New Monsters *B*



Kevin invented the bereaver as a method of eliminating excess magic items from his campaign. When re-writing the description in the new format I beefed it up a bit ... this version is seriously scarier than the original version.



very rare

No. Encountered



L (5'-6' tall)



Armour Class


Hit Dice

7 to 11




1d10, 1d10

Special Attacks

de-magic touch

Special Defences

absorb magic

Magic Resistance


Lair Probability







The first sight of a bereaver typically frightens the viewer, for this man-sized humanoid creature possesses a skin of a ghastly grey hue, one not normally found on anything but a week old corpse. It appears grossly overweight, with bulbous fat sacs all over it's body, including the hideous face. Most creatures' first instinct is to run, and for spellcasters or those with magic items this is good advice indeed!


Bereavers immediately attack spell casters and creatures carryng magic items. They always target the one with the most powerful magic and will fight through other creatures to get at the most powerful magic, although if multiple creatures have roughly the same magic it will generally choose the closest one.

Striking with its two fists, the bereaver inflicts 1-10 points of damage per strike. Any round in which both fists hit, 1 to 4 randomly selected magic items or spells may be drained of magic. Items must save vs. Disintegrate or be drained of all power; spell casters must save vs. Death Magic or have the spell stripped from their mind. If multiple spells are selected the victim must save separately for each one. Magic items remain a serviceable item of their type (if appropriate) and spell casters can regain their lost spells through their normal process (studying or praying).

Note that the strength of the bereaver affects the saving throw:


Saving Throw Modifier











The absorbed magic gives bereavers greater power, adding hit points that restore damage and can increase their power. Hit points are gained from the absorbing of the power, increasing the bereaver's hit points with no known limit. Note that points above the bereaver's maximum drain away at a rate of 1/turn until the bereaver is at the maximum value for its hit dice. As magical constructs they don't heal normally -- absorbing magic fulfills this function for them.

The hit points gained by absorbing the power of magic items and spells is as follows:


hp Gained


1 hp/level

weapon or armor

3 hp + 1 hp/plus


1 hp + 1 hp/spell


1 hp

rod, staff, or wand

3 hp


3 hp

miscellaneous magic item

2 to 5 hp (at DM's discretion)

intelligent items

hp for item + 8 hp

Note that at the DM's discretion certain more powerful objects may impart additional hp to the absorbing bereaver. Also note that artifacts, relics, and other certain powerful objects may not be subject to draining, but through prolonged contact a bereaver will absorb some magic from the item, restoring lost hit points and growing the bereaver's strength.

In addition to absorbing the power of magic items and spells in memory, bereavers can also absorb the energy of cast spells. This includes individual spells such as Magic Missile and Charm Monster, as well as area effect spells such as Fireball or Flame Strike. In the case of an area effect spell the spell will execute as expected but the bereaver will "suck in" the power and the effect will disappear. In the case of damaging spells such as Fireball other creatures in the area of effect will suffer minimal damage, e.g., 1 hp/die or no damage if a saving throw is made.

Any spell cast within 3" of a bereaver or which include the bereaver in the area of effect may be absorbed. Check the bereaver's magic resistance against the spell -- a successful resistance check indicates that the spell has been absorbed. If not the spell will function normally.

Note: Being mindless these creatures are immune to charm, possession, or illusion spells, or any that affect the mind. However, they are subject to the effects of all other spells that successfully execute.

Also note that bereavers possess an unprecedented resistance to magic. Their 170% resistance means their resistance is based upon 18th level magic, not the typical 11th level. Spells cast by any spellcaster below 19th level automatically fail and are absorbed by the creature.

These magical contructs gain hit points from cast spells the same as they do spells drained from a spell caster's mind.

Magic weapons do not function properly against these terrible monsters. Instead of adding the plus of the weapon to the "to hit" and damage rolls, the value is subtracted from it. Thus when using a +3 weapon a fighter subtracts 3 from each attack roll rather than adding it. If using a cursed weapon the minus value of the weapon applies to both the "to hit" and damage rolls. In any case a minimum of 1 hp of damage will be inflicted by a successful hit.

Note that any magical weapon or other item striking a bereaver must save against the absorption (see above) or have its magic drained. This is in addition to the possible 1-4 items that may be drained each round.


As non-intelligent magical constructs bereavers have no society. They do not eat, sleep, or breath. They may be found in any environment, including under water or in a vacuum. They otherwise conform to the normal of humanoid life, e.g., excessively high or low temperatures will burn or freeze them. In the case of burning they are destroyed; for cold they freeze until defrosted.

Note that strongly magical locations will attract a bereaver and it will not leave the vicinity, apparently absorbing background magic while not being capable of draining the magic.


The origins of the bereaver are unknown, as is the motivation of any intelligent creature for creating such a monstrosity. No tome or treatise for creating a bereaver is known to exist.

Bereavers do no eat or breath, but apparently absorb magic to maintain themselves. The least powerful known is 7 HD, while the most powerful is 11 HD.

They can increase in strength -- should a bereaver absorb enough magic to increase its hp total to more than 24 points above it's normal maximum its HD will increase by 1, e.g., a 7 HD bereaver normally has a maximum hit point total of 56. Should one increase its total to 80 or more it will become a 8 HD monster with corresponding maximum hit points. 11 hit dice is the known maximum.

When killed (reduced to 0 hp or less) the monster immediately breaks down into a grey mush, which stinks terribly (treat as Stinking Cloud) and turns to dust in 1 turn. No known use for the remains has been discovered, and all means to preserve it fail.

It has been reported that a spellcaster whose spells were all absorbed but wasn't killed by the physical damage transformed into a bereaver, but this is hearsay and considered unreliable.


Bereavers are all within the Medium size range (5' to 6'), and while ghastly looking, certainly do not look exactly alike. Those of greater than 11 HD and/or capable of absorbing more than 4 items/spells per round have been reported, but such reports have not been substantiated.


Bereavers have no treasure, especially magical treasure, although they may leave coins, gems, and jewellry in their wake.

Experience Point Values:

7 HD


8 HD


9 HD


10 HD


11 HD


Copyright 2007, 2011 Bryan Fazekas