Friday, 2 November 2012

On the Physiology of... the Otyugh - Part Three.


Here's a pencil scribble in which I try to out flesh out the overall shape of the Otyugh a bit more:

This is starting to move along the lines of how I envisage it might look, although the design is still evolving. 

As the Otyugh is described as having a pair of ridged tentacles, one is issue with this might be about how it can move along as it eats it's way through dungeon crap. When on the surface, this may not be a problem, but I was wondering whether they might sometimes actually be more of a hinderance than a help. One option might be that it drags its tentacles along with it as it moves, like this:

That might not always be practical. One thing that occured to me was the fact that the ends of the tentacles, being sharp, may be more like some sort of chopping/digging/cutting tool, as well as being weapons. The reason this popped into my head was from prior experience of... er... crap. Many moons ago (when I was 16, in fact) I got a part-time job helping to do maintenance work on a small-holding (a type of small farm). One of my main tasks was to herd goats from their covered pen each morning to a nearby field - I also had to herd the bloody things back again at the end of my shift. Another task was to clean out the pen. This wasn't a simple case of just chucking down some straw, oh no. My employers asked me to clear out all of the accumulated crap that had been there for years. This meant I had to chop down through a 2-foot deep layer to the concrete floor beneath. This was no easy task. Compacted years-old goat crap is very resilient, I'll have you know. I had to use various implements (fork, spade, hoe and shovel) just to make any sort of dent in the upper crust. Not all that much fun, as you can probably imagine. Don't try to imagine the smell as I broke through the surface either. This was all done at the handsome rate of £1.25 an hour for my troubles. I must've been bloody mad.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that the Otyugh may possibly have to contend with similar trials when chowing down on dungeon crap, especially if it found a compacted layer in some dark corner somewhere. Perhaps it would need to chop its way through, thus leading to it evolving sharp edges to its tentacles - a handy adaption, as it also helps with defending itself. This might also mean that it would need to retract its tentacles when chopping and eating its way along:

Hmm - but maybe this makes it a little too seal-like...

With that in mind, I had a go at scribbling a few different ideas for how those sharper bits might look.

There's the spiny, curved profile theme:

Or variations on the 'chopping' theme:

I've yet to make up my mind which way the final design might feature these appendages.

Next up for consideration: the eyes...

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