Round Table Topic – Beholders vs Mindflayers

For many years I have been haunted by a reoccurring dream… beholders doing savage battle with mindflayers. Now, in a unprecedented event, I turn this topic over to the Protozoic forum. I ask you, our faithful readership, who would win? The beholders or the mindflayers? Why would they win? Which faction would win the respect of the umberhulks? Additionally, if a script version of beholders vs mindflayers was proposed to a major motion picture studio, what could be done to ensure that the screenplay was as exciting, if not “more” exciting than Alien vs Predator? Would the beholders fight the mindflayers in a large underground Mayan temple located in Antartica (sort of like Alien vs Predator)? Or would they wage war in downtown D.C.?

The table is now open.

6 thoughts on “Round Table Topic – Beholders vs Mindflayers

  1. I think you have single handedly picked all my favorite monsters… though you did leave out the rust monster.

    I would have to think that the mindflayers would win. They seem to be more organized. Though beholders do float…

    Speaking of rust monsters, is it just me, or do you associate rust monsters, gelatinous cubes, and green slime with “old school” D&D? I place them in a different era than monsters like mindflayers, beholders, and umber hulks. Somehow simpler, and ultimately, a little more interesting because of that.

  2. I’ll leave a much bigger comment on this when I have time. But for now:

    Yes Bear I think You’ve hit the nail on the head about the nostalgic monsters of yore. I always thought there was a simple, elegant beauty to a giant glistening block of transparent goo with weapons and bits of armor suspended in it.

  3. I would have to say it depends on a host of variables. One, what type of illithid is fighting the beholder? Second, how many eyes does the beholder have? Ultimately the more eyes = more powerful beholder.

  4. So from what I can glean see according to the 3.0 monsterous manual it looks like the beholder has the advantage in a 1-on-1 fight. They gauge combat effectiveness in this edition according to “Challenge Rating” and the Beholder has something like CR 13 while the illithid has only CR 8.

    I thought this might CR might just be an oversight ut it looks like probably not. Most of the Illithid’s mental powers have saving throw difficulty levels that the Beholder is relatively likely to roll higher than. Also some of those eye powers are pretty strong like turning people into stone.

    Now mind you there are some ways a illithid could stack the odds in their favor. For one thing I’d guess an illithid would be more likely than a beholder to acquire character class levels in Psion. So right there they could add on some significant challenge.

    Also Illithids are known to work in teams and even have large communities while (though I’ll have to look this up again) I seem to recall Beholders as being somewhat more solitary. So illithids have the whole team work thing on their side as well.

    and personally I always thought illithids look a bit cooler myself, and the underdark is all about being bad-ass cool looking (suprisingly since there’s no light). But I guess that doesn’t necessarily add much in a fight (unless you’re using Exalted‘s “stunt dice” mechanics).

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