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Brainchild

A rumor can become so vivid and so persistent that it comes to life, creating a brainchild—a living illusion that hatches from an intense belief in a remorseless and implacable killer. Often, these rumors swirl around the victims of a phantasmal killer spell. A brainchild's capabilities grow when they pursue a believer but deflate against skeptics, making them only as bad as one thinks they are. A simple drive to stalk, terrify, and kill propels a brainchild, but the creature might also exhibit other behaviors ascribed to them through gossip.

BrainchildCreature 11

RareCELargeIllusionMental
Source Bestiary 3 pg. 38
Perception +18; darkvision
Languages telepathy 100 feet, universal language
Skills Deception +22, Intimidation +24, Performance +22, Society +21, Stealth +20
Str +4, Dex +5, Con +4, Int +2, Wis +3, Cha +7
Universal Language Anything spoken by the brainchild is perceived by the listener in its native language.
Urban Legend A brainchild is sustained only by the reputation that precedes them. Mindless creatures are immune to a brainchild and can't perceive them. The brainchild's size, features, and items, as well as the appearance of their attacks, match what the foes perceiving them expect. If foes expect to see different things, the brainchild chooses which to manifest. If any creature that can perceive the brainchild believes the brainchild has one of the abilities below, the brainchild has that ability. A creature can Seek or Sense Motive (against the brainchild's Deception DC) to attempt to disbelieve an individual ability. If at any point no creature perceiving the brainchild believes in the ability, the brainchild loses that ability immediately. If foes expect different particulars, such as one believing the brainchild is immune to fire and another believing they're immune to divinations, the brainchild chooses one to have.
  • Tremorsense (imprecise) 100 feet
  • Immunity to one damage type, magic school, or condition
  • Weakness 10 to one damage type other than mental
  • Resistance 10 to physical damage, with an exception for either cold iron or silver
  • Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 100 feet, DC 28
  • 1d6 Extra Damage on Strikes, of a type one foe believes in
  • Additional Spells phantom pain and shadow blast at 6th level

AC 30; Fort +21, Ref +22, Will +18
HP 200; Immunities death effects, detection, diseased, doomed, necromancy, scrying; Weaknesses mental 10
Persistence of Memory (illusion, mental, occult) When a brainchild is destroyed, it returns if anyone still fully believes it exists, re-forming within 100 feet of any believer after 2d4 days.
Speed 30 feet, fly 30 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action illusory weapon +24 [+19/+14] (illusion, mental, occult), Damage 4d6+10 mental plus urban legendRanged Single ActionSingle Action illusory weapon +24 [+19/+14] (illusion, mental, occult, range 100 feet), Damage 4d6+6 mental plus urban legendOccult Innate Spells DC 30; 5th phantasmal killer (x3, image resembles the brainchild); 4th dimension door (x2); Cantrips (6th) ghost sound, message
Occult Innate Spells DC 30

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Spreading Rumors

Brainchildren require setup. Create some rumors the PCs might hear around town, adding more if they Gather Information. Take note of what rumors they share and who believes which ones. Don't include too many—if the PCs believe them all, the brainchild will be too powerful! Examples include “I hear the Beast of Chimney Hill can walk through a fire unburnt” and “Woke with a pounding headache. Old Selby's Dog must be lurking about again.”