Thoughts on Illithids for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Hubris

 

Cody Mazza asked if I would post a Discussion of the Day over on G+ about Mindflayers (he also did a blog post about them).  There are many good comments about how people handle them, but it got me thinking about what I would do if I inserted Illithids into my Hubris (or a Dungeon Crawl Classics) game.

Illithids

mind-flayer

I think of Illithids as beings from the native plane that worshiped Chaos (were they elves that fell too far down the well in their magical experimentation, were they humans that dabbled with powers no human should meddle with or are they a long-forgotten race now obliterated from history?).  In their pursuit and devotion of Chaos, they broke through the barrier and touched it.  These beings tapped into this unlimited power (perhaps even leaving the native plane for thousands of years) and harnessed it, learning dark and nefarious secrets of the cosmos.  This grand knowledge and power came with a terrible price, however.  By feasting on Chaos, their bodies were altered, becoming vile, twisted, and evil.

Thus the Illithid was born.

Illithids are Chaos junkies.  They feast on it.  Without it they are nothing, reduced to a weakened pathetic creature.  Going too long without feasting on Chaos will permanently reduce an Illithid into a Husk.

Through their exploration of Chaos, the Illithids touched the consciousness of the great Cthulhu and were cowed, becoming devoted servants of this great being.

Illithids feast on humanoid brains because they lack a sense of self.  They have hideous intelligence, but without the sense of self, they become apathetic and listless.  When an Illithid consumes the brains of a target, their personality reemerges and they become motivated and devious.  An Illithid also gains all knowledge and memories of their victim while full from their “feast”.  An Illithid usually consumes one humanoid brain every two weeks, but can go up to a month before they begin to succumb to the ravages of starvation.

Illithids are corruptors.  Everything they touch becomes slimy, covered in stringy bits of ectoplasm and sticky mucous.  Spend too long in the company of an Illithid and this corrupting influence will begin to manifest physically and mentally on an individual.  Slaves of Illithids often lose their minds within a few short weeks and eventually become loyal thralls to their masters.

ood

An Illithis Slave: once a human, now a monster

They have no fashion, instead wearing cobbled together clothing they find in ancient armories or taken from their victims.  Somehow this cobbled together aesthetic gives the illusion of fashion to the Illithids eneimes.

Illithid’s are covetous and easily jealous of the belongings and achievements of others.  This is reflected in their society.  Illithids constantly scheme, backstab, and attempt to thwart one another in an attempt to gain power, notoriety, and knowledge.  There is only one way to climb the ladder in Illithid society: murder.

Illithids are cunning and rarely attack head on, instead using trickery, illusions, slaves, or beasts in their stead.  However, should an Illithid attack, they are not to be underestimated.  They are powerful spell casters and have the ability to blast a target with psychic energy, stunning and disorientating them.

Illithid

mind-flayer2

Decide whether the Illithid is an Arcane or Divine caster.

Divine casters are worshippers of Cthulhu and use clerical spells and add a Cthulhu-style bend to them them.

Consider the rank you want for the Illithid and consult the tables below.

Illithid Statistics by Rank

Rank

HD AC Initiative Attack Modifier Action Die Fort Reflex Will Claws Damage Target DCs for Special Attacks
1 1-2 9-13 +1 +1 to +3 1d20 +1 +2 +4 1d3 8-12
2 3-5 10-14 +3 +3 to +6 1d20 +2 +4 +6 1d4 12-14
3 5-7 13-16 +5 +5 to +10 1d24 +4 +6 +9 1d6 14-18
4 7-10 15-20 +7 +8 to +15 2d20 +5 +7 +9 1d8 18-20
5 10-20 17-22 +10 +12 to +18 2d24 +7 +9 +13 2d6

22-24

 

 

Illithid Rank

Abilities

1 Low-light vision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+2 check)
2 Low-light vision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+5 check)
3 Low-light vision 60’, darkvision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+7 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 1 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 2-3 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 4+ HD are immune to this effect.
4 Low-light vision 80’, darkvision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+12 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 2 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 3-4 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 5+ HD are immune to this effect.
5 Low-light vision 120’, darkvision 60’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+18 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 4 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 5+ HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.

 

 

Illithid Caster

Rank Arcane Spell Level Arcane Spells Known Cleric Spell Level Divine Spells Known
1 2 3 1 4
2 3 6 2 7
3 4 9 3 10
4 5 12 4 12
5 5 16 5 14

 

 

Illithid Rank Immunities
1 Half damage from non-magical weapons
2 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 2 HD or less.
3 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 3HD or less.
4 Immune to weapons of +2 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 4 HD or less.
5 Immune to weapons of +3 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 5 HD or less.

 

 

Illithid Mindblast
Check Result Effect
1 Mindblown.  Roll 1d8: Headache- 1-5) stunned for 1d5 rounds; 6) Hemorrhage- suffer 2d6 damage; 7) Migraine- fall unconscious for 1d8 hours; 8) Scanner- Brain explodes.  Killed instantly.
2-11 Mind-numb.  Can’t use ability again for 1 hour.
12-13 The Illithid blasts a target within 30’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage.  Target can make a Will save for half damage.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d5 rounds.
14-15 The Illithid blasts a target within 60’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d4 rounds.
16-17 The Illithid blasts a target within 90’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d8 rounds.
18-19 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 2d3 rounds or blast two targets within 5’ of one another for 3d6 damage and stunning them for 1d4 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d6 rounds.
20-21 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 6d6 damage and stunned for 2d5 rounds or blast two targets within 10’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d5 rounds.
22+ The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 7d6 damage and stunned for 3d3 rounds or blast three targets within 15’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d3 rounds.

 

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About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

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