Neuroculus (5e Creature)

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Neuroculus[edit]

Small monstrosity, any alignment


Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 24 (7d6)
Speed 10 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
8 (-1) 9 (-1) 10 (+0) 17 (+3) 2 (-4) 11 (+0)

Saving Throws Wisdom +1
Damage Vulnerabilities psychic
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses blindsight 5 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 6
Languages telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The neuroculus's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

At will: detect thoughts, dissonant whispers, message
3/day each: confusion, modify memory

Skim Senses. The neuroculus can see, hear, and feel anything experienced by creatures within its telepathy range. It can share this information with other creatures while they are in telepathic contact.

ACTIONS

Shock. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d8 + 1) lightning damage.

Mnemonic Feedback Spiral (Recharge 6). One creature the neuroculus can see within 120 ft. has its incoming senses replaced with memories of the neuroculus's choosing; it is blinded and deafened, and acts only in response to the illusory stimuli. Depending on the memory, it may replay events from its distant past, good or bad, or simply repeat its actions on its last turn.
If a creature uses its action to examine its surroundings, the creature can determine that it is a memory with a successful DC 18 Intelligence (Investigation) check; it makes this save with advantage if it has been damaged in the last round. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, its senses return and is immune to the neuroculus's Mnemonic Feedback Spiral for 24 hours.


neuroculus.png
Art by Jonathan Wojcik

A small, delicate and nervous monster with an insatiable sweet tooth, the neuroculus is well protected by the electrical discharges and invaluable cognotransmissive capabilities of its two huge, antenna-like neurons; essentially two highly modified and grossly enlarged neurons, they are adapted to establish a long-distance connection with the brains of other organisms in order to send and receive data. The monster can see, hear, feel and know anything experienced or remembered by a cognitive being within its signal range, and even transfer that information to another recipient, willing or otherwise; it can force hostile creatures to experience anything from the same pain and distress they are inflicting to the disorienting visual input of a nearby moth. It is also by this system that the neuroculus navigates its surroundings, sensing the world vicariously through other conscious entities. The monster's antennae generate high levels of electricity as they operate, which can be stored in its body for later application. Its constant, complex neural activity also necessitates a high intake of glucose, and it may consume up to twice its weight in sugars on a daily basis.
The ultimate weapon of the neuroculus is by far its dreaded "Mnemonic Feedback Spiral". Focusing both neurons on the same target, it simultaneously receives and transmits a stream of memories to and from the same being, trapping them, from their perspective, in a repeating loop of past experiences. The sympathetic neuroculus is prone to picking out "pleasant" memories to repeat, but may delve into stressful, even traumatic scenarios under dire enough circumstances. Subjects are generally unaware that they're perceiving a reconstruction of their past, though they may notice increasingly peculiar inconsistencies.
The neuroculus is an emotionally sensitive being, prone to unexpected bouts of anxiety and inconvenient levels of compassion, often questioning the need for offensive maneuvers and reluctant to cause harm even for purposes of self preservation. It also prefers being slightly moist, and tends to be uncomfortable in drier climates despite suffering no significant harm.



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