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Nightmare Creature

by Jamie Baty

IM 43
Nightmare creatures are life forms that live in the Demiplane of Nightmares- a space comprised of the third, fourth, and fifth dimension of Nightmare- and perceive the five dimensions in a way exactly opposite to the human viewpoint. One such creature is the malfera, another is the diabolus. Beings normally found on the Prime and other planes are referred to as Normals for they live in Normal space comprised of the first three dimensions.
The Demiplane of Nightmares is out of phase with the normal planes, but does border the portions of the Ethereal Plane near the Dreamlands and Spirit Realm. It also possesses a very weak and thin border with the Far Realms (or Void at DM's discretion). It is through this border that the Demiplane is twisted from normal reality.
Nightmare creatures are viewed by Normals as horrible, malevolent beings. Some Immortals share this view, but the feeling is by no means universal, and the diaboli are a noteworthy exception to the general rule. The Nightmare creatures view all mortal normals and most Immortals with much the same horror. Some Nightmare creatures are indeed evil, but some are good, and most are neutrally motivated.
Alignment applies to these the same as it does to Normals, though the Nightmare beings' views of order/disorder are again opposite to the views of Normals. They find Chaos to be the natural disorder of all things, and believe Law to be unnatural and often with evil motivation. Among Nightmare beings, the different viewpoints of behaviour and motivation occur in much the same proportions as they do in Normals.
All Nightmare creatures are poisonous to Normals. Nightmare creatures are not poisonous to Immortals, and the reverse applies as well.
When a wish or other powerful magic is used to force a Nightmare creature into the dimensional space of Normals, the victim must make a successful Will saving throw vs. DC 20 or go insane. If it fails, the creature becomes uncontrollable, ignores all attempts at communication, and will automatically attack everyone around it, always fighting to the death.

Creating a Nightmare Creature
Nightmare Creature is an acquired template that can be added to any creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A Nightmare creature uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: Creature's type and size remains the same. It gains the Chaotic and Extraplanar subtypes.
Hit Dice: Same as base creature.
Speed: Same as base creature.
Armour Class: Same as base creature.
Base Attack/Grapple: Same as base creature..
Attack: A Nightmare creature maintains all of the attacks it possessed as a normal creature.
Full Attack: A Nightmare creature maintains all of the attacks it possessed as a normal creature.
Damage: Attack damage remains the same, but every natural attack also inflicts poison damage..
Special Attacks: A Nightmare creature maintains all of the special attacks it possessed as a normal creature, with the following adjustments:
Poison: A Nightmare creature's natural attacks can poison their victim. A failed Fort save vs a DC= 10+ 1/2 HD + Con modifier causes the victim to be sickened for 2d4 rounds as initial damage. The poison deals 1d2 Con damage as secondary damage.
Special Qualities: A Nightmare creature's special qualities are identical to those of the base creature, with the following adjustments:
Darkvision 60ft. If the creature already possesses darkvision, its range is increased 30ft.
Twisted Resistance: A Nightmare creature is by nature resistant to normal magic and effects. They receive a +2 bonus to all spells and spell-like effects.
Saves: Remains the same.
Abilities: Remains the same.
Skills: Same as base creature, with the following exception: they gain a +8 bonus to all Intimidate checks, and have a -4 penalty to all Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Perform and Sense Motive checks.
Feats: Same as base creature.
Environment: Demiplane of Nightmares
Organisation: Solitary in Normal Planes,
Challenge Rating: +1
Treasure: Same as base creature's treasure.
Alignment: Lawful becomes Chaotic, Chaotic becomes Lawful, otherwise the same as the base creature.
Advancement: Same as base creature.
Level Adjustment: Same as base creature.

Example Nightmare Creature
Nightmare Gerbil
Diminutive Animal (Chaotic, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 1/4d8+1 (2 hp)
Initiative: +4 (+4 Dex)
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 20ft
Armour Class: 18 (+4 size, +4 Dex), touch 18, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: 0 /-16
Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d2 -4 plus poison)
Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d2 -4 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 1 ft. /0 ft.
Special Attacks: Double damage against organic objects, poison
Special Qualities: Chaotic Traits, Darkvision 60ft, Low-light vision, Twisted Resistance
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will -1
Abilities: Str 3, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 8, Cha 4
Skills: Climb +12, Hide +16, Intimidate +5, Listen +15, Move Silently +5, Spot +3*
Feats: Alertness, Weapon Finesse (B)
Environment: Demiplane of Nightmares
Organisation: Solitary, Pair, Family (2-5), or Nest (5-20)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 1/2 - 1 HD (Diminutive)
Level Adjustment: -

These small rodents are twisted versions of their normal cousins and usually found on the Demiplane of Nightmares. If you see one on the Prime, it was likely summoned by powerful magic (the caster of which is likely to be in a bad mood)

Combat
These creatures will flee from anything perceived as a threat. They can defend themselves with their bite.

Poison (Ex): A Nightmare gerbil's bite attack can poison their victim. A failed Fort save vs a DC12 (Con based) causes the victim to be sickened for 2d4 rounds as initial damage. The poison deals 1d2 Con damage as secondary damage.

Chaotic Traits: Any natural attack and/or wielded weapon is treated as chaotic-aligned for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Double Damage Against Organic Objects (Ex): A Nightmare gerbil that makes a full attack against an organic object (wood, fabric, leather, etc...) deals double damage.

Twisted Resistance (Ex): A Nightmare gerbil is by nature resistant to normal magic and effects. They receive a +2 bonus to all spells and spell-like effects.

Skills: A Nightmare gerbil has a +12 racial bonus to all Listen checks. A Nightmare gerbil has a +8 racial bonus to Climb checks. A Nightmare gerbil can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. They can use either their Strength or Dexterity modifier for Climb checks, whichever is higher. As a Nightmare creature, it has a +8 bonus to all intimidate checks, and a -4 penalty to all Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Perform, and Sense Motive checks. *A Nightmare gerbil has a +4 racial bonus to all Spot checks under nighttime conditions.