Kobold Press

Monday Monsters: Facestealer

470px-The_Scream“I will become you!”

Prerequisite Doppelganger

While all doppelgangers are accomplished shapeshifters, some take the art of shapeshifting to new levels. These doppelgangers are able to impersonate not just the physical form of another creature, but also some aspects of their personality, experience, and knowledge, becoming in essence the very creature they are copying. Because of their potent abilities, facestealers are justly feared by most humanoids, but not all facestealers are villains, and some use their unique abilities to help the cause of justice even if their tactics might be called into question.

As a facestealer, you have the ability to manipulate your form to a greater extent than other doppelgangers and can even change form with the speed of thought. Your greatest power however, lies in the ability to literally become another creature you have killed, taking on their appearance, mannerisms, and even some aspects of their class and race.

Facestealer Path Features

Improved Shapeshifting (11th level) Whenever you use your change shape racial power, you can assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid. You can also mimic a single set of basic clothing appropriate to the creature, causing your own clothes (but not armor or weapons) to take on a different appearance or color if necessary.

Shapeshifter’s Healing (11th level) When you spend an action point to take an extra action, you can also activate your change shape racial power. If you do so, you regain hp as if you had spent a healing surge.

Quick Change Specialist (16th level) You can use your change shape racial power as a free action rather than as a minor action. This allows you to change form multiple times in a single round, but no more than once per round for every point of Charisma modifier you possess (minimum 1 per round).

Facestealer Powers

Mask of the Fallen       Facestealer Attack 11

You ransack your enemy’s thoughts and dreams, digging up memories of lost acquaintances and slain friends. As you do so your appearance changes to match that of an ally your enemy once knew, and it does everything in its power to protect you from harm.

Encounter ♦ Polymorph, Psychic

Standard Action               Ranged 5

Target One creature

Attack Intelligence or Charisma +2 vs. Will

Hit 1d8 + Intelligence or Charisma modifier psychic damage, and your appearance changes to that of an ally known to the target until the end of your next turn

Increase attack to Intelligence or Charisma +4 vs. Will at 21st level

Effect The target must use a beneficial power to affect an ally before the end of its next turn, and must choose you as the target or include you in the effect; if the target is unable to comply, it takes an extra 1d8 + Intelligence or Charisma modifier damage at the end of its turn

Special When you gain this power, choose Intelligence or Charisma as the ability you use when making attack and damage rolls with this power

Mutable Form                Facestealer Utility 12

You contort your body into different shapes, which grants you amazing new abilities.

Daily ♦ Polymorph

Minor Action     Personal

Effect You gain one of the following effects until the end of your turn

  • Your arms stretch out, granting you an extra square of reach
  • You grow a pair of wings, granting a fly speed equal to your speed, but you must land at the end of your turn or fall
  • Your hands and feet become flippers, granting a swim speed equal to your speed
  • Your legs grow longer and more powerful, granting you a +4 power bonus to your speed
  • You gain a +10 power bonus to a single Acrobatics, Athletics, or Stealth check

Become Thy Enemy   Facestealer Attack 20

Touching your enemy, all its hopes, dreams and ambitions flood out of its body and into you as you literally steal away its life essence. If your enemy is humanoid in appearance, you also steal away its face, leaving nothing behind but melted and twisted flesh.

Daily ♦ Polymorph, Psychic

Standard Action               Melee 1

Target One creature

Attack Intelligence or Charisma vs. Will

Hit 4d8 + Intelligence or Charisma modifier psychic damage, and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn

Miss Half damage

Effect If you reduce a Small or Medium humanoid target to 0 hp with this power, you can use your change shape ability as a free action to take on their appearance, granting access to a single encounter power possessed by the creature; you must use this power before the end of the encounter, and once used, the power is lost; in addition, you gain a single memory possessed by the creature (your GM chooses which memory you gain, and what you might learn from it)

Special When you gain this power, choose Intelligence or Charisma as the ability you use when making attack and damage

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This creeptastic monster is a prequel to our building countdown to Halloween. Are you ready for it? Let us know if it was a worthy beasty for this most gruesome of months in the comments.

9 Replies to "Monday Monsters: Facestealer"

Black Jimmy

October 19, 2009 at 10:30pm

What? No version for REAL D&D?

Phillip Larwood

October 19, 2009 at 10:49pm

I leave that in your capable hands Jimmy, unless you’re just taking a pot shot at 4e, which is just silly since every gamer should be past that by now.

Stefen

October 20, 2009 at 12:54pm

Very creepy! Great powers with original effects, and an awesome way to add something new to the doppleganger. I liked this one a lot. It put me in mind of the skin spies from the “Prince of Nothing” series by Bakker.

Kobold Quarterly

October 21, 2009 at 1:52am

OH YEAH! I love the skin spies, and you’re right, this is in that mode.

It’s got that right creepy vibe for October, too. Believe it or not, there’s a couple more Paragon paths by Larwood in #11. We just couldn’t fit them all in.

Aoi

October 21, 2009 at 2:24am

Very interesting concept and execution. Recommending to my player who’s playing a doppleganger. Excellent work. I think the flavor, especially if you think about the ramifications of it, is quite creepy indeed.

Brian

October 22, 2009 at 7:15am

I’m going to call “overpowered” on Shapeshifter’s Healing. Regaining hit points as if you spent a healing surge is very powerful, and usually reserved for Epic. Reference:

Favored Soul’s “Favored Action”, Bear Warrior’s “Bear’s Toughness”, Astral Savant’s “Savant’s Action”, Compassionate Healer’s “Selfless Action”, Firstborn of Moradin’s “Strength of the Earth”, Champion of Corellon’s “Restorative Action”, Disciple of the World Serpent’s “Spirit Shaman Bounty”, Storm Sentinel’s “Invigorating Action”, and Simbarch of Aglarond’s “Arcane Healing”.

What do all of those have in common? They’re Level 11 Paragon Path abilities that say, “when you spend an action point, someone gets to spend a healing surge”. Just have the ability actually cost a healing surge, and it’s good! Not trying to be critical, just pointing that out. =)

Nice flavor, by the way.

Phil Larwood

October 22, 2009 at 7:10pm

By all means Brian. I value any criticism (one shouldn’t be a writer or designer of any calibre if one can’t take constructive critcism). Actually, I agree with you. The sentence should read that you can spend a healing surge. Of course, you could also just regain hit points equal to your Charisma modifier (to make it slightly difficult from the powers you have mentioned). :-)

Phil Larwood

October 22, 2009 at 7:11pm

That should be different not difficult. :-)

Fenryx

December 11, 2009 at 2:10am

Interesting ideas, I may have to take this into consideration as a possible tweak for the Pathfinder Doppleganger.

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