Sometimes we go out and find an old favorite restaurant didn’t make it and closed. Sometimes it is just our favorite dish isn’t on the menu anymore. Sometimes our favorite band breaks up. Sometimes legal reasons get in the way of awesome things we would rather have easy access to. In these moments we can choose never to have a thing again or look for the new place, song or thing that might just become our new favorite…
When we lost our eye beam blasting friend in coming to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, we went through a pretty classical grieving pattern. The denial of absence with forced reverse-compatibility. And thankfully due to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game’s strength in honoring the ancestral system we stayed in denial for a good long while. But then we saw it, the undeniable evidence it had moved on to a hazy strange realm of an afterlife. We were angry. We were sad. And as we surrendered to the truth of its passing we saw something new…
Snuggling into a space in the incredibly awesome Advanced Bestiary from Green Ronin Publishing, this template is one of the most game-changing things fans of that old gas spore sack could have ever ask for:The Eye King. The template is a (tiny) bit of work to apply but results in some of the most amazingly flavorful creatures we have seen at the table.
Some of the High Points:
- Template Fusion – We add this aberrant join to nearly anything allowing us to keep flavors from older creatures. Packs of Hunting Eye-King Wolves or a slithering Eye-King Kraken? Even Eye-King Dragons and Demons are possible (shudder).
- Central Eye Emanations – The classic antimagic of the dearly departed is signature and one of the earliest moments a party really gets behind (quite literally) their fighters and melee characters. The possibilities of new emanations, like a desecrate orb elevating the danger of a horde of undead or lesser globe of invulnerability shielding a front melee rank. The tactical implications become amazing.
- Customized Eye Rays – Nearly any spell is game for the Eye King. This allows for a varieties of eye kings that defy the logic of the norm. Say a necromatic zombie slaver with negative energy “healing” capacity?
- Broader CR Ranges – The template allows for much weaker and stronger variants of the old classic. This means that we can see whole ranges of encounters that were not possible with the predecessors (eye ray abberants at low levels!!) and groups of unique and varies Eye-Kings to create civilizations, cultures or random infested pockets.
- Thematic Consistency – The structure of the template is thematic and instantly recognizable. While application can have wildly variant results, the cohesiveness adds instantaneous branding and recognition allowing a face to a large threat. This makes disjointed encounters more meaningful and adds the true sense of battling back a tide of twisted creation.
- Diminished Physicality – To strengthen the creature’s ties to the dearly departed non-bite natural attacks are reduced in effectiveness by a size category and its bite is made larger and secondary to its eye effects…
These attributes allow you to meld these abberant terrors into far more specific and story supporting conformations and to create unusual challenges. Not convinced yet? Consider these undead-loving pack hunting monstrosities:
Deathgazer (Eye-King Direwolf)
In the midst of the zombie horde floats a hideous creature looking like a somewhat like a severed wolf’s head, but the instead of viscera the thing trails useless, twitching vestigial limbs. Its gaping maw barely contains a pulsing violet eye that swims with a ebon malignancy and pulses waves of dark power…
AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, –1 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2
Speed 10 ft., fly 25 ft. (perfect)
Melee bite +2 (1d10+6 plus trip)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Str 19, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +8; CMD 20 (24 vs. trip)
Feats Run, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Fly +11, Perception +10, Stealth +3, Survival +1 (+5 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers +4 Survival when tracking by scent
Environment any (probably some place unnatural and terrible)
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–8)
Central Eye Beam (Su)
When an Deathgazer’s central eye is open, it constantly produces a magical emanation in a 100-foot cone. The emanation imbues an area with negative energy. The DC to resist negative channeled energy within this area gains a +3 profane bonus. Every undead creature entering a desecrated area gains a +1 profane bonus on all attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. An undead creature created within or summoned into such an area gains +1 hit points per HD.
Furthermore, anyone who casts animate dead (including the Deathgazer) within this area may create as many as double the normal amount of undead (that is, 4 HD per caster level rather than 2 HD per caster level). See desecrate for other details. Consecrate suppressed the eye beam for 1d4 rounds.
The save DC for the central eye beam’s effect (if applicable) is Charisma-based.
Eye Rays (Su)
Each of the deathgazers’s eyes produce a single spell-like effect as a ray at will once per round as a free action. Each ray has a range of 100 feet. The caster level for an deathgazer’s eye rays is equal to its total racial Hit Dice. All save DCs are Charisma-based.
Sometimes the loss of an old favorite is a window to a whole new world of amazing options. We hope the Eye-King has help fill an empty plate with a whole new world of amazing horror. We know it will fill a few dungeons with screams…