Dungeons & Dragons could be introducing a new kind of mind flayer to the game in the next couple of years. Earlier this week, D&D Beyond published a video interview with Chris Perkins discussing various "ugly cute" characters like the Abyssal Chicken, a demon fowl that will appear in the upcoming Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus adventure this fall. While most of the video focused on the Abyssal Chicken, interviewer Todd Kenreck also took the time to pitch Perkins on the gnome flayer, a variant mind flayer created when a gnome goes through ceremorphosis - a process in which a mind flayer tadpole attaches itself to a creature's brain and forcibly reconstructs its biology to transform it into an illithid.
While ceremophosis is hardly a "cute" process (as we saw in the Baldur's Gate III teaser), Kenreck showed off several fan-drawn pictures of gnome flayers in the video, which depicted gnome flayers as having tiny bodies and oversized heads. Kenrick and Perkins discussed whether gnome flayers would ever be put into an official D&D product. "I would very much like to bring them back," Perkins said. "In fact, I've just decided how. Just in this moment, it can be done within the next two years."
The gnome flayer would be a totally new variant of mind flayer, as we've never seen the result of a ceremophosis on a gnome before. The closest "canon" version to the gnome flayer is the Mozgriken, an illithid variant created when a svirfneblin has a tadpole planted inside of it and is then subjected to a psionic force. Mozgriken serve as spies for the mind flayers and hardly look "cute," at least compared to the gnome flayer.0comments
Although the conversation was a lighthearted one, Perkins is the senior producer of Dungeons & Dragons and is one of the lead creative forces that determines upcoming story elements. If there's one person that can decide to make gnome flayers official, it's Perkins. Plus, D&D artists like Richard Whitters and Max Dunbar has already completed some conceptual art for gnome flayers, so at least some of the design work is already completed.
What do you think of the gnome flayer? Let us know in the comment section or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCBus to talk all things D&D!