Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fiend Folio...IN SPACE!

If your looking for some alien monsters for any old school science fiction game you could do a lot worse than starting with the original Fiend Folio, I think. I'm not even talking about things like reskinning undead as nanotech animates or victims of exotic plagues (though you can certainly do that); I think there are a lot of creatures in there that are just straight up science fiction.

The first creature listed are aarokocra, which are just straight up birdmen--like the Skorr of the Star Trek Animated Series and a bunch of other places. The algoid is a psionic algae colony; the CIFAL a colonial insectoid intelligence (it even has an acronym name). Osquips are pretty much ulsios from ERB's Barsoom stories. The grell already looks like a pulp sci-fi monster: I think there was one in Prometheus, wasn't there?


Yeah, there it is.

Anyway, demon, devils, and elemental princes are out without substantial overall, but some less interesting monsters for fantasy purposes might be made a bit more interesting in a science fiction context. Lava children   might be a silicon-based lifeform that (like the horta) needs to be contacted rather than killed. Yellow musk creepers and zombies (undead also-rans) would work great in a horror scenario on a deadly jungle world. Even the much maligned flumph is less silly when it's a weird alien (maybe).


16 comments:

Timothy Brannan said...

That's actually quite a fantastic idea.

Demons and Devils really are not that different than the say Klingon and Romulan empires respectively.

Justin Isaac said...

I agree with Tim. This is a great idea.

Sean Robson said...

In many ways, I think the Fiend Folio creatures actually work better as space aliens than as fantasy races. Great idea.

Jack said...

This is the good stuff. I'd like to see the Elemental Princes done up Kirby style

John Till said...

The "Prometheus" proto-Alien depicted in your post is quite beautiful, no? I quite agree that the Fiend Folio is a great source for alien goodness.

Tim Shorts said...

Absolutely. Some of them I can see becoming nasty enemies to deal with and others monsters of the week amusement.

Malcadon said...

It has not slipped my mind to use the FF creatures in sci-fi settings. I have been using them in my Gamma World games since I first acquired that book some years ago. Most of them are just odd enough for GW... or at least how I like to play it.

Trey said...

@Jack - That would be a good approach. I may have to work on that.

@Malcadon - Oh yeah. Gamma World would certainly work for them, too.

Trey said...

@Sean - I think you're right about that.

Roger the GS said...

The Gorbel, I think, is based on the orange monster from "Dark Star."

Martin R. Thomas said...

I was always fascinated by the Fiend Folio as a kid growing up in the 80s - back then I always associated everything British with being "cool," so I ate up the FF, the U and UK series of modules, and of course the music of the era.

But, as much as I loved everything English, I really didn't like 90% of the monsters in the FF. I thought they were kind of stupid.

I think you just redeemed the book for me. :)

Konsumterra said...

i want to turn a whole party to flumphs - also great to put in barrels about dungeon as a trap - actual spelljammer monster ok in sf - all star frontiers races in spelljammer - i look fwd to rinning dnd space game this year

Jay said...

FF is gold when it comes to aliens/scifi monsters.I've amassed a horde of grell minis for dire purposes in my current campaign! ;)

Joshua Burnett said...

Flumphs in space, you say?
http://bernietheflumph.blogspot.com/2013/02/flumphs-for-stars-without-number-flumph.html

I just started a Stars Without Number game last week, and my players have shown an interest in planet-hopping and alien-zapping. SWN's xenobestiary doesn't have nearly as many monsters as I'd like, and I'm totally going to recycle beasties from my old D&D books. The Gambado and Wolf-in-Sheep's Clothing are first on my list.

Trey said...

Good stuff, Joshua! Great minds think alike. :)

James Mishler said...

Actually the Grell were taken from a classic sci-fi story; they were alien invaders, depicted on the cover pretty much exactly as they were depicted in the FF, but of course, decades before the FF was released... I think I saw the book at the local used book store the other day. I'll see if I can find it again and post the name...