Sunday, December 4, 2011

Giant Costumes of Epic Proportions

Hey there guys and gals! So, today I'd like to talk about everyone's favorite type of monster: the ginormous kind. More specifically, I'd like to talk about the costume that makes that balding old guy look like a giant monster. However, contrary to popular belief:

Bigger isn't always better.

I say this because a lot of times, when using a giant costume, malfunctions can occur. This usually calls for a hold which completely breaks immersion. As we all know from a plot perspective, calling a hold should be reserved only for when they are absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you are going to attempt to build an awesome costume, make sure that it is manageable enough to where it won't break in the middle of combat due to excessive size.

Don't get me wrong here, people.

I am all for awesome costumes. Just as well, I am for GIANT awesome costumes. As a matter of fact, I recently attended a Northcoast Nero event this last weekend where they had constructed a giant void blob creature thing that required 19 NPC's to play it. I must admit, the costume was mostly just cheap black plastic table cloth and tape. However, I think because of it's simplicity, the costume was more effective.

There are a couple things that I have learned when making larger scale costumes over the years. I'll write a few right now and a few in a later post that also talks about the utilization of static props.

1.) Size Matters. This seems pretty obvious. You want your costume to represent a large creature, but if you are planning to use it in a building or around a place with trees that have low hanging branches, the size should be scaled down to fit your game play environment.

2.) Foam. Yeah, the stuff that you use to make boffers. Both closed cell foam and open cell foam are great tools in giant costume making. Maybe your giant monster is a flying spaghetti monster that uses it's vine like spaghetti to smite down anyone who oppose it. The spaghetti vines could be repped with the pipe foam and you could use a tarp that has been painted on rep the body. Pretty farcical example, but a decent costume design. Which brings me to my next tip.

3.) Paint. Nothing kills a cool costume more than if you have on all your reps, but still have the head of a balding old guy. If your big costume is supposed to be a giant fireball elemental that uses multiple NPC's, try and paint some flame stuff on their face. It really adds a lot to the costume and atmosphere. Paint is also very useful on the costume material itself. Perhaps you could use black paint to draw flames on that red tarp you have instead of just leaving it blank. Paint is awesome for costume construction in general.

Cool looking costumes can add a lot to the game. What cool giant costumes have been your favorite through out the years? Leave it in the comments!

Happy building!


  1. To me, a giant costume is a set piece, not a game challenge. Visually, they're awesome and I think they add a lot for that purpose, but I have never once in my life felt challenged or threatened by a giant costume monster. They're just too slow and cumbersome to be considered dangerous. I'd much rather fight a squad of 5 individual elite NPCs than a single multi-NPC giant.

  2. How did they go about constructing the void blob? How did they coordinate 19 NPCS as one monster?

  3. @omegacow: I agree with that. I like to use giant costumes in addition to some other guys that can move more effectively.

    @anonymous: They used those cheap plastic table clothes. They had a guy in the middle that could be effected by damage, and then they had 9 "limbs" that were table clothes connected to the middle one. Each of these had two people in them through head and arm holes cut into the table cloth. For a little more detail, they had mouths made of foam glued to the table clothes.