Red Steel (Mystara)

Symbiont, Shadow


Symbiont, Shadow
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:See below
Intelligence:Very (11-12)
No. Appearing:1d4
Armor Class:10/2
Hit Dice:1/8
No. of Attacks:0/2
Special Attacks:Energy drain
Special Defenses:Hit only by +1 or better magical weapons
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:T (1-3’)/M (5’ tall at the shoulder)
Morale:Steady (11-12)/Champion (15-16)
XP Value:120/5000

Shadow symbionts are mysterious creatures from the Plane of Shadows. Each of these creatures can take one of four different shapes: a black scarf, a cloak, a pair of boots, or a set of gloves. Each symbiont appears as a finely crafted item, automatically adapting to the wearer’s size and shape when worn. These creatures do not give off a magical aura. The creature’s statistics are given for both the Prime Material Plane and the Plane of Shadows.

When worn, these creatures begin to feed on the wearer’s energy (in the form of experience points). In exchange, they grant the wearer special benefits.

The Mask: Appears as a black bandanna or scarf, which should be worn on the head. When the wearer concentrates, the scarf makes him immune to mind-affecting magic. Cost: 20 XPs per use, times the wearer’s level.

The Cloak: This large black cloak absorbs all magical damage that would otherwise send the wearer below zero hit points. It only protects from magic that affects hit points. Cost: 10 XPs per point of damage absorbed, times the wearer’s level.

The Gloves: This symbiont appear to be a pair of fine leather gloves. They allow the equivalent of the Luck Legacy (re-roll failed saving throw or ability check), limited to actions involving the wearer’s hands. Cost: 20 XPs per use, times the wearer’s level.

The Boots: These fine, knee-high leather boots allow the wearer to cast dimension door. They also can lead the wearer’s steps into situations likely to earn experience (which could be either good or bad for the wearer; this ability costs nothing). The latter ability does not affect the wearer’s decision-making ability. Cost: 10 XPs per use, times the wearer’s level.

Combat: These creatures can only be harmed by magical spells or by +1 or better magical weapons. All damage caused to the symbionts also affects the wearer. If an attempt is made to kill them, they plane shift to the Plane of Shadows (with the wearer) rather than face destruction.

A wearer who does not gain enough new XPs to feed the symbiont must attempt a saving throw vs. spell. If it is successful, the symbiont leaves (melting away into a deep shadow) after leeching three times the “missing” XPs. If the saving throw fails, the symbiont plane shifts to the Plane of Shadows, taking the host with it. Once it reaches the Plane of Shadows, the symbiont attempts to devour the wearer.

In the Plane of Shadows, each symbiont appears as a shadowy humanoid of indistinct shape with red eyes. Each successful attack by the shadow symbiont also drains 10% of a level’s worth of experience and 1 point of either Constitution or Strength (equal chance) from the victim.On the Plane of Shadows, each symbiont also gains a special ability. The mask cannot be affected by mind-affecting magic, the cloak subtracts 8 points of damage from each attack inflicted on it, the gloves behave as if they had the Luck Legacy, and the boots can cast dimension door once per round (as an 8th-level mage).

Habitat/Society: These sentient creatures seek adventurous people, like swashbucklers. The symbionts feel incomplete if separated from each other and will always try to influence their wearer to find the missing symbionts.

Ecology: While the shadow symbionts have little impact on the ecology as a whole, they have dramatic effects on individuals.

Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:05:12 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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