Thing Under the Bed

October 10th, 2016

Joshua Zaback

Exotic Encounters Archive

                The monster under the bed is something that haunts everyone’s nightmares at one point or another. As a kid, just scared by the stresses of the day and cautious about the things we can’t see, you dread what might not be there, or what might be there, out of sight but oh-so-close. As adults, we wonder why our children can’t seem to shake something so ridiculous that it just has to be make-believe… right? These fearsome imaginations are some of our oldest enemies. Personally, I’ve never come face to face with a monster under the bed (after all, its just pretend), but I find myself wondering, what if I did? What would it look like? How would I fight it? If you’ve ever wanted the chance to whack something that probably haunted your childhood, you are about to get your chance. Draw your swords to fight the thing under the bed!


Thing Under the Bed

                This horrible abomination appears as a naked, 6-armed humanoid of indeterminate gender. It has a pair of horns that extend from the sides of its bald, egg shaped head, with a cluster of eyes like those of a spider dominating the top half of a nose-less face. Its wide mouth reveals hundreds of needle-sharp teeth of wildly varying lengths, and it seems to smell faintly of sugar.

THING UNDER THE BED                             CR 11
XP 12,800
NE Medium undead
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, true seeing; Perception +21


AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 19 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +9 natural)
hp 136 (16d8+64)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +14
Defensive Abilities unseen; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses light powerlessness


Speed 30 ft., burrow 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)                  
Melee 6 claws +16 (1d6+3 plus grab)
Special Attacks face of fear, nightmare feast, power of night, rake (5 claws +16, 1d6+3)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th, concentration +16)
Constant—true seeing
At will—detect thoughts (DC 16)
3/day—dimension door (self plus up to 50 lbs of objects only)
1/day—nightmare (DC 19)


Str 16, Dex 16, Con —, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +12; CMB +15; CMD 29
Feats Dodge, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Iron Will, Mobility, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Intimidate +23, Perception +21, Sense Motive +21, Stealth +22
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic


Environment urban
Organization solitary
Treasure standard


Face of Fear (Ex): Any creature that can clearly see a thing under the bed must make a Will save (DC 22) or become shaken for 1d6 rounds. A creature that fails this Will save by 5 or more instead becomes frightened for 1d6 rounds, then shaken for 1d6 rounds after that. A creature that fails this Will save by 10 or more instead becomes paralyzed for 1d6 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect that relies on visual components.

Light Powerlessness (Su): While in conditions of normal light, a thing under the bed becomes incorporeal, unable to affect the physical world. While in such conditions, a thing under the bed loses its Strength score and gains the incorporeal subtype. It gains a fly speed of 5 feet with perfect maneuverability while in such a state (replacing its normal fly speed of 40 feet with average maneuverability). While in conditions of bright light, a thing under the bed is paralyzed, unable to move or act, though it remains incorporeal.

Nightmare Feast (Su): A thing under the bed feasts on the nightmares of humanoids, especially humans, and can both manipulate their dreams and gain sustenance from them. Whenever a creature fails a saving throw against a thing under the bed’s nightmare spell-like ability, the thing under the bed can choose how much damage the nightmare inflicts, and gains 5 temporary hit points for every point of damage inflicted this way. If the thing under the bed goes 24 hours without causing a creature to suffer a nightmare, it suffers 1 point of permanent Charisma drain, which can only be restored by using its nightmare spell-like ability to kill a creature with a number of Hit Dice equal to or greater than the amount of Charisma drain it has suffered in this way.

Power of Night (Su): While in an area of darkness, a thing under the bed gains a +4 enhancement bonus to its Strength and Charisma scores.

Unseen (Su): When in an area of normal light or bright light, a thing under the bed is invisible. This is a supernatural effect and cannot be dispelled.



                A thing under the bed is a very unusual form of undead, created when a child of 12 or 13 years dies as a result of a nightmare so terrible it scared them to death. The first of these creatures was said to have been created by night hags, though as time progresses, they are far more likely to arise as a result of another thing under the bed. Hateful and malicious creatures that thrive on fright and derive enjoyment from the fears of the living, they often seek out homes where they can torment their victims and find easy food. Since they find themselves starving if they cannot regularly devour nightmares, they often select easy targets with ample hiding spaces to haunt, feasting on their dreams for a long time and reveling in the torment they cause.

                As a result, these creatures almost always haunt the beds and closets of small children, who are more vulnerable to their powers and less likely to be believed by their elders. Their natural camouflage allows them to hide even when older, more capable sorts come looking, a fact that amuses them greatly so long as they never bring bright light. Though predators, they rarely outright kill their prey, preferring to slowly torment them until they become hardened to their attacks, or bold in the face of their nightmares, at which point they move on to another target. Though all are able to manipulate nightmares, the most powerful of these creatures are said to create persistent nightmare-like dreamscapes and imprison their victims within for years, feasting off of their energy.