Workshop Codename: The Watchers
This workshop idea comes from my own love of a couple concepts more than something that was spurred by a specific topic or Twitter post. First off, I really like the idea of a group, people, or creature whose purpose it is to “witness”. Second, I honestly just really love the design, especially now that we have 3D versions, of the pokemon Abra. I want to combine these things into something that exists in my campaign world and could exist in yours too!
Those Who Witness
One of the inspirations for these creatures is, most certainly, the beings of the same name from the Marvel universe. These guys show up to watch major cosmic events and one in particular tends to not just watch Earth but influence events in small but important ways. In a world like D&D I think there is a great space for a planar creature who does this. Beings who watch, who witness, who keep the history of all things.
Another inspiration I want to use, maybe even include as part of some greater picture, is the mothman. While there is plenty to consider with this urban legend, I like the idea that it is an omen of something bad to come. I love the ambiguity of it as well. Do they cause it? Why don’t they stop it? Questions and superstitions abound.
I love the idea that these things appear and are in stories and that maybe a lot show up at key points to witness major events. The rumors and sight of them could drive players wild, and could lead into interesting interactions or ways to learn something new.
Okay so that’s concept, but lets talk visuals. Abra is basically the groundwork for this. I like the idea of them sitting, cross-legged and floating…waiting. Moreover, I definitely want their eyes closed most of the time. Their eyes only open to watch an event transpire or when they must utilize whatever powers they have.
I think these guys should have four arms, maybe even six, all used to write notes in various books as they bear witness. Perhaps while nothing is happening, the arms seem as one pair folded upon its lap…waiting. The main point is how odd they look, how alien.
Designing A Witness
Let’s talk some of the power these guys will definitely have. They will be able to fly, for sure, and probably teleport. Their perception will be incredibly high and I would expect that, for the most part, they go unnoticed. So maybe we give them a bonus to stealth or some kind of glamour when they are not moving.
Another thing they need is to be able to sense what is happening around them even when they cannot “see” and will definitely have telepathic abilities. Language will not be a barrier and I find it likely they will be able to speak all languages as part of their having bore witness to so much history.
Beyond that, I foresee mothmen being the soldiers of these things and their abilities much more directed at powerhouse casters more likely to influence and run than to inflict direct damage. Things like illusion spells and control abilities to influence the battlefield so that they may get to safety when needed.
Finally they must have some kind of divination magic to allow them to see when events are happening alongside an awareness that the future is uncertain and that awareness driving their desire to watch. This makes them holders of great knowledge and potential oracles, but their alien mindset and view of the cosmos would make them difficult to converse with I am sure.
Is there anything missing here? Any concept or spell or ability that they should have to amplify their position? Let me know in the comments!!!