Vhalantru & Beholderkin

Dungeon Magazine General Discussion

I was unsure whether to post this up here or on the SCAP forum but I thought my question was more generic so here it goes....

Beholderkin -

What types are there?

What are their differences?

Are they all underpowered versions of the original?

What types and how many would be found in a cache of the creatures?

Potential Side Trek
The motivation behind the questions is to create an adventure where the players investigate the disappearance of Cauldrons Lord Mayor which leads them to Sasserine (my own SCAP version) and Vhalantru's original beholder cache.

The idea is that, before his untimely demise, the Lord Mayor had grown particularly suspicious of Vhalantru and sought to personally investigate the mysterious nobles past. Rather than hire someone and risk betrayal the Lord Mayor forged a letter from a family member urgently requiring his to travel to Sasserine.

Under this guise the Lord Mayor travelled to Sasserine and attempted to discover more about Vhalantru. Ultimately his investigation leads to the discovery that Vhalantru is an imposter and the real noble went missing years a go.

Finally following the real nobles last movements before his disappearances led the Lord Mayor to the Beholder Cache where he managed to flee. Unfortunately for him, the beholders were able to warn Vhalantru of the discovery and when the Lord Mayor returned to Cauldron he was quickly desposed of before he could recount his discovers to anyone...

Anyway this is just my basic thoughts at the moment.

Any help with the Beholderkin or the side trek in general is more than welcome.


Have you read Lords of Madness? The section on beholders is pretty in-depth and they have a lot of different types of beholderkin- the ones that come to mind are the Eyes of the Deep (underwater beholders with lobster claws, basically) and I believe there was an advanced kind of beholder, but I don't remember what its deal was exactly. Most of the beholderkin (like gauths and such) are less powerful than a true beholder.

As far as what types/how many, the impression I got from the book was that a given beholder tends to be xenophobic to the extent that it believes the way it looks is the best expression of how a beholder ought to look, and any other examples of beholders are literally offensive and to be disposed of as inferior, so clusters of these guys tend to be tenuous groups at best.

It has been a while since I read that book though, so I may be misremembering...

Most beholderkin are less powerful than a standard beholder, but there are some beholder types that are more powerful, such as an elder orb (basically an Huge sized advanced beholder with eye rays with higher save DCs, etc.), and a hive mother (huge beholder that can control "standard" beholders to form a colony of beholders and beholderkin under its rule. Also, there are beholder mages, which is basically a 10 level pretige class which at its highest level allows beholders to cast all the way to 9th level spells.

I'm thinking I'll have to purchase the Lords of Madness book now or drop the idea for the adventure all together. I know which options cheaper!

I've heard something similiar about beholders and their form. I also understand that it is in their nature to loath others of their kind and attempt to kill each other on 'sight'.

I'm gald to hear the 'Mother' type can create a cache and control others of her kind. This would fit into my basic story.

What about the elder orbs though? Are they as power as one of these 'Mothers'?

Thanks for all your help


The elder orbs are about as powerful as the hive mothers (who are CR 16) in terms of sheer combat- however, a hive mother can dominate them as a 20th level spellcaster could so they're the ones in charge.

I believe the SCAP HC even has a section talking about Vhalantru and his hate of other beholders. Specifically I believe this is in the section on his manor in Lord's of Oblivion when it discusses the origin of the gauth's in the manor (how he was planning on killing them all in one of his forays to look for the cagewright base under Cauldron when he realized they would be similar to his basic physiology and therefor the best test subject for the experiment he planned to conduct on himself).

I definately would read through Lords of Madness, but I think the result would likely be that he did not come from a cache with other beholder. He would want to be in charge and would more likely have a secondary redoubt setup with creatures loyal to him.

This still could be setup as a very succesful adventure, mind you, but it just wouldn't be all "beholder-stocked."

Sean Mahoney

Sean Mahoney

The second edition AD&D Monstrous Manual contained somewhere around 15 different beholder-kin if I remember correctly. You'd have to convert if you are playing 3.5, but (if you can find a copy) it is a worthwile source for information at the very least.

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