I originally posted this illustration as part of the inktober/drawlloween hashtags over on G+. I only briefly described it as a "thulid symbiote attached to a host", but since we haven't played A Sundered World in quite some time (now a player is moving) I figured I could explain it in more detail.
Though they're similar in appearance to mind flayers, they don't have the ability to charm you, levitate (at least, no better than anyone else given the lack of gravity), or teleport between planes (no, not even before the Sundering when there were still planes). They do retain the face-tentacles, but they're shorter, more numerous, and aren't useful in a fight: instead a fully "grown" thulid primarily relies on a psychic bolt to disable or destroy the minds of their enemies.
A big difference is how the thulid "reproduce": instead of a tadpole being implanted in a human that devours its brain, they're more like facehuggers from the Alien movies, except they latch onto your back. I think this added mobility, coupled with psychic abilities that make them difficult to notice and generate a weak mind bolt, make them much, much more dangerous: they don't need anyone else to get around, so watch your back. Literally.
Back when I'd initially mentioned the thulid symbiote someone, I forget who at this point (it was more than a year ago), suggested linking other, similar symbiotes to various Ancient Ones. So in this case the thulid would be associated with Cthulhu (hence the face tentacles), and another one, maybe like a lamprey in appearance, could turn people into something resembling a deep one. I like this idea, though in A Sundered World there's only mentioned of the thulid and the symbiote:
Thulid Solitary, Aberrant, Psionic, Intelligent, Terrifying
Mind bolt (d10 damage, ignores armor) 16 HP 4 Armor
Special Qualities: Telepathy, psionics, "hear" thoughts
Instinct: To harvest information
- Sift through a helpless creature's thoughts and memories
- Inhibit or "shut down" a creature's mind
- Direct its thralls
There's also a compendium class, the thulid survivor. You can pick up moves from it if a symbiote latches onto you, but you manage to resist the mutation, somehow retain your own mind even when the mutation is complete, or someone tears the symbiote off your back before it's too late. The starting move gives you telepathy, and from there you can develop your own mind bolt, force your way into another creature's mind, eat their brain and learn something they knew, and so on.
The Monk is now available. It's a very flexible class, crammed with nearly thirty advanced moves (plus all the other extra content that we're known for), so we made another tweak to our character sheet layout in order to make it easier to remember what stance is active, and what it does.
Grave Goods is the latest magic item compilation in our 10+ Treasures line. If you want nearly 30 undead-themed magic items, some monsters, and advice on how to make your own, pick it up!
Lichfield is available for public consumption. If you want a concise adventure with a Silent Hill feel, be sure to check it out! Primordial Machine is also out, so if you want to catch a glimpse of A Sundered World, now's your chance! Finally, we've updated If These Stones Could Scream.