Behold the Beholder

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I am a longtime player, short time DM. I have a problem. Ad&d in format, how do I fight a Beholder. As a DM how can i expect a beholder to not obliterate an entire party?? needing some help here. any thoughts?
I am a longtime player, short time DM. I have a problem. Ad&d in format, how do I fight a Beholder. As a DM how can i expect a beholder to not obliterate an entire party?? needing some help here. any thoughts?



The beholder is one of the deadliest monsters in the game.  You aren't alone in having trouble with it, and you are wise to prepare if you can see a fight with one coming.  I'd first recommend using missiles, keeping a good distance from it.  Many of the beholder's eye powers have a pretty short range, and only its anti-magic ray has a range that compares to or exceeds the range of bows or crossbows.  If you can lure it into a surprise attack by several shooters, you can do quite a bit of damage very quickly, and you may ruin eyestalks.  By the time you close to melee, if it has all its eyes and its full HP, the odds are hugely in its favor unless you have an exceptionally large party, with several warriors.  It also depends on your levels, of course.  The higher your level, the better your saving throws will be, too, and this is especially crucial with beholders because their anti-magic rays will nullify rings of protection and defensive spells which improve saving throws.  Take a look at the numbers, too, to indentify your party's "nonmagical saving throws".  They could be quite worse than you're used to.

One other word, cover is probably the best thing to be in your advantage against beholders.  If you encounter them inside a dungeon, where you will be in closer range, staying behind the walls is important, trying to lay ambushes, and back away to buy time.  You have to wittle the beholder down, ruining as many eyestalks as you can as quickly as possible.  Animating the dead, for undead cannon fodder, is also a great tactic, both to put a buffer between you and the monster, and for doing some extra damage to soften it up.  It will take time to mow down a group of skeletons, which are also immune to one of its deadliest rays, the death spell.

   Thankyou, this is very useful information. we have a necromancer that went down earlyer in the campain and left his spellbook behind. i think it might be easy to setup a cannon fodder situation. we also have an archer kit archer. hopefully we can take out some or all of those stalks quickly.
   This is the most useful info to date that i have gotten in reguards to the beholder.
If, as a DM, you fear to mop the floor with your players, you should give them some forewarning and maybe even some opportunities to research beholders.
If the players know the powers of the beholder and can prepare for the encounter, they should have if decent chance defeating it.

Huldvoll

 

---Baron von Bomberg

 

Former DDI subscriber

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