Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Think Like a Mind Flayer

What goes on in the mind of a Mind Flayer? How can we ever really understand these strange, alien intelligences in our games?

Well, if they are anything like octopuses, they may have more than one brain. Each of their tentacles might have its own lower level brain. What might this mean from an in-game point of view?

From a mechanical standpoint you may want to use the multiple brains as a kind of buffer against mind effecting attacks. Perhaps the multiple brains offer a bonus to saving throws in those instances. If you want to get a bit more complicated, you could allow separate saving throws for the tentacles and the main brain; it is probably best to use one save for all the tentacles together though to keep the amount of rolls down.

Maybe the extra brains allow it to split its attention in battle without a penalty. If it is knocked unconscious there could be a chance that one of the tentacles could administer a healing potion. It is possible that the mind flayer can farm out some processes to the smaller brains, this could make its thinking very non-linear, creating strange conversations. The mind flayer might also be able to use all the brains I parallel to solve a problem quickly.

What happens if an old mind flayer gets senile? Might its tentacles operate in ways the main brain is not expecting?

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