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Bodysnatcher Slime

Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 19
Purportedly born from some ill-informed experiment performed during the Gap, bodysnatcher slimes are parasitic organisms that commandeer hosts to experience life through their senses. Unlike most oozes, these slimes contain a complex yet amorphous neural network that enables learning, memory, and reasoning. These neurons can also integrate with a host’s nervous system, enabling nearly instantaneous communication between the two beings. Studies suggest the slimes replicate and absorb copies of their hosts’ neurons, so hypothetically, a prolific slime could grow smarter over time.

In most cases, though, a bodysnatcher slime never grows to occupy more than several cubic feet. Replicating neurons grants the slime greater control over its form, allowing it to grow and still coordinate its movements and metabolism. However, bigger oozes find it more difficult to fit inside hosts without causing the body to bulge such that it betrays the parasite’s presence. Furthermore, the slime’s modified neural network can develop multiple personalities that compete for resources and control. Ultimately, such a creature splits and forms two new slimes, each of which begins rebuilding the vast stores of knowledge and neurons that it lost in the process. Rarely, an ooze retains control over its growing mental prowess and so avoids splitting. These rare bodysnatcher autocrats selectively infest hosts they perceive as powerful.

As with humanoid brains, a slime’s neural network requires the slime to consume a large number of calories to sustain it While infesting a host, the slime draws its necessary nutrients from the host’s body and digestive system; this process adds a faintly citrus scent to the host’s sweat and excrement. However, without a host, a bodysnatcher slime can absorb nutrients from a wide variety of foods, favoring high-calorie options like sugars and flesh. When denied sustenance, the slime can enter hibernation, awaiting suitable prey for months at a time.

Bodysnatcher slimes aren’t malicious, but they are insidious. When spoken to, they are baffled by claims that abducting others is reprehensible. Given the oozes’ simple physiology and psychology, this mindset likely results from a lack of higher thought processes and capacity for self-reflection. However, bodysnatcher slimes grow increasingly ambitious the longer they spend in hosts and the larger they become, suggesting a moral compass doesn’t accompany greater intelligence.

Having stowed away on countless ships, the slimes have spread across the Pact Worlds, the Veskarium, and beyond. Stewards officers have logged several reports of people having extended blackouts and behaving strangely on Absalom Station, and although several operations have cornered and eliminated bodysnatcher slimes, the reports continue to come in. With increasing frequency, authorities contract independent trackers to eliminate these slimes; as such, the bodysnatchers have learned to recognize and avoid the Stewards. The oozes are common on Verces, where hosts have dispersed these parasites along the habitable Ring of Nations. Several cohorts of the Augmented have designated bodysnatcher slimes not as enemies but as intelligent biotech that they accept into their bodies.

Aliens in the "Bodysnatcher Slime" Family

NameCR
Bodysnatcher Autocrat10
Bodysnatcher Slime3

Bodysnatcher Slime

Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 18

Bodysnatcher Slime CR 3

XP 800
N Small ooze
Init +3; Senses blindsight (vibration) 60 ft.; Perception +8

Defense

HP 33
EAC 14; KAC 14
Fort +4; Ref +2; Will +4
Defensive Abilities share body; Immunities ooze immunities

Offense

Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee slam +9 (1d4+5 B plus grab)
Offensive Abilities bodysnatch

Statistics

STR +2; DEX +3; CON +2; INT -3; WIS +0; CHA -1
Skills Athletics +8 (+16 to climb), Disguise +8, Stealth +13; see neural integration
Languages see neural integration

Ecology

Environment any land
Organization solitary or heist (2–5)

Special Abilities

Bodysnatch (Ex) If a bodysnatcher slime starts its turn grappling a Small, Medium, or Large living creature, the slime can distribute itself throughout that creature’s body as a swift action (Fortitude DC 14 negates). While infesting a creature in this way, a bodysnatcher slime has total cover and can take no actions. However, it controls the infested creature’s (host’s) actions, including using equipment and weapons (using the slime’s attack bonus), using the slime’s or its host’s saving throw bonuses (whichever is higher), using the host’s extraordinary abilities, and using the slime’s or its host’s natural attacks.

After 24 hours inside a body, a bodysnatcher slime must succeed at a DC 14 Fortitude save or be forced out of the body and be unable to infest that same creature for 24 hours. If it succeeds at the save, it can continue infesting that creature for another 24 hours. A creature adjacent to a pinned or helpless host can attempt a DC 15 Medicine check as a full action to force the slime to vacate the host and move into an adjacent square.

Bodysnatch is a compulsion effect that works on a living creature or the intact corpse of a living creature. The corpse can save as if it were its living version. Neural Integration (Su) While in a host, a bodysnatcher slime integrates with the creature’s neural physiology. The slime can speak and understand one language the host knows, use the host’s weapon proficiencies, and use three of the host’s trained skills with a +8 total bonus.

Share Body (Ex) Any damage dealt to a bodysnatcher slime’s host is split between the host and the slime. If a bodysnatcher slime takes 16 or more damage while in a host, the slime leaves the host, moving into an adjacent square, and cannot infest that host again for 24 hours.

Bodysnatcher Implants

Bioengineers can dilute the chemicals that allow a bodysnatcher slime to control a host; uses include sedating medical patients and suppressing neurological activity. Incorporated into a special biotech gland, this same technology can protect users against mental attacks.