Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter a fleshspurned without modifying its challenge rating.
Fleshburned. If a creature strikes the fleshspurned with an unarmed strike, it rolls its unarmed strike damage twice. The second roll is psychic damage. A corporeal creature that merely touches the fleshspurned inflicts 2 (1d4) psychic damage to the fleshspurned.
The fleshspurned gains immunity to one of the following types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder.
Frightful Chatter. The fleshspurned clashes its oversize teeth together to create a menacing din. Each creature within 30 feet of the fleshspurned must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. Incorporeal undead are not immune to the frightened condition inflicted by the fleshspurned’s chatter. A frightened creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to the fleshspurned’s Frightful Chatter for the next 24 hours.
The fleshspurned loses its Chatter action. Alternatively, it retains its Chatter action, but it’s modified to recharge on 4–6 while Frightful Chatter also recharges on 4–6.
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic items and spells are inspired by abilities possessed by a fleshspurned.
Wondrous item, uncommon
This bony jaw holds oversized rotten teeth that sweat ectoplasm. The teeth have 3 charges. While holding them, you can use an action and expend 1 charge to cause them to clatter together. Each creature of your choice in a 30-foot radius extending from you must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be confused for 1 minute. While confused, the creature acts as if under the effects of the confusion spell. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
The teeth regain 1d3 expended charges daily at dusk.
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)
This mask, featuring inhumanly sized teeth, has a strap fashioned from entwined strands of sinew. It fits easily over your face with no need to manually adjust the strap. While wearing the mask, you gain a bite attack that deals 1d6 necrotic damage on a hit.
Once attuned, the mask forces the target of your attack, if it is not an undead or a construct, to succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become incorporeal for 1 minute. An incorporeal creature gains the Incorporeal Movement trait, allowing it to move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. The creature takes 1d10 force damage if it ends its turn inside an object. If the target already has the Incorporeal Movement trait, you instead inflict 2d6 necrotic damage with a successful bite attack. This necrotic damage bypasses resistance or immunity to necrotic damage possessed by such creatures. If you kill a creature with your bite attack, you gain temporary hit points equal to double the creature’s challenge rating (minimum of 1).
Curse. This mask is cursed. Becoming attuned to it and using it to damage a creature extends the curse to you. As long as you remain cursed, you are unwilling to part with the mask, and you wear it at all times. You also have disadvantage on attack rolls with weapons other than the mask. Finally, if 8 hours pass where you don’t damage a creature by using the mask, you become incorporeal until you do. When you become incorporeal as a result of this curse, you have a 10% chance of encountering a fleshspurned, attracted to your plight.
4th-level transmutation (sorcerer, wizard)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a fleshspurned’s tooth)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
When casting this spell, you target an incorporeal creature within range. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or become corporeal as you become incorporeal. For the duration, the target becomes corporeal, losing its Incorporeal Movement trait and any resistances to acid, cold, fire, lightning, and thunder damage as well as resistances to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks. You gain the resistances the target loses.
3rd-level necromancy (cleric, sorcerer, warlock, wizard)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute
A ghostly pale ray springs from your finger to a target you can see within range. If the target is an incorporeal creature, it must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 4d6 necrotic damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one. This damage bypasses the target’s resistance or immunity to necrotic damage. If the target failed its save, at the beginning of each of the target’s turns, it must succeed on another Constitution saving throw or take 4d6 necrotic damage, bypassing resistance or immunity as above. On a success, the spell ends.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd.
Fleshspurned Adventure Hooks
- A necromancer hopes to capture a fleshspurned and has learned the location of one, haunting a catacomb a few days’ travel from here. She provides her agents with a silver-lined urn she believes will contain the creature and promises a sizeable reward for its return.
- People devoured by a devil shark (see Creature Codex) return as fleshspurned and haunt their former homes to torment and kill their friends and neighbors. Though killing the devil shark puts an immediate end to the problem, the waters now carry an insidious curse, allowing subsequent local predators that swallow their prey whole to create more fleshspurned.
If you’ve got a favorite from Tome of Beasts 2, please let me know in the comments or elsewhere in the kobold warrens, and I’ll make sure to add it to the queue.
The Tome Unbound series fleshes out monsters from the Tome of Beasts 2, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign.