Saturday, June 24, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Cerebric Spider

Hello and welcome to another Frightful Fridays! This week's monster is within spitting distance of Friday, so we're getting there. Actually, as it turns out, the next three monsters will be published on Fridays, due to circumstances beyond my control. Back to this week's monster, though: it's an ordinary brain-sucking spider, like you have pretty much everywhere.

I hope you enjoy(?) the cerebric spider, and I'll see you again on Friday(!) with another monster. Thanks for reading!

A mass of swirling gray matter is visible in this translucent spider’s abdomen.
Cerebric Spider      CR 11
XP 12,800
CE Medium aberration
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +21
AC 26, touch 16, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 136 (16d8+64); regeneration 5 (cold)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +12
DR 10/cold iron and magic; SR 22
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +20 (2d6+12 plus 3d6 electricity, grab, poison, and stunning shock)
Special Attacks brain sucking proboscis, neh-thalggu hatred, poison
Str 27, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 21, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +20 (+24 grapple); CMD 36 (44 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Stealthy
Skills Acrobatics +22 (+26 to jump), Climb +22, Escape Artist +22, Intimidate +22, Knowledge (all) +26, Perception +21, Spellcraft +23, Stealth +22; Racial Modifiers +12 Knowledge (all)
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Terran; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ ready lore
Environment any temperate or warm land or underground
Organization solitary, pair, trust (3–6)
Treasure incidental
Brain Sucking Proboscis (Ex) Against a pinned opponent or an opponent denied its Dexterity bonus, a cerebric spider can insert a cartilaginous proboscis into its head as a full round action which provokes attacks of opportunity. The victim takes 1d6 points of Intelligence drain (increasing to 1d8+2 points if it currently suffers from the spider’s liquefactive poison). This drain is reduced by half (to a minimum of 0) if the victim succeeds at a DC 22 Fortitude save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Liquefactive Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 22; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d6 Int damage, and victim must immediately attempt a second save to avoid have 1 point of Int damage convert to Int drain; cure 3 consecutive saves.
Neh-Thalggu Hatred (Ex) A cerebric spider despises its creators. It gains a +2 racial bonus on attack and damage rolls against neh-thalggus, as well as a +2 dodge bonus to AC against the creatures.
Ready Lore (Ex) All Knowledge skills are class skills for cerebric spiders. A number of times per day equal to its Intelligence modifier, it can take 20 on a Knowledge check.
Stunning Shock (Ex) When a cerebric spider damages a target with electricity damage, the target must succeed on a DC 22 Fortitude save or become stunned for 2d4 rounds. On a successful save, the target is instead staggered for 1 round.

A cabal of neh-thalggus realized their numbers were too small to effectively capture many brains in populated areas, especially more lucrative brains belonging to highly intelligent creatures. To remedy this problem, they bioengineered creatures vaguely in their image, but with changes to make them better hunters. Aware of a general sense of arachnophobia among most of the populace (at least according to the overwhelming majority of the brains they had absorbed), the neh-thalggus decided the best form for their creations was that of a spider. Fortunately, cerebric spiders—as the cabal referred to the creatures—were more than capable of extracting liquefied brain matter from their victims and bringing the slurry back to their masters. Unfortunately, the spiders, which originally had enough wits to stalk prey more effectively, grew prodigiously more intelligent and turned on their creators. After utterly destroying the neh-thalggus and devouring the brains stored on their backs, the cerebric spiders hunted for themselves and devastated the nearby community originally plagued by the neh-thalggus. As another unfortunate oversight, the spiders’ creators never considered whether their creations might be fertile. Thus, cerebric spiders have spread throughout the world. They have learned not to consume brains as voraciously as they once did, partially because they realize wholesale devastation brings retribution, but mostly because they have turned toward other pursuits. Cerebric spiders are now researching ways to achieve inherent spellcasting and develop a world-wide hive mind.

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