Creature Feature: Unseen

Unseen CR 6

A gaunt figure with long claws tipping its fingers appears before you before simply vanishing as if it were never there.
NE Medium Fey
Init +5; Senses low light vision; Perception +11
EAC 17; KAC 18
Fort +7; Ref +7; Will +9
Defensive Abilities Unperceived
Speed 30 ft.
Melee claws +11 (1d6+8 S)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)

At will- ghost sound, telepathic message
3/day—hold portal, fear (1st level, DC 16), keen senses

1/day- fog cloud, invisibility
Str +2; Dex +5; Con -1; Int +3; Wis +1; Cha +0
Skills Stealth +18, Engineering +18, Computers +11
Languages Common, Sylvan
Other Abilities Unperceived, Vanish
Environment Any populated environment
Organization solitary or stalk (2-10)
Unperceived (Su) Unseen have an unnerving tendency to evade all detection even as they attack. An unseen may mark a single creature as the target of its unseen ability, forcing it to make a DC 16 Will save. On a failure the creature becomes completely unable to perceive the unseen with any senses it has, causing all Perception checks by the affected creature against the unseen to automatically fail and granting it a 90% miss chance against attacks from the affected creature. An unseen can only affect one creature in this way at a time. This effect does not prevent them from being detected through recording devices, but the affected victim cannot perceive their presence in such recordings. If the current target dies or the unseen takes a move action to break the link, it can target  new creature with this ability. This is a mind altering effect and cannot be used on constructs.

Vanish (Sp) Unseen have a reputation for always attacking from just out of sight. So long as an unseen is not being observed, it can teleport up to 120 feet regardless of any obstacles in its way so long as th destination point is also unobserved. This takes a move action and cannot be done twice in the same round regardless of any extenuating circumstances.


With the advent of the space age, many of the feared creatures that lurked in the dark found themselves toothless. Laser weapons and powered armor made short work of things like giant spiders and striges, leaving an open market for new creatures to adapt and grow to fill niches in the new technological world. But as old fears withered away and new ones rose to take their place, one remained unchanged: the fear of the unknown, of what lay unseen and unheard. The fear seeped and congealed through mental realms, eventually taking physical form and stepping into  the First World as the unseen.

Unseen are boogeymen, stalking prey for hours, days, weeks, and sometimes even years before they tire of their amusement and kill their victims. They take great joy in tormenting their prey from just beyond their senses, often standing within arms reach as they go about their business none the wiser. This will eventually lose its thrill to unseen, and so they will escalate their mocking games. They usually begin mildly, slightly moving furniture to annoy their victims or moving objects to make their victim doubt their own memories. Bolder unseen will move thing just out of  the victim’s line of sight so they get a sense of movement but see nothing, or use ghost sound to cause auditory hallucinations. This subtle gaslighting will eventually graduate to much crueler torments. A common tactic is to follow a waking victim and claw walls and furniture when they’ve just looked away from it, amping up their fear and uncertainty of their own perceptions.  Another is to alter anything the victim has written on an electronic device if they leave it for even a minute, not enough to be obvious but enough to cause unease.

But by far their worst torments are what happens when simply shaking their mind is not enough. Unseen take full advantage of the fact that their victims cannot perceive them through any sense, including touch, pushing them into walls and tripping them as a minor torment. This soon graduates into full on blows and shallow cuts meted out over a long enough period so as not to be suspicious, leaving the victim with bruises and cuts they don’t know how they got. Eventually slow torment looses out to bloodlust and they attack their prey, making it seem to  the victim as if wounds are simply appearing on their bodies without cause. Less patient unseen will kill their victims quickly, but older ones are far more insidious. Their knowledge of technology allows them to sabotage communications devices before they magically seal the doors and set upon their prey. Such murders can take hours as the unseen draws it out, slicing tendons and breaking bones to leave the victim crippled bit by bit without quite realizing it as it happens, taunting them all the while with telepathic message. Only when the prey is dead do the unseen move on to a new target.

Despite their sadism and danger, unseen are vulnerable when confronted with groups. As their Unperceived ability only works on one target at a time, they’re forced to rely on invisibility and their Vanish ability to flee the situation and hide until their prey is alone once more. Another weakness is their inability to hide from technological devices. Security cameras and motion sensors can easily pick up an unseen, making such features common in areas where unseen are suspected to lurk. Additionally, nearly every security station is now manned with at least two guards, knowing the unseen can’t hide from both. This is not to say they’re  helpless against technology, unseen are actually quite good with machines and will sabotage such methods of detection if they notice them, often rewiring them to appear as if everything is normal.

In combat, unseen will almost always use their Unperceived ability first if faced with a single opponent. If faced with a group or if they suspect there are reinforcements hidden in the area, they lead with fog cloud so they can make the most of their Vanish ability. Fear is usually their second move against groups, attempting to split the group so they can pick off opponents one at a time from the safety of their Unperceived ability. Should such tactics fail, an unseen usually flees as they are fairly weak combatants in a straight fight.

About nwright

A freelance writer for the Open Gaming website who looks forward to building plots out of monster entries for you to enjoy as a player or DM.

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