Faerûnian Prestige Class : Ocular Adept
Each beholder believes that it represents a state of true perfection. Among the desperate wastrels of decadent cities and debased explorers of the subterranean Underdark can be found humanoids who agree, and who have entered into a surgical pact with the beholder race in an attempt to achieve even a sliver of that perfection. These so-called ocular adepts, outcasts of their own society, have pledged their services to one or more eye tyrants and pledged their religious devotions to the alien entity known as the Great Mother, the deity matron of all beholders. Though ocular adepts often lead cells of degenerate cultists and fancy themselves important in the schemes of their masters, most beholders view them as self-important pawns at best, and mindless chattel at worst. During the ceremony in which the character becomes an ocular adept, a beholder surgeon cuts the central eye from an eyeball beholderkin (a tiny beholderlike monster) and places it into a partially disintegrated niche in the supplicant's forehead. A blasphemous incantation grants the eye functionality, opening new vistas of sight to the supplicant. Thereafter the character takes on a more detached, alien demeanor, as the vestiges of the dying beholderkin's personality taints his troubled mind. Surviving the ritual requires a hardy body and spirit.
Clerics who have fallen out of favor with their deity are the most common ocular adepts (disgraced clerics of Bane, whose worshipers often use beholders as allies, are particularly common), though some fighters and barbarians have been known to fall victim to the allure of the spheres of many eyes. Adapting to the psychic imprints of the eyeball graft takes the type of focused concentration common among the spellcasting classes; most wizards, bards, and sorcerers, however, usually are either too weak, too chaotic, or too image conscious to live amid hostile monsters with an alien eye grafted to their skulls.
Ocular adepts often are calculating, mad cult leaders who plot against surface nations according to the whims of their eye tyrant masters. They negotiate the purchase of slaves, defend access points to beholder hives and lairs, and accompany correspondence and trade from one beholder outpost to another. Using their charm person and charm monster abilities, ocular adepts amass a group of followers to aid them in their duties. Ocular adepts occasionally are used as intermediaries between powerful beholders and heads of state at such times when the personal appearance of a beholder would be dangerous, or undiplomatic. Rarely does a beholder create more than one ocular adept at a time, so these beings rarely see another of their kind. They share their masters' hatred of "imperfect" beholders and their "tainted" servants, so ocular adepts of rival beholders never work together.
To qualify to become an Ocular Adept, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Any humanoid, monstrous humanoid
- Alignment: Lawful evil or neutral evil.
- Skills: Concentration 8 ranks.
- Feats: Endurance.
- Base Save Bonus: Fort +4.
- Special: The character must supplicate himself before one or more beholders, pleading to be accepted into their community as an ocular adept. The character must forswear all allegiances to his previous deity and swear devotion to the Great Mother.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
The following are Class Features of the ocular adept:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An ocular adept gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.
Spells per Day: An ocular adept gains spells as a cleric of level 1-10, including one domain spell at each spell level available to the ocular adept. The ocular adept chooses two of the following domains: Evil, Hatred, Law, Strength, and Tyranny. If the ocular adept was already a cleric of another deity, swearing allegiance to the Great Mother is considered "gross violation" of the code of conduct expected by the ocular adept's former deity, causing the loss of all previous spellcasting abilities. However, the implanting of eye of an eyeball beholderkin into the skull of the ocular adept fulfills the necessary conditions for changing deities as described in Chapter 5: Deities of the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Setting, and the ocular adept is thereafter a cleric of the Great Mother. He keeps his old cleric spellcasting abilities and gains additional cleric spells as shown on the Ocular Adept table below. This means that a cleric/ocular adept has a greater number of low-level spells, but never achieves the higher-level spells that a normal cleric would reach. This reflects both the ocular adept's need to minister to a large number of (generally weaker) followers and the Great Mother's disdain of any creature that is not a true beholder.
Because of his unique situation, a cleric/ocular adept has domain spell slots for his original cleric levels and domain spell slots for his prestige class levels. He is not required to use the same domain spell of a particular level in each slot. For example, if Terok the cleric/ocular adept has the Evil and Strength domains, he can prepare a protection from good (the 1st-level Evil domain spell) in his 1st-level cleric domain slot and endure elements (the 1st-level Strength domain spell) in his 1st-level ocular adept domain slot. He could just as easily prepare two of either of those spells in those domain slots.
After the implanting ceremony, if the ocular adept willfully turns against the Great Mother, she may use the implanted eye in the adept's forehead as a conduit for her power, disintegrating him instantly.
Implanted Eyeball (Su): The central eye of an eyeball beholderkin fills part of the ocular adept's forehead. Though the eyeball beholderkin perishes as a result of the surgery, its dying eye momentarily infects the host's brain with alien torment in its death throes. Thereafter, the oversized eye magically becomes a part of the ocular adept's physiology. The beholderkin's moribund taint arises occasionally in unintelligible psychic whispers (which most ocular adepts believe to be the encouragement of the Great Mother). As a result of the surgery, the ocular adept gains understanding of the beholder language and a +4 bonus on Spot checks. The eye also has a number of ray powers, which develop as the ocular adept advances in level. Once they have been attained, each ray may be used up to two times a day. Firing a ray from the implanted eyeball is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The implanted eyeball closes and must rest for the full round immediately following a round in which a ray attack is used.
Each eye effect resembles a spell cast by a sorcerer of the adept's class level but follows the rules for a ray. All rays have a range of 100 feet and a save DC of 10 + 1/2 the adept's class level + the adept's Charisma modifier. Unless otherwise noted, each ray works like the spell for which it is named (including what type of saving throw resists it), except that it only affects the target of the ray.
Charm Person: A 1st-level ocular adept can emit a charm person ray. Ocular adepts use this ability to confuse their enemies, ordering victims to restrain their friends or simply do nothing while the battle rages on.
Sleep: At 2nd level, an ocular adept can emit a ray of sleep.
Inflict Moderate Wounds: To punish powerful allies or wound their enemies, ocular adepts of 3rd level or higher often employ this ray.
Slow: This ray is usable by ocular adepts of 4th level or higher.
Fear: A 5th-level or higher ocular adept may employ this ray.
Charm Monster: At 6th level and higher, the ocular adept can use this ray. Outside of combat, an ocular adept uses this ability to entice the dregs of society to join his or her cult, or to influence a merchant or politician when on a mission for his or her master.
Telekinesis: At 7th level and higher, the ocular adept can move objects or creatures with this ray.
Flesh to Stone: An ocular adept of 8th level or higher can emit this deadly ray.
Disintegrate: A 9th-level or higher ocular adept can use this ray to horrifying effect.
Finger of Death: At 10th level, the Great Mother grants the ocular adept the most deadly of those favors naturally possessed by her true children.
|Ocular Adept||Hit Die: d6|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Implanted eyeball, charm person ray||3||1+1||-||-||-||-|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Inflict moderate wounds ray||4||2+1||1+1||-||-||-|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Charm monster ray||5||3+1||3+1||2+1||-||-|
|8th||+6||+6||+2||+6||Flesh to stone ray||6||4+1||3+1||3+1||2+1||-|
|10th||+7||+7||+3||+7||Finger of death ray||6||4+1||4+1||3+1||3+1||2+1|
Source: Faiths & Pantheons