Monday, April 4, 2011

Grey Watchers

I posted this on Dragonsfoot a few days ago - hoping for some feedback to see if this creature works. I was needing a non-evil, non-aggressive undead creature for a crypt adventure to act as guides and potential guardians (to set the traps if the PCs don't accomplish a certain task before they wander about the tomb complex). Still looking for feedback. Does the description make sense? Am I Missing anything? So, anyway, here it is:

Grey Watchers
TYPE: Supernatural (Undead)
FREQUENCY: Very rare
MOVE: 9”
% IN LAIR: 100%
TREASURE TYPE: Nil (see below)
NO. OF ATACKS: 1 claw (as F1)
DAMAGE/ATTACK: see below
See description
SPECIAL DEFENSES: non-corporeal only hit by +1 or better weapons
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE:IV/240+4/hp

Non-corporeal, non-evil undead which have been created to accomplish specific tasks. Once the specific task is accomplished, the Grey Watchers melt into oblivion. The task can be as specific or general as the creator desires, though the Grey Watcher will only exist as long as the corporeal body is still intact (see below). For example, Grey Watchers have been set to watch for the return of the great king and announce his arrival (however, since he never returned, they have been posted for 700 years waiting). Grey Watchers are often set to act as guides or guardians for specific areas (with no end given – “guide all who enter this room to wherever they desire to go within the complex” “if anyone without the mark of the Griffon enters the room, set the traps”). Grey Watchers are very limited in the scope of their instructions (given at the most two or three general instructions), as well as the range within which they can work (limited to about a 1200 foot radius).

While Grey Watchers have no physical presence (non-corporeal) and can only be hit by +1 or better weapons,they can affect the physical world by expending their own hit points. That is, each hit point they expend gives them one point of strength, for example, or causes one point of damage if the Watcher is able to hit a target. Watchers will expend a single hit point to accomplish relatively simple tasks such as closing a door, moving a lever, pushing an object, even tapping a physical being on the shoulder. More difficult tasks require more hit points expended (moving a heavy object would be adjudicated according to the strength table – so it might require multiple Watchers to move a very heavy object). Grey Watchers regenerate hit points at a rate of one per round, even if reduced to zero (though reducing a Grey Watcher to zero hit points will cause it to return to its bodily remains and regenerate to its full hit points there, at a much slower rate - 1 hit point per day).

Grey Watchers can only be truly destroyed by destroying their physical remains completely (incineration, wish, sending the remains to another plane, etc).

In combat, Grey Watchers will attempt to hit with what amounts to a claw attack. They attack as a first level Fighter. Hit points are expended in the attempt, thus even if the attack doesn’t hit, the Grey Watcher loses the hit points. Only in extreme circumstances will a Grey Watcher attack with enough hit points to reduce itself to zero (in defense of its physical remains, for example). So, a Grey Watcher with 19 hit points attacks an intruder, attempting to hit with 14 points. The attack misses, so the Grey Watcher is reduced to 5 hit points. It might attempt to strike again the following round, though it would probably only attack with 3 or 4 hit points. Reduced to one or two hit points, Grey Watchers will typically attempt to flee and regenerate their hit points before re-engaging with an enemy. Grey Watchers will not willingly return to their corpses, hating the reminder of their cursed existence. They typically try to avoid combat and they will go to great lengths to preserve at least a few hit points.

While Grey Watchers themselves have no treasure, treasures may have been buried with their physical bodies.


Trey said...

Makes sense to me.

Daen Ral Worldbuilder said...

Cool, thanks. I'm considering (based on a comment from Dragonsfoot) making the damage more random - but, in my typical fashion, it's more complicated.