Today I am back to extend the Halloween season and continue on last week’s Resources article. Once again I have three creatures with the potential to haunt one’s dreams. The entities in question today are all frightening because there is so much unknown about them. That unknown factor is often more frightening than the most fearsome creatures you know well.
The Thing is an alien creature that hold it’s origins within film. Specifically we are talking about the creature from the Carpenter remake and its prequel/reboot. There is virtually nothing we know about the creature other than it can survive being encased in ice for untold lengths of time and harbors itself within the blood of living creatures (or at least mammals). It does this with frightening subtlety and you can never know who has been “replaced” with the alien. Even if you do manage to discover a test, like the blood test in the movie, there is an inherent paranoia to the entire endeavor. Everyone must be tested, but can you be sure you are not infected, as it were? Probably not, and infection means death to destroy the creature. Of course resisting the test creates the allusion that you are on of them. It becomes a paranoia-driven problem with no good solution. And if that isn’t enough, there is the little fact that the creature is amorphous and transmutable, growing and manipulating a variety of appendages seemingly at will, while still maintaining the basic caricature of the host. If you are looking to throw paranoia, in-fighting, and desperation into a group this is certainly a great way.
The Silence (Doctor Who)
The Silence have intrigued me as a race of aliens since they first appeared in Doctor Who and they have great potential for long-term campaign villains. By their very nature these beings are forgotten by those who have looked upon them. How does one piece together knowledge about something they can have no memory of? Only indirectly, through notes or other reminders. Of course then you have to believe whatever those notes say, despite lacking any memory of such. This fact makes them perfect villains and evil organization runners. Why kill someone if they cannot remember you? Instead you can work from the shadows and manipulate things and plant seeds of thought. Perhaps the notes you left yourself are not exactly what you wanted to write but what they did. Like The Thing, this creature instils a bit of paranoia into a game but a slow, deep-seated paranoia. One based on questions that may already be answered, but whose answers are lost. Rather than trying discover who is actually a creature, you wait to discover what you should already know and who may, or may not, be influenced by the creatures that sit in the blank spaces of your memory.
The idea of Slender Man is a fascinating one to me because it represents so much potential through the purposeful lack of information on him. Created as a creepy pasta, this entity has gained a lot of traction sparking games, videos, stories, and movies. His motives are a mystery and various stories allude to different motives. What is known about Slender Man is that you cannot see him with the naked eye, but only through electronic devices. Whether it is pictures, movies, or live video feeds. There also is a tendency that his interest grows in you once you have discovered him and become interested in who or what he is. To me, Slender Man is a modern fairy tale. He is not urban legend, some fiendish creature developed from once true stories. No, he is a creature that only seems to become more real or possible with each telling. Something that is blamed for accidents, but which cannot be real. Something that may have started as a simple story or photo but has developed a life of its own. Who’s to say that there are not some pictures out there featuring Slender Man that were never meant to?