Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Beholders (and Basic)

It's interesting to me that the beholder - a classic D&D monster, present almost since the beginning (introduced in Supplement I: Greyhawk along with the Thief class) - isn't in B/X D&D at all. It didn't even appear in BECMI until the Companion Set. I'd imagine that, had the original promised Companion Rules been released, the beholder would have appeared there.

Still not as poorly illustrated as in Greyhawk...
or the original Monster Manual, for that matter.

It also appeared in the Rules Cyclopedia, albeit with a nicer illustration.

Why does everyone complain about the art in the Rules
? I think this is actually pretty menacing.

Somewhat off-topic, I recently bought the AD&D game Eye of the Beholder on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Being a huge fan of AD&D 2nd Edition, I love the wide selection of rules-accurate class and race combinations, including multi-classing for demihumans. Unfortunately, the game is almost unplayable without the SNES Mouse accessory. Thankfully, this game is worlds better than the Eye of the Beholder game I got a while back for the Game Boy Advance (GBA); that one was awful in ways that are too numerous to describe on a tabletop gaming blog.


  1. I first saw these on an episode of Futurama.

    1. You're lucky; my first exposure was the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie. (Although Big Trouble in Little China might count...)

  2. I've always had a soft spot for the Beholder, not least because one of my favourite artists forced a change in their attitudes through his images. The Beholder's xenophobia towards other sub-races of Beholders was added after Jim Holloway submitted multiple designs for the Beholder's spelljamming ship and Jeff Grubb decided to keep them all and used xenophobia to explain the differences in design style.

    -- Paul @

    1. I had no idea that was where it came from. Thanks for pointing that out!