Friday, May 10, 2013

Blogfest: Ray Harryhausen Aprreciation

Today is a celebration of the work of Ray Harryhausen and is hosted by +R.J. Thompson at Gamers & Grognards.  Like many gamers my age I saw Clash of the Titans and IMMEDIATELY grabbed everything in it for D&D (yes. even that owl).  But that is not what I want to talk about today.

No, my favorite Ray Harryhausen movie is "The First Men in the Moon".

I am not sure exactly when I first saw this movie, but I am sure it was on WGN's Family Classics movies on Saturday Afternoon. (or was is Sunday) and it was the same time I was really into gaming. Anyway, the movie was a great distillation of all my interests at the time; sci-fi, horror, fantasy, Victorian England.  It was a heady brew to be sure.

Plus those aliens.  The stop motion was glorious for the time and those monsters were just so creepy.

I remember spending sometime trying to figure out how to get these creatures into my games, or at least some of these ideas.  There is though some obvious homages to this movie to be found in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

The most obvious "child" though of this movie (and the H.G. Wells book) is Space: 1899. The game even features Selenites and an adventure on the moon.

For the longest time I wanted bugs on the moon because of this film.

Selenites are a race native to Earth's Moon.  They are named after the Greek Goddess of the Moon, Selene.
They are smaller than humans, 4'6" to 5'3" tall, they are of a slight build and not very strong.  They appear to be some form of humanoid insect. They are hairless and large compound eyes.  They do require oxygen to breathe, but not as much as a human.  Most Selenites are members of a working caste.  They work on the Selenite cities and help harvest the great moon cows that they use for food. The Selenites psychology and behavior was very much like that of ants or other social insects. (creatures in the book had wings and could fly, I don't remember if they flew in the movie) When not needed a Selenite can go into a self-imposed coma-like suspended animation.
Selenite cities and machines are all solar powered. They were able to keep their cities lit and oxygenated, but during solar-earth eclipses all non essential machines shut down.  The Selenites would also use  this time to enter a rest phase of their own.
The leader of the Selenites is the Grand Lunar.  This being is smaller in size but commands a keen intellect.

Selenite (Ghosts of Albion)
Motivation: Serve the Colony
Critter Type: Alien
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Constitution 1, Intelligence 3, Perception 4, Willpower 3
Ability Scores: Muscle 8, Combat 7, Brains 9
Life Points: 30
Drama Points: 1
Qualities: Acute Senses (sight)
Drawbacks: Attractiveness -2
Skills: Armed Mayhem 1

Combat Maneuvers
Name Score Damage Notes
claw(x2) 7 4 bash
stun gun 7 6 +Con check stun

Selenite (OSR/Basic/S&W/D&D)
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 8 [11]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d4) or solar gun (1d6 + stun, save vs. Paralysis)
Move: 18'
Save: F2
Alignment: Neutral
Challenge/XP: 2/200

The Grand Lunar has no move, lesser strength (1 and 5) but very high intelligence (7 and 20).
If you game uses psionics then there is a chance "he" has them.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else does!

I am also participating in the May Monster Madness.  So today is my first post for that.


Tim Knight said...

Very cool, I was just wondering this morning if anyone would write up something from First Men In The Men and bingo!

Unknown said...

I like that a few hours of an eclipse involves shutting down things, but the 14 earth day nights aren't a problem. :)

Dr. Theda said...

really liked the "stats" for the "moon-men"... "Clash" was good... but there is is so much more of his animation if so many films...
And you do have some great gaming stats for use i our game "campaign"...

Anthony Simeone said...

More good Ray-inspired game stuff! Thanks!