Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

D&D: Brainburner redux

Part of the problem I'd been having with the brainburner was that I was trying to create a monster de novo, and hitting the right balance of difficulty for the CR of 12-13 that I was aiming at was tough. But I've seen some inspiration in the CR 12 roper, so I'm going to try to adapt that.

So join me now on this episode of Monster... well, Monster Monster, and please give me feedback on how I've refitted the roper into the brainburner.

Most of the stats of the brainburner are the same as for the roper. Since the brainburner is more mentally focused than the roper, it has Str 12 and Cha 19 instead of the roper's Str 19 and Cha 12.

Like the roper, the brainburner fires up to six adhesive strands to a range of 50 feet. Like the roper, they can be escaped with an Escape Artist check, broken with a Strength check, or severed with 10 hit points of damage with a sunder attempt.
However, the brainburner's strands have a different effect from the roper; the brainburner's strands cause the target to feel like their mind is on fire as they're dazzled by a bewildering array of colors and sensations.
- Instead of doing 2d8 Strength damage on a strand hit unless the target makes a Fortitude save, the brainburner inflicts 1 point each of Intelligence and Wisdom damage for each round that it is attached to the opponent, unless the opponent makes a Will save. (I'm not at all sure that this is a fair exchange, but I did want the damage to be slowly accumulating instead of all-or-nothing. Perhaps the rate of accumulation should be higher?)
- Instead of the roper's dragging the be-stranded target towards itself, the brainburner lures its opponent toward it; each round, each be-stranded opponent must make a Will save or be fascinated and do nothing but move 10 feet closer that turn.

Instead of the roper's camouflaging itself to hide, the brainburner has a natural ability to cast an attractive illusion. (I'm still not sure what a good illusion would be. Perhaps some sort of monster that says 'kill me quick!')

The roper has immunity to electricity, resistance to cold 10, and vulnerability to fire, but this will not do for the Gorge of Fire. Instead, I'll give the brainburner immunity to fire, vulnerability to cold, and resistance to electricity 10.

The roper has spell resistance 30. I was considering replacing this with a Concentration check to cast a spell through all the pretty colors for be-stranded opponents. However, I realized that one of the main reasons for having the spell resistance is to force PCs to engage up close with the roper instead of staying back and hammering it with spells. So I'll leave the spell resistance as-is. (The PCs could still elude the brainburner just by staying out the way. If they attacked, get everyone freed, and move on leaving the roper alive, I'll still give them the XP.)
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