D&D Miniatures11/25/2004

Mind Flayer
Recurring Villainy

Few villains get inside the PCs' heads quite like a mind flayer does. (Get it? Because they eat brains, see?) D&D doesn't offer many ways for characters to die that are more gruesome than having your brain slurped out by a mind flayer -- while you're still alive and conscious, we might add.

With that threat hanging over their heads (literally), the characters should have plenty of motivation to deal decisively with this recurring villain. You as the DM, of course, won't allow that until the final encounter. Like a mind flayer, you will draw out their delicious agony for the longest possible time while savoring their squirming discomfort. Or something like that.

Presented here are 20 encounters ranging from EL 5 to 11. Each involves the Mind Flayer and/or its minions. More than the usual number of these figures are rares; substitute other subterranean monsters of similar EL for figures you don't have.

This series of encounters is structured to represent an underground quest for a Mind Flayer. Don't bring the Carrion Crawlers, Chokers, Gricks, Myconids, and Umber Hulks above ground where they don't belong. Adventurers must delve into the eternal, sub terrene darkness and face this foe on its own ground. Perhaps they are on a quest to retrieve a magical item or ancient writings from the monster, to rescue someone kidnapped during a surface raid, or to settle a score for a powerful patron. Perhaps they are merely passing through the Mind Flayer's labyrinthine territory and incite its wrath -- or its appetite.

Prepare for encounters with the Mind Flayer ahead of time by devising at least one escape plan. Having multiple backup plans is even better, in case things go seriously wrong. Make sure the villain has minions or magic items to wrest it from the grip of certain death until it's time for the ultimate battle.

Feel free to substitute Otyughs for Carrion Crawlers and Duergar or Grimlocks for Troglodytes, either for variety or to more closely match your miniatures collection. Of course, you can also use the Mind Flayer Telepath (Ab) instead of, or in addition to, the Mind Flayer. Troglodytes and Troglodyte Zombies can be added to the high-level encounters as nuisance creatures without altering the EL meaningfully. Any humanoid figures can be substituted for creatures of the same EL to represent the Mind Flayer's enslaved thralls.

Troglodyte Troglodyte
Choker Grick Dread
DE Har Ab GoL AF Ab DE Ab Har Har
EL CR 1 CR 1 CR 2 CR 3 CR 3 CR 4 CR 4 CR 5 CR 7 CR 8
5 6
5 4 1
5 3 2
6 1 1 1
6 2
6 1 1
7 4 2 1
7 1
7 1 2 1
8 6 3 2
8 3 1
8 1 1
9 4 3 2 1 1
9 2
9 4 1
10 1 1 1
10 2
10 2 4 1
11 2 2
11 2 3 2 3 1 1 1

About the Author

Steve Winter is a writer, game designer, and web producer living in the Seattle area. He's been involved with publishing D&D in one form or another since 1981. Tiny people and monsters made of plastic and lead are among his favorite obsessions.

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