Friday, August 28, 2015

Sex, Death, Chaos, and Hell Or How To Make Hell Work For You In Your Mega Dungeon

Its Jack Kirby's birthday today and there's one of his creations that I absolutely love, Etrigan the Demon.Today bears little to no resemblance to the Jack Kirby's original creation. All of this really relates back to the 90's and the even further back to the Satanic Panic of the 80's.But I digress, Etrigan is perhaps on of Jack Kirby's finest creations and perhaps on of his most underrated in my humble opinion. What does this have to do with megadungeons, Chaos, Hell, death, and the Demon? Well everything and nothing. Very briefly according to wiki :
The Demon is a superhero and antihero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jack Kirby, the titular character, named Etrigan, is a demon from Hell who, despite his violent tendencies, usually finds himself allied to the forces of good, mainly because of the alliance between the heroic characters of the DC Universe and Jason Blood, a human to whom Etrigan is bound

I remember cracking open my first issue of  Etrigan The Demon back in late '89 from the 1970's and being blown away. After the canceling of  Kirby's Fourth World saga, he pulled the Demon out of his bag of tricks.
And at the time I was blown away with such sights as this.

There have been a few other times when I was this excited reading a comic book, the first time I read through Spawn, and the introduction of Hellboy plus the various Vertigo lines from DC back when they didn't play it safe. Hell was something #$@ed up and completely alien & when I asked one of the guys who worked with Kirby what they were thinking when they did this stuff it was his response that gave me pause. 'It was fun!'  That's right kids Chaos and Hell can be fun. Because there is a vast difference between the 'Pulp Hell' of D&D and the Hell of Scripture and religion. Pulp Hell is the Hell of horror comics, D&D, and Rpgs. Its also one of the most over used cliches since the days of Dragon magazine. But it works in grand style. So much so that in both Fantastic Heroes and Witchery as well Dark Albion, Chaos does a damn good job of aping many of the conventions and issues of Jack Kirby's the Demon in style. If you don't believe me then check out this preview of the Dark Albion's Demonic Magick

Alternative Cover for Dark Albion the Rose War Available Through Lulu

The Hell of Dark Albion is the Hell of Faust and Shakespeare as well as the Gothic writers and later the comic book and  pulp writers of yesteryear. This also dovetails into the fact that since Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea works very well with Fantastic Heroes and Witchery, many of the artifacts,treasures,locations and whatnot can be used in a modern setting. Such as the mythical past or mythological connection to a game set in modern times or as a part of an alternative Earth. A fact that has been exploited by Dungeon Crawl Classics numerous times in their products  and as something of a convention that both Marvel did with Conan back in the 70's as part of their super hero and horror titles and one that DC took full advantage of in their own Dr. Fate appearances. A more recent appearance of this convention has been recently unlocked as a part of the
Ernest Gary Gygax Jr.'s Marmoreal Tomb Campaign. This megadungeon could be used to link all of the products that the Otherside mentioned. With only four days to go the Marmoreal Tomb is offering some very tasty ideas & link ups for a multidimensional megadungeon touching areas across all of time and space as well as beyond.
Artwork by Mark Allen 2014
Here's where the sex and death come in folks, given such a location of a megadungeon the powers of Chaos could well be exploiting the  heck out of this location staging numerous sorties into all kinds of campaign times and adventure landscapes. It might also mean that PC's eternal souls might well be denied their eternal rewards allowing the Revenant PC class that FH&W to come into play or the other version of these characters from the Gong Farmer's Almanac to come out to play for Dungeon Crawl Classics.
But there's more to the issue then simply allowing a megadungeon to go plunking down across space and time. Chaos could well be spreading its seed across the post apocalyptic landscape as well as the fantasy one. The spawn of Hell could easily turn up as part of the landscape allowing the implementation of  many of the options of races to be a sign of the taint of the landscape. The powers of  Hell itself can easily manipulate entire generations of adventurers into doing their bidding through the various locations a fact that DM's should take full advantage of. But Hell should be very dangerous, unpredictable, and never ever something PC's should really be familiar with. More on that tomorrow!

All of the various rpg and retroclone systems mentioned copyrights and respective trade marks belong to their owners. Jack Kirby,
Etrigan the Demon belong to their trademark & copy right holders no violation or infringement has been implied. This blog post is for educational and entertainment purposes only.
The term 'Pulp Hell' is trade marked and copyrighted to Dark Corner Productions & Eric Fabiaschi the author. This copyright and trademark extends to the Warlord of the Outer Worlds campaign setting and the Accursed Atlantis setting as well. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.