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The beholder is a fictional monster in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. It resembles a floating orb of flesh with a large mouth, single central eye, and lots of smaller eyestalks on top with deadly magical powers.
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The Beholder is among the most classic of all Dungeons & Dragons monsters, appearing in every edition of the game since 1975. They are one of the few classic Dungeons & Dragons monsters that Wizards of the Coast claims as Product Identity.A Beholder is an aberration comprising a floating spheroid body with a large fanged mouth and single eye on the front and many flexible eyestalks on the top.A beholder's eyes each possess a different magical ability; the main eye projects an anti-magical cone, and the other eyes use different spell-like abilities (disintegrate objects, transmute flesh to stone, cause sleep, slow the motion of objects or beings, charm animals, charm humans, cause death, induce fear, levitate objects, and inflict serious wounds). Many variant beholder species exist, such as "observers", "spectators", "eyes of the deep", "elder orbs", "hive mothers", and "death tyrants". In addition, some rare beholders can use their eyes for non-standard spell-like abilities; these mutant beholders are often killed or exiled by their peers. Beholders wishing to cast spells like ordinary wizards relinquish the traditional use of their eyestalks, and put out their central anti-magic eye, making these beholder mages immediate outcasts.In 4th edition, different breeds of Beholders have different magic abilities. Beholder Eyes of Flame only have Fear, Fire, and Telekenesis Rays ; Eyes of Frost are the same, with fire replaced by frost. The Beholder Eye Tyrant is mostly unchanged from traditional beholders, but the Death Ray causes ongoing necrotic damage rather than an instant kill, and the Disintegration Ray does not automatically kill its target.Other Beholder types each have their own set of abilities. In this edition, the Beholder's central eye no longer cancels out magic, instead dazing or giving some vulnerability to its victim.Beholders are extremely xenophobic. They will sometimes take members of other, non-beholder races as slaves, however they will engage in a violent intra-species war with others of their kind who differ even slightly in appearance. This intense hatred of other beholders is not universal; the most prominent exceptions are Hive Mothers, who use their powers of mind control to form hives with other beholders and beholder-kin. Beholder communities in the Underdark often, when provoked, wage war on any and all nearby settlements, finding the most resistance from the drow and illithids.Beholders worship their insane, controlling goddess known as the Great Mother, though some also, or instead, follow her rebel offspring, Gzemnid, the beholder god of gases.Some beholder strains have mutated far from the basic beholder stock. These are aberrant beholders, of which there are numerous different types. These aberrants may have differing abilities and/or appearances but the unifying feature among beholders and the various aberrant beholders seems to be a simple, fleshy body with one or more grotesque eyes.

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