Liridon, the Mindscape
NE Brain in a Jar 9/Erudite 3/Constructor 9

Spoiler: Story
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Spoiler: Awakening
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Liridon was made, not born. He had no family, no loved ones, no community that would miss him - and certainly no place to call his home. He never knew love, nor sorrow, nor anger. He'd known the taste of fear, though, since his first days in Burmingham's laboratory. The thoughts, too, had plagued his mind since the beginning; keeping him company even as they addled his brain with chatter and words and feelings.

The thoughts told him things. Told him that his creator, Burmingham, was a deceitful fiend that needed to be put down. Told him about his powers - the telepathy, the telekinesis, and mental might that he now bore. Told him that he was strong enough to use Burmingham himself. So he did. When he wasn't looking, when he wasn't expecting it, Liridon trapped the mind of his creator within his own.

It was a good feeling. All of his knowledge, his thoughts; they were Liridon's now. He had them, and they filled his mind, and it was good. Very, very good.

It left him wanting.

Spoiler: Suffering
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According to Burmingham, Liridon had once been human. Some kind of noble, wealthy in gold and power but weak in the mind. Witless, he said. Like a defenceless pup. Liridon could only be thankful; such a life was unbecoming of him. He had grown to like his newfound cunning and mental acuity. To think of a life without! It pained him greatly.

Burmingham said little beside this. Over the years, the repeated control over his mind had warped him incomprehensibly, leaving him largely mindless and completely subservient. For whatever reason, he had taken to carrying around his creation in his hands, almost as though he had forgotten that Liridon could fly. He didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise, so he just let it be. It was nice being carried around, besides.

Burmingham had also provided him with bodies. Not live ones, thankfully - no, undead. Skeletons and zombies which Liridon had, surprisingly, found himself to be perfectly capable of controlling. They had become his hands, his muscle, and even his eyes in the world beyond the laboratory. It was a world that hated him, after all, for what he had been made into - and, perhaps, rightly so. He had even sought out fellow psychic creatures and psionicists, seeking to trade in knowledge and powers, but they had only ever considered him a threat.

But that simply would not do.

Spoiler: Vengeance
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Once, Liridon had held an open hand. He had asked for things - knowledge, powers, even magic items - only to have them taken from him instead. Other creatures, even fellow psionicists, only thought to punish him with violence and theft for trying.

And so the open hand became a closed fist. He no longer asked; he took. He used his psionics to make people cooperate when they otherwise wouldn't; sometimes with suggestions, other times with violence, but never without issue. They had always fought it, but now, he fought back too. His powers known swelled insurmountably, from all disciplines and walks of life. He had learned a great many things, often from unwilling subjects - academic knowledge and personal secrets both. It gave him satisfaction, pride, and clout.

It gave him the ability to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. And, for him, that meant more of the same.

More powers. More knowledge. More, more, more.


Spoiler: The Basics
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Liridon, the Mindscape
Race: Brain in a Jar
Classes: RHD 9/Erudite 3/Constructor 9
ACF: Favored Discipline (Erudite ACF)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Stats
Base: 10 Str, 14 Dex, 8 Con, 15 Int, 13 Wis, 12 Cha
Racial: Str -, Dex +4, Con -, Int +6, Wis +2, Cha +6
Phrenic: Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +4
Levels: +5 Int
Total: - Str, 18 Dex, - Con, 28 Int, 17 Wis, 22 Cha


Spoiler: Table
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Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
3rd Brain in a Jar 3 +1 +1 +1 +3 6 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 6 Knowledge (History), 6 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 6 Spot, 3 Concentration, 3 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy) Live My Nightmare, Boost Construct Mind Thrust (2d10), Psionics, Rebuke Undead, Blindsight 60ft, Darkvision 60ft, Madness, Telepathy 100ft, Undead Traits, Turn Resistance +4
4th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 1 +1 +1 +1 +5 6 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 6 Knowledge (History), 6 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 6 Spot, 3 Concentration, 6 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 2 Psicraft, 2 Decipher Script, 2 Knowledge (Arcana) Psicrystal Affinity: Liar(B)
5th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 2 +2 +1 +1 +6 6 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 6 Knowledge (History), 6 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 6 Spot, 6 Concentration, 6 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 4 Psicraft, 4 Decipher Script, 4 Knowledge (Arcana)
6th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3 +2 +2 +2 +6 6 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 6 Knowledge (History), 6 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 6 Spot, 6 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 6 Psicraft, 6 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Practiced Manifester: Erudite
7th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 1 +2 +2 +2 +8 9 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 6 Knowledge (History), 6 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 8 Spot, 10 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 8 Psicraft, 6 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Advanced Construction
8th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 2 +3 +2 +2 +9 11 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 7 Knowledge (History), 7 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 11 Spot, 11 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 11 Psicraft, 6 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Ecto Protection 1
9th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 3 +3 +3 +3 +9 12 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 10 Knowledge (History), 10 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 12 Spot, 12 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 12 Psicraft, 6.5 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Omniscient Whispers Combat Construction
10th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 4 +4 +3 +3 +10 13 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 13 Knowledge (History), 13 Knowledge (Psionics), 6 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 13 Spot, 13 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 13 Psicraft, 7 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Boost Construct, Ecto Protection 2
11th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 5 +4 +3 +4 +10 14 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 14 Knowledge (History), 14 Knowledge (Psionics), 7 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 14 Spot, 14 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 14 Psicraft, 9 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Extended Construction
12th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 6 +5 +4 +4 +11 15 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 15 Knowledge (History), 15 Knowledge (Psionics), 7 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 15 Spot, 15 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 15 Psicraft, 12 Decipher Script, 6 Knowledge (Arcana) Trickery Devotion Ecto Protection 3
13th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 7 +5 +4 +5 +11 16 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 16 Knowledge (History), 16 Knowledge (Psionics), 8 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 16 Spot, 16 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 16 Psicraft, 13.5 Decipher Script, 8 Knowledge (Arcana) Utility Construct
14th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 8 +6 +5 +5 +12 17 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 17 Knowledge (History), 17 Knowledge (Psionics), 8 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 17 Spot, 17 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 17 Psicraft, 16.5 Decipher Script, 8 Knowledge (Arcana) Boost Construct, Ecto Protection 4
15th Brain in a Jar 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +6 +5 +5 +12 18 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 18 Knowledge (History), 18 Knowledge (Psionics), 8 Knowledge (Religion), 6 Listen, 18 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 18 Psicraft, 18 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana) Linked Power Enhanced Construction
16th Brain in a Jar 4/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +7 +5 +5 +13 19 Bluff, 7 Diplomacy, 19 Knowledge (History), 19 Knowledge (Psionics), 10 Knowledge (Religion), 7 Listen, 19 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 19 Psicraft, 19 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana)
17th Brain in a Jar 5/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +7 +5 +5 +13 20 Bluff, 10 Diplomacy, 20 Knowledge (History), 20 Knowledge (Psionics), 10 Knowledge (Religion), 10 Listen, 20 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 20 Psicraft, 19 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana)
18th Brain in a Jar 6/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +8 +6 +6 +14 21 Bluff, 12 Diplomacy, 21 Knowledge (History), 21 Knowledge (Psionics), 10 Knowledge (Religion), 12 Listen, 21 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 21 Psicraft, 20 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana) Psionic Meditation
19th Brain in a Jar 7/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +8 +6 +6 +14 22 Bluff, 16 Diplomacy, 22 Knowledge (History), 22 Knowledge (Psionics), 10 Knowledge (Religion), 14 Listen, 22 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 22 Psicraft, 20 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana)
20th Brain in a Jar 8/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +9 +6 +6 +15 23 Bluff, 20 Diplomacy, 23 Knowledge (History), 23 Knowledge (Psionics), 11 Knowledge (Religion), 16 Listen, 23 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 23 Psicraft, 20 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana)
21st Brain in a Jar 9/Erudite 3/Constructor 9 +9 +7 +7 +15 24 Bluff, 24 Diplomacy, 24 Knowledge (History), 24 Knowledge (Psionics), 11 Knowledge (Religion), 19 Listen, 24 Spot, 18 Concentration, 9 Craft (Blacksmithing), 1 Craft (Sculpting), 1 Craft (Gemcutting), 1 Craft (Alchemy), 24 Psicraft, 20 Decipher Script, 11 Knowledge (Arcana) Overchannel


Spoiler: Manifesting
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Powers Known:
  1. Force of Mind, Deaden Blow
  2. Astral Construct, Synchronicity
  3. Ecto Protection, Psionic Repair Damage
  4. Vigor, Share Pain
  5. Psionic Glibness, Ectoplasmic Cocoon
  6. Greater Concealing Amorpha, Dispel Psionics
  7. Implanted Suggestion, Psionic Divination
  8. Psionic Freedom of Movement, Wall of Ectoplasm
  9. Telekinetic Buffer, Touchsight
  10. Psionic Major Creation, Hail of Crystals
  11. Greater Psionic Fabricate, Crystallise


Normally, Erudites learn extra powers known through an extensive process between them and another psionicist or power stone. The thing is, this process is kinda slanted towards PCs; you could do it for Liridon, sure, but that would be an awful lot of off-screen micromanagement. I suggest using the following method of deciding, retroactively, whether Liridon possesses a power beyond what he gained from his manifester levels.

Quote Originally Posted by Variant: Retroactive Power Learning
Whenever you would like Liridon to manifest a new power which he doesn't already know and which he hasn't manifested before, first make a Psicraft check (DC 15 + the power's level) as a free action. The DC increases by 5 if the power is from a discipline-exclusive list, and by 5 for each previous success this encounter. On a successful roll, he adds the power to his list of powers known and can manifest it as normal; on a failure, he doesn't. He may make this check only once per round and cannot attempt to reactively learn the same power more than once in a single encounter.
If Liridon manages to capture one of the players or otherwise convinces them to give him a new power known, just handle it like normal.


Spoiler: Playing the Brain
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Liridon is a remorseless, selfish purveyor of knowledge. He has only two goals: Acquiring additional psionic powers known, and learning all he can about the fields of History, Psionics, Religion, and Arcana. And to these ends, he is willing to apply any means necessary. Unlike a typical Erudite, he doesn't barter or trade for powers, no - he takes them, usually through force, and finds little issue with causing collateral damage in order to do so.

After all; minds can be Dominated, behaviours Suggested, and useful individuals Crystallised or preserved in an Ectoplasmic Cocoon for later. He's vengeful and vain, but not entirely malicious; he'll leave intelligent creatures alive to later seek revenge, particularly those from whom he forcefully acquires new powers known, because he simply doesn't have anything to gain by killing them.

Here are some of the ways you might work Liridon into a campaign and begin his long-standing antagonism with your players.
  • Liridon discovers, either through divination or through mundane means, that one of the player characters has a power known or important secret that he would like to acquire. He comes to them, personally, to collect it - albeit ready for a fight.
  • The players need to find out something, and Liridon's either the only one who knows the answer or is otherwise the most practical source in miles. If anyone knows about him, it's through his capricious brand of malice, though players who come expecting a fight will find him relatively unguarded within his underground lair. He'll happily trade away his knowledge for powers known, secrets, or (if pushed) impressive magical or psionic items, such as a well-charged dorje; no strings attached. Honest.
  • The players happen upon Liridon while he is leeching powers known from a felled psionicist. Should the players engage or attempt to disrupt his concentration, he will gladly fight back. Run this your standard combat encounter, with undead minions and astral constructs already summoned and ready for a fight. If push comes to shove, Liridon will attempt to kill the unconscious psionicist and flee.
  • A psionicist who has faced Lirion before hires the players to hunt him down, having recently obtained a lead as to the location of his most recent lair.
  • Liridon goes out to acquire a power known or knowledge from a source that isn't the players, and encounters them either at the scene or along the way. He'll gladly work together with them to reach his goals.
  • Liridon uses his clout to obtain a position of power in a township or city, acting through a corrupt puppet government to capture and detain psionicists for his own needs.


Liridon works best in a game with psionic characters - particularly psionic player characters. If this isn't the case, you have two options: Either run him as a pure secret-broker character with a psionic streak, or give him the Spell-to-Power Erudite ACF. Be extremely careful with the latter, because having access to every arcane spell and every psionic power in the game can easily become both overly complex and incredibly overpowered.


Spoiler: Breakpoints and Mechanics
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Implementing a villain can be hard mechanically, too. Here are some of the levels of play that you might run Liridon at.

CR 6: RHD 3/Erudite 1
You're not much of a combatant at this point. Use Suggestion to avoid combat, and use Deaden Blow to make anyone who relies on a weapon incapable of damaging you. Force of Mind lets us open doors without relying on Telekinesis, which can instead be used alongside Mind Thrust as an offensive kit. Defensive Precognition, Force Screen, Madness, and Live My Nightmare make for a reasonable reliable defensive package. You should rely on rebuking undead summoned by Burmingham (your Dominated creator, a mid-level necromancer) to keep fights fair in the numbers department.

CR 10: RHD 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 1
As before, but now you have Astral Constructs to push things around for you; these great, big, headless, grey-matter golems can serve as the bruisers in your self-made party. Synchronicity can serve as a way to game the action economy, while Aversion and Brain Lock are weird pseudo- save-or-suck and save-or-die abilities, respectively.

CR 14: RHD 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 4
Bigger constructs, and we pick up the Vigor+Share Pain combo to compensate for our pitifully small hit points. Greater Concealing Amorpha and Intellect Fortress are, likewise, quite handy. Psionic Glibness helps us lie through our teeth and not get caught doing it; something which Liridon is quite fond of doing, especially to players. Psychic Crush can be a good save-or-die in a pinch, while Ectoplasmic Cocoon lets us either remove a character from combat or store them for later power harvesting. Dispel Psionics is a good, reliable, versatile power that we can't miss out on.

CR 17: RHD 3/Erudite 3/Constructor 7 (Sweet Spot)
Our constructs now last for minutes at a time, and can be designated as non-combatants to last for hours at a time. Implanted Suggestion lets us control people without them knowing it, and is great to use on players captured with Ectoplasmic Cocoon for when they are returned to the party. Psionic Freedom of Movement means that we don't get crushed like a tin can the moment we find ourselves in a grapple. Psionic Divination lets us know the answers to questions like "where did I leave my dorje?" or "what's the best way to obtain the power Metamorphosis? Who do I seek out?" Wall of Ectoplasm and Telekinetic Buffer give us some solid area denial, and Touchsight finally lets us see all those pesky Darkstalkers. We also pick up Trickery Devotion, which offers both a dump for our Rebuke Undead attempts as an (ab)usable proxy, scout, and false lead.

CR 20: RHD 9/Erudite 3/Constructor 9
Better Astral Constructs (by far!), and we can summon a whole bunch of them at once. Ultrablast and Hail of Crystals are resonably potent damaging powers, while Crystallise doubles as both a save-or-die and as a collector's boon. Psionic Major Creation and Greater Psionic Fabricate combine to make a potent world-shaping package, especially paired with Liridon's craft ranks. Make your lair as pretty as you want; trap enemies in spontaneously-conjured and quickly-crafted cages. Sky's the limit. We also pick up Linked Power and Psionic Meditation, letting us cheat the action economy (especially combined with Synchronicity) to put us on a solidly level playing field with an entire party of player characters.


Spoiler: Sources
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The Mind's Eye: Favored Discipline (Erudite ACF)
Expanded Psionics: Psicrystal Containment, Psionic Meditation, Overchannel, Boost Construct, various powers.
Complete Psionic: Practiced Manifester, Linked Power, Erudite, various powers.
Secrets of Sarlona: Psionic Glibness, Force of Mind, etc (spell conversions).
Complete Champion: Trickery Devotion
Unearthed Arcana: Live My Nightmare, Omniscent Whispers
Libris Mortis: Brain in a Jar