5e SRD >Creatures >

Jack of Strings

Medium fey, chaotic neutral

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 93 (11d8 + 44)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 23 (+6) 18 (+4) 15 (+2) 14 (+2) 21 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +9
Skills Acrobatics +9, Performance +8, Sleight of Hand +9
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren’t made with cold iron
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Sylvan
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Create Puppet. Any creature that dies while linked to the jack’s puppet becomes an inert puppet that the jack can animate with its Animate Puppet action.
  • Magic Resistance. The jack of strings has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

ACTIONS

  • Ram. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 23 (6d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • Animate Puppet (Recharge 4–6). For 1 minute, the jack of strings gives life to one of its puppets, which has the stats of a clockwork servant. It is a Small creature, but its statistics are otherwise unchanged. The jack of strings can command all puppets it has animated as a bonus action.
  • Puppet Link. A jack of strings can establish a telepathic link between its marionette and a target it can see within 90 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become linked to the marionette. A linked creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself with a success. While a target is linked, the jack of strings can control it as a reaction at the beginning of the target’s turn. This allows the jack of strings to make the target move, manipulate objects, attack, or take other purely physical actions. The target moves awkwardly and has disadvantage on attacks and ability checks. If the jack of strings causes its target to take an obviously fatal action (walking off a cliff or making the target attack itself when below half its hit points for example), the linked creature immediately gains another saving throw, for which the creature has advantage, to overcome the effect.

ABOUT

Clad in fine clothes of black and red, this tall, slim figure steps forward. With a clawed hand grasping a crossbar, it makes its eyeless marionette dance. A chuckle escapes its fanged maw as it turns its caprine head. Like jack-o-lanterns in the void, its eyes fall on you, gleaming with cruel delight.

Court Entertainers and Punishers. A jack of strings uses its collection of marionettes to amuse shadow fey courts. It is adept at tailoring its performances to the crowd, switching effortlessly between charming plays to delight children, ribald performances meant to titillate older audiences, satirical pantomimes making fun of court rivals, and terrifying tales intended as warnings or threats. Most horrifying, the jack of strings can take control of a creature to enact justice in the form of humiliation, torture, or even death, effectively self?inflicted by the controlled creature.

Uncanny Valley. When a jack of strings establishes a link between a marionette and another creature, the marionette becomes lifelike while the jack’s victim takes on a wooden appearance. The puppet gains the victim’s eyes, which disappear from the victim’s face. Though the linked creature is effectively blind, this doesn’t impact the jack’s ability to manipulate the creature.

Masters of Puppets. Jacks of strings have several marionettes at their disposal. They painstakingly craft their first puppet, to which they establish a powerful psychic connection.

Subsequent puppets derive from victims linked to their original creation and who perish while linked. To avoid retribution by powerful shadow fey, jacks of strings stalk mortal lands to add to their collections. They harvest their prey under the guise of traveling entertainment, either alone or in the company of carnivals or acting troupes. Jacks try to keep the disappearances in their wake to a minimum and to target creatures who won’t be missed.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Warlock Grimoire 3. Authors: Lou Anders, Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Gabriel Hicks, Victoria Jaczko, Jeff Lee, Jerry LeNeave, JB Little, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben McFarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Richard Pett, Jon Sawatsky, Mike Shea, Brian Suskind, Prakash Upadhyayula, Ashley Warren, Mike Welham, and Steve Winter. © 2022 Open Design LLC.

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