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The "Death Tyrant" is a type of beholder that is more powerful than the ordinary variety, but less so than an Elder Orb or Hive Mother. In the game saga they are not used much - one spawns in Watcher's Keep Final Seal the fourth time the green button is pressed on the globe machine.

Another one appears in a specific stage of the final battle with Amelyssan, and the Death Tyrant is summoned in to battle the party (MELSUM03.cre), with her shouting "Come to your mistress, minions of the Abyss!"


In Dungeons and Dragons lore a Death Tyrant is actually a sort of Undead remnant of a beholder, and this is partially implemented in the game by assigning these creatures an Undead general designation rather than Monster. Although Undead, the game does not give the creature any of the typical Undead racial or class immunities. It is just a moderately more powerful variety of a standard beholder. The version encountered in the game also has the appearance of an ordinary beholder. Mod content (below) provides a coloration change to the Death Tyrant for differentiation purposes.


The Death Tyrant combat script will target any creature it can detect with various eye stalks, each firing a different beholder blast projectile. The Death Tyrant can see invisible and hidden creatures by script, as long as they are in its visual detection range.

The creature launches one to two projectiles each round at a target. The eyestalk ray selection differs from the ordinary beholder, focusing on more direct killing, petrification or wounding attacks. It does not try lightning, fire or charming eye beams. See the list of scripted eye beams in the Info Box.

The creature's Cause Wounds beholder blast is the more potent Hive Mother variety (SPIN551.spl), which bypasses magic resistance and has a Power level of 6, so will exceed a Globe of Invulnerability and burn through other spell protections more rapidly. Each beam hit inflicts 5d8 magical damage.

The creature will also bathe its target with the Anti-Magic Ray during combat, typically within two rounds.

Most Death Tyrant beholders are able to cast a single, uninterruptible Death Spell upon seeing a summoned creature in range. As such summoned creatures will most likely be banished. Using summoned creatures against a Death Tyrant isn't infeasible but may not be enough to win an encounter on its own. If multiple beholders are present in the same area they will quickly destroy a group of summoned assailants.

The creature has a number of innate immunities as outlined in the InfoBox.

Mod content[]

Mods icon This section is about unofficial content that is only available via fan-made mods.

Installation of Sword Coast Stratagems Mod and the "Tactical Challenges for BG2" component makes major changes to the Death Tyrant creature. Most of these are covered in the Mod content section of the Beholder main article.

With this mod, beholders are given different colored animations to distinguish between ordinary beholders, Death Tyrant, Elder Orb and Hive Mother varieties.

SCS assigns the RING95.ITM item to Death Tyrants, as they are classified as Undead, so they will have all the immunities as most other undead in the game.

The Death Tyrant will employ the following beholder rays: Anti-Magic Ray, Cause Serious Wounds, Disintegrate, Paralyze, Fear, Flesh to Stone, Death Ray (summoned creatures) and Death Ray (other than summoned creatures). The game difficulty selection determines if the Death and Disintegrate eye beams are used.

Depending on the player's game difficulty setting, typically additional Death Tyrant creatures will be placed with the Unseeing Eye, and in the Beholder Cave in Underdark. They will typically be two or more alongside a Elder Orb and or a Hive Mother in several areas in SoA and ToB.

Note that with the Spell Revisions mod, the Disintegrate beam will inflict massive Magical damage (35d6) with a missed saving throw with -2 penalty, and 5d6 if the save is made. The SR version does not actually process the Disintegrate effect however, so the target will not be turned to dust.

Mod gallery[]

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