View Full Version : Multi-headed Creatures with Separate Sentiences? [3.5 discussion]

2010-07-25, 06:41 PM
Savage Species provides the multi-headed template, however such a creature effectively only has one mind.

What if each head in the creature had a mind of its own?

Physical ability score would remain the same for the entire creature, however mental ability scores would probably be divided up between each head/consciousness. That means each would have different mental skills, feats and even languages and the physical skills would probably need to use the average of every head that invested ranks into them. Perhaps give them a bonus on skills where each head decides to co-operate with another head (basically, an improved aid another check for skills, possibly higher DC).

You can assume that they are used to living with each other enough to perform physical tasks perfectly. Probably ambi-dexterous (two main hands instead of one), like an ettin. Since the creature only has maybe, two arms, then they can only manage up to two tasks simultaneously, no matter how many heads - but with the exception of skills not requiring arms, which can be performed at a number simultaneously up to the number of minds within the creature.

Skills like swim and jump cannot be aided and cannot be performed twice in simultaneous fashion (since both skills use all of the creature's legs; and arms too if they're swimming).

How would you make this work, without getting rid of verisimilitude or ease of understanding?

2010-07-25, 10:26 PM
Well, I would do something like one of the versions of the hydra. Basically, although each head has it's own mind, one primary head, probably the smartest and strongest willed one, has complete control of the body.

2010-07-25, 11:11 PM
This is how we usually roleplay Ettins, basically purely because they're more fun that way. The whole controlling one half of the body thing also came into play, but the co-operation is just in their nature - those that don't get along die quickly. Thus, through some convoluted logic, we arrived at the point that Ettins are essentially, by nature, helpful people.
The PCs were very upset when I (as DM) also decided that what they liked helping each other do was step on squishy little people.

2010-07-26, 11:55 AM
Alternatively, Multiheaded things could all have control over the whole body at once. It's just that, some heads have weaker minds, and thus weaker grasp over the body, allowing their actions to be over ridden by the stronger ones. Of course, when one (strong) head is asleep, the other (weaker) heads have a field day, doing what the "primary" head would NEVER allow them to do.

I can envision people roleplaying Hydras as saying such sentences as "Alpha! Theta head is controlling my thoughts again!", followed by "Head #14! Would you be quite! I'm trying to walk here, and with the rest of you trying to stand still, it's very difficult to concentrate! It's not as if you even existed before that farmer cut off #7!"

Further conversation might be about how Theta's thoughts (inside #14's head) are so dirty it disgusts him, being suitably "adult", and how #14 is basically too young to understand, and more yelling about how Alpha's trying to preform some action, and stop trying to do the just opposite, and such.

I envision multiple headed creatures to be very un-cooperative, (sorry, Atcote), very much like a dysfunctional family (envision the Simpsons to the power of 7). Just watch out when they go to visit "The folks"...

2010-07-26, 12:09 PM
Perhaps the heads all have equal control of the body, and they generally have no reason to counteract one another's movements. On the rare occasions when they disagree then they could make opposed will checks at the start of each round to see who has control.

2010-07-26, 12:28 PM
This exists in the DMG2 as the "aberrant twin". It lets you take an extra mental standard action per round.

2010-07-26, 02:53 PM
This exists in the DMG2 as the "aberrant twin". It lets you take an extra mental standard action per round.

I think give the extra head its own mental scores, make it an extra full mental action per round (using the second head's mental scores for spell casting and such) and we're good for a simplistic version.

If you want, you could diversify the skills like I did with this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9002665&postcount=8) (read the description of 'two heads are better than one').