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Familiar Morph

Small aberration, any evil

Armor Class: 16
Hit Points 14 (4d6)
Speed: 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (0) 14 (+2) 10 (0) 18 (+4) 17 (+3) 14 (+2)

Skills: Arcana +6, Deception +4, Perception +5, Stealth +4
Senses: see below, familiar sense
Damage Resistances: cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, slashing and piercing that are nonmagical
Damage Immunities: none
Condition Immunities: fear, paralysis
Languages: familiar morphs speak only those languages that their latest victim did
Challenge: 2 (450 XP)

Special Traits

  • Familiar Sense: The familiar morph can sense the exact location of any familiar within 1 mile and is drawn inexorably to its location. This ability functions exactly like the locate creature spell, except that the familiar eater does not need to be familiar in any way with the creature or location it is trying to track.
  • Paralyzing Touch: A creature successfully hit by the familiar morph’s slam attack must make a Strength save (DC 16) or become paralyzed for 1d4+2 rounds. Familiars suffer disadvantage to their saving throw against this ability. Note that the familiar morph must be in its natural form to use this ability.
  • Morph: A familiar morph can assume the shape of any Tiny, Small, or Medium familiar it comes in contact with. This works similarly to a druid’s wild shape ability, but the familiar morph can remain in the chosen form indefinitely and is restricted to the form of the familiar it has enveloped. In order to use the ability, the familiar morph must succeed at a touch attack against a helpless familiar. If the familiar morph succeeds, the familiar must make a Wisdom save (DC 16). If the familiar fails, it is destroyed and the familiar morph assumes its shape. Once it has assumed the familiar’s shape, the familiar morph may switch back and forth between the new form and its natural form at will as a bonus action. The familiar’s master is unaware of any change (unless, of course, he saw the attack happen) –the familiar morph seamlessly assumes the bond between master and familiar as if it were the familiar. The familiar morph also gains all of the familiar’s abilities and can read “its” master’s mind by exploiting their bond. Note that the familiar morph must be in its natural form to attack and morph into a new familiar form.
  • Bond Drain: Each day after the familiar morph assumes a familiar’s form using its morph ability, its new “master” must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 16). Regardless of whether the saving throw succeeds or fails, the master’s maximum hit points and hit dice are reduced by one hit die. In addition, if the save fails, the “master” receives disadvantage on all attacks, saving throws and ability checks until he completes a long rest, and is unaware of what’s happening to him (the GM should secretly apply the penalties, rolling the disadvantage die for the PC in secret). If the save is successful, however, the “master” becomes aware that something is wrong –that something is draining energy from him –but he won’t know what.

If the master can make two saving throws in row, he realizes that there is something wrong with his bond to his familiar, but he still won’t know that the “familiar” is not his familiar. (There are, however, a number of spells which can either directly or indirectly reveal the truth.)

If the familiar that the familiar morph has commandeered could speak, then the familiar morph will, of course, do everything in its power to throw its “master” off the scent.

(“Oh, master, it was terrible! The nice Lady Erwen isn’t so nice! She put a curse on me! She’s killing us both!”) If the master’s hit points or hit dice reach zero as a result of this drain, she dies.

Even if the master realizes what’s going on, there’s still only one way to solve the problem –killing the familiar morph.

Unfortunately, this has all the normal negative effects of a familiar’s death. To make matters worse, the familiar morph won’t make this easy –and the bond between familiar and master works at effectively any distance.

Actions

  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., 1 target. Hit: 1d4 bashing damage, plus paralysis and morph (see above).

About

Familiar morphs are pernicious creatures –parasites that leech their existence from the magical bond between master and familiar. They are a particular bane to spellcasters, but they are dangerous and subtle predators that should be feared by anyone who has opened their soul to a mystical companion.

In their natural state, familiar morphs are amorphous blobs.

Their only goal is to seek out familiars, using their familiar sense ability to pinpoint their location. Once they have located a familiar, they bide their time until the time is right –when either master or familiar, or both, are susceptible to the familiar morph’s attack.

When the familiar morph chooses to strike, it simply envelops the familiar, using its morph ability to consume and replace the creature. The familiar morph then feeds upon the mind and soul of the familiar’s one-time master using its bond drain ability. When the master has been reduced to a dead husk, the familiar morph moves on to its next victim.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Familiars & Companions, Copyright 2017, Troll Lord Games; Author Casey Christofferson, Justin Bacon, Tommy Ruteledge, Josh Hubbel, Lance Hawvermile, Luke Johnson, Stephen Vogel and Dave Zenz.