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Template Grafts | Universal Monster Rules

The Seen

Source Alien Archive 4 pg. 106

The Seen CR 12

XP 19,200
CN Medium aberration
Init +4; Senses blindsight (life) 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.;; Perception +27
Aura frightful presence (100 ft., Will DC 21)


HP 185
EAC 26; KAC 27
Fort +11; Ref +11; Will +17


Speed 30 ft. (60 ft. when unobserved)
Melee talon +21 (2d12+15 P)
Ranged wave blast +23 (2d8+12; critical staggered)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th)
1/day—mind thrust (4th level, DC 21)
3/day—displacement (DC 20)
At will—invisibility (self only)


STR +3; DEX +4; CON +3; INT +5; WIS +8; CHA +2
Skills Acrobatics +22, Disguise +27, Intimidate +22, Stealth +27
Languages telepathy 100 ft. (other Seen only)
Other Abilities quantum duality


Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–6)

Special Abilities

Quantum Duality (Ex) The very act of observing the Seen changes the creature on a molecular level. Whether a creature (or magic or technological sensor) is observing the Seen changes its abilities and statistics as follows.
Observed: While the Seen is observed by any non-Seen creature, magic, or technological sensor, its speed is 30 feet and it is corporeal. It can also attempt Stealth checks to hide in plain sight.
Unobserved: While nothing is directly observing the Seen, its speed is 60 feet and it is incorporeal.
Wave Blast (Ex) The Seen can emit a wave of force as a ranged attack with a range increment of 60 feet; this is a force effect.


Modern science has drawn back the curtain on countless mysteries of the universe, but the Seen, known only by an enigmatic proper noun conferred on them by those familiar with the strange creatures, are emblematic of mortal creatures’ still-limited understanding of quantum mechanics. The Seen have the disconcerting property of changing completely, down to the molecular level, when they are observed—whether by a creature or technology. Strangely, this shift appears to be automatic and instantaneous. Whether this ability arose through natural selection or some stranger method, their shifting forms make the Seen formidable ambush predators: lightning-fast, able to move through barriers while unobserved, and capable of destroying multiple targets at once even after they’ve been spotted.

The Seen’s deadly nature and inability (or perhaps refusal) to communicate with other life-forms makes them a challenge to study, and biologists have conflicting opinions on what the Seen do with their prey. No sightings have ever been reported of the Seen eating their victims, and in fact, they don’t appear to have mouths—though since their physical structures change upon being sighted, there’s no telling what they look like unobserved. In their observed form, they appear as gangly humanoids whose four limbs each end in a single, massive talon, with sharp spikes flaying out from their upper abdomen. Their uncanny speed when invisible, paired with strange galloping noises heard by survivors, have led to myths and horror stories of spindly creatures that sprint on four unnaturally long legs. This frightening image has made the Seen a common feature in popular horror media and infosphere conspiracy theory forums alike.

Attempts to research the Seen have almost universally ended in unmitigated disaster. The first such venture, an infamous experiment that gave the creatures their name, was led by a kasathan biophysics lab aboard the Idari. Researchers paid a large sum of credits to a small group of mercenaries to bring them one of the creatures alive and mostly unharmed. After only two days of keeping the creature in captivity, a blast of force hit the lab and the surrounding area, sending all equipment offline. When help eventually arrived to investigate, everyone involved in the project had vanished. However, the blast didn’t destroy all the data that the research team had already collected, leading to a shocking discovery made while reviewing the surviving surveillance footage: when the lab was closed and empty of other creatures, hidden cameras pointed at the Seen were enough to prevent it from changing to its unobserved form, even with no other lifeforms present to observe it. The implication that the monster’s biology somehow responded to the mere presence of a technological observer shook the scientific world to the core. Researchers now had to contend with the possibility that a living, multicellular organism could behave on a molecular level the same way that light or individual particles do, with the mere presence of a sensor being enough to alter the creature’s fundamental properties.

Further attempts to study the elusive creatures have met with similar fates; small parties sent to investigate sightings never return, and even the members of larger expeditions or task forces have vanished without a trace.

Even without being able to communicate with the Seen, anyone who has faced one and lived to tell the tale can attest to their intelligence. The aberrations are sometimes encountered in pairs or even small packs that seem to work together to confound and corner their prey, though such encounters have presented no clear pattern as to the Seen’s preferred environment, and no confirmed sightings have reported evidence of a nest or some other kind of dwelling or territory.

One theory, which is mostly common among the more fringe elements of the scientific community, is that the Seen are in fact extraplanar beings that appear in the Material Plane only to feed. This theory is perhaps supported by the fact that the Seen rarely leave behind corpses of their victims, though skeptics argue that this is simply because the Seen swallow their meals whole once there’s no one left to witness their feast. A relatively recent hypothesis about the Seen’s potential origin and motivations is growing in popularity. Its primary proponent, a kasatha witchwarper named Hyeldar Zon Deamis, posits that the Seen hail from alternate realities, and are in fact researchers of a sort in their own right, not murdering but capturing and transporting them for study wherever it is they call home. Scientific journals and infosphere amateurs alike fiercely debate these and many other contrasting theories, but the truth remains that very little is known about the Seen. Formal studies are exceedingly rare due to their often-fatal conclusions, though there are still fairly regular calls throughout the galaxy for adventurers willing to try to track down and capture the creatures for further examination. Such expeditions often offer rich rewards—which, as noted by the cynical, is likely because the odds of a crew living long enough to collect payment are so slim.