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Necrophage

All ghouls gain more than sustenance from feasting on the flesh and bones of the dead. The eerie act of digesting the flesh of thinking people implants fragments of memories and lore in the feasting ghoul’s mind. In most cases, these memories are ephemeral, like dreams remembered through a haze of pleasant euphoria, with certain key elements periodically coming into sharp focus as the ghoul concentrates.

These glimpses into the memories and knowledge of the dead are not enough for the necrophage monk, who learns to derive both deep and practical insights from feasting.

Feast on Memories

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you add half your monk level to the maximum number of insights you can maintain from your Psychic Feast ghoul racial trait. You can use your Psychic Feast trait as an action.

At 11th level, the insight from your Psychic Feast allows you to add your full proficiency bonus, rather than half of it, to checks using the chosen skill or with the chosen tool.

If you already had proficiency in that skill or with that tool, the insight allows you to add your proficiency bonus twice to that skill or tool, rather than one and one-half times.

Feast Damage
Monk Level Psychic Damage
3rd 3d6
5th 4d6
11th 5d6
14th 6d6
17th 7d6

Feast on Thought

Although you prefer the flavor of dead meat and dry bone, you can also absorb fragments of the minds of certain creatures you damage with an unarmed strike using your bite starting at 3rd level. This allows you to affect creatures normally subject to your Psychic Feast ghoul trait even if they are not dead. To do so, you must spend 1 ki point as a bonus action before you attack. The next time before the start of your next turn that you hit a creature susceptible to your Psychic Feast with an unarmed strike using your bite, you deal additional psychic damage to the target as indicated on the Feast Damage table and you can choose one of the following additional benefits.

Probe Thoughts. You perceive the target’s surface thoughts: its reasoning, its emotional state, or something that looms large in its mind. There is no saving throw against this effect. You can attempt to extract a specific bit of information or knowledge from the target, such as the tactical details of one of its abilities of your choice (if you choose to learn about a spellcaster’s spellcasting ability, you learn the highest level of spells they can cast and their effective casting level; see Spell Insight, below). The target makes an Intelligence saving throw against this deeper probe; the DC equals your ki save DC. On a failed save, you learn the information you chose. On a successful save, you learn nothing deeper than surface thoughts.

Skill or Tool Insight. You gain the normal benefits for your Psychic Feast trait as if you had used it on the target’s corpse.

Spell Insight. You know the names of 2d4 randomly chosen spells the creature knows, has prepared, or can cast by way of the Innate Spellcasting trait or class features.

The GM chooses the spells from among those of a spell level less than or equal to the highest spell level that you can cast with this ability (see the Spell Insight table, below, to determine the minimum monk level required to cast a spell of a given level). You choose one of those spells. For the next 8 hours, you can cast that spell without expending a spell slot by paying the number of ki points for its spell level on the Spell Insight table. The spell save DC is equal to your ki save DC. Your bonus to hit on spell attacks is equal to your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus. You can spend additional ki points to cast the spell as if using a higher-level spell slot; the effective spell slot increases by 1 level per extra ki point spent, to a maximum slot level depending on your monk level (see the Spell Insight table). This spell insight counts against the total number of insights you can have from your Psychic Feast trait.

Spell Insight
Spell Level Minimum Monk Level Ki Point Cost
1st 3rd 1
2nd 6th 2
3rd 11th 4
4th 11th 5
5th 17th 6
6th 20th 8

Feast on Form

At 3rd level, you can cast alter self without expending a spell slot or providing any components, but only to choose the Change Appearance option to adjust your body to mimic the likeness of a creature that you currently have an insight from by way of your Psychic Feast ghoul trait or another feature of this archetype. You make an Intelligence check and add your proficiency bonus to determine the quality of the likeness. Those who interact with you can who see through the sham with their own Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception) check. Those who detect the ruse generally do so by noting the subtle scent of your decaying meat breath, or perhaps they spot your slightly sharp fangs or jagged nails.

Starting at 11th level, you can cast consume likeness without expending a spell slot. When you do, you can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Dinner Conversation

Starting at 6th level, you can cast speak with dead without expending a spell slot, but only to target a corpse you currently have an insight from by way of your Psychic Feast trait.

Diverse Palette

Starting at 6th level, you can use your Psychic Feast trait on any creature or corpse that has flesh and has or had an Intelligence score of 5 or higher. This allows you to use your Feast on Thought feature on any such creature, even undead. Note that creatures with the Incorporeal Movement trait generally don’t have flesh.

Consume Ki

Starting at 11th level, you can absorb life force when you successfully use your Psychic Feast trait on a corpse (not a creature). If the creature couldn’t cast spells and didn’t have ki points, you gain ki according to the creature’s challenge rating on the Consume Ki table. If the creature had ki points or could cast spells, you gain 1 more ki point than the number on the Consume Ki table. You can also use the Spell Insight or Probe Thoughts option from your Feast on Thought feature, using the creature’s condition at the moment of its death to determine the effects of either option. You can only ever use this feature on a given corpse once. The GM might make limited exceptions for particularly well-preserved corpses over 100 years old or otherwise of special magical power.

Consume Ki
Challenge Rating Ki Points Gained
4 or lower 1
5-10 2
11-16 3
17 or higher 4

Tear Mind

At 17th level, you gain the ability to shatter a creature’s mind when you deal psychic damage to it using your Feast on Thought feature. You can spend 5 ki points to create a subtle tear in the target’s mind that lingers for 30 days or until you exploit it. The tear is harmless until you mentally rip it wide open as a bonus action while you are within 60 feet. When you trigger it, you can cast either feeblemind or hold monster on the creature without expending a spell slot, using an action, or providing components.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos, © 2018, Petersen Games; Authors: Sandy Petersen, David N. Ross, James Jacobs, Arthur Petersen, Ian Starcher.