Saturday, January 11, 2020

Dragon 53 & The Spreading Menace of John Wyndham's 'Day of the Triffids'

The year is Nineteen Eighty One & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is at its height of popularity. Its September that September that my wizard is killed & poisoned by a horrid plant  monster.  Dragon issue 53 was released in September of 1981 within it was the article by Mark Nuiver 'The Ways of the Triffids'. Yup that's right my wizard was killed by the English science fiction author John Wyndham's 'Day of the Triffids' plant monster! John Wyndham isn't a name associated with Appendix N from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide. But his 'Day of the Triffids' book is a science fiction classic;"The Day of the Triffids" is a 1951 post-apocalyptic novel by the English science fiction author John Wyndham. After most people in the world are blinded by an apparent meteor shower, an aggressive species of plant starts killing people. Although Wyndham had already published other novels using other pen name combinations drawn from his real name, this was the first novel published as "John Wyndham".

The story has been made into the 1962 feature film of the same name, three radio drama series (in 1957, 1968 and 2001) and two TV series (in 1981 and 2009).[1] It was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952 and in 2003 the novel was listed on the BBC's survey The Big Read.[2][3] It was the inspiration for the zombie movie 28 Days Later."

For my uncle our dungeon master the Mark Nuiver 'The Ways of the Triffids' article served as a gate way of inspiration. The article contains a wealth of Triffid facts, plants, biology, etc. Its really the defining article about these mobile death plant death machines.  Now I'm not the first OSR  person to write about Triffids that would be Tim Brannan of the Otherside of the blog back in 2012. 

What my uncle did was really diabolical. The bastard grabbed his copy of the Dieties & Demigods flipped over to the entry on the Lovecraft Mythos & made the Triffids a creation of the Great Race of Yith. You see in the "The Day of the Triffids" we're never given an origin for the plant monsters except that the seeds are spread across the world in a plane craft after being smuggled outta of Russia in the 60's. My uncle's reasoning is that the Triffids were used by the Great Race of Yith from HP Lovecraft's 'Shadow Out of Time' for their oil & other plant products. But wouldn't the Elder Things be more likely to have created em? I natively asked? Not at all because the Elder Things had the Shoggoths.

We were messing around in a garden or wilderness ruins of the Great Race of Yith & smack my wizard had to save vs death. He didn't make it stung by one of the most dangerous plant  races in science fiction.
Now flash forward & we've got me messing around with my Cha'alt/Godbound campaign. I'm quietly looking for a guardian monster for the gardens surrounding my  xanthium-183 processing facilities that have been set up in the Cha'alt California & Nevada wastelands. I've got the perfect plant monster to add to the mix. 

With Venger announcing that the Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise book kickstarter is gonna be hard cover its not hard to see me adding something special to my campaign. The Triffids are gonna get a bit of a workout coming up.
The Triffids in the Mark Nuiver 'The Ways of the Triffids' article are way more powerful then Tim Brannan's write up & that's easily explained by simple plant monster variations. But I wanted to take it a bit further and so I've grabbed  my copy of Omer Joel, &  Alexander Macris Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. Triffids thrive in areas where the forces of Lovecraftian Chaos are highly active. So the power source at the xanthium-183 processing facilities are encouraging the spreading of the alien plants.

In the alien wastelands surrounding California & Nevada there are knots of Triffids growing & moving. The seeds of the alien plant creatures can literally grow anywhere according to the 
 John Wyndham's 'Day of the Triffids' original novel. The Russians according to my uncle had uncovered some Great Race ruins & that's how they were spread. I've used Triffids in several Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventures when the PC's have encountered Great Race ruins. They've really come to hate bastard plant monsters.

If you want to know anything
about the Triffids there's
The Reader's
Guide To the 'Day of the Triffids'
site right here. 

Venger's Cha'alt:
 Fuchsia Malaise
Kickstarter Here. 

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