Friday, October 14, 2011

D&D Day by Day: Eye of the Deep

There are several monsters that are considered iconic in D&D. Dragons are a given, since they are right in the name of the game. Owlbears have made a name for themselves in recent years just because they are absolutely ridiculous. Then there is the Beholder - a floating ball with an eye and mouth in the center, with eye stalks coming off of it, each capable of casting a different spell at will. While ridiculous in look, these are some incredibly fearsome beasts to fight if you were to come across them in the underdark.

But we are not talking about the Beholder today. No sir, we are instead talking about their backwater, atlantean dwelling, crab loving cousin - the Eye of the Deep.

More after the jump, if you dare

So, apparently the Eye of the Deep is considered a Beholder-kin, which means that its a Beholder, but with a twist! Heres what the Monster Manual '77 has to say:

It is possible that this monster is a relative of the beholder, for there are remarkable similarities between the two species. The eye of the deep dwells only at great depths of the ocean, floating slowly about, stalking prey. It has two huge crab-like pincers to seize its victims and a mouth full of small shart teeth. Its primary weapons, however are its eyes. The creature has a large central eye which emits a blinding flash of light to dazzle and stun those in its ray (cone 1/2" at eye extending 3" to a 2"diameter base) for 2-8 melee rounds unless a saving throw versus death ray/poison is made. The eye of the deep also has two smaller eyes on long stalks with which it is able to create an illusion; or, acting independently, the small eyes are able to cast hold person and hold monsters spells respectively.

Because it inhabits the deeps, this monster has an armor class of 5 everywhere, including eyes and stalk. It can withstand 10 to 12 dice of damage before being killed. If its eyestalks are severed they will, as with those of a beholder, grow back in about a week of time.

Right, so what can we gather from this? It appears that some while back a beholder got to looking pretty fondly at a crab, and next thing you know you have a creepy-ass crab baby. I'm not certain where it was decided that by slapping some pinchers onto a deadly man-sized beach ball would make an already ridiculous looking monster (the beholder) look bad ass.  Whats that? don't know what a beholder looks like? oh, well here you go:

Thats the 1st edition Beholder. He's evolved over the years, but in his first incarnation, I guess you can see how adding a pair of crab legs to him and sticking him at the bottom of the ocean would make him more bad ass. Moving on...

So, how has the Eye of the Deep evolved over the years? well...

Second edition sees him in color for the first time, and apparently taking on more lobster qualities as you can see here (he's the one in the middle with the claws)

HOLY FUCK! Now that is scary. 3rd edition sees the Eye of the Deep late in life (didn't surface until 3.5s Lords of Madness supplement) and has now apparently grown in size (9 foot diameter vs the 3-5ft in previous editions) and is now surface dwelling. This is in majorly direct conflict from its origin because if it surfaced in the past, it would explode, but it actually makes it realistic for a group to actually fight one now.

4e only makes mention of it unfortunately, and even then its buried deep in the book. Actually, aside from the 1st edition version of the monster, I had difficulty finding him since I don't own any of the books that he is listed in.

Right, so lets get down to business - what did our contributors do?

Starting with Luke, we see a very beholder inspired creation...that also seems more like a beholder hooker? This Eye of the Deep will let your eye go deep for certain.

Ive presents us with what I actually was convinced was the Eye of the Deep, right up until I went back to write this post. A bit more Cthulhu/eldritch horror than D&D, but either way I don't want it coming anywhere near me.

A while back when I put the call out for folks to contribute, I had given a list of monsters that I'd like to see done, Eye of the Deep being one of them. At the time, J had submitted a handful of them, this one being his original submission for EoD, which he promptly forgot and then submitted a second one (shown later). I don't really know what he's got going on here, but it looks like a Spiderman villian from the 90's maybe? 

J's friend Brandon has submitted his concept art, which is an eye, deep under water and using a snorkel. Whats concerning here is that the body is regular sized. I'm concerned that theres something wrong going on with this guy being too deep in the water. Didn't this happen in the Abyss?

George has decided that his Eye of the Deep is a bad ass by drinking in the deep end of the pool. Not really certain if its an octopus or a dude with a big eye, but either way, I'm guessing he'll be found on the bottom of the pool by morning.

J's second submission portrays the Eye of the Deep as a tourist attraction for pirates who are diving deep into the ocean to see the beauty of the Eye. Beware ye harties, as it'll steal your soul through your arse. Arrr.

Martys intellectual oddity is a squid with a monacle. Clearly his deep and thorough research and understanding of the human psyche has earned him this righteous nickname.

Becca has submittedwhat looks to be a mutated fish. Thing is it still more or less captures the original Eye of the Deep pretty well, as it swims deeply, has an eye stalk, lots of teeth, kills things. Whats strange though is that it seems to be smiling.

And that'll do it for the Eye of the Deep. Soon we will have the Cockatrice to show you. If you would like to submit one of your own, email it to us at

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