Monsters with a gaze attack, such as the basilisk, have the power to affect an
opponent simply by making eye contact. This makes these creatures incredibly
dangerous, for the slightest glance can cause great harm.
Characters who look directly at such creatures to attack them, or those who
are surprised by the creature, automatically meet the creature's gaze. These
unfortunate characters must make the appropriate saving throw or suffer the effects
of the creature's attack. Such attackers undergo the gaze attack each round
they attack. In large groups, only the front rank can meet the gaze, a fate that
can be avoided if the attacker approaches from the rear, where the creature
Characters can also attempt to avoid the gaze by looking in the general
direction of the creature without actually looking into its eyes. This enables
characters to see the target well enough to fight normally without falling victim to
its power. However, there is a 20% chance each round that an attacker trying
this trick will accidentally meet the gaze of the creature.
Finally, a character can completely avert his gaze or close his eyes when
attacking the creature, preventing any chance of meeting the creature's gaze. This
is like fighting in the dark, and the character suffers all the normal
penalties for fighting while blinded.
Safer than all of these methods is to use some type of reflective surface--a
mirror or highly polished shield is very handy. The powers of gaze attacks are
not effective in reflections, so it is safe to observe a basilisk or medusa in a
For this trick to be effective, there must be some source of light available,
since nothing can be reflected in darkness. Also, characters should be reminded
that using a mirror can be disorienting. The character must back toward his
target, holding the mirror in his shield arm. He suffers a -2 penalty to his
chance to hit and does not gain the benefits of his shield or his Armor Class bonus
for Dexterity when the creature attacks him.
Creatures with gaze attacks can choose not to use their power. In this case,
it is the creature that avoids looking at the characters. Not meeting their
gaze, it can't affect them. Creatures intelligent enough to parley may do this on
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