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The Beholder

 
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mcneilk
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: The Beholder Reply with quote

The MM gives ranges but not radius. Is the anti-magic ray on one PC for the entire round? maybe its more a cone with a 14'radius at 140'? what about the eyestalks.
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mcneilk
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and while i am seeking some sage advice how do you handle the enlarge spell. does "a person 12' tall would be as an ogre, while and 18' tall person would actually be a giant for the duration of the spell" mean pluses to hit and damage according to ogre/giant strength?
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine the beholder emanates a cone-like shape with respect to the Anti-magic ray.

As for the "Enlarge" spell, according to what I recall, you 'technically' don't get strength bonuses for getting bigger, but I disagree with that assessment. You're the DM, after all, so do what you think is reasonable. I, for one, think that enlarging someone WOULD make them proportionately stronger, just as shrinking them makes them (and their weapons) do less damage.

-Lanthorn
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ragnar
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's and old ADnD book called I Tyrant that gives a lot of info on Beholders. I remember using it when my party ran into their first and only Beholder. It really helped to make the encounter much more than just another monster. I think questions like this one were answered there, but I'm not sure.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think the disintegration ray is really a cone? Well, of course not, as that would be...just...wrong! Laughing A ray isn't a cone, it is a straight line. A line can have a thickness to it, but is isn't a cone. Basic geometry folks. Dragon Magazine #76 has the "Ecology of the Beholder" article in it, but I would recommend using I Tyrant, as it goes into detail on the functional aspects of the the beholder's eye stalks and main eye. See here:

http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Dungeons-Dragons-Monstrous-Accessory/dp/0786904046

While this book is written for the 2E beholder rules, it is easy enough to make use of just the functional aspects of beholders as laid out in the book without needing to include anything else if you do not wish to. And there is (of course Razz Wink) a Lanthorn thread on this very topic in the 2E forum which I recommend reading. It explores many questions one might have about beholders.

http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=5139&sid=0ec36fdbcec5fdd22d4d1c5bbf638e92

Took a bit to bash through that one! Happy
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And there is (of course Razz Wink) a Lanthorn thread on this very topic in the 2E forum which I recommend reading. It explores many questions one might have about beholders.

http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=5139&sid=0ec36fdbcec5fdd22d4d1c5bbf638e92

Took a bit to bash through that one! Happy


Oh, yes, I do recall!
I made extensive use of the beholder when I placed one of these deadly creatures in the ruins of the Mistmarsh.

-Lanthorn
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mcneilk
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i looked at the I, tyrant and it was really good but the picture from that booklet shows the anti-magic ray being used on a spellcaster. In the picture this ray is definately cone shaped. If the diameter did not change over 140' it would be what? a foot beam that would have to move around just to find the wand of the MU. You guys have mostly forgotten more than i will ever know about these things so who am i to argue,
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DMPrata
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:17 pm    Post subject: Re: The Beholder Reply with quote

mcneilk wrote:
The MM gives ranges but not radius. Is the anti-magic ray on one PC for the entire round? maybe its more a cone with a 14'radius at 140'? what about the eyestalks.
Both Supplement I: Greyhawk and the AD&D Monster Manual refer to it as an anti-magic ray, not a cone. Whomever the beholder targets with its central eye in a given round can't use magic.
mcneilk wrote:
and while i am seeking some sage advice how do you handle the enlarge spell. does "a person 12' tall would be as an ogre, while and 18' tall person would actually be a giant for the duration of the spell" mean pluses to hit and damage according to ogre/giant strength?
Yes.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flipping through the beholder entry in the Monstrous Manual hardback and discovered the following information (page 21):

"The central eye produces an anti-magic ray with a 140-yard ranger, which covers a 90 degree arc before the creature. No magic (including the effects of the other eyes) will function within that area. Spells cast in or passing through that zone cease to function.

To my interpretation (and some mathematical calculations), that means the area of effect is not a single target, does not conform to the geometry of a single ray (like a wand), but rather a widespread area (90 degrees before the middle eye). The further away from the beholder one goes, to a range of 140 yards (!), the greater the overall area of effect in a conical shape.

-Lanthorn
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always played the small eyes' effects as rays and the central eye's dispel magic effect as a cone covering a 90 degree area in front of the beholder. Lanthorn has provided the evidence to support my reason for doing so.

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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a common mistake. The central eye has a visual arc of 90 degrees, not an effect arc of 90 degrees, meaning anything within its forward 90 degree arc can be seen by, and targeted by, the central eye ray. I forgot the old ecology articles sometimes have rules hidden in the main text (usually footnoted), which is the case here. Wouldn't it be nice if the monster entry itself contained such information? Wink Here is what you want to know:

Ecology of the Beholder', Dragon Magazine #76 wrote:
"And there is also an eleventh eye, greater in diameter than the others, set in the mid-line of the spherical body. This great eye can project an anti-magical ray that negates the use of all spells, whether cast from a device or from the mind and hands. This ray is a faintly visible beam of grayish light, extending out from the eye in a conical shape up to 140 YARDS from the monster. This cone is one foot across at the eye, and reaches ten feet in diameter at its greatest extent. This beam will focus upon ONE target at a time, and may be shifted to keep track of a moving opponent. This beam has proven the downfall of many would-be slayers of an eye tyrant."


There are a few other notes on rules at the end of the article, and note those regarding what things the anti-magic eye shuts down, and does not shut down. You may want to play the effect purely like the anti-magic shell spell instead. That and I, Tyrant are it so far as 1E compatible beholder information is concerned.

As to forgetting information, sure, we all forget things (some of us haven't played using these rules in 20+ years now, but can look things up well enough...usually), but it is not usually what you might think. What we have forgotten is often not what we think it was. All too often, when we go back to find the information we think we have forgotten, we realize that what we actually forgot is that so much in 1E (and 2E for that matter) is horribly explained (or not explained at all) within the confines of the 1E (and 2E) core rule books. And so you have to hunt for what exists, if anything, regarding the subject. Lanthorn in particular has brought up some real brow furrowers to be sure, the workings of the beholder being just one of them. Usually it just take some time to find the information in some out of the way place it is hiding, or in another source altogether as in this case.

And so we now return you to the beholder encounter...

DM: "The beholder shoots your 10th level fighter with an eye ray. Roll a save...versus spells in this case."
Player: "I rolled a 6."
DM: "Your character is DISINTEGRATED!"
Player: "Groan..."
DM: "As is most of his equipment."
Other Players [collectively]: "Aw, c'mon!"

Laughing
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mcneilk
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: hey now Reply with quote

Thank you all so much for your immediate and accurate responses. As usual all you get on this site is answers but...

we all know answers lead to questions so.... when a spell caster is in the anti magic ray 11th eye (hehe) at what point does the pc know that magic isn't gonna work? I would think right away so then is the spell gone from the caster's list? If no magic happened then the spell must still be there? I think the caster would know nothing is working immediately. Are other actions then allowed in the melee round?

If the caster is close enough to the beholder the anti magic would only be on the torso (assumedly) of the caster. If the caster was holding a magic staff or wand that was outside of the anti magic would said magic item function? If it was a spoken command (i think they all are????) is it the word that is magical or the item. Would a word spoken within the anti-magic still make functional an item outside of the anti-magic???

Tomorrow night we game. Doubt responses will matter but thank you so much again. I think this is going to be fun. Ceb your beholder encounter is bang on. "Disintegrated! as is most of his equipment". I don't think i am gonna be able to control my laughter if it goes down like that. and i can't really see how it won't. BBWWWWWAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the anti-magic ray is invisible, so you cannot see or feel it. The caster (priest or mage or otherwise) won't have a clue there's any effect UNTIL he/she tries to cast a spell and it just won't work. Anything magical in effect (spell, item, or innate ability) is essentially useless while in this zone, but a magic sword IS still a tangible item, so although it will lose its magic bonuses/powers, it COULD still be used as a normal sword. Bear in mind that the magical abilities of permanent items (weapons, potions, wands, etc) CAN be used once they are out of the anti-magic ray. The anti-magic ray does NOT erase the spells from the caster's mind, but only prevents their use when the spell-caster tries to shape and release the magical energies. Furthermore, any spell effect entering the ray is nullified instantly upon contact with the beam.

-Lanthorn
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: hey now Reply with quote

mcneilk wrote:
we all know answers lead to questions so.... when a spell caster is in the anti magic ray 11th eye (hehe) at what point does the pc know that magic isn't gonna work? I would think right away so then is the spell gone from the caster's list? If no magic happened then the spell must still be there? I think the caster would know nothing is working immediately. Are other actions then allowed in the melee round?

The caster will know that magic won't work..when they cast a spell and it doesn't work. Then, if they live up to their likely high Intelligence score, they will realize why the magic didn't work. Anti-magic doesn't wipe spells from memory, just cancels them if cast (because spells held in memory are not magical, merely memorized magical formulas, which only become magical when they are enacted). It also cancels spells already in effect and temporarily neutralizes permanent magic items if either moves into the anti-magic area, or the anti-magic area moves so as to encompass them.

mcneilk wrote:
If the caster is close enough to the beholder the anti magic would only be on the torso (presumably) of the caster. If the caster was holding a magic staff or wand that was outside of the anti magic would said magic item function? If it was a spoken command (i think they all are????) is it the word that is magical or the item. Would a word spoken within the anti-magic still make functional an item outside of the anti-magic???

Yes, but if you get too anal with rules which were very much not written in such a way, they will obviously break down, so don't do it. This isn't an effect like anti-magic sphere where the caster knows the exact boundaries of their own spell (which is *immobile*), and so can lean out of it and use a magic item of some kind. For simplicity (and your own sanity), assume that models touched by the beholder's main eye ray are entirely affected by it (including items they hold). If a player argues, state the beholder's main eye is not rigidly immobile from round to round like an anti-magic sphere is, and, for simplicity's sake once again, its effect will generally affect all of a model touched by the ray as the beholder makes lightning quick minor adjustments with it eye (as all eyes do). If that isn't good enough for a player, and they pull out a protractor and start arguing angles with you, that's when the second beholder shows up, kills the character of said player (who is really just trying to circumvent the beholder's rules/effects rather than making the proper effort of figuring out how to deal with the challenge the beholder represents at the expense of the gaming experience of the entire group), and then leaves. Evil Grin That's just my opinion though. Razz
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mcneilk
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have been meaning to post the result and it was as expected. The party came into the cavern. The light of the lava pool illuninated the eight huge gargoyles perched not twenty feet to the north. The beast floated down and asked what was up. The ranger went to fire his bow and received a disintigration blast. He missed his saving throw but used a reroll and escaped. The half-orc made his save vs death ray.
I thought at this point they would run. They didn't. The gargoyles attacked. They set to receive the assault while the ranger continued firing. The magic-user set to cast his magic missle. The ranger missed, failed his save and disintigrated"as did most of his equipment". The half-orc missed the save and had already used his reroll so... crumpled in a heap on the floor. (lots of slack jaws at this point) The magic user realizes his magic doesn't work.
Next round. To hit and damage with the gargloyles. Cleric goes down to death ray. Dwarf saves vs disintigration. Magic-User wants to run.
next round dwarf misses save. Gnome is lucky to have been roasted and eaten. It is said the magic-user lived a week but wished he hadnt.


first time dming means first tpk but thats what happens when you tangle with a beholder.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though it is stating the obvious, sometimes players need to learn to not be stupid the hard way.
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Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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grodog
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're looking for some alternate beholder eye rules, you can check out my variations (along with a mini-adventure) at http://melkot.com/locations/underdark/EncyclopaediaSubterranica-S2-33.pdf
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