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Glaring Tyrant CR 13
LE Large Aberration
Init +6, Senses Perception +20; Darkvision (60 ft),AC 28, touch 12, flat-footed 24 (+2 Dex, -1 size, +17 natural)
hp 103 (13d8+44 HD)
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +12Spd 5 ft, fly 30ft (good)
Melee bite +3 (2d4)
Ranged eye ray +10 (as ray)
Space 10 ft.;Reach 5 ft.
Special Actions Antimagic Eye, Eye Rats, Sustained Barrage
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13)
At will—charm person (DC 18), disintegrate (DC 23), blast ray, parasitic ray, slow (DC 20), telekinesis (DC 22)
Str 10 (+0), Dex 15 (+2), Con 18 (+4), Int 17 (+3), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 15 (+2)
Base Atk +9, CMB +10, CMD 23 (can't be tripped)
SQ can't be tripped or flanked
Feats Alertness, Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Bluff +8, Fly +17, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (Arcana) +19, Perception +26, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +16, Stealth +10, Survival +12
Environment Cold hills
Organization Solitary, pair, or cluster
Real World History
The glaring tyrant is a re-imaging of a classic monster for the Pathfinder system, refactored based on Mike Mearls' "Monster Makover" of the same creature. This "makeover" intends to solve the creature's more troubling features, particularly with facing, overuse of save-or-die effects and antimagic, while still keeping the basic flavor of the monster intact. (A Pathfinder version of this creature more true to the original can be found in the netbook The Book of Forbidden Lore.)
Large floating sphere with huge central eye, gaping mouth, and ten eye-stalks.
All Around Vision (Ex) Glaring tyrants are exceptionally alert and circumspect. Their many eyes give them a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks, and they can't be flanked.
Antimagic Eye (Su) The glaring tyrant can focus its large, central eye on an area, disrupting all spellcasting that takes place there. As a swift action, the glaring tyrant creates a 60 foot cone. Anyone in this area who attempts to cast a spell must make a caster level check (DC 18) to successfully complete the spell. This DC is Intelligence based and includes a +4 racial bonus. This effect does not interfere with the tyrant's eye rays.
Can't Be Tripped (Ex) As creatures who float, glaring tyrants cannot be tripped.
Eye Rays (Su) Each of a glaring tyrant's eye stalks can produce a ray of magical energy with a range of 150 feet. As a standard action, a glaring tyrant can produce one ray from each eyestalk. It can target up to three rays at a single target. Each ray aimed at a specific target must have a different effect, but a glaring tyrant can use the same ability twice per round. Each ray requires a successful ranged touch attack. Glaring tyrants gain a +4 racial bonus to the save DCs for these rays. All spell-like effects generated by the rays are cast as a 13th level wizard.
- The stun ray can either Stun the target on a failed Will save (DC 18) or be used to cast charm person (DC 18).
- The blast ray does 6d6 points of damage, with the glaring tyrant choosing the energy type.
- The telekinesis ray functions as a telekinesis spell. The alternative Combat Maneuver Bonus provided by the spell (see description) is based on Intelligence (CMB +16). A telekinetic effect may be sustained over multiple rounds (as per the spell), but this requires that the ray remain focused on the target. In combat, glaring tyrants most often use this ray to bull rush or trip approaching melee fighters.
- The slow ray works as per the spell if it hits (DC 20).
- The disintegrate ray works as the spell (DC 23, base damage 26d6).
As an example, suppose a glaring tyrant encounters a party of four adventurers: a fighter, a cleric, a rogue, and a wizard. On its turn, it uses three rays against two targets, and two rays against two other targets. It cannot use any specific ray more than twice. It uses its rays in the following manner:
- Fighter: telekinesis, slow, disintegrate.
- Wizard: telekinesis, blast ray (cold), stun.
- Cleric: stun, disintegrate.
- Rogue: slow, blast ray (acid).
Flight (Ex) A glaring tyrant's body is naturally buoyant. This buoyancy allows it to fly at a speed of 30 feet. This buoyancy also grants it a permanent feather fall effect (as the spell) with personal range and allows the glaring tyrant to hover without needing to make a Fly skill check.
Sustained Barrage (Su) Glaring tyrants continually seethe with arcane energy, allowing them to create a sustained barrage of rays. A glaring tyrant rolls two dice for initiative and records both results. On a glaring tyrant's initiative count, it can choose to take its normal turn or a special barrage turn. It may take one normal turn per round and one barrage turn per round. On its barrage turn, the glaring tyrant may fire its telekinesis ray or a special parasitic ray at any target within 60 feet. The parasitic ray functions as the spell vampiric touch, but requiring a ranged touch attack. The glaring tyrant fires twice, once for each type of ray. It may fire at the same or a different target. The glaring tyrant cannot take any other actions on its barrage turn except to delay.
All of the advice in the monster makeover was followed, with two exceptions. The first is the telekinesis ray. The Pathfinder version of this spell, while still complicated, leverages the combat maneuver rules in a good way, so using them instead of adding arbitrary "save or be moved" mechanics seems like a better idea. The second change is to the sustained barrage ability. Rather than reuse the blast ray, I changed Mark's version to use a vampiric touch-like effect. The damage is the same (6d6), but provides a bit more staying power to the tyrant.
The starting point for the stats was to keep the CR at 13. According to the Pathfinder SRD monster creation guidelines a CR 13 aberration should have 19 hit dice, around 180 hp, AC 28, attacks of 22/16, do around 45-60 points of damage per attack, have save DCs in the 15-21 range, and make saves in the 12-16 range. Since, as originally written, the creature is a bit of a "glass cannon", I strayed pretty far from this advice:
- Hit dice: to keep the caster level at 13, I went with 13 hit dice instead of 19. This changes a lot of the other scores, making the tyrant physically weak for its CR, as it should be. At 4.5hp per die, the tyrant's average hp are just over half the standard for the CR.
- AC is normal for the CR.
- WIth the two disintigrates and two blasts each round, the tyrant's damage output is much higher.
- The save DCs range slightly higher than typical for the CR.
- The lower number of hit dice yields much lower attack ratings and saving throws. Since most of tyrant's abilities used ranged touches, this is probably about right.