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Friday, February 3, 2012

Proper Monsters

Inspired by this post complaining about turning proper names into generic creatures, Lord Gwydion statted up saurons for use in your game. Even though I complained about speciation and genericization previously, I have the urge to turn other proper nouns into monsters. Heck, I've been guilty of it in the past. But I think all the obvious "proper" monsters have been taken. Didn't someone already do a write-up for "grendels"? Certainly, the vampires in original D&D could be renamed "draculas", since they bear more resemblance to Count Dracula specifically than to ordinary vampires. Chimeras? Done. Hydras? Done. Cereberoi? Scyllas? I think I've seen each of them written up somewhere. Talos got turned into iron golems, Frankenstein's monster became flesh golems. Beorn from The Hobbit got turned into "were-bears", the Balrog from LotR became Type VI demons; I suppose someone could do "gollums", "shelobs", and "gandalfs".

They haven't been written up for a game (as far as I know,) but the new TV series Grimm turns individual creatures from Grimm's fairy tales into generic types: the big bad wolf becomes blutbads, the three bears become jagerbars, the three little pigs become bauerschwein (I'm anglicizing the names, because I'm not sure what some of the plurals should be. Blutbaden?)

Anyone have any good ideas for "proper" monsters?


  1. Well, "Blaculas" would be black draculas. ;)

  2. Blutbäder, but this word has a meaning already, meaning as much as massacre (or massacres, in plural).
    Oh and Jägerbären, Bauerschweine.

    Bauerschwein sounds somewhat like an insult for a farmer, though... but it could work.

  3. "Man, I specialize in hunting black vampires. I don't know what the P.C. name for that is!" -- Jefferson Twilight, The Venture Bros.

    Have quasimodos been done?

    And from the world of trashy movies, you could get singular-turned-to-plural...

    ) Godmonsters (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070119/)

    ) Blackensteins (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069795/)

    ) Slithises (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078277/)

    (Full disclosure: I may have mentioned some of the above on my blog in the past....)

  4. @Justin: Yeah, I immediately thought of Venture Brothers when Trey mentioned blaculas.

  5. What about 'Imps'? Ones who specifically target vulnerable females - could be called 'Pimps'? Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Any renaming conventions for ghosts, ghouls, phantoms and evil spirits?

  6. Gorts, Klaatus and Yodas spring to mind. Toblerones (although alas this category has lost its page on tvtropes, having been folded into "Boisterous Bruiser"). Boba Fetts are actually Star Wars canon now - I hadn't previously seen the whole Clone Wars thing as a manifestation of this, but of course it is. Also Aliens, Predators. Arguably "barbarians" as a class are basically Conans (Schwarzeneggerized).

    I'm adopting Enkidus for the setting I'm building right now. And maybe Queequegs.