Dream Sponge (3.5e Monster)
Rate this article |
Discuss this article
|Size/Type:||Huge Ooze||Huge SRD: Type|
|Hit Dice:||12d10+108 (174 hp)||( hp)|
|Speed:||0 ft. (0 squares)|
|Armor Class:||18 (-2 size, -5 Dex, +15 natural), touch 3, flat-footed 18||, touch , flat-footed|
|Space/Reach:||15 ft./0 ft.||/|
|Special Attacks:||Mind spores, spell-like abilities|
|Special Qualities:||Ooze traits, collective unconscious, damage reduction 20/-, mindsight 200 ft., regeneration 1, vulnerability to fire|
|Saves:||Fort +13, Ref -1, Will +8||Fort , Ref , Will|
|Abilities:||Str —, Dex —, Con 29, Int 22, Wis 19, Cha 18||Str , Dex , Con 29, Int 25, Wis , Cha|
|Skills:||Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (all others) +16, Spellcraft +21|
|Advancement:||13-18 HD (Huge), 19-36 HD (Gargantuan)|
These huge porous entities grow in dark, humid places, usually underground and partially underwater. They appear to be simply unnaturally large versions of sponges that live in the salt waters of the seas, but there is a dark cunning lurking within these unseeming creatures. Dream sponges feed not on brine and krill, but on mental energy. Even though they lead a stationary existence, they protect themselves with potent magical abilities and illusions, unleash clouds of spores to infect close-by sentients, and can project a thought manifestation of themselves in order to actively snare new prey. A fully grown dream spore is foughtly 15 to 20 feet in diameter, and weighs approximately 800 pounds of spongy matter.
Dream sponges are most often found near the remote coastlines, where civilization is spread thin and they have access to a steady supply of water and natural caves to hide themselves in and grow. A dream sponge often preys on small, remote settlements near the coast, where its influence is often passed off as a an old wives' tale. While the infection of the dream sponge's spores is not contagious from person to person, the few people that venture too closely to the dream sponge's hidden lair will find themselves becoming more and more easily exhausted and prone to falling asleep. Many such townsfolk so affected will become restless and paranoid, haunted by flashes of hallucinations throughout the day, steadily weakening and growing insane until they fall into a coma. All of this, often without anyone realizing the cause of this strange affliction. Yet, from time to time, they will inexplicably wake, and move with some unknown purpose.
The spore infection of a dream sponge latches onto the brains of sentient beings, establishing a link that grows in strength as the victim's condition worsens until he is rendered comatose and the sponge is free to feed off his thoughts and dreams. Prolonged feeding leaves these unfortunate souls quite heavily demented if they ever regain consciousness. Dream sponges are very intelligent, highly telepathic, and can speak into the dreams of those they infect. It is thought that their vast knowledge is leeched over time from the people they feed off of. The origins of these creatures is also unknown, though it is theorized the first dream sponges were created by powerful wizards during a previous age, with the purpose of holding and gathering information through more surreptitious measures as detainment and magical interrogation would allow.
A dream sponge has little ways to directly defend itself, but has access to a varied arsenal of powerful magical abilities to camouflage itself and its lair and thwart attempts to find it. Most dream sponges actively restrict their feeding in order to avoid drawing too much attention to themselves, often to the point of letting their victims go after a period to later replace them with others. This is simply to avoid risking the potential involvement of dangerous enemies. Dream sponges are generally smart enough to make their infection come and go periodically, masquerading their feeding cycle as a rare recurring affliction.
Being immobile creatures, dream sponges are very patient. If it detects potential threats through its various modes of observing its environment, it will take active steps to gradually erase any and all signs of its influence and minimize the chance of detection. Only if the dream sponge is truly endangered will it possess victims to actively defend its location.
A dream sponge is incredibly resilient to physical forms of damage, as its decentralized physiology can easily restore itself given enough time. Its spongy, porous biomass skillfully deflects and absorbs the momentum of attacks that bludgeon, pierce, and cut. The only way to truly be rid of the dream sponge is to burn every ounce of its huge body to ashes.
Mind Spores (Su): A dream sponge releases a miasma of spores within the air that spread throughout its lair and any hidden passageways leading there. The sponge's miasma will eventually spread throughout an area above ground with a quarter mile radius (~1300 ft.) centered on the sponge's location. To any onlookers, the visual effect is little more than a very thin fog bank, and the spores are otherwise odourless and without taste. Any sentient creature that spends too long within the area will become infected. Creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or less are unaffected by a dream sponge's spores.
Whenever a sapient creature is directly exposed to the miasma, it must roll a d% to determine if it is infected. Infection chance in percent equals twice the creature's Intelligence score. Subsequent checks must be made every 6 hours until the creature becomes infected or succeeds on three d% rolls in a row. Remaining within the area of the mind spores will prompt a new check against infection every 10 minutes.
An infected creature contracts dream fugue.
Dream Fugue (Su): Any creature infected by a dream sponge's mind spores will not immediately feel different, but after an incubation time of 1d4+1 days from the moment of infection, they contract a blight called dream fugue. When their incubation time ends, they make their initial saving throw. Unlike normal blights, the dream fugue forces DC 20 Will saves instead of Fortitude saves. The save DC is Charisma-based.
As the dream fugue progresses in severity, the sponge's spores adhere themselves to various portions of the creature's frontal lobe, brain stem, and cerebellum, obstructing signals and generally rendering the creature confused, and increasingly easily fatigued. Whenever a sufferer of the dream fugue sleeps, its stage worsens by 1 automatically.
Dream fugue's primary effect (during Stage 1; see Stages of Blight) removes from the afflicted creature any immunity, whether inherent or granted by magic, to any mind-affecting spells and effects. Creatures that are not immune instead take a −4 penalty to such saves. This penalty does not apply to the saving throws made to avoid furthering the blight itself. A creature at this stage of dream fugue has an increasing chance (a cumulative 5% per hour) to be visited by a hallucination that forces them to make a DC 20 Will save or gain one stage of fatigue and be forced to make an immediate saving throw to avoid furthering the dream fugue blight. When the hallucination is triggered, the chance for the next hallucination starts at 0%, and accumulates at a similar rate.
Dream fugue's secondary effect (during Stage 2; see Stages of Blight) puts the afflicted creature under a constant schizophrenia effect. The creature may hear whispers and sounds from unknown sources, and their visions and hallucinations become more intense. The rate at which intense hallucinations appear becomes a cumulative 10% per hour instead until it is triggered.
Upon reaching stage 3 of dream fugue, the creature falls into a sleep he does not wake from and becomes essentially comatose. Its condition does not worsen beyond this case, as dream fugue is not a lethal blight. However, creatures that are rendered comatose will be fully drawn within the dream sponge's influence. A creature at stage 3 of dream fugue wanders the collective unconscious and is incapable of retethering its mind to its body and wake back up until its dream fugue is ended or cured.
Any creature released from the dream sponge's influence during any of the first two stages will recover from the blight's effect over the course of 24 hours. A third-stage sufferer of dream fugue that has been fed upon by the dream sponge's thoughtform at least once will be permanently demented upon being released, until said dementia is removed by spells that are capable of breaking the effect.
Collective Unconscious (Ex): The collective unconscious is a mind-scape connecting the dream sponge and the minds of infected creatures. It is, in essence, a plane maintained by the dream sponge, to trap the mental projections of its infected victims for the purpose of feeding. The hallucinations experienced by awake sufferers of the dream fugue result from their limited abliity to peer into the collective unconscious, enabling those of Stage 2 dream fugue to see the faint outlines of the mental projection of any trapped victims and as well as the dream sponge's thoughtform, as well as conversing with them upon succeeding on a DC 15 Wisdom check. Only when an infected victim falls asleep can he enter the collective unconscious completely and interact fully with any creatures therein. The only way in which an uninfected creature can establish a connection with one whose mind is trapped on the collective unconscious (such as those suffering from Stage 3 dream fugue) is by using the detect thoughts spell or stronger, similar modes of scrying. Comatose sufferers of the dream fugue may move freely on the collective unconscious, though any effect that would awaken them instantly returns them to their body regardless of distance.
The collective consciousness is for all intents and purposes an overlay of the material plane, containing the same architecture and the same objects and people, though the material world is distinctly greyed out and incapable of seeing, touching, or interacting with it. Any creatures within the collective unconscious are untouchable by creatures in the material plane and vice versa, except for with the use of psionics, which has a percent chance to affect any such targets normally, equal to the psion's Intelligence score.
Mindsight (Su): A dream sponge can detect living minds in its vicinity, with a range of 200 ft. The sponge is capable of ascertaining the Intelligence of any such mind. Sentient creatures (Intelligence 3 or higher) show up clear enough to the sponge as to mimic blindsight, whereas beasts and other non-sentient creatures (Intelligence 1 or 2) show up more faintly, allowing the sponge to detect them as though having blindsense. With regards to objects and mindless creatures, the dream sponge is effectively blind.
The thoughtform is the dream sponge's mental projection onto the collective unconscious. Unlike the sponge itself, it possesses a fearsome visage that is more akin to that of a humanoid aberration. It stalks the thoughtforms of others trapped in the collective unconscious with a deep-seated urge to feed on thoughts. In a sense, this is a manifestation of the dream sponge's id.