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Ceroptor

Medium aberration, chaotic evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 150 (20d8 + 60)
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 16 (+3) 16 (+3) 19 (+4) 15 (+2) 13 (+1)

Saving Throws Int + 7 (see Powerful Mind)

Skills Deception +7, Intimidation +7, Perception +8, Persuasion +7, Stealth +6
Damage Resistances acid, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Ashtuul, Belligren, Common
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Innate Spellcasting (Psionic). The ceroptor’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components.
  • Powerful Mind. If the ceroptor needs to make a Wisdom or Charisma saving throw, it can instead make an Intelligence saving throw.
  • Steal Body. Over the course of a minute, a ceroptor can take control of a headless corpse that died within the past 12 hours by affixing itself to the creature’s nervous system and absorbing the residual memories of the creature. A ceroptor cannot affix itself to creatures lacking nervous systems, nor to creatures of the following types: elementals, oozes, plants, undead. A ceroptor is considered incapacitated while it is attempting to steal a body. Once mounted, the ceroptor can control the body and gains its Hit Dice, skills proficiencies, feats, racial traits and abilities. If the host body possessed spellcasting ability, the ceroptor can use those spells through its innate spellcasting, though it retains a maximum of 10 spell levels. It uses the physical ability scores the dead creature had in life, but retains its own mental ability scores, skills, feats, spell-like abilities, and any other effects or abilities related to its own mental ability scores. AA ceroptor with a powerful host body may have its own separate Challenge. A ceroptor cannot inhabit the body of a creature with more than 10 Hit Dice. The ceroptor physically bonds with its host body and may inhabit the body until forced out. A ceroptor is forced from its host body if the body’s hit points drop below zero. If the host body is successfully polymorphed, petrified, or otherwise incapacitated, the ceroptor may abandon that host body as a bonus action. It also can be forced out of a body by targeting the body with reincarnate, raise dead, resurrection, or similarly powerful magic, dealing 30 (10d6) points of force damage to the ceroptor and shunting it out of the host body. The ceroptor can make a Wisdom save against the spells DC, taking half damage on a success, but still being shunted.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The ceroptor makes three stinger attacks.
  • Stinger. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6+2) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become paralyzed for 1 minute. The creature can make a new saving throw at the beginning of their turn, ending the effect on a success.
  • Ganglion Probe. The ceroptor can forcefully insert one of its ganglions into an incapacitated creature’s nervous system. Inserting the ganglion deals 22 (4d10) psychic damage. A creature that is reduced to 0 hit points by this attack does not die but is considered incapacitated and remains at 0 hit points for 1 hour or until it receives any medical attention or healing. A ganglion probe can be torn out by hand with a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check, which deals 10 (3d6) piercing damage to the creature being probed.

ABOUT

The dominant species that holds control over all habitable moons orbiting Anshar are known as Ceroptors. Cerptors hail from the near lifeless moon the humanoids call Morthos. Created by the dark and alien manipulations of the jagladine, they were designed to manipulate weaker species of the neighboring moons in order to break them into revealing the secrets of the Ancient gates. Of genius and entirely alien intellect, a typical ceroptor appears almost as an oversized, hideous head trailing long ganglion-like structures of thick cartilage. Parasitic Predators. Ceroptors capture, enslave and breed the various humanoid races as if they were cattle. They eat humans when they so desire, but also use their bodies by removing a host’s head, inserting their ganglion into their necks and taking over their central nervous systems so they gain full control over the body. This mounting process kills the humanoid host, although the body can remain “alive” and in the possession and control of its host for as long as the host desires or until it is killed. They also reproduce by laying eggs inside a host body. When the eggs hatch, a brood of tiny ceroptor larvae eats its way out of the corpse. Upon escaping the host, the larvae go into deep caves where they sleep for several months as they mature into fully developed ceroptors. Body Traders. Ceroptors believe themselves to be a paragon species, far superior to all others. Currently ceroptors travel from moon to moon by mentally projecting themselves from their existing head-like bodies, through inner space and into recently hatched ceroptor larvae on other moons. The original form dies, but the same personality lives on in the new form. In this way, they are somewhat immortal. How ceroptors originally traveled between the moons is unknown, though it is speculated that an earlier humanoid race possessed the ability to moon jump and became infested with ceroptor eggs after an encounter with the hostile creatures. Ceroptors who find stable host bodies to inhabit over a long period of time become infiltrators within humanoid societies, spying out choice targets for their fellows and manipulating events behind the scenes. They use their mental powers to create disorder and suspicion so the communities where they hunt will be easy prey.

Insidious Takeover. When a ceroptor controls a creature, you can consider it a template that can be applied to a creature much as any other template. Use the following rules when applying the ceroptor template.

  • The creature gains the shapechanger and ceroptor subtype.
  • The creature’s AC becomes 17 if it is not already 17.
  • The creature’s mental attribute scores are altered as follows: Int 19, Wis 15, Cha 13.
  • The creature gains the skill proficiencies of the ceroptor, including those skills that count proficiency bonus twice (Deception, Intimidation, Perception, and Persuasion).
  • The creature gains the Powerful Mind ability, which grants it proficiency in Intelligence saving throws, and allows it to use that saving throw in place of Wisdom or Charisma. All physical saving throws are unchanged from the base creature.
  • The creature gains darkvision of 60 feet if it did not have it previously.
  • The creature gains the use of the Ceroptor’s Innate Spellcasting as follows:
  • Innate Spellcasting (Psionic). The ceroptor’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components.

This creature irrevocably dies when it reaches 0 hit points, as it was already mostly dead to begin with, and partially animated by the creoptor. If the host is targeted by magic that would return the corpse to life, the creoptor is expelled (see the creoptor’s “steal body” special ability above). When the body is incapacitated, the ceroptor is forced out of the body, and the host body.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Legendary Planet Adventure Path (5E) © 2020, Legendary Games; Authors: Matt Goodall, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Tim Hitchcock, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Mike D. Welham