Cave Blinder

Someone on Dragonsfoot needed a low level monster for an Underdark campaign, and this one popped into my head.

This monster was originally published in Footprints, and the short fiction that was published along with this description is here.

Cave Blinder

Frequency very rare
No. Encountered 1 (1d6)
Size M (5′ tall)
Move 150 feet
Armour Class 5
Hit Dice 3
Attacks 1 or 3
Damage 1d6 or 1d3, 1d3, 1d6
Special Attacks light, grab, acid, paralyzation
Special Defences light
Magic Resistance standard
Lair Probability 15%
Intelligence Low
Alignment Neutral

The cave blinder is very rarely encountered, and even more rarely seen. The carnivorous blinder feeds on any form of life other than its own. It typically attacks lone travelers in Darkworld, although in some circumstances one may single out what it perceives as the weakest member of a group, using its special attacks to disable and distract the party while fleeing with its dinner.

This terror of the dark can easily climb all but the smoothest surfaces, even crawling across cave ceilings although at reduced speed. Named for its primary attack mode, a blinder will often suspend itself on a cave or tunnel roof while waiting for victims to pass beneath.

Protruding from its upper back is a 12′ tentacle with suckers on it for grip, and a clear bulbous organ at the end. Three times per day the blinder can produce a burst of light similar in intensity to Continual Light. In darkness this will blind sighted creatures for 1d4 rounds, and in torch lit conditions will blind for 1 round. Being sightless the blinder is completely unaffected by its own attack, or any natural or magical effects that affect sight. Note: Illusions that have aural and/or other sensory components may affect the blinder.

Using the tentacle, the blinder may grab smaller creatures (under 150 lbs) that are weaker than it (18 strength). Pulling the victim to itself, the blinder will bite with a paralyzing venom that causes loss of voluntary muscle control for 4d6 rounds (victim must save vs. Paralyzation). It will bite and claw unparalyzed victims automatically each round after grabbing them unless the hold is broken, no roll for attack required. If attacking a group, the blinder will blind them, paralyze its selected victim, then flee with its dinner.

If forced to fight it will utilize two claw attacks in addition to its bite. In addition to its other abilities the blinder may spit a thin stream of acid at a single opponent at distances up to 30′, causing 1d6 points of damage on the first round and 1d3 damage on the second unless the acid is washed off. This requires a successful hit at +4 and may be performed up to 3 times per day.

Normally encountered alone, on very rare occasion a temporarily mated pair may be encountered. The males and female, which are virtually impossible to distinguish apart, may have 1d4 young with them. The young are 1 HD and have lesser attributes (1d6+11 strength value, paralyzation saves at +4, acid can be spit 1/day) but are otherwise equally deadly.

Description: Cave blinders are humanoid in shape, standing 5′ tall. The head is overly large compared to a human, having a wide, frog-like mouth filled with small sharp teeth. They have no eyes, using their exceptionally good hearing and a feel for vibrations to navigate through Darkworld. Their rough skin is dark green in color and their powerful hands and feet have short but sharp claws. A 12′ tentacle grows out of the upper back. The tentacle, equipped with suckers on the underside near the tip, has great strength (18) and a bulbous organ on the tip from which the blinder may emit a burst of light.

Cave blinders care nothing for treasure, but some incidental treasure from victims may be found in their lair.


Lair: 1d6x100 cp (50%), 1d6x100 sp (45%), 1d6x100 ep (40%), 1d6x100 gp (35%), 1d4x10 pp (30%), 4d10 gems (50%), 3d10 jewelry (50%), 3 magic items (20%)

Level/XP Value

Hit Dice AD&D 5% Rule
3 HD 150 + 3/p 225 + 4/hp

When calculating experience I counted the following Special and Exceptional Abilities:

  • Special Abilities (4): 3 or more attacks/round; special attacks (blindness); special attacks (acid); special attacks (grab).
  • Exceptional Abilities (1): paralysis/poison.

Using the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide table on page 85, the XP calculation is:

35 + (15 * 4) + (55 * 1) + 3/hp = 150 + 3/hp

However, I have been using Lenard Lakofka’s 5% tables since they were published in The Dragon issue 80, in his Leomund’s Tiny Hut column subtitled “New Charts, Using the ‘5%’ Principle“.  Using that table the calculation is:

60 + (25 * 4) + (65 * 1) + 4/hp = 225 + 4/hp

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