Currently, my Saturday group is in the middle of a dungeon filled with mindflayers. There’s plenty of good mindflayers to toss at them already, but I wanted to come up with a few more wild variations. Kinda stuff they won’t see coming. Or will and promptly run away.
Here is what I came up with.
- A frost giant everlasting one with multiple heads being turned into a huge, multi-headed mindflayer. With the multiple heads, it won’t need to recharge its mind blast. Muahaha!
- A swarm of intellect devourers. Oh yes.
- Finally, a froghemoth that’s gone through ceremorphosis. It loses its ability to walk (it floats like a big, fleshy three-eyed blimp) and has no tongue. Instead, it loads up its gullet with intellect devourers. Which it then, you know… vomits onto creatures. I call it a brain blimp.
Enjoy! As a bonus, be sure to check out Keith Amman’s article on mindflayer tactics.
Huge aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 15 (patchwork armor)
Hit Points 189 (14d12 + 98)
Speed 40 ft.
Abilities Str 25 (+7), Dex 12 (+1), Con 24 (+7), Int 19 (+4), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 17 (+3)
Saving Throws Str +11, Con +11, Int +8, Wis +7, Cha +7
Skills Arcana +8, Deception +7, Insight +7, Perception +11, Persuasion +7, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 120 f.t, passive Perception 21
Languages Deep Speech, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)
Extra Heads. The ceremorph has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and on saving throws against being blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, or knocked unconscious. In addition, the ceremorph can concentrate on up to two spells at a time.
Magic Resistance. The ceremorph has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The ceremorph’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 16). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components.
- At will: detect thoughts, levitate
- 1/day each: dominate monster, plane shift (self only)
Regeneration. The ceremorph regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the ceremorph takes acid or fire damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of its next turn. The ceremorph dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.
Multiattack. The ceremorph makes two attacks with its tentacles. It can replace either of these attacks with its Extract Brain attack.
Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 26 (4d10 + 4) psychic damage. If the target is Huge or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 16) and must succeed on a DC 16 Intelligence saving throw or be stunned until the grapple ends.
Extract Brain. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one incapacitated humanoid grappled by the ceremorph. Hit: 55 (10d10) piercing damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the ceremorph kills the target by extracting and devouring its brain.
Mind Blast. The ceremorph magically emits psychic energy in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 16 Intelligence saving throw or take 40 (8d8 + 4) psychic damage and be stunned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Swarm of Intellect Devourers
Large swarm of Tiny aberrations, lawful evil
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 156 (24d10 + 24)
Speed 40 ft.
Abilities Str 13 (+1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 13 (+1), Int 19 (+4), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 14 (+2)
Skills Perception +10
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 20
Languages understands Deep Speech but can’t speak, telepathy 60 ft.
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
Detect Sentience. The swarm can sense the presence and location of any creature within 300 feet of it that has an Intelligence of 3 or higher, regardless of interposing barriers, unless the creature is protected by a mind blank spell.
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through an opening large enough for a Tiny intellect devourer. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.
Multiattack. The swarm makes two attacks with its claws and uses Devour Intellect.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the same space as the swarm. Hit: 29 (6d8 + 2) slashing damage, or 15 (3d8 + 2) slashing damage if the swarm has half its hit points or fewer.
Devour Intellect. The swarm targets each creature it can see within 10 feet of it that has a brain. Each target must succeed on a DC 16 Intelligence saving throw against this magic or take 11 (2d10) psychic damage. Also on a failure, roll 3d6: If the total equals or exceeds the target’s Intelligence score, that score is reduced to 0. The target is stunned until it regains at least one point of Intelligence.
Body Thief. The swarm initiates an Intelligence contest with an incapacitated humanoid within 5 feet of it that isn’t protected by protection from evil and good. If it wins the contest, the swarm magically consumes the target’s brain and spawns an intellect devourer which then takes control of the body. While there, the intellect devourer has total cover against attacks and other effects originating outside its host. The intellect devourer retains its Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, as well as its understanding of Deep Speech, its telepathy, and its traits. It otherwise adopts the target’s statistics. It knows everything the creature knew, including spells and languages.
If the host body dies, the intellect devourer must leave it. A protection from evil and good spell cast on teh body drives the intellect devourer out. The intellect devourer is also forced out if the target regains its devoured brain by means of a wish. By spending 5 feet of its movement, the intellect devourer can voluntarily leave the body, teleporting to the nearest unoccupied space within 5 feet of it. The body then dies, unless its brain is restored within 1 round.
Huge aberration, lawful evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 184 (16d12 + 80)
Speed 0 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover)
Abilities Str 23 (+6), Dex 13 (+1), Con 20 (+5), Int 15 (+2), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 5 (-3)
Saving Throws Con +8, Wis +5
Skills Perception +8
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Detect Sentience. The blimp can sense the presence and location of any creature within 300 feet of it that has an Intelligence of 3 or higher, regardless of interposing barriers, unless the creature is protected by a mind blank spell.
Disgorge Intellect Devourer Swarm. As a bonus action, the brain blimp can disgorge a swarm of intellect devourers, which appears in a space within 10 feet of it. The disgorged swarm acts on its own initiative count. After a swarm is disgorged, roll a d6. On a roll of 1, the brain blimp runs out of intellect devourers to disgorge and loses this trait and its detect sentience trait. If the brain blimp still has this trait when it dies, 1d4 intellect devourer swarms erupt from its corpse at the start of its next turn. These intellect devourers act on their own initiative count.
Multiattack. The brain blimp makes two attacks with its tentacles.
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 2) psychic damage. If the target is Huge or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 14) and must succeed on a DC 14 Intelligence saving throw or be stunned until this grapple ends.
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