Archives of Nethys

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Maddening Influence

Source Horror Adventures pg. 173
CR 10; XP 9,600
CE free-roaming persistent variant haunt (30-ft. radiu)
Caster Level 9th
Notice Perception DC 25 (to hear whispers emerging from inside the skulls of all nearby creatures
hp 45; Weakness harmed by Knowledge (arcana, planes, or religion) DC 25 (immune to positive energy); Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day
Effect The whispers drift toward sentient beings, particularly those whose minds they have touched before. Each creature in the area must succeed at a DC 16 Will save or take 1d8 points of Wisdom damage, or 1 Wisdom damage on a successful save (or if you are using the sanity system, 1d6 points of sanity damage on a successful save or 2d8 points on a failed save; see page 12). The DC increases by 1 for each round a creature spends within the haunt’s area (these rounds need not be consecutive, though a given creature’s DC resets to 16 after 24 hours and whenever the haunt is dispersed). Each time a creature damages this haunt, it must succeed at a Will save with a DC equal to its Knowledge check result or take 1d4 Wisdom drain (or, if you are using the sanity system, 1d8 points of sanity damage on a successful save or 2d10 points on a failed save).
Destruction The haunt is destroyed if the corpses of all the cultists who created it are cremated and buried on consecrated ground.

Description

These haunts are tied to the reality-warping influence of beings beyond comprehension. The only way to hold these haunts at bay is to draw upon dark knowledge, but such knowledge comes at a cost. As a full-round action, any character within the haunt’s area can attempt an appropriate Knowledge check to perform a short rite, utter an arcane word, or otherwise quell the maddening influence (DC = 15 + the haunt’s CR). If successful, the haunt takes 5 points of damage plus additional damage equal to the amount the character exceeded the DC.

The whispers from beyond haunt detailed below is an example of a maddening influence formed at the site of a mass ritual suicide. The murmurs worm their way into the minds of all who hear them and leave lasting wounds.