D&D Cartoon – Beholder Vs Low Level D&D Adventuring Party

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Our exploration of the D&D cartoon continues. This time the kids face off against a beholder. We see what lessons we can take from episode 2 of the D&D cartoon for our 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons games. The name of this episode is Eye of the Beholder. Below you’ll find the video and a transcription of the video.

D&D Cartoon – Beholder Vs Low Level D&D Adventuring Party Video

D&D Cartoon – Beholder Vs Low Level D&D Adventuring Party Video Transcription

Dave: “Uh, Ted, what do you, what are you doing?”

Ted: “Beholding the beholders.”

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

Dave: “D&D Cartoon Episode two. Eye of the Beholder.”

Dave: “ Welcome to Nerdarchy for nerd by nerds. I’m Nerdarchist Dave and as usual, I’m hanging out with this nerd.”

Ted: “Nerdarchist Ted”

Dave: “Hey, maybe it’s your first time hanging out in Ted’s basement. Nerdarchy is a place where we like to talk about news, views, and homebrews for 5th Dungeons and Dragons. Sometimes we even talk about other role-playing games.”

Ted: “So if you don’t want to miss a single video, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button and attune to that notification bell.”

Dave: “Alright, so let’s jump into it. We are on the second episode, the first season of Dungeons and Dragons The cartoon Eye of the Beholder. Now we’re going to do are we are normal breakdown where we take a look at the episode and see what can we learn from watching this cartoon to help us be better at playing the game of Dungeons and Dragons.”

Ted: “ Absolutely. So we’re not going to get into, you know, who the, who different characters are. You know, we’re going to talk about briefly about the plot and I’m talking about little snippets of things that are going on. You know, we know that the players, the characters are still trying to make it back to the real world, to their home. And in this one the DM gives them, hey, you over there and you can get home.”

Dave: “Yeah. So it kind of starts off with the overarching plot of as always the campaign is getting home. They’re traveling through this really hot, sweltering region where there’s no shade and you know, they haven’t seen the dungeon master for days, which you’re almost on cue. We always pop up, but not before a couple of random encounters.”

Ted: “First thing is while they’re sitting there complaining and essentially doing some, some pretty cool, you know, inner party role-playing, which I always like to like to see happening. Uh, but they wind up”

Dave: “real quick. Are you, cause you mentioned entering Party roleplaying. What was going on was they were actually, there was actually an exchange of character backstory real pretty much.”

Ted: “You know, and, and it was, it was humorous as, uh, you know, Eric was talking about exploring his backyard.”

Dave: “Being on safari. Yeah.”

Ted: “He was, it was quite humorous. But while that’s happening, you know, Uni winds up, you know, digging in the dirt and somehow unearthing a massive scorpion.”

Dave: “Yeah. It’s not even like the giant Scorpion from the Monster Manual for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. No Way. Because this thing has to be at least huge by my estimation.”

Ted: “I would agree.”

Dave: “So in the meantime, you know, an NPC overhears what’s going on and get scared that he’s frightened, the kids are kind of running off for safety. Well, this NPC runs into another cave and has his own random encounter with nothing less than a blue dragon.”

Ted: “So the Blue Dragon’s coming out blasting, you know, lightning all over the place and the Scorpion and the Blue Dragon and wind up standing off and the Blue Dragon drives the Scorpion off and chases it.”

Dave: “Yes. So you, so there’s like a little take away that I would like to bring up from just this little interaction and that is the idea of clever players using monsters against each other in order to kind of solve their problems. Now granted, this NPC wasn’t that clever and that wasn’t their intent. It just happened to work that way. But I feel like a lot of like old school Dungeons and Dragons, a lot of this kind of stuff would kind of come up.”

Ted: “Most Times you see campaigns today where dms are not throwing out random encounters and not throwing out random encounters that are far above the player’s weight class. You know, it’s the concept of if I put it on an encounter then the players are expected I should be able to handle this and it’s, it’s an old school thought of that’s not the way the world works. Sometimes you are out of your league and you have to either run away or deal with the consequences of your actions.”

Dave: “Yeah, sometimes we’ll see, oh, sometimes you get a goblin or kobold. Other Times you get a scorpion the size of a barn and then a blue dragon shows up. It’s just, it’s just the way it is. So from there, they talked to the NPC, there’s an interaction and then the in the NPC goes their own way.”

Ted: “That is Sir John.”

Dave: “Yeah, sorry John. And then that’s when dungeon master shows up. Shortly after that”

Ted: “he gives them, gives them the renewed quest, tells them to go off in this direction. And there’s, there winds up being a couple of riddles that wind up being entered into it. And you know, I think riddles have been a big component of D&D in the early days, every table is, is different, but it’s something that when you’ve been gaming, as long as we have in a most of the gaming appropriate riddles that we know over, we’ve used, everybody knows the answers to. So it’s like, you know, you got to think outside the box to come up with new riddles.”

Dave: “ Right, right. You know, uh, maybe modernize them a little bit. So, you know, one of the riddles is sometimes to go forward you have to first look back. And the other one is, you know, in the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is going to be a clue for later on. And speaking of Beholder, the quest that he kind of gives them, it’s like, oh, I found a portal to, you know,”

Ted: “Home”

Dave: “To home, but it’s guarded up by a beholder. And they’re like, oh, we just have to get behind, get by this beholder. He’s like, no,”

Ted: “You’ve got to defeat it.”

Dave: “You have to defeat it. I guess it’s Diana. It’s like, oh, so we have to go meet this beholder if we get home and Dungeon Master is like no you’ve got to defeat it. They do a lot of rhyming in there. So that’s part of it.”

Ted: “It’s amusing the fact that is just, they’re looking to take in a lot of cases, so many iconic symbols of D&D and like, we’re going to just keep this, you know, thrust into the episodes so that like literally episode two their characters are low level. And you’re going up against the fricking beholder.”

Dave: “It’s a pushover after Tiamat. Well, you know that that’s a good point to it. And also I’d like to point out like how simplistic things where you know back then as well because of the cartoon kind of illustrates this and the name of the valley is Valley of the Beholder. Super original. But yeah, straight to the point, you know, there’s a valley, there’s a beholder, boom.”

Ted: “It might’ve had a former name, but uh, the players didn’t inquire further, you know, maybe they failed their history checks.”

Dave: “So now they get the idea that they need, Sir John, because they’re like, oh, we have to look back to go forward. We just met this guy, he went the other direction. Then we learn a little bit about the NPC as viewers, which you really wouldn’t know as a player. So we don’t need to get into that very much. They suffer another random encounter in this mushroom forest before they can find Sir John. And actually, I meant to look up before we started this video. If that was actually a D&D Monster, it’s these evil humanoids”

Ted: “Snails.”

Dave: “snails and they were pretty cool.”

Ted: “I, I’m, I was actually really impressed with the snail monsters and I really want to, you know, make not only them but their gear cause they had like these, these grapple vines that they were using.”

Dave: “I think they were shooting them out of their stalks. They had the antenna or eye stalks, the stuff for, they had regular eyes too. But out of them, this I to call them eyestalks, but I don’t think they had eyed. So maybe antenna, they would shoot the goop out of those.”

Ted: “So I think these are monsters that that definitely need to be made. You know, we didn’t see them, you know, pull into their shells. But that could totally be a thing. I think it could be a lot of fun to, to, to go down that road.”

Dave: “There’s, there are some takeaways here. One, they do eventually end up overwhelming the party and capturing them. Right. So it just illustrates so you can defeat the party without killing them. It doesn’t have to be a to the death. I mean obviously, this is a kid’s cartoons and they weren’t going to do that anyway, but I mean we could still take away from it and extrapolate the fact that, oh well, you know, the encounter’s going poorly for the adventures. Let’s have them get captured instead. In this particular case, one of them gets away the beast companion Uni.”

Ted: “Uni goes to seek help. So Uni winds up, you know, encountering Sir John who is on the mission of I’ve got to do something brave, I’ve got to do something brave with encouragement. He winds up coming to the aid of the party.”

Dave: “He winds up coming to the aid of the party. Yes. So he agrees to lead them to the valley of the beholder. Initially. He’s a little resonant to do such a thing and he’s not going to do it. But then the parties arch-nemesis shows up then”

Ted: “Venger!”

Dave: “ behind scenes and has imprisoned Sir John’s son. So now he’s going to be strong-armed into doing it. So Venger says lead them there and then leave them there. And then once they are destroyed by the beholder I will have their magic items muahahaha .”

Ted: “So you know, here’s something where you can take away like, okay, let’s, let’s create an NPC. Let’s build, um, you know, interest,”

Dave: “Tension.”

Ted: “Tension, uh, you know, caring for this NPC and the, now we’re going to have them become a pawn, a plot element. All of your big bad and this is something that you can do behind the screen. You know, you get to pull all the puppet strings and make all the things happen and literally, Oh, I’m going out to go to the bathroom, get a drink, go hunting. You know, I’m stepping away for some quiet whatever have you. And at that moment, big bad shows up and has a quick conversation.”

Dave: “And also there are clues at this. NPC isn’t actually everything he says to be. Eric is a bit of the cynic of the group and he, he’s calling it out right away. The whole time there, you know, the rest of our adventures are more happy, go lucky and trusting. They’re not trying to hear it. But you know, there is definitely clues as well as like, hey, why don’t you guys make the plans and I’ll scout.”

Ted: “So yeah, it’s pretty amusing. And with veteran gamers there, there might not be buying some of this stuff so you do have to be a little bit careful if you’re going to do some of the stuff that winds up happening and this uh”

Dave: “or maybe not careful but more thoughtful.”

Ted: “Yeah.”

Dave: “On how you do it. So with that, they do get led to the beholder. They encounter the beholder and just as they’re getting ready to get ready to meet up with the beholder Sir John is like, I’m out. I did what I said I was going to do. You guys are going to have to fight it on your own, fulfilling his deal with Venger and he goes off to meet with Venger who gives him his son back and also, you know, for the, for this NPC, it wasn’t like he like rolled right over either. Like he’s got character flaws but he really did not want to betray the kids and the adventuring party. But once they, once his son was in jeopardy, then he, he really had no choice and he did agree to do it. But once he got his son back, he did decide to basically join the fray after the party was already doing very poorly.”

Ted: “ So you know, when they actually do come up against the beholder and the beholder was, you know, obviously operating on a different set of stats than what we have in the 5th monster manual because he was firing lasers and you know, we didn’t have a variety of effects on his eye stalks. You know, individually the eye stalks were basically doing whatever, whatever the beholder wanted.”

Dave: “Yeah, there’s a lot of things going on. But before we go any further, let’s behold or a sponsor for those video D&D Beyond.”

Ted: “So D&D Beyond is, you know, a great app that you can be able to, you know, use for a variety of purposes. Whether you want to make characters, research, you know, spells class abilities, feats you, you can dive into all kinds of great stuff. I like playing around with it. Whether I’m making unique stuff, new stuff to use in my game or whether I’m looking to, you know, just augment my, my characters that are already there.”

Dave: “Hey, maybe you want to recreate the beholder from that D&D cartoon. All you have to do is important the stats from my regular beholder and copy them and then change the things that you need to change in order to it more like the one in the cartoon that is just one of the many features you can use over on D&D beyond”

Ted: “and you can check out all of the great articles, videos and free content that’s in the SRD and I’ll check out D&D Beyond.”

Dave: “There will be a link in the description. All right. Yeah, so you mentioned this, Beholder was doing some different things. It was shooting it’s laser beams or eye rays and lava was erupting in from the ground basically like a blast. Our force effect. There was also, you know, more ensnaring goo vines.”

Ted: “Similar, similar to what the smell folk did.”

Dave: “Yeah, they were definitely on that kick. They’re like, we already paid for this animation. We might as well get the most out of it. I Dunno. But yeah, Sir. John, he enters the fray, jumps off of a cliff. You know, one of his excuses to try and leave earlier was he left a shield back in the village so he’s going to go get it. But thankfully Presto is able to conjure him a shield to use. Some of us may recognize that from modern times as a trash can lid. Uh, it did not hold up very good through the battle it was good for like a shot or two. He ends up getting ensnared but he actually does a little bit better than the rest of the adventures because he’s able to get his limbs free and then they’re reminded of the riddle from earlier and they use beauty to defeat the beholder.”

Ted: “Diana wound up picking a flower as a way of, you know, saying thank you and you know, pinned it or put it on Sir John Pluck the flower at the player’s behest and shoved it into the eye of the beholder. And you know, that.“

Dave: “Turns out he had a terrible allergy to flowers and pollen.”

Ted: “So that winds up basically having him like fizzle and melt and like a pile of green goo wound up seeping down into a chasm.”

Dave: “Yeah. So you know, there, there is a takeaway here, right And that is the idea that there might be alternate ways to defeat a monster other than just physically beating it. Perhaps you want to use a monster far more powerful than the players and there’s no way they’re going to be able to whittle down. It’s hit points are, it’s defenses, it’s offensive capabilities are just too strong, but you build an Achilles heel and to this particular monster, making it maybe a little bit more unique than what you’re normally doing. And you know, you may have a set method for destroying it. There may be different things. You may be like, you know what, there’s gotta be other ways of the destroy it and I’m not even going to make them up. I see what my players come up to come up with and you know, you plant the seeds early on in the adventure and do some foreshadowing and give them, you’ll give them the opportunity to later on try and figure out what it is they can do to defeat this monster than other than just like beating it down or pummeling it into submission.”

Ted: “I like the idea of saying I’m going to give out a clue and, and leave it open-ended and see what the players come up with. And if they failed to come up with something, well I’m going to have to think on my feet and be able to, uh, you know, not have them die or just kill them however you will. But if they come up with something that’s, that seems, you know, unique and interesting and be like, oh, I really liked this idea, I’m going to run with it. And that winds up becoming the weakness. I liked that idea.”

Dave: “Yeah. And you know in the earlier edition of the game and I think the way the game’s played earlier, GMs might do stuff like that but not in that way. They would come up with a specific way and this is how you do it, this is the only way you do it. That was really common in games. I think that the open-ended and being able to adapt on the fly is more of a modern way of playing the game. Cause you know like DMs in the early days of the game it seemed like the DMs were a lot more antagonistic towards their players and but even still they had like set rules that they would follow. Like literally it would have been, you can only be defeated by shoving that flower and the eye. Nothing, you know you can come up with yeah we were going to do it. But like the more modern style, I think in the way we play nowadays is it’s like, you know what That sounds pretty cool. I’ll go with that. You know And even though maybe it wasn’t something you initially thought of. ”

Ted: “And I do, I do like that mindset. Uh, and when you, if you happen to have an old veteran players, we happen to have people who are very, you know, quick thinking, you know, you can have a lot of fun, interesting, you know, games by putting out little vague solutions and seeing what they come up with.”

Dave: “ So now the story progresses right to the point where the beholder has been defeated, the portal has opened with the defeat of the Guardian. They’re all standing on the brink of the portal ready to go through a, there’s a little bit of delay because they can’t take their beasts companion with them. The Unicorn, uh, it doesn’t belong in the real world. But in the meantime, the portal is closing and Venger has shown up to an act of vengeance upon Sir John.”

Ted: “Wait, wait, wait. Venger enacts. Vengeance that this doesn’t seem right.”

Dave: “I know. I know. Uh, he wants to punish Sir John for not fully betraying the adventurers and they have a choice. They can either complete their quest there, their campaign arc, which was to get home, or they can help this NPC who has helped them.”

Ted: “So this is a great thing, you know, that we can take away is tempting your players. It is, it is awesome to be able to say, here’s that thing that you want the magic item, you know, uh, end quest, what have you. But in order to get it, something bad has to happen. And it could be, Hey, that beloved NPC has to die or you know, some, some other detrimental effects. Are you willing to accept that And you know, in this case, you know, we look at the specific of example, something bad is going to happen to Sir John? He can be taken a prisoner, he could be killed and they can go on their way. They can go home or they can stand up to Venger again and you know, save this npc NPCs life at the risk of not fulfilling their mission.”

Dave: ” And also in addition to that, uh, you know, they made the right decision to be heroes and not to be shitty people. And just look out for themselves. So they, they, they fight off Venger sort of, something happens to actually drive him off, but they don’t know what it is. And neither do we. They don’t really ever show it. I mean, we all kind of just assume it was dungeon master, but it’s also a great point for foreshadowing. Like you could do that in your game and have something happen and the players don’t understand what happened and don’t know about it. So it can come. So even if they don’t do anything about right, then maybe it’ll come up later on in the game. So that’s another great takeaway I think.”

Ted: “Well, the other thing is, is that that’s the end of the episode. So you could literally leave off so that you know, your next session starts with you finding out that, you know, maybe Venger has, you know, an uh, another enemy and thus. You might have another ally that you could start off the next session with. You know, is this a fight Is this a conversation You don’t really know what, what’s there, you know, it could go either way.”

Dave: “Yeah. Essentially a cliffhanger.”

Ted: “There you go.”

Dave: “Right. And you know, when we get to episode three of the cartoon, who knows what happened. Spoilers, I guess. But I mean we, we’ve watched these before when we were kids, you know, but it’s been a lot of years, so, so a lot of this stuff is kind of fresh for me.”

Ted: “Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s been a long time. I mean, do you know, maybe not as long as you, cause I, I bought the DVD, you know, many years ago, you know, but it’s one of those things that it’s like, all right. You know, I don’t really remember much if anything from, you know, watching it previously and we’re watching this, you know, episode by episode.”

Dave: “Yeah, absolutely. Speaking of DVDs, there will be a link to Amazon, so you could pick up your own DVD if you wanted to watch it at your leisure as well. I think that nicely wraps up episode two. Uh, yeah. Let us know what you think. Eye of the Beholder D&D cartoon. Did you watch it? You’re going to watch it? What did you take away from that adventure? Are there any things you’re going to put in your game? We can talk about it down in the comments below while you’re at it don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.”

Ted: “On your way down there. Don’t forget to stop by the description. Then check out the link to D&D Beyond.”

Dave: “Until next time.”

Both: “Stay nerdy.”

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My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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