D&D Compendium of Monsters: Spectators — Your Treasure Vault’s Best Friend

D&D Compendium of Monsters: Spectators — Your Treasure Vault’s Best Friend

You are on a stealth mission with some of
your closest guildmates, delving into the depths of an abandoned mage’s tower to recover
a stolen Staff of the Magi. It has been brutal. Clarence was obliterated by a disintegration
ray, Amelie was torn apart by an iron golem, Reginald got crushed under a rolling boulder,
leaving you and Joyful the tiefling, who looks anything but. Your Sending Stone vibrates. Your employer
is getting impatient: you should have been at the rendez-vous hours ago, but you didn’t
expect an abandoned tower to have such extensive defenses. According to your employer’s rudimentary
map, there’s only one more room to go before you reach the vault. The next room is a long
hallway with many swinging axe traps. Piece of cake. You deftly run between the blades,
timing your steps perfectly until you reach the other end of the hall. Joyful looks hesitant to start moving, but
coaxes herself to try and get past the first blade. She doesn’t. It’s just you now…all
alone. Or are you? You hear a faint giggling behind the door and the sound of someone talking
to themself. Your employer swore this place was abandoned. Bastard. You test the door
to see if it’s locked and it opens quietly at your touch. You spot an abominable creature.
A floating eye with smaller eyes on little stalks. Who goes there? You crouch quietly, hoping the thing will
turn around just enough so you can hit it with some arrows. I know you’re here, little one. Come talk
with Xelbrox! That’s when you realize, the voice is inside
your head and the creature knows you’re here. But how, why? You respond nervously
to the creature and you learn that the staff is here and the mage who stole it is in hiding,
but the creature will not give it up due to its orders. You sigh, and release an arrow
at its center eye, trying to blind it. You miss. The creature breaks off communication
with your mind and looses a ray of energy at you. It envelops your body and robs you
of your movement, no matter how much you struggle to regain control. Xelbrox doesn’t like when visitors are mean.
Good bye. The creature hits you again and again with
an agonizing ray of necrotic energy. Before you fade to black, you finally remember what
this thing is. Welcome back to a Compendium of Monsters.
This week’s entry: the Spectator. Before we get into it, please make sure to
subscribe to my channel! It helps me out a lot! Spectators are a commonly-seen beholderkin
because they’re fairly easy for low-level parties to deal with. Watch who you’re calling low-level, person
within Wounding Ray distance. Xelbrox still has 93 years to kill you. One of the most notable spectators in the
Dungeons and Dragons community is JessJackdaw’s avatar. If you’re unfamiliar with her content,
I’ll put a link in the description of this video. Go check her stuff out, especially
the pokemon/D&D monster fusions. They’re super cool. Spectators are a Challenge Level 3 aberration.
Its size is Medium, it has an Armor Class of 14, average hit points of 39, a hovering
speed of 30 feet, and no walking speed. @#%$&, you better roll! Spectators have darkvision and
telepathy out to 120 feet and are immune to the prone condition. Spectators have a reaction
ability in addition to their normal actions, but let’s get to the main damage first. Spectators have a bite attack that is an absolute
last resort, especially since their strength modifier is negative. They do, however, shoot
two eye beams at you every single one of their turns. Each beam requires a save, meaning
it automatically hits. There are four possible beam choices: a confusion ray, a paralyzing
ray, a fear ray, and a wounding ray. A failed confusion ray save means your character
will attack random targets with melee and ranged attacks. If you can’t make an attack,
you do nothing, but don’t count on that. This only lasts til the end of your character’s
next turn, thank goodness. A failed paralyzing ray save—as seen earlier—means
you are paralyzed for one minute (SURPRISE) and all melee attacks against you have advantage
and are critical hits. If the Spectator has any help, you’re probably toast. A failed fear ray save causes you to be frightened
for one minute. You are allowed to save at the end of each of your turns, but with disadvantage
if you can see the spectator. However, if you save against the fear, you aren’t immune
to it for 24 hours like you are with some creatures. Just keep that in mind. A failed wounding ray save will cause you
to take 3d10 necrotic damage. This isn’t very concerning at higher levels, but an average
damage of 16 is enough to make any low level character think twice about how good their
healing is. Spectators are granted a fun reaction called
Spell Reflection. This allows a Spectator who has succeeded a saving throw against a
spell (or if a spell attack misses it) to retarget the spell to another entity in the
room, including the caster! The new target will either have to roll a saving throw or
an attack roll has to be made against it. Thought fireball was a good idea? Your crispy
teammates think otherwise. Spectators are summoned by a magic ritual.
Remember they are aberrations and therefore don’t exist in nature. Components for this
gruesome ritual include four beholder eyestalks (sorry Xanathar) that the ritual’s magic
consumes to create the Spectator. Spectators measure 4’ across and their eyes are always
located in sets of 2 on either side of their single eye, which does NOT have the antimagic
cone effect. When successfully summoned, a Spectator will
guard an area or treasure for 101 years or less and only allow their specific summoner
or approved guests to venture through unharmed. Spectators need to eat and drink, but they
can cast a lesser version of Create Food and Water to sustain themselves for 24 hours.
Gosh that would really help me with my food bills. A Spectator will guard a treasure so
long as it is kept in the area they’re told to guard. If the treasure is stolen or destroyed
before 101 years are up, the Spectator vanishes, returning to the plane of existence from whence
they came. As seen earlier, Spectators can speak and
use telepathy out to 120 feet. They prefer telepathy because look at that tongue, man.
Have you tried to talk when your tongue was swollen? It sucks, right? Telepathy also allows
Spectators to be understood more universally, seeing as they ordinarily only speak Deep
Speech and Undercommon. When a Spectator finally lives out its 101
years of service, it is free to do as it pleases. Most of them occupy the area they were told
to guard, seeing as their summoner is probably dead at this point, though with their loss
of purpose comes a creeping madness that exponentially flourishes the more time a freed Spectator
is left to its own company. My players encountered several Spectators
when securing their guild hall in Peacelun. It was a very messy encounter involving a
lot of fears, paralyzes, and necrotic damage, but eventually the Spectators were defeated.
How did they end up here? Well, funny you should ask that. This guild hall was formerly
owned by a group of unruly mages who summoned Spectators to what amounts to a dog-fighting
ring. Yes, cruel, but they did pay for it. Don’t take poor care of your summons, friend.
There are consequences. Anyways, what do you all think of Spectators?
Let me know in the comments below! As always, thank you so much for watching.
If you enjoyed this video, please hit that subscribe button and smash that like button.
I’ll see you all, next time.

3 thoughts on “D&D Compendium of Monsters: Spectators — Your Treasure Vault’s Best Friend

  1. Spectators are awesome. First campaign for my group, I was the DM.

    One of the PCs ended up dead, had to be revived. One of them ended up without an arm, which rotted off due to the necrotic damage it suffered.

    In the end I fudged a few rolls and they were able to beat the mini boss in a fun, challenging experience. They seemed content with my DMing of it, since one became interested in DMing himself and they asked me to make my own campaign, so that felt super nice.

  2. the Museum of Oddities in Kahakai on the Emerald coast has a multitude of extra-dimensional guards including two Spectators that the owner, a retired Conjuration Wizard, treats like Family. this was one of the locations that a One-shot I ran for my Relatives in Florida went to. they also fought an Elemental Golem, which is a homebrew monster that I made on the fly.

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