Custom Monster: Daniel

This here is the first custom monster we ever created for our listeners. We did it on the spot as an answer to a question on the Help Action podcast. Daniel is special to us because not only was it the first of our custom monsters that we thought up on the show, we took the time during the show to talk about and come up with all of Daniel’s abilities for our listeners to hear. Now, finally, Daniel gets to share his home with us here on the website for everyone on the internet to see! If you are interested in hearing our process, or just listening to the episode this was featured in, you can check it out by following this link here!

Unfortunate Experiment

Mind flayers pride themselves in their grotesque experiments that they use to push the boundaries of biological and psychic torture in the effort to create terrible new lifeforms. Daniel is no exception to this. The story goes that Daniel was just another of the mind flayers’ victims, taken as a slave from somewhere and experimented on. To the illithids’ surprise, Daniel proved to be uncharacteristically resistant to their psionic torture causing them to push their experiments harder and further. Daniel’s body took on changes from the experiments but their mind was harder to break than the illithids anticipated. When they finally broke them, Daniel’s body took on its monstrous form and imbued him with the ability to dominate the minds of others, like the illithids, while becoming immune to psychic forces.

Who Is Daniel?

As they often do with their creations, the illithids developed a way to use Daniel to turn others into creatures like them by placing a part of Daniel’s psyche into another host before the conversion process. This, however, had an unseen side effect. When others are converted into these aberrations, the sliver of Daniel’s psyche completely takes over and every new Daniel adopts the same consciousness as the original and refuses to accept themselves to be anything different or go by any other name. This belief that they are the one and only Daniel, causes confusion when meeting another Daniel as they could not possibly meet themselves. Multiple Daniels meeting for the first time, if not handled carefully, can devolve into endless arguments of who really is Daniel that eventually turn into a brawl of writhing tentacles, gnashing eyeballs, and chaotic blasts of psychic energy that no one with a mind they want to keep intact should be near. Even Daniels that have known and worked with other Daniels regularly can have lapses where they forget which Daniel they are, making them accuse other Daniels of being imposters or trying to steal their life from them.

Art by Jacob Wolff of Hypocritical Troll

Dominated By Daniel

When Daniels aren’t distracted by quarreling with another Daniel, they are busy dominating the minds of creatures unfortunate enough for them to find. Daniel prefers to use its innate abilities to cast dominate spells and lure creatures away to be imprisoned for later use, or to be devoured in peace. If they are not able to dominate their prey, Daniel uses the long reach of its tentacles to pull its victims in close before releasing their psychic ink and either quickly devouring its victims or using the cover to make an escape. The unlucky ones that are taken prisoner by Daniel, are usually left alive for at least some time to see if they can be of any use. They are normally kept restrained in some sort of prison and are only allowed to come out while dominated by Daniel to do their bidding.

Let us know if you use Daniel in any of your games, we’d love to hear how it goes!

About The Author

Justin Dixon
Justin Dixon
Dix has been playing D&D for over 7 years and has been a professional dungeon master for about 3 years. He has been a featured author in multiple releases from Grim Press including Creatures of the Underdark and soon The Goblins of Beetle Hollow from Crumbling Keep. He has worked with the acclaimed pop-up tavern Orcs! Orcs! Orcs! He is the producer for the Help Action podcast and played Amelia Whiteheart on the live play podcast The Swordcast Adventures.

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