Thursday, March 6, 2014

March Madness Non-D&D Blog Challenge: Day Six

What non-D&D monster do you think is as iconic as D&D ones like hook horrors or flumphs, and why do you think so?

A couple folks who are ahead of the curve in answering this question have put forth Cthulhu as their iconic monster of choice, and that's certainly a worthy answer but. . . I know I've been on a real Rfits kick of late, conent-wise, but how I could I pick anything other than the Splugorth Slaver?

Owing in large part to its appearance on the original cover of the main Rifts rulebook, the Splugorth Slaver is about as iconic as monsters get. It kind of sums up everything about the core Rifts experience in one creature, really. You've got the weird cybertech, the odd quasi-magical accoutrements, the vaguely 80s-esque T&A of the Blind Warrior Women. . .

My understanding is that the image of the Slaver came from Keith Parkinson's own fevered imagination, and that it was only statted up and made into a canonical monster after the fact, once its iconic status became apparent. This would seem to be borne out by the fact that we didn't see stats for the Slaver until the appearance of Sourcebook One, which was sort one giant appendix/grab-bag of things that probably should've been in the main book: an actual mini-bestiary of monsters, some more useful information on Rifts North America and the Coalition, a starter adventure, stuff like that.

The image that graces the top of this post was featured on the back cover of Sourcebook One, and my 13-year-old self was mildly scandalized by it. Not so much for the image itself (being 13, I was perfectly capable of imagining even filthier tableaux myself, thanks very much) but for the fact that I had asked for the book, sight unseen, as a birthday present. Knowing that my mom would've seen that image while wrapping up the book sort of drained away any titilation it might otherwise have presented.

Kudos to my mom, though, for being cool about it - what she thought about the picture I've never known, as she never commented on it, much less gave me any guff. The benefits, I guess, of having had an older brother who had already passed through adolescence, his bedroom plastered with Iron Maiden and Samantha Fox posters.
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