|Used Primarily By||Beholders|
|Crew (Min/Max)||15/23 (total weapon crew: 0)|
|Man-Days of Fresh Air||2,760|
|Landing - Land||No|
|Landing - Water||No|
|Standard Armament||Beholder Circuit|
|Source||Concordance of Arcane Space|
Tyrant Ships are the most diverse class of ships in fantasy space. They can look like walnut shells, huge eyeballs, shells carried by squidlike tentacles - even huge beholders. The above stats apply to a "typical" Tyrant Ship, but larger or smaller ships are not uncommon. The individuality of the Tyrant Ship reflects the individual nature of the beholder races. While all beholders share the same basic form and abilities, their genetic lines are plastic, such that small regional differences lead to radical differences in appearance. Since each beholder considers its own type to be the racial ideal, and all others to be nothing more than mutants to be eliminated from the gene pool, a similar view is taken in their ship designs. Tyrant Ships are designed to different specifications by the Arcane for each different beholder racial type, although they all share the same basic structure - a concave "shell" indented with small pockets to serve as resting places for individual beholders with their tentacles down. At the centre of the bowl rests the ship's hive mother, surrounded by a number of orbi.
Tyrant Ships usually lack conventional weapons, but make up for it with one of the most terrifying weapons in space: the combined force of a large number of beholders in a single place. A "beholder circuit" of common beholders and a queen can provide a beam of magical energy about 400 yards (1 hex) long and up to 100 yards across at the base. This beam can have a number of different effects, based on a beholder's natural magical ability:
Charm Person - One target per common beholder in the circuit. Targets do not need to be grouped together, although all must be within the beam's area of effect. Any one target need only save once per round this effect is used.
Charm Monster - As Charm Person.
Sleep - For each common beholder in the circuit, a target may be affected. The intensity of the magical sleep is not increased, nor may one target be affected by multiple sleep attacks in one round.
Telekinesis - Add 250 lbs. to the normal capacity for every additional common beholder in the circuit.
Flesh to Stone - One target for each common beholder in the circuit. All targets must be within a 10' radius.
Disintegrate - Each common beholder in the circuit after the first increases the area of effect as if an additional Disintegrate was cast.
Fear - One target can be affected for each common beholder in the circuit. These targets can be anywhere within the beam's area of effect, and can be chosen by the individual beholders, although a target cannot be required to make more than one save per round.
Slow - One target can be affected for every common beholder in the circuit. If the spelljammer is exposed to the beam and affected, the SR of the ship will be reduced.
Cause Serious Wounds - One target can be affected for each common beholder in the circuit. Multiple attacks can be made on the same target in the same round.
Death Ray - One target can be affected for every common beholder in the circuit, but all such targets must be within a 10' radius.
Anti-Magic Ray - The most deadly of the beholders' arsenal of attacks in space, this ray affects everything within the target area. Should the ship's helm be exposed (upper decks will provide sufficient cover to prevent this, but the Disintegrate power may be used first to remove this cover) and affected it will shut down, rendering the ship immobile.
The key to dealing with aggressive Tyrant Ships is to stay out of range of their magical attacks. Long-range attacks against the ships work best, but even causing a Tyrant Ship to break up has its own problems, since the individual beholders, even without the magic in the hull of the ship which allows them to use a circuit, are highly dangerous, and will swarm an attacking ship if possible, either to destroy it or capture it as a temporary home until they can get a more appropriate ship.
The uncontested ruler of a Tyrant Ship is the single hive mother which will be on board, focusing the common beholders in a circuit, and commanding the orbi who power the ship. All of the ship's energies pass through the massive central eye of the queen. The bulk of the crew of a Tyrant Ship is made up of common beholders, but 1-6 orbi will also be carried to provide motive force. The orbi actually provide this force by channelling the power of the common beholders. As long as at least one common beholder is in the circuit, each orbus provides 1 SR to the ship. In some cases various varieties of beholder abominations will also be carried aboard a Tyrant Ship, however this is usually only done when the ship is a part of an invasion force, in which case the abominations will serve as ground troops once the ship arrives at its destination. Since abominations cannot become a part of a beholder circuit, they are considered a liability in space combat, since they displace more useful common beholders and orbi.
Purification: The beholder nations exist for only one reason: the purification of their race of the scum (i.e. all beholders who differ from themselves in any respect). All other activities - including trading, raiding, piracy and the like - are secondary to this basic goal, and are only pursued if they will somehow advance the goal of purification. The fact that beholders would rather fight amongst themselves than fight the rest of the universe is something that other races are grateful for, although it does give some sages cause to worry.
Tyrant Rammer: A version of the standard shell with a large piercing ram modified to fit over the front, the Tyrant Rammer is primarily used against non-beholder ships, and makes boarding actions easy. A Tyrant Rammer is more likely to carry abominations than a more standard Tyrant Ship.
Combined Race Ships: Most Tyrant Ships have small cargo areas, reserved for food and water. In some cases, beholders have built more elaborate ships with additional cargo and/or living space for allied races. Such relationships remain tense, however, since the beholders generally consider their "allies" to be nothing more than cannon fodder, while the allies help the beholders out of pure fear (unless Charmed). There have been beholder/man, beholder/dwarf, and even reports of beholder/mind flayer team-ups. For some unknown reason beholders will never ally with neogi. The most common configuration for ships designed for these team-ups is a Tyrant Ship "shell" mounted to a larger ship.
- Spelljammer reference: Concordance of Arcane Space