Features Archive | 8/9/2012
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Appendix d12: Unknown Rays of the Beholder
By Jason Sholtis

With the Rise of the Underdark campaign underway, this year has seen its share of drow incursions against the surface world—playing out right now in both the current D&D Encounters season and D&D Lair Assault. Add to that, the upcoming release of Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue, and it’s highly possible that your campaign will soon be venturing into the Underdark.

To help DMs add further detail to their adventures underground, Jason Sholtis (of The Dungeon Dozen) has provided the following tables—in the spirit of the 1st Edition DMG’s appendices, charts, and random encounters!

Unknown Rays of the Beholder

In this week's table, beauty -- or at least bizarre utility -- in the eyes of the beholder.


  1. Long distance beholder-to-beholder communication beam.

  2. Cone of Ambivalence: renders opponents unenthusiastic and uncertain about pressing any attack they may be considering.

  3. Visual projection ray for sharing schemes and stratagems with less than brilliant underlings, creating semi-convincing illusions.

  4. Ray of frenzy: sends minions into defensive battle madness and enhances willingness to fight to the death.

  5. Bolt of submission: similar to charm spells but inculcates a fearful respect.

  6. Antifungal/defoliant beam: clear cuts great swaths of underworld acreage earmarked for alternate usage.

  7. Ray of the dancing dead: used in combat to shabbily reanimate fallen foes and pit them against live ones; rather demoralizing.

  8. Beam of interrogation: those under its influence can tell only the truth, though whether that is the whole truth and nothing but the truth remains questionable and subject to saving throw.

  9. Insanity wave: concentrated sound strikes at the target’s seat of reason, permanently unhinging said personality; saving throw allows for still-harrowing but temporary derangement.

  10. Variable range x-ray: allows viewing through walls and other barriers to vision.

  11. Treachery ray: turns opponents against one another.

  12. Wave of shattering: attacks molecular bonds of metals and stone rendering them exceedingly brittle.

About the Author

Jason Sholtis serves humanity by day as a humble social services worker but keeps evenings free for self-indulgences such as writing, drawing and playing in rock bands. D&D occupies a special place in his heart. His semi-daily blog The Dungeon Dozen focuses exclusively on random tables for the twelve-sided die.

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