Kobold Press

King of the Monsters 3 Finalist: Spymoth

King of the Monsters

SPYMOTH                                                  CR 1/2

N Diminutive Magical Beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 size)
hp 5 (1d10)
Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +0

OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., Flight (40 feet, Average)
Melee Unarmed Strike +10 (–6/20/x2)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th)
Constant—detect thoughts (DC 15)
At-Will—share memory (DC 15)

STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 21, Con 10, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 6
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +11, Stealth +21
Languages
SQ Attach (Ex), Absorb Thoughts (Su), Perfect Memory (Ex), Seemingly Harmless (Su), Thought Burst (Su)

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Attach (Ex) When a spymoth hits with a touch attack, its legs latch onto the target, anchoring it in place. An attached spymoth is effectively grappling its prey. The spymoth loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and has an AC of 14, but holds on with great tenacity.

Absorb Thoughts (Su) An attached spymoth begins to absorb the thoughts of its victim.  This process is benign at first, but then begins to impair the victim over time.  In the first hour, the spymoth simply gathers the victim’s thoughts with detect thoughts and its Perfect Memory ability.

Each hour afterwards, the victim must make a Will save (DC 15) or take 1 point of Intelligence damage.  Any creature that has Intelligence damage from a spymoth begins to occasionally forget things and to hear and say random truthful, rude or even embarrassing things.  After 2 points of Intelligence damage, the difficulties are such that spellcasters have a 20% of spell failure with spells that have verbal components.  After 4 points of Intelligence damage (the maximum damage the spymoth can inflict to a single victim), the victim is unable to understand language or communicate coherently and spellcaster victims cannot cast spells with verbal components or activate magic items with command words.  These effects persist until the Intelligence damage is healed, reducing the effects according to the progression listed above until the victim no longer has any damage.

Seemingly Harmless (Su) Creature’s that succeed on their Will save against the spymoth’s detect thoughts or Absorb Thoughts ability are not aware that they were the subject of an attack unless then succeeded the DC by 10 or more.

Thought Burst (Su)
When a spymoth dies it releases several of its stored memories to all creatures in a 30’ radius–perhaps revealing strange, secret or interesting things in the process.  The spymoth’s death throws has the side-effect of curing 1d4 points of Intelligence damage (DC 15 Will negates).

Perfect Memory (Ex) A spymoth remembers everything that it sees or hears, including the thoughts it has absorbed with Absorb Thoughts.

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization
solitary, mated-pair (2)
Treasure none

Spymoths are believed to have been created for war ages ago to serve several purposes such as messengers or seeds of chaos and confusion. Today they are extremely rare and most specimens have been bred and trained for specific tasks.

Spymoths have a wingspan of no more than a few inches are typically a translucent white color unless they have absorbed the memories of living creature, in which case they have constant images of those memories playing across their wings as they fly.

TACTICS

Spymoth’s typically seek out sleeping victims, seemingly drawn to particularly intense or emotional dreams. Occasionally a trained spymoth will be sent to find a particular creature and deliver a message with its share memory ability without attempting to collect any memories in return depending on what its trainer had conveyed to it.

TRAINING A SPYMOTH
Spymoths are extremely rare and found in their larva stage are worth 500 gp each.  Professional trainers charge 250 gp to train a Spymoth.  Training requires 1 week and a DC 20 Handle Animal Check.

(This post is Product Identity.)

7 Replies to "King of the Monsters 3 Finalist: Spymoth"

Brian Liberge

May 31, 2012 at 8:51am

I like it. Its a great plot tool for a war campaign or could be a very interesting way to start a campaign. Moth lands on a the bar in a tavern. Dwarf crushes moth. Now everyone has various bits of memory that may just be very important.

Loonook

May 31, 2012 at 12:22pm

I love the idea… But a pet peeve. Death throES… Not throws.

Slainte,

-Loonook.

Kobold Quarterly

May 31, 2012 at 12:27pm

These are contest entries, and thus are entirely unedited. The mistake would, of course, be fixed if the Spymoth were to win the crown and be published in KQ.

Loonook

May 31, 2012 at 12:50pm

You’re a good egg KQ… I’ll keep an eye on you.

Slainte,

-Loonook.

Will McCardell

May 31, 2012 at 2:55pm

A pretty interesting idea…but my inner editor was cringing so often that I could barely make it through.

Morgan Boehringer

May 31, 2012 at 3:05pm

Although rough around the unedited edges this is an interesting creature. The mechanics related to Absorb Thought and Thought Burst are great, and there is a resonance of concept throughout the writeup. I’m not really a fan of tiny squattable insects as monsters, but this has me thinking again…Or I think I was thinking again…

@KQ – the front page paragraph mentions this is the third submission we’ve seen – is it not the fourth? (hill that eats, brambletroll, necrocorn)

zaukrie

May 31, 2012 at 3:47pm

I like the role playing opportunities/plot opportunities offered by this monster. Very cool. I can see a 4E conversion pretty easily….

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