These are basically made as 'alternate' familiars that kind of straddle the line between magical item and creature.


[SIZE="5"]Shrunken Head[/SIZE]

Tiny Undead
Hit Dice: 2d12 (13 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 0 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (+3 natural, +2 size), touch 12, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-10
Attack: Bite +3 (1d3-3)
Full Attack: Bite +3 (1d3-3)
Space/Reach: 2 1/2 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Cloud mind
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, resistance to cold 10, true seeing, undead traits
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +5
Abilities: Str 5, Dex 10, Con -, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +7
Feats: Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse(B)
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or Clump (3-6 shrunken heads)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Any
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: -

A shrunken head appear as a wrinkled mass of skin slightly larger than a fist, with grotesque facial expressions. They often still retain their original hair, which tends to be braided with beads and holy symbols. The skin is dark and very leathery, smelling of the herbs or chemicals used to preserve it. Though the eyes are sewn shut, it seems to view the world with greater clarity than those still living.

Shrunken heads come from two seperate classes of society.

'Lower' heads are by far the most common, usually being the heads of enemies, slaves or even lazy, slothful individuals. In punishment, after death their heads are shrunken and cursed to an undead state where they must serve a master. These heads can even be found sold in shops and used for barter. For good service when they are no longer needed they are often burned, finally releasing the spirit to its afterlife.

'Higher classed' heads are often the heads of loved relatives or wise leaders that are preserved as a sort of receptacle for their spirit which is free to wander between the afterlife and the living world as they wish. They are set within shrines or gifted to particularly caring friends or family where each generation may recieve anew the knowledge and aid of their ancestor. These heads often have class levels, particularly spirit shaman and cleric. Unlike lower heads which tend to be scarred and scuffed, higher heads are often lovingly handled.

Shrunken heads weigh some 3 lbs. and speak whatever language they did in life. Higher classed shrunken heads often speak celestial or abyssal/infernal, depending on the location of their afterlife.

A shrunken head is almost entirely useless in combat, capable of only a nasty pinch with its toothless maw. However, it is useful for aiding its master by calling out warnings and observing the battle.

Cloud Mind (Su): A shrunken head may make itself unseen to any being but its master as the Cloud Mind power. Each round, any individual within 60 feet the shrunken head focuses on must succeed on a DC 11 will save or have all awareness of the head's presence erased from their mind. This effect lasts for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

True Seeing (Su): Shrunken heads have a continuous true seeing ability, as the spell (caster level equal to their Hit Dice).