Friday, November 27, 2020

Ecological vs. Mythological

some monsters are ecological. they eat, they sleep, they shit and get eaten. goblins are ecological. kobolds, usually. giant spiders.

some monsters are mythological. their existence is a contrivance, artificial. they exist to serve a purpose, and do nothing outside of that. the necromancer raises skeletons to guard their floating fortress. the sirens sit upon their island to kill adventurers. the sphinx.

making mythological monsters ecological is possible and cool, but it's not very natural, and takes a lot of good thought. what do skeletons eat?

making ecological monsters mythological is actually pretty easy, and usually just involves invoking a "story" aesthetic. (goblins out of fairy tales, shelob from LotR, plague of rats, etc.)

some monsters you have to choose. dragons. most big baddies actually. faeries. ghosts and spirits. not choosing puts them in sort of a weird pseudo-real spot. is the dragon attacking the town because it is hungry? or because the townsfolk haven't paid enough tribute? do spirits naturally arise under certain circumstances? or are they here because this castle is haunted?

deciding if the monster is ecological or mythological will answer these sorts of questions.

this doesn't have much in-game bearing. i've just been thinking about it recently.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting way to think about monsters! I like the challenge of making mythological versions of ecological creatures and vice versa. Thanks for sharing!