Features Archive | 7/17/2012
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Appendix d12: Mind Flayers
By Jason Sholtis

With the Rise of the Underdark campaign underway, this year has seen its share of drow incursions against the surface world—playing out right now in both the current D&D Encounters season and D&D Lair Assault. Add to that, the upcoming release of Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue, and it’s highly possible that your campaign will soon be venturing into the Underdark.

To help DMs add further detail to their adventures underground, Jason Sholtis (of The Dungeon Dozen) has provided the following table—in the spirit of the 1st Edition DMG’s appendices, charts, and random encounters!

Hobbies and Pastimes: Mind Flayers

In this week’s table, how the illithid occupy their time when not otherwise occupied by fiendishly mind blasting adventurers…


  1. Corrupting the innocent via remote telepathic shenanigans.

  2. Research: new and improved enhanced interrogation techniques.

  3. Guess the IQ: a dinnertime amusement.

  4. Eating the brains of non-prey creatures for weird digestive thrills.

  5. Live "puppet" theater.

  6. Viciously satirizing struggles of rival sentients in verse, play and song.

  7. Wide variety of folk arts and crafts using emptied skulls.

  8. Freaking out aboleths with elaborate and frequently lethal practical jokes of evil.

  9. Extreme mental sports: speed calculations, marathon treatise composition, recitations, impromptu arcane/science experiments fit for rigorous peer review.

  10. Three-dimensional chess equivalent: conducted over months and years if opponents evenly matched, outsized sets composed of masterfully cut semi-precious stone.

  11. Plenty of needlessly cruel experimentation regarding the nature of intelligence: well beyond the ubiquitous mazes and food nuggets, up to and including labyrinthine dungeons filled with tempting treasures, deadly monsters and insidious death traps.

  12. Schadenfreude: a dish best served frequently and in hearty portions.

About the Author

Jason Sholtis serves humanity by day as a humble social services worker but keeps evenings free for self-indulgences such as writing, drawing and playing in rock bands. D&D occupies a special place in his heart. His semi-daily blog The Dungeon Dozen focuses exclusively on random tables for the twelve-sided die.

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