Join 3,377 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Dungeons & Drawings
December 21, 2010 3:03 PM   Subscribe

"Dungeons and Drawings," in which two artists reinterpret the D&D Bestiary.
posted by brundlefly (27 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is awesome and everyone involved should feel awesome.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:04 PM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Needs more gelatinous cube.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:13 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The art is pretty excellent; I like it a lot.

"Reinterpreting the D&D monsters" as a new project seems odd though.

It's not as if there is a single original interpretation of the various monsters of D&D that they're finally challenging. All those monsters have been redrawn, redesigned, rebooted, and reinvented through Original D&D, Basic D&D (Holmes, Metzner, and Moldvay editions), Advanced D&D, AD&D Second Edition, D&D Third Edition, D&D 3.5 Edition, and D&D Fourth Edition.

Reinterpreting the D&D monsters is a decades-old tradition within D&D itself!
posted by edheil at 3:14 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


(see also: Speak With Monsters)
posted by edheil at 3:15 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Very, very awesome. Thanks!

(I hope they do some of these guys.)
posted by Gator at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2010


Obligatory link to WTF D&D?
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:25 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Needs more gelatinous cube.

Owlbear!
posted by Artw at 3:28 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was a know-it-all teenager, I thought the Monster Manual was pretty cool, but clearly silly, far too strange to ever be mistaken for reality.

As an adult exposed to the wonders of the Internet, I have realized that, compared to real life, most Monster Manual baddies are positively plebian. No matter how strange or improbable some D&D creature may be (assuming that it's not magical, at least), there is a real creature eighteen times weirder.

The candiru fish comes to mind. If you read about one of those in a fantasy bestiary, you would think it was completely ridiculous, invented by a 14-year-old guy with serious dick hangups.
posted by Malor at 3:44 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


invented by a 14-year-old guy with serious dick hangups.

I think you mean A MAD WIZARD.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on December 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


Malor: "When I was a know-it-all teenager, I thought the Monster Manual was pretty cool, but clearly silly, far too strange to ever be mistaken for reality."

I know right? Fiend Folio is best folio.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:51 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Obligatory link to WTF D&D?

I almost hope I do get snowed into tomorrow so I can play catch up with those - I kinda went off it for a while when they started actually playing scenarios... but now it seems to back to taking the piss out of badly drawn and/or just plain mental monsters
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:33 PM on December 21, 2010


No intellect devourer? That was the coolest pic in that book.
posted by nathan v at 4:47 PM on December 21, 2010


invented by a 14-year-old guy with serious dick hangups.

I think you mean A MAD WIZARD.


No, no. If the candiru had been invented by a MAD WIZARD and put into the Monster Manual, it would have had enormous naked boobs.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:07 PM on December 21, 2010


MeFi's own alert
posted by Artw at 6:28 PM on December 21, 2010


MeFi's own alert 2
posted by Artw at 6:30 PM on December 21, 2010


this is rad as hell.
posted by boo_radley at 6:39 PM on December 21, 2010


They have the proper appreciation of kobolds, and linked to this gem of a story. I, too, once nearly killed a party of eight sixth level characters with a pack of twenty or so kobolds, earning my reputation as an evil DM when one of the kobolds attempted to coup-de-grace a downed barbarian before the cleric could get over to assist.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:47 PM on December 21, 2010


Fuck: I'd been thinking of doing a series of art based on this -same idea- after coming across my perfectly-archived collection of teen geekery. I guess I'll have to do it on Car Wars (or Star Fleet Battles).
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:21 PM on December 21, 2010


Kobolds are awesome. I loved throwing well-organized, intelligent, vicious little creatures at my party whenever they got a bit full of themselves.

They were headed through a mountain range, and they'd been warned; watch out for the kobolds. They scoffed, of course. Little did they realize that I'd recently gotten ahold of Che Guevara's book on guerilla warfare. Those kobolds were hellbent on overthrowing the reign of the tyrannical humans, and they'd gotten damned good at defending their mountains.

The first time the party met them, the kobolds started their attack by peppering them with arrows and bolts from off in the woods, while the party was camped. When the party began to take off after them, those kobolds fled, and another small group started shooting the party in the back. The party paused, changed direction, those kobolds fled, and a third group started another bombardment. By the time the party went after those kobolds, the first group was back...

I swear, one player was on the verge of tears.

That trip through the mountains took forever, and the party hated me the entire time. They hated me more when the kobolds unleashed a traction trebuchet on them.

The whole party made it out of the mountains, just barely, to see a huge line of torches across a nearby cliff, and the cheering of the victorious kobolds mocking their retreat.

The Kobold Liberation Front dogged that party for months.
posted by MrVisible at 8:15 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is truly a great idea but I think there is surely room for other interpretations. Heck, everybody's always coming out with new interpretations of Shakespeare, or the Nutcracker. If you feel you can bring something new to the Beholder or Mind Flayer, I say just go for it.
posted by newdaddy at 8:18 PM on December 21, 2010


kaibutsu: "They have the proper appreciation of kobolds, and linked to this gem of a story. I, too, once nearly killed a party of eight sixth level characters with a pack of twenty or so kobolds, earning my reputation as an evil DM when one of the kobolds attempted to coup-de-grace a downed barbarian before the cleric could get over to assist"

That is a great story, but the white text on black background made me Ctrl + U the page.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:25 PM on December 21, 2010


Speaking of kobolds: In DCSS can a high elven wizard eat a fresh kobold chunk? (Nethack is my background where that is almost invariably not worth the nutrition.)
posted by vapidave at 8:38 PM on December 21, 2010


The DCSS wiki page on High Elves doesn't show any dietary alignment problems.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:16 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of kobolds: In DCSS can a high elven wizard eat a fresh kobold chunk? (Nethack is my background where that is almost invariably not worth the nutrition.)

Only if he's hungry, and then he might get sick anyways.
posted by paradoxflow at 12:06 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


MeFi's own alert

I've now started reading 'Green Slaad' as 'Green Salad'....
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:14 AM on December 22, 2010


As an adult exposed to the wonders of the Internet, I have realized that, compared to real life, most Monster Manual baddies are positively plebian. No matter how strange or improbable some D&D creature may be (assuming that it's not magical, at least), there is a real creature eighteen times weirder.

The candiru fish comes to mind. If you read about one of those in a fantasy bestiary, you would think it was completely ridiculous, invented by a 14-year-old guy with serious dick hangups.


I would have gone with the platypus: duck bill with teeth, beak, beaver tail, claws, poison sacs, lays eggs: clearly it was generated from those tables at the back of the DMG.

On a related note, I have been incrementally replacing some of the items in my AD&D collection that I mostly sold at a yard sale when I was seventeen. (Somewhere out in the world, whether on a shelf, in a box in someone's attic, or in a landfill, is a copy of the DM Guide with handwritten dedications to me from Gary Gygax and Frank Mentzer.)

Anyway, I recently picked up a copy of Monster Manual II for four bucks in a used bookstore. I noticed before I bought it that somewhere between the printing press and me, it passed through the hands of a budding young artist who had carefully coloured in the illustrations. Note that "carefully" is not the same as "well."

What I discovered after I got it home is that the same artist had then moved on to phase II of his program of illustrations: providing art for those creatures that had none. There is a charming sameness throughout -- the entries that were not illustrated in the book as printed were mostly real-world animals and I guess the good folk at TSR in 1983 apparently decided that gamers did not need illustrations of the weasel, the ram, or the otter to visualize them. Here each one is laboriously rendered in profile as a brown oval with four tubular legs and a tiny brownish head. It is a charming collage of outsider art and geekdom.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:08 AM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


I really like this. I particularly like that some of these pictures are witty - humour is often absent from heroic fantasy nowadays and it's nice to see it appear here.
posted by lucien_reeve at 5:20 AM on December 23, 2010


« Older "And she was like 'oh my gosh I'm going to have th...  |  "The Star Wars Christmas Speci... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments