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Face Thief

When an Evil heart Dies

Creature by Stanton Fink


(Click for Full Size)

Medium-Size Undead (Incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 5d12 (hp 32)
Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex)
Speed: Fly 30ft. (perfect)
AC: 18 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural, +2 deflection)
Attacks: Incorporeal touch +4 melee
Damage: Incorporeal touch 1d6 permanent Charisma drain
Special Attacks: Charisma drain, create spawn, charm person
Special Defenses: Change self
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +5
Abilities: Str -, Dex 15, Con -, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 15.
Skills: Bluff +7, Diplomacy +10, Disguise +14, Hide +10, Intimidate +10, Listen +10, Spot +10.
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary, gang (2-3 plus 3-4 faceless) or band (5-8 plus 10-15 faceless)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Medium-size).

That O-jochu turned around, and dropped her sleeve and stroked her face with her hand; and the man saw that she had no eyes or nose or mouth, and he screamed and ran away." ("Mujina", Lafcadio Hearn)

Face-thieves, or eckridgespawn, are vengeful and hateful spirits, who are said to be created when a person with a broken face and an evil heart dies. Its real appearance is that of a floating, incorporeal mass of swirling faces and mist, covered by a cloak of brown mist. It is able to shift its main face according to its devious desires. It can also resemble corporeal, cloaked humanoids when using its change self ability, but interaction quickly reveals it is just an illusion cast over its defiled, incorporeal body.

Face-thieves live to profane and have a special hate towards people of great facial beauty. They often target them with more determination, to feed himself with their personal magnetism and add more lost souls to their number of faceless slaves.

Combat

An eckridgespawn usually choose a victim before it attacks, almost always one with a high Charisma score. It will try to lure people close to it and kill them, turning them into its slaves and stripping them of their faces. It then lures its previously chosen victim using its change self and charm abilities. He attacks with the help of its faceless slaves, and usually takes advantage of the shock its victims suffer when they see their beloved ones stripped of their facial features trying to kill them.

Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Incorporeal: Can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, or magic, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. Can pass through solid objects at will, and own attacks pass through armor. Always moves silently.

Charisma Drain (Su): A creature hit by a face-thiefís incorporeal touch attack must immediately succeed at a Will save (DC 14) or suffer 1d6 points of permanent Charisma drain.

Create Spawn (Su): Any humanoid slain by a face-thief becomes a faceless in 1d4 rounds. Spawn are under the control of the face-thief that created them and remain enslaved until its death.

Charm Person (Su): An eckridgespawn can charm a foe, as long as it is currently disguised as a character to whom the reaction of the target is at least friendly. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that the eckridgespawn must take a standard action, and those merely looking at it are not affected. Anyone the eckridgespawn targets must succeed at a Will save (DC 14) or become charmed, as per the spell charm person cast by a 7th-level sorcerer. The ability has a range of 30 feet.

Change Self (Su): This ability works as per the spell with the same name, but the face-thief must assume a small or medium-size humanoid form, always completely covered by a brown cloak with a hood, with the exception of its face. A face-thief can only assume forms with faces of foes it killed and turned into faceless.

Skills: A face-thief gains a +4 racial bonus to Disguise checks. When using its change self ability, it gains an additional +10 bonus (not included in the stats above).

In the Land of Mists

Although eckridgespawn are not common undead, there are some scattered throughout the land of Mists. Many big cities of Ravenloft, such as Port-a-Lucine, Pont-a-Museau or Lekar, have tales about face-stealing murders. In Staunton Bluffs, local legend speaks of how a hideous bandit, False-Faced Eckridge, returns from beyond the grave during a spring thunderstorm to steal a victimís face.

 

The Faceless

The faceless are the unfortunate souls that have been enslaved by the dread eckridgespawn. They look like grey-fleshed, zombie-like creatures. Their other features remain as when they were living, but they have no faces. Instead, there is only a plain area of grey skin. Even if the deceased did not have claws, their nails grow into dark, pointy claws.

Creating a Faceless

"Faceless" is a template that can be added to any humanoid (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). The creature's type changes to Undead. It retains most type modifiers (such as Fire or Aquatic), but loses alignment type modifiers (such as Good) and type modifiers that indicate kind (such as Goblinoid or Reptilian). It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: Drop any Hit Dice gained from experience, double the number of Hit Dice left, and raise them to d12.
Speed: If the base creature can fly, its maneuverability rating drops to Clumsy.
AC: Natural armor increases to a number based on the faceless' size. (Use the base creature's natural armor, if it's higher). See Table 1.

Table 1: Faceless Armor and Damage

 

Natural Armor

Slam Damage

Diminutive

0

1

Fine

0

1d2

Tiny

+1

1d3

Small

+2

1d4

Medium

+3

1d6

Large

+4

1d8

Huge

+6

2d6

Gargantuan

+11

2d8

Colossal

+16

4d6

Attacks: The faceless retains all the natural attacks, manufactured weapons, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. A faceless also gains a claws attack. Recalculate the faceless' melee and ranged attack bonuses based on its new type (Undead) and abilities (+4 Strength). Undead creatures have a base attack of HD x 1/2 (same as a wizard).

Damage: Natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. A claws attack deals damage depending on the faceless' size. (Use the base creature's claws damage if it is greater.) For purposes of Strength bonuses to damage, a claws attack is considered a two-handed attack. See Table 1.

Special Attacks: The faceless loses all special attacks.

Special Qualities: The faceless loses all special qualities except any subtypes it retains (such as the Fire subtype). The faceless gains the Undead type (see the Introduction of the Monster Manual).
Saves: Base saves are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +2+(1/2HD) (same as wizard).
Abilities: The faceless' Strength increases by +4. It has no Constitution or Intelligence score, its Wisdom changes to 10, and its Charisma decreases to 1.
Skills: The faceless loses all skills.
Feats: The faceless loses all feats and gains Toughness.
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization
: Any

Challenge Rating - according to hit dice:
Hit Dice Challenge Rating
1/2 1/6
1 1/3
2 1
4 2
6 3
8, 10 4
12, 14 5
16, 18 6
20 8

Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement
: Hit Dice are based on advanced Hit Dice, if applicable.

- Stanton Fink, Excerpts from the Register, Undead Sea Scrolls 2002

 

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