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Corpse Thief

This thin, androgynous creature stands with a noticeable hunch.

Medium humanoid, neutral

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 30 (4d8 + 12)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
12 (+1) 17 (+3) 16 (+3) 11 (+0) 13 (+1) 6 (–2)

Skills Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Object Reading. By concentrating for 10 minutes on a specific object, a corpse thief learns more about the object’s most recent owner. The effects of this trait are different depending on if the most recent owner is alive or dead. This trait only works once per object.
  • If the most recent owner is alive, the corpse thief sees through that person’s eyes for 10 minutes. This works like the clairvoyance spell, except the most recent owner is the sensor and controls which direction it is pointed, how far it can see, etc. The most recent owner must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a success, it gets the sensation that it is being watched.
  • If the most recent owner is dead, the corpse thief can learn five things about the person’s life through dream-like visions and emotions. This works like the speak with dead spell, except the spirit can only answer questions about events in which the object was present.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The corpse thief makes two claw attacks.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Steal. The corpse thief targets one creature within 5 feet of it and attempts to steal one small item. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or lose one non-weapon, non-armor object that is small enough to fit in one hand.

About

Its skin is patchy and discolored, and it wears dozens of trinkets on strings around its neck and shoulders.

Unable to feel strong emotion naturally, corpse thieves steal objects from other humanoids, reliving sensations tied to those possessions in an attempt to find some feeling of belonging.

Object Reading. By holding certain objects, a corpse thief can learn about the item’s previous owner. It feels the sensations and emotions tied to the object, and such experiences are usually the only strong feelings it ever experiences in its life. The creature gets its name from its tendency to loot graves for such trinkets, although it is also adept at stealing them in the chaos of a battle.

Alien Minds. Corpse thieves cannot feel strong emotions such as joy, anger, and love without reading it on an object. They have a weak sense of personal identity, often confusing memories gained through stolen items with their own. A corpse thief that steals too many objects from one individual may start to believe it is that person. Always seeking emotional connection but forever unable to attain it, corpse thieves live in small communities on the edges of humanoid settlements in mock semblances of those humanoids’ societies.

Unflattering Legends. In addition to the unfortunate name others have bestowed upon them, corpse thieves find themselves associated with several ugly myths. Some claim a corpse thief ’s discolored patches of skin come from the flesh of humanoid corpses sewn onto its body. Others believe the creatures sometimes disguise themselves as recently deceased humanoids. If somebody makes a miraculous recovery from illness but acts strangely afterward, people may believe the individual is really a corpse thief in disguise.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.