The Blindheim

Written by Jonathan Wojcik

   How do you pronounce "Blindheim" exactly? Blind him? Blind heem? Blind heye-m? Any which way you say it, it's a cute name that describes the monster pretty well; resembling a pale, humanoid toad, its large eyes are constantly emitting an intense amount of light. A second set of eyelids can soften the glow to a tolerable level, but when it switches on its highbeams, nothing can look directly at it without instantly going blind. It's a very strange, clever idea, not what you would expect from a frog-like beast and a logical defense mechanism for a monster of the dark subterranean world. Of course it's another monster players have pointlessly accused of being "stupid."

   The second version of the Blindheim to make it into an actual book nicely retained every anatomical detail of the original drawing, even those great Gill-man style chest scales and the gaping overbite. You don't see such a faithful update this often.

   I believe only the third and last Blindheim published for official Dungeons and Dragons gameplay was this one from Dragon magazine, which bears a subtle similarity to Gollums's animated design in the Rankin-Bass Hobbit films. I find this pretty awesome, and am now seeing a clear Gollum-like vibe in the earlier Blindheim as well.

   Pathfinder's Blindheim art by the talented Peter Lazarski (also responsible for one of my favorite webcomics) is less like a frog and more like a huge-headed newt, which is equally cool. It's like a monstrous cave salamander that evolved to rob its enemies of sight instead of losing its own. The little loincloth is odd, though, implying these are more than just animals and at least grasp some sort of rudimentary tool-use.

  In the modern game, I think Blindheim would work very well as a full blown subterranean race not unlike the Goblins or Kobolds, possibly with their own weird, eye-related deities. I wonder, however, why a species with eyeballs brighter than daylight would shun the surface world...i's not like they're adjusted to seeing in the dark or anything. I guess if they flash their eyes as an aggressive maneuver, they might interpret the sun itself as an aggressive entity - an angry sky-god flashing its one giant eye to drive them out of its territory. Sometimes I do wish I played this game enough to become a DM, though the rest of you are always welcome to my dumb ideas for your own campaigns.



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