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 Beholder Anatomy - Which eye stalks do what?
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  13:16:57  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Never thought I would be asking this but I find it quite interesting.

If the 3.5e beholder can only bring 3 eye stalks to bear on any given targets within a 90 arc, how do you determine which 3 those are?

Can any eye rotate 360?

I'm running Prison of the Firebringer and a beholder battle in close quarters is making me a bit nervous.

Can the beholder choose ANY 3 of his 10 eye stalks at any given time on a target in the 90 degrees?

I don't relish the thought of disintegration and finger of death going off every round of combat.

I don't want to make a stupid mistake and cause a TPK.

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  13:59:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unless it's in the book I, Beholder, I don't think it's ever been specified.

And even if it has been, one thing that is very well known about beholders is that beholders from different hives have different physical characteristics... And I'd extend that to the arrangement of their eyes and their respective powers. (Heck, I'm pretty sure nothing even describes the physical placement of the eyes -- some art has all the eyes on top, some art has a few eyes on the sides; some art has the eyestalks being segmented and jointed like insect legs, while other art puts the eyes on short tentacles). The only commonality concerning the eyes seems to be one central, anti-magic eye and ten others.

So a beholder from a hive in Amn may have its first and third eyes being the ones to fire disintegration and finger of death, but a beholder from a hive in Tether may fire the same rays from eyes four and seven.

And the real fun with beholders is that it's not unknown for one to have an oddball (pardon the pun) eye; maybe the fear eye fires off a scorching ray instead.

Now, to make a long post short: knock yourself out and arrange the eyes however you want.

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Cards77
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USA
590 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  14:24:10  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm it's making me nervous. I wonder if there is any errata anywhere the describes this.

So in theory if you have targets both behind and in front of the beholder, than it could fire all 6 of it's eye beams every round, unless it chooses to cast a spell with another eye stalk.

This seems absurdly over powered does it not?
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  14:39:21  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like this one a bit better but...lol pretty scary

BEHOLDER
Tarondor’s Pathfinder Conversion
based on notes by Mike Mearls and James Jacobs

A beholder is an 8-foot-wide orb dominated by a central eye and a large, toothy maw. Ten smaller eyes on stalks sprout from the top of the orb.

BEHOLDER CR13
LE Large Aberration
Init +6*; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +26
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 28, touch 11, flat-footed 27 (-1 size, +1 Dex +18 natural)
hp 180 (19d8+95)
Fort +14, Ref +14, Will +18
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 5 ft., fly (20 feet)(good)
Melee Bite +9 (2d4/x2)
Special Attacks eye rays (dc 21), sustained barrage
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 17, Wis 15, Cha 15
Base Atk +14; CMB +14; CMD +26 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Hover, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Intimidate +24, Knowledge (Arcana) +21, Knowledge (GM’s choice) +21, Perception +26, Stealth +21, Survival +21, Use Magic Device +21
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ All-around vision, antimagic eye, sustained barrage, darkvision 60 ft., flight
Other Gear (11,600 gp)
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
-none-
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
All-Around Vision You can see in all directions and cannot be flanked.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Eye Rays (Su): Each of a beholder's eye stalks can produce a ray of magical energy. As a standard action, a beholder can produce one ray from each eyestalk. It can target up to three rays at a single target. Each ray aimed at a specific target must have a different effect, but a beholder can use the same ability twice per round. Each ray has a range of 150 ft. All variable effects as if cast by a 13th-level caster.
Eye Ray Effects:
• Stun Ray. (Fort negates, DC 21) In combat, a creature struck with this ray is stunned for 1 round. Out of combat, the ray can be used as a charm monster spell (and the save becomes a Will save)
• Blast Ray Any creature struck by this ray suffers 6d6 energy damage. The beholder can select the type of energy at will.
• Telekinesis Ray. (Ref negates, DC 21) The beholder can use this ray to manipulate objects of size Large and smaller, including fine manipulation of tools. The beholder can move a creature struck by this ray up to 20 ft.
• Slow Ray. (Will negates. DC 21) A creature struck by this ray is affected as by the slow spell.
• Disintegrate Ray. (Fort partial. DC 21) You must make a successful ranged touch attack to hit. A creature struck by this ray is affected as by the disintegrate spell.

Antimagic Eye (Su): The beholder can focus its large, central eye on an area, disrupting all spellcasting that takes place there. As a swift action, the beholder creates a 60 foot cone. Anyone in this area who attempts to cast a spell must make a caster level check (DC 22) to successfully complete the spell. This DC is Intelligence based and includes a +4 racial bonus.
Sustained Barrage (Su): Beholders continually seethe with arcane energy, allowing them to create a sustained barrage of rays. A beholder rolls two dice for initiative and records both results. On a beholder's initiative count, it can choose to take its normal turn or a special barrage turn. It may take one normal turn per round and one barrage turn per round. On its barrage turn, the beholder may fire its blast ray or telekinesis rays at any target within 60 feet. The beholder fires twice, using either ray for each shot. It may fire at the same or a different target. The beholder cannot take any other actions on its barrage turn except to delay.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  18:06:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

Hmmm it's making me nervous. I wonder if there is any errata anywhere the describes this.

So in theory if you have targets both behind and in front of the beholder, than it could fire all 6 of it's eye beams every round, unless it chooses to cast a spell with another eye stalk.

This seems absurdly over powered does it not?



It's got 11 total eye beams, not 6 -- so that's barely more than half its potential attacks.

And in that case, that's the party's bad for getting in that position. A party that surrounds a beholder is asking for trouble. Coming at it from below or from a distance is the only safe way to battle a beholder.

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Rils
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USA
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Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  18:11:41  Show Profile Send Rils a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think you're probably over-thinking this. :) Just use whichever eyes make for the most memorable encounter! They are all on extendable stalks that can swivel any direction - forwards, backwards, to the side. The "three per 90-degree arc" is just to keep from nuking your players with all ten eye rays at once. It's not specified which eyes are where, so that the DM has freedom to use them as needed. If you want your fighter slowed - use the ice ray. If you want to instill some fear in the players - use the death ray on the wizard, or use telekinesis to drop a boulder on their head. Beholders are meant to be scary as heck - so go nuts!

Because let's be honest, if you have a party capable of handling a Beholder, it's not going to last past this fight. You might as well get some good use out of it. Pull out all the stops, and don't pull your punches, you want to make it as memorable as possible. You want them talking about it afterwards - either "That was so tough, I can't believe we survived!" or "That was so tough, we had to run away, I hope we never see one of those again!" And don't worry about the TPK - your players are endlessly inventive, they'll find ways to mess up your attempts to kill them off. If nothing else, running away is always an option.

If additional structure to the eye ray use is needed, I've also frequently seen this - roll for eye stalks randomly. For each eye that is attacking, roll 1d10 and count down the list of eyes to see which one it is. If you roll the same eye twice, just pick the one above or below it on the list. This makes for some awesome randomness on both sides of the game table.

Dugmaren Brightmantle is my homey.

Edited by - Rils on 24 Jul 2018 18:13:52
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
31317 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  21:00:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, you can power down a beholder a bit -- either swap out an eye or two for some less damaging spell, or have the beholder be wounded or missing eyes from prior combats.

And this makes me ponder how to put an eyepatch on a beholder.

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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  22:22:38  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

Hmmm it's making me nervous. I wonder if there is any errata anywhere the describes this.

So in theory if you have targets both behind and in front of the beholder, than it could fire all 6 of it's eye beams every round, unless it chooses to cast a spell with another eye stalk.

This seems absurdly over powered does it not?



It's got 11 total eye beams, not 6 -- so that's barely more than half its potential attacks.

And in that case, that's the party's bad for getting in that position. A party that surrounds a beholder is asking for trouble. Coming at it from below or from a distance is the only safe way to battle a beholder.



No it has 6 eyes that can produce eye beams. The other 4 eyes cast spells (spell stalks).
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2018 :  22:26:01  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rils

I think you're probably over-thinking this. :) Just use whichever eyes make for the most memorable encounter! They are all on extendable stalks that can swivel any direction - forwards, backwards, to the side. The "three per 90-degree arc" is just to keep from nuking your players with all ten eye rays at once. It's not specified which eyes are where, so that the DM has freedom to use them as needed. If you want your fighter slowed - use the ice ray. If you want to instill some fear in the players - use the death ray on the wizard, or use telekinesis to drop a boulder on their head. Beholders are meant to be scary as heck - so go nuts!

Because let's be honest, if you have a party capable of handling a Beholder, it's not going to last past this fight. You might as well get some good use out of it. Pull out all the stops, and don't pull your punches, you want to make it as memorable as possible. You want them talking about it afterwards - either "That was so tough, I can't believe we survived!" or "That was so tough, we had to run away, I hope we never see one of those again!" And don't worry about the TPK - your players are endlessly inventive, they'll find ways to mess up your attempts to kill them off. If nothing else, running away is always an option.

If additional structure to the eye ray use is needed, I've also frequently seen this - roll for eye stalks randomly. For each eye that is attacking, roll 1d10 and count down the list of eyes to see which one it is. If you roll the same eye twice, just pick the one above or below it on the list. This makes for some awesome randomness on both sides of the game table.



I like your rolling idea.

I'm not one to do much manipulation in encounters. I like to let the dice HELP tell the story...within reason.

It's only fair in my mind. If I predetermine which eye is which, then that's what it will be and that's how it will stay.

I will play the beholder to a T and if it GETS to blast every round with Finger of Death and Disintegrate than that's what I will do.

I'm just trying not to derail my campaign we've had for 6 years straight.

I have too many story arcs built in to start disintegrating people now :)
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Derulbaskul
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Singapore
380 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2018 :  06:08:22  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always thought of the arrangement of the beholder's eyes to be a genetic thing, so differing by family group. And, of course, that means each family group considers other eye arrangements as being an abomination and a departure from the one, true way that a beholder is supposed to appear.

Anyway, the quadrant mechanic is too much work. Simply limit the beholder to targeting a creature with 2 or 3 eyestalks - that's balanced and easy to track.

Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.
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LordofBones
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789 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2018 :  02:13:11  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you're worried about death effects and disintegration spells, you can just use death ward and ray deflection. Both are 4th level spells.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2018 :  15:43:42  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The encounter went much better than I expected.

Beholders are pretty squishy (AC 12, 98 HPs). I did a TINY tweak since the party is EPL 10 vs a CR 14 creature. During the surprise round I only had it fire off one ray instead of 3. It hit with Disintegrate but our archer made her save.

Once the mage had globe of invulnerability up it was pretty easy (I ruled that it would stop the ray effects). Two more PCs got hit with Finger of Death but made their saves. Some creative use of Wall of Ice and lightning arc hit it pretty hard.

In fact we did so much damage to it in the first two rounds, I gave it double the hit points (yeah I know). It just wasn't very challenging at 98 hps and such a low AC. No SR either.

The fighter took a lightning bolt that did 67 damage and nearly went down.

Not as challenging as I thought overall.
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

170 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2018 :  02:37:45  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Did you check the Ecology of the Beholder in Dragon Magazine 76

by Ed Greenwood and Roger Moore.


Of note

"7. The arrangement of each beholders
eyes is different from nearly all others;
referees should work out this detail prior
to combat to determine which eyes may
fire in which direction, since the small
eyes cannot point in just any direction."

Thay Red

Edited by - Thraskir Skimper on 29 Jul 2018 02:45:07
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  05:57:12  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

Did you check the Ecology of the Beholder in Dragon Magazine 76

by Ed Greenwood and Roger Moore.


Of note

"7. The arrangement of each beholders
eyes is different from nearly all others;
referees should work out this detail prior
to combat to determine which eyes may
fire in which direction, since the small
eyes cannot point in just any direction."



Thank you!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  15:33:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now the thing that's always bugged me about beholders is the mouth -- given that the beholder is just a big ball, the mouth seems way too large for the body.

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Cards77
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USA
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Posted - 05 Aug 2018 :  01:08:31  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Now the thing that's always bugged me about beholders is the mouth -- given that the beholder is just a big ball, the mouth seems way too large for the body.



True! They remind me of the Madballs toys from when I was a kid.

I just figure that even though they are a sphere with a disproportionately large mouth, several snakes are the same way.

They somehow fit a complete digestive, endocrine, circulatory, and renal systems in almost no space seemingly.

I just assume that beholder anatomy is either very small and efficient or else their is intestines winding around all over inside there just like humans have several feet inside their small organ cavity.

Anatomy certainly is interesting...even more so when applies to FR monsters.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1675 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2018 :  03:11:05  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Now the thing that's always bugged me about beholders is the mouth -- given that the beholder is just a big ball, the mouth seems way too large for the body.

I blame human painters.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

170 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2018 :  05:24:31  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mouth is like a Frog. http://www.edcox.com/beholder.jpg

Thay Red
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AuldDragon
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USA
307 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  23:49:02  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Unless it's in the book I, Beholder, I don't think it's ever been specified.


It's in I, Beholder, Page 25. From the front (above the central eye), and going clockwise, the eyes are charm person, charm monster, sleep, telekinesis, flesh to stone, disintegrate, fear, slow, cause serious wounds, and death.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Aug 2018 :  03:13:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Unless it's in the book I, Beholder, I don't think it's ever been specified.


It's in I, Beholder, Page 25. From the front (above the central eye), and going clockwise, the eyes are charm person, charm monster, sleep, telekinesis, flesh to stone, disintegrate, fear, slow, cause serious wounds, and death.

Jeff



Heh, so we have one source that says all of them follow a specific pattern, and another that says it varies per individual...

Given the lore about beholders of one hive being physically different from beholders of another hive, and how much more interesting that makes everything, I'm sticking with Ed's earlier beholder lore.

Though I think I will be downloading I, Tyrant from DrivethruRPG, later.

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AuldDragon
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Posted - 12 Aug 2018 :  18:40:50  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Heh, so we have one source that says all of them follow a specific pattern, and another that says it varies per individual...

Given the lore about beholders of one hive being physically different from beholders of another hive, and how much more interesting that makes everything, I'm sticking with Ed's earlier beholder lore.

Though I think I will be downloading I, Tyrant from DrivethruRPG, later.



I should clarify that it is listed as the *standard* layout, so it is implicit it can vary. I wouldn't vary it for every single hive, since even a color change can set off the beholder xenophobia.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
My streamed AD&D Spelljamer sessions: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/playlists?flow=grid&shelf_id=18&view=50
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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