DESCRIPTION Before being worn this item appears to be a wondrous piece of magical jewelry; a DC 18 Knowledge (history) check reveals it is from the outskirts of Ravine. As soon as it is worn by a creature it transforms into a thick, rounded piece of ash that attaches to the wearer’s neck, transforming them into a mutant (if they are not already a mutant, roll once on the table below). [More on mutants tomorrow!—MM] Once the painful transformation is complete the wearer is under the effects of a permanent charm monster spell towards whomever attached the ashen choker and convinced via a suggestion effect that any attempts to remove it will result in instant death; these compulsions remain until the ashen choker is removed and the wearer does not receive a saving throw to negate either the charm monster or suggestion effects. After the ashen choker is removed, a transformed creature returns to their natural state after a number of days equal to double the number of days they wore the cursed item.
CREATION Magic Itemsnecklace of adaptation, necklace of fireballs, necklace of ki serenity
Ashen Choker Mutation Table
The wearer suffers the Ashen Death; roll on SL-2: Transgression Mutations. [Tomorrow!—MM]
The wearer’s skin sags, cracks, and becomes horned, resulting in a -2 to all Charisma-based skill checks.
One of the wearer’s legs expands, becoming a large slab of meat. The wearer can no longer be tripped or go prone but takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity.
Pus fills the wearer’s sweat glands giving the creature the stench monster ability (DC 15, 10 minutes). Unlike normal, this affects the mutant.
Large prongs extend from the wearer’s hands, making it so it can’t use manufactured weapons and suffers a 35% chance of failing to cast any spell with a somatic component. The wearer gains two claw attacks as secondary attacks as well as the attach monster ability.
The wearer’s eyes become large crystals that extend a few inches past their nose, granting darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision, but sunlight powerlessness as well.
GREGARIA SPHINX CR 8 XP 4,800 N Large magical beast Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +21
DEFENSE AC 21, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+4 Dex, +8 natural, –1 size) hp 102 (12d10+36) Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +10
OFFENSE Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (good) Melee 2 claws +15 (2d6+4, Crit 19–20/x2), sting +10 (1d6+2 plus poison) Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. Special Attacks pounce, rake (2 claws +15, 2d6+6) Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +16) Constant—comprehend languages, detect magic, read magic, see invisibility 4/day—dispel magic, legend lore, locate object, remove curse 2/week—symbol of fear (DC 20), symbol of pain (DC 19), or symbol of persuasion (DC 20)
STATISTICS Str 19, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 26, Wis 19, Cha 11 Base Atk +12; CMB +17; CMD 31 (35 vs. trip) Feats Alertness, Combat Casting, Hover, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Iron Will Skills Bluff +14, Diplomacy +14, Fly +10, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (all) +12, Perception +21, Sense Motive +19, Spellcraft+16 Languages Common, Sphinx
ECOLOGY Environment any desert (Scorched Lands) Organization solitary, pair, or trio Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES Gregaria Sphinx Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 19; frequency 1/minute for 2 minutes; effect muted for 3 rounds; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based. Gregaria Swarm (Ex) When a creature is affected by a gregaria sphinx’s poison there is a 50% chance that small maggots are implanted into its body, taking control of the host’s physical movements as the dominate person spell (CL 12th). Unlike the dominate person spell no save is triggered by forcing the target to attack an ally, and a creature so dominated can only take a standard and move action each turn. When a creature dies while under the mental effects of a gregaria sphinx’s poison, a plague locust swarm bursts from its corpse the next round (DC 16 Will save negates).
GREGARIA SPHINX Large beast, Neutral Armor Class 18 (+4 natural) Hit Points 101 (12d10+36) Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft.
Saving Throws Con +6, Int +8, Wis +7 Skills Insight +7, Perception +7 Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17 Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons, psychic Condition Immunities charmed, frightened Languages Common Challenge 8 (3,900 XP) Gregaria Sphinx Poison. Description 1 Magical Strikes. All of a gregaria sphinx’s claw and stinger attacks are magical. Spellcasting. A gregaria sphinx is an 8th-level spellcaster that uses Intelligence as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 16; +8 to hit with spell attacks), though it can access two spells beyond the normal ken. A gregaria sphinx has the following spells prepared from the wizard spell list: Cantrips (at will): mage hand, prestidigitation 1st-level (4 slots): comprehend languages, detect magic 2nd-level (3 slots): locate object, magic mouth, see invisibility 3rd-level (3 slots): counterspell, dispel magic, remove curse 5th-level (1 slot): legend lore 7th-level (1 slot): symbol
ACTIONS Multiattack. The gregaria sphinx makes two claw attacks and one stinger attack. Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage. Stinger.Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target is compelled to attack its allies for the same duration, or until it is relieved of the poisoned condition or an ally pleads for the poisoned creature to stop (prompting the poisoned creature to make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw to shake off the effect). The poisoned target can repeat the saving throw on each of its turns as a simple action, ending the effect on itself on a success.
LEGENDARY ACTIONS The gregaria sphinx can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The gregaria sphinx regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn. Claw Attack. The gregaria sphinx makes one claw attack. Activate Poison (Costs 2 actions). The gregaria sphinx may force a creature that has gained the poisoned condition from its stinger to attack one of the poisoned creature’s allies. Cast a Spell (Costs 3 actions). The gregaria sphinx casts a spell from its list of prepared spells, using a spell slot as normal.
Seeking out two establishments where a PRANKSTER’s coin is present, the PCs don’t turn up any leads, but on the third try their luck pays off—seeking out the aid of the locals in Ravine and succeeding on a DC 18 Diplomacy check reveals that a large group of the criminals were spotted heading north towards the Sea of Shards. Failure on this check means traveling back to the Parched Pilgrim and utilizing Kara the Sun Flea’s connections to the same effect.
A 3 day trek across the Scorched Lands gets the PCs to the borders of the Sea of Shards, where the first of many ashen stalagmites rise from up ahead in the rolling dunes. If the party hurried or rushed out to the desert (without stopping to get aid from the Sun Flea) they arrive early enough to make a DC 23 Perception check and spot a group of two dozen P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings gradually headed away from Ravine. Otherwise after a day of journeying into the wastelands they start to find bodies of the ne’er-do-wells (a DC 15 Perception check every few miles); though some have been visibly slain with claws or some kind of piercing weapon, most appear to have dropped dead for no reason.
After another 3 days of tracking the criminals adventurers hear the din of combat near an area of the Sea of Shards known as the Sandy Gate. When they rush over the nearby sand hill they find 7 hirelings facing off with a trio of gregaria sphinx [Tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! —TS], two of which are unharmed (the last being at 46 hp). The creatures ignore the party until all of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. are dead or one of the PCs attack them.
When the monsters are dealt with any surviving criminals flee into the Scorched Lands, trying to escape from the party. The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. hirelings dash off into the Sea of Shards and if captured, may be coerced to reveal that the cabal is in league with some mutants from the fissures. The two groups were meant to meet and exchange a certain material with the transformed denizens of the wasteland, though what exactly they were to gather remains a mystery.
A DC 18 Wisdom (Perception) check spots the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings. Use the “Bandit” statistics for the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings; there are a total of 18. A DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check notices the corpses in the sands.
Adult Nightmare Dragon CR 14 XP 38,400 CE Huge dragon (extraplanar, nightmare) Init +4; Senses dragon senses; Perception +25 Aura frightful presence (180 ft., DC 23), nightmare eater (60 ft.)
DEFENSE AC 31, touch 10,flat-footed 29 (+2 Dex, +21 natural, –2 size) hp 212 (17d12+102) Fort +16, Ref +12, Will +15 DR 10/magic; Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity; Immune cold, confusion effects, death effects, energy drain, paralysis, sleep; SR 15
OFFENSE Speed 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor) Melee bite +22 (2d8+7, Crit 19–20/x2), 2 claws +20 (2d6+3), tail slap +20 (2d6+7), 2 wings +20 (1d8+3) Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with bite, tail slap) Special Attacks crush, nightmare breath (50-ft. cone, DC 18 Will save) Spell-like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +22) At will—darkness, nightmare (DC 20), shadow walk, sleep (DC 16) Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +12) 3rd (5/day)—deep slumber (DC 18), dispel magic, inflict serious wounds (DC 18) 2nd (7/day)—command undead (DC 17), invisibility, web (DC 17) 1st (8/day)—grease (DC 16), inflict light wounds (DC 16), reduce person (DC 16), shield 0th—detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead (DC 15), mage hand, ray of frost, read magic
STATISTICS Str 25, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 20, Wis 21, Cha 20 Base Atk +17; CMB +26; CMD 38 (42 vs. trip) Feats Critical Focus, Hover, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Stealth), Snatch, Vital Strike Skills Bluff +25,Diplomacy +25, Fly+18,Knowledge (arcana, local, planes)+25, Perception +25, Sense Motive +25,Spellcraft +25, Stealth +20, Survival +25 Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Undercommon SQ ghost bane, umbral scion
SPECIAL ABILITIES Ghost Bane (Su) A nightmare dragon’s natural attacks act as though they have the ghost touch property. Nightmare Breath (Su) Three times per day, a nightmare dragon can breathe a 50-ft. cone of shadows. Creatures that fail a DC 18 Will save are put to sleep for 1d6 rounds and when awoken they are confused for a number of rounds equal to half the amount of time they were asleep (minimum 1 round; no save). Nightmare Eater (Su) The gluttony of the nightmare dragon allows it to spend a swift action to cause horrific dreams to invade the minds of sleeping creatures. These nightmares deal 2d6 negative energy damage and do not prompt a creature to awaken, healing the nightmare dragon the same amount of damage. The nightmare dragon can heal past its maximum hit point total though any additional temporary hit points vanish after an hour. Umbral Scion (Ex) Nightmare dragons have negative energy affinity and are immune to energy drain and death effects.
[Submitted by Tim Snow!]
ADULT NIGHTMARE DRAGON Huge dragon, chaotic evil AC 18 (natural armor) Hit Points 191 (18d12+74) Speed 40 ft., fly 70 ft. STR 22 (+6), DEX 14 (+2), CON 19 (+4), INT 18 (+4), WIS 20 (+5), CHA 20 (+5)
Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +8, Wis +10, Cha +10 Skills Deception +12, Insight +12, Perception +12, Persuasion +12, Stealth +10 Damage Immunities death effects, negative energy, poison Condition Immunities poisoned Damage Resistances bludgeoning from nonmagical weapons Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive perception 22 Languages Common, Draconic Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)
Legendary Resistance (3/day). Nightmare Eater. As a bonus action, a nightmare dragon can deal 2d6 psychic damage to a sleeping creature, gaining a number of temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt. This does not awaken sleeping creatures.
ACTIONS Multiattack. The nightmare dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes four attacks: one with its bite, two with its claws, and one with its tail. Bite.Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target. Hit: 17 (2d10+6) slashing damage. Claw.Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target. Hit: 13 (2d6+6) slashing damage. Tail.Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) bludgeoning damage. Frightful Presence. 120 ft., DC 20 Wisdom saving throw Nightmare Breath (Recharge 5-6). The nightmare dragon exhales shadow in a 50-foot cone. Each creature in that line must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw, falling asleep for 1d6 rounds on a failed save. When they awaken they are confused for a number of rounds equal to half as long as they were asleep.
LEGENDARY ACTIONS The nightmare dragon can take 3 legendary actions. Detect. The nightmare dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check. Ghost Bane. The nightmare dragon’s attacks count as magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistances. Creatures immune to bludgeoning and slashing damage treat the nightmare dragon’s attacks as if they only had damage resistance instead. Tail Attack. The nightmare dragon makes a tail attack.
This terrifying creature is a towering monstrosity that looms nearly twenty feet into the air. Six ears sprout from behind the curved horns at the top of its striped red face, the bone the same color as its hooves, the three claws extending from its arms, and the spined ridges running down its back to the end of its powerful tail.
GALATE CR 12 XP 19,200 CE Huge outsider (chaotic, daemon, evil, extraplanar, fire, nightmare lord) Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft., detect good, see invisibility; Perception +16 Aura fire (5 ft., Reflex DC 21 halves or on fire), fear (60 ft., DC 21), frightful presence (60 ft., DC 21)
DEFENSE AC 25, touch 9, flat-footed 24 (+1 Dex, +16 natural, -2 size) hp 132 (16d10+64) regeneration 5 (good, silver) Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +9; +4 vs. illusion-based effects DR 10/good; Defensive Abilities illusion resistance; Immune acid, death effects, disease, fire, illusions, poison; Resist electricity 10 Weakness cold
OFFENSE Speed 60 ft. Melee gore +22 (2d6+8), 2 claws +20 (1d8+4 plus grab and 1d6 bleed, Crit 17-20/×3), tail +20 (2d6+4) Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft. Special Attacks night terrors, rend (1d8+8), Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19) Constant—detect good, elemental aura (fire), protection from good, see invisibility At will—dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only) 3/day—deep slumber, detect thoughts, dream (DC 22), fly, invisibility, nightmare (DC 22),plane shift (from Aventyr to Alucinar or back again), shadow walk (DC 23),stinking cloud (DC 16), suggestion 1/day—feeblemind, modify memory, shadow conjuration (DC 21), shadow evocation (DC 22)
TACTICS Before Combat The galate hides in the shadows or out of sight, using deep slumber and then nightmare on anyone that falls asleep. During Combat Using its tremendous speed and strength a galate runs out to grab any spellcasters with its claw attack, dragging them away with shadow walk the next round and then deep slumber and its night terrors attack. It teleports back and knocks any remaining enemies unconscious, using night terrors and dream slave afterward. Morale Galate fight to the (feigned) death and until they are completely destroyed.
STATISTICS Str 26, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha 17 Base Atk +16; CMB +26 (+30 grapple); CMD 37 Feats Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (claws)B, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, RunB, Sickening Critical, Spring AttackB, Vital Strike Skills Escape Artist +20, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (planes) +21, Perception +18, Sense Motive +18, Stealth +16, Survival +18 Languages Abyssal, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft. SQ critical claws, dream slave, feign death, nightmare magic
SPECIAL ABILITIES Critical Claws (Ex) A galate’s claws have a regular critical threat range of 19-20 and a critical modifier of x3, and galate receive Improved Critical (claws) as a bonus feat. Dream Slave (Su) Instead of killing a target with its night terror ability, a galate may instead enslave it with a permanent dominate monster effect. The enslaved creature is healed of all Charisma damage taken from night terrors. Feign Death (Ex) Whenever a galate is unconscious, it appears dead. A conscious galate can also make itself appear dead as an immediate action. Any creature that physically interacts with a galate feigning death must succeed at a DC 21 Heal check or DC 21 Will saving throw to recognize it is actually alive. Frightful Presence (Su) This ability activates when the galate charges, attacks during a surprise round, or succeeds at a DC 15 Intimidate or Perform check. Its frightful presence has a range of 30 feet. Night Terrors (Su) Once a galate enters a target’s mind with its dream or nightmare spell-like ability, it can attempt to control the target’s dream. If the target fails a Will saving throw, it remains asleep and trapped in the dream world with the galate. Thereafter, the galate controls all aspects of the dream. Each hour that passes, the target can attempt another saving throw to try to awaken (it automatically awakens after 8 hours or if the galate releases it). The target takes 1d4 points of Charisma damage each hour it is trapped in the dream; if it takes any Charisma damage, it is fatigued and unable to regain arcane spells for the next 24 hours. The target dies if this Charisma damage equals or exceeds its actual Charisma score.
GALATE Huge outsider, chaotic evil AC 17 (natural) Hit Points 126 (12d12+48) Speed 60 ft. STR 22 (+6), DEX 12 (+1), CON 19 (+4), INT 14 (+2), WIS 9 (-1), CHA 17 (+3) Saving Throws Str +10, Wis +7, Cha +7 Damage Resistances lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons Damage Immunitiesacid, death effects, disease, fire, illusions, poison Condition Immunities poisoned Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive perception 13 LanguagesAbyssal, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft. Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
Dream Slave. When a galate kills a creature under the effects of its dream spell, it can instead choose to revive that creature. The creature is under the galate’s control, as if it had cast dominate monster. Feign Death. A DC 22 Wisdom (Heal) check is required to tell that an unconscious galate is not dead. A galate can feign death as a bonus action. Innate Spellcasting. The galate’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17). The galate can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components: At will: dream, see invisibility 3/day each: eyebite (asleep only), invisibility, fly, sleep, teleport 1/day each: phantasmal killer, suggestion Night Terrors. A galate can automatically succeed on one attack a round made against a creature affected by its dream spell. The galate can make this attack from any distance and through any barrier, so long as it is on the same plane as the target affected by its dream spell.
ACTIONS Multiattack. The galate makes four attacks: one with its gore, two with its claws, and one with its tail. Alternatively, it makes one attack and casts one spell. Gore.Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) piercing damage. Claw.Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 16). The galate has two claws, each of which can grapple only one target. Tail.Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target. Hit: 10 (2d6+3) bludgeoning damage.
The Plane of Dreams is a dimension that exists on the boundaries of many others—not just the Material Plane but also Limbo, the Plane of Shadow, and the Astral Plane as well. While this interactivity is what sustains Alucinar, there are areas where two or more dimensions interact and interfere with magic, change the nature of gravity, or even alter the flow of time. Proximity (and thus accessibility) to so many different dimensions has made the Dreaming Island a locale sought after by arcane theorists and magical researchers since its discovery. Reaching the Plane of Dreams is not as simple as a slumber, however; only certain creatures (those native to the realm) are able to leave it, and otherwise it is accessible only through very specific locales or the use of rare substances found only in Aventyr. Though they can be dangerous and unpredictable, locating a dimensional overlap on the Plane of Dreams is a simple endeavor for anyone adept with arcane or divine energies. The convergence of planes is extremely easy to see; a detect magic spell and Perception check (DC 1 + 1 per 1,000 ft. from the overlap) allows a creature to read the ebb and flow of power in Alucinar.
Shadow Overlap These areas of Alucinar have terrain or shape, gradually turning into just a flat plane spotted with orbs of normal darkness, supernatural darkness, and nothingness. The shadow overlap fluctuates in brightness, leading inexperienced travelers to paths that seem to illuminate but really only serve to cement the terror of losing one’s senses. Knowledgeable explorers know that within a shadow overlap, the safest path to travel is in supernatural darkness.
Within a shadow overlap all light brighter than normal light becomes normal darkness. Dim light and darkness becomes supernaturally dark. If an area already has supernatural darkness it becomes nothingness; all visual-based senses cease to function in that area, incurring a 50% miss chance to attacks and a 75% chance to move in a random direction.
Light-based spells do not function in a shadow overlap and fire-based effects only provide a dim gray glow, easily visible to creatures within 60 feet. Fire-based damage is reduced by 10 in the shadow overlap.
There is a 30% chance each hour that a shadow overlap fluctuates in brightness. When fluctuating the brightness of an area raises by one step up to normal darkness, if already at normal darkness it fades and all visual-based senses cease to function in the area. If a creature is in an area of normal darkness when this happens, that creature takes 4d6 negative energy damage (no save).
Any type of aberration or evil outsider can appear in a shadow overlap.