My current layout project is taking much longer than I anticipated. (It always does.) I should have some more recycled material posted to cover the next few days and then hopefully it will be done.
For today, I’m going to just briefly reflect on just how powerful and effective re-skinning can be. It’s an important part of the DM’s toolkit. And although it’s often talked about in terms of saving prep time, I think it’s arguably more important that re-skinning can so trivially take something familiar and recast is as something mysterious, enigmatic, and evocative.
Although re-skinning has become something of a hot fad over the past couple of years, I first encountered it way back in 1990 when I read an article in Dragon Magazine that dealt with re-skinning spells. (Magic missiles are great for this: You can describe them as pretty much anything.) I think it was issue #162, which would have been my very first issue, but I won’t swear to it and I’m away from my Dragon collection at the moment.
What brought this particularly to mind today was a recent re-skinning I did in my Ptolus campaign:
The creature rears up, plunging its clawed hand into its own chest. It rips out a gob of flesh and hurls it down the length of the chamber. It strikes the wall and spatters. Small globules of white, turgid flesh writhe and bound up into blasphemous creatures of lumbering, squelching flesh…
That’s an osyluth summoning 2d10 lemures. My players were so distressed by this unfamiliar ability that I actually had difficulty finishing the description due to the outcries emanating from the table.
Okay. That’s all I’ve got for today. More tomorrow. And lots more in the near future. (I hope.)