Dungeons & Dragons Is Bringing Back Vampiric Mind Flayers

Dungeons & Dragons is bringing back a horrific variant of one of their most iconic monsters. A listing for the upcoming book Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft on D&D Beyond revealed that the campaign setting guide would include a stat block for vampiric mind flayers. These horrific creatures first appeared in the Thoughts of Darkness adventure that explored the Bluetspur Domain of Dread, and were created when Lyssa von Zarovich (a descendant of Strahd) attempted to create a creature powerful enough to overthrow her great uncle. Not only do the vampiric mind flayers possess the psionic powers of a mind flayer, they also have the undead strength and bloodlust of a vampire, making them twice as deadly.

Vampiric mind flayers can't be created through normal means, and thus have only made occasional appearances in D&D adventures and lores. The creatures are created by implanting a mind flayer tadpole inside a living human and then turning the human into a vampire as ceremorphosis begins. Unfortunately (or fortunately for players), the process caused the mind flayer larva to go feral.

Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is a 256-page campaign setting book that fleshes out Ravenloft, a campaign setting consisting of dozens of Domains of Dread, small worlds commanded by powerful darklords. In addition to providing details on 30 different Domains (many of which have been given major updates), the book will also contain three new lineages and two new subclasses for players to use when building their characters. As Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft will discuss "cosmic horror," the inclusion of the vampiric mind flayers seem to suggest that the book will have a section on Bluetspur, which is ruled by an Elder Brain Darklord and is dedicated to various cruel and inhumane experiments.

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Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft will be released on May 18th.