So maybe you’ve already heard about that creeptacular painting of the Danish Royal family. The one by Thomas Kluge pictured above. If not you can read about it here. Isn’t it something? It’s like every VC Andrews book cover I remember from when I was a kid.
When I posted this to Facebook and made the Andrews comparison I asked what was the appeal of her books, and what people told me was that she was basically “like Lovecraft for girls”. Here’s a blog post by the writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia on the subject. Which makes sense, as did my wife’s comment that when you’re 12, you seek out the trashiest stuff you can just because reading those books is like a badge of honor. Other folks talked about how those books addressed the fascination/revulsion teens had about sex or offered some catharsis for teens whose home lives were fucked up, but not that fucked up. So maybe there is a value to trash, especially when painted up as Gothic literature. Or maybe the shit was just fun to read. I never read them, as my trash interests were elsewhere.
But as far as royal portraits go, I think Kluge should do more of them.
The party started out on the banks of a forgotten subterranean river having come across by rope-pull after their boat sunk. They wandered through many caverns and encountered many strange things. Some of these things tried to kill them, others made them try to kill each other, and a few just gave them the willies so bad they turned tail and ran in the opposite direction. But when the night’s over, where’s the party? Back on the same riverbank. . . doing their laundry. All except the one guy who died trying to wrestle a REDACTED.
What cracks me up is when I make the adventure the day of the game, and it’s just a broad-stroke scribble-map of “Room 4: 3 Ghouls — 50GP in gems hidden under rock” – and then the players end in the dungeon, giving me another week to add stuff so that when we game again it’s “Room 4: 3 ghoul outcasts from the undercity. If the ghouls hear the party approach they move to the opposite side of the pit in Room 5 and leave a trail of gold coins to the trapped sarcophagi in Room 6.”
So players – if the DM says the adventure got made that day, then that’s the time to be bold. Otherwise those wheels within wheels start turning. . .
Artwork by one of my 3rd grade students.