Sunday, January 15, 2017

the Broodmother that might have been

Here's a little trivia about Broodmother Skyfortress (still available here and in PDF-only here).  At one time in the development process I wanted this to be the cover art:


That's an illustration by late 19th/early 20th century artist Henry Justice Ford.  It appears in The Green Fairy Book, one of 25 or so such volumes compiled by Scottish literary critic Andrew Lang and his wife, who I've not seen addressed as anything but "Mrs. Lang."  Not that I go too deep into this stuff.

Among other stuff in its pages, The Green Fairy Book has a version of the 3 Little Pigs that features houses of mud and cabbage instead of sticks and straw.  IIRC there's a fox instead of a wolf in that one as well.  The 3 Bear also appear, but they frighten a Little Old Woman instead of Goldilocks.  You can read the stories yourself on Project Gutenberg (text-only) or check out this nice scan on the Internet Archive.

Ford's illustration above features Grumedan the Enchanter, a man so large four of the king's strongest men struggle to carry his club.  He serves as the antagonist of the delightfully named tale "Prince Narcissus and the Princes Potentilla."  As Telecanter pointed out in 2011, this illo clearly inspired Trampier's cloud giant in the original Monster Manual.

So my idea was to put this illo on the cover of Broodmother as a way of faking out the players.  As play begins they catch a glance of cover art that resembles canonical cloud giants, then WHAM!  The referee hits them over the head with shark-elephant-centaur dudes wrecking their shit.  It would have worked, too, if not for you meddling kids James Raggi's insistence that using public domain art is unprofessional.

Reason #147 to Love the Internet:
Googling "Scooby Doo unmasked shark"
got me exactly what I wanted on the first result.