What are Brain Collectors in Pathfinder 2e? A brain collector’s form evokes that of a tailless scorpion, but the pulsing brain-filled blisters that glisten along its back make them impossible to mistake for merely oversized arachnids. Baleful eyes glare from the joints on their legs, and the unsettling, intrusive whisper-thoughts they telepathically broadcast into the minds of those they seek to feed on can be interpreted as threats or promises alike.
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Table of Contents
The grotesque brain collectors, or neh-thalggus, as they call themselves, originate from worlds far beyond the known solar system, and are part of a conglomeration of hostile aliens known collectively as the Dominion of the Black. Whether driven by their own schemes or directives from sinister overlords, brain collectors arrive in living starships to harvest the brains of intelligent creatures. These aberrations draw no nutrition from brains, instead storing them for analysis and as vessels for occult magical energies.
The brain collector’s venom
On a successful attack from its jaws the victim will potentially be poisoned by Brain Collector Venom. It has a Saving Throw DC 26 Fortitude for a Maximum Duration of 6 rounds. Stage 1, 1d6 poison damage and enfeebled 1 for 1 round). Stage 2 deals 1d6 poison damage and the victim is enfeebled 1 and slowed 1 for 1 round). Finally, Stage 3 deals 2d6 poison damage, enfeebled 2, and slowed 1 for 1 round.
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What they do with stolen brains
The brain collector stores stolen brains in blisters on its body. A brain collector has seven brain blisters on its back that it uses to house stolen brains. A brain collector without all seven blisters full is stupefied with a value equal to the number of empty blisters. Adventurers can cause the brain collector to lose brains. If a brain collector takes 30 damage from a critical hit or takes 25 mental damage, it must succeed at a DC 26 save Fortitude for critical damage or Will for mental damage, or one of its brain blisters is destroyed and it is stupefied 1 for each brain lost.
The Brain Collector’s Dominion of the Black
Brain collectors typically hunt alone, yet some adopt morbid cults that include followers who hope to have their own brains harvested by these alien invaders. The Dominion of the Black includes a wide array of monstrous aliens, of which the brain collectors are merely the most commonly encountered on terrestrial worlds. Many of these aliens have affinities for stealing thoughts, inhabiting bodies, or feeding on memories—the focus on the consumption of brains and of identities suggesting disturbing truths about their coalition.
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Brain Collector adventure ideas
Abandoned Wizard’s tower
The brain collector has set up a lair in an abandoned wizard’s tower, where it has been feeding on the brains of the tower’s former residents. The players are hired by a local wizard’s guild to investigate the tower and eliminate the brain collector before it can cause any more harm.
Mysterious Kidnapping and Deaths
The brain collector has been terrorizing a nearby village, abducting villagers in the dead of night and leaving their lifeless bodies behind. The players are asked by the village elder to investigate and put an end to the brain collector’s reign of terror.
An important figure in the city has gone missing. A rival faction has hired the players to find out why no one has heard from the leader, nobleman, or magistrate in a week. After having to break into the person’s home they find signs of a fight and three guards missing their brains. Can the players determine that a brain collector has eliminated the important person? Can they survive the ruling faction’s attacks long enough to tell their employers what they know? Can they survive an attack from the brain collector itself?
I would put the front doors at the top of room 2 and use this room as a foyer for the place. I would use room 8 as a coat closet and room 1 as the servant’s quarters.
The owner of the home will live in room 6 with a study in room 5. There could be a backdoor in room 17 that could allow for food deliveries.
The brain collector cast humanoid form and met with Kethryllia the leader of the ruling faction in this city. Once they were in room 7 the brain collector attacked Kethryllia. Killing her. After the brain collector took her brain it encountered several guards and household servants. Killing each and stealing their brains before casting humanoid form and walking into the city streets.
Will your players decide to hunt the monster for their employers? Or will they just inform their bosses of what has happened? In addition, the players could be seen as the last people to enter the house and in the morning the bodies are discovered and now they must prove they didn’t kill Kethryllia and her household staff.
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About the Author:
Dwight Scull has been playing tabletop role-playing games (starting with Dungeons and Dragons 3.5) back in 2001. He started being a dungeon master around 2005.
He loves to play many different types of TTRPGs, including Pathfinder, GURPS, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension (and other White Wolf Games), Nights Black Agents, and others.
Fan of mysteries, light horror, co-op board games, true crime, sci-fi, and fantasy.