Welcome to Monster Monday!
Each week we present a new monster for Starjammer, and occasionally other games as well. This week we bring you the Memetic Mindworm, a song that you can’t get out of your head.
A leech with a humanoid face slides forward, the face flickering like a crystallized memory, singing a catchy tune that seems as alien as it does familiar.
Memetic Mindworm CR 1
1/day—suggestion (castable on host only)
Str 7, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 16
Base Atk +0; CMB -2; CMD 7
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Climb +11, Perception +5, Perform (sing) +10, Stealth +7; Racial Modifiers +3 inherent Perform (sing)
SQ memetic possession: distraction, memetic possession: focus (Perform (sing)), memetic possession: imitate
Environment dreams, mindscapes, and planes of thought
Memetic Intrusion (Su)
A memetic creature can attempt to possess a creature as a standard action, requiring a melee touch attack. The target can resist the possession with a DC 14 will save. Memetic Possession is a mind-affecting ability.
If successful the memetic creature’s body vanishes. If later expelled, the memetic creature’s body reappears in a square adjacent to the host. While this possession continues, the host is affected by all memetic possession abilities.
A given host can only be possessed by a single memetic creature at a time. A successful intrusion destroys an already possessing memetic creature.
A memetic creature can end this intrusion as a full round action.
Memetic Possession: Focus (Su)
The memetic mindworm is an entity of a single discrete idea.
It cannot think about anything else, as its mind does not contain anything else. The mindworm’s focus gives them great ability in a single skill tied to their idea, granting the mindworm full ranks in the skill; letting the mindworm treat the skill as a class skill, and giving the mindworm a +3 inherent bonus on all checks with that skill.
The memetic mindworm shares the bonus on skill checks with its host.
Memetic Possession: Distraction (Su)
Being possessed by a memetic mindworm makes it difficult to focus on anything outside of the mindworm’s single idea. The host suffers a -2 penalty on concentration checks. Additionally, the host must make a DC 14 will save or suffer from one point of Wisdom damage each morning.
Memetic Possession: Imitate (Su)
Once per day a memetic creature’s host can attempt to spread the memetic creature to another valid host. The host must engage in conversation for a full minute, after which the victim must make a will save at (10 + 1/2 host’s HD + host’s charisma mod) or suffer from the effects of memetic intrusion from a brand new copy of the possessing memetic creature.
Upon successful propagation, roll d100, on a 100, the new memetic mindworm mutates. The gm chooses a new skill for the creature’s focus. If the host does not regularly use propagate, the memetic mindworm will attempt to use suggestion to force the host to do so.
A memetic creature is an idea come alive, and like any other living creature, it tries to spread, consuming the mental energy of those it encounters, and replicating itself from one mind to another. Seldom acting in cooperation, each individual memetic creature seeks to copy itself to as many minds as possible, erasing any possible competition. Yet even as the thought replicates itself, so it evolves and changes, eventually becoming its own competition.
The memetic mindworm is one of the simpler memetic creatures, often existing as a catchy song, or particularly clever turn of phrase, or single evocative image. Though simple, they can turn their hosts to obsession, having them constantly repeating and reimagining the song they just can’t get out of their head.
Yet not every host tries to remove their memetic parasites, some finding that despite the constant distraction the parasite helps them focus on something important to them, those who have become obsessed and possessed by a memetic mindworm often find themselves more capable in a narrow avenue of focus than those who remain untainted.
Some hosts go as far as to try and spread their mindworms to their friends and family, trying to share the great idea they had or the great song they heard some time ago. The mindworms encourage such behavior, but sometimes it comes unbidden.