Well, not really (these too look way too ill-fed, for one thing), but this article over at The Sun got me thinking, quite naturally, to my gaming-addled brain, about those who live in underground environments.
Are these not the orcs and goblins of which our games spin tales, who dwell within the nameless darks, venturing forth to plunder from the surface world in order to drag their loot into their subterranean dwellings?
In all seriousness, it’s a tragic thing that folks need to live like this, but it did give me a game-related idea. What if there were ordinary folks who just lived in the dungeons because they chose to? What if there were just first-level shmoes who had a room tucked away in the dungeon, off the beaten track, who knew some of the ins and outs and called some abandoned storage room home? No monsters, no rakshasa or wererat trying to lull the player characters into a false sense of security. Just people. Villagers in the dungeon, but not all conveniently put together where the PCs can figure out who is most likely friend or foe.
Think Newt from “Aliens”, or Marvin in “Die Hard 2”, or any number of characters from “Beauty and the Beast”.
Oh… it makes the rakshasas and wererats all the worse, because the players won’t know when they should or shouldn’t trust the “nice, ordinary folks” they find in the tunnels. Friend? Foe? I can’t tell!
It gives much more meaning to the “parley” option. Such dwellers would know at least the local topography, beasties, etc. and might be inclined to share their information for some loot, or food, or news, or whatever. Or they could turn out to be a nest of doppelgangers and kill off the party one by one. Muhahahaha…