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Animus Shade, Medusa Animus Shade

The snakes that form this spectral medusa’s hair knot and writhe, and her eyes burn with uncontrollable rage.

Medusa Animus Shade CR 9

Source Occult Bestiary pg. 6, Bestiary 6 pg. 10
XP 6,400
CE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +24
Aura mental static (30 ft., DC 16)


AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+4 deflection, +2 Dex)
hp 76 (8d10+32)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +7
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, channel resistance +4, incorporeal, mental schism; Immune undead traits


Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +10 (animus insinuation, DC 16)
Ranged rend psyche +10 touch (9d6 plus 1d6 Charisma damage, DC 18)
Special Attacks animus insinuation, corrupt intent, petrifying gaze, rend psyche


Str —, Dex 15, Con —, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 19
Base Atk +8; CMB +8; CMD 20
Feats Improved Initiative, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +10, Disguise +15, Intimidate +23, Perception +24, Stealth +13; Racial Modifiers +8 Intimidate, +12 Perception
Languages Common


Environment temperate marshes and underground
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Special Abilities

All-Around Vision (Ex) A medusa’s snake-hair allows her to see in all directions. The medusa animus shade gains a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks and cannot be flanked.

Petrifying Gaze (Su) Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 18 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.


Every intelligent mind exists as a war of aspects—primitive survival urges and base wants opposing intellectual reason and high-minded goals. Some of these aspects dominate the mind, defining a creature’s personality, while others are shackled away. Sometimes, psychic injuries can loosen these shackles, revealing aspects of a creature they normally control and hide away. When a creature dies from a psychic injury, its conscious mind may shear away, leaving only those subconscious aspects—their animus—behind. Called animus shades, these spectral undead are gripped with feral rage and lash out at the living. Individuals who engage in psychic combat are particularly prone to succumbing to this form of undeath, and their shades sometimes seek out their former opponents, not content until their one-time adversaries are slain.

Animus shades always bear a superficial resemblance to their former, living selves, but manifest in death as wild brutes, made powerful by their anger and feral by their long suffering. Animus shades’ forms appear hunched and contorted after a lifetime of being crushed beneath the weight of the dominant psyches. They sport wicked claws, overlong limbs, cracked flesh, and other nightmarish deformities reflecting the fears their living selves harbored about the dark corners of their own minds. Any gear or items they possessed appear rotted, cracked, and torn in spectral form, though they may carry ghostly versions of the weapons they used in life, deadly implements still capable of harming the living.

Most often, animus shades linger near the sites of their deaths or wander without any specific purpose. As many psychic contests occur in mindscapes or on far-flung esoteric planes, animus shades are frequently found roaming such realms, endlessly raging over the sometimes centuries-old defeats that resulted in their demises. Even when not consumed by such losses, animus shades commonly target those they happen across who remind them of the dominant selves that repressed them in life—whether because of similarities in physical appearance, personality, or activity. However, some rare animus shades possess greater clarity of focus and are gripped with the need to undo the accomplishments of their living selves, taking pleasure in destroying everything that they once loved or took pride in.

As animus shades result from psychic violence, they most commonly appear among intelligent races and beings known for mastering occult forces. Even among such races, these undead prove far more common within cultures and groups that cultivate psychic prowess—they’re well known to the people of Vudra, for instance, and have long been documented by Iroran priests. However, for the majority of the Inner Sea region’s people, they’re easy to mistake for ghosts or other undead—often to tragic ends. Fortunately, in lands that value strength over mental prowess, or in strictly martial cultures, animus shades are almost unknown. Members of races such as hobgoblins, kobolds, and orcs, which rarely give rise to psychically talented individuals, almost never rise as animus shades.

Because of the psychic violence that spawned them, animus shades rarely, if ever, cooperate. In death, even animus shades created from former allies slain by the same foe viciously strike out at each other. The mental trauma that fills them and holds them to the world scars these undead deeply, but ultimately makes them most resentful of themselves—as they know their own weakness or distraction resulted in their deaths. Much of their rage is thus pointed inward, and they take particular satisfaction in viciously unleashing their hatred on those who resemble themselves, especially if such conflicts remind them of the battles in which they died.

Creating an Animus Shade

“Animus shade” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature that has a Charisma score of at least 6 and an Intelligence score of at least 8. An animus shade retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Challenge Rating: Base creature’s CR + 2.

Alignment: Usually chaotic evil.

Type: The creature’s type changes to undead. Do not recalculate the creature’s base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. It gains the incorporeal subtype.

Senses: An animus shade gains darkvision 60 ft.

Aura: The animus shade gains a mental static aura (see page 2).

Armor Class: The animus shade gains a deflection bonus to its Armor Class equal to its Charisma modifier from the incorporeal subtype. It loses the base creature’s natural armor bonus, as well as all armor and shield bonuses not from force effects or ghost touch items.

Hit Dice: Change the base creature’s racial Hit Dice to d8s. Its class Hit Dice are unaffected. As an undead, an animus shade uses its Charisma modifier to determine its bonus hit points (instead of its Constitution modifier).

Defensive Abilities: An animus shade retains all of the defensive abilities of the base creature save those that rely on a corporeal form to function. It gains channel resistance +4, darkvision 60 feet, the incorporeal ability, and all of the immunities granted by its undead traits. An animus shade also gains the following defensive ability.

Mental Schism (Su): An animus shade’s mind is a chaotic tangle of the shredded remnants of the dominant personality that once subsumed it. This mercurial state of being is too piecemeal for alignmentbased effects to take hold. The animus shade is immune to all effects that are dependent on alignment.

Speed: An animus shade loses its previous speeds and gains a fly speed of 30 feet (perfect), unless the base creature has a better fly speed.

Attacks: An animus shade loses all of the base creature’s natural and unarmed attacks. If it wielded weapons in life, it wields ghost touch versions of those weapons as an animus shade.

Special Attacks: An animus shade retains all special attacks of the original creature that do not require a corporeal body to function. In addition, it gains the following special attacks. The save DC against an animus shade’s special attacks is equal to 10 + 1/2 the animus shade’s Hit Dice + the animus shade’s Charisma modifier. These are mind-affecting effects.

Animus Insinuation (Sp): Whenever an animus shade touches a creature, it inspires that creature’s animus to rise up and overthrow the creature’s dominant personality. This effect functions as per id insinuation IIOA if the animus shade’s CR is 7 or less or id insinuation IVOA if the animus shade’s CR is 8 or higher, except that either way, the effect only targets a single creature touched and the duration is 1 round per Hit Die of the animus shade, without the need for concentration.

Corrupt Intent (Su): An animus shade subverts the intent and willpower of its enemies, filling them with doubt and conflicting desires that play into the animus shade’s hands. Whenever a creature strikes the animus shade with a melee or ranged attack, it must succeed at a Will save or take a –1 penalty on all further attacks against the animus shade for 1d4 rounds. Each subsequent failed save against this ability by a creature already under its effect increases the total penalty by 1 and extends the duration of the effect by 1 round.

Rend Psyche (Su): As a standard action, an animus shade unleashes a jet of dark energy at a creature within 30 feet. On a successful ranged touch attack, the target is wracked with mental agony as its own animus attempts to wrench free from its physical form. This violent struggle deals a number of d6s of damage equal to the animus shade’s CR, as well as 1d6 points of Charisma damage. A successful Will save halves the damage and negates the Charisma damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Ability Scores: Charisma +4. In addition, as an incorporeal creature, an animus shade has no Strength or Constitution score.

Skills: An animus shade gains a +8 racial bonus on Intimidate and Perception checks (which stacks with any other racial bonuses it might possess). An animus shade treats Climb, Disguise, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Stealth as class skills. Otherwise, its skills are the same as those of the base creature.

Creatures in "Animus Shade" Category

Medusa Animus Shade9