Today's post is another contribution to the Dollar Store Dungeons community project, in which we are sharing ideas for what GMs can do with a $1.00 item from a dollar store.
False Beholders, also called Oculoids, are cyclopean blemmyoids. A gregarious other-planar species with excellent military skills, Oculoids are often hired as mercenaries in the incessant internecine conflicts on many backwater worlds. They enjoy the company of almost any humanoid race, and will be social with whomever's company they keep: eating, drinking, and carousing with their comrades-at-arms regardless of species.
Oculoids usually fill out the roles of musketeers, artillerists, and sharpshooters. Condottiere who can put up with their incessant babble and constant snacking will find the Oculoids make loyal and courageous troops. However, it is best to be forewarned: Oculoids will cheerfully natter-on about anything and everything, even in the midst a heated battle. This can be distracting, especially to combat casters.
False Beholders base their name on a two word combination. The first word incorporates part of the name, title, or attribute of a specific deity. The second word incorporates part or all of the name of a favored weapon. Oculoid name choices become particularly bizarre on worlds that have an extensive commercial armaments industry and a rich-brand culture. Naming examples include: Thora Godhammer, Horus Vickers, Hekate Broomhandle, and Sovereign MP43.
The grognards say they can tell when an Oculoid is about to fire a weapon: the huge-eyed creatures instinctively blink just before they pull the trigger. But most importantly, they rarely miss. The Oculoids' single great eye gives them telescopic long-distance vision, and they are natural experts with all ranged weapons. Like their namesakes, the eye of each False Beholder is also capable of emitting a ray of some kind: laser beam, frost or fire, petrification, charm, etc. Because of this power, it is folly to close with them in melee combat (as with the swordsman in the photo above).
Hiring Oculoids comes with two hidden costs. The first hidden cost is due to the fact that the Oculoids' fat, stubby fingers are too clumsy for them to readily use most conventional firearms. False Beholders need firearms that are heavier, bulkier, and more robust than those used by most humanoid races. Sometimes, an Oculoid brings suitable weapons with them to their new employer. But other times, a condottiere will need to front the costs of custom manufacturing suitable weapons at the time of hire.
The Oculoids' other hidden cost is their insatiable appetite. While False Beholders never need to eat (they can sustain themselves indefinitely by feeding on other-planar energies), Oculoids want to eat. Constantly. The condottiere has a couple of different options here. One is to equip them with a feed bag, so that they may shovel food into their wide toothy maw at will. The other option is to assign them a feeder who can toss battlefield chum into their mouths during combat. A note for those with delicate sensibilities: the Oculoids talk while they eat, and chew with their mouth open.
A few final notes on Oculoid anatomy and physiology:
- Oculoids have two small antennae; these are telepathic organs which allow them to communicate with their own kind and with other telepathic creatures;
- They seem to understand humanoid concepts of gender well enough, but it is unclear whether the Oculoids have genders;
- Their mode of reproduction (?) or manufacture (?) is entirely unknown;
- They have no skeleton or organ systems; beneath their smooth green elastic hide there is nothing but a light green organic gelatin;
- The antennae have commerical value and are sometimes harvested for wands or fetishes; and
- Their hide has commercial value, as a variety of unbreakable and elastic bladders can be made from it.
Oculoid Blemmyae (friendly)
- High Concept: Gregarious other-planar mercenaries
- Trouble: Their constant babble can be distracting
- Aspect: That's one huge eye!
- Aspect: They're called "False Beholders" for a reason!
- Aspect: An army marches on its stomach
- STR: +2
- DEX: 0
- CON: +1
- INT: +2
- WIS: +3
- CHA: +1
- Sureshot: The Oculoids are masters of all ranged weapons and take +2 to their DEX when attacking with them.
- Eye Ray: Every Oculoid's eye has a ray-like ability which can be used to Attack, Defend, Create an Advantage, or Overcome an Obstacle. The ability will be keyed to a specific Skill; the roll used is the designated Skill +2.
- Scout from the Rear: Take +2 to WIS skill to Create an Advantage by observing the close-in details of a location or individual, even from several zones away.