Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chess Monsters!

I'm a big fan of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. What connection does this have with chess? Well, not much really - except for an interesting article in the August issue of Dragon Magazine which present "6 Chess Monsters."

The table of contents goes on to say "Command kings, seduce queens, move castles, influence bishops, slay knights, and have pawns worship you." Clever write up.

Basically the idea is to provide players of D&D with "six new creatures [that] bring the cold strategy of the chessboard to life. Face powerful foes like the black king or take command of an entire chess legion for the ultimate battle of wits."

The idea here is that the chess pieces become "monsters" called "chaturani" for players of the D&D game to oppose in combat. For those of you with some understanding of D&D here are the specifics:

"The chaturani are intelligent, extraplanar constructs designed to resemble life-sized humanoid chess pieces. Their dangerous version of chess is performed on a gigantic battlefield rather than a small table-sized board. While chaturani can provide something as innocent as an afternoon's relaxation, the reality is that they all to often have a far deadlier use."

Of course, the idea of chess pieces taking on a life of their own (Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass) and fighting it out (as in various computer chess games) is not an entirely new idea, but those of you who like Chess and the D&D game must check this out! Cool stuff.

Note: The illustration is of a chaturan rook creature.

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