Dragon Encounters

Making dnd combat fun, finding monsters that fit together, monster tactics and strategies, and other ways of using the monsters of dungeons and dragons

SPECTATOR: Optimizing it With Simple Fences


Combat rating 4


1 Spectator (CR 3)

4-6 Piercers (CR 1/2)


Combat rating 4


1 Spectator (CR 3)

3 Scarecrows (CR 1)


Combat rating 6


1 Spectator (CR 3)

1 Roper (CR 5)


Combat rating 7


1 Spectator (CR 3)

2 Chuuls (CR 4)


How to Use – Combat Encounter (Difficulty 4)

Unlike the other beholders, the spectator is meant for a low-level party, and doesn’t need the complexity and difficulty surrounding the others (nor should they be used. Low level players can’t survive them.)

The main item the spectator needs is some way to prevent the PCs from rushing it (you can give it partial or three-quarters cover to include the range attackers and spellcasters in the list of those wanting to rush it).

One way to do this is through allies, in particular ones that restrict movement, either through their actions [ropers] or through their presence [piercers]. Those were provided in the minions/allies tab. Here we’ll describe inanimate protections.

There are many ways. You could set up pits, or pile up barriers of thorns as primitive barbed wire (although as the spectator has no hands or levitation rays, you’ll have to give it a minion or two to replenish the thorns from time to time.)

My preference is wooden fences with sharp points on top. If you’re giving the spectator cover, also a column in the back. The spectator can stick it eye stalks out the sides when it wants to shoot.

Put several (3-5) fences between the spectator and the players. The spectator can fly, so the fences won’t bother its movement. If the players remain far from the fence, the spectator can shoot them. If they’re right up against the fence, the fence will block its attacks, but they won’t be able to see it. At some point you might want to have it fly over to shoot at them and them duck back that same round. (The spectator will be aware that they’ll ready actions against it doing that again. Only do it again if you estimate that it’s worth it. The spectator is intelligent and well able to estimate.)

It they climb over the fences; the spectator can catch them in the middle of climbing over [by readying an action] and freeze them with paralyze or fear. Done right, they’ll end up landing on the fence and impaling themselves. [To do this with fear, it will wait until they are most of the way over the fence and can’t easily back up.]

The other thing the players are likely to do is start hacking a way through the fences. Aside from flying over to their side for a round, as mentioned above, the spectator can also quietly sneak into the area between two of the fences and wait for them to break through. The fences will cause the area to be a narrow line, five feet [one space] thick, and fighting a creature that can cast paralyze and fear in such a limited area will be tough.

[Remember that the area occupied by a friendly creature, such as another player, is difficult terrain. Also remember that the spectator gets to choose which eye rays it shoots, unlike the other beholders.]

Unlike the other fences, the last fence is made of metal, with a coating of wood to disguise the fact that it’s different. Breaking this fence will take longer, and the gap they made in the previous fences is probably minimal, which will further restrict their movement. The spectator will defend this fence by floating close to it and using its eye ray to bore a hole in the fence with its disintegration ray through which it can assault them with its eye rays while still remaining behind cover.

If they do manage to get through, the spectator will fight them in the gap they made. It has no more defenses to retreat behind, and any further retreat will be to its detriment.

If you want stats for the fences, I’d suggest 30 HP and 15 AC for each five feet of the wooden fences, and 60 HP / 20 AC for the metal one. Both fences are resistant to bludgeoning and piercing damage. [Technically, once they’re down to 15 HP for wooden fence and 20 HP for the metal one, they should become vulnerable to bludgeoning instead of resistant. This might be an unnecessarily complication, however.]

I contemplated adding pits between the fences, or perhaps pendulum traps. In the end, I decided that the fences are sufficient obstacles for a CR 3 and left it at that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

I have been a DM for several years, and I was designing home RPG games since my young childhood. I have been a fan of many different types of games (computer, board, RPG, and more) and have designed several for my own entertainment. This is my first attempt to produce game content for a wider audience.