Psionic Bestiary
Four New Psionic Monsters
By Slagger the Chuul and Mark A. Jindra

Perhaps you need to add to your stable of psionic creatures so that you can keep your players on their toes? If so, take a look at the entries for new creatures below, or print them out and take them to your gaming table. You never know when an intriguing adventure idea will pop into your head simply by looking at a new monster!

Gruesome Lurker

Looming within the darkness you see a massive shaggy shape, with sharp claws and glowering eyes. The sight of it fills you with a primal sense of dread.

Gruesome Lurker CR 3
Usually NE Large construct (psionic)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +3, Spot +3
Languages Common

AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 14
(-1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 46 (3 HD); DR 5/magic
Immune ability damage, ability drain, critical hits, death effects, death from massive damage, disease, energy drain, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting spells and abilities, necromancy effects, nonlethal damage, paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, anything requiring a Fort save unless it works on objects or is harmless
Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +2
Weakness sensitivity to sunlight

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d6+3)
Space 5 ft; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +2; Grp +9
Atk Options fear eater, improved grab
Special Actions shadow jump
Psi-Like Abilities (ML 3rd):
At will -- control light, create sound, primal fear (DC 14; 3 creatures*)
* Includes augmentation for the gruesome lurker's manifester level

Abilities Str 17, Dex 13, Con --, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 16
SQ construct traits, distort body
Feats Alertness, Improved Grapple
Skills Bluff +11, Hide +11, Listen +3, Move Silently +7, Spot +3
Advancement 4-6 HD (Large)

Fear Eater (Su) A gruesome lurker that makes a successful grapple check against a shaken, frightened, or panicked opponent amplifies the fear of its chosen victim and feeds on it. If the victim fails a DC 14 Will save, it is stunned for 1 round and takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a gruesome lurker must hit an opponent smaller than itself with a claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Shadow Jump (Su) A gruesome lurker in a shadowed area can transport itself to another shadowed area within 25 feet as if using dimension door. Shadowed areas are dark or only dimly illuminated.

Distort Body (Ex) A gruesome lurker can fit its body into any space that could hold a Small creature, allowing it to squeeze through narrow gaps and hide in cramped spaces. It retains all the benefits of its normal size, including reach.

Skills A gruesome lurker has a +8 racial bonus on Bluff and Hide checks.

Gruesome lurkers are classic bogeymen, striking from the shadows and feeding on the fear of their victims. They skulk at the fringes of humanoid settlements, feeding on the vulnerable and the easily afraid. Though terrifying to behold, they are not as physically dangerous as they appear.

Strategies and Tactics

A gruesome lurker's ideal target is small, weak, and alone in a darkened area. Isolated from help, the chosen target is easily frightened into becoming a meal. Once the victim gets close enough, the lurker uses primal fear and leaps out to feed.

Gruesome lurkers go to great lengths to attack a target while it is alone, and it attacks multiple creatures only in areas that are completely dark. If necessary, it uses its psionic powers to lure or scare victims into a suitable area. When faced with serious opposition, the lurker escapes into the shadows to await a better opportunity.

Sample Encounters

Once a gruesome lurker has selected its prey, it stalks it patiently, often waiting hours for the right moment. If the victim proves to be easy prey, it returns from night to night, feeding until it is totally satisfied or at risk of discovery.

Individual (EL 3): A gruesome lurker has made a famous inn its hunting ground, leading to rumors that the place is haunted.

Lurking Hunters (EL 6-8): Up to four gruesome lurkers serve a shadow eft, which lairs in the charred ruins of a temple. Under cover of darkness, the lurkers abduct people for their master to feed upon.

Ecology

When someone bears an irrational fear of creatures that hide in the darkness, the seed is planted for a gruesome lurker. If the belief becomes stronger, or more people come to believe it, their latent psychic powers draw together a physical body from stray pieces that bear an emotional meaning for the believers. The claws that reach out of the darkness and the shaggy body of a beast coalesce from discarded hairs, fur, talons and other scraps, forming a protean threat that can fit comfortably into the common imagery of nightmares.

While enough raw emotion is present, the lurkers feed and multiply, but most of them starve and collapse back into nonexistence once their numbers become too great. Even when a gruesome lurker is cornered and destroyed, nothing remains to indicate that a real creature was ever present, so they are considered nothing more than a myth.

Gruesome Lurker Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (psionics) can learn more about gruesome lurkers. When the character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana)/(psionics)

DC Result

15 This is a gruesome lurker, a fake monster that lives on fear. This result reveals all construct traits.

20 They scare their victims with darkness and frightening sounds, and they can hide themselves in places where such a large creature should never be able to fit.

25 Magical or psionic weapons can cut more easily into their bodies, and they dislike bright light. They can run away from serious danger by leaping into the shadows.

Environment: Gruesome lurkers inhabit urban areas that have plenty of hiding places and hapless victims. By night, they creep from shadow to shadow, making the rounds of their current targets, or hunting out new ones. By day, they lair in secluded nooks where they can plot their next night of activity.

Typical Physical Characteristics: While a gruesome lurker appears to be a misshapen humanoid beast made of flesh and blood, its body is almost entirely hair, with a few claws on each hand and two eyes made of psycholuminescent ectoplasm. A typical specimen weighs 200 pounds and stands 9 feet tall when not compressing its body.

Alignment: Gruesome lurkers are usually evil, taking delight in the fear of creatures they frighten. While they could subsist on the primal terror of almost any creature, they prefer sentient creatures, whose greater awareness allows for a truly debilitating phobia to develop.

Typical Treasure

A gruesome lurker has treasure appropriate to its Challenge Rating, which is about 900 gp. They often steal something left behind in an attack, and that something is almost always a piece of jewelry or other valuable keepsake. When the victim recovers enough to come looking for his lost belongings, the lurker scares him all over again.

Advanced Gruesome Lurkers

Gruesome lurkers in well-populated areas often have a steady diet, and they may become stronger and more skilled than normal. Every Hit Die it gains increases its manifester level for psionic powers by 1.


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