Mindshredder Zenthal (CR 8)

Medium Aberration
Alignment: Usually lawful evil
Initiative: +3 (Dex); Senses: darkvision 60 ft., , thought sense 60 ft., Listen +7, and Spot +7
Languages: Common and Undercommon

AC: 25 (+3 Dex, +8 natural, +4 shield), touch 13, flat-footed 22
Hit Dice: 13d8+26 (84 hp)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +11
Speed: 40 ft.
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +9; Grapple +8
Attack: Tentacle +12 melee touch
Full Attack: 2 tentacles +12 melee touch
Damage: tentacle 1d4 Wis
Special Attacks/Actions: Spell-like abilities, Wisdom damage
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 18
Special Qualities: shield of force
Feats: Ability Focus (confusion); Ability Focus (hypnotic pattern); Iron Will; Quicken Spell-Like Ability (hypnotic pattern); Weapon Finesse
Skills: Concentration +18, Intimidate +20, Jump +3, Listen +7, and Spot +7
Advancement: By character class
Climate/Terrain: Underground
Organization: Solitary or troop (1 zenthal plus 2-5 mindshredder warriors)
Treasure/Possessions: None

Source: Monster Manual III

Shield of Force (Su): A magical shield of force protects a mindshredder zenthal at all times. This shield grants the zenthal a +4 shield bonus to AC (even against incorporeal touch attacks, since it is a force effect) and negates magic missile attacks directed at it (just as a shield spell does).

Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day - confusion (DC 20), hypnotic pattern (DC 18). Caster level 13th.

Thought Sense (Su): Like the larva and the warrior, a mindshredder zenthal is sensitive to the thought emanations of living creatures. A mindshredder zenthal's thought sense functions out to a distance of 60 feet.

Wisdom Damage (Su): A mindshredder zenthal's tentacles deal 1d4 points of Wisdom damage each time it hits a living creature with a melee touch attack.

If a mindshredder zenthal grapples an opponent, that opponent takes an extra 1d4 points of Wisdom damage at the beginning of each of the zenthal's turns.

For each point of Wisdom damage that a mindshredder zenthal deals, it heals 2 hit points of damage. If a mindshredder zenthal is already at its maximum hit point total, it gains 2 temporary hit points for each point of Wisdom damage it deals. These temporary hit points last for a maximum of 1 hour.

Tactics Round-By-Round

A mindshredder zenthal is most effective when it can divide and distract the party with its spell-like abilities and then attack one creature at a time.

Prior to Combat: A mindshredder zenthal knows that it has little chance of hurting creatures immune to both mind-affecting abilities and ability score damage. When confronted by such creatures in the presence of minions or allies, it directs those minions and allies to concentrate on such foes first. If it encounters such creatures alone, a mindshredder zenthal does not hesitate to flee.

Round 1: Quickened hypnotic pattern, confusion on the largest concentration of creatures not affected by the hypnotic pattern.

Round 2: Quickened hypnotic pattern. If most creatures are affected by either confusion or one of the two hypnotic patterns, advance and attack the creature that is likely to have the lowest Wisdom.

Round 3: If more than one foe is unaffected by spell-like abilities, confusion. If (after the second confusion) facing only one creature not under the effect of confusion or hypnotic pattern, continue fighting; otherwise, retreat.

A mindshredder zenthal is a far more intelligent and sophisticated antagonist than its lesser mindshredder brethren. Where the larva and warrior incarnations of the mindshredder rush headlong into battle, a zenthal uses its spell-like abilities to distract and confuse its foes before entering melee. When possible, zenthals gather groups of warrior and larva mindshredders around them, directing the efforts of these simpler creatures and benefiting from the physical protection that they offer. Although zenthals are willing to sacrifice lesser mindshredders to save themselves, they are genuinely interested in preserving the species and do not throw away the lives of any mindshredder needlessly.