Cognosticator (5e Creature)

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Medium monstrosity, neutral

Armor Class 11 (natural armor)
Hit Points 49 (9d8 + 9)
Speed 5 ft.

5 (-3) 7 (-2) 12 (+1) 19 (+4) 14 (+2) 12 (+1)

Damage Immunities psychic
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses truesight 30 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages telepathy 60 ft.
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The cognosticator's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 16). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

At will: confusion, detect thoughts, silent image
1/day each: feeblemind, modify memory

Mind Hive. The cognosticator has access to the memories of all minds it has copied; it can choose to replace its Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma scores with those of a creature it has copied, can use any skills they have, and knows any languages they know. Upon its death, all minds stored by the cognosticator are released back to their original bodies, if they remain; for each mind, there is a 5 percent chance it will be sent to the wrong body.
If a creature whose mind is within the cognosticator can successfully make a DC 20 Charisma check, it seizes control of the creature for 1 minute and remakes the check with disadvantage after the minute is over; on a failed check, the creature is unable to make another attempt for 4 (1d6 + 1) days.


Mind Scramble. One creature the cognosticator can see within 30 ft. must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or have its mind copied and replaced. The cognosticator can choose to exchange the target's mind with one it already has stored. If it does not use a previously copied mind, it creates one. When it does, the game statistics of the creature are unchanged, aside from its alignment and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, which are randomized; if the target has any class levels, it can’t use any of its class features. While its mind is replaced, the target is unable to communicate and acts bizarrely, unaccustomed to its surroundings and body. If the cognosticator instead chooses to swap in a mind it has copied, the target gains the alignment, mental ability scores, and personality of the new mind.

Art by Jonathan Wojcik

The fate of the cognosticator's creator remains unknown, but its purpose, according to the oldest recovered specimen, was to allow open telepathic communication and psychomigration between entities with normally incompatible mental wavelengths, allowing vastly different beings to exchange bodies across even the planar barriers for purposes of research.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to trace or interpret the abstract signals received - or perhaps imagined - by a cognosticator, and direct exposure can overwhelm a recipient mind with hazardously nonsensical mental processes. The monster's ability to copy, store and transfer minds effectively allows it to abduct and imprison other beings within its own vast consciousness, leaving a broken being in the original body.
The cognosticator may access and broadcast any information known to its collected minds, and even generate three-dimensional holograms of stolen personalities and memories. Beings trapped within a cognosticator experience only a prolonged REM sleep, but may in rare cases break free and take temporary control of the monster's body. The death of a cognosticator usually transfers collected minds back to any surviving, original bodies in a final burst of psionic activity, though mistakes are common. Cognosticator take great pride in the amount of information they collect, and often seek out scholarly roles. They enjoy enlightening the minds of others almost as much as they enjoy ruining them.

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