How Do I Run a Mind Flayer Interrogation?

Dyluth
Dyluth
edited March 2011 in General Archive
First off I just want to say that I love the concept of Mind Flayers, and have ever since I was introduced to D&D. Specifically it's their nature that I find so fascinating, a creature seemingly designed for complete domination of sentient life through horrific psionic manipulation and control. Hence why I'm happy that in the next session of my game my player party MAY be taken prisoner by one such Mind Flayer (in my Star Wars game no less :D). This character is an ancient being, a traveler from a far off world who has endured centuries of isolation. What I need help with from the community is figuring out how to role play this interogation of sorts with my party.

What I hope is to have this Illithid "speak" to my players one at a time, picking their brains for information on where they come from and their perspectives on the galaxy. So what I'm hoping to get from the community is suggestions for habits of a Mind Flayer I could incorporate, personality traits and characteristics that people in the community have picked up over the decades in running games with Mind Flayers.

Any suggestions at all for how to make my players Mind Flayer experience more authentic are welcome and I thank you all in advance for any advice your willing to share!

Comments

  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    Well, my BAD advice is to have them speak in stereotypical asian accents like the members of the Trade Federation from the Star Wars prequels. -but that's just what I hear in my head.

    My BETTER advice is as follows:
    I got to be a player in an AWESOME game involving a mindflayer BBEG. We were an evil group, so he telepathically comisserated with our mage against our cleric who worshipped a conflicting evil deity. He had the mage lure the group to his lair where we were all psychically rendered unconscious before waking up in a puzzle dungeon. The mindflayer had hidden the key to get out in our cleric's chest -Saw style. The end battle ended up being as much about the cleric vs. the mage as it was the group vs. the mindflayer.

    Point is - be diabolical. Have the mindflayer offer your players things they want or need in exchange for revealing vital information, or committing acts they wouldn't otherwise engage in. I view mindflayers as exhibiting a softer sort of evil. The kind that puts paladins in catch-22s and sets up other lose-lose situations. Want to save your friend's life? draw a card from this deck of many things!

    Base a mindflayer on Jigsaw, or Kevin Spacey's character from Saw... They don't flay the body... they flay the mind!
  • DarkMagus
    DarkMagus
    Posts: 425 edited March 2011
    If I were speaking as a mind flayer I would either:

    Speak in a whisper.
    - or -
    Tell the player being spoken to that their hear their own "voice" in their head, but its source is obviously not themselves- and possibly emphasize this by just writing down what I'd say, so they must read it in their head, thus "hearing" their inner voice saying the mind flayer's words.

    Also, I like Gnunn's idea, very tricksy.
    Post edited by DarkMagus on
  • Dyluth
    Dyluth
    Posts: 92
    Well now, I asked for advice for playing an evil NPC and DEAR GOD DID I GET IT!!! Gnunn what you described was just pure diabolical with a capital D and I loved reading every moment of it! I actually had a "space based dungeon" adventure planned to use down the road, but after reading your input I think that this upcoming session is the perfect setting, especially with this "Puzzle Dungeon" idea now. I can see it now, each puzzle will be designed to reveal to the Mind Flayer something about the party he wishes to know...

    DarkMagus your idea of having the party "hear" the Illithid's words in their own voice is exactly the sort of disturbing idea I was looking for to add just another creepy element to the game. I'm definitely going to use it when next the party meets Mr. Flayer.

    So thanks to you both, this advice was amazing!
  • DarkMagus
    DarkMagus
    Posts: 425
    Glad I could help Dyluth. Have fun!
  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    OH man, on my drive home, I had an idea for the most horrifying encounter for a good-aligned group.

    They step into a room. It is filled with innocent looking children clustered in groups. Suddenly, a child towards the center of the room screams and falls dead. The rest of the children scramble around the room, panicked before huddling once again into new groups. The mindflayer's voice echoes in the minds of the players. "One of these children has a secret. It is possessed by a horrible demon that makes it do terrible things. Each time the demon kills it grows stronger... but which child is possessed? pity... You could try to find it... but then you might accidentally kill an innocent. Then again, if you do nothing, they will all die anyway and you will be left facing a demon at full power. muahahahaha!"
  • DarkMagus
    DarkMagus
    Posts: 425
    WOW!

    Bravo! Gnunn, that is awesome. I might have to use that idea sometime.
  • Dyluth
    Dyluth
    Posts: 92
    Wow... that's.... wow. Gnunn I will have to give you a writing credit for this session if I'm able to work that it, which I am CERTAINLY going to try hard to do :D! I'll have to use the tagline for this session "Star Wars meets D&D meets Saw"!!
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 2,017
    Hey Dyluth

    You may also want to check out this link:

    "Pimp my Mindflayer":http://community.wizards.com/dungeonsanddragons/blog/2010/03/11/pimp_my_mindflayer

    I just ran an adventure tonight in which a single mindflayer gave my very powerful 14th Level party a REAL hard time. But they got it in the end with a _Feeblemind_ spell.

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • Dyluth
    Dyluth
    Posts: 92
    Ooooooh, I'm loving that notion of a aura 5 to inflict 5 psychic damage when the Illithid starts to fail, that's a very good idea. Thanks for the tip twiggyleaf!
  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085
    My previous campaign had a mindflayer antagonist named Gygaxarneson. He was fun to play.

    I wish I had anything worthwhile to suggest, but Gnunn's ideas blew me the hell away. I gotta make a new mindflayer now, just to try that out. Sounds deliciously evil!
  • optimus_mush
    optimus_mush
    Posts: 28
    Gnunn, my wife and I just watched the movie "Unthinkable" last night and your creepy demon/child thing reminds me of the end of that. Sam Jackson is a CIA sponsored professional torturer given a homegrown terrorist who has hidden three nuclear bombs throughout the US. He is trying to break the guy to get the locations of the bombs. Carrie-Anne Moss is an FBI agent who is trying to put the breaks on Sam Jackson's escalating torture but wavering towards "just get it done" every time his methods make a breakthrough. In the end they are faced with the "unthinkable" act of committing unspeakable acts to the man's children in front of him in order to get the final piece of information.

    If there is a paladin in the situation that you offer there seems to be absolutely no way of coming out the other side with honour or character class in tact.
  • RaseCidraen
    RaseCidraen
    Posts: 890
    ...All these delicious evil comments are making me think of an extremely menacing lucky charms commercial, culminating in a Mindflayer popping out from around the box, smiling (insofar as they can), and burbling out "They're evilly delicious..."

    ...I'm going to have nightmares for a month.
  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    ...now with pink brains! juicy. pink. brains.
  • Dyluth
    Dyluth
    Posts: 92
    Optimus I never heard of that movie before, but now I HAVE to know how it ends:). Rase your idea for Illithid Lucky Charms would work out great for the Mind Flayers I think, especially if for a limited time ten lucky buyers will find a living Mind Flayer larvae inside their box of cereal:)

    As to everyone else thank you so much for your ideas, this next session couldn't have come to be without you!
  • Dyluth
    Dyluth
    Posts: 92 edited April 2011
    Well then, I just want to say thank you to everyone who contributed ideas for the great Mind Flayer Interrogation 2011!! Gnunn, Darkmagus, Optimus, you all had some great ideas that I had used to craft what would have been an unforgettable adventure. Sadly, it was NOT meant to be. Though it took 22 rounds of combat, two plus hours of real world time and 25 hits on the Mind Flayer the player party were able to disable the fiend, and that's including surviving a Mind Blast and attempt at enslavement.

    Feel free to read the recap of the event here below:

    http://bit.ly/fPW6TP

    Once again thank you to everyone who pitched in ideas and hopefully one day I can get to use them!
    Post edited by Dyluth on
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