July 6, 2018

The Watcher

Otherworldly Patron
Comments from the Knuckle: The Knuckle didn't leave any comment here, so instead I (the Finger) will provide one: Watermelon watermelon, jibber-jabber jibber-jabber.

The Watcher

Prerequisite: eldritch blast cantrip
A beholder is an aberration of terrible might, possessing chaotic and destructive powers, rivaled only by a few horrible creatures. Their hatred of all other beings, especially other beholders, is legendary. There are, however, documented cases of beholders empowering a minion to do their bidding, typically, to assassinate a rival beholder or to commit some atrocity in the beholder's name. In addition to manifesting beholder-like powers, the personality of a beholder's warlock might also warp to become more like that of their patron, making them more xenophobic, covetous, and utterly hateful.

Expanded Spell List
The Watcher lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Watcher Expanded Spells
Spell LevelSpells
1stmagic missile, sleep
2ndblindness/deafness, see invisibility
3rdhypnotic pattern, slow
4tharcane eye, locate creature
5thlegend lore, telekinesis

Rays of the Eldritch Eye
Starting at 1st level, your eldritch blast is warped by your patron. When you cast your eldritch blast cantrip, you add an additional effect to the spell, determined by the number that you rolled on the damage die. You can only apply one effect to each creature you hit with eldritch blast. If you hit a creature with multiple beams of your eldritch blast or roll a critical hit with one, you can choose which d10's damage value you use for the effect applied to your target.

Damage RollEffect
1Charm Ray. The creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against you until the beginning of your next turn.
2Paralyzing Ray. The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity checks and saving throws until the beginning of your next turn.
3Fear Ray. The first attack the creature makes on its next turn has disadvantage.
4Slow Ray. The creature's speed is reduced by 10 feet until the beginning of your next turn.
5Enervation Ray. The creature can't regain hit points until the beginning of your next turn.
6Telekinetic Ray. The creature is pushed 10 feet away from you or pulled 10 feet closer.
7Sleep Ray. The creature becomes drowsy and sluggish. On their next turn, they can take an action or a bonus action, but not both.
8Petrification Ray. The creature cannot take reactions until the end of your next turn.
9Disintegration Ray. One nonmagical object that the creature is carrying is destroyed.
10Death Ray. The target takes an additional 1d6 necrotic damage.

Paranoia of the Eyes
Starting at 6th level, you constantly perceive enemies in all directions, just as your patron does. If you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren't incapacitated, you can act normally on your first turn. Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
     Additionally, your patron has granted you a potent weapon to slay its rivals: your eldritch blast is unaffected by areas of antimagic generated by the antimagic field spell, or a monster's ability such as a beholder's antimagic cone.

Gaze of the Eldritch Eye
Starting at 10th level, your patron's dreadful stare suffuses all the spells that you cast. When you cast a spell of 1st-level or higher that requires a spell attack roll, roll a d10. If you hit with your spell attack, apply the effect on the Rays of the Eldritch Eye table that corresponds to the result of your d10 roll to the target.
     In addition, you gain one spell of 1st-level or higher from any spell list that requires a spell attack roll, such as ray of sickness or scorching ray. This spell counts as a warlock spell for you, and does not count against your warlock spells known.

Antimagic Aura
Starting at 14th level, you can use an action to ward yourself against the magic of other spellcasters. You create an antimagic field (as per the spell) with a 15-foot radius, centered on yourself. This antimagic field moves with you. Spells cast through your Pact Magic or warlock class features, as well as objects created by your warlock class features, are not affected by this antimagic field. This antimagic field persists for 1 minute and does not require your concentration.
     Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Eldritch Invocations
If an eldritch invocation has prerequisites, you must meet them to learn it. You can learn the invocation at the same time that you meet its prerequisites.

Wrath of the Eldritch Eye
Prerequisite: 15th level
You can cast the spell disintegrate without expending a spell slot. Once you do so, you can't cast the spell again in this way until you finish a long rest.

Changelog: 7/6/18: Rays of the Eldritch Eye: Disintegration Ray: Does not disintegrate an object worn by the creature
Telekinetic Ray: Can push or pull 10 feet
Wrath of the Eldritch Eye: pushed to 15th level
7/8/18: Hand of the Watcher: Renamed Paranoia of the Eyes, being able to cast a 1st level spell in an AMF replaced with ignoring surprise
Archetype prerequisite added


  1. Wow. This is one of the cooooooooooolest warlocks I've ever seen.

    The 6th level feature is super situational- antimagic fields are very rare, and only start appearing at higher levels. It's hard to think about other aspects of a beholder to add, but maybe never surprised and perception expertise?

    How would Gaze of the Eldritch Eye work with scorching ray? RAW you'd roll only one effect, but each hit would cause the effect. Is that what you meant?

    Eventually, Wrath of the Eldritch Eye means 2 6th level spells at 12th level. I think it should require 15th lvl.

    1. I imagine a eye-rayed scorching ray would work the same way as a multi-beamed eldritch blast. And I think the 6th level feature was meant to synergise with the capstone but... Eh.

      Agreed on the Wrath of the Eldritch Eye concern.

    2. It doesn't synergise- the capstone animagic doesn't affect your spells, so you don't need the 6th level feature.

      And it doesn't even fit that well thematically, since a beholder's eye rays van't work in it's own antimagic field.

    3. Oh yeah, you're right, missed that. All the more reason to change it. Something related to perception or maybe initiative does sound like a better idea anyway. Maybe an effect similar to the Robe of Eyes?

    4. So I've already gone in and pushed Wrath of the Eldritch Eye to 15th level.

      I'm not against changing Hand of the Watcher, but I would like to keep the bit about EB working in AMFs, since that's kind of where the mechanical idea for the subclass started (after I knew that, thematically, I wanted to make a beholder warlock).

      Gaze of the Eldritch Eye would apply the effect to each hit of the scorching ray, or at least, that's /my/ intent behind it.

    5. Well, there's no real reason to drop the current Hand of the Watcher, but it's so narrow that it really needs another thing.

      With the current Gaze of the Eldritch Eye, some effects (4,6,9 and 10) are significantly stronger because they stack... But this doesn't really seem to change much in cases other than 10. 1,2,3 would be great against multiple targets.

      Anyway, I'd make a player select targets before rolling the d10, but it seems fine.

    6. You would be amazed to hear how many times I complained about the 6th level feature being too narrow for a 1/rest ability.

      I like your proposal to add 'never surprised' or Perception expertise to it. Additionally, I'll look into making the capstone /not/ synergize with your spells of 1st level and higher, so it forces you to use your 6th on that. Or at least, I'll talk it over with the Digits. It's technically a downgrade, but it boosts synergy.

  2. You know, I have struggled long and hard to figure out how one would work a warlock for a beholder patron. Never, in a million years would I have come up with an archetype like this. The use of eldritch blast for the eye beams both brilliant and elegantly simple.

    Great job!

    1. Thanks! There was a lot of argument that went into it, but we're pretty happy with the outcome. Plus, you get most of the eye rays on the spell list, too!

  3. And reinforcing the idea that Eldritch blast should always have been a core feature rather than an optional peripheral...
    overall this is a really cool concept. I can see a lot of fun ways to apply the antimagic related effects. I find it a little odd that the closest thing to a passive defence is the sixth level feature rather than 10th as usual, but I can see why, the 10th level feature seems noticeably stronger.
    On balance the only thing that bothers me a little is that this particular patron is even more blast dependent than a normal warlock, and that's saying something. I feel like somehow giving it alternatives or reducing that dependency would help, although I admit I can't see anyone going without Eldritch blast even if that was the case.

  4. I love this. Having a Beholder as a Patron is awesome. Will there be a new Beholder that you guys are making to look like the one in the folder? That would be cool.

    1. I'm not sure which one you're talking about. Which folder?

  5. This with Pact of the Arm would be brutal!

  6. Hey guys. This remembers me of an old prestige class of 3,5 that was like a sorcerer with an third eye in its forehead that could store ranged spells, and also use eye rays in later levels. Dont you think a third forehead eye (as a fluff) should be something that could add to this sub-class?

  7. I agree with the fingers comment.