Intellect Devourers or terrifying aberrations. They are about the size of medium-sized dogs but look like walking brains with legs. They attack using their claws and psychic attacks, and if there’s an unconscious body around they can teleport into a creature’s head and devour their brains and replace it with its own body.
Table of Contents
Intellect Devourer 5e Stats
They can come from other planes of existence or have been known to come from the Underdark to raid and eat all intelligence in their path.
- Tiny aberration, lawful evil
- Armor Class 13
- Hit Points 36 (8d4 + 16)
- Speed 40 ft.
- Skills Stealth +5
- Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
- Condition Immunities blinded, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
- Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 12
- Languages understands Deep Speech but can’t speak, telepathy 60 ft.
- Challenge Rating 3 (700 XP)
Intellect Devourer 5e Special Traits
Mindsense. The Intellect Devourer is aware of the presence of creatures within 300 feet of it that have an Intelligence of 3 or higher. It knows the relative distance and direction of each creature, regardless of physical barriers. Creatures under the effects of magic that protects the mind cannot be detected by the Intellect Devourer.
Intellect Devourer 5e Actions
The description in the D&D Monster Manual reads:
Multiattack. The Intellect Devourer makes one attack with its claws and uses Consume Mind.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.
Consume Mind. The Intellect Devourer chooses one creature it can see within 30 feet of it that has an Intelligence of 3 or higher. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Intelligence saving throw or take 16 (3d10) psychic damage.
If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, its Intelligence score is reduced to 0. The target is incapacitated until it regains at least 1 point of Intelligence (either from completing a long rest or from a lesser restoration spell).
Body Snatcher. The Intellect Devourer chooses one incapacitated creature within 5 feet of it and engages it in a contest of Intelligence. The Intellect Devourer overpowers the creature’s mental defenses if it beats the target on a contested Intelligence check.
The Intellect Devourer magically consumes the creature’s brain and teleports into its skull, taking full control of the target’s body. While inside the creature’s skull, the Intellect Devourer has total cover against attacks and other effects outside of the host. The intellect devourer retains its Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, as well as its comprehension of language, its telepathy, and its traits.
Otherwise, it inherits the target’s statistics, memories, and knowledge, including spells and languages. If the host body drops to 0 hit points, the Intellect Devourer must leave the host. It can also be magically forced from the host’s body by means of a Protection from Evil and Good spell being cast on the host.
If the host’s devoured brain is restored (only possibly with a Wish spell), the intellect devourer is forced out of the host. The Intellect Devourer can choose to leave the host at any time by spending 5 feet of its movement and then teleporting to an unoccupied space within 15 feet of the target.
Unless its brain is restored within 1 round, the body dies.
Intellect Devourers in Encounters
Intellect Devourers have a Challenge Rating of 3 which puts them on the upper edge of difficulty for lower-level parties. Intellect Devourers have been known to move in packs, so a few ganging up to attack the party isn’t unheard of.
For higher-level players, they usually can be found as pets or minions of Mind Flayers. They can be used to lure the party into a trapped area filled with Intellect Devourers or a creature that had its mind eaten can be used to manipulate the party.
Simple Scenarios for Intellect Devourers
- A small village has asked the party for help when they discover a missing child. When returned, the parents claim it’s not the same child, despite appearances.
- A trap pitfall drops the party into a maze filled with Intellect Devourers.
- The party notices an odd caravan while traveling.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.