Nightmare Artist CR 16
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
Melee +24/+19/+14/+9 claws (2d6+5 slashing plus energy drain, 19-20/x2) or touch of idiocy
Special Attacks energy drain (1 level, Fort DC 23)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 21st, concentration +31)
Constant–detect thoughts (Will DC 18), spider climb, true seeing
At Will–deeper darkness, deep slumber (Will DC 21), dismissal (Will DC 22), hallucinatory terrain (Will DC 22), hold monster (Will DC 22) illusory wall (Will DC 22), major image (Will DC 21), prying eyes, shadow walk, symbol of sleep (Will DC 23), touch of idiocy (Will DC 21)
3x/day–displacement (self only), major creation, phantasmal killer (Will DC 22), plane shift, summon monster VI, wall of stone
1x/day–anti-magic field, summon monster VIII, symbol of fear (Will DC 24), symbol of insanity (Will DC 26)
Str 20, Dex 11, Con 17, Int 23, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +21; CMB +28; CMD 38 (cannot be tripped or bull rushed)
Feats Augment Summoning, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment and illusion), Greater Spell Penetration, Skill Focus (sense motive), Spell Focus (enchantment and illusion), Spell Penetration
Skills Craft (structure) +30, Bluff +31, Intimidate +28, Disguise +31, Knowledge (history, local, planes) +30, Perception +28
Languages Abyssal, truespeech
Conjure the Stuff of Nightmares (Su)
In addition to its wide selection of spell-like abilities, a nightmare artist can conjure raw, dark dream-matter with which to construct its traps and terrors. Each sunset, the nightmare artist can spend an hour shaping a nightmarestuff mansion, which is a structure of its own devising up to 20,000 sq feet (about the size of a large inn or mansion). The nightmare-stuff mansion can take any shape imaginable, subject only to the nightmare artist’s imagination and basic physical laws. This nightmare-stuff structure can be a single unit (for instance, a single, large castle or keep), or several neighboring buildings (such as a manor home and several small sheds and outbuildings). Nightmare-stuff can take a variety of forms, including resembling wood, worked stone, or even natural terrain, and is often further customized by illusion magic. Whatever the nightmarestuff’s form, it has hardness 15 and 50 hp, and is vulnerable to fire. If this substance is formed into a lock, the lock’s Break and Disable Device check DC are both DC 26.
Nightmare-stuff vanishes with the coming of dawn, and is destroyed instantly within the radius of a daylight spell. If a daylight effect has a smaller radius than the nightmare-stuff structure, only the nightmare stuff within the daylight’s radius is destroyed. Destroying a supporting or load bearing portion of a nightmarestuff structure does not cause the remaining portion of the structure to collapse or fall.
Additionally, the nightmare artist can conjure any magical or mechanical trap of CR 10 or less anywhere within the nightmarestuff structure as a full-round action. These traps are always constructed of nightmarestuff, as described above.
Lunatic, touch (Sp)
The nightmare artist can use its touch of idiocy ability as an attack action and may make multiple touches of idiocy as part of a full attack sequence. It can interchange normal attacks and touches of idiocy in any combination it desires.
Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex)
Environment any (native to planes of sleep and horror)
Treasure standard (in lair)
Nightmare artists are horrors from the depths of sleep.
These extraplanar masters of terror have little initiative of their own, and often hire themselves out as the creators of bespoke hells and sanity-destroying oubliettes. Nightmare artists understand mortal terror on an intellectual level (as they understand many things), but they themselves do not know fear. They are, as they describe themselves ‘beautifully empty’, examining the universe with a vivisectionist’s dispassion and a torturer’s mentality.
Nightmare artists feel pride in their work, and are aware of their worth to the great powers of cosmic evil, and collect impressive resumes of commission for dark gods, demonic nobles, Great Old Ones, and vile dictators both mortal and immortal.
Nightmare artists are often hired to dispose of troublesome mortal heroes by their rivals and nemeses. The creature might study a target for months, using both mundane and arcane manners of gathering intelligence, learning their victim’s deepest fears and secrets. Then, the nightmare artist constructs an elaborate and lethal maze before using its mind-clouding magic to abduct the target, and any allies, to its twisted and nightmarish vision of hell.
Merely surviving until dawn is not enough to end a contract, despite the lies the nightmare artist often tells its victim. If the victim manages to escape, the Nightmare artist will try again and again, the next night and the next, until the victim finally succumbs. The creatures are physical weaklings, and hide behind multi-layered webs of illusions, conjured nightmare-stuff traps, summoned monsters and hired minions. They never enter combat themselves unless the odds are firmly in their favor, and cannot be goaded into acts of foolhardy courage. They feel neither courage nor fear.
Nightmare artists are terrifying, deformed hybrids of elephant, wolf, and rat. The ebony beasts have half a dozen powerful legs and mighty, clawed arms surmounted by a smaller, more agile pair. The creatures stare unblinking from a single, cyclopean eye. Despite their bestial appearance, they speak with quiet, erudite voices and seemingly never lose their temper.
Nightmare artists have a preening, prissy manner, utterly confident in their own superiority and their mastery of terror.
Nemesis Unleashed Volume II. Copyright 2019, Otherverse Games. Author: Chris A. Field