Nightmare Creature Template

Dreamborn creatures warped by the corruption of the Nightmare.

“Nightmare” is an inherited template that can be added to any dreamborn creature sufficiently afflicted by the Nightmare (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A nightmare creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. If the base creature has 21 or more Hit Dice, it becomes a Nightmare Lord if it remains a nightmare for a full year (see below).

An originally good or neutral dreamborn remains a nightmare creature for 1 day per ability point reduction they suffered because of their exposure to the Nightmare. An originally evil dreamborn instead remains a nightmare creature for 1 month per ability point reduction they suffered because of their exposure to the Nightmare. After this time has passed, the dreamborn creature gains a Will save every day (DC 15+1 per day they’ve ever been a nightmare creature, including previous afflictions), returning to their former self on a successful saving throw. If the dreamborn ever rolls a natural 1 on this saving throw, the corruption sets in permanently and they receive no further saving throws.

A Remove Curse spell cast on a nightmare creature can force them back to their normal self, though the caster must succeed on a caster level check DC equal to the Will save DC the nightmare would currently need to make to return to normal. Such magics are ineffective if the creature cannot make a saving throw to remove their affliction (such as if they haven’t been corrupted for long enough, or if they rolled a natural 1 on their saving throws). However, a White Wish spell paired with a successful caster level check made against the same DC as noted above can cure a nightmare even if they cannot currently make a saving throw to remove their affliction

  • Challenge Rating: As the base creature +1
  • Type: The base creature gains the evil subtype but its type does not otherwise change
  • Alignment: Any evil, almost always chaotic.
  • Senses: A nightmare creature gains darkvision 120 feet.
  • Defensive Abilities: A nightmare creature adds Good to the requirements to overcome the damage reduction they gained from the Dreamborn template. A nightmare creature automatically disbelieves illusions (no saving throw required) and has a +4 bonus on saving throws to resist illusion effects. Nightmare creatures are immune to fear effects.

Special Attacks: The nightmare creature retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains several special attacks. Save DCs are equal to 10+1/2 the nightmare creature’s Hit Dice+its Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted. The nightmare creature’s caster level is equal to its total Hit Dice (or the caster level of the base creature’s spell-like abilities, whichever is higher).

  • Nightmare Spellcasting (Su): A nighmare creature’s effective caster level for fear spells increases by +2 over that of the base creature.
  • Fear Aura (Su): All creatures within a 60-foot radius that see or hear a nightmare creature must succeed at a Will save or be shaken for as long as they are within the aura. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same nightmare creature’s fear aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear affect.
  • Frightful Presence (Su): This ability activates when the nightmare creature charges, attacks during a surprise round, or succeeds at a DC 15 Intimidate or Perform check. Its frightful presence has a range of 30 feet.
  • Night Terrors (Su): Once a nightmare creature enters a target’s dream, it can attempt to dominate that dream. If the target fails a Will saving throw, it remains asleep and trapped in the dream world with the nightmare creature. Thereafter, the nightmare creature controls all aspects of the dream. Each hour that passes, the target can attempt another saving throw to try to awaken. The target takes 1 point of Charisma damage each hour it is trapped in the dream; if it takes any Charisma damage, it is fatigued and unable to regain arcane spells for the next 24 hours. The target dies if this Charisma damage equals or exceeds its actual Charisma score. Unlike many effects that target dreaming creatures, any damage or death that results from this ability carry over into the waking world. Dispel Evil cast on the subject of this ability must overcome the nightmare’s spell resistance, but if successful it causes the target to awaken. Whenever the target of night terrors awakens while the ability is still active, it causes the nightmare creature to be stunned for 10 minutes per hour the target was subjected to night terrors, and prevents the nightmare creature from using night terrors against that creature for 24 hours.

Special Abilities

Abilities: Dexterity +2, Charisma +2

Skills: A nightmare creature gains a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate and Stealth checks and both are treated as class skills

Nightmare Lords

Nightmare lords are especially powerful nightmare creatures who typically live and travel within the Nightmare itself. They rule over lesser nightmare creatures in bizarre puppet courts staffed by the maddened and soul-shriveled husks of kidnapped dreamers. They have all the abilities of nightmare creatures, plus the following.

  • Challenge Rating: As the base creature +1
  • Type: Unchanged
  • Alignment: Almost always Neutral Evil. Nightmare lords balance an innate chaos with a twisted sense of order.
  • Senses: A nightmare lord treats darkness and magical darkness as normal lightning.
  • Defensive Abilities: A nightmare lord adds Epic to the requirements to overcome the damage reduction they gained from the Dreamborn template.

Special Attacks: The nightmare creature retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains several special attacks. Save DCs are equal to 10+1/2 the nightmare creature’s Hit Dice+its Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted. The nightmare creature’s caster level is equal to its total Hit Dice (or the caster level of the base creature’s spell-like abilities, whichever is higher).

  • Dream Slave (Su): Instead of killing a target with its night terror ability, a nightmare lord may instead enslave it with a permanent dominate monster effect. The enslaved creature is healed of all Charisma damage taken from night terrors. A creature so enslaved may be moved from their own dream as if they were a dreamwalker and remains on the Dreamscape even if their physical body dies. When a nightmare lord dies, all of their dream slaves effects immediately end.
  • Nightmare Magic (Su): The nightmare lord gains a +4 bonus to the DCs of its spells and spell-like abilities of the phantasm or shadow subschools, or with the fear descriptor. The nightmare lord reduces any fortification against these effects an enemy may possess by 25%.

Special Abilities

Abilities: Dexterity +2, Charisma +4

Nightmare Creature Template

Skies of Glass Planeswalker