Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#54 - Tree-Men of M'bwa & Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

Tree-Men of M'bwa

Once human, the Tree-Men of M'bwa become fixed in place and slowly turn into a human-shaped tree.

In the RPG...

There are four stages of Tree-Men, with each stage progressively becoming less human over the course of 100 years. All of their stats are appended to the human's originals. The first three stages are really the only useful ones in-game, as by the 4th stage the Tree-Man has 0 INT, DEX, SAN, and no ability to even move its branches, so is essentially just a plain old tree. Though fixed in place, the first three stages can still somewhat move their branches to attack, though with very low DEX and accuracy. Because I won't be covering M'bwa or his master, The God of the Red Flux, in this blog, it should be noted that Tree-Men are created when the zombie-like M'bwa forces his Master's tree-serum down a victim's throat. If they fail a POW vs 125 opposed roll, transformation begins instantly. A victim can be rescued within the first week, though they will forever bear thick, woody skin, and root-like growths from their legs and feet.

In a video game...

Due to their limited abilities, I would probably only include Tree-Men as a creepy Easter Egg.

In a film...

Though I've never read it, Donald Wandrei's "The Tree-Men of M'bwa" sounds like it would make an interesting film.

Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

The Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath are large, three-legged hoofed creatures with numerous tentacles sprouting out their top. When encountered in forests, they are easily be mistaken for trees.

In the RPG...

Dark Young are one of Call of Cthulhu's more common monsters, which is surprising considering how powerful they are. They take only 1 damage from firearms, and non-physical attacks involving heat, blast, corrosion, electricity, or poison have zero effect—so no dynamite! Melee weaponry does normal damage, but who would want to get up close and personal with a creature that can attack 5 times per round with an average damage of 14!? It can also use its tentacles to grab up to four Investigators, holding them to one of its slavering mouths and draining an average of 10 STR per round (which cannot be restored). Presumably a victim could oppose the Dark Young's 220 STR to escape, but would obviously need help.

In a video game...

Due to their popularity, I feel it would be sacrilegious to not include a Dark Young in a Mythos video game. However, due to their difficulty, I feel it would only work as a set-piece, where the aim is not to kill it, but just to escape alive. Not many people know this, but a Dark Young almost made it into Dark Corners of the Earth. It was unfortunately removed towards the end of development when they realised the game wasn't reaching its deadlines.

In a film...

I think Dark Young are unique- and scary-enough that they would absolutely work in a film. I can easily imagine the image above being a storyboard for such a film, and am saddened by the fact that it actually isn't.

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