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Wicked Skull

Tiny monstrosity (shapechanger), chaotic neutral

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 7 (2d4 + 2)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
6 (–2) 16 (+3) 13 (+1) 11 (+0) 12 (+1) 14 (+2)

Skills Deception +4, Insight +3, Persuasion +4, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • False Appearance (Object Form Only). While the wicked skull remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary object.
  • Jokester. The wicked skull has advantage on a Charisma (Deception) or Charisma (Persuasion) check if it includes mockery or a joke or riddle as part of the check.
  • Shapechanger. The wicked skull can use its action to polymorph into a Tiny object or back into its true, amorphous form. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

ACTIONS

  • Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
  • Petty Mockery. The wicked skull unleashes a string of insults laced with subtle enchantments at a creature it can see within 60 feet. If the target can hear the wicked skull (though it does not have to understand it), the target must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or have disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn.

ABOUT

Some wicked skulls are willing to serve spellcasters, especially those who enjoy a good joke, as a familiar. Such wicked skulls have the following trait.

Familiar. The wicked skull can serve another creature as a familiar, forming a magic, telepathic bond with that willing companion. While the two are bonded, the companion can sense what the wicked skull senses as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. While the wicked skull is within 10 feet of its companion, the companion shares the wicked skull’s Jokester trait.

At any time and for any reason, the wicked skull can end its service as a familiar, ending the telepathic bond.

Familiars

This skull chatters eerily, gently rocking as it comes to life. It calls out a warning in a hauntingly musical voice.

Origins Unknown. The origin of these shape-changing monstrosities is unknown, but they have come to be named “wicked skulls” after the form they favor most. Some scholars suggest that they took inspiration from the undead horrors known as skull lanterns. In some cases, there are tales of wicked skulls playing cruel tricks on townsfolk, masquerading as undead just long enough to cause true fright—then chattering before fleeing, harmless, into the night. Undoubtedly, these tricksters revel in disguising themselves as chatty inanimate objects to frustrate more competent adventurers with unsolvable riddles and bad directions.

Fun and Games. Wicked skulls crave entertainment above all else, and they do not consider their tricks to be malicious. Pretending to be a person transformed into an object or horrifying monster, giving confusing directions through a dungeon, or speaking only in rhymes are just a few tactics they seem to enjoy. A wicked skull avoids direct combat whenever possible and prefers to play mind games.

Stealthy Familiars. Every so often, a wicked skull grows attached to an adventurer who humors its tricks. In such cases, a wicked skull can become a faithful familiar. Its ability to speak and mimic objects makes these creatures particularly suited for general espionage. However, because wicked skulls delight in games and trickery, they are likely to abandon their chosen companion if they feel their creativity being stifled.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.