Ethergaunt Devices

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Members of the mysterious Khen-Zai race, better known as "ethergaunts", are never encountered without a number of devices of such technological complexity that no non-ethergaunt could ever hope to use them. Some of the devices are partially or entirely implanted into an ethergaunt’s body and do not function if removed; others can be removed but are coded so that they self-destruct if tempered with. Some of these devices duplicate the effects of magical or psionic items, but they are entirely mundane. Well, a better term would be non-magical, because there is nothing “mundane” about their effects. Note: Ethergaunts were originally mentioned in the Fiend Folio, and further developed at the Bone-Box Rattler.

Datapad: A datapad is usually an implant, but can also be seen as separate device, connected to an ethergaunt’s mask somehow. It is almost exclusively used by the white ethergaunts, granting them access to the immense databases of the ethergaunt race stored somewhere on the Ethereal. By consulting the datapad for 2d6 rounds, an ethergaunt can gain a +10 bonus on the next Craft or Knowledge check it attempts.

Deflector: Black ethergaunts are not combatants, and thus never wear etherarmor suits. They instead have small projectors attached or implanted which grant them a deflection bonus to AC equal to two times their Charisma modifier. They have the same bonus on all saving throws, as a resistance bonus. Also, a deflector’s activity can be enhanced (as a free action) so that it protects the ethergaunt with a spell turning effect; this use consumes great amounts of energy and thus can be used for up to 10 rounds per day, divided in any way.

Doubt Bomb: This small ceramic sphere contains a chemical mixture intended to over-stimulate the “doubt centers” in the brain. The bomb can be thrown as a grenade-like weapon, and it can be used with an offset of up to 1 minute. When it detonates, it creates a cloud of poisonous gas in a 10-ft. spread in the first round and a 20-ft. spread in the next (in the third round it dissipates harmlessly). Creatures in the area are exposed to a contact poison: initial and secondary damage 1d6 Wisdom, Fort DC 15 negates. Ethergaunts are immune to the effect of doubt bombs.

Etherarmor: Red and white ethergaunts are protected by a thin suit of armor, highly flexible yet highly resistant. It grants a +6 armor bonus to AC and entails no armor check penalty. Its maximum Dexterity bonus is +9. Additionally, the suit provides energy resistance 5 against all types of energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic). An etherarmor is always an item of masterwork quality.

Etherblade: Resembling a short glaive topped with a hollow barrel, this favored weapon of the red and white ethergaunts can produce a ray of force as a ranged touch attack for 1d10 points of damage. The range increment is 40 ft. It can fire 50 times before the ethergaunt needs to recharge it at a special power source. Alternatively, the etherblade can be used as a melee weapon. It can be configured to deal slashing or piercing damage, and to act as a standard two-handed weapon, a reach weapon, or a double weapon, according to personal preference. An etherblade is usually connected to the ethergaunt’s mask via a thin cord, which can be attacked as a Tiny object (hardness 5, hit points 10). If the cord is severed, the ethergaunt not only loses the +4 attack roll bonus provided by the mask (see below), but also suffers a -2 penalty on attack rolls with the etherblade until the cord is repaired. An etherblade is always an item of masterwork quality.

Jaunt Cube: An ethergaunt holding this small rectangular device can activate it by making a DC 20 Knowledge (the planes) check as a standard action. When activated, it shifts the ethergaunt and all willing creatures within 15 ft. from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, or back again as a free action. The jaunt cube can remain on the Material Plane for up to 10 minutes before automatically returning to the Ethereal Plane to replenish its energy supply from the ether (which takes about a minute).

Mask: This device is directly connected with the ethergaunt’s super-developed brain and countless facial sensory organs. While worn, it filters the atmosphere, altering it to suit an ethergaunt’s breathing requirements; it provides immunity to inhaled poisons, cloudkill, or similar effects. Furthermore, the mask grants a +4 enhancement bonus on ranged attack rolls with an etherblade, and the ethergaunt also has blindsight out to 60 ft. and blindsense out to 120 ft. In other words, creatures within 60 ft. of an ethergaunt with active sensors is perfectly located regardless of concealment or other visibility conditions, while between 60 and 120 ft. creatures are located but not perfectly – invisible creatures have concealment (20% miss chance). See the Monster Manual for a more precise definition of blindsight and blindsense.

Slave Controller: Ethergaunts have the natural ability to enslave lesser beings, but are unable to maintain control over many specimens at the same time. When they want to “put away” their slaves, they attach this small plastic device to their head or chest, and the enslaved creature’s mind is automatically placed in stasis. It no longer counts against the ethergaunts limit of enslaved creatures, but it can be reactivated at a later time. The creature will respond only to a predetermined command issued by an ethergaunt. During the stasis, the creature’s body needs no sustenance and ages slowly; its mind is kept well preserved and under control. It is thought that ethergaunt enclaves hold large stashes of slaves in stasis, stored away and possibly forgotten.

Transport Grid: This device appears to be a small sheet of metallic foil. To activate it, an ethergaunt must first spread it over a 10-ft. square and calibrate it properly, which requires 1 minute. Once set up, the grid can be used either to transport the creature stepping onto it to a previously designated destination (as greater plane shift, usually to a safe location within an ethergaunt compound), or to call in 1-4 previously designated creatures (as gate, usually calling a team of 4 red ethergaunts). A transport grid can be used once every 2d4 minutes. If the ethergaunt wishes to alternate between the two modes, the grid must be recalibrated, which takes another minute.

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