What is beholderen? Complete Review

The Dungeons & Dragons bestiary overflows with fearsome creatures, but few inspire such a potent mix of terror and fascination as the beholderen. This monstrous aberration, a floating orb with a central eye and ten eyestalks, is a legendary challenge for adventurers. This article delves into the beholder’s lore, biology, and fearsome abilities, making you a true expert on this iconic D&D monster.

Anatomy of Terror: A Closer Look at the beholderen

A beholderen central body resembles a large, pulsating eye with a gaping maw filled with gnashing teeth. Ten writhing eyestalks sprout from this central eye, each one tipped with an additional smaller eye. These eyestalks grant the beholderen a terrifying array of vision-based attacks, each with unique and devastating effects.

  • Central Eye: This primary eye possesses exceptional darkvision and can see through magical illusions.
  • Eyestalks: Each eyestalk holds a different magical power, including disintegration rays, telekinetic force, charm effects, and fear inducement.

The beholderen also possesses a thick, rubbery hide that offers some protection against physical attacks. However, their true defense lies in their intellect and potent magical abilities.

The beholderen Mind: A Maelstrom of Madness

beholderen are known for their immense intelligence, but this intelligence often borders on madness. They are inherently paranoid and xenophobic, viewing all other creatures as inferior and a threat. This paranoia can manifest as elaborate schemes, traps, and a constant suspicion of betrayal.

beholderen possess a strong psionic ability, allowing them to project thoughts and dominate the minds of weaker creatures. This psionic power fuels their arrogance and sense of superiority, further isolating them from others.

Despite their madness, beholderen are cunning strategists. They can develop complex plans and utilize their diverse eyestalk powers to devastating effect. They are not mindless beasts but rather terrifying masterminds driven by paranoia and a hunger for power.

A Life of Isolation and Tyranny: beholderen Society (or Lack Thereof)

beholderen are solitary creatures who despise each other as much as they do other races. Their paranoia and lust for power make cooperation nearly impossible. However, there are rare instances where beholderen form uneasy alliances, usually for short-term goals like conquering territory or eliminating a mutual threat.

beholderen reproduction is a bizarre and dangerous process. A mother beholderen lays a clutch of eggs, each of which can hatch into a beholder or a weaker aberration known as a gazer or a spectator. These offspring are often seen as rivals by their parent, leading to deadly conflicts.

beholderen often establish themselves as tyrannical rulers, enslaving lesser creatures and hoarding vast treasures. Their paranoia makes them capricious rulers, prone to outbursts of violence and suspicion.

beholderen Variants: A Spectrum of Terror

The core beholderen design serves as a foundation for a variety of terrifying sub-species. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Death Tyrant: These beholderen are obsessed with death and undeath. Their eyestalks unleash withering chills and negative energy.
  • Gauth: These smaller beholderen have fewer eyestalks and weaker abilities, but they often serve as lieutenants or scouts in a larger beholderen dominion.
  • Elder Brain: An immensely powerful beholderen that has undergone a horrifying metamorphosis. Elder brains possess telepathic abilities and dominate vast networks of mind flayers.

Encountering a beholderen: A Test of Skill and Strategy

Facing a beholderen is a perilous undertaking for any adventuring party. Here are some key points to consider when encountering this legendary foe:

  • Understanding the Eyestalks: Deciphering the function of each eyestalk is crucial. Players should observe which effects each eyestalk produces and plan accordingly.
  • Exploiting Weaknesses: beholderen are vulnerable to certain spells and attacks. For example, they have a natural aversion to seeing themselves reflected back, which can be exploited with strategically placed mirrors.
  • Focus Fire: Taking down the beholderen quickly is essential. Concentrated attacks can disable or destroy individual eyestalks, reducing the monster’s offensive capabilities.


The beholder stands as a testament to the horrors that can lurk within immense intellect. Their paranoia, devastating abilities, and tyrannical tendencies make them a nightmare for any realm they inhabit. Yet, for adventurers, they represent a formidable challenge, a test of courage, strategy, and a chance to etch their names in legend by defeating one of D&D’s most iconic foes.


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