Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Friday, March 4, 2016

The (1972) Gargoyles Are Coming!

Some of you might have noticed that we've been on a serious Gargoyles kick lately.  No, not that 80s cartoon, but an incredibly cool made-for-TV movie from 1972.  This blogger saw it in 1974, instantly falling in love and unable to take his eyes off the screen except to look at his Aurora Movie Monster models...

This film holds up surprisingly well for B-movie fare and has a bona-fide role-playing slant.  So first, a brief synopsis: the evil gargoyles have lived alongside humanity for millennia, dying off under increased pressure, but rising again after a time of dormancy to resume their quest for earthly dominance.

That's it for the synopsis.  Pick this creepy classic up!

Alphas are evil, but shrewd, and
open to negotiation when it suits them... 

And once you have, feel free to introduce the gargoyles to your fantasy campaign using your system of choice.  Luckily, most of the best old-school fare already have rules for these, making much of this a matter of simple logistics.

So first, the setup: After ______ of years, the gargoyles have awakened from dormancy and are attempting to reestablish themselves, raiding farmsteads and killing isolated victims.  They live in a mountainous cave complex, nurseries, actually, filled with many eggs destined to birth their next generation.

Our heroes have been summoned to solve this mystery.

At the top of the gargoyle hierarchy is the ALPHA and BETA, the breeding masters of the colony.  Both types can fly and are strong and highly intelligent (assume 15+ or corresponding abilities in Pits & Perils), speaking the Common Tongue and a racial language for communication only among themselves.  Alpha/betas are 7-8th level, befitting their power and status in the colony. 

BREEDERS are female.  They're both intelligent and tough (assume constitution) as per the above rules and are otherwise capable of flight, like the alpha/beta type.  Again, level corresponds to whatever rules are employed, but should represent the rank-and-file, having additional bonuses when protecting their nests...

Breeders are dangerous when
defending their precious clutches...
Gargoyle HUNTERS are wingless and less intelligent, although terribly strong, perhaps more than the rest.  These are dispatched on errands to procure food and/or recover gargoyle remains lost during failed encounters.  It takes some time to establish a colony, making secrecy of great importance*.  Hunters always represent a rank-and-file variety with level to match. 

Most adventure begin as a mystery to be solved, noting that as the party gathers clues, hunters will certainly be dispatched.

Later, the party will enter the colony proper, encountering the gargoyles on their own terms.  These warrens are dark and winding, and their occupants will know them well!  Note also that while normally evil (chaotic), the alpha/beta types are shrewd and open to whatever negotiation might save their colony.  The role-playing opportunities are endless and combat a definite must!

*This is what we in the business call an "adventure hook" people... 


  1. Excellent! It may work either as a Pits & Perils/OSR/modern D&D adventure or as a Call of Cthulhu investigation. I saw this charming little movie a few months ago and I totally failed to see the gaming potential. It really has everything! :)

    1. Cool! Hadn't thought of Call of Cthulhu...great idea!