View Full Version : The Stirge, it seems almost... Sentient? [Race and PrC]

2007-07-13, 02:44 AM
So, here's the deal. We're playing an Evil Campaign soon, and the most vile, evil thing I could think of is an intelligent giant mosquito. Luckily, D&D already has that - almost. I present you, the Awakened Stirge

Awakened Stirge
Occasionally, for whatever odd reason, a caster can have a Stirge as a familiar. While this practice is strange at best, it can cause a few mishaps in the Stirge community. Following it's natural tendencies to mate with other Stirges, a Wizard or Sorcerer's Stirge may do just that, imparting on the offspring some of it's intelligence. Oftentimes, the Stirge has no idea that other Stirges cannot think, but eventually comes to terms with it. Many lead swarms of other Stirges, for whatever reason. Some attempt to forge links with casters, just like at least one of their parents did. Others simply fly about the earth, feeding on hardly sentient beings for sustinence. For any of these cases, survival is still the main issue to the Stirge, and it will do whatever it takes to do so.

Awakened Stirge Racial Traits
---Magical Beast
---Str -8, Dex +8, Int -4, Wis +2, Cha -4. Awakened Stirges physically resemple the nonintelligent members of their race. They lack the intellegence of even humans, but maintain a remarkable degree of intelligence based on other Stirges.
---Tiny size. +2 bonus to Armor Class, +2 bonus to attack rolls, +8 bonus to Hide checks, -8 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying capacity limits to 1/2 those of Medium characters.
---An Awakened Stirge's base land speed is 10 feet. It also has a fly speed of 40 feet (average).
---Darkvision out 60 ft.
---Low-light vision.
---Racial Feats: Awakened Stirges gain Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat.
---Special Attacks: Attach, Blood Drain* (See MM pg 237)
---Special Qualities: Pincer Grasp (See below)
---Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Sylvan, Undercommon. Awakened Stirges cannot speak, but can understand any language he knows. An exception to this rule is any caster with a Stirge Familiar can speak to the Awakened Stirge so long as his familair has the 'Speak with Master' trait.
---Level Adjustment +1
*An Awakened Stirge must consume 4 points on Con using Blood Drain per day, or begin to suffer from Starvation (see pg 304 of the DMG). No other food or drink is required.

Pincer Grasp (Ex): Due to their naturally high Dexterity and basic Intelligence, an Awakened Stirge can use his Pincers much like a set of tiny hands.
His pincers allow him to be treated as a Tiny humanoid for the purposed of what he may weild as weapons. However, since the pincers are connected, he may not do two things at once with them.
For example, he may weild a tiny spear in his pincers, but he may not weild a tiny shortsword and a shield. He may weild a tiny longsword as a two-handed weapon, but he may not weild it as a one handed weapon.
Also, he may weild a light weapon or a rapier in his pincers, but they still do not gain a benefit from being held two-handed.
This ability also allows the Awakened Stirge to manipulate objects. He may Open Locks and Disable Devices as well as a tiny humanoid, and may even write with a pen if he spends enough time doing so. In this way, an Awakened Stirge can communicate effectively with other sentient creatures (if they spend the time to read it and do not attack the Stirge, of course.)

2007-07-13, 02:52 AM
That is so, so cruel. You get ten cruelty points.

2007-07-13, 11:01 AM
And, because I liked the idea, a PrC to go along with it.

Stirge Mindsucker
Awakened Stirges can be quite strange. Blessed with a certain degree of intelligence, these Stirges realize they may be able to take more than blood from a victim. Some learn how to drain brain matter away from enemies in order to gain sustinance. They also learn how potential the ability to suck important life fluids away from a victim can be. The most powerful Stirge Mindsuckers, in fact, are able to control victims who have had theif brain sapped away.

Entry requirements:
Alignments: Any evil
Race: Awakened Stirge
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Knowledge (local) 4 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 8 ranks.
Spellcasting: Caster or Manifester level 1st.
Special: Must have voluntarily eaten the brain of a sentient creature.

Game Rules Informations
HD: d8
Skills: 2+Int - Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Speak Language (N/A)
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

+2|Mind drain|---


+3|Drain thoughts|+1 level of existing spellcasting or manifesting class

+4|Stop Thought|---

+4|Parasite|+1 level of existing spellcasting or manifesting class[/table]

Class Features
A Stirge Mindsucker gains the ability to drain brain matter away from living creatures. As they progress they further this ability in order to gain degrees on control over the host, with the greatest being complete control of the victim.
All of the following are class features of the Stirge Mindsucker prestige class.
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: A Stirge Mindsucker gains no proficiencies with weapons, armor, or shields.
Mind Drain (Ex): At 1st level, a Stirge Mindsucker gains the ability to drain intelligence instead of constitution. By taking a -4 on the initial touch attack to attach, a Stirge Mindsucker can choose to attach instead to the head of a victim, and tap into the brain stem. Every round it remains attached, a Stirge Mindsucker deals 1d4 points of Intelligence damage. Once it has drained 4 points of Intelligence or Constitution (combined), the Stirge must detach from it's target to digest or regurgitate (see below) his meal. Other than the above changes, this ability follows the same rules a Blood Drain.
Regurgitate (Ex): At 2nd level, a Stirge Mindsucker learns to purge his body from the blood or brain matter of it's victims. As a standard action, it may choose to regurgitate any non-digested blood or brain matter, setting it's drained Con or Int level back to 0. By doing this, a Stirge Mindsucker can return to it's prey intil it is drained of all it's life matter (though most goes to waste).
Drain Thoughts (Ex): By using it's Mind Drain ability, a 3rd level or higher Stirge Mindsucker can gain brief insight as to what it's victim was thinking. This ability allows you to read it's surface thoughts, as Detect Thoughts. The save DC to avoid this effect is equal to 10+class level+the Stirge Mindsucker's Constitution modifier.
Spellcasting/Manifesting: At 3rd and 5th Stirge Mindsucker level, you gain spells per day, spells known (if applicable), and an increase in caster level as if you'd increased a level in an spellcasting class you'd belonged to. If you manifested powers, instead you gain power points and powers as if you'd gained a level in any manifesting class you'd belonged to. If you had more than one spellcasting or manifesting class before entering this class, you must choose which class to add levels in.
Stop Thought (Ex): A 4th level Stirge Mindsucker gains the ability to stop the brain processes that allow a body to move and function, but only for brief periods. No vital systems are shut down, but the body is paralysed. Treat this ability as Hold Monster, with a caster level equal to the Stirge Mindsucker's class level. The save DC to resist this effect is equal to 10+class level+the Stirge Mindsucker's Constitution modifier.
Parasite (Ex): A Stirge Mindsucker of 5th level gains the ability to become a parasite and control the actions of the victim of multiple Mind Drain attacks. If a victim is reduced to 0 Intellence by his Mind Drain power, a Stirge Mindsucker can choose to gain control of the body, however, control is very limited. He must remain attached to the victim to use this ability.
The Stirge Mindsucker effectively gains the victims physical ability scores, size, and speed. He retains his mental ability score, skills ranks, class abilities, and everything else.
The victim is effectively unconocious, and can take no actions on his own. Due to this, he cannot use any of his class abilities or skills. He can, however, still speak (but only what the Stirge Mindsucker tells him to.)
However, the Stirge Mindsucker can use the body to perform any task he would normally be able to do. He may cast spells through the body, attack with it, or use any skills (using his skill ranks but the bodies physical stats). He may not use Blood Drain, Mind Drain, Attach, or any other ability that would require a Stirge body.
The Stirge Mindsucker and the victim are still two seperate creatures. The Stirge can be removed from the victim with a successful grapple check, as normal. Each keep their seperate HP count, and may be attacked seperately. There is a 50% chance someone targeting the Stirge Mindsucker will hit the victim instead. Against ranged attacks, a Stirge has total cover against foes as long as the victim is in between them. Any attack against the Stirge Mindsucker will instead hit the victim, in this case.
A Stirge Mindsucker who becomes detached from a victim cannot reattach until the victim regains some Intelligence.
A Stirge Mindsucker can remain attached to a victim for extended periods of time. For each day the Stirge is attached to a victim, it takes 3 points on Constitution damage that cannot be healed until the Stirge is removed. This keeps the Stirge satiated (3 points of Constitution and 1 of healed Intelligence) as long as it's attached to a victim, but will eventually kill a host. A Stirge Mindsucker may not use a dead victim as a host.

2007-07-13, 11:14 AM
That PRC is great, combine that with some mindflayers, and you have an awesome party of Wise-cracking baddies that eat your brains!

Saint George
2007-07-13, 02:09 PM
There is a 50% chance someone targeting the Stirge Mindsucker will hit the victim instead, and the opposite is true as well.

That doesn't exactly make much sense. It is pretty hard to accidentally hit a stirge attached to a guy when I am trying to hit the guy. It makes sense, going one way, due to the stirge being so small, but not the other way around.

2007-07-13, 02:27 PM
That doesn't exactly make much sense. It is pretty hard to accidentally hit a stirge attached to a guy when I am trying to hit the guy. It makes sense, going one way, due to the stirge being so small, but not the other way around.

Point taken. I wasn't thinking about the sze difference...

2007-07-13, 02:35 PM
The above two naturally make one think of "The Puppet Masters".

With a bit of con-restore magic mixed in, an Evil Wizard could produce a race of Stirge Mindsuckers. Ideally, they would suck Wis and Cha instead of Int, and the Rider could use the Int and other abilities of the host body...


2007-07-13, 02:53 PM
just a tough: if the stirge use his mind reading abilty, what kind of toughs he can read other's than "THE HORROR! THE HORROR! THE PAIN IS INTOLERABLE!"?

2007-07-13, 03:02 PM
Essentially, yes, although the surface thoughts can also iclude things like...
"Can't let them get the Amulet!"
"The Wizard's the target, once I get through this bird..."
Or, in the case of a dominated creature "Do what the master says, do what the master says, do what the master says..."

2007-09-09, 03:08 PM
I'm ressurecting this post one more time, as I still don't know the balance of the Race/Class - Any help would be appreciated.