Friday, December 7, 2012

Frightful Fridays! Scorned One

Welcome once again to Frightful Fridays! This time, the feature is on its (f)rightful night. This week's image inspired me to create an undead creature created from the fallout of an affair (either the former lover, or the new lover to whom the person having the affair will not commit). A "scorned one" manifests when it takes its own life or is murdered as a result of the affair, and it seeks revenge on its former lover. Once it achieves this goal, it sows discord in its former community and strings along another victim or two, before departing for other towns where it can continue killing without drawing suspicion to itself.

My intention was to create a monster that could be the center of a smaller arc in a campaign. A trusted NPC announces to the characters that he is smitten with a young lady and cannot get her out of his mind. The relationship proceeds as the characters adventure, but, each time they meet with the NPC, something seems "off." Eventually, the characters discover victims of the scorned one and must rush to save the NPC. Likewise, a scorned one could be a one-off foe using its emotional manipulation aura to assist a more powerful creature.

If you end up using a scorned one (or any of the other Friday Frights), let me know in the comments section. See you next week!

This beautiful woman suddenly transforms into a hideous creature whose face is all teeth. Meanwhile, the erstwhile suitor with her seems oblivious to her transformation.
Scorned One CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Medium undead (shapechanger)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
Aura emotional manipulation aura
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +10
Immune undead traits
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d6–1/19–20 plus attach and 1d2 Wisdom drain), 2 claws +12 (1d4–1 plus poison)
Special Attacks enthrallment, 1d2 Wis drain, poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +14)
   At will—detect thoughts (DC 16)
   3/day—charm person (DC 17, includes a +2 racial bonus)
Str 8, Dex 21, Con —, Int 16, Wis 17, Cha 19
Base Atk +7; CMB +12; CMD 22
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Persuasive, Weapon Finesse
Skills Diplomacy +21, Disguise +17 (+27 while using change shape ability), Intimidate +17, Perception +16, Perform (dance) +17, Sense Motive +14, Sleight of Hand +12, Stealth +15; Racial Modifiers +10 Disguise while using change shape ability
Languages Common, Elven
SQ change shape (alter self), courtly demeanor
Environment any urban
Organization solitary (alone or with enthralled suitor)
Treasure standard
Special Abilities
Courtly Demeanor (Ex) A scorned one treats Diplomacy and one Perform skill as class skills.
Emotional Manipulation Aura (Su) A scorned one emits an aura that changes the emotional state of creatures within 60 feet. A scorned one chooses one of the following effects (which it can change after 1 minute): calm (per calm emotions), despair (per crushing despair) or fear (affected creature gains the shaken condition). Anyone within the aura's radius must make a DC 19 Will save to avoid having their emotions manipulated; a character who succeeds at the save is immune to the scorned one's aura for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Enthrallment (Su) A character under the influence of a scorned one's charm person sees it in its changed form rather than its true form, even if the scorned one reveals its form to others. If a scorned one chooses, it can exempt a charmed character from its emotional manipulation aura.
Poison (Ex) Claws—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Str; cure 1 save. The save DC is based solely on a scored one's Hit Dice.
Wisdom Drain (Su) When a scorned one succeeds at a bite attack, it drains 1d2 Wisdom from its victim. For each point it drains, it heals 5 hit points.

Rarely when the victim of an affair decides to take his or her own life as a result of the affair, overwhelming feelings of betrayal and abandonment reanimate the corpse and create a scorned one. The resulting creature's new appearance no longer resembles that of the former humanoid; instead, it has an immense maw taking up most of its face, dripping talons in place of its fingernails and telltale signs of the suicide method it used. However, a scorned one can change its shape to look like a normal humanoid—an ability it uses to gain revenge on its former partner and to inflict the same pain and suffering on others.

The first order of business for a scorned one is to destroy the person who betrayed it. It slowly works itself into its victim's life, using detect thoughts to create an appearance its victim finds attractive. A scorned one prefers to hold off using its charm person ability with the expectation that its target will follow the same behavior that ultimately led to its creation. The creature allows its target to court it, but, showing a surprising patience for its revenge, it remains coy for a while to heighten its victim's desire. A scorned one  eventually "relents" and agrees to consummate the relationship, at which point it reveals its true form and attempts to slay its victim.

After a scorned one kills its first victim, it wanders through its former community and delights in manipulating the emotions of those around it. A character's only encounter with a scorned one might be the sudden recollection of a painful or frightening memory. The creature enjoys observing the reactions to the emotional misery it inflicts; after a minute it usually converts its aura to a calming one, so it can remain above suspicion while further confusing the victims of its manipulation. After tiring of this activity, a scorned one seeks out another victim to lure into the facade of a relationship and ultimately kill.

1 comment:

  1. Cree-eepy...

    And I'm a fan of Genzoman's art as well, so it's a double win! :)