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!
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!
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.
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!
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!"
Bravo! Gnunn, that is awesome. I might have to use that idea sometime.
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
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!
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.
...I'm going to have nightmares for a month.
As to everyone else thank you so much for your ideas, this next session couldn't have come to be without you!
Feel free to read the recap of the event here below:
Once again thank you to everyone who pitched in ideas and hopefully one day I can get to use them!