Gygaxian Monsters

The Green Adam

First Post
Arcturion said:
Shi shi lion dogs, to be exact. They're all over the place here on Okinawa, and almost always encountered in pairs (one male, one female). A peculiar combination of lion, dragon, and dog, which is strange considering that lions are not native to Japan nor Okinawa. Definitely an influence of Chinese and Korean mythologies mixing with Japanese as Okinawa/Ryukyu Island(s) was an independent sovereign up until fairly recently, and served as a focal point of trade between all three countries and more besides (Thailand, etc.).

I actually haven't thought of shi shi as being dragonne before but now that I think more about it, it does make some sense (minus the wings and adding in a more dog-like tail). For some reason the desert climates favored by dragonne brought to mind some sort of Arabian or ancient Babylonian/Mesopotamian/Sumerian vibe to me. Must be a subconscious thing as I selected a dragonne as a cohort/mount for a DMPC, heh.

An old friend of mine from junior high school and a professional comic book artist and inker is originally from Burma and identified the Dragonne image right away as a creature from the folklore of Burma/Indochina and similar to the Shi Shi/Foo lions. He said there was once a winged Shi Shi Lion statue on top of a temple in his country until it was vandalized or stolen at one point in that nation's history. Two 'traditional' creatures sat outside the front entrance to that same temple and remain there today as far as I know.

My friend once played a Human Paladin PC who gained the ability to transform into a Dragonne. The character was given a Holy Avenger that was +3 (instead of +5) by his mentor before said elder died. The elder transformed into a Dragonne upon his death, revealing his true form, and bestowing the transformation power upon his former student.

Neat huh?

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Scylla

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
That figurine was so silly I just had to use it as a monster that would bring fear to many a PC; and so, Ladies & Gentlemen, enter Rust Monster stage right :lol:

Cheers,
Gary

An excellent creative decision, Mr. Gygax. And my players hate you for it... ;)
 

Huw

First Post
I have a question, assuming Gary's not get sick of them.

Wings on the chimera and manticore. Did you make them flying, or was there some other source?

Thanks.
 

Contrarian

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:
That figurine was so silly I just had to use it as a monster that would bring fear to many a PC; and so, Ladies & Gentlemen, enter Rust Monster stage right

Gary, I have a question about how playing with miniatures did (or didn't) affect the choice of monsters in the early D&D games.

We all know by now that you found the rust monster in a bag of toy dinosaurs. I'm wondering, were you using the toy dinosaurs in your game? It that why there are so many different dinosaurs in the original Monster Manual?

What about giant insects and animals? Can we blame any of those on conveniently-available toys? (My understanding is that there weren't a lot of fantasy monsters available in lead during the early D&D years, so you must have improvised a lot, right?)
 
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Thurbane

First Post
I'm guessing giant animals/insects/arachnids would have been inspired by movies such as Them, Monster From Green Hell, The Giant Gila Monster, The Black Scorpion, The Deadly Mantis & Tarantula...not to mention various literary sources - Robert E Howard used giant critters as adversaries for Conan in more than one story.
 
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The Green Adam

First Post
In one of my earliest campaigns my players encountered a Lurker Above and then later on a few adventures later a Trapper. Not knowing what the latter was called they identified it a Lurker Below. They still call it that to this day. :p

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kenobi65

First Post
The Green Adam said:
In one of my earliest campaigns my players encountered a Lurker Above and then later on a few adventures later a Trapper. Not knowing what the latter was called they identified it a Lurker Below. They still call it that to this day. :p

Funny. :)

Though, for some reason, it made me decide that there would need to be a dungeon in which there's some other monster that tends the Trappers (and probably the Lurkers Above, too)...you know, mucking out their rooms, throwing in a kobold or two when there hasn't been adventurers in the dungeon for a while. You'd have to call him a Trapper Keeper, of course. :D
 

Arcturion

First Post
The Green Adam said:
An old friend of mine from junior high school and a professional comic book artist and inker is originally from Burma and identified the Dragonne image right away as a creature from the folklore of Burma/Indochina and similar to the Shi Shi/Foo lions. He said there was once a winged Shi Shi Lion statue on top of a temple in his country until it was vandalized or stolen at one point in that nation's history. Two 'traditional' creatures sat outside the front entrance to that same temple and remain there today as far as I know.

My friend once played a Human Paladin PC who gained the ability to transform into a Dragonne. The character was given a Holy Avenger that was +3 (instead of +5) by his mentor before said elder died. The elder transformed into a Dragonne upon his death, revealing his true form, and bestowing the transformation power upon his former student.

Neat huh?

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That's an interesting tidbit. Ever get the official Burmese name/term for the creature? Dragonne by itself sounds rather, well, plain to my ears (presumably by mixing dragon and lion/leonne together) and it's somewhat troublesome mixing up dragonne with dragon (in the more conventional sense of the word). I'm always interested in the origins of words and terms as far as language and history go.

On a somewhat related but side note, I got a chance to handle a real Burmese dha once; very interesting sword. My experience in ancient weaponry lies mostly with Japanese-style swords, but have seen some Chinese- (daos and jians) and Korean-inspired pieces (used for gumdo). Always neat to see how various neighboring cultures influenced one another, not just in language, but also customs, clothing, food, and things like warfare.

On a completely unrelated note, noticed that you're from NYC (what part of the city, by the way?). I'm from Brooklyn, born and raised, before I joined the military. Small world.
 

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