Actions

Glaring Tyrant

From DivNull RPG

Glaring Tyrant CR 13

LE Large Aberration

Init +7, Senses Perception +38; Darkvision (60 ft),

DEFENSE
AC 27, touch 12, flat-footed 24 (+3 Dex, -1 size, +15 natural)

hp 180 (19d8+95 HD)

Fort +13, Ref +9, Will +15

OFFENSE
Spd 5 ft, fly 30ft (good)

Melee bite +8 (2d4)

Ranged eye ray +17 (as ray, crit range 19-20)

Space 10 ft.;Reach 5 ft.

Special Actions Baleful Eye, Eye Rays, Sustained Barrage

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19)

at willmage hand
2/roundstunning ray (DC 21), disintegrate (DC 24), blast ray, slow (DC 21), telekinesis (DC 23)
3/daycharm monster (DC 22))

STATISTICS

Str 10 (+0), Dex 16 (+6), Con 20 (+5), Int 16 (+3), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 18 (+4)

Base Atk +14, CMB +15, CMD 28 (can’t be tripped)

SQ can’t be tripped or flanked

Feats Alertness, Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (Eye Ray), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (Eye Ray)

Skills Bluff +12, Fly +25, Intimidate +25, Knowledge (Arcana) +23, Perception +38, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +23, Stealth +19, Survival +15

ECOLOGY

Environment Cold hills

Organization Solitary, pair, or cluster

Treasure Double

Real World History[edit]

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.)

Appearance[edit]

Large floating sphere with huge central eye, gaping mouth, and ten eye-stalks.

Special Abillities[edit]

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.

Baleful Eye (Su) The glaring tyrant can focus its large, central eye on an area, disrupting all spellcasting that originates within it. As a free 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 27) to successfully complete the spell. This DC is Charisma based and includes a +4 racial bonus. The cone moves with the glaring tyrant and, as the tyrant is never considered to be inside the cone, does not affect the use of its 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 ten eye stalks can produce a ray of magical energy with a range of 150 feet, once each round. Five different ray effects are available to the glaring tyrant, but it can only use each effect twice per round (that is, each effect can be generated by exactly two eye stalks). No matter the circumstances, the limit of ten rays, two of each type, cannot be exceeded in a single round. Further, the same effect may only be used against a specific target once per round. As a standard action, a glaring tyrant may fire any eye stalks it has not yet used this round. It can target up to three rays at a single target, but each ray must have different effects. Each ray requires a successful ranged touch attack. Save DCs are Charisma based and glaring tyrants gain a +4 racial bonus. Rays function as cast by a 19th level sorcerer.

  • The stunning ray Stuns the target on a failed Fortitude save (DC 21, calculated as if a third level spell) for 1d6 rounds.
  • The blast ray does 6d6 points of energy damage, with the glaring tyrant choosing one of the five energy types (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic) as it fires.
  • The telekinesis ray functions as a telekinesis spell (DC 23). The alternative Combat Maneuver Bonus provided by the spell (see description) is based on Charisma (CMB +17). 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, trip or grapple approaching melee fighters.
  • The slow ray works as per the spell if it hits (DC 21).
  • The disintegrate ray works as the spell (DC 24, base damage 26d6).

Flight (Ex) A glaring tyrant’s body is naturally buoyant. This buoyancy allows it to fly at a speed of 30 feet and grants it a permanent feather fall effect (as the spell) with personal range. The glaring tyrant may hover without needing to make a Fly skill check.

Ray Critical (Su): If any eye ray confirms a critical hit, the tyrant may choose to forgo all other benefits of the critical hit (e.g. double damage, effects from critical feats, etc.) to instead give a +4 circumstance bonus to the Save DC for that particular attack.

Sustained Barrage (Su) Glaring tyrants continually seethe with arcane energy, allowing them to create a sustained barrage of rays. As a free action, the tyrant may fire one of its eye rays at a target within 60 feet. Only one ray of each type may be fired in this way per round. Use of these rays counts against the per round usage and targeting limits of the eye rays.

For example, suppose a glaring tyrant encounters a party of four adventurers: a fighter, a cleric, a rogue, and a wizard. Both the fighter and the wizard get higher initiative rolls than the glaring tyrant, so it uses its sustained barrage ability, taking a free action at the start of the round to fire a slow ray at the fighter and another free action firing a stun ray at the wizard. Later in the round, on its own turn, it has eight rays left to fire. Since it already fired rays at the fighter and wizard, it can only target them with, at most, two rays each. It decides to use one against the fighter and two against the wizard. It casts three of the remaining rays against the cleric. The rouge, however, is under cover but has not yet acted in the round, so the glaring tyrant holds two rays in reserve for him. The rogue uses its action to attack, moving into the open. As he moves, the glaring tyrant uses the sustained barrage ability to target its two remaining rays at the rogue as free actionas. Since it can only use a given effect once per target, it spreads the rays around like so:

  • Fighter: slow (from sustained barrage), disintegrate
  • Wizard: stun (from sustained barrage), telekinesis (grapple), blast ray (cold)
  • Cleric: stun, disintegrate, telekinesis (bull rush)
  • Rogue: slow (from sustained barrage), blast ray (acid) (from sustained barrage)

Design Choices[edit]

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, which fits in more closely with Pathfinder’s action system.

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. I stayed mostly close to this advice, but kept a bit of the “glass cannon” nature of the original creature.

  • 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.
  • Hit dice: standard for CR
  • Feats: uses the standard number of feats, but feats are intentionally unoptimized. (As an example, Lightning Reflexes would help the tyrant more than some of its other feats. This is an easy change, if you want to make it. I don’t.)
  • AC is slightly lower than normal for the CR.
  • Caster level: Default is to give the creature a caster level equal to its hit dice (19). Earlier versions reduced this, but playtesting suggested keeping the default as is. The only real result of this is that disintegrate does even more damage.
  • Saving throws are a bit lower than usual for the CR.

The choice to use free actions for the sustained barrage ability is intentional, and a result of playtesting. It gives the tyrant a lot of flexibility and helps it manage groups of foes in a more fearsome way. Essentially, it can interrupt enemies very easily, while its high Perception skill usually spots all incoming threats. Without this ability, essentially the fighter closes the distance on his turn and lays a smackdown on the tyrant, ending the fight quickly.

PCGen Data[edit]

The following data can be added to your “vendor data” files if you want to add this creature as a kit to PCGen. To use the data, you’ll need to replace the † characters with tabs.

Add this to your *_races.list file:

Glaring Tyrant†STARTFEATS:1†SIZE:L†MOVE:Walk,5,Fly,30†FACE:10†REACH:5†LANGAUTO:Common†BONUS:COMBAT|AC|15|TYPE=NaturalArmor.REPLACE†BONUS:STAT|DEX|6†BONUS:STAT|CON|10†BONUS:STAT|INT|5†BONUS:STAT|WIS|4†BONUS:STAT|CHA|7†CSKILL:Knowledge (Arcana)|Perception|Stealth|Survival†ABILITY:Special Ability|AUTOMATIC|Eye Rays ~ Glaring Tyrant|All Around Vision ~ Glaring Tyrant|Flight ~ Glaring Tyrant|Baleful Eye ~ Glaring Tyrant|Sustained Barrage ~ Glaring Tyrant|Can’t Be Tripped†LEGS:0†HANDS:0†NATURALATTACKS:Eye Ray,Weapon.Natural.Ranged.Piercing,*1,0|Bite,Weapon.Natural.Melee.Finesseable.Piercing.Slashing.Bludgeoning,*1,2d4†MONSTERCLASS:Aberration:19†RACETYPE:Aberration†SPELLS:Innate|TIMES=ATWILL|CASTERLEVEL=HD|Mage Hand†SPELLS:Innate|TIMES=3|CASTERLEVEL=HD|Charm Monster,13+CHA†CR:13†SOURCELONG:wiki†SOURCESHORT:wiki†SOURCEPAGE:p.5

Add this to your *_abilities.lst file:

#Glaring Tyrant
All Around Vision†KEY:All Around Vision ~ Glaring Tyrant†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialQual.Extraordinary†VISIBLE:YES†BONUS:SKILL|Perception|4|TYPE=Racial†DESC: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.
Flight†KEY:Flight ~ Glaring Tyrant†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialQual.Extraordinary†VISIBLE:YES†BONUS:SKILL|Fly|4|TYPE=Racial†DESC: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. The glaring tyrant may hover without needing to make a Fly skill check.†
Eye Rays†KEY:Eye Rays ~ Glaring Tyrant†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Supernatural†VISIBLE:YES†SPELLS:Eye Rays|TIMES=ATWILL|CASTERLEVEL=HD|Disintegrate,16+CHA+4|Scorching Ray|Slow,13+CHA+4|Telekinesis,15+CHA+4†DESC:Each of a glaring tyrant’s ten eye stalks can produce a ray of magical energy with a range of 150 feet, once each round. Five different ray effects are available to the glaring tyrant, but it can only use each effect twice per round (that is, each effect can be generated by exactly two eye stalks). No matter the circumstances, the limit of ten rays, two of each type, cannot be exceeded in a single round. Further, the same effect may only be used against a specific target once per round. As a standard action, a glaring tyrant may fire any eye stalks it has not yet used this round. It can target up to three rays at a single target, but each ray must have different effects. Each ray requires a successful ranged touch attack. The Stunning Ray can stuns a target on a failed Fortitude save (DC %1). The Blast Ray does 6d6 points of energy damage, with the glaring tyrant choosing the energy type as it fires. The Telekinesis Ray functions as a telekinesis spell (DC %3). The alternative Combat Maneuver Bonus provided by the spell (see description) is based on Charisma (CMB +%5). 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, trip or grapple approaching melee fighters. The Slow Ray works as per the spell if it hits (DC %2). The Disintegrate Ray works as the spell (DC %4). Save DCs are Charisma based and glaring tyrants gain a +4 racial bonus. Rays function as cast by a %6th level sorcerer.|13+CHA+4|13+CHA+4|15+CHA+4|16+CHA+4|13+CHA|HD
Baleful Eye†KEY:Baleful Eye ~ Glaring Tyrant†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Supernatural†VISIBLE:YES†DESC:The glaring tyrant can focus its large, central eye on an area, disrupting all spellcasting that takes place there. As a free action, the glaring tyrant creates a 60 foot cone. The tyrant gains Spell Resistance %1 against any spell cast from inside this area. (This value calculated using 10 + half hit dice + Charisma bonus + 4 racial bonus). The cone moves with the glaring tyrant and, as the tyrant is never considered to be inside the cone, does not affect the use of its eye rays.|10+(HD/2)+CHA+4
Sustained Barrage†KEY:Sustained Barrage ~ Glaring Tyrant†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Supernatural†VISIBLE:YES†DESC:Glaring tyrants continually seethe with arcane energy, allowing them to create a sustained barrage of rays. As a free action, the tyrant may fire an eye ray at a target within 60 feet. Only one ray of each type may be fire this way each turn. Use of these rays counts against the per turn usage and targeting limits of the eye rays. For example, if this ability is used prior to the glaring tyrant’s action to fire two rays, it will only be able to fire the remaining eight rays on its standard action. Similarly, if the glaring tyrant fires all its rays as its standard action prior to using this ability, no ray uses will remain to power this ability later in the round.

Add this to your *_kits.lst file:

STARTPACK:Glaring Tyrant ~ Default†TYPE:DefaultMonster.Aberration VISIBLE:QUALIFY†EQUIPBUY:0†PREMULT:1,[!PRERACE:1,%],[PRERACE:1,Glaring Tyrant]
RACE:Glaring Tyrant†!PRERACE:1,%
NAME:Glaring Tyrant
ALIGN:LE
SKILL:Bluff†RANK:8
SKILL:Fly†RANK:17
SKILL:Intimidate†RANK:18
SKILL:Knowledge (Arcana)†RANK:17
SKILL:Perception†RANK:19
SKILL:Sense Motive†RANK:10
SKILL:Spellcraft†RANK:17
SKILL:Stealth†RANK:17
SKILL:Survival†RANK:10
FEAT:Alertness
FEAT:Flyby Attack
FEAT:Great Fortitude
FEAT:Improved Critical (Eye Ray)
FEAT:Improved Initiative
FEAT:Iron Will
FEAT:Point-Blank Shot
FEAT:Precise Shot
FEAT:Skill Focus (Perception)
FEAT:Weapon Focus (Eye Ray)
STAT:INT=11|WIS=11|CHA=11|STR=10|DEX=10|CON=10