The blog Dungeons & Drawings has had several noteworthy monster illustration entries recently. First is the siege crab, which is:
[A] half-living tank, forged by the Kuo Toa (or any other evil sea-dwelling race, should you wish) by surgical and magical means. A live giant crab is taken and a chunk of its insides are taken out to create a small transportation area where its handlers can sit.
Then there is the elder brain, which is sort of like a cylon basestar for illithids, in function if not appearance:
The life of the mind flayer begins and ends in the tank of the Elder Brain. As little tadpoles, they’re placed in its tank, where it feeds off their psychic energy. Those who survive get to become fully formed mind flayers. At the end of an mind flayer’s life, the brain is removed from the creature’s head and placed in the tank, where it’s absorbed by their leader.
I believe both of these monsters were introduced in 3E and are official D&D monsters (though they were new to me). They are both great ideas. I have still never run a heavily aquatic scenario, and it’s something I would like to try at some point. I can imagine rather than tanks, what if the elder brains inhabited great airless flooded caverns and tunnels? This would necessitate descending into the watery depths to actually defeat an illithid colony; sort of like a fantasy Lovecraftian version of The Abyss.
Yep, those were both in official 3.x supplements. Siege crabs were in MM3, I think. I know elder brains were given stats in Lords of Madness in ’05, but the concept existed at least as early as the Neverwinter Nights 1 HotU expansion in ’03.
And yeah, living siege weapons are always fun. There’s a piece of inspiring art in Fields of Blood with a building-sized siege snail; I think that’s a contributing factor to my liking for them.
Fields of Blood, another product that is new to me. Is this what you are referring to?
Fields of Blood: The Book of War
It looks like d20 system domain rules. Would you recommend it?