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The_Ferg
2006-12-12, 11:27 PM
By Alex Beffrey and D.S. Ferguson


BLANK
Medium Aberration
Hit Dice: 5d8+15 (40 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft
Armor Class: 14 (+1 Dex, +3 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+9 (or +17, see text)
Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d4)
Full Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft / 5 ft
Special Attacks: Absorb Soul
Special Qualities: Soulless, soul sense, limited physical senses, ethereal properties, retain essence, DR 5/magic
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +10
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 23, Cha ó
Skills: Concentration +12, Heal +15, Jump +9, Tumble +10
Feats: Improved Grapple, Ability Focus: Absorb Soul
Environment: Any
Organization: Single, group (2-3), or in accord with one ghost
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Advancement: See text
Level Adjustment: ó

This creature appears as a featureless human, one without eyes, ears, a mouth, a nose, or hair, and seems, for all its inability of expression, to convey a horrid sense of emptiness.

The blank is one of the creatures created before humanoids that, not being decided by the gods as adequate, were left without a soul to inhabit its otherwise human-like body. These creatures are intelligent enough to realize that they are without souls, but lack the self identity necessary to realize that they are incapable of holding them.
Their goal is therefore to take souls from their humanoid successors. The tragedy of this is that even if successful in obtaining a soul from a humanoid, they are incapable of holding it for long and go back to their soulless state.

COMBAT
Blank strategy includes appearing quickly on an unsuspecting and typically alone target to obtain his soul. It makes full use of its ethereal nature by becoming invisible and walking through barriers.
Absorb Soul (Ex): If the blank is touched in any way (by making a melee touch attack against its target or by being attacked in melee, etc.) it as a free action initiates a soul grapple. The Will save DC is the blankís soul grapple check. Alternatively, a grapple check using the targetís Wisdom modifier instead of her Strength modifier can be used against the attempt. Size bonuses are not added to this check. A normal blank with no additional bonuses receives a +17 to this grapple check. The blank may choose not to use this ability.
During the soul grapple, neither the target nor the blank may take any other action and after one touch act has been started. If the touch act is started by the target attacking the blank (in melee), the target immediately stops all action as soon as the weapon hits. The weapon still does damage, but no further action by the target may be taken. If anything breaks the concentration of the blank, it must make a Concentration check similar to that of a spellcaster. Breaking the concentration of the target does not end the soul grapple, but instead gives the blank an automatic success.
If the blank wins the soul grapple check (and the soul pin on the next round), the soul of the target is absorbed into the blank. The blank assumes the features and abilities of the target (though none of her equipment), including spells, special abilities, and the targetís strength, dexterity, constitution, and charisma scores instead of its own scores. The targetís body becomes lifeless and featureless.
The soul remains with the blank for 1d6+1 days or until its body is killed, at which point the soul returns to the original body unless that body is dead, in which case the soul takes on the ghost template. The targetís body does not die from any natural causes during this time, but only from damage done to it. All spell effects or poison effects or other timed durations stop until the soul returns and then resume until their durations expire. During the time of catatonia, the body may only be killed by causing damage to it. Returning the soul to the body is difficult, but may be done by either casting heal on the body, casting a wish or miracle spell, or by killing the blank.
Soulless (Ex): Blanks are soulless and thus immune to any soul draining spells (such as many necromancy spells).
Soul Sense (Ex): Blanks can sense a soul and how much life energy a soul has (essentially the targetís HD and current hit points) from up to 120 feet away, no matter what physical barriers may be in the way.
Limited Physical Senses: Blanks lack the sight, hearing, smell, and taste senses, mostly on account of missing eyes, ears, a nose, and a mouth. They are still capable of feeling. They are also, on account of lack of faculty, incapable of speech but understand telepathic speech. Blanks are thus immune to vocally dependent spells, such as charm person, command, and suggestion, but not immune to hold person or dominate person.
Ethereal Properties (Su): Blanks have no planar home and transiently move between the material and ethereal planes in their wanderings. They can shift between these two planes at will as a standard action if they are without a soul and may move through physical barriers at half speed. If one obtains a soul, it loses this ability while it has a soul.
Retain Essence (Ex): After a soul has left a blank, it still retains some of its abilities. Some abilities or spells that are not physically dependent (excluding spell components) are retained by the blank and usable at its discretion. This ability is used at the discretion of the DM.

ShneekeyTheLost
2006-12-12, 11:32 PM
Retain Essence (Ex): After a soul has left a blank, it still retains some of its abilities. Some abilities or spells that are not physically dependent (excluding spell components) are retained by the blank and usable at its discretion. This ability is used at the discretion of the DM.

This can be extremely abused by players, much in the same way that PunPun was created. Furthermore, it allows a method by which the creature in question could have a whole slew of abilities which the CR of the creature would be unadjusted for.

This is the only ability I see that needs to get fixed, though. I like the concept.

Mewtarthio
2006-12-12, 11:54 PM
This can be extremely abused by players, much in the same way that PunPun was created. Furthermore, it allows a method by which the creature in question could have a whole slew of abilities which the CR of the creature would be unadjusted for.

This is the only ability I see that needs to get fixed, though. I like the concept.

I believe that the Blank is the one who keeps the abilities, not the soul. You may want to specify that.

Also, you say that souls who cannot return to their bodies become ghosts, but the Ghost template states that a ghost has a reason to remain on the Material Plane and will remain there until it is either appeased or fails a rejuvination check. What is the reason for the soul released by the Blank? In other words, why doesn't it just die?

Lazy_Harry
2006-12-13, 02:17 AM
I believe that the Blank is the one who keeps the abilities, not the soul. You may want to specify that.

Also, you say that souls who cannot return to their bodies become ghosts, but the Ghost template states that a ghost has a reason to remain on the Material Plane and will remain there until it is either appeased or fails a rejuvenation check. What is the reason for the soul released by the Blank? In other words, why doesn't it just die?

Hello, I'm the other fellow that is noted in the blanks creation.

You are right, the blank retaining abilities gives flexibility in the since that you can increase its CR by saying, he last took over a wizard, and still has the ability to cast magearmor on itself. So it allows for a more powerful blank to go against more powerful PC's.

The soul is released just because the blank cant keep it in its body for too long, since the soul is still bound the body it belongs to. Its like holding onto a cliff, you cant hold on forever, but your too tired to pull your self back up onto the edge.

[Edited for spelling errors.]

Mewtarthio
2006-12-13, 02:29 AM
Sorry for the poor wording, but I was asking why the released soul continues to hang around on the Material and Ethereal Planes if the body is dead, rather than going straight on to the afterlife.

Also, it's probably obvious, but you might want to say something about the body being unressurectable if it dies while the soul is inside the Blank. Unless, of course, you intend for certain ressurection spells to recall the soul from the Blank (you mention a few high-level spells that do this, so it's obviously not a Soul Bind).

Lazy_Harry
2006-12-13, 02:50 AM
Your going to have to wait for ferg's answer on that one. I think it was just something we added for intrest and for the sake that the soul keeps trying to find its body that no longer exists.

ShneekeyTheLost
2006-12-13, 04:01 AM
Hello, I'm the other fellow that is noted in the blanks creation.

You are right, the blank retaining abilities gives flexibility in the since that you can increase its CR by saying, he last took over a wizard, and still has the ability to cast magearmor on itself. So it allows for a more powerful blank to go against more powerful PC's.[Edited for spelling errors.]
Ummm... I see potential for major abuse...

"Okay, so Blanks have been around since the beginning of time, right? They have been around longer than anything with an actual soul. So it stands to reason that they've had the opportunity to get any hundreds, if not thousands, of abilities, due to this ability. Right, so this Blank can cast every spell in the book, manifest every power in the book, knows every metamagic and metapsionic feat in the book. And still only CR 6? Sweet!"

You might want to specify that when the blank looses the soul, he looses the ability, otherwise it's just too darn powerful.

Mewtarthio
2006-12-13, 05:04 PM
Ummm... I see potential for major abuse...

"Okay, so Blanks have been around since the beginning of time, right? They have been around longer than anything with an actual soul. So it stands to reason that they've had the opportunity to get any hundreds, if not thousands, of abilities, due to this ability. Right, so this Blank can cast every spell in the book, manifest every power in the book, knows every metamagic and metapsionic feat in the book. And still only CR 6? Sweet!"

You might want to specify that when the blank looses the soul, he looses the ability, otherwise it's just too darn powerful.

The description explicitly states that the amount of essence retained is at the discretion of the DM. Also, I imagine if you give them manifesting capabilities on part with a twentieth-level psion, you should adjust the CR accordingly. I mean, I suppose you could sick that monstrosity on your players and claim its CR is only 6, but you'd have to be really, really evil.

The_Ferg
2006-12-14, 03:31 PM
The CR of 6 is a base CR if it has had no previous souls. Also, they ar readily able to be killed. As long as you can avoid touching them, you shouldn't have a problem killing them. As stated, the Retain Essence ability is at the discretion of the DM and the CR should be raised if any abilities are given it. This is just an opportunity for monster advancement, which ALWAYS raises the CR.

Lazy_Harry
2006-12-14, 10:25 PM
I think I may want to make like a improved version, like they do in the MM...this is your basic issue, run of the mill blank.
Make a second with 1-2 abilities hovering around, and take the hit die up a notch or two...

Balesirion
2006-12-16, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by The_Ferg
Limited Physical Senses: Blanks lack the sight, hearing, smell, and taste senses, mostly on account of missing eyes, ears, a nose, and a mouth. They are still capable of feeling. They are also, on account of lack of faculty, incapable of speech but understand telepathic speech. Blanks are thus immune to vocally dependent spells, such as charm person, command, and suggestion, but not immune to hold person or dominate person.

Actually, they would be immune to hold person and dominate person, because they're abberations.

Mewtarthio
2006-12-18, 12:30 PM
Hold/Dominate Monster, then, I presume.

Tracersmith
2006-12-18, 03:40 PM
Shouldnt they gain the senses of the soul they steal (ie eyes, ears....) since they look like the target.

and shouldnt the blank LOSE the contest if they lose concentration. Otherwise if I were the blank just start it then try & think of something else and you are sure to win.

Mewtarthio
2006-12-18, 11:11 PM
Breaking the concentration of the target does not end the soul grapple, but instead gives the blank an automatic success.

Emphasis mine.

The_Ferg
2006-12-21, 12:04 AM
Shouldnt they gain the senses of the soul they steal (ie eyes, ears....) since they look like the target.

and shouldnt the blank LOSE the contest if they lose concentration. Otherwise if I were the blank just start it then try & think of something else and you are sure to win.

Yes, they should gain the senses. And no, they only automatically win if their target (the one whose soul is being stolen) is distracted.

Tracersmith
2006-12-21, 06:06 AM
cool then they'll be used as they are written in my world if you dont mind?

Lazy_Harry
2007-04-11, 11:11 PM
Minor note to be a finale to this, this monster placed just 8 spots behind the cutoff limit for the MM5...

ArmorArmadillo
2007-04-12, 09:47 AM
1d20+17 will save Vs. a Save or die affect?
I'm sorry, but that is too high for a CR 6 monster.

Maybe if the ability only copied (didn't steal the soul); also as much as it is a cool idea, grapple checks aren't relaly made to balance against Will saves (Compare the progressions of Good Will Saves to Good Base Attack)

Maldraugedhen
2007-04-12, 10:29 AM
But it isn't save-or-die. At best, it's save-or-suck-with-autoheal-2-to-7-days-later. BaB progression is only applicable to the grapple checks for Blanks if Blanks could proceed in character levels. Judging by their nature, I would assume they are incapable of doing so, but may acquire abilities from people they soul-sucked awhile ago. Here's a question: can you only soul-suck magical, divine, or psionic abilities? What about soul-sucking a souled construct? Animals? Plants (are plants considered soulless?)?

ArmorArmadillo
2007-04-12, 12:22 PM
But it isn't save-or-die. At best, it's save-or-suck-with-autoheal-2-to-7-days-later. BaB progression is only applicable to the grapple checks for Blanks if Blanks could proceed in character levels. Judging by their nature, I would assume they are incapable of doing so, but may acquire abilities from people they soul-sucked awhile ago. Here's a question: can you only soul-suck magical, divine, or psionic abilities? What about soul-sucking a souled construct? Animals? Plants (are plants considered soulless?)?
Save-or-Suck can often be as bad as Save-or-Die when monsters have the ability at will or unlimited like this.
Also, I don't see where +17 comes from; BAB is 5 (which should be 3 based on HD; Aberration is 3/4), assuming it is Wis based, you have 5+6+4; that is still only +15 (+13 with the adjustment to BAB). (Especially considering that I don't exactly understand why Improved Grapple (Part of the Unarmed Strike chain) applies to "Mind Grappling.")
Then, you have a CR 6 monster with a Save or Suck affect with an average DC of 25, Minimum of 16, and Maximum of 35; when a 6th level character with good Will saves has a base bonus of +5;

As interesting as this ability is, I feel like, in practice, the ability doesn't come together; I honestly think you should replace it with a straight Will save DC.