Mystauk Template

Author’s Note: The updated version of the monster below can now be found at the Free Game Resources page of World Builder Blog. Thank you for all your feedback and please keep it coming!

Is there anything more terrifying than the idea that another could take over your mind and control your every action while you remain a prisoner inside of your own body? Other than tarantulas, I’m not sure there is.

Exploration Age has their very own mind-dominating bugs, the mystauk. If you missed my first and second posts on these baddies, check them out! These bugs fly into your head through your ear holes and attach to a host’s brain, controlling the host’s every movement. As my good friend Rudy Basso pointed out, mystauk are a lot like Yeerks from Animorphs.

Monster October continues on World Builder Blog as I bring my Exploration Age denizens up to speed. We’ve already seen The Lingering Havoc, the blazing wraith, the icebreaker shark, the gaping maw, and the sand kraken. Now, let’s take a closer look at the updated mystauk!

Harmless On Your Outside

I’m gonna get ya!

When mystauk are hostless, they are just small, green bugs with the following statistics.

Mystauk

Tiny beast, unaligned


Armor Class 13

Hit Points  1 (1d4 – 1)

Speed  10 ft., fly 40 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
2 (-4) 16 (+3) 8 (-1) 1 (-5) 8 (-1) 2 (-4)

Skills Stealth +5

Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 9

Languages –

Challenge 0 (10 XP)


Natural Camouflage. The mystauk has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when hiding in an area obscured by foliage.

Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.

Mystauk Domination. The mystauk chooses a humanoid creature within five feet and attempts to fly into its ear. That creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or become dominated by the mystauk. While dominated the now intelligent mystauk controls all of the humanoid’s actions. The mystauk can communicate with the humanoid and can read its mind and see all of its memories. The humanoid acquires the mystauk-inhabited template while the mystauk dominates it.

The mystauk can choose to end the domination at anytime. If the humanoid dies or a feeblemind spell is successfully cast against the mystauk-inhabited humanoid, the effects of Mystauk Domination end and the mystauk appears adjacent to the host at the start of its next turn.

As you can see, they are pretty harmless for the most part. When mystauk have no host, they must rely on stealth to get the job done. If they managed to take over the mind of a host, that’s when their true power emerges.

Mystauk-Inhabited Template

A mystauk-inhabited host uses the host creature’s base statistics and makes the following adjustments.

  • All of the host creature’s ability scores are raised to 19. If the host creature has ability scores higher than 19, those ability scores stays the same.
  • The mystauk-inhabited creature gains and is proficient with a slam weapon attack. The slam which is a light, finesse weapon which deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage.
  • The creature’s alignment changes to neutral evil
  • The mystauk-inhabited creature learns one cantrip from the wizard spell list it can cast at-will without expending any material components. The mystauk-inhabited creature uses its Intelligence modifier as its magic ability modifier for these spells and adds its proficiency modifier to any attack rolls and spell save DCs associated with the cantrip.
  • The mystauk-inhabited creature gains proficiency in the Deception skill.
  • The host gains the Mystauk Communication and Mystuak Deception abilities.
Mystauk-Inhabited Abilities
  • Mystauk Communication. A mystauk-inhabited creature can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.
  • Mystauk Deception. With access to the host creature’s memories a mystauk-inhabited creature has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the host is not mystauk-inhabited.

Sample Mystauk

I decided to put together a few sample mystauk-inhabited creatures, using some of the NPCs in the Basic D&D rules and Monster Manual as guidelines for how to apply the template.

Mystauk-Inhabited Acolyte

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 14

Hit Points  17 (2d8 + 8)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6, Medicine +6, Religion +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited acolyte can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited acolyte has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the acolyte is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited acolyte can cast minor illusion at-will. It’s spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (spell save DC 14).

Spellcasitng. The mytauk-inhabited acolyte is a 1st-level spellcaster. Its spell casting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). The mystauk-inhabited acolyte has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at-will): light, sacred flame, thaumaturgy

1st level (3 slots): bless, cure wounds, sanctuary

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Bandit

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 15 (leather armor)

Hit Points  17 (2d8 + 8)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited bandit can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited bandit has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the bandit is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited bandit can cast ray of frost at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (+6 to hit).

Actions

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80 ft./ 320 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Berserker

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 15 (leather armor)

Hit Points  76 (9d8 + 36)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited berserker can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited berserker has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the berserker is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited berserker can cast blade ward at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell.

Reckless. At the start of its turn, the mystauk-inhabited berserker can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls during that turn, but attack rolls against it have advantage until the start of its next turn.

Actions

Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d12 + 4) slashing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Commoner

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 14

Hit Points  8 (1d8 + 4)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited commoner can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited commoner has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the commoner is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited commoner can cast acid splash at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (spell save DC 14).

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Cultist

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 15 (leather armor)

Hit Points  17 (2d8 + 8)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited cultist can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited cultist has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the cultist is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited cultist can cast poison spray at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (spell save DC 14).

Actions

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Guard

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 17 (chain shirt, shield)

Hit Points  17 (2d8 + 8)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6, Perception +6

Senses passive Perception 16

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited guard can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited guard has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the guard is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited guard can cast friends at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell.

Actions

Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Knight

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 18 (plate)

Hit Points  68 (8d8 + 32)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Con +6, Wis +6

Skills Deception +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 4 (1, 100 XP)


Brave. The knight has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited knight can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited knight has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the knight is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited knight can cast fire bolt at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (+6 to hit).

Actions

Multiattack. The mystauk-inhabited knight makes two melee attacks.

Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Heavy Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 4) piercing damage.

Leadership (Recharges after a Short of Long Rest). For 1 minute, the mystauk-inhabited knight can utter a special command or warning whenever a nonhostile creature that it can see within 30 feet of it makes an attack roll or a saving throw. The creature can add a d4 to its roll provided it can hear and understand the knight. A creature can benefit from only one Leadership die at a time. The effect ends if the mystauk-inhabited knight is incapacitated.

Reactions

Parry. The knight adds 2 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the knight must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

Mystauk-Inhabited Mage

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 14 (17 with mage armor)

Hit Points  76 (9d8 + 36)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Int +7, Wis +7

Skills Arcana +7, Deception +7, History +7

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any four languages

Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited mage can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited mage has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the mage is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited mage can cast poison spray at-will. It’s spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (spell save DC 15).

Spellcasitng. The mytauk-inhabited mage is a 9th-level spellcaster. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). The mystauk-inhabited mage has the following wizard spells prepared:

Cantrips (at-will): fire bolt, lightmage hand, prestidigitation

1st level (4 slots): detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield

2nd level (3 slots): misty step, suggestion

3rd level (3 slots): counterspell, fireball, fly

4th level (3 slots): greater invisibility, ice storm

5th level (1 slot): cone of cold

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Priest

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 15 (leather armor)

Hit Points  42 (5d8 + 20)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6, Medicine +6, Persuasion +6, Religion +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any two languages

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Divine Eminence. As a bonus action, the mystauk-inhabited priest can expend a spell slot to cause its melee weapon attacks to magically deal an extra 10 (3d6) damage to a target on a hit. This benefit lasts until the end of the turn. If the mystauk-inhabited priest expends a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for each level above 1st.

Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited priest can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited priest has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the preist is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited priest can cast acid splash at-will. It’s spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (spell save DC 14).

Spellcasitng. The mytauk-inhabited priest is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spell casting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). The mystauk-inhabited priest has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at-will): lightsacred flamethaumaturgy

1st level (4 slots): cure wounds, guiding bolt, sanctuary

2nd level (3 slots): lesser restorationspiritual weapon

3rd level (2 slots): dispel magic, spirit guardians

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Mystauk-Inhabited Thug

Medium humanoid (any race), neutral evil


Armor Class 15 (leather armor)

Hit Points  42 (5d8 + 20)

Speed  30 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4) 19 (+4)

Skills Deception +6, Intimidation +6

Senses passive Perception 14

Languages any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 1 (200 XP)


Mystauk Communication. The mystauk-inhabited thug can sense and communicate telepathically with any other mystauk-inhabitied creature within 30 feet.

Mystauk Deception. The mystauk-inhabited thug has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to convince others the thug is not mystauk-inhabited.

Mystauk Spell. The mytauk-inhabited thug can cast fire bolt at-will. Its spell casting ability is Intelligence for this spell (+6 to hit).

Pack Tactics. The mystauk-inhabited thug has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the mystauk-inhabited thug’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

Actions

Multiattack. The mystauk-inhabited knight makes two melee attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Heavy Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 4) piercing damage.

So what do you think? Do you want to use Mystauk in your game? Let me know!

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