Exquisite Corpses (LotFP edition) work in progressPosted: April 30, 2011
If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already know that I am working on a ‘monster book’ for LotFP called Exquisite Corpses right now (well, not right now, but you get the idea). You can read LotFP’s announcement here.
At right are the paintings in progress for the new edition. I published the original edition of E.C. via Lulu in 2010 and a lot of people liked the concept behind the book. Each page had a picture of a man, a woman, a bird, a robot, a tree-man, etc., on it and each page was cut into three sections — one cut at the neck and one cut at the hips — thus dividing each picture page into three tabs; the top tab has the head on it, the middle tab had the torso, wings, arms, etc., and the bottom tab has the legs and groin. The pages are arranged so that you can flip the tabs and put the man’s head on the robot’s body, the snake’s head on the insect’s body, etc., and build ‘hybrid’ creatures. Each tab also had suggestions for powers and abilities associated with that part, so giving the dragon’s head to a creature would give that creature the ability to breathe fire and bite, putting a bird’s torso on a creature would mean that it would have wings, etc.
In addition to the 26 basic monsters (which could be combined to create +17,000 unique critters if my calculations are right), there were optional random tables to add special powers and vulnerabilities to creatures and even a set of simple psionics rules for old school D&D games. The new edition not only increases 26 base monsters to 40 (thus, 64,000 combinations) and the illustrations are in color.
There will be other features and supplementary downloads for the new edition… today I decided to offer a free pdf of little pants and brassieres that users could print out and paste over the creatures in case they didn’t want to see all that full frontal nudity. Not every creature in the book is naked (some are wearing pants or armor) and not all have visible genitals (i.e.: aliens and snakes)… and personally I can’t imagine wanting to paste little trousers on the guys, but at least one person said that they didn’t particularly want their kids getting bothered by it so I want to try to be accomodating.
The idea was (I think) a good one, but Lulu is not the best vehicle for publishing and promotion. And, although I really liked the concept, the drawings of the creatures were, in all honesty, not my best work. Plus the user had to cut the tabs himself to prepare the book for use (which always made me wonder how disspointed people might have been if they screwed that up). After some online discussion James Raggi IV (LotFP) and I agreed that a better edition could be a fun addition to most people’s game library. Raggi deals with a quality printer in Finland that could do the book in a nice binding with color illustrations and perforated pages (so the user could cut or tear along the perforation rather than slitting the pages with an x-acto knife or cutting them with scissors, which is just asking for trouble).