Cerebral Hood (CR 1/2)
AC: 11 (+2 size, -3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 11
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Fort +0, Ref -1, Will +4
Speed: 5 ft., fly 20 ft. (good)
Space: 2 1/2 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +1; Grapple -11
Attack: Tail slap -1 melee
Full Attack: Tail slap -1 melee
Damage: Tail slap 1d4-4
Special Attacks: Engulf, mind blast, mind feeding
Abilities: Str 3, Dex 5, Con 11, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 14 (Ego: 15)
Special Qualities: mouth tube, symbiont traits
Feats: Improved Initiative (B); Lightning Reflexes
Skills: Concentration +5, Hide +10, Knowledge (any one) +8, Move Silently +6, Spellcraft +7, and Survival +2
Climate/Terrain: Any underground
Organization: Solitary (symbiont)
The cerebral hood resembles a small cloaker, though it has no eyes or mouth. It is a black, somewhat amorphous, leathery creature that flies slowly by undulating its body through the air. A long tail dangles from its mass, thick and heavy but also wet and tubular. Numerous spiny protrusions extend from the tail.
Cerebral hoods do not speak any language, but they understand Undercommon.
A cerebral hood attaches itself to a host by engulfing the creature's head and extending its tail into the creature's mouth and down its throat. In the throat, the tail's spiny tendrils extend to make key connections to the host body's nervous, digestive, and circulatory systems. Because it is so weak, it prefers to attack stunned or helpless beings, so it often initiates combat with its mind blast or lingers near mind flayer lairs and waits for a victim of the illithids' mind blast.
Engulf (Ex): A cerebral hood can try to wrap the head of a Medium-size or smaller creature in its body as a standard action. The hood attempts a grapple that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If it gets a hold (grapple bonus -11), the target is effectively blinded and cannot breathe. The cerebral hood immediately begins trying to insert its tail into the victim's throat, which requires another successful grapple check.
Because its grapple bonus is so poor, a cerebral hood generally attacks only stunned opponents in this manner.
Mind Blast (Su): This attack is a 60-foot cone. Anyone caught in this cone must succeed on a Will save (DC 17) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. Each time the cerebral hood uses this ability, it deals 1 point of Intelligence damage to the host.
A cerebral hood without a host has a weaker mind blast. The cone is only 15 feet long, the save DC is only 13, and targets who fail their saves are stunned for only 1 round.
Mind Feeding (Su): A cerebral hood survives by consuming its host's mental energy. This deals 1 point of Intelligence damage each day the hood remains attached. Ordinarily, the host regains 1 lost point of Intelligence each night, just before the cerebral hood drains a new point, keeping the host at an equilibrium point of -1 to its base Intelligence. When the cerebral hood uses its mind blast, however, it deals extra Intelligence damage, so overuse of that special attack can eventually destroy the host's mind.
Blindsight (Ex): A cerebral hood is blind, but its entire body is a primitive sensory organ that can ascertain prey by scent and vibration. This ability enables it to discern objects and creatures within 60 feet. The cerebral hood usually does not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice creatures within range of its blindsight. A cerebral hood attached to a host shares its sensory input with the host, conferring blindsight on the host.
Mouth Tube (Ex): A cerebral hood joins its host by extending its tail through the creature's mouth and down its throat. The host no longer needs to eat or breathe, since the cerebral hood supplies it with oxygen and nutrients through a tube in its tail. The host is immune to gases, including inhaled diseases and poisons, and is not at risk from starvation or dehydration as long as it has Intelligence for the cerebral hood to feed upon.
Telepathy (Su): A cerebral hood can communicate telepathically with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.
Skills: A cerebral hood has a ±4 racial bonus on Move silently checks.
Symbiont Traits: When joined with a host, a symbiont gains a number of benefits. It acts on its host's turn each round, regardless of its own initiative modifier. It is not flat-footed unless its host is, and it is aware of any danger its host is aware of.
If a symbiont is grafted onto a visible part of the host creature's body, opponents can attack the symbiont itself instead of its host creature. This works the same way as attacking an object: The symbiont gains the benefit of the host's Dexterity modifier to AC instead of its own, and gains any deflection bonus to AC the host has as well. Its own size modifier and natural armor bonus, if any, apply. Attacking a symbiont instead of its host provokes an attack of opportunity from the host.
A symbiont never takes damage from attacks directed at the host. Like a worn magic item, a symbiont is usually unaffected by spells that damage the host, but if the host rolls a 1 on its saving throw, the symbiont is one of the "items" that can be affected by the spell. A symbiont uses its host's base saving throw bonuses if they are better than its own.
Share Spells (Su): Any spell the host creature casts on itself automatically also affects the symbiont. Additionally, the host may cast a spell with a target of "Self" on the symbiont instead of on itself. Likewise, a symbiont can choose to have any spell or spell-like ability it uses on itself also affect the host creature, and may cast a spell with a target of "Self" on its host instead of on itself. The host and symbiont can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the host or symbiont's type. Spells targeted on the host by another spellcaster do not affect the symbiont, and vice versa.