non-psionics Mind-Flayer for Delving Deeper

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Post Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:18 am

non-psionics Mind-Flayer for Delving Deeper

Initially written to the DD G+ page, I figured I should add it here ;)
Here is my take on the insidious Mind-Flayer; A non-psionic version, for your Delving Deeper game.

# Appearing: 1-4
# in Lair: 2-12
Armor Class: 6
Movement: 12"
Hit Dice: 7+4
Lair nearby: 50%
Treasure: E
Alignment: Chaotic

Thankfully only found in the deepest recesses underground, the terrifying Mind-Flayers abhor sunlight.

Thoroughly evil, these creatures appear as bi-pedal humanoids excepting for their grotesque, squid-like head with a number of small tentacles that enshroud their mouth.

They think nothing of other intelligent creatures other than sources of food... As they feed on the very brains of such in horrific fashion.

They can attack physically, usually eschewing weaponry but sometimes grappling or pummeling, or by lashing with their face tentacles which burn through the skin of their victims.

These are infrequent attacks, however; A Mind-Flayer's most oft-used and devastating attack are it's terrible and alien-like mental abilities.

Primary of these is a "mind blast"; Essentially an invisible, mentally-generated 'lightning bolt' of sorts. This attack is cone-shaped; starting at 1/2" wide, and ending 6" away with a final width of 2". Any foe so attacked must be faced by the Mind-Flayer, and in order for a target to shake off the intense mental trauma must make a Save vs Spells. The "mind blast" does 1-11 damage, or none with a successful save, to "Normal types"; "Heroic types" are instead held as the " Hold Person" spell (unless saved against), and "Superheroic types" are confused as the spell of the same name (again, a Save negates). The non-damaging affects of this attack last for 1-6 turns if the attack succeeds.

Furthermore, the insidious mental powers of Mind-Flayers enable them the use of the following abilities, each as the corresponding spell:
-Charm Person (4 times/day)
-Sixth Sense (3 times/day)
-Levitation (3 times/day)
-Charm Monster (1 time/day)
-Project Image (1 time/week)

The above abilities otherwise function at the 7th level of ability; A Mind-Flayer's "mind blast" has no usage limit.

Mind-Flayers feed by enveloping the head of a victim with it's face tentacles, which burn/bore to the brain, and then extract it... to be devoured by it's tiny razor-teeth infested mouth hidden by those tentacles. This process takes 1-4 turns, and requires that the victim either be unwilling, or unable, to move or otherwise act in opposition to this happening.

Mind-Flayer's are brilliantly intelligent. The instant they realize an encounter isn't going to end in their favor, they flee, absolutely sacrificing any endangered treasures, slaves or allies that might be lost without so much as an afterthought (even other Mind-Flayers).

Discussion is of course welcome!

Fight On!
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Post Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:07 am

Re: non-psionics Mind-Flayer for Delving Deeper

Nice work Tim, thanks for sharing :)

As I mentioned over on the G+ group, I did a version of the same way way back when DD was still being put together. I've unearthed my notes and tidied it up a bit and here it is...

MIND FLAYERS (1-4) [AC 7 MV 12" HD 7+1 50% TT F C] are super-intelligent, absolutely evil, man-like monsters with four tentacles surrounding the ghastly mouth. They abhor sunlight and dwell only deep underground, and will always flee rather than risk facing a genuine threat. However, a mind flayer is a dreadful foe who is 83% magic-resistant and can either attack physically or generate a mental mind blast each turn.

The mind blast will affect 2-9 man-types in a 6" deep arc’ before the monster. Those nearest the mind flayer are always affected first, sheltering those further back. Normal types are immediately rendered unconscious. Heroic types are allowed a save versus spells with failure indicating they are Confused; superheroic types who fail to save are instead Feebleminded.

In physical combat, a mind flayer can automatically lash its foul tentacles to the face of a prone man-type, otherwise requiring an attack roll that exceeds the number required to hit by 4 or more, or is a 20, to do so. Unless the mind flayer is interrupted (by being hit, for example) the victim's brain will be sucked out and devoured in the following turn; slaying him. Normal types observing this horrible death must make an immediate morale check at -2.

---- Notes ----

. Based largely on the Mind Flayer from Strategic Review 1.1 (Mar-May, 1975).
. The original AC 5 implies mail armor type, but the original movement 12" implies leather armor type,
. 90% Magic Resistance is "introduced" without explanation, but remember that Balrogs (not cut from 3LBBs until 1977) also had 75% MR,
. "Mind Blast, a wave of PSI force" appears prior to the official psionics rules (which appeared in EW, Apr 1976),
. Rewriting the saving throw table by intelligence rather than by level is an added complexity which was cut from the AD&D Mind Flayer.

My version is reduced to AC 7 (from 5), which seems appropriate for a fleshy M-U type with 12" movement, and to 7+1 (from 8+3) HD which is equivalent to an 11th level M-U in DD. Magic resistance is reduced marginally to 5/6ths for no compelling reason, and potency of the mind blast is possibly reduced somewhat vs normal int. higher level figures, but increased somewhat vs lower level types by switching back to regular ol' level-based saving throws.

Dicing for the number of figures affected by the mind blast is a convenient abstraction that forgoes the need for an accurate map of figure positions. But assuming we did have figures positioned on a scale battlefield map, how many man-types could possibly be affected by a 5ft wide x 60ft long cone? According to S&S (p2), men equipped with daggers, spears, axes, maces, short-sword, etc. each require 6¼ft of fighting space, so not more than 9 men could fight along a 60ft wide front. Not more than 4 men equipped with two-handed swords could fight along the same front. Therefore at most 9 men could be affected, assuming they are as tightly formed as possible. Player types are unlikely to be this tightly formed (although mercenary spearmen might be) so 2-9 men seemed to be "about right".

I also had an undeveloped note to the effect that Mind Flayers have unlimited use of ESP, and that ESPing a Mind Flayer is equivalent to being mind blasted by one.

FWIW, I would have them replace Mastodons on Dungeon Encounter Table 5 (col 2 row 16 of Table 2.6, p49 of the Ref Rules Compendium).

Enjoy :)
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]
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Post Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:37 pm

Re: non-psionics Mind-Flayer for Delving Deeper

Ok, yours is far superior, Simon!! I love it!

I think I'd mix the two, for my game... I'd use your stats and mind blast (but I'd offer a Save to normals) but add in my spell-based abilities.

I love the notes you took... I should have done that.

The spell-like abilities were written based off a 7th level M-U, for no other reason than I didn't want them to be too rampant. Of course the 1/week usage isn't... But after reading the ability, I found it quite powerful, and decided to limit it.

I prefer your mind blast explanation. Mine was a consideration of making a victim prone to having his brain drawn forth, but I feel yours is more fitting.

Like you, I chose a lesser HD and AC. I think either works, but defer to your greater system knowledge.

I also quite like how you specified the conal attack as being effective against more than one foe, and gave in-game specifics for such. Same old Simon!!! Great at this sort of thing! Of course I didn't do that... your writing of this is better in my opinion.

Thank you for sharing! I'm going to update my home version on paper with an admixture of yours now, as I'm a terrible "idea thief"


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