Monday, June 8, 2015

Classic Enemies: All Hail The Elder Worm

I meant to do this one yesterday, but got hung up doing laundry and then got to actually do some face-to-face gaming (D&D, but it was a good time).  Also, I found my copy of Different Worlds #30!  Embarrassingly enough, it was stuck in a stack of 1st-3rd edition stuff on my bookshelf all along, so my excursion into the garage was completely unnecessary.  I still owe people a Mechassassin/Deathstroke compare/contrast, so maybe that'll be my first follow-up.

Anyway, tonight we'll take a look at Slug, a creation of Kevin Dinapoli.  While his origin and stats changed very little between his first appearance in Enemies II and Classic Enemies, he underwent a remarkable visual makeover.  Originally, he was a pretty buff dude, considering his 10 STR.

1982 (Mark Williams)

For Classic Enemies, Patrick Zircher changed things up quite a bit: he's stouter, more tentacle-y, and generally a lot more alien and squidgy.  It's one of the biggest departures made in the appearance of a character from its original appearance, and it's just terrific.

So, let's talk about this dude.  He was an Egyptologist who encountered a strange gem in a tomb.  It transformed him into a member of the race of the Elder Worm, your standard-issue Lovecraftian horror from beyond the stars.  His powers: Lots of nasty psionic/mystical stuff channeled through that gem and his ankh.  Also, turning people into Elder Worms, like you do.  This last one was added for CE, as Transformation wasn't part of the rules when Enemies II came out.

The great thing about Slug is that he can slot in to just about any mystical adventure, either as the big bad or as a handy helper.  The first time I used him was running "Terror in the Treasures," a scenario in Adventurers' Club #3.  It's a clever little treasure grab that I've recycled probably a half-dozen times in the past 32 years.

Probably my favorite Slug story never saw the light of play.  Some years ago, I put some work into a setting called "Darkness Falls" that would be a magic-heavy, dark-ish supers game. I mean, it's in the name of the town, right?  In that setting, the race of the Elder Worm could cloak themselves in human form.  They infiltrated a local religious community, akin to the Mennonites or Amish, and preyed on tourists who came to see their "quaint" ways and purchase their "rustic" crafts.  The big reveal would've been glorious.

So, do you have any adventures that you never got to use?  Feel free to comment below or over on the RPGnet thread.

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