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The Monster That Hasn't Been Added To Dungeons & Dragons Yet

Official Dungeons & Dragons guides contain multitudes of bizarre creatures and horrifying monsters to encounter. However, the game has been around for decades and has undergone many revisions in that time. It's is currently in its 5th edition, and many elements have been added and removed throughout Dungeons & Dragons' history — including monsters.

One of the more horrific monsters left behind by time is the Brain Golem, an abomination created for the early versions of Forgotten Realms. Forgotten Realms is a popular setting expansion for D&D campaigns that has existed since the game's early days. Sadly, the Brain Golem lives up to the name of its homeworld: "forgotten." It only ever existed for the 2nd and 3rd editions of the game. Players will not be able to find any official stats or lore for it in the 5th edition. Forgotten Realms, on the other hand, continues to have a place in D&D campaigns even now.

What is a Brain Golem in Dungeons & Dragons?

A Brain Golem is, well, exactly what it sounds like. According to The Illithiad, an in-universe book detailing a specific race from the Forgotten Realms expansion, the Brain Golem is an artificial construct created for a specific purpose. It's just made out of brains instead of clay, is highly intelligent, and has powerful psionic abilities. It also spawns off of a giant, evil brain.

Okay, so maybe Brain Golems are a lot different from the real thing. They are like regular golems in that they're big, beefy constructs, but they are pretty unique in a lot of ways. For instance, they aren't usually made to stick around. The Elder Brain that creates them does so with a very specific purpose. Once the Brain Golem completes this purpose, it joins right back up with the Elder Brain.

As they come from a massive, humanoid brain, you can likely expect Brain Golems to be very intelligent. They can also use deadly psionic abilities, and they serve more as physical extensions of an Elder Brain to compensate for its limited psionic range. As a result, it might be fair to consider them part of an Elder Brain, rather than their own monsters.

So what's an Elder Brain?

When you're looking at a Brain Golem, you're really looking at an extension of an Elder Brain. These massive, disembodied brains possess an incredibly high intellect and an overwhelming amount of psionic power. They're the object of worship for Mind Flayers — also called Illithids — the namesake and focus of The Illithiad. Elder Brains benefit solely from the efforts of their Illithid followers, who obediently merge their mind and consciousness with their master's upon death. This process increases the Elder Brain's size and intellect over time. It also kills the Illithid, unbeknownst to them.

Oddly enough, Elder Brains never grow past 10 feet wide even after absorbing the gray matter of hundreds of Illithids. Elder Brains store most of their mass away in the Astral Plane for protection, so it can be hard to tell exactly how big an individual Elder Brain is.

Plus, no matter how many Brain Golems it spawns, an Elder Brain never reduces in size in the Material Plane. It is, however, limited by time. It takes about an hour for an Elder Brain to spawn a Brain Golem. Doing so also prevents the Elder Brain from using many of its psionic abilities. It usually sends Brain Golems out on rather secretive missions, and even the Illithid may not know what they're sent to do.

Are there any other abandoned monsters in Dungeons & Dragons?

Brain Golems aren't the only Dungeons & Dragons monsters forgotten in the annals of history. According to TheGamer, there are plenty of creepy creatures that 5th edition players wouldn't know about without their Dungeon Master homebrewing them.

Some notable other forgotten monsters include Hive Mothers, powerful versions of Beholders that dominate their lesser brethren. There are also Platinum Dragons, the most powerful type of Metallic Dragon around. Players with pirate characters might also enjoy Weresharks, which are exactly what they sound like.

The great thing about Dungeons & Dragons, however, is that these monsters are never really forgotten. D&D has always required a fair amount of creativity (check out these creative video games you should play if you love the game) and it's not rare for people to add their own ideas to the existing canon. Any Dungeon Master with the time and dedication can make their own monsters or find these older ones and bring them back for a trip down memory lane.