Monday, November 28, 2016
Here Be Monsters 3: From Beyond the Stars observations
It's always interesting to see how people interpret themes, as oftentimes game designers find themselves mining similar territory for their creations. It's a trait we've seen many times in Paizo's RPG Superstar, and it holds just as true in this contest.
In this case, we noticed a few similar features in many of the monsters submitted: tentacles and eyes (or lack thereof). For what it's worth, having one of these commonalities didn't hurt a monster's chance to make the Top 5 -- at least one monster with one or more of these features made the cut.
Nearly a quarter (7) of the submitted monsters had tentacles of some sort. I feel like we can thank the Cthulhu mythology for that, though that's mostly a guess: The tentacled monsters in this competition weren't all Cthulhu-esque and actually seemed to mine a wide range of inspirations.
We also thought we noticed a trend toward monsters with just a single eye, leading to the quip that in space, no one needs depth perception. Crunching the numbers for this blog post, though, it turned out that it was a little less of a trend than we thought as we were going through them: It turned out only four creatures had a central orb. (I think, as happens with Superstar voting to winnow down the magic items, sometimes you feel like you see something and just become hyper-aware of it, leading to the perception that thing is occurring more often than it does.)
Finally, we also had a similar commonality with naming: "Void" was a popular choice, with four monsters submitted with some variation of it in the name. "Star" came in second place, appearing in three monsters' names.