A dream killer is able to enter a creature’s dreams, through its dreamscapes, or by dealing damage to the creature. Sages debate if dream killers are the result of individuals trapped in a nightmarish dreamscape until they absorb its power, or dream figments of particularly powerful entities that gain independent life. It’s been said that if the gods dream, dream killers are their unpleasant nightmares, banished to the reality of mere mortals.
Creating a Dream Killer
Any creature that is not mindless can be a dream killer.
Alignment: Always chaotic. While most dream killers are evil, the only hard rule of their alignments is that no creatures made partially of dreamstuff can be anything but chaotic in thinking and outlook.
Type: The creature gains the (outsider) subtype. It is affected by anything that affects outsiders, but is also still treated as being of its original type. In a dreamscape (any dreamscape), it is treated as a native outsider.
Saves: The dream killer gains a +2 bonus to all its saving throws.
Defensive Abilities: The dream killer gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC. (If it already has a deflection bonus to AC, it instead increases that bonus by +2). When in a dreamscape, it also gains SR equal to its CR +10, and DR equal to half its CR. The DR is bypassed by a different material each time the dream killer enters a dreamscape (roll 1d10: 1-3: cold iron, 4: silver or mithral, 5: adamantine, 6: wood, 7-8: mundane iron and steel, 9-10: natural or unarmed weapons), and the dream killer itself does not know what this material is until a foe damages it with such a weapon. An appropriate Knowledge check to identify a dream killer within a dreamscape always reveals what currently bypasses its CR if the check’s DC is exceeded by 5 or more.
Special Abilities: A dream killer gains the following abilities:
Dreamscape Mark (Su)
A dream killer can mark a creature in the waking world and then choose to enter that creature’s dreams. As a standard action the dream killer can attempt to mark any creature it sees. The target must make a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 dream killer’s final CR, + dream killer’s Charisma bonus) or be marked. A target does not notice anything on a failed save, and even on a successful save only a vague chill runs down the target’s spine. A dream killer can have only a single creature marked at a time, and marking a new creature causes any old mark to end.
Anytime after being marked if the target goes to sleep the dream killer is aware of it, and can choose to physically enter the target’s dreamscape automatically (leaving no body behind). The dream killer can remain in the dreamscape as long as the target sleeps, and nothing that occurs within the dreamscape wakes the target. Upon entering the dreamscape the dream killer can set it to any type of terrain (and any theme within that terrain – so urban terrain could be a ruined church, the dreamer’s hometown, or a vast city where everything is made of rust and rot). Random encounters appropriate to that terrain type may be encountered (generally with a CR equal to the target’s level -2), but they are neither directly selected nor controlled by the dream killer.
If a living creature is asleep and in skin-to-skin contact with the target of a dreamscarred mark when the dream killer pulls the target into a dreamscape, the touching creature must make the same Will save or also be pulled in. A creature may choose to intentionally fail this save, even though it is asleep.
A dream killer reduced to 50% or fewer of its hit points can leave its target’s dreamscape as a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. If it is damaged during this action, the action fails.
A creature knocked unconscious by a dream killer in a dreamscape gains a negative level, as if it had been returned to life by a raise dead spell. A creature killed by a dream killer in a dreamscape is dead. Dream killers feed on the life energy of those they injure or kill in dreamscapes.
Recurring Dream (Su)
A dream killer can find any other resident of a dreamscape it knows of (including a creature it has targeted with a dreamscape mark) in 6d10 minutes, no matter what precautions are taken. Only a miracle or wish can prevent it.
Nightmarish Attacks (Su)
A dream killer can morph its form to grant it oversized fangs, enormous calloused fists, long bladed fingernails, or nearly any other form of natural attack it can think of. It can choose to use a natural attack that deals damage as a longsword one size larger than the dream killer, and may choose to have this attack deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage at will. These are magic attacks for the purpose of penetrating DR. The dream killer may have up to three such natural attacks, but in a round it uses any nightmarish attacks it cannot make more than three total attacks. It also gains a +2 bonus to all attack rolls.
Nightmarish Potency (Su)
The save DC of any spell or ability the base creature has that are used by a dream killer is increased by +2.
Pathways Bestiary (c) 2017, Rite Publishing LLC.; Author: Steven D. Russell.