Saturday, January 7, 2012

My First Monster: The "Beguine" (1982)

As mentioned previously in my Discovered Dungeons posts, I used the equipment at my Dad's office to put together a "book" called Maps I, which was little more than a velo-bound photocopy of about a dozen pages of maps I'd drawn in 8th and 9th grades. Nevertheless, Maps I did include my first "monster." (I may be pushing it a bit to call it that.)

The creature was a half-elf/half-halfing, a genetic offspring that at least one person suggests would be infertile, and therefore very rare. The odder part was the name I gave this creature... "beguine." I knew of the musical/dance style (there wasn't a "beguine" button on my Casio MT 40, but I think my best friend's Lowrey organ had one), but I figured it was obscure enough no one would care (or at least I didn't.) I did not, however, know of the monastic use of the term. Regardless of either, the pronunciation in my head was ""be-GINE" (with a hard "g")... so that's different enough. Right?

The stats and description are pretty jacked up. It's pretty obvious I just "split the differences" between the elf and halfling descriptions. They're a little off-kilter for system mechanics; take a look at the movement of 11". In the 1e monster manual, there's only a handful of creatures whose movement isn't a multiple of 3", including the clay and flesh golems, and the gray ooze.)

Now lets's look at the drawing. Why did I make him bald? Did I think that somehow elf and halfling parents (known for their long and curly hair, respectively) would somehow genetically result in a folliclely-challenged kid? Or was I just obsessed with Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces?

I do still like the idea of a small, bald, pointy-eared, furry-footed humanoid. Maybe I'll tweak the description and the stats, rename it and repost it as a monster of the week.

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