Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Radio Inspiration: The Giant Walks

I don't plan to make it a daily habit to translate whatever old-time radio show I heard in the car into a gaming-related post, but the commute does generate 'thinking time'.

Today's selection, The Giant Walks, was a short sci-fi deal, fairly predictable but with a minor twist.  The basic setup had an unscrupulous scientist who was doing experiments to create growth (it involved electrical noises, "100 cc" of formula in a hypo, and the word 'pituitary' name-dropped); he experiments on rats, and then on one of his poor hapless assistants.  The human subject grows to thirty feet and endures more tests before rebelling (predictable of course) after finding out the scientist plans to create an army of giants to rule the world.  The interesting bit is that instead of the giant being killed at the end, he actually regresses to normal size (actually sloughing off the flesh, eww) once he's no longer getting his injections.

So, just like last time, we're pulling two game-related ideas out of this puppy:

1)  A potion or magical procedure that transforms a human into a giant - painfully, slowly over days - and then after some time, wears off quickly and with drastic effects, leaving a dazed, naked human amidst a mountain of semi-liquid flesh and quickly-melting bones.

2) Why are D&D giants always old?  It's the mythic thing, I get it.  But why not have the giants be new?  Experiments during the last war or something; human mercenaries (or slaves or conscripts) torturously transformed into (let's say hill) giants, used as living weapons.  And when the war is over?  You have all the same problems you normally have with unemployed soldiers - brigandry and the like.  You could even do the whole "I couldn't adapt to normal society again after what I'd seen" thing, except this time it's ridiculously literal.  So perhaps you have handfuls of surviving giants out in the wilderness because they're attacked on sight now in civilization.  Perhaps a few smart ones have found a clever way of making a good living for themselves on the borderlands (this syncs with some Paul Bunyan ideas I had which I should post about).  Plus, what if there are barely any females, or none at all?  That'd certainly shape their behavior.  Imagine a group of giants, with piles of gold from raiding, hiring PCs to recover the 'lost' giantmaking formula so they can make themselves some wives and save their species.

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