Puppeteer (CR 1)
Alignment: Usually lawful evil
Initiative: +4 (Dex); Senses: blindsight, Listen +7, and Spot +7
AC: 22 (+8 size, +4 Dex), touch 22, flat-footed 18
Hit Dice: 1/16d8 (1 hp)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3
Speed: 5 ft.
Space: 1/2 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +0; Grapple -21
Attack: Bite +3 melee
Full Attack: Bite +3 melee
Damage: Bite 1d2-5
Special Attacks/Actions: Psionics, thrall
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 19, Con 11, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 14
Special Qualities: psionics, host protection
Feats: Psychic Bastion
Skills: Hide +24, Listen +7, and Spot +7
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary or pack (2-8)
Psionics (Sp): At will brain lock, glide, and lesser domination. These abilities are as the powers manifested by a 16th-level psion.
Attack/Defense Modes (Sp): At will - ego whip/mental barrier.
Thrall (Sp): If a puppeteer successfully dominates a victim seven times, the final effect is permanent, bonding the host to the puppeteer as thrall manifested by an 18th-level psion.
Blindsight (Ex): A puppeteer can ascertain creatures by non-visual means within 60 feet.
Host Protection (Ex): An attached puppeteer uses its host's base saving throw bonuses if they're better than its own. Furthermore, only psionic powers, spells, and effects that specify the host's type can affect the puppeteer; thus, effects that target vermin can't affect a puppeteer riding a humanoid.
Feats: Puppeteers gain Psychic Bastion as a bonus feat.
Puppeteers use their psionic powers to dominate potential hosts. Once in control, a puppeteer almost exclusively relies on the host's mental and physical abilities, although it may use its own psionic powers to enhance their effectiveness in a particularly dangerous situation. Puppeteers are most commonly encountered secretly riding a host, so their presence is not obvious to most opponents.
Puppeteers are psionic parasites that vicariously experience the lives of their victims by taking control of their minds.
A puppeteer resembles a 4-inch-long, dark brown leech with no definable anatomy or sense organs. Once one establishes control over a victim (now called a host), it attaches to the host's skin in a spot hidden by fur, hair, or clothing. It draws nutrients from the host's blood, but since it is so small, its requirements are minimal. Only when twenty or more puppeteers ride a single host - a rare occurrence - is there direct risk to the host's health.
Puppeteers seek to secretly infect the societies of other creatures and take control of them so as to have a continuous supply of bodies. They do not speak except when directing a host body to do so.