'You never see the hand that moves' this was a common saying with my uncle from dungeon mastering way back in the Eighties. I've been very busy at work so much so that this is the first blog entry in two day. But I've been rereading D1-2 Descent Into The Depths of the Earth by Gary Gygax which are more of a series of supplements as well as follow up modules to Gary Gygax's Against the Giants series. The thought that monsters use other monsters to do their bidding isn't something new & actually has been a part of the hobby since before the beginning of the hobby.
But originally when the Drow were introduced they were mysterious,deadly, & a lot of fun for the dungeon master to reveal as the power behind the threat of the giants. But on twitter I've been thinking about wererats & Mi Go for my Cha'alt/Godbound game. Now at first these two monsters might not seem like their remotely connected. But they are. In the Godbound rpg there are 'worthy foes' basically monsters that are mythologically worthy of the heroes of legend. Wererat assassins, thieves, etc. are monsters that have followed humanity to the stars in my games.
I've been using the veneer of Dungeons & Dragons for years that is the themes,monsters, campaign settings of Dungeons & Dragons. But not necessarily the complete adventure package for old school or OSR game campaigns. Venger calling my game campaigns simple Dungeons & Dragons is a bit, well simplistic.
The Mi Go are a faction in my campaigns & have had a continuing revolving hatred with the PC's over the years. They have hired wererat assassins to take out the party! The royals have been in the background of the campaign since it started signs & symbols have been around. A plague victim here & a human murder with the face half eaten off there.
The Mi Go ultimately serve & service one of the demon worms from Cha'alt & they've got an on going agenda. But the PC's facing the Mi Go head on? That's sheer suicide at the moment. So a game of sly & flourish random encounters has been on going. This has allowed me to build the campaign setting of California.
Ultimately there's gonna be an upcoming conflict coming of the Slavers forces & those of the producers of xanthium-183. The PC's are gonna have to decide who & what they want to save. The Hyperborean or United States forces are gonna move to claim the remains afterward. What the PC's won't see (yet) is the final factions in the background quietly moving against each other. Even the gods are getting caught off guard.
Monsters are not static at all & have their own goals, agendas, & wants. They will find a way & that turns random monsters into deadly NPC's for a party of players. That sort of conflict brings the players back to the table again & again.
Ultimately the Jotan are going to play a major part coming up in California but not in the way that you might think. They move according to their Hyperborean masters & man its not gonna be pretty.. Next time I'm gonna expand upon Gary Gygax's G1,G2,G3, Against The Giants.