D&D 5E Chris Perkins and Todd Kenreck Talk About Mind Flayers


This sounds really cool until my brain thinks about it for a little bit. Like, if y'all put out the sun, entire ecosystems are gonna go to crap fast and THEN whose brains you gonna be eatin'?
This assumes that the Mind Flayers are bound by our reality and need to worry about such things rather than being the Cthulhu-esque abominations that they are in the versions I find to be the most interesting.

(Although the ones in the Astromundi Cluster doing this is incredibly dumb given their origin in that boxed set - but since that origin is also incredibly dumb IMO I'm glad that everyone has agreed to forget it ever existed).

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5e Freelancer
But in Spelljammer the mind flayers farmed "oortlings," which had been bred to be low Intelligence and had no psychic abilities, but had really big (if dumb) brains. So... who knows what mind flayers really need.
I personally run it as Mind Flayers being capable of eating non-intelligent brains (including lab-grown ones), but they prefer sentient brains because they taste better. So a "vegetarian" Mind Flayer is possible . . . but the majority of them just prefer to eat the tasty brains.

I would love a bit more lore about the legendary Mind Flayer empire and how it worked and organized. Reconstituting this lost empire seems to be one of the goals of individual mind flayers, but how does an empire of 100% super geniuses operate and organize?

Just a little guidance about that past would be neat because that would be a hell of a grim dark campaign to try out, play out the over throw of that empire, or the empire has been reconstituted and is on the spread again across the stars.
Other posters mentioned the Spelljammer lore, so I'll just add that the 4E Underdark book briefly described a fallen mindflayer civilization called Nihilath that, during the course of its history, drove three separate races to extinction through overexploitation. IIRC they also began cultivating something called "brain moss" as an emergency food supply.

Micah Sweet

I figure it's just one of those slogans. You know, the ones that are overly reductive and extreme sounding, while the actual platform is a lot more complex.

So while the illithids say they want to put out the sun, what they mean is they want to slide the dimmer switch until the sun is a dull ember, sinking the world into an eternal chill twilight where penned slaves fed by fungal farms provide a steady supply of tasty brains. If you've seen the speculative fiction paintings of what the sun would look like from one of Jupiter or Saturn's moons, that's about what I imagine their goal is.

(And wouldn't that be a nice science-fiction like origin for them. Their homeworld was something like the oceans under the frozen surface of Europa. That's why they're so poorly adapted for the Earth-like Prime worlds. The whole "parasitize a humanoid body" is effectively them bonding with an exo-suit.)
Blocking the sun? They've gone from ordinary villainy to cartoonish super-villainy!

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