An ongoing project by Blanca Martinez de Rituerto and Joe Sparrow.

Follow us on our offical Facebook page!

Buy Our Books!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween! Brain in a Jar

The brain in a jar is considered an undead creature. I guess the process that involves yanking a brain out of someone's noggin and sticking it in a goopy container will kill the brain at some point. Temporarily at least. The brain is a good deal more potent in the jar than in the head, since the alchemical whatsits gives it some psychic juju to mess around with. It can communicate telepathically, implant suggestions, squeeze minds and float itself and its container around. It isn't that happy about its situation though, and anybody who tries to read the brain's mind will share its madness (Wisdom drain, yo).

Honestly, I find the fact that it has a fly speed a little disappointing. I really dig the idea of this seemingly inanimate object hidden somewhere in the room that's dealing damage. Or what if you have a whole room filled with these fellas, all dealing 2d10 damage in one go. I think that sounds neat.

This seems like a considerably less powerful version of the elder brain and the demilich, to make things accessible to low-level characters.

My favourite "brain in a jar" story is a certain Lovecraft tale. Roald Dahl also wrote a short story ("William and Mary") with an extracted sentient brain that was also quite unpleasant.

Happy Halloween, peeps.


  1. The fly speed is likely simply one of those necessities you run into in a game of D&D. It's such a tactical, goal-oriented game that when you've got an enemy that simply cannot move, someone's very quickly going to find some way to absolutely murder it at their leisure. Or re-murder it, as it were. Just considering the magic different characters have, a completely immobile enemy that ceases to be a threat as soon as you get out of there is just a sitting duck. To say nothing of a savvy player who comes up with some mundane trick.

    I mean, of course it's good for players and characters to actually think of problems outside the box and use creativity, but there's a fine line between that and outright abuse. D&D has so many resources at the players' hands that any flaw that big can easily nullify the monster. There are a lot of people calling the 5th edition Tarrasque flawed because it has absolutely no way to deal with flying enemies, meaning that any character facing it that can do so (basically, any character at that level) can attack it without much danger.

    The idea is neat though, and you could still do the room encounter even with the fly speed.

  2. heh. I remember using this creature as a damaged, half-dead elder brain (sustained artificialy by magic) in a crashed Illithid spelljaming ship (it was Brain in the jar with few psion class levels to simulate its psionic potential)