People and Monsters

Grumpy Wizard

The way I use and create monsters in my Swords and Wizardry game is different than many game masters. My primary use is as metaphors for the themes I am working into the campaign. They can be used to create emotional responses such as fear, horror, disgust and anxiety.

Monsters are usually a novel tactical puzzle with a veneer of story covering up the mechanisms. This is not a bad thing. Kicking in doors and slaying whatever eldritch horror is occupying the chamber can be a lot of fun.

I take a lot of inspiration from Tolkien. His monsters were metaphors for the worst sins of humanity. Shelob wasn’t merely a giant sentient spider. She was a demon in spider form. She didn’t control insects. She wove death and hated the light. Ungoliant consumed the trees of the Valar, destroying the light of their creation. The spiders of Mirkwood made…

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