Beholders of Krynn

"For in ages past, beyond memory and word, in the first blush of the world, Dragons terrible and great made war on this world of Krynn."
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Havard
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Beholders of Krynn

Post by Havard » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:10 am

Another adventure I remember from one of the AD&D games in Krynn where I was a player was an Underground City of Beholders. How common would you say Beholders are on Krynn? Where would be a good location for such a city?

Looking back at it now, this adventure did not feel very Dragonlance-ish in atmosphere, but perhaps certain details could be added to make it more so?
Suggestions are welcome!

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:24 pm

I can't actually recall a mention of beholders in Dragonlance. I'd be interested to see what turns up.
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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by Havard » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:02 pm

Big Mac wrote:I can't actually recall a mention of beholders in Dragonlance. I'd be interested to see what turns up.
Yeah, me neither. My immediate thought was to try to connect the Beholders to one of the Evil Gods? Possibly a backup plan for Takhisis if her Dragon Highlords should fail? Perhaps this Beholder City could be part of a greater Ansalon Underdark?

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:12 am

I checked Dragonlance Adventures, the 2nd edition Dragonlance Monstrous Compendium, The Bestiary for SAGA/Fifth Age, and Tales of the Lance, and none of them mentioned beholders.

I,Tyrant had descriptions of beholders in the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Mystara, Planescape, Ravenloft, and Spelljammer settings, but had no mention of Dragonlance.

My guess is that the Dragonlance team didn't want beholders on Krynn.

Krynnspace mentions that a few lensmen beholder-kin and argos dwell on Nuitari. A total of four watcher beholder-kin live on Lunitari. If beholders are associated with Krynnish gods, then, I'd suggest that they be the gods of magic.

Havard, my guess is that the adventure you played was Eye to Eye by Thomas M. Reid, a generic adventure connected to I, Tyrant. It was the third in a trilogy of beholder-themed adventures. It's supposed to be beneath a small town somewhere. You could also put beholders in one of the abandoned dwarven kingdoms (Kal-Thax and Thoradin) that don't seem to have anything going on lately, or perhaps on an island.

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by rabindranath72 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:48 am

Beholders are mentioned in the 3e Dragonlance DM screen's addendum document. They exist in Krynn, but not as a species in itself; rather, they are the results of curses. There is an example in that document of a beholder who was once a black robe wizard cursed by Fistandantilus.

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by Havard » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:14 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:Beholders are mentioned in the 3e Dragonlance DM screen's addendum document. They exist in Krynn, but not as a species in itself; rather, they are the results of curses. There is an example in that document of a beholder who was once a black robe wizard cursed by Fistandantilus.
That is pretty interesting how Beholders would have a different origin on Krynn than elsewhere. Cool find :)

ripvanwormer wrote:Krynnspace mentions that a few lensmen beholder-kin and argos dwell on Nuitari. A total of four watcher beholder-kin live on Lunitari. If beholders are associated with Krynnish gods, then, I'd suggest that they be the gods of magic.
Seems to fit well with how Fistandantilus and possibly other wizards may curse people into Beholders.

Havard, my guess is that the adventure you played was Eye to Eye by Thomas M. Reid, a generic adventure connected to I, Tyrant. It was the third in a trilogy of beholder-themed adventures. It's supposed to be beneath a small town somewhere. You could also put beholders in one of the abandoned dwarven kingdoms (Kal-Thax and Thoradin) that don't seem to have anything going on lately, or perhaps on an island.
I remember these adventures, but never read them. It may well be that this adventure was the inspiration for that GM. He seemed to have read up a lot on different types of Beholders etc back then. Granted this was back in the early 90s.

I like the idea of putting it in one of the dwarven kingdoms. Several of our adventures involved dwarven realms. :)

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by Dragonhelm » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:40 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:Beholders are mentioned in the 3e Dragonlance DM screen's addendum document. They exist in Krynn, but not as a species in itself; rather, they are the results of curses. There is an example in that document of a beholder who was once a black robe wizard cursed by Fistandantilus.
To quote the DM Screen:

"The beholder is so rare that its existence is in almost every case an instance of a curse or spell gone awry (see sidebar) or a freak summoning through a portal into the Ethereal Sea."

The sample beholder in the book is named Idosklepas of the Wicked Eye. The Revised Bestiary of Krynn also has information on him and beholders in general, which appears to be a reprint.

Monsters like beholders don't seem very Krynnish, but given enough thought, almost anything can be put in.
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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:28 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Krynnspace mentions that a few lensmen beholder-kin and argos dwell on Nuitari. A total of four watcher beholder-kin live on Lunitari. If beholders are associated with Krynnish gods, then, I'd suggest that they be the gods of magic.
I'm guessing that Jean Rabe did that because Spelljammer implies that beholders (as well as illithids and neogi) are everywhere. Not having them on any of the celestial bodies would make it harder to have beholder ships in spacfaring encouners.
ripvanwormer wrote:Havard, my guess is that the adventure you played was Eye to Eye by Thomas M. Reid, a generic adventure connected to I, Tyrant. It was the third in a trilogy of beholder-themed adventures. It's supposed to be beneath a small town somewhere. You could also put beholders in one of the abandoned dwarven kingdoms (Kal-Thax and Thoradin) that don't seem to have anything going on lately, or perhaps on an island.
Personally, I'd be tempted to treat beholders on Krynn as stranded spacefarers. I can see one escaping a ship that is destroyed in the skies of Krynn and choosing an underground lair because it is a similar environment to the insides of an asteroid. That would allow a beholder to escape the notice of an organised force of groundlings and also allow it to use its powers and abilities to gain advantages.
rabindranath72 wrote:Beholders are mentioned in the 3e Dragonlance DM screen's addendum document. They exist in Krynn, but not as a species in itself; rather, they are the results of curses. There is an example in that document of a beholder who was once a black robe wizard cursed by Fistandantilus.
That is an interesting way to do things. It sounds a bit like a retcon to shoehorn beholders in, when they didn't exist before, but I do know that Raistlin created some sort of magical creatures.

Does anyone know of an earlier RPG product, or a novel, that gives any details about the Wizard of High Sorcery that got transformed into the beholder? I'm wondering how you could get from one beholder to lots of them. You kind of need a hive mother to make an entire race.

EDIT: Dragonhelm posted about Bestiary of Krynn: Revised, while I was typing this.

I suppose that failing the Test of High Sorcery could also result in a wizard getting transformed into a monster, instead of getting killed. So you could use that sort of unusual monster into Dragonlance.
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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:00 am

Dragonhelm wrote:Monsters like beholders don't seem very Krynnish, but given enough thought, almost anything can be put in.
I complained about their inclusion in Dark Queen of Krynn during my Let's Play of that game for that very reason. That and I couldn't recall any (pre-3e) mention of them, but someone said there was one in the original Dragonlance modules (I've never verified it).

I would guess that all the breeding populations of beholders keep to themselves and are the results of just 2-3 crashed Spelljammers or something.

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:59 am

I kind of like the idea that Fistandantilus (or Raistlin) made all of the beholders now on Krynn, and that they're unaging but incapable of breeding. Fistandantilus must have accidentally summoned a true beholder at some point so that he knew what they were like.

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Re: Beholders of Krynn

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:59 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:I kind of like the idea that Fistandantilus (or Raistlin) made all of the beholders now on Krynn, and that they're unaging but incapable of breeding. Fistandantilus must have accidentally summoned a true beholder at some point so that he knew what they were like.
Perhaps Fistandantilus captured a Netherese spelljamming ship and went on a tour of Krynnspace! ;)
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