Friday, January 25, 2013

Fresh from the drawing table... Mind Flayer

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a MIND FLAYER! Arriving back at "M" there was only one clear choice on the third pass and that was the very iconic tentacled terror known as the Mind Flayer. This eater of brains has been whispered about since my earliest interactions with D&D and has remained a most singular and frightening monster (for the players). I present to you my version of a Mind Flayer…    

Mind Flayer
© 2013 Christopher Burdett

First off, yes, I added wings - let's move on. For years I have seen an intentional or unintentional link between the Mind Flayers (or Illithids if you want) and Cthulhu. For me it is hard not to see. Having the opportunity to make my own Mind Flayer I decided to take some of the things I have been thinking about for Cthulhu and make a Cthulhu-like race that has manifested in the Realms and causes nothing but trouble. I wanted it to be somewhat awkward and uncomfortable AND what seemed totally natural, a bit of a dandy. Weird hats can really set a mood. Would you want the last thing you see coming toward your face to be a tentacled maw adorned with a creepy tri-pointed hat? I think not! They may look tubby, they they will ruin your day... RAWR!

My first 100 original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual redesigns (A - Z): Aerial Servant, Ankheg, Ant (Giant), Ape (Carnivorous), Ape (Gorilla), Axe Beak, Axe Beak (version 2), Baboon, Badger, Barracuda, Basilisk, Baluchitherium, Bear (Black), Bear (Brown), Bear (Cave), Beaver (Giant), Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Boring, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Rhinoceros, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Beholder, Black Pudding, Blink Dog, Boar (Giant), Boar (Warthog), Boar (Wild), Brain Mole, Brownie, Bugbear, Buffalo, Bulette, Carrion Crawler, Catoblepas, Cerebral Parasite, Chimera, Cockatrice, Coutal, Crab (Giant), Demon Type III (Glabrezu), Demon (Juiblex), Demon (Manes), Devil (Ice), Dragon (Red), Elemental (Earth), Ettin, Eye of the Deep, Flightless Bird, Frog (Giant), Fungi (Violet), Giant (Hill), Goblin, Golem (Flesh), Hobgoblin, Homunculus, Hydra, Imp, Intellect Devourer, Ixitxachitl, Jackal, Jacklewere, Jaguar, Ki-Rin, Kobold, Lich, Lizard (Giant), Lizardman, Manticore, Mind Flayer, Minotaur, Naga, Neo-Otygugh, Nixie, Ochre Jelly, Ogre, Owlbear, Peryton, Pixie, Purple Worm, Quasit, Ram (Giant), Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, Shambling Mound, Treant, Troglodyte, Troll, Umber Hulk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wasp (Giant), Wight, Wyvern, Xorn, Yeti, and Zombie.      

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:


  1. An excellently creepy take on a creature that has always freaked me out too. I love the vertical mouth. I always wondered what lay beneath the tentacles...I guess I figured it would be like a squid's beak.

    The idea on this thing not-so-gracefully flitting to land on your back, the barbed tentacles seizing you by the face, and the last thing you hear is the maw crunching down on your skull. [Terrified scream of agony here]

    1. Thanks! The actual Mind Flayer / Illithid has a normal mouth that is filled with sharp teeth... or at least the most current incarnation.