Replacing Mind-Flayers and other I.P. protected monstersPosted: November 5, 2011
I was doodling in the sketchbook this a.m. and came up with some sort of flying squid that was eating an off-market He-Man’s brains — something inspired by looking at too many old pulp sci-fi / horror magazine covers no doubt.
It occurs to me that this is how I might replace ‘I.P. protected’ monsters like ‘the mind flayer’ and others when I publish Mines of Khunmar eventually — plus it has an ‘Aldeboran’ vibe that I like.
I imagine this thing is capable of eating the victim’s brains and then using the brainless victim as a puppeteer uses a marionette. Obvious ripoff of Wolverton’s Brain-Bats of Venus I guess… but nothing really feels original anymore, so why not just go with it? Of course, it should have other cool powers as well. Gone is the mind-flayer’s human body — but the mind flayer really didn’t ‘use’ the human-like body it had (other than for walking around and using it’s hands to open doors). The ‘brain octopus’ (don’t have a good name for it yet) could travel around by crawling unless it has a ‘puppet’ — then it could just ride around and let the puppet do the walking.
While we are on the subject, since monsters like “The Displacer Beast” were obviously ripped by Gygax and company from an A.E. Van Vogt story (1) how is it that Wizards now ‘owns’ it? I mean, I guess Gygax (or someone at TSR) came up with the name ‘Displacer Beast’ — shouldn’t the monster itself belong to Van Vogt’s estate while Wizards owns the name ‘Displacer Beast’?
1) Wikipedia tells me it is called ‘Coeurl’ and appears in the story, “The Black Destroyer”, which also features a space ship called ‘The Beagle’. I know ‘Beagle’ is a reference to the career of Charles Darwin, but didn’t a space ship called ‘The Beagle’ for the basis of some of the ‘Blackmoor’ adventures published by TSR (I’m thinking ‘City of the Gods’ and ‘Temple of the Frog’?)