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Pathfinder Symbionts – Midnight Caul

Masters of biological crafting and life shaping technology, the Dominion of the Black have engineered many useful creatures to serve as spies and tools for their soldiers and allies. The least of these is the midnight caul symbiont.

A symbiont occupies part of the host creature’s body- sometimes but not always taking up an magic item slot. Like intelligent magic items, symbionts have an Ego score, which reflects their will. Symbionts with high Ego can, and sometimes do, take control of their host creatures.

The Ego score of a symbiont is the sum of their Int, Wis, and Cha bonuses, plus 1 or each special quality and plus 2 for each special attack. Add 4 if the symbiont is an outsider.

If the host creature’s alignment and goals don’t match the symbiont’s, a conflict results.

When a conflict occurs the host must make a Will save (DC = symbiont’s Ego score). If the host succeeds, they maintain control over their body. If they host fails, the symbiont takes over. This dominance lasts for one day or until a critical situation occurs (per the GM).

Symbiont Traits:
when joined to a host, a symbiont gains a number of benefits – it acts on the host’s initiative, regardless of its own modifier, is not flat-footed unless the host is, and is aware of any danger the host is aware of.

If the symbiont is grafted onto a visible part of the host, opponents can attack the symbiont itself instead of the host, like attacking an attended object. The symbiont gains the host’s Dex mod to AC, as well as any deflection bonus to AC the host may enjoy. Its own size mod and natural armor bonus apply. Attacking a grafted symbiont provokes an AoO from the host.

Symbionts never take damage from attacks targeting the host. Like worn magic items, the symbiont is usually unaffected by spells that damage the host. If the host rolls a 1 on a saving throw the symbiont may be one of the ‘items’ that can be affected by a spell. A symbiont uses the better of its own or its host’s saving throws.

Sharing Spells (Su): the symbiont shares any spells that the host casts on itself, can be the target of personal spells instead of the host, and may choose to share any spell or spell-like ability it uses on itself with its host. The host and symbiont can share spells even if the spell does not normally affect creatures of the host or symbiont’s type. Spells cast on the host or symbiont by other parties cannot be shared in this manner.

Midnight Caul
Midnight Caul Symbionts:
When active the caul resembles a small black octopus, wide and flat with 7 tentacles that it uses to crawl around. When presented with a willing or incapacitated host, the caul attempts to join with it. This process takes an hour and is quite painful as the symbiont anchors itself into the host body – dealing 1d4 Con damage. The host can halt this process any time before completion by making a successful grapple check against the symbiont’s CMD, taking an additional 1d4 Con damage ripping it off. Once the joining process is complete the midnight caul symbiont covers the top of the head and upper face of the host, leaving the nose exposed but covering the eyes, with its tentacles dangling behind as hair-like cilia. A host may only join with one midnight caul symbiont at any time.

After joined, any attempt to remove the symbiont precipitates a conflict. If the midnight caul symbiont wins, it takes control of the host as per the symbiont rules. If the host wins, they can try to remove the symbiont. This process takes an hour and deals 1d4 Con damage to the host. Once the removal is complete the midnight caul symbiont curls up and goes dormant. The symbiont is still cognizant of its surroundings in this state, can communicate with telepathic creatures if contacted, but otherwise remains curled into a ball.

A midnight caul symbiont cannot speak, but communicates with its host telepathically, and it understands Alko. It relays all that it’s host experiences back to the Dominion of the Black.

A midnight caul symbiont has no way to attach itself to an unwilling host unless that host is helpless. It is able to defend itself only in a limited manner, and prefers to remain dormant and unnoticed if possible.

Soul Feeding (Su):
A midnight caul symbiont survives by consuming a portion of its host’s essence. As long as it remains attached, the symbiont deals 1 point of Charisma damage to the host every day. Ordinarily Charisma damage is restored with a nights rest, so provided the host is able to rest each night they can maintain an equilibrium of -1 to their base Charisma.

Midnight Caul Symbiont CR 1
NE Tiny Aberration (Symbiont)
Init -3; Senses Void Sight, Perception +7
AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (-2 Dex, +4 natural, +2 size)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +4, Ref -1, Will +2
Speed 10ft, climb 10 ft.
Melee slam +1 (1d2-1)
Special Attacks –
Str 8, Dex 6, Con 14, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 13, Ego 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 10 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Skill Focus (Perception), Great Fortitude
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +2
Languages Alko
SQ Void sight, soul feeding, symbiont traits
Environment on or around Dominion forces
Organization solitary
Treasure none. Worth 55,000gp if provided as treasure.
Special Abilities
Void Sight (Ex):
A midnight caul symbiont see perfectly in darkness of any kind, including that created by deeper darkness, and confers this ability to its host.

Categories: Article Writing

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer