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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > Make an Unexpected Alliance in the Battle Against Mind Flayers

Make an Unexpected Alliance in the Battle Against Mind Flayers

Create an Immersive RPG Campaign Using These Two Principles Just Like Those Bastards!
D&D Ideas — Plants Revisited

In D&D the neothelid monster is a remnant of a destroyed mind flayer colony. Neothelids are vicious creatures lacking the intelligence of the society from which they spawn. Typically roaming the underground passages in the wake of the destroyed colony they seek only to sate their ever growing hunger.

A predatory existence

Neothelids are gargantuan creatures that in order to exist require a mind flayer colony to be wiped out, leaving the colony’s tadpoles to fight to be the last one living. As these tadpoles eat each other they gain new size, strength and abilities.

Typically neothelids have no connection or memory of their previous mind flayer colony. They have barely any intelligence but what they do possess are tentacles that reach 15 feet away from their monstrous form to spray a massive cone of flesh-dissolving acid and psionics capable of moving things with their mind or affecting the minds of others.

If you know Nerdarchy, you know we like to think outside of the box when it comes to running and planning our campaigns. When I look at mind flayers, illithids if you will, they are a great intelligent foe to pit against the adventurers in your D&D games. But what if the characters become embroiled with mind flayers way earlier than their level would typically really allow? What if they found a rather unexpected ally?

Here comes the intelligent neothelid. Perhaps due to some crazy circumstance this unusual creature holds a clue to the mind flayers’ true nature and purpose. Maybe they have a sense of a mind flayer’s need to consume and expand. This neothelid could gain a sort of conscience of its own. Maybe it has some more psionics and the ability to speak telepathically with creatures in its blindsight radius. Maybe this neothelid struggles with its vast hunger and need to consume. Does it seek out evil creatures to eat or devour large amounts of beasts just to sate its need to feed?

This post was inspired entirely by the spectacular mini put out by the great people over at WizKids. WizKids have been putting out minis for D&D for a very long time and I have thousands of these minis that make running games so much easier. The gargantuan neothelid mini comes from D&D Icons of the Realms: Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse set. This great set includes some terrific beasts and creatures you won’t find elsewhere. Inside are some abishai, which could also be used as winged dragonborn or half-dragons. There are some spectacular demons like the canoloth an oinoloth. My personal favorites from this set are the catoblepas and the deep dragon. Both have fantastic sculpts and are great to use as threats over and over again. Head on over to WizKids site or pick up your own Monsters of the Multiverse minis at your local game shop.

Looking back to the neothelid, they make for a mean random encounter using their ability to sense any intelligent creature within a mile including the direction and distance. A neothelid therefore knows the closest source of food. Being a big old baddie at a challenge rating 13, it is going to be able to take on most things.

If you use the intelligent idea I explored earlier you can have a cool and cunning creature powerful enough to take on some mind flayers while the party goes in and does some cool secret mission. Maybe they have to steal an object or poison the food source, either killing the illithids outright or taking away their psionic abilities for good.

However you run it the neothelid is a very cool monster derived from another monster’s food source. How amazing is this? There’s fertile ground on which to run a terrific and memorable adventure. Are you inspired to take your own monsters in new directions?

Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay nerdy!

*Featured image — A slime-covered worm of immense size, a neothelid is the result of the mind flayer reproductive cycle gone horribly wrong. When an illithid colony collapses, typically after an external assault, and the elder brain is killed, the colony’s tadpoles are suddenly freed from their fate. They no longer serve as food—and are no longer fed by their caretakers. Driven by hunger, they turn to devouring one another. Only one tadpole survives out of the thousands in the colony’s pool, and it emerges as a neothelid. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]

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Ted Adams

The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.

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