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    Default Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    Tsochar, Psionic
    Small Aberration (Psionic, Shapechanger)

    Hit Dice: 4d8+12 (30 hp)
    Initiative: +4
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Armor Class: 19 (+4 natural, +4 Dex, +1 size), touch 15, flat-footed 15
    BAB/Grapple: +3/+4
    Attack: Tentacle +8 melee (1d4+1)
    Full Attack: 4x Tentacle +8/+8/+8/+8 melee (1d4+1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Constrict, improved grab, poison, take spells, wear flesh
    Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., psionics, resistance to cold 5, telepathy 100 ft.
    Saves: Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +6
    Abilities: Str 13, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 13
    Skills: Bluff +5, Climb +12, Hide +12, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Move Silently +8, Sense Motive +6, Spot +6, Use Psionic Device +9
    Feats: Weapon FinesseB, Combat Reflexes, Inquisitor (XPH)
    Environment: Cold forests
    Organization: Solitary, expedition (3–8), or foothold (10–20)
    Challenge Rating: 5
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
    Advancement: By character class (see below)
    Level Adjustment: +2

    Psionics: A tsochar manifests as a Psion or Psychic Warrior with a manifester level equal to half its hit dice.

    The basic 4-HD tsochar presented here favors Psion, and would therefore have the manifesting ability of a 2nd level Psion (5 1st-level powers known, 8 power points (6 base, +2 for high Intelligence)). Most tsochar who advance as characters choose to master the discipline of Psychometabolism or Psychoportation. Tsochar without class levels can't choose Discipline powers.

    Typical powers known: deceleration, demoralize, entangling ectoplasm, sense link, and vigor.

    Body Feeder: While wearing the flesh of a host creature, the tsochar can choose to inflict 2 points of ability burn damage to each of the host creature's physical ability scores. In exchange, the tsochar heals up to 10 hit points of damage and recovers up to 5 power points.

    Constrict (Ex): A tsochar deals 2d4+2 points of damage with a successful grapple check. When a tsochar deals damage by means of its constrict attack, it injects its victim with poison.

    Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a tsochar must hit with two tentacle attacks. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict. Tsochari receive a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, which is already included in the statistics above.

    Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 15, initial and secondary damage 1d3 Dex. The save DC is Constitution-based. A tsochar’s poison is delivered by dealing damage with its constrict attack.

    Take Spells (Su): A tsochar that eats the nervous system of a spellcaster (see below) retains any arcane spells prepared by the dead character, and can cast them as if it had prepared the spells itself. The tsochar must meet the minimum ability score needed to cast the spell based on the type of caster replaced (Intelligence for a wizard, for example), or else the spell is unavailable to it. If the tsochar replaces a spontaneous caster such as a sorcerer, it retains the available spell slots of the dead spellcaster, and can use any spells the dead host knew. In either case, the tsochar cannot regain spells or spell slots it expends from the dead character's spellcasting ability.

    All taken spells are lost when the spellcaster's body is discarded.

    Wear Flesh (Su): Using this ability requires a 1 minute and a target which must be willing or helpless. The target must be corporeal, living, have a discernible anatomy, and be the same size as the tsochar or larger.

    When first using this ability on a target creature, a tsochar chooses one of the following systems to replace:

    • Nervous System: The target creature dies. The tsochar then animates the body, effectively acting as the nervous system of the dead host. The body remains alive, hosting the tsochar.

      This functions like a polymorph spell into the victim's exact form, except that the tsochar can remain in the victim’s form for up to a year, and it leaves the victim’s corpse behind when it chooses to end the effect. The tsochar uses the victim’s physical ability scores or its own, whichever is better. The tsochar can remain in this form as long as it likes (or until a year passes), but once it abandons the form, it cannot reanimate the body.

      The tsochar keeps the victim's arcane spells (as above).
      .
    • Digestive System: The tsochar leaves its target alive and aware. Any time it cares to, it can inflict indescribable agony on its host as a standard action, dealing damage and requiring the host to succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be nauseated by the pain for 2d4 rounds. The tsochar chooses how much damage it deals with this attack, from 1d6 to 6d6.

      The tsochar can take no physical actions while hiding inside a host, but it can use purely mental actions (including Psionics which target itself or its host).

      If the tsochar leaves the host creature, the host creature becomes unable to eat or drink until the host receives a heal, restoration, regeneration, limited wish, wish, or miracle spell.

      Symbiosis: The tsochar's cold resistance is shared with its host, and the host becomes immune to nausea (except nausea inflicted by the tsochar). The tsochar can choose to affect the host with powers that it manifests on itself.

      On the host creature's turn, the tsochar can consume the host's move action to extrude a pair of tentacles from the host's belly, sides, or mouth. While the tentacles are extruded, the host creature can only take a single move or standard action each turn. However, the tsochar can also take a standard action each turn, to attack with the tentacles or use psionic powers.

      When the host takes damage (other than damage the tsochar inflicts on it), the damage is split between the host and the inhabiting tsochar, before applying resistances. For example, if the host would take 28 points of cold damage from a cone of cold spell, the damage is split into 14 each, and then the host and tsochar's cold resistance is applied, so each take only (14-5 =) 9 points of damage.

      As another example, if the host would take 20 points of slashing damage from an orc's steel axe, the damage is split into 10 each for host and tsochar, but the tsochar only suffers 5 damage because of its damage resistance.
      .
    • Muscles & Tendons: The tsochar leaves its target alive and aware. Any time it cares to, it can inflict indescribable agony on its host as a standard action, dealing damage and requiring the host to succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be nauseated by the pain for 2d4 rounds. The tsochar chooses how much damage it deals with this attack, from 1d6 to 6d6.

      The tsochar can take no physical actions while hiding inside a host, but it can use purely mental actions (including Psionics which target itself or its host).

      If the tsochar leaves the host creature, the host creature becomes unable to move until the host receives a heal, restoration, regeneration, limited wish, wish, or miracle spell.

      Symbiosis: The tsochar's damage resistance (5/adamantine) is shared with its host, and the host becomes immune to paralysis. The tsochar can choose to affect the host with powers that it manifests on itself.

      On the host creature's turn, the tsochar can consume the host's move action to extrude a pair of tentacles from the host's elbows, knees, or spine. While the tentacles are extruded, the host creature can only take a single move or standard action each turn. However, the tsochar can also take a standard action each turn, to attack with the tentacles or use psionic powers.

      When the host takes damage (other than damage the tsochar inflicts on it), the damage is split between the host and the inhabiting tsochar, before applying resistances. For example, if the host would take 28 points of cold damage from a cone of cold spell, the damage is split into 14 each, and then the tsochar's cold resistance is applied, so the host suffers 14 cold damage, but the tsochar takes only (14-5 =) 9 points of damage.

      As another example, if the host would take 20 points of slashing damage from an orc's steel axe, the damage is split into 10 each for host and tsochar, and then reduced to 5 each due to their shared damage reduction.


    Telepathy (Su): A tsochar can communicate telepathically with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.

    Skills: Tsochari have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and use their Dexterity modifier instead of their Strength modifier for Climb checks. They can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. Tsochari have a +4 racial bonus on Use Psionic Device checks.
    Last edited by Nifft; 2016-10-22 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Size & Type

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    Default Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    +Missing size/type entry (I'm guessing small given it's AC bonus).
    +I'd like to know how it goes about combat. Manifests x on turn 1 to take out y threat? Goes for the grapple?
    ++You might want to give it improved grapple if that's what it's doing in combat. Alternatively it's dex is pretty high, maybe let it use dex to grapple?
    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2016-10-21 at 12:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    +Missing size/type entry (I'm guessing small given it's AC bonus).
    Ugh, I had it in the table as a colspan=2, but apparently that didn't show up. Moved out of table.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    +I'd like to know how it goes about combat. Manifests x on turn 1 to take out y threat? Goes for the grapple?
    None of the base tsochar's powers are "take out y threat" powers. They're mostly focused on making it harder for people to get away.

    A tsochar in a host-body will behave differently from one seeking a host-body. Without a host-body, they'll mostly ambush unwary humanoids (using their Climb, Hide, and Move Silently skills). With a host-body, they'll infiltrate and execute their mission.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    ++You might want to give it improved grapple if that's what it's doing in combat. Alternatively it's dex is pretty high, maybe let it use dex to grapple?
    It has Improved Grab already.

    Improved Grapple could be interesting, but would require Improved Unarmed Strike, which is a poor fit for the default tsochar.

    A tsochar Monk might be an interesting encounter.

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    Post Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    Psionics: A tsochar manifests as a Psion or Psychic Warrior with a manifester level equal to half its hit dice.
    I feel this is a huge variance in power due to one being a full manifester and the other a half manifester.
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    Default Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    I feel this is a huge variance in power due to one being a full manifester and the other a half manifester.
    Psychic Warriors are full manifesters.

    They get fewer power points and fewer powers, and they cap out at level 6 powers, but they get Manifester level 20 at class level 20.

    Furthermore, a PsiWar's powers are better suited to a buff-and-melee style which is significantly more compatible with a tsochar's combat style than the Psion's powers are.

    Stuff like grip of iron and psionic lion's charge are not a step down -- and more importantly, they function with high synergy alongside a "caster" tsochar who slings demoralize and entangling ectoplasm.

    So... can you show me more explicitly what the "variance in power" might look like?

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    Default Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    The rest of a review:

    I think phrasing it as "dealing from 1d6 to 6d6" would make it more clear in advance even though the text later on indicates this.

    There's a stray "." just above the Digestive System section all the way to the right (as well as muscles and tendons).

    Monsters in the monster manual have a combat section of how it approaches combat (balor example with both combat and round by round tactics, but most just have combat)

    Monsters also have a section just above combat with it's general behavior outside of combat to give the DM an idea of how to use it. Yours looks like an infiltration monster from what you've said so far, but a description of how you'd want it used best helps DM's to use it better.

    Does it keep spells if it eats multiple different spellcaster nervous systems? DM's using the monster could use that as they want, but players might be able to use that a bit much if the DM isn't careful. Of course the DM could just disallow it as a player race.

    Is the psionics part a choice it makes freely between the two types of manifesting classes or one chosen and locked in upon creation?

    If it's not intended to grapple the PCs as a primary means of getting bodies then its grapple is okay, but if it is it may be important to note that monsters intending to grapple exclusively in combat like the assassin vine have at least a +12 to grapple by cr 3.

    Otherwise it's stats look good.

    I think power variance means the maximum level of powers that can be manifested, but I'm not sure.

    The part where it continues to gain manifester level with HD could be like half of a gestalt if a player picked this race and went with another class. Also, would the Tsochar have two separate manifesting pools if it took manifester levels? A good example of how this is handled with monsters is the Rakshasa. It has CL 7 as a sorc which is equal to it's HD. Note the aranea has CL 3 equal to it's HD. We can assume as a DM that it would scale with higher HD, but it doesn't have to. Also note the spoilered content for the rakshasa.
    Spoiler: Rakshasa
    Show
    Spells: A rakshasa character casts spells as a 7th-level sorcerer. If the character takes additional levels of sorcerer, these levels stack with the rakshasa’s base spellcasting ability for spells known, spells per day, and other effects dependent on caster level. A rakshasa character likewise uses the sum of its racial spellcasting levels and class levels to determine the abilities of its familiar.


    Lastly, the CR of this monster could "fluxuate" in a way if the DM allowed it to take the body of something very powerful.

    Looks fine for the most part though. Perfect for a Halloween and/or social campaign :)

    NOTE: As always, it's hard to gauge CR because it depends on party optimization. If there's an ubercharger dealing out 50 points of damage then that's a different optimization than a party that isn't optimized. DM's should pick monsters according to what they believe presents a fair challenge to the party.
    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2016-10-22 at 04:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    The rest of a review:

    I think phrasing it as "dealing from 1d6 to 6d6" would make it more clear in advance even though the text later on indicates this.
    Hmm, I'll clear that up.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    There's a stray "." just above the Digestive System section all the way to the right (as well as muscles and tendons).
    That's not stray -- it's there to compensate for the forum's list formatting.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Monsters in the monster manual have a combat section of how it approaches combat (balor example with both combat and round by round tactics, but most just have combat)

    Monsters also have a section just above combat with it's general behavior outside of combat to give the DM an idea of how to use it. Yours looks like an infiltration monster from what you've said so far, but a description of how you'd want it used best helps DM's to use it better.

    Does it keep spells if it eats multiple different spellcaster nervous systems? DM's using the monster could use that as they want, but players might be able to use that a bit much if the DM isn't careful. Of course the DM could just disallow it as a player race.
    I'd actually allow it as a cohort, and as a PC it might be hilarious... if the campaign were such that a parasitic aberration would fit into the team (so to speak).

    As to the 2nd part, no, it keeps one caster's spells only while it retains that caster's body.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Is the psionics part a choice it makes freely between the two or one chosen and locked in upon creation?
    Locked on creation, just like feat choices & power choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If it's not intended to grapple the PCs as a primary means of getting bodies then it's grapple is okay, but if it is it may be important to note that monsters intending to grapple exclusively in combat like the assassin vine have at least a +12 to grapple by cr 3.
    It gets 4x claw attacks at full attack bonus, and if two hit, then it gets a free grapple. It's not rooted in place. It's got more options than an assassin vine.

    Also, unlike the critters you list above, a naked lonely tsochar is a very poor solo encounter. Generally, a DM is going to have a plan for some kind of tsochar invasion / incursion / insidious infestation / invidious interdiction / etc. -- since they're mostly stealth monsters when things are going according to their plan. (The PCs exist to wreck all plans, as usual.)

    There's a chapter in Lords of Madness which describes their tactics, and I'm not going to replicate that here, but yeah I could probably give more guidance and/or a sample encounter. Maybe even a team.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Also, would the Tsochar have two separate manifesting pools if it took manifester levels?
    Nope, it follows the general rule on such things: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingM...tedClassLevels

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Lastly, the CR of this monster could "fluxuate" in a way if the DM allowed it to take the body of something very powerful.
    Indeed. I've given exactly zero guidance on how to handle the CR for situations where the tsochar is inhabiting a creature.

    The CR is also going to depend on whether the host creature is cooperating or not -- an Ogre which keeps getting buffed & healed by a tsochar Egoist is going to be very different challenge than an Ogre which keeps taking 1d6 damage + nausea each round that it doesn't obey its involuntary guest.


    Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

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    Default Re: Tsochar, Psionic [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Hmm, I'll clear that up.

    That's not stray -- it's there to compensate for the forum's list formatting.

    I'd actually allow it as a cohort, and as a PC it might be hilarious... if the campaign were such that a parasitic aberration would fit into the team (so to speak).

    As to the 2nd part, no, it keeps one caster's spells only while it retains that caster's body.

    Locked on creation, just like feat choices & power choices.


    It gets 4x claw attacks at full attack bonus, and if two hit, then it gets a free grapple. It's not rooted in place. It's got more options than an assassin vine.

    Also, unlike the critters you list above, a naked lonely tsochar is a very poor solo encounter. Generally, a DM is going to have a plan for some kind of tsochar invasion / incursion / insidious infestation / invidious interdiction / etc. -- since they're mostly stealth monsters when things are going according to their plan. (The PCs exist to wreck all plans, as usual.)

    There's a chapter in Lords of Madness which describes their tactics, and I'm not going to replicate that here, but yeah I could probably give more guidance and/or a sample encounter. Maybe even a team.

    Nope, it follows the general rule on such things: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingM...tedClassLevels

    Indeed. I've given exactly zero guidance on how to handle the CR for situations where the tsochar is inhabiting a creature.

    The CR is also going to depend on whether the host creature is cooperating or not -- an Ogre which keeps getting buffed & healed by a tsochar Egoist is going to be very different challenge than an Ogre which keeps taking 1d6 damage + nausea each round that it doesn't obey its involuntary guest.


    Anyway, thanks for the feedback!
    No prob, and with the extra description I think that sets it up well for use.
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