Thursday, March 19, 2020

Allegories as monsters.

The other day I thought that allegories, like the ones we see in old editorial or propaganda illustrations could be fun to use as monsters. I was especially thinking about the more chimerical ones who feature multiple components that represent different things. Naturally this would work best in a surreal setting.

Like these ones:

I remember that we tried to stat this classic one back in the G+ era. Imagine encountering it in a dungeon: (note the loot at the top) :p

I tried to draw a obvious one myself, I like the potential for multiple attacks and for body parts to target and chop down:

These are not for everyone and some of them could be problematic as they are inspired by real life. (But it could be cathartic to throw fireballs at some of them).

What coud be more interesting to do, would be to create a monster that is a allegory that represennt something within a campaign setting and to use heraldry and symbols from that setting to craft it. This could be used to put emphasis on the culture and the history of the setting.

Like for exemple a monster that represent the feud between two kingdoms could mix body parts from the heraldry of both kingdoms. Allegorical monsters could also represent other situations that impact the setting, like a monster that represent a local famine or  one that represent the oppression of the elven houses against the orcs clans. But then again be careful not to use racist caricatures like some of these old illustrations did.

Well this is probably not a very good idea but I like the part about underlining the history and heraldry of a campaign setting. 


Arnold K said...

I really like the idea of using an allegorical monster to break expectations.

The players think that they are working to break down the concept of slavery by promoting human rights, holding dinner parties, convincing nobles, being diplomatic. Then BAM, they fight the 12 HD allegory of slavery itself.

Alec Semicognito said...

The Trump-mera you drew totally works as a Chaos Lord per Moorcock. Give him powers over beings with low intelligence!

Goblinist said...

This feels like it could fit into a DIscworld-y setting. I can also see fighting one of these in some sort of physical collective-unconscious realm (plane of dreams?).

Janet said...

This works very well with Cavegirls idea of the astral plane as a platonic realm. As in, these things could exist there and you could project yourself there and beat up say... The national banking system as a concept, thus literally bringing it into submission in the "realspace."

Martin O said...

I had a lot of fun doing this for Hobbes's Leviathan. Artist for the title cover practically did all terrifyingly inspiring work for us.