Occularictus


Round 3: Create a Bestiary entry

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka moon glum

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Hundreds of levitating eyes, each trailing a tail of nerves, swarm in a cloud of dripping gore. The eyelids form mouths lined with tiny, jagged teeth that clack together hungrily with every blink.

Occularictus CR 7 XP 3,200
CE diminutive aberration (swarm)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 120 ft, true seeing; Perception +28

----- Defense -----
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 size)
hp 78 (12d8+24)
Fort +6, Ref +11, Will +13
Immune swarm traits, weapon damage;
Weaknesses light blindness

----- Offense -----
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (3d6 plus distraction and unavoidable gaze)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 18), eye possession, gaze, multigaze, unavoidable gaze

----- Statistics -----
Str 4, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 16
Base Atk +9; CMB -- CMD --
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Improved Lightning Reflexes
Skills Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Fly +29, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +14, Knowledge (local) +14, Linguistics +6, Perception +28, Stealth +17, Survival +14 (+24 when following tracks); Racial Modifiers +10 Perception, +10 Survival when following tracks
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Orc, Undercommon
SQ hive mind

----- Ecology -----
Environment any underground
Organization solitary, surveillance (2-5), panopticon (3-12)
Treasure double

----- Special Abilities -----
Gaze (Su) As hold monster, 30 feet, Will DC 19 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Multigaze (Su) The occularictus may use an attack action to actively gaze at up to 6 creatures within 30 feet.
Unavoidable gaze (Su) A creature in the occularictus's space can not avert its eyes to avoid the occularictus's gaze attack and receives a -4 penalty on saving throws against the gaze attack.
Eye Possession (Su) An occularictus that spends a round in the space of a helpless creature with eyes may insert its tendrils into that creature's eye sockets. At the start of the occularictus's next turn it blinds the victim by removing their eyes. The occularictus incorporates these new eyes into itself. If the blinded victim remains within the occularictus's space for another round, the occularictus may place one of its own eyes in each of the empty eye sockets. This restores the victim's sight, and allows the occularictus to both communicate telepathically with the victim at any distance, and experience anything the victim experiences. The occularictus uses the victim's senses, and does not suffer from light blindness when the victim is exposed to bright light. The victim gains none of the occularictus's special senses. The occularictus may simultaneously experience the world through its own senses and the senses of any number of its victims. If the occularictus is killed, all eye-possessed victims are blinded.
True Seeing (Ex) An occularictus has true seeing, as the spell of the same name. This effect cannot be dispelled.

Beyond even their hunger for the blood and flesh of sighted creatures, or their urge to propagate their kind, occularicti are motivated by their desire to see all things, particularly that which is denied them. This drives some of them to establish networks of eye-possessed spies. Many are desirous of the sights that the sunlit world has to offer, and dwell near the openings to Nar-Voth, where they can venture forth at night to possess the eyes of surface dwellers. Occularicti often forego doing their swarm damage to paralyzed victims they have marked for eye-possession.

An occularictus reproduces by division, a process that requires it to incorporate thousands of eyes from other creatures into its swarm.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congratulations on making the Top 16 in RPG Superstar! I'm Mikko Kallio, an RPG design blogger, freelancer, and former RPG Superstar finalist. Some of my freelance work involves designing monsters for Paizo's Adventure Path bestiaries. I'll review your monster much like I do when a fellow freelancer asks me to have a look at an assignment they're going to turn in.

Name and concept

I'm not a big fan of the name, but given that it has "ocular" (though with two c's) in it, it kind of fits.

A swarm of eyes with snapping teeth sounds pretty old school, and I can't remember that I've seen a similar creature in D&D, so I like it. However, I'm not sure if light blindness is enough to make them appropriate for Nar-Voth as such, I think they'd feel just as much at home in any other dark place.

Descriptive line

The descriptive line is sufficiently evocative and usable as read-aloud text. It's certainly a creature with a memorable appearance, though I personally prefer less gore and subtler scare tactics.

Stat block

Its size category should be capitalized. ”120 ft” in Senses is missing a period. There's a trailing semi-colon at the end of the Immune line. A minor quibble, you've used the hyphen instead of the en dash on the Organization line.

Each of its ability scores is even; it should have three even and three odd ability scores. A minor quibble, you've used hyphens instead of em and en dashes.

They have double treasure? How is that possible? They have no pockets, and cannot carry a sack.

They have a long list of languages, but how do they speak them with eyes in their ”mouths”? I guess they only use telepathy, but the Languages line should probably have (cannot speak) and telepathy mentioned.

Special abilities

The special abilities should be listed in the alphabetical order.

The first three abilities are thematically appropriate and intended to maximize the effectiveness of the gaze, but they lack variety. Multigaze is pretty brutal, though of course closing your eyes is an easy way to avoid making saves, especially if you don't need to see to contribute to the fight. If the creature wins initiative, things can turn ugly very quickly, though.

Eye possession, while a flavorful and terrifying ability, probably goes beyond what some players are comfortable with as it humiliates the victim and forces them to become an unwilling thrall. It's more of a plot device than special ability and is best used on NPCs. In darker and more disturbed RPGs, I wouldn't mind seeing it being used on PCs, too.

The creature is a bit of a one-trick pony, and if the PCs are indeed smart enough to not look at it, the combat potentially turns into a slow war of attrition.

Description

Though the description is quite short, it offers some interesting ideas for how the GM could use this monster in an adventure. An occularictus could be an interesting villain in the creature wasn't quite so one-dimensional in its motivations.

Verdict

There's a lot I like about this monster, and I was on the fence about it. Unfortunately, I think it's too one-dimensional both in its motivations and as a combatant, and I weakly don't recommend it for advancement.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

NOTE TO VOTERS: There was a template error for some contestants that placed name, CR, and XP all on one line. That is not a contestant error, and they should not be penalized for sticking to the template we told them to use.

I don't like the name, it's too on-the-nose (or eye, in this case), and I'd want to change it.

Given that these things are immune to weapon damage, but no one dares look at it to affect it with spells, things could get very nasty, very quickly. I think the number of gaze-attack augmentations it has are excessive, and I'd like to see some more variety.

That said, a swarm of flying eyes that wish to take the eyes of others and see everything they haven't already seen is a strong concept, and can easily be integrated into lots of different kinds of plots. I think that idea is strong enough to make me want to put in the work needed to clean it up.

I weakly do recommend this monster for advancement to the next round.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congrats on making it to this round! May you have the luck and talent to push all the way through to the end!

My Judging Process:

I’m treating these like a pre-development pass.

When I develop a monster for the Adventure Path bestiaries (or anything really), one of the first phases is where I print out the monster entry, and look it over, marking up the page with notes and highlighting any problems that I need to address later when I really dig into it. Much of the time I’m circling things in the stat block or flavor text and leaving a quick note. Most often, this quick note-making pass is performed while I’m writing out art orders for the monsters so I can make sure that the description I give to the artist is what the final monster will be. This is where I make note of any changes I plan to make (some of which I’m sure frustrate some of my freelancers from time to time).

I figured the best way to judge this round is to treat it like my normal day-to-day work and do what I mentioned above. I’m going to judge this round in a similar manner to how I’d treat a monster I ordered from a freelancer if I asked one of my freelancers to just send me something within the same parameters that you’ve been given. Some of the things I comment on might seem nitpicky or overly critical of a small element, but I blame that on my job. I’ll probably even use terms that aren’t that familiar outside of publishing. :)

One thing to keep in mind is that nothing in my review here is personal, and since tone is difficult to communicate online sometimes, imagine my comments and critiques read in a friendly and nudging way. To heighten the experience, imagine all of these comments scribbled in purple ink on a sheet of paper containing your monster.

I start by googling the name to make sure that it isn’t something already existing, a weird term that could mean more than one thing, or isn’t secretly offensive or illegal.

Then I read the flavor line under the monster’s name.

Then I work my way down the statblock looking for anything that stands out or is in the wrong place or is formatted wrong. Most of these comments are just things that jumped out at me from a glance and are super easy to fix while I’m developing a monster. (I don’t get annoyed at my freelancers for these little typos and oversights unless it gets really sloppy or persistant.) During this I also look at how much the stats match up to Table 1–1 and how different elements of the design account for numbers that are off the average. During this part I often have questions about why a decision was made or why the creature has this element. I jot these down. Many times I figure out the decision once I read the flavor text and go back and scratch those notes out.

This leads me to the flavor text. This is the part of the monster where I get to see how well the designer can write. (One of the reasons I often test new contributors with monsters is that it pairs up design and writing in a nice compact package.) I also look at how the designer used the tight wordcount. This round’s rules used pretty much the same wordcount that we’d use for one of those monsters, and it can be difficult finding the right balance of flavor text and statblock. Too much flavor can sometimes result in a boring creature mechanically, but when 90% of the turnover is statblock, the GM doesn’t have much to go on for how to run the critter.

In judging, I also go back and evaluate some of my critiques and revise after looking at the monster again with fresher eyes.

I notice that I say “probably” a lot in my reviews. When I use that word I pretty much mean that I’d either really think it over and research a few things more than I normally would before making a particular change. This would certainly include me turning around in my chair and getting feedback from other developers (including any editors that heard me in the next cube over).

Even though most of my comments are very “stream of consciousness,” I spent a good amount of time with each of these monsters, typically an average of 30 minutes on each submission. Some more than others. I also did all of my reviews blind without seeing the other judge’s comments. I didn’t want what they had to say influence me. I apologize ahead of time if we end up being repetitive.

And now onto the monster!

• A swarm of eyeballs sounds delightfully creepy, but I don’t get where the eyelids come in. Maybe it’s a more meaty version of eyeballs? I like the teeth on the eyelids, though.

• Captialize creature sizes.

• Its hit points are a bit low for a creature of this CR, but since it’s a Diminutive swarm, that’s probably fine.

• You’ve invested a lot of resources in bumping up that Will save, and I’m convinced it’s going to be that big of a thing to worry about for a swarm. Some of the more dangerous effects requiring a will save targets single foes. (Although channeling and a number of other area of effect effects come to mind. Maybe this is fine.)

• You have an semicolon at the end of your defensive abilities line that shouldn’t be there.
Speed line: Eww! They crawl on the ground too!

• Monsters should have three even ability scores and three odd ability scores.

• It speaks a lot of languages. How does it talk? That would have been a cool and creepy thing to talk about in the flavor text.

• Organization line: We use en dashes instead of hyphens when presenting a range of numbers.

• I’d have to run the multigaze ability across a few of the other developers before I put it into print, but I like the idea of it.

• Unavoidable gaze makes total sense for a swarm of eyeballs.

• The eye possession special ability is cool. I especially like the eye-pluck switcheroo, but it needs some more information and clarification. I think the telepathy at any distance needs the “as long as both are on the same plane” clause. I also think you need to determine how many creatures it can puppet around. The way it’s worded, the creature could have hundreds of thousands of people out there as its victims. There should also be information about how a creature can reverse this effect other than just killing the eye swarm. As written, killing it is the only way to deal with it, and once you do you’re blinded. Does this blinded condition require you to regrow eyeballs? (I’d say yes.) So that needs regeneration or something. I need more information about this ability.

• True seeing: The way to do this is to make it a constant spell-like ability. (And include it in the senses line, exactly as you did.)

• Double treasure? How?

• Alphabetize special abilities. Actually, pretty much any time there is a list of something, it’s going to be alphabetized (unless there is another precedent or a better organizational reason).

• I’m not a fan of the irregular plural name for the creature. We really try to use as few of those as possible.

• This is an interesting creature, and while it has a few minor problems in the design and execution, the main thing I think I disagree with in this submission is that I don’t see it as an aberration. I think it works better as an undead (which means a fair amount of redesign, but nothing too tough). In fact, when I first started reading this monster, it made me think of a swarm of isitioqs.

This is a cool idea, but the possession ability needs more words. (Possession abilities are total word hogs. I weakly do recommend this monster to advance.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I just don't see it (bad pun intended). I mean, I've played enough Final Fantasy games to have seen floating eye monsters, and maybe it was having just watched the third D&D movie today, which had a messed up scene with a wizard's eye -- but I guess the idea of a swarm of eye monsters isn't terribly original. Then you give it powers that are well... powerful. And then it's a swarm right? so... yeah. I don't like it. Mechanics favor them too much.

What really ruins it for me is your "story"/"description" at the end. I don't like the way you characterize them. This thing should just be senseless horror. It doesn't need a reason to exist. My PCs don't need to know why I am attacking them with vicious versions of arcane eye, or otherwise trying to bring their nightmares to life. The whole "see what is denied to them" seems almost silly, especially since they have true seeing. They can see whatever the heck they want. If all they want to do is see, they should each go exploring on their own... no swarm of eyes.

ADDED THOUGHT: I'd rather they were "created" by a madness that was induced by being in their swarm effect that causes victims to gouge out their own eyes. The fact that you made me have that thought, and then prefer it is disturbing, but actually makes me like your creature a little more.


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This will be the 4th entry I've viewed. On first glance, I like the initial concept. Swarm of flying, little aberrations with an eye theme. Not exactly original, but let's dig in and see what we've got.

Name: A bit too obvious with the eye connection, and not really explanatory of anything.

Descriptive Text: Provides a clear image of the creature, and a really creepy one at that. Good.

hp: Below average for CR, but given the swarm traits, not a deal breaker. This many HD, however, alters a lot of other abilities. The baseline of 10 HD for a CR 7 aberration is there for a reason. The hp balance might have been better made by a Con boost, since it doesn't affect so many other areas of the monster.

AC: Slightly below average, but it can't be hit by weapons anyway.

Attack: Swarm, so not applicable.

Damage: On par for a swarm of its CR.

Primary Ability DC: High for its CR, as is the distraction ability. However, we're dealing with a swarm and the HD boost to get its hp up boosts a lot of things across the board.

Saves: Saves are high across the board. Gonna make it tough to take this thing down, since weapons don't work. Might be a balance issue here for its CR. Hive mind makes it more vulnerable than an average swarm, but its high Will save negates any advantage that might provide.

Statistics: Half the stats should be even, and the other half odd. All its stats are even. Also, why Str 4? Why are flying eyeballs so strong? Rats are a size category larger, and they only have a Str 2.

Special Abilities:
Eye Possession: Weird and cool, but it eats up a lot of word count and I'm not sure its really a fully baked idea. Too many unanswered questions about its limits and how to counter it.

Gaze/Multigaze/Unavoidable Gaze: Cool, interactive abilities. Dangerous though. Might be toeing the line for its CR. Not so bad for a party aware of the danger in time to take precautions, but potentially a TPK machine for a group unprepared for the encounter.

True Seeing: Uh-uh. No way. A CR 7 monster with a 5th level spell as an at-will ability on top of the rest? Way too much.

Feats: Wouldn't Fly-By Attack be useless for a swarm? It technically has no attacks, just a set amount of damage done to any creature that starts its turn in the area of the swarm. It can't, per the rules, fly past a creature and deal swarm damage. Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes and their Improved versions move toward unbalancing this monster. There are only so many ways to beat a swarm, and this one is closing those holes in its defense fairly thoroughly.

Skills: I ran the numbers on the skills twice and come up six skill points shy of the 72 the monster should have to spend. That's taking into account that it has Stealth +17 just from its Dex mod and Size bonus, and that Bluff, Diplomacy, one Knowledge skill, and Linguistics are not class skills for aberrations. Also, it seems it should have one more language on its list from Linguistics.

I agree with the judges that double treasure is ridiculous. How do they carry it?

Background: There's too little here. I find the idea of the obsession with seeing everything appealing, but the connection to Nar-Voth is weak. They need a better tie-in. Perhaps if they were creations of the derro, either escaped or perhaps still working for their creators, acting as spies and furthering their insane experiments upon surface dwellers, or both. That would anchor them to the area through an already existing race. As is, the link to Nar-Voth is weak and I'm not sure the background stands on its own.

Overall, I find the concept really intriguing. I have concerns that it might be too strong for its CR as written, which would (technically) put it outside the range required for the contest. Whether the cool factor is able to carry it remains to be seen, after I see what the other dozen entries have to bring to the contest. Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka SmiloDan

Wow! I really like this! You had me at "The eyelids form mouths lined with tiny, jagged teeth that clack together hungrily with every blink."

I like how they blind the PCs, which is terrifying, and then the next round returns their vision, so they can have a bit of relief. It's like when you fall into negative hit points and it looks like you're done for the fight, but then you get healed so you can get up and fight again. It's thrilling and worrisome and exciting and creepy as hell. I like it.

I also like how a "winning" strategy against these things is closing your eyes, walking into the middle of the swarm, and casting fireball, range zero!!!!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

8th monster I have seen.

Good: I want to run it and eat eyes.
Bad: Why is this an underdark creature again?
Ugly: See Bad.

Your current rank is 4th.

Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I was a bit on the fence with this one, but then I thought of my players - I think they'd love this and fear it in equal measure! It's getting my vote!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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If I were running this in an adventure, I'd want to introduce it first through a possessed thrall, maybe a traveling companion or a merchant buying exotic wares. The thrall gets attacked, and as he drops dead, his eyes pull themselves out from his body and flee to safety.

Eventually, the party can run into the monster itself, and they'll be wary about eyes. (Do magic items in the eyes / goggles slot offer any protection against critters gouging your eyes out? I'd think so.)

And ever afterwards, the GM can give the party a good scare. "There's a horse tied up outside the inn, with ... 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14 unusually human-looking eyes."

Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I love the physical description of this grotesquery; an eyeball monster is really cool, and the abilities seem to fit with the theme pretty well. It does have a good reason for being a Nar-Voth monster, but I do wish there were a little more information given about its ecology and origins beyond what is given here. Why are they driven to see new (and all) sights?

It does seem as if it might be a little too overpowered for its CR, but that's just after me "eyeballing" it, and I'm admittedly not the best judge of mechanics.

I definitely like it, though, and think this is a pretty cool monster!

Star Voter Season 8

The monster is certainly evocative, but I don't think I could put this on my table in good conscience.

Question (that I shouldn't have): The gaze attack functions as hold monster, but does not list a duration or caster level. Should it be assumed that the duration is 9 rounds, per the minimum of the referenced spell? There might be a rule somewhere that explains this, but neither the monster description nor Gaze special ability does, and that's about as much scouring of books as can be reasonably expected when someone asks "How long am I paralyzed?" when it moves more than 30ft away.

Usability: DC19 on an gaze ability is huge for a CR7 creature (A medusa is the same CR with DC16), and that is before factoring in the ability to hit the entire party with an active gaze, and the pretty-much guaranteed paralysis (-4 to saves effectively means DC21, which is crazy for the CR) for anyone it swarms over who isn't blind-folded.

As a swarm of diminutive creatures most of the party will be largely ineffectual (and either blind or paralyzed) and the highly intelligent occularictus will likely sit on the casters, who will probably wind up nauseated (DC18), paralyzed (or blind, making targeting spells problematic) or dead.

And other than that, it has no other abilities. It's a paralyzing swarm.

Summary: Awesome work on the flavor, but the mechanics are about as much fun at the table as stabbing myself in the eye with a fork. Pun intended.

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Congratulations on making the Top 16! :D

A swarm of eyeball aberrations with toothed mouths for eyelids? Very different and very creepy. I like it! Solid imaginative design there creating a very memorable creature that is unlike pretty much everything that has come before it.

Mechanically this appears to be a TPK machine. The save against the hold effect is rather high and can be used over and over again, each and every round on up to six creatures. No matter how good a party of level 7 you have, within a very short period of time they will either all fail or be devoured. Running isn’t even much of an option when the flight speed is faster than the average parties move speed.

This is a bloody engine of destruction that actually does not have a tie to Nar-Voth at all. Just saying that it is located there isn’t really enough; its place within that system of caverns and to the cultures and creatures already established there in some fashion should be required.

In spite of the initial cool imagery, the mechanics backing it up are too powerful for me and so I will not be voting for this entry.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Name- Occularictus. Requires proper enunciation to say out loud. But I get it's an eye-based monster right off.

Description- Quite vivid. I want to see the art for this!

Special Abilities- Synergize well together and fit the theme. Also, creepy. One thing to note, this isn't a TPK machine. It doesn't want to kill the party, it just wants their sight. Given that players are underpowered to resist at the appropriate CR, it seems a little plot-devicey, but not unforgivably so.

Nar-Voth appropriate- Somewhat. I like the explanation for why they would be near the surface of the Darklands, but I'm not sure they're inherently Darklands creatures.

Mojo- Quite a bit. Sight-stealing eyeball swarm shows some good imagination and flair. I like their motivation as well, but not everyone will.

Will players remember in 6 months- Yes, without a doubt. No one forgets the sight-stealing eyeball swarm.


Why is its gaze unavoidable? If I were covered in biting eyeballs, I think it would be the easiest thing in the world not to stare into a hypnotic gaze. As for the gaze itself, why hold monster and not blindness plus confusion? A missed opportunity, I think.

Why true seeing? It doesn't seem like it would need such an ability in order to survive. If you want to make it difficult to avoid, I'd suggest simply see invisible and a +2 save against illusions. And if it does have true seeing, why not a constant SLA instead of a mysterious (Ex) ability? I think this is a case where I find myself asking, "Is all this stuff going on really necessary to make this monster work?"

What's up with a creature that desires to see all, but can't see while it's eating?

Eye possession is awesome. But it really comes out of left field. I think the create would be better rewritten around eye possession. Like, what if you caught a disease that caused it to see out of your eyes, but the conclusion of the illness was your eyes popping out and joining the swarm?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Criteria:

The Monster round is my favorite in the competition as it generally exposes the designers in a way previous rounds do not. 300 words is enough to make an impression but does not tell me much about you as a designer.

The monster round tells me about your gaming ascetic, your attention to detail, and if you have the creative chops to be different. Anyone can make a boring monster it takes a special kind of mind to make a Chimney Troll or a Yellow Tongued Hulk. IS it fair to compare you to my favorites from prior years? Probably not but I'm going to do so anyway.

Format you'll find familiar but shorter than my item reviews. I'm combining bad and ugly and I'm going to be harsh even on the things I like, this is because compliments don't make you better.

Good I like you went swarm and the swarm of eyes is at least well thought out. I feel like you're looking for a way to rethink the beholder and you might have pulled it off.
Bad and Ugly Eye possession is awkward and didn't quite land for me. I'm also having a hard time with the purpose and motivation of these critters. I get the want to see everything what I'm missing is how they came to be and why.
Overall -B for me I'd vote for it if I had 8 votes with 4 I'm not so sure.


I call this an easy B- that could be an A+ if it went into a think-tank group.

Mikko is totally right about the balance between gore and subtle to set the tone and mood. This has potential to be one of the actual scariest creatures out there.

I like that it has purpose and desire to drive it, that's what makes it scary, but it could have been said more earnestly then "wants to see everything"

I would like to have seen some mind effects that took the P.C's through the conditions of shaken, confused, and cowering, before being engulfed and having their eyes ripped out..... Possibly by using mindreading and telepathy to create an effect similar to what a gibbering mouther can do with sound, only talking within the P.C's head insted.

This has a darker feel to me then the normal Pathfinder/D&D stuff.

This will get my vote based on potential, not on execution.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Ew! Great description. It’s interesting, well-described, and creepy. And I’m excited about a swarm. Hope the rest of this lives up to the start…

Hmm. Write-up’s a little cryptic; this may be a rare case where I needed to read the rest of the stat block first. That said, I feel like I’ll know how to use them once I know a bit more about them. They definitely seem like they could be a good opponent to the PCs and a memorable encounter. Be interesting to see the swarm as an NPC, with it maybe bargaining to get sight of something. (That said, it’s CE, so that probably won’t happen very often.)

hp -
AC -
Atk NA
Dmg – (but hold monster could be really dangerous)
Abilities +
Saves +/-

Lots of gazes. I can see how each has its own aspect, but I think maybe combining them into a single line would have been smart. The core gaze (hold monster) could be a really brutal bit, especially with the higher CR. I’m assuming it lasts for 12 rounds (based on HD), though it should tell me -- that's probably too long. Now, you’ve given an out to a TPK by saying they often forgo swarm damage, so that’s a nice fallback for a GM. Could be really creepy too, if the PCs all realize they’ve been eye-possessed…

Speaking of which, now there’s a REALLY creepy ability. Agamotto himself is getting the heeby jeebies here. I can see why some people think it's over the line, but I think it's OK. I do wish there were some way to undo it – maybe remove curse? – but otherwise that’s evocative. In a way that’s going to creep players out.

I like the Knowledge skills; makes sense with them being all seeing.

Though I wasn’t totally crazy with the write-up and there are some definite mechanical concerns, I think the mojo of this creature really shines through. I think this is one of the ones I’ll remember most from this round next year and I expect I’ll be voting for this, even if it may need some rewriting.

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Multi-toothed eye lidded eyed swarm creature wot sees all and steals your eyes and replaces them with its own so it can gabble Draconic at you telepathically?

Well weird, and horrifying. Get me a full face helmet immediately.

Definitely a keeper in the creative list.

The blinded victims is a neat touch, makes the aftermath of killing this thing a two edged affair.

Loving the organization names. Is 13 or more an omniscience? ;)

I agree that some condition escalation might be preferable to insta-cyclopsing people, and I agree there is little actual lore in this creature description. WHat little there is only adds to the creepy haunting aspect of the creature...

Fantastic chops.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I see this creature as terrifying for players. and not just because the description is scary but because it could complete destroy the party with its abilities.

but if used by a good GM could interesting.

Marathon Voter Season 8

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Disclaimer:
I'm probably not your "typical" judge of monsters. When I GM, I tend not to use pre-generated creatures and statblocks, preferring instead to build custom foes for the PCs (this is because my houserules remove, most significantly, magic items, excessive wealth, and instant, permanent debilitating effects, like instant death, ability drain, energy drain, permanent curses, etc.). However, I do, occasionally mine extant creatures for ideas, and adapt them to suit my needs.

I would say that at least 75% of the foes my PCs face are intelligent, social creatures with class levels, as I always prefer it when, 1) there is a logical reason for an encounter (I dislike illogical filler encounters when 1d4 darkmantles drop on you just for the hell of it) 2) there are multiple ways to overcome a challenge (such as parley, escape, manipulating the environment, etc.). So, for an actual, legitimate monster to interest me, it needs to have logical reasons to interact with the party beyond "they're close by and it attacks for reasons," and ideally, it needs to create a memorable interaction thanks to a strange ability or behavior pattern.

From the PC side of the table, meanwhile, I'll be judging on how fun it would to encounter this creature. Now, I don't mean "how easy it would be to defeat," I mean how dynamic and exciting facing it would be. There are tons of filler creatures already that you just beat on until someone falls over. I want something involving unusual tactics, but that wouldn't just be frustrating.
Now, on to the monster!


Ew, no. First, this is an absolute nightmare to fight. An intelligent Diminutive Swarm with a paralyzing multi-gaze, improved iron will (practically removing its susceptibility to mind affecting effects), above average perfect flight, truesight and a huge vision range and Perception check so there's no escape...this is like a collection of all the worst traits to have to deal with, and only at CR 7? This would suck to fight, as much as almost anything else I can think of.

The worst part about this seemingly perfect predator is that, well, it doesn't actually seem dangerous and I can't imagine why you'd ever engage one. It's goals seem to create "eye spies," but, being an eye spy costs the victim, uh, absolutely nothing. You get your eyes ripped out horrifically, yes, but then, you get normal new eyes and get to go on your way. Who cares? What is this mass of eyes going to do with your sight besides, you know, enjoy it? It doesn't harm or affect you in any way, nor can it excercise any control over you. In fact, that's another reason not to engage them--killing it blinds all of its victims that are off just living normal lives unaffected by the thing.

How would you use this? What are its goals beyond seeing stuff? What makes it worth engaging and killing given how horrible it is to fight? This is a very creepy monster, but it needs something else--some goal, or dark master controlling them, or, I don't know, anything it can actually do with its network of spies other than enjoy their senses for it to really work.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Wow, great monsters, the imagery reminds me of something out of Spectreman, or Ultraman, which is a good thing.

The blend of powers works really well and makes sense - with all of those eyeballs having a gaze attack, unavoidable gaze and multi-gaze work well. However, multigaze seems a bit vague and overpowered. As a swarm, it doesn't really use attack actions, it moves to overlap spaces with it's victims to damage them, and an attack action is a standard action so it can multigaze, then move and damage people more. I'd have it take a full round action, so it can target up to 6 with it's gaze, but anyone who saves can move out of the swarm and not simply be followed that turn.

Also, why is the limit 6? It might make more sense and scale better if it was tied to Cha bonus, and target 3, which at this CR would be a bit more reasonable. The passive gaze already will target anything in range, so forcing an active gaze attack on 6 will effectively be all party members, including animal companions, etc, in most parties.

Star Voter Season 6

Fifteenth monster I've read...
Thoughts:
Wow. Gore-dripping eye-swarm of squicky nastiness taking over others' vision...
It definitely grosses me out! As a disgusting monster, it works well.
I'm probably looking for something more to win my vote, though.
Still, well done. Yuck!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 8

Brief critiques as I prep for the possibility of advancing, focusing on feedback that is hopefully new and constructive to future designs.
I have the same issue with eye-monsters as I do with eye-items. I don’t like thinking about eyes, they skeeve me out. Still, that’s one of the things that makes this critter compelling and frightening – one of the most distinctive beasts in the round, in my opinion. I don’t know why a monster that wants to see everything lives solely underground, that’s pretty limiting. Unavoidable gaze is a huge game-breaker, too.
Hope to see some more balance with equal amounts of awesome next round if you advance. Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka moon glum

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Thanks for all of the comments!

This is a monster got out of control, in that it got way over word count and I had to edit it down.
As such, a lot of the eye possessed mechanics had to be trimmed, and the background had to be cut.

The original way over word count write up did allow the Occularictus to exercise some influence over eye possessed victims, and had notes about telepathy being limited to the same plane, and what sorts of healing is needed to remove the occularictus's eyes and return an eye possessed's sight.

The original background was approximately as follows:

Some occularicti are birthed from lakes of radiation steeped protoplasm that bubble in the deep realms of Sekamina. The protoplasm sprouts eyes that slowly crawl forth as grub like proto-occularicti that congregate in squirming mounds near their brithplace. Eventually their nervous systems develop to the point where they form a hive mind and can levitate, thus becoming an adult occularictus. Seeking new sights, they migrate upwards into the realms of Nar-Voth, where they hunt and reproduce, and where they can create eye possessed that allow them to vicariously explore the worlds beneath the sunlit sky.

Occularicti hunger for the blood and flesh of sighted creatures and are also driven by the desire to reproduce, which they accomplish by taking a creatures eyes without replacing them, and then injecting those eyes with an ichor that transforms them into occularictus eyes. When enough of these eyes have been created, a new occularictus is formed.
But beyond even their hunger and their drive to propagate their kind, occularicti are motivated by their desire to see all things, particularly that which is denied them. Occularicti are especially jealous of the sights that the surface world has to offer, and many dwell near the openings to Nar-Voth, where they can venture forth at night to transform surface dwellers into eye possessed. Some occularicti develop networks of spies and hoard knowledge that they use to dominate those societies of humanoids that they manage to infiltrate, and some of these sell their services to powerful rulers in return for victims that they use both as eye possessed servants, and as fodder to help increase the size of their brood.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka moon glum

I agree with commenters that were troubled by the gaze attack. A quick fix for that would be to have it do wisdom damage:

Gaze (Su): 1d6 Wisdom damage, 30 feet, Will DC 19 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Welcome to the Top 16 Ben and to the Top 8.
I made notes on all the monsters, but have been slow to post feedback. I hope to offer something useful as you move on to the next assignment.

The visuals were awesome, and I do mean awe. The creepy factor alone. Aberrations and swarms are overdone imho, but this is perfect for doing life-sized eyeballs as a creature. I fear the unavoidable gaze implies a blindfold will not work, though I can see the averting your eyes would (SHOULD) not be enough. The multiple gaze attacks is iffy for me. I think I side with the others in saying it is too far, but I definitely feel the multiple targets is a strong point of the critter. I would have liked the blindness to be more permanent (though fixable) with the replacement eyes working more like a queen bee or ant flying off to start a new colony (erupting 1d12 days later? when the host dies? when it is near 20+ other sighted creatures?). This preference is not held against the monster and in fact this kind of inspiration earns the designer some credit, because inspiration is the part I look most for in RPGSS.

Good luck!

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