5 hours ago
I think what makes a monster iconic is how much face time said monster gets on the cover of modules and in miniature and what not. I think it's foisted on the gaming public rather than being a fan favorite.My viewpoint might be skewed on this because as it happens I loved beholders, mind flayers, and drow (back in the day on drow, I think they got overused). Loved them before they became "iconic." So in my case the commercial focus on these monsters seemed to reflect my own fan favoritism. But this might just be about good monsters, not about that iconic status. Beholders started getting air time in the 1e Forgotten Realms, Drow started getting it just be virtue of being a central monster in a big, popular series of modules, and mind flayers seem to have gotten some popularity in that same series, but kept growing and growing up to the point where they were superstars in the 2e Spelljammer materials. Beholders kept growing, as the name feature on a computer game, and then in 2e they also seemed to gain that rock star status.