All ghouls gain more than sustenance from feasting on the flesh and bones of the dead. The eerie act of digesting the flesh of thinking people implants fragments of memories and lore in the feasting ghoul’s mind. In most cases, these memories are ephemeral, like dreams remembered through a haze of pleasant euphoria, with certain key elements periodically coming into sharp focus as the ghoul concentrates.
These glimpses into the memories and knowledge of the dead are not enough for the necrophage, whose techniques are available only to ghoul rogues or alchemists. Rogues who take this archetype reject the study of tactical anatomy in favor of this more esoteric pursuit.
While a necrophage isn’t required to take the Erudite Feaster feat, some of the archetype’s abilities expand upon that feat.
Feast on Memories (Su)
A necrophage can maintain more insight bonuses from the feast on flesh ghoul ability. The necrophage’s maximum number of insight bonuses increases to half his rogue level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence modifier.
This ability replaces trapfinding.
Feed on Living Thought (Su)
Although a necrophage prefers the flavor of dead meat and dry bone, he can also absorb fragments of the minds of living creatures he damages with his bite attack. A number of times per day equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier, a necrophage may feed on living thought; he must choose to activate this ability when he attempts a bite attack against a living foe as part of the action taken to make the bite attempt. If he misses, that use of feed on living thought is wasted.
If he hits, his bite inflicts an additional 1d6 points of damage. This bonus damage increases by 1d6 at every odd-numbered level, to a maximum of 10d6 points of extra damage at 19th level. This additional damage is the result of wracking psychic pain caused by the bite attack, and is a mind-affecting effect. A creature bitten is also sickened for 1 round. Rogue talents and other abilities that add to sneak attack also add to feed on living thought.
When the necrophage successfully feeds on living thought, he gains the benefits of his feed on flesh ability. Alternately, he may attempt to extract a specific bit of information or knowledge from the target, as if he had used detect thoughts to successfully scan the creature’s surface thoughts. The target makes a saving throw against DC = 10 + 1/2 the necrophage’s class level + the necrophage’s Constitution modifier. If it succeeds, any insight bonuses granted by feed on flesh are halved and no specific information or knowledge is gained from the target.
This ability replaces sneak attack.
Consume Likeness (Su)
A necrophage gains the ability to assume the likeness of a corpse that closely approximates the creature as it appeared in life. This is a cosmetic change and grants no additional abilities to the necrophage.
Expanded Palate (Ex)
At 2nd level, the necrophage selects a creature type other than humanoid; he can now gain the benefits of feed on flesh when he consumes bodies of that creature type, rather than just humanoid creatures. The creature on which he feeds must still have a body of flesh and bone. Most oozes don’t provide the proper sustenance due to their mindlessness. Constructs composed of decayed meat or the like (such as a flesh golem) can be consumed, but most constructs are not appropriate meals due to their lack of intellect. Many necrophages enjoy selecting undead; while skeletal undead can provide enough sustenance, incorporeal undead leave nothing to consume.
At 5th level, and then again at 8th level, the necrophage selects another creature type to add to his list of potential meals.
At 10th level, all creatures of flesh and bone can provide benefits to the necrophage.
This ability replaces the rogue talent gained at 2nd level.
Swift Feeding (Ex)
At 3rd level, a necrophage can now use his feed on flesh ability as a full round action, rather than requiring 1d4 minutes to feed on the corpse to gain benefits.
Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos, © 2017, Petersen Games; Authors: Sandy Petersen, Arthur Petersen, Ian Starcher.