Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Un-Men

Ever read GURPS Fantasy II: The Mad Lands? Me, neither. I mean, I skimmed it once or twice when I saw it in the game store years ago, but it never grabbed me enough to buy it. Don't get me wrong, it could be pretty awesome, but I didn't have the opportunity to find out.

One cool idea I remember from the setting, though, was the way monsters were conceived. I don't mean in the "dim lighting and lots of booze" sort of way, but all of the monsters that I remember being mentioned were once Men that had been cursed by the gods, which as you might have gathered from the book's title, were crazy. And not just because they dropped Coke bottles from the sky.

My hazy memory tells me that each breed of monster was monstrous because the gods had stolen something from them that made them human. So these Men-driven-mad wandered the highly-dangerous wilderlands outside of the villages in a very much "Points of Light" kind of way, and each one had different behaviors and [twisted] desires that drove them. All of them, the shamans said, were murderously jealous of Men...

Bearing that in mind, I jotted down a list of monsters like this, just to see what I could come up with:

The Skinless
The Eyeless
The Voiceless
The Breathless
The Legless
The Hairless
The Armless
The Legless
The Boneless
The Mindless
The Heartless

Obviously, some of them are more Fiend Folio 1e-worthy than others, but some of them, I think, have some creepy possibilities. A lot of them struck me as horrors from "Silent Hill," all mottled skin and flesh-masked stumbly freaks. If you go beyond the obvious handicap of a missing body part and read it as more metaphorical, you can end up with some pretty unpleasant terrors.

2 comments:

Michael Slusser said...

I have to admit I'm not trembling before the Hairless--they sound smooth (or maybe it's just a clan of bald middle-aged men desperately begging for Propecia). Some of these others are rather creepy (though I might go with "The Limbless" rather than "The Legless" [twice!]).

A couple of others off the top of my head:

The Mouthless
The Ageless
The Lungless
The Gutless
The Compassionless
The Loveless
The Hopeless

I start veering into abstract territory from there. But some fun ideas...

Devin said...

The Hairless look like those super-wrinkled dogs, except the human version.

And they grope for your hair. Don't let them grab it! They pull hard.