Blindheims are a race of Underdark-dwelling frogfolk, originally native to the world of Greyhawk, but also documented appearing on Golarion as well. They would normally be ignorable as yet another of D&D's legion of near-beast savage, stupid tribal races were it not for their most distinguishing feature; they constantly emit magical light from their eyeballs. With a second transparent eyelid in place, this merely dims the light to a harmless glow, but when fully unveiled, it becomes a blinding intensity, which drives off most of the light-sensitive creatures with which they share their home.
Most blindheims are dull-witted, stupid creatures that are basically bipedal animals, but there are pockets of a more advanced strain. Additionally, whilst the typical blindheim has yellow eyes, some blindheims are mutants with unusual eye-colors and corresponding magical abilities. These consist of amber-eyed blindheims with hypnotic gazes, white-eyed (metallic-white, in 3e) b lindheims that can produce blasts of radiant energy, blue-eyed (metallic-blue, in 3e) blindheims that can outline victims in faerie fire, and gold-eyed blindheims that can either spit small fireballs (2e) or produce scorching rays (3e).
Debuting in the Creature Catalog for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition, they became officially part of the Dungeons & Dragons multiverse when printed up in the Fiend Folio. They were updated to AD&D 2nd edition in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 4, and had two appearances in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition; an unofficial one in the Tome of Horrors from Necromancer Games for 3.0, and a 3.5 version in the Creature Catalog #6 in Dragon Magazine #339. They skipped Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, but made it into Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition through Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio. They also made it into Pathfinder in the Bestiary 2.
AD&D 2e Fluff
The blindheim is a subterranean, froglike humanoid with huge eyes that shine like searchlights, projecting twin beams of light at will. The creature is colored in varying shades of yellow, darker shades on its back contrasting with lighter shades on its underbelly. Its feet are three-toed and webbed, while its hands have four digits (including a thumb) and have hooked talons. Its wide mouth has needle-like teeth and fang incisors. They are not known to use tools.
It is not known if blindheims have an actual language, but they seem to communicate among themselves by means of guttural croaking.
Combat: While resting, the blindheim keeps its eyes covered by means of an extra eyelid. It attacks by instantaneously opening its eyes, relying on its acute sense of hearing to indicate the direction of the target. Those who come within 30 feet of its searchlight eyes must make an immediate saving throw vs. wand or be blinded for 1d10+10 rounds. Creatures relying on infravision have a -3 penalty to the saving throw.
Even those who successfully make the saving throw cannot look directly into the searchlight glare of its eyes; even they attack at a penalty of -2 unless immune to the dazzling effects of bright light. Bllndheims are themselves immune to the dazzling effects of bright light, including their own reflected gaze.
At close quarters, blindheims attack with a vicious bite that inflicts 1d8 points of damage. Tiny opponents (size T) are swallowed whole on a roll 4 greater than that needed to hit; such creatures take 2d4 points of damage per round from the blindheim’s digestive acids.
Habitat/Society: Blindheims thrive in damp underground settings, dwelling near underground pools, lakes, and similar bodies of water. They are amphibious, and can move with equal facility in water as on land. Most often encountered individually or in small groups, at intervals many of them will gather in one place. They then move through the area as a ravening horde, numbering tens or even hundreds of creatures, attacking and devouring all in their path. Then, just as suddenly, they will quietly disperse, disappearing back into their individual subterranean territories.
If the eyes of a dead blindheim are opened, they are revealed to be a dull gold color.
Ecology: Blindheims are omnivorous. These creatures are able to eat all but the most toxic fungi and mosses, and are quite willing to supplement their diet with other underground creatures. They are highly successful at keeping down the numbers of tiny creatures such as jermlaine. They are particularly troublesome to creatures adverse to bright light, such as goblins and drow.
About 10% of encounters with blindheim will be with members of an advanced tribe. They are generally similar to their less advanced cousins, except that they have a rudimentary language, use tools, and dwell together in crudely constructed villages of 30 to 120 members. Warriors will be armed with one or two barbed darts that they hurl like javelins (20/40/60, 1d6 damage). For every 10 blindheims, a leader with 5+3 HD and unusual color and ability is present (see below). If 100 or more are encountered, they are led by an exceptional leader of 7+4 HD whom eyes also can project a rainbow pattern to a distance of 60 feet. Any settlement of 50 or more members has a shaman/witch-doctor of at least 3rd-level ability, and one of 100 or more has two such spellcasters and another of 5th-level ability. Most advanced tribes worship the slaadi.
The following types of blindheims have been reported:
- Amber: The eyes do not blind, but instead have the effect of a hypnotic pattern. Creatures making a successful saving throw are slowed for 2d4 rounds instead.
- White: Every 3rd round, the eyes of this blindheim can discharge a sunburst, as if from a wand of illumination.
- Blue: The eyes do not blind, instead, those in their sweep are illuminated by faerie fire. The effect lasts 1d6+1 turns (only 1d4 rounds if a saving throw vs. spell is made).
- Gold: In addition to its eye beams, this blindheim can discharge a small fireball from its mouth once per 3 rounds. These have a range of 30 yards, an area of effect of 10 feet, and inflict 3d6 points of fire damage.
Blindheims are small froglike creatures that emit blinding light from their eyes to help them catch prey. Stupid and crude, they are omnivores and can eat almost anything, even poisonous things such as fungi and weird underdark slimes that other creatures avoid. They prefer to live near water, enjoying underground lakes and pools as much as surface swamps. Although they often live alone, they sometimes cooperate to catc h larger prey or for mating purposes. Rarely, they collect in a horde, consuming everything in their path, then scattering to individual lairs when their bellies are full.
A blindheim looks like a halfling-sized humanoid frog with huge eyes and a wide mouth with needle-sharp teeth and a pair of fanglike incisors. Mostly a dark yellow color, a blindheim is light on the belly, chest, and palms of its hands and feet. Its simple hands are dexterous enough to use tools, but most common blindheims never bother. A living blindheim's eyes constantly emit beams of bright light, although when not threatened or attacking they cover their eyes with transparent eyelids that absorb this light.o If killed, its eyes fade to a dull gold color and no longer emit light.
Although most blindheims are exceedingly primitive, a small number achieve a rudimentary kind of civilization, with experienced war-leaders, a king, and even shamans. Sometimes these important figures have unusual gaze attacks or standard class levels. Tribal blindheims use tools and weapons (mainly darts and javelins) and worship slaadi.
Blindheims communicate with each other in guttural croaks using a few simple Aquan words. Tribal blindheims have an improved vocabulary based on Aquan.
Blindheims are grotesque, frog-like creatures that dwell beneath the surface, subsisting on meals of fungi, rodents, and other underground creatures. They live in the darkest, dampest regions of cavernous sprawls, particularly enjoying underground bogs, lakes, rivers, and swamps. Although not aquatic, blindheims are excellent swimmers. They prefer to latch onto branches or rock outcroppings, where they maintain the high ground while in pursuit of food. They use the light from their eyes to attract prey, but go dark when larger creatures approach. A blindheim uses its blinding gaze to disorient both prey and possible threats, then deactivates its gaze to scuttle away in the dark if the threat is too great. In very large caverns inhabited by blindheims, distant areas often flicker from brightly lit to absolutely dark as the creatures feed and flee. Though of animal-level intelligence, blindheims are cunning enough to coordinate their hunting tactics with others of their kind, using one creature to act as a lookout and make hit-and-run attacks with its gaze until its fellows can arrive to help finish off the prey.
Blindheims can convey simple information through gestures and flashes of their lights, and tend to be rather silent in combat, adding an eerie element to battles with them. They cannot be taught to perform humanoid-appropriate labors and thus make poor slaves, though the duergar and drow sometimes use them as bait or distractions when raiding. Other races have been known to train these creatures as mobile light sources when going on long underground expeditions.
Stout and thick-skinned, a blindheim is just under 4 feet in height and weighs 150 pounds. A blindheim gives birth to small litters of three or four young. Though gestation can last up to a full year, it only takes about 4 years for a blindheim to mature and become self-reliant, at which point the creatures generally form broods that stick together, only striking out on their own if their brethren have perished. Blindheims can live for up to 25 years.
These frog-like humanoids have the ability to project intense, blinding light from their eyes. Dwelling on the fringes of the Underdark, blindheims are opportunistic ambushers who can be swayed into service with payment of fresh food and metal weapons. A blindheim’s radiant eyes make these creatures a unique source of light in the Underdark depths, and are bright enough to hinder creatures that suffer in the presence of bright light—or todestroy their foes.
Searing Eyes: A blindheim projects searing light in a cone from its leering, bulging eyes. The intensity of this light is equivalent to natural sunlight, and can disturb or disrupt many creatures acclimated to the lightless depths. If a blindheim chooses to focus its gaze, this energy can even char flesh and bone.
Opportunistic Mercenaries: Blindheims have a fascination with tales and objects from the surface world, particularly plants and other natural items. They gather in the depths of the Underdark near routes used by merchants and other brave travelers. They typically make a cautious approach to stronger creatures, speaking in halting, croaking Undercommon to offer their services in return for fresh food, metal weapons, and trinkets from the surface world. But when they have superior numbers or engage creatures that appear weak, blindheims will often ambush to take what they want.
Strange Outcasts: The blindheims speak of an ancient era when their folk dwelled upon the surface. According to their tales, their ancestors stole a piece of the sun, then fled to the Underdark before devouring it and gaining the ability to project radiant energy from their eyes. Blindheims fear that some day the sun will venture underground and have its revenge upon them. When dealing with surface dwellers, they insist that visitors swear to never tell the sun about them, and ask endless questions about the sun’s actions, its anger, and its attitudes. But surface folk who attempt to soothe the blindheims’ fears often cause these creatures great offense. In the minds of the blindheims, the sun could not possibly have forgotten their great and heroic theft, and anything said to dispel the belief that they remain infamous and feared by all folk of the surface rouses their anger.
Pitiable Slaves: Some Underdark creatures, particularly the drow and kuo-toa, raid blindheim settlements in search of slaves. Although the light from these creatures’ eyes is a formidable threat to these raiders, a captured blindheim is a useful living weapon.