Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creepy Combat Commentary

Thanks to Welcome to Dungeon! in the comments of my Stitcher monster I had the idea of pursuing weird ways creatures might talk in combat.

The monster that apologizes as it continues to attack is just wrong.  I wanted to see if I could think of any more.  One thing I think is true about tone is that you can easily shift it.  So these could be creepy, corny, or campy depending on your tone of voice, attitude, or choice of vocabulary.

Anyway, here are sixteen types of combat commentators you might try:

Can you think of more?


  1. It might monologue disjointedly about its day-to-day life. Imagine a complaining janitor, or a researcher type dictating its notes while its body is busy fighting.

  2. Fun! This is something I can use right away!

  3. These are great. I love them.

  4. Ha! Those quotes are so awesome!

  5. Blackbeard reportedly was both a commentator and a cheerleader: when wounded grievously on the neck he said "well done, lad!"

    This is excellent indeed. How about concerned with irrelevancies? "Those stains will never come out!"

  6. "tell Laura I love her"
    "the mail must get through"

  7. Action movie/Spiderman combat banter.

    "Have some CLAWS! The first one is free!"
    "Look out! FIRE in the hole!"

    1. The Dresden Files strategy. Dresden does it deliberately to distract his enemies. You could play it out that way too, if a player comes up with a good quip, have a monster make a tactical mistake as it reacts.

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  9. Edited:

    Master-planner: "don't die yet, not yet, wait for it. And then I'll bleed on those stones and you'll advance this way..."
    Sacrificer: "just hold them off for another three minutes, that's all you have to do..."
    Calculator: "plate mail, that's worth 400gp, of course the real money will be in the bags. Is that a magic sword? And they'll have healing potions, or that one's a priest. I wonder if they've met the leeches yet? Or the troll? Bessie will have knocked them down to size a bit..."
    Meta-commentator: "why do you keep doing this? is it for the treasure? Because we could trade, you know. Is it because you think you're good and we're evil? Did your priests tell you that? Or your lord, maybe, or your dad?"
    Revenge: "and that's for Jeff, and that's for Suzy, and that's for Harry the Hobgoblin"

  10. Brilliant! Saved and Printed! Added to folder!

  11. Forgot to add, totally needs expansion to 100 entries.

  12. I really like these. I may have to steal them for my Mage game!

  13. This is so great, and so is your stitcher monster.

  14. Thank you all. And those are some wonderful suggestions. I might add them to my chart in a later post. If late comers have more ideas please post them.

    @Richard: "Calculator" reminds me, I had a "Counter," but forgot to put it on. Something uncanny about a savant keeping track of sword strokes.

  15. I dig it. As for the counter, I think a counter-downer would be creepy, too.

    "Yes, I must survive only 4 more blows. Then the change comes... Now only 3! YES!!!"

    The Laugher needs no further expectation.

    The Warner fights to keep people from the further horrors of the dungeon: "I'd rather kill you here than let you see what lies beneath our feet, if only to save your immortal soul! Turn back or die!"

    Maybe that's not what you were going for, but I love it. Delightfully flavorful!

  16. The previewer: "you think i'm tough, wait til old Delrogg gets through with you!"

    The complainer: "why are you hitting me so hard? Why am I bleeding? Why won't you stand still?"

  17. "I have approximate knowledge of many things, jack the human boy"

  18. That's actually a perfect example, especially if you continue that quote: "For instance, I know that I am possibly going to slay you, and munch on your eyeballs. " Thanks.

  19. Haggler: "Your mage has lovely hands, care to trade them? I've plenty of gold."

    Researcher: "Subject is an adult female halfling in good health. Initial observation suggests higher than average agility. Moving to collect specimens."

    Terrified (of humans): "What is that thing?!" "Get out of my house!"

    Monotone echo - Repeats the party's chatter in their exact voices, but monotone.