D&D Fight Club
Imbrudar
The Brain in a Jar
By Robert Wiese

Welcome to Fight Club! This column provides complex opponents -- or occasionally allies -- at various Challenge Ratings. All you have to do is choose the right CR and drop it into your game. So if you're looking for a foe that's just a little different, this column is for you!


Design Notes

Last summer, I took the skiurid, a pretty inoffensive and annoying creature, and made it into something fun and challenging (judging by the number of stories I got back about its use). So, this summer's somewhat inoffensive creature that gets a facelift is the brain in a jar. You might detect the obvious tie-in to something happening at gleemax.com, plus the fact that brains in jars are in a lot of milieus. Call of Cthulhu has the mi-go brain case, Star Wars has the B'ommar monks, and Libris Mortis presented the brain in a jar as an undead creature for D&D. While initially not very powerful, its ability to dominate leaves it with a powerful defense. Of course, adding some class levels really helps, and psionic class levels fit this creature perfectly.

Imbrudar was created in a lab long ago, and it quickly dominated its creator and had itself moved to an abandoned fortress. Through minions it had the fortress re-fortified, but it longed for the ability to move on its own. Shunning constructs as an obvious solution, Imbrudar began a personal quest within itself to unlock the powers of its mind. And it succeeded. Now a real force to be reckoned with (especially in the latter two versions), it seeks to control every creature that comes within its sphere, either directly or through intimidation. Imbrudar makes a good crime lord.

Imbrudar as a Budding Psion

At this level, Imbrudar is still not exactly mobile, but its new psionic powers give it an edge in combat. It usually has a minion dominated to fight for it, however, such as a giant. It uses its powers to control or divert its foes from destroying its minion.

Imbrudar CR 7
Brain in a jar psion 2
NE Tiny undead
Init +3; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +15, Spot +15
Languages telepathy 100 ft.

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13
(+2 size, +3 Dex, +1 deflection)
hp 57 (9 HD)
Immune ability drain, critical hits, damage to its physical ability scores (Dex), death effects, disease, energy drain, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), nonlethal damage, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, stunning, any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)
Resist turn resistance +4
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +13
Weakness destroyed at 0 hp

Speed fly 30 ft. (6 squares) (good)
Space 1 ft.; Reach --
Base Atk --; Grp --
Atk Options mind thrust, rebuke undead 7/day (+5, 2d6+11, 7th)
Power Points/Day: 13; Powers Known (ML 12th):
1st -- energy ray (ranged touch +9), mind thrust (DC 17), mindlink, sense link (DC 17), telempathic projection (DC 17)
Psionic Spell-Like Abilities (ML 12th):
3/day -- suggestion (DC 17), telekinesis (DC 19)
1/day -- dominate person (DC 21)

Abilities Str --, Dex 16, Con --, Int 25, Wis 16, Cha 19
SQ madness, psion discipline (telepathy)
Feats Ability Focus (dominate person), Alertness, Iron Will, Narrow Mind[B], Psionic Talent
Skills Bluff +14, Concentration +5 (+9 to become psionically focused), Diplomacy +20, Hide +16, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (history) +17, Knowledge (local) +11, Knowledge (nature) +9, Knowledge (psionics) +19, Knowledge (religion) +18, Listen +15, Search +12, Sense Motive +10, Spot +15

Mind Thrust (Su) Imbrudar can spend a standard action to deliver a massive assault on the thought pathways that deals 2d10 points of damage to any target creature that fails a DC 17 Will save. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Su) Anyone targeting Imbrudar with a thought detection, mind control, or any sort of telepathic or psionic ability that makes direct contact with its tortured mind takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

Rebuke Undead (Su) Imbrudar can rebuke or command undead as a 7th-level cleric.

Imbrudar, Finally Self-Mobile

Imbrudar has finally developed a way to be self-mobile; it mastered the metamorphosis power and can change its own form (its jar is considered personal equipment). Now it is no longer dependent on minions for everything and can assume a less vulnerable form and fight for itself. It still prefers to control others and divide the foes against themselves.

Imbrudar CR 14
Brain in a jar psion 9
NE Tiny undead
Init +3; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +15, Spot +15
Languages telepathy 100 ft.

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13
(+2 size, +3 Dex, +1 deflection)
hp 103 (16 HD)
Immune ability drain, critical hits, damage to its physical ability scores (Dex), death effects, disease, energy drain, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), nonlethal damage, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, stunning, any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)
Resist turn resistance +4
Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +16
Weakness destroyed at 0 hp

Speed fly 30 ft. (6 squares) (good)
Space 1 ft.; Reach --
Base Atk --; Grp --
Atk Options mind thrust, rebuke undead 7/day (+5, 2d6+11, 7th)
Power Points/Day: 108; Powers Known (ML 19th):
5th -- mind probe (DC 23)
4th -- energy adaptation, metamorphosis, psionic dimension door, psionic dominate (DC 22), psionic modify memory (DC 22)
3rd -- crisis of breath (DC 21), false sensory input (DC 21)
2nd -- aversion (DC 20), brain lock (DC 20), cloud mind (DC 20), ego whip (DC 20), read thoughts (DC 20), psionic suggestion (DC 20)
1st -- psionic charm (DC 19), energy ray (ranged touch +12), mind thrust (DC 19), mindlink, sense link (DC 19), telempathic projection (DC 19)
Psionic Spell-Like Abilities (ML 19th):
3/day -- suggestion (DC 17), telekinesis (DC 19)
1/day -- dominate person (DC 21)

Abilities Str --, Dex 16, Con --, Int 27, Wis 16, Cha 19
SQ madness, psion discipline (telepathy)
Feats Ability Focus (dominate person), Alertness, Expanded Knowledge, Iron Will, Metamorphic Transfer, Narrow Mind[B], Psionic Meditation[B], Psionic Talent
Skills Bluff +14, Concentration +19, Diplomacy +27, Gather Information +6, Hide +16, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +12, Knowledge (history) +18, Knowledge (local) +19, Knowledge (nature) +12, Knowledge (psionics) +27, Knowledge (religion) +22, Knowledge (the planes) +17, Listen +15, Search +13, Sense Motive +17, Spot +15

Mind Thrust (Su) Imbrudar can spend a standard action to deliver a massive assault on the thought pathways that deals 2d10 points of damage to any target creature that fails a DC 17 Will save. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Su) Anyone targeting Imbrudar with a thought detection, mind control, or any sort of telepathic or psionic ability that makes direct contact with its tortured mind takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

Rebuke Undead (Su) Imbrudar can rebuke or command undead as a 7th-level cleric.

Imbrudar, Master Psion

Imbrudar has reached an important mastery at this level: It can permanently switch minds with another creature. Thus, it could leave its brain-body behind and start a whole new life with its new powers. Or, it could move from body to body and keep its natural one in reserve (in a vault, for example). It can also use metamorphosis as well as psionic teleport and psionic overland flight (so it could be a flying brain jar, if you want). It has a number of offensive powers as well, and it likes to use decerebrate, which it sees in an ironic light (a brain removing the brain of another creature). It likes minions even more at this level, and it teleports away to avoid destruction. It has achieved much, and it doesn't want to lose that. If necessary, it can abandon its organization by switching minds with a lackey and escaping to start anew.

Imbrudar CR 18
Brain in a jar psion 13
NE Tiny undead
Init +3; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +15, Spot +15
Languages telepathy 100 ft.

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13
(+2 size, +3 Dex, +1 deflection)
hp 129 (20 HD)
Immune ability drain, critical hits, damage to its physical ability scores (Dex), death effects, disease, energy drain, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), nonlethal damage, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, stunning, any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless)
Resist turn resistance +4
Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +18
Weakness destroyed at 0 hp

Speed fly 30 ft. (6 squares) (good)
Space 1 ft.; Reach --
Base Atk --; Grp --
Atk Options Enlarge Power, Metamorphic Transfer, Psionic Meditation, mind thrust, rebuke undead 7/day (+5, 2d6+11, 7th)
Power Points/Day: 205; Powers Known (ML 23rd):
7th -- decerebrate (DC 26), insanity (DC 26), ultrablast (DC 26)
6th -- mind switch (DC 25), psionic overland flight
5th -- mind probe (DC 24), psionic teleport
4th -- energy adaptation, metamorphosis, psionic dimension door, psionic dominate (DC 23), psionic modify memory (DC 23)
3rd -- crisis of breath (DC 22), false sensory input (DC 22), time hop
2nd -- aversion (DC 21), brain lock (DC 21), cloud mind (DC 21), ego whip (DC 21), read thoughts (DC 21), psionic suggestion (DC 21)
1st -- psionic charm (DC 20), energy ray (ranged touch +14), mind thrust (DC 20), mindlink, sense link (DC 20), telempathic projection (DC 20)
Psionic Spell-Like Abilities (ML 23rd):
3/day -- suggestion (DC 17), telekinesis (DC 19)
1/day -- dominate person (DC 21)

Abilities Str --, Dex 16, Con --, Int 28, Wis 16, Cha 19
SQ madness, psion discipline (telepathy)
Feats Ability Focus (dominate person), Alertness, Enlarge Power[B], Expanded Knowledge (x2), Iron Will, Metamorphic Transfer, Narrow Mind[B], Psionic Meditation[B], Psionic Talent
Skills Bluff +14, Concentration +23, Diplomacy +31, Gather Information +6, Hide +16, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (arcana) +16, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +17, Knowledge (history) +19, Knowledge (local) +24, Knowledge (nature) +17, Knowledge (psionics) +32, Knowledge (religion) +27, Knowledge (the planes) +23, Listen +15, Search +14, Sense Motive +21, Spot +15, Survival +3 (+5 underground, +5 in aboveground natural environments)

Mind Thrust (Su) Imbrudar can spend a standard action to deliver a massive assault on the thought pathways that deals 2d10 points of damage to any target creature that fails a DC 17 Will save. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Su) Anyone targeting Imbrudar with a thought detection, mind control, or any sort of telepathic or psionic ability that makes direct contact with its tortured mind takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

Rebuke Undead (Su) Imbrudar can rebuke or command undead as a 7th-level cleric.

Additional Feats

These feats are presented in Expanded Psionics Handbook.

Enlarge Power: To use this feat, you must expend your psionic focus. You can alter a power with a range of close, medium, or long to increase its range by 100%. Powers whose ranges are not defined by distance, as well as powers whose ranges are not close, medium, or long, are not affected. Using this feat does not increase the power point cost of the power.

Expanded Knowledge: Add to your powers known one additional power of any level up to one level lower than the highest-level power you can manifest. You can choose any power, including powers from another discipline's list or even from another class's list.

Metamorphic Transfer: Each time you change your form, such as through the metamorphosis power, you gain one of the new form's supernatural abilities, if it has any. You gain only three uses of the metamorphic ability per day, even if the creature into which you metamorph has a higher limit on uses. For instance, if you gain a dragon's breath weapon, you can use that ability only three times before losing access to the ability for the day. (You are still subject to other restrictions on the use of the ability. For example, after you use a dragon's breath weapon, you can't use it again for 1d4 rounds.) The save DC to resist a supernatural ability gained through Metamorphic Transfer (if it is an attack) is 10 + your Cha modifier + 1/2 your Hit Dice.

Narrow Mind: You gain a +4 bonus on Concentration checks you make to become psionically focused.

Psionic Meditation: You can take a move action to become psionically focused.

Psionic Talent: When you take this feat for the first time, you gain 2 power points. You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take the feat after the first time, the number of power points you gain increases by 1 (for example, you gain 3 power points if you take this feat a second time).

About the Author

Robert Wiese has been playing D&D since 1978 after he watched a game played in the car on the way home from a Boy Scouts meeting. He was fascinated, and delved into this strange world of dragons and magic and sourcebooks. Years later, he was hired to edit tournaments for the RPGA Network, and from there progressed to running the network after his boss was assassinated in the great Christmas purge of 1996. Times were tough, but he persevered and brought the RPGA into a shining new era. Eventually he met a girl who liked to play D&D too, and he left Renton for the warmth and casinos of Reno, Nevada. Now, he works in the Pharmacology department of UNR studying mouse foot muscles and the effects of RF emissions on same. He spends as much time as possible with his wife Rhonda and year-old son Owen.


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