How would you run legitimately sympathetic extradimensional cosmic horrors?
In the game I am running (high-powered high fantasy), there will be a side quest involving breaches in reality that pour in powerful eldritch monstrosities (think Great Ones from Bloodborne). Some just stand around and watch. Some furtively poke things and experiment. Some approach this reality's locals and break minds. Some go on rampages.
Even the more benign-seeming ones are a major threat to reality, because they warp the environment into of broken, glitchy physics and drive minds mad. They all weep world-warping tears.
The twist is that these are just "normal people" from another universe, one whose physical laws are completely different and utterly incompatible from our own. Their true forms are mundane and everyday-looking, but in our reality, their forms have so much trouble "translating" that their now-incomprehensible appearances alone can break physics and minds.
These intruders have been plucked from their home universe and dropped into a foreign reality that struggles to translate them, and that they struggle and suffer just to exist in. They are, above all else, terrified and crying. Some are frozen in fear. Some anxiously try to experiment with this new reality. Some try to reach out to this reality's locals but can never properly communicate. Some lash out and try to destroy the universe tormenting them.
They just want to go home. And if we were the ones in their shoes, being unwillingly transported to their universe, we would be the mind-rending, reality-breaking eldritch abominations to them.
I am having trouble figuring out how to best present this though. In practice, the players would just think that these are your standard eldritch beasties to slay in the name of preserving reality. How would I emphasize that these "horrors" are just scared and confused "normal people" from another reality who want to go home, and who could be sent home given the right rituals?
Do we appear as eldritch abominations through their eyes in this reality?
In any case, if their minds are truly different from our own, they are functionally part of nature and cannot be considered intelligent in any meaningful way.
>Do we appear as eldritch abominations through their eyes in this reality?
Maybe, maybe not. Should we?
>In any case, if their minds are truly different from our own
In their home reality, they would not be too different in terms of minds. It is just that it has difficulty "translating" to our reality.
If we do, then possibly some of the outsiders will have a similar fear reaction to us, leading to comprehension.
An Englishman and a Japanese man describing the moon through words only to each other are unintelligible regardless, anon.
Unless the outsiders and your players have some kind of common communication (possibly body language, as above) to use as a Rosetta Stone, then you're just shit out of luck.
Have you ever played Saya no Uta? I don't think you'd be able to translate any ideas from it directly into your game, but maybe you could get some inspiration from reading it.
Maybe try to anthropomorphize the creatures through their actions, so one monster could scream and run away upon encountering the party, or maybe one of the creatures will attempt to communicate by mimicking speech or writing something on the ground. You can also bring in creative plot events/devices which allow some kind of deeper connection to occur. What these could be will depend on what is possible in your game world and what new lore you're willing to bring in.
First, stop trying to tell your players what they should do. If they want to kill the horrific monsters that don't belong in our reality, that's their goddamn right! But trying to force them to see humanity in the "other" is a lost cause. It's tough enough making people see humanity in their fellow humans.
Second, if you're hell-bent on this stupidity... Just have young children be able to see the person behind the monster. Very young humans have trouble grasping our world too. In a very real sense, we ALL start off as outsiders to whom the world is sometimes confusing, scary, and painful.
friendly beings with looney-tunes style abilities, warping reality in ways that are harmless if you don't think about it too hard, or careless gods that leave artefacts and wellsprings of power in their wake that sunder and create empires
>I'm just pointing out that you're trying to ice-skate up-hill here. You want to show the PCs "extradimensional cosmic horrors" and then have them all sit down for tea? When you throw "powerful eldritch monstrosities" at your players, you might not be encouraging murder-hobos, but you are baiting them.
>How would you run legitimately sympathetic extradimensional cosmic horrors?
Like pic related, of course.
>Searched through my 44gb /tg/ folder looking for these
>Turns out they're among the very few screencaps I took that I actually named, so they're at the very fucking bottom of the folder of over 1000 images
I hope you're happy
This. If they're like most players, their first reaction with almost anything will be violence. Sure, using violence to solve problems only creates more problems, but they can just use more violence to solve those problems too!
The entire crux of Lovecraftian horror is that it's unknowable and utterly divorced from all that is human. Gothic horror is scary because it's too personal. Lovecraftian horror is scary because it's too impersonal. If anything, the one who'll get the most entertainment out of it is you.
There's an entity in my game that my players have loathed for years. They've tried all sorts of tricks to try and kill it. Magic, nukes, the lot, you name it. Even when it's clear that the thing just doesn't seem subject to conventional means of violence, if they encounter it, they'll still rail it with an attack and flee just to disrupt what it's doing and remind it that it's not welcome.
...all it wants to do is go home. The players don't know this, but any and all damage it's caused has been entirely defensive. The being can shift it's shape and always tries to open dialogues with whatever it encounters, but thanks to how generally shit the world is, whatever headway, progress and friends it makes don't last long. Yet all the players see it is "That fucking thing" It's long gave up chances trying to communicate with and appease them, so quickly tries to hide it's work and vanishes if it's able to detect them first.
>twenty foot tall black spidery thing turns 180 degrees to point a mass of reddish pustules at the party, some of them popping from the rapid movement
>Emits a deep bass rumble that shakes the ground
>Leaps and dives into a tree's trunk, which distends horribly and begins leaking red fluid
>Random gaps open occasionally in the side, the reddish pustules faintly visible inside
>Little girl disappears, metallic silver cubes/toroids/spheres/tribars/etc. seen floating around the town
>Flee inspection, always going towards the woods
>In the woods, a bunch gather behind anyone who went that far and start trying to herd them forward
>Touching them makes a section of your skin peel off bloodlessly, but not painlessly
>They back off if this happens
>The girl is trapped in a pit with a broken leg and has several patches of skin missing
>It ate the dog
>Long, wormlike, and a brilliant blue, the spearlike tip points at anything that makes a sound, also causing it to visibly 'fuzz'
>In silence it curls into a ball and rocks back and forth
>Getting too close makes it fuzz more and more until it strikes at something, rendering it silent forever, and also probably in pieces all over the room
You should try to be subtle OP. Don't get in the player's faces, the best reveals are the ones the Players discover for themselves. I never get bored of the sudden realisation on people's faces as they put it all together.
On an unrelated note, what anime?
These things scared me actually. Something completely messed up just dropping by to wish you a nice day? I'd probably think that they have plans for me. Somehow I become the next Hitler or Stalin, or like Dahmer through their plans.
First one is someone hiding inside the tree.
Second one are people trying to save a fallen girl. They can't pull her out the hole because they can see they're hurting her, so they're trying to lure people to her location.
Last one is someone who is terrified, but when they lash out, it destroys whatever is scaring them.
>Past few days people near the town square have been feeling disquieted.
>Feeling doesn't always occur in the same spot, but always in the square.
>Feeling wears off 5-10 minutes after leaving the square.
>Some people reporting headaches and blurred vision, along with seeing a childsized blurry form of various description, also near the square.
>Headache and vision problems have yet to clear.
>One day the general store owner tumbles out of his shop into the square, clutching his head and shrieking about being blinded.
>Eventually a few brave souls venture into the store to find the problem.
>Nothing amiss, but all the peppermint sticks are missing.
>Handful of thumb-sized, exceptionally shiny discs left on the counter, designs on faces and number of faces seem to change whenever not being directly observed. Looking at the discs too long causes headaches.
>2 witnesses report a small, child-sized blurry form of varrying description fleeing the store immediately after the owner stumbled into the square.
I'm reminder of that screencap from Orteil's bested universe thing of some beast lurking in the center of a star that's all tentacles and chitin with a name like MORGONOTH THE ENDER, but his only thoughts are HEY, HOW YA DOIN?
Anyone happen to know what I'm talking about?
you can always make them have some part-eldritch representative of sorts, like Wilbur Whateley from "The Dunwich Horror"
or pic related Dunwich waifu
In Peter Watts' retelling of The Thing, the creature considers merging flesh to be the equivalent of saying hello, and is shocked and surprised when it's met with violence
> I remember the biped offshoots surrounding me, the strange chittering sounds they made, the odd uniformity of their body plans. How ill-adapted they looked! How inefficient their morphology! Even disabled, I could see so many things to fix. So I reached out. I took communion. I tasted the flesh of the world—
>—and the world attacked me. It attacked me.
You could go a galactus like way, they are bieng from another universes with laws alian to ours, and thier just being in our universe causes suffering to every one, including them.
from there, you can say they have eather went insane for the pain loneliness/ have a hunger for somthing they need to sait, or are prisoners of some cult that are useing them as a slave/cosmic battery/tricking it that they can send it home.
"The Great Ones that inhabit the nightmare are sympathetic in spirit, and often answer when called upon."
don't get along with anyone from their home reality and accidentally
drop your spaghettimind rape those you care for?
it's not my fault i'm not popular cthulhu plushies are sounding like they would sell pretty well on tumbler right now.
I have a setting where god is an extradimensional cosmic horror that is aligned as chaotic good. When absolutely anyone prays to it, Wisdom damage happens, but it always tries to help in a reasonable way. Its principle focus is agency and free will. Yes. you can technically ask it to heal the damage speaking to it does to your brain, but that makes god laugh, which you really don't want to hear.
What Galactus does can't be compared to rape. His "victims" don't suffer, they just die instantly and most of the time they don't even know what killed them, it's all very impersonal and on a massive scale so it's not like you're targeting a specific person and traumatizing them for the rest of their life like you would with rape.
No, you're not raping anyone.
You're just coldly murdering countless people.
Now leave our planet you big weenie.
Yeah. Instead of traumatizing them, you're just stealing every further experience they could ever have. "It's nothing personal, kid." does not change the fact that you're taking away that little boy's first kiss.
I think I'd feel pretty bad about stepping on a colony of tiny humans, yes.
>People are ants now
Nice ego faggotus.
Next I bet you'll tell me that an ant coming you and pleading for his people's lives in exchange for his eternal servitude is something that happens.
Galactus is the fucking bad guy. You're not gonna convince anybody that "He's totally cool when you get to know him really."
Galactus really hasn't exhibited any evidence that he's that much of a higher being than any other sapient race. I'm sure his his IQ is super high, but while his scale is cosmic horror, the dude is hardly incomprehensible. He's hungry, and everything we've seen in the comics indicates he's quite flawed.
Like I said, he really isn't a bad guy. He's not mean or rude and if he had a choice he wouldn't kill or hurt anyone. He just happens to have to kill countless billions of living creatures to keep himself alive, and you'd probably do the same thing if you were in his shoes.
Cause some situation where one of the things somehow taps into one of your players minds and he's able to see and maybe understand fractions of what kind of situation they are in while bein psychologically merged.
Write down on a piece of paper what he manages to glimpse and give him a little nod in the direction of "these guys aren't doong this on purpose", maybe let him witness memories of the alienfrom his point of few. If they are a "normal society" in their home universe, your player should be able to figure out that those things aren't inherently evil.
Describe the encounter in a way that the others know it's mind-related, maybe stun the guy or let him make a check for it, not sure which stat for, though. Then give him the piece of paper to read through (no big details, keep it somewhat cryptic) and let him decide if he wants to share that info or not and if they even get your intention.
Actually he starved himself before because he just didn't want to fucking kill sentient beings and it turns out the universe fucks itself into oblivion without his cosmic garbageman duties.
>and you'd probably do the same thing if you were in his shoes.
I'd commit suicide if I were crippled such that I couldn't support myself. You think I'm going to slaughter others to stay alive?
Your OP image says it all, ironically enough. Give them a figure among them who is akin to Nyarlathotep. Among the Lovecraftian deities and beings, most were just incomprehensible masses of completely illogical tentacles, insect legs, eyeballs and teeth, whilst Nyarlathotep took on a human form, interacted directly with humans, manipulated them and took a sort of sadistic joy in it. He was the only thing of that particular level in Lovecraft that showed any actual acknowledgment that humanity even existed.
Let's say these poor people are just average, run of the mill people from their dimension, and our realitys laws are what cause them to suffer and appear as such horrible creatures since they are planar-ly incompatible with our existence. Toss in a Wizard/Warlock/Mage/Sorcerer/Whatever from their world who has devoted himself to planar studies and extra-dimensional magic. He may or may not be responsible for the whole situation, or just might just be there because he heard about it and tried to help. He has extensive knowledge of planar dynamics and magic at his disposal that would allow him to take on a *vaguely* human form. Maybe he still has seventeen mouths all over his body, or one of his legs is a giant cockroach leg, but on the whole he maintains a shape that is roughly human. At first the party can think that he is evil and leading an invasion, but if things go right, they can discover that he is just trying to help and explain the situation, at which point the party can choose to help him and solve the issue, or do it the old fashioned way and kill them all.
Either way, it gives them a chance to learn the truth, and then a choice to assist or to simply kill with extreme prejudice. If they manage to avoid the revelation, save the wizard for a boss encounter and have him reveal the secret with his dying breath so they can be horrified that they just murdered a bunch of innocent people who just happened to look like monsters.
If he doesnt eat he can starve, and if he dies, Abraxas is released, who will kill entire dimensions, not just planets. Him eating certain planets is necessary to save all planets.
What makes him an ass hole is his human like parts, not the cosmic horror bits. Its immplied that Galactus needs to eat inhabited planets, but he's narsasistic ennough to think that he couldent find a way to eat without killing, there is no other way. Hes stoped careing about those he sacrafices.
He keeps grudges, and has tryed to eat earth mulltiple times out of spite as much as hunger.
And he shows no remorse. He inuslts those he kills and alows his hearalds to cause more harm then they need to. He could at least try and do something like target worlds like Chitauri whin they go militaristic so heonly kills planets who cause a lot of suffering. But no, he think's hes above that.
Hes an asshole regardless of the planet eating thing.
hes low on the cosmic horror, the real horror thing beening the realization that there are worse things then death metapore. the fact that most of his writers have a pretty campy world view distract from what he could be.
He acts like he's above everything because he's trying to convince himself that he's so important that it's okay if others die to keep him alive to save himself from emotional distress. He probably doesn't actually think that.
See, that was true at one point, but he let his position corrupt himself to the point that he's nothing but an arrogant villain who uses the fact he has literal plot armor to do what he pleases.
One could say that was mandatory to keep an iota of sanity, but still.
This concept may work best if you have a star pact warlock in the party. Someone who tries to learn about the mad things, who reached out just enough to glean some understanding finally, gets asked to send them all home by some young child who thinks that these strange horrors populating this realm are what keep them here, scared out of their minds. Give the ones who can't let anything rest incentive to learn about this in particular.
He's more sympathetic when you realize he is not merely hunger. When the last star burns out and dies, when the worlds have all been consumed, and all of creation implodes upon itself, he is where the next iteration of Creation shall begin, and it all starts with his death.