Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Black City Bestiary - Watchers!

Scattered  around the city are various monolithic carved alien heads - the Watchers of the Black City.  These stone monuments were once part of the city's ancient defenses.  There is a cluster of them near letter I on the city map; others stand guard near the most secure extant buildings and will be noted in the text.  Adventurers may also stumble upon a lone Watcher while wandering the city (Watcher will be an entry on the artifacts sub table when searching hex contents).

Types of Watchers
The two basic types are free standing and revolving.   Free standing Watchers look a bit like Moai of Easter Island - 20-30' tall, with heavy glassy eyes embedded in a durable igneous rock.  Revolving Watchers look like a dome or ball set into a 30' diameter ring; when activated, the ball will roll back revealing the eyes and mouth of the Watcher.  Free standing Watchers can swivel 360 degrees on the base but with a limited plane of attack.  Revolving Watchers can rotate along any plane, including attacking straight up.  (The upcoming "Face in the Ground" is an example of a massive revolving Watcher).

The men of Trade Town have encountered some Watchers near a tower with many spires - area B on the city map, and there's an associated rumor on the rumor table.

Rules for Watchers
Random Watchers should be split evenly between free standing and revolving.  There's only a 50% chance the animating force in any given Watcher is still functional.  Watchers can detect invisible and track nearby movement (range 60'); they'll attack targets not carrying a proper pass key gemstone.  Roll on the following table for security level:

1 Red, Orange, Yellow
2 Green
3-5 Blue
6 Indigo, Violet

Note:  a higher gemstone allows passage past all lower security levels - for example, a character with a blue stone can get past green-level doors or Watchers.

Watchers (per Labyrinth Lord)
No. Enc.: 2-5
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 0' (stationary)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks: 1
Damage: by attack type
Save: F10
Morale: 12
Hoard Class:  none
XP: 2400

Watchers are a limited form of stone golem; they can only be damaged by magic weapons and are immune to most spells (Rock to Mud acts as a Slow spell and Stone to Flesh makes it vulnerable to all attacks for 1 round).

Attacks vary, but here are some basic ideas:

Revolving Watchers
Claw and Chain
A metal claw fires out of the Watcher's mouth, striking the target for 3d8 damage and grasping the target unless a save vs paralysis is made.  A grasped target is dragged back to the mouth for chomping (automatic 3d8 damage each round) unless a save is made to escape.

A long metal shaft fires out of the Watcher's mouth, dealing 3d8 damage.  On a natural roll of 18-20, the target is also impaled.  On the following round, the shaft will retract into the Watcher's mouth at high speed, slamming an impaled victim into the stone face for another 3d8 damage and dropping the target at the Watcher's feet.

Free Standing Watchers
Eye Blasts
A pair of eye blasts fire from the Watcher's glassy eyes.  They target a single opponent.   Roll two attacks; each hit causes 2d8 force damage and will knock the target down.

Gout of Flame
A cone of fire blasts from the Watcher's mouth, incinerating everything in the 30' cone for 3d8 (save vs dragon breath for half damage).

*Artwork by Felt


  1. A cool take on the stone golem--and Felt's illustrations really make the piece.

  2. Yes, these are very nice. Quite tough too.

  3. Yes, these are very nice. Quite tough too.

    True - but they're stationary, so they'll act more like hazards than actual monsters - they're very avoidable. And they'll let me artificially keep low-level guys from a high level area by plopping a Watcher in front of it - if you can't get past the doorman, you probably don't belong in the establishment. :)