A brain pondering brainy dilemmas
|First appears||Webfoot DROD|
|Is brain visible||No|
The most disturbing of all the monsters in the Beneath looks altogether too much like a giant, pink brain. Monsters that resemble body parts are very, very creepy. What's even creepier is that the brain doesn't attack. At least, not directly. No, it knows all the ins and outs of the surrounding terrain like the back of its... brain... and will hijack the thought patterns of other creatures, giving them gentle suggestions on how to defend themselves when danger approaches. So when that mindless roach moves out of the trap a smitemaster laid for it, navigates through a maze and heads straight for him among a herd of other creatures, going around his defenses one by one, he will know who is responsible. Created by the Empire to serve as a defense mechanism, much like the evil eye, this almost lifeless pile of flesh can easily turn into a smitemaster's worst nightmare.
For the most part, architects tend to hide the brain in a room, either forcing would-be dungeon conquerors to keep it alive or making it the last monster accessible to kill. This means that they have to adapt quickly and be able to compensate for all of the monsters that will be coming at them much faster than normal. The best thing a smitemaster can do is take his time and plan his attack. When a brain is combined with Roach Queens or mineral mothers, the swarm that they produce can get even uglier.
They do, for better or worse, have a mouth, so presumably they eat.
On their own, brains are rather vulnerable, as they don't move. However, their presence in a room affects all hostile monsters in it (excluding guards and slayers). Brains generate a path map for each monster recursively by calculating the distance from the player in terms of the minimum number of moves it would take to reach him. When calculating this distance, the brain considers an obstacle to be anything that, say, a roach could not step onto. These are called "brain-visible obstacles". Brains do not take into account the location of enemies or other "brain-invisible obstacles". If a brain cannot find a path from a monster to the player, the monster acts as non-brained. Lastly, if a brain is within smelling range of the player when he is invisible (whether due to an Invisibility potion or Shallow water), all monsters in the room will act as if brained and will attack the player accordingly, even if he is outside their smelling ranges.
Brain-visible objects include Walls, Scrolls, Bombs, Force arrows (regardless of direction), Orbs, serpent bodies, Tarstuff, and Mirrors. Whether water or pits are brain-visible depends on whether a monster can normally traverse them. Brain-invisible objects include other monsters, serpent heads, and orthogonal squares.
- Brains are vulnerable to: Weapon strikes, Hot tiles, Drowning in deep water, Adder jaws, Puffs, Fire traps, Spikes, and Explosions
- If all brains in the room are stunned the other monsters revert to their default movement behavior.