Previews for October and Beyond
See What's "In the Works"

Brain in a Jar

Tiny Undead
Hit Dice: 3d12 (19 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: Fly 30 ft. (8 squares) (good)
Armor Class: 13 (+2 Dex, +1 deflection), touch 13, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: --/--
Attack: --
Full Attack: --
Space/Reach: 1 ft./--
Special Attacks: Mind thrust, psionics, rebuke undead 6/day (+5, 2d6+6, 3rd)
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., madness, telepathy, undead traits, +4 turn resistance
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +6
Abilities: Str --, Dex 14, Con --, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 16
Skills: Bluff +9, Diplomacy +9, Knowledge (history) +9, Knowledge (psionics) +9, Knowledge (religion) +9, Listen +9, Spot +9
Feats: Alertness, Iron Will
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Advancement: 4-9 HD (Tiny)
Level Adjustment: --

Something gray and shriveled sloshes within a grimy glass canister -- a disembodied brain afloat in alchemical preservatives.

The brain in a jar is a masterpiece of preservation -- but where alchemical preservatives leave off, necromancy picks up. An animate brain in a jar is, in truth, an undead creature. Additionally, possibly because it is free of the need to worry about controlling and animating an entire body, a brain in a jar possesses potent mental powers.

Of course, merely removing the brain of a zombie or some other undead creature and storing it in alchemical preservatives is not enough to create an undead brain with psionic ability. The ritual of extraction, the spells of formulation, and the alchemical recipes of preservation are closely guarded secrets held by only a few master necromancers.

The creation of a brain in a jar is difficult and fraught with danger, because once its mental powers are fully developed, this undead creature is adept at controlling the thoughts and minds of other creatures, especially living creatures. It is not unknown for a brain in a jar to take control over the necromancer who created it.

A brain in a jar weighs about 25 pounds, which includes the weight of the glass canister and the preservative fluids.

A brain in a jar can speak telepathically to any creature within 100 feet that has a language.


A brain in a jar prefers control to direct combat, since brains in fragile glass jars can't stand too much jostling. However, when it can't stay completely clear of combat, it seeks to put off aggressors with its mind thrust ability.

Mind Thrust (Su): A brain in a jar can spend a standard action to deliver a massive assault on the thought pathways of any one creature, undermining its intellect. This mind thrust deals 2d10 points of damage to any target creature that fails a DC 14 Will save. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Su): Anyone targeting a brain in a jar with a thought detection,mind control, or any sort of telepathic or psionic ability that makes direct contact with its tortured mind takes 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

Psionics (Sp): 3/day -- suggestion (DC 16), telekinesis (DC 18); 1/day -- dominate person (DC 18). Manifester level 10th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Rebuke Undead (Su): A brain in a jar can rebuke or command undead as a cleric of the same level as the brain's HD.

Main Page

Recent Previews
Recent Articles

About Us Jobs New to the Game? Inside Wizards Find a Store Press Help Sitemap

©1995- Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use-Privacy Statement

Home > Games > D&D > Articles 
You have found a Secret Door!
Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
Email A Friend Email A Friend
Discuss This ArticleDiscuss This Article