon’s Fightful Presence. They may also detect that the appearance is an illusion with a DC 20 Will save. The person who committed the murder in the location, however, suffers a -5 penalty to this save.
While inside the area of their Remade Horror, the Prodidaemon may use its holographic image and invisibility spells at will. While in this area, the Pordidaemon often tries to use its telepathic abilities and bluff skills to make their victims paranoid, afraid, and distrustful of each other with the ultimate goal of getting their victims to turn on each other violently so that it can collect their souls.
Frightful Presence (Su) The creature’s presence unsettles its foes. It can activate this ability as part of the action of making an attack or as a move action, but it can activate it only once per round. It has a range of 30 feet. Opponents within the range must succeed at a DC 20 Will save or be shaken. The duration is 5d6 rounds unless the ability says otherwise. Once an opponent has been exposed to a creature’s frightful presence (whether or not the opponent succeeds at its saving throw), it cannot be affected by the same creature’s frightful presence for 24 hours. This is an emotion, fear, mind-affecting, and sense-dependent effect.
Summon Allies (Sp) (1/Day) The Prodidaemon has a 35% chance to summon 1d4 Prodidaemons.
Prodidaemons are created from souls where were murdered in the isolated hulls and a stations in space or isolated colonies on unperformed planets. They are attracted to areas of betrayal and violence, where they take on the appearance of the murder victims and terrorize any other people in the area. It prefers to turn its victims on each other, but is not opposed to getting its own claws bloody.
And that’s our monsters. Hope they bring fear and shivers down your player’s spines!