Monday, June 3, 2013

IN SPACE II: Modrons and More

When I did a post about using Fiend Folio as a source for aliens and monsters in a science fiction game, the idea met with a lot of enthusiasm, largely because everybody likes the Fiend Folio. I'm going to court a little more controversy today and assert that Monster Manual II may be even better in this regard.

First off the easy stuff. It's got a whole slew of dinosaurs and giant (and minimal) animals and insects. Those are mostly kind of boring though. A bit more interesting are exotic things like the aurumvorax or is it a Barsoomian honey badger? Who knows.

The cool stuff comes with the monsters that are already sort of sci-fi. The aboleth remind me a bit of Larry Niven's thrint (except in appearance) with no modification. The Vagabond's description already tells us it's from another planet. The cloaker and the crysmal likewise work pretty much as is. Memory moss is positively Star Trekian, if we only make it's power psionic instead of magical. The wemic are a lot like Poul Anderson's Ishtarians in appearance.

Art by Wayne Barlowe

Then there are ones that will take a little more thought. Maybe a demilich is some sort of nanoswarm? Is a Tarrasque a fearsome bioweapon of an extinct civilization? And the Modrons? Well, I figure they're probably sentient programs living in an ancient computer network, Tron or Reboot style, waiting on adventurous netrunners to stumble into their mainframe.


Doomsdave said...

Barlowe's Guide to Extra-Terrestrials has been my SF monster manual since 1991.

Konsumterra said...

i love modrons, they could live in hyperspace - actually exist in multiple dimensions and unfold themselves to enter our dimension from overspace

Jay Dugger said...

I also love Modrons, use them in Oz (Tik-Tok) or The Phantom Tollbooth or screampunk or Gamma World or almost anywhere (even Toon!) Just emphasize the right angle.

Trey said...

Good points, guys. The Modrons definitely have multiple uses.

Jayson said...

Yep yep. The Aspis are a gimme, as is the Basidirond. And the Derro, Deurgar, and Pech all seem to be offshoots of Gengineered Humans left to their own devices on a failed mining colony.

The monsters from Barrier Peaks slot in almost without saying. :)