>What are you reading? Just finished reading The King In Yellow, which I started to research a game. Now I'm reading Secrets of Los Angeles to prepare for another game.
>What are you and your group playing? We're actually between games at the moment. A few days ago we wrapped up a Delta Green mini-campaign that I ran based on The King In Yellow and now we're character genning for a Trail game set in Hollywood in the 20's and 30's.
>Favourite monster Shoggoths. Love me some amorphous piles of mouths and eyeballs. Super-versatile.
>>45329655 >What are you reading? Just finished Shadow Over Innsmouth again yesterday. >What are you and your group playing? Nothing. I have no group and haven't played a /tg/ game in nearly a year and a half. >Describe your favorite monster Elder Things. I really like the idea of communicating with one using a specially made flute.
>>45329655 I'm currently running a group set in Victorian England in which the players are all criminals of the underworld given second chances by a wealthy gentleman who uses them as an investigative team to fight various eldritch threats around Europe and the Americas.
I was worldbuilding the other day, and I came up with a scenario in which horrorterrors saving mankind from the wrath of a God in exchange for a little something. Then I realized I know jackshit about writing about truly unfathomable beings. What are some pants-shittingly awesome stories involving cosmic horrors? I mean, I'm already downloading the Lovecraftian classics as I'm typing, but I was hoping anon knows some other stuff.
Question for DMs: How do you run CoC campaigns/sessions without the ultimate goal being Kill the Bad Guy or Stop The Ritual? I'm trying to write stuff for a campaign, but I feel that it would turn really generic towards the end
>>45331298 Have it set up as one of those then have the guy get killed or the ritual implode.
Then have it get worse and they just have to get the fuck out. It kills agency a bit but it fits the whole "man is small and insignificant" part.
One I've used in a traditional "hay look for this thing/person and what went wrong" was structured around the loved one having an artifact that was basically bleeding mythos into anyone around it and tracing the source for which the players though twas a lead up to "we find it, we destroy it, no one will ever suffer from it". Only to find out it was part of a site that was done in Africa and was hastily excavated and but half the artifacts were left for the local warlords to loot and sell. There was an earlier climax they could have went back with due to finding the artifact and pretty much destroying it but they went deeper, and that's where you get to have fun.
Here's what I usually do: the players stumble across Eldritch Bullshit in the course of mundane life. They need to deal with Eldritch Bullshit but also have mundane things hanging over their heads which also need dealing with, and the two intersect.
For instance, the game i'm starting has to do with the movie industry in 30's Hollywood. Movies need to get made or you guys don't eat, The "goal" is make movies, get shit wrapped, but the mythos is there under the whole process, interfering to various degrees. Sometimes it's really obvious "oops, byakhee just swooped down and stole our leading lady" but other times it's more subtle, like the dusty old investor interested in paying for movies to be made about his ancestors (who all bear striking resemblances to him..)
>>45329655 >Reading Got an annotated collection book of Lovecraft's works that I'm working my way through. >Playing Dark Heresy. Group encountered their first daemon and I had a lot of fun bending reality around them >Favorite Monster I usually like to have hybrid monsters. Stuff like Deep Ones, but half lizard rather than half fish. I enjoy the idea of seeing a person slowly descend into being an abomination.
The Thing is objectively the creepiest cosmic horror well, Thing, in existence. Fucks with my brain on every level. It wants to eat me, it wants to assimilate me, it could be anywhere, and anyone, even me, and I may not even know, and its body horror.
Right, the Thing manages to tick a whole mess of boxes at once. You've got visceral gore, you've got who-do-you-trust, you've got wait-am-i-the-monster, you've got the fucked up environment, you've got the fact that it's an alien, you've got the fact that it's an infection... It's just a whole amorphous mass of fuck.
This thread is rapidly losing sight of the line between cosmic horror and creature films. The Thing is mainly the latter and only gains a cosmic dimension when researched. In the newer movies which are the base of its fame it is never explained and remains an inscrutable phenomenon.
Just like Cthulhu isn't cosmic horror when Cartman rides it around a triple episode of South Park.
Cosmic Horror happens when a character who was previously facing mundane problems suddenly discovers that the entire underlying assumption of human existence is deeply flawed and utterly irrelevant in the context of disproportionately greater powers that are beyond human comprehension or control. Creatures are just a way to reveal that story.
>>45331298 I've segued it into the MC have to run a bakery so that his fiancees dad will give them their blessing.
Except I'm apparently writing a light novel instead of running a game because I don't have a group.
I'm going to call it the half-baked hero, and it's going to tease you with the possibility of Harem but really everyone has their own shit going on and isn't actually romantically interested in the hero besides his Fiancee who fought eldritch beasts with him and a highschool girl who just got out of a bad relationship and is crushing on him because he's all dashing and optimistic and has a nice bum, even if he is kind of weird and jumpy sometimes.
Angry blonde and glasses assistant manager lady? You took her fucking promotion, asshole, and you don't even know how to run a bakery. At best you get respect, but she wants someone who doesn't do weird shit like this.
Rival bakery chain owner? Is your GFs old schoolmate and a sociopath, there will be no romancing but she'll be happy to flirt/use you to get her stores and advantage. She never gets mad, but she's ruthless.
Manager of her bakery? Your old friend who hates you because he thinks you and his ex eloped a week after the broke up. Don't even try to explain that you were busy trying to punch out uppity concepts and getting shanked by particularly angry ones of higher mathematics. He's actually relieved to know you're okay because he thought you died, but now he kind of wants you to die so he's conflicted.
Papa thinks you eloped as well, and lived off his daughter like a parasite, hence the premise that you have to show him you can make his bakery successful. He's also working against you behind the scenes to prevent that.
You have a drunk cook who may or may not be an eldritch being, he's super weird. But his weirdness never affects anything.
>>45329655 >reading Thomas Ligotti's Grimscribe. I can't imagine why he is brought up so infrequently when people talk about horror fiction.
>playing Running the occasional Delta Green one shot to keep my group satisfied while I'm planning my first Unknown Armies campaign.
>favorite monster Toss up between The King in Yellow and Tcho-Tcho. Especially the Delta Green take on both. The Thco-Tcho have a great mix of alien influence and regular old human depravity that really makes the horror sink in and I love the more subtle surreal element that the King in Yellow brings to the table.
>>45333894 I haven't gotten to it yet but I'm about halfway through Grimscribe right now and unless Ligotti's quality of writing goes to shit when he switches to nonfiction I can't see why it wouldn't be worth a read.
I've been playing Bloodborne: The Old Hunters, and damn, they really went all out with the Lovecraft homage. The fishing hamlet is so Innsmouth post-fishining, it's crazy. Also fought Ebrietas, which was a fun ride. I just want to rip off all of Bloodborne for my next game, it feels so cool.
>>45332876 But how do you reconcile that with say, a town full of fishmen? If your character sees a townsfolk shedding their clothes and revealing the Deep One underneath, I don't think they'll be going >We are so small and insignifigcant! They'll be going >HOLY SHIT THAT GUY IS A FISH HYBRID
>>45329655 5th ed game with seven players. Dwarven Fighter, Dragonborn Bard, Half-Orc Barbarian/Druid, Wood Elf Ranger, Wood Elf Blade-Dancer (Wizard), Tiefling Sorceror annnnd Human Tome-Pact Warlock with The Nothing of Phantasia equivalent.
Thus far the latters role has been to devour a dozen guards singlehandedly in the intro session and violate a group of giants with some sort of tentacle cloudburst.
>>45332653 as long as you have that "place with few people and now way out" thing going on.
Like a Submarine, military base close to the arctic, space-station, moon-colony, etc. Let one, and only one play know if he/she is the thing, by giving a note and then taking it back - but give all of the other notes as well. Occasionally pull someone aside to talk with them, even if they aren't the thing, seed suspicion among the players.
>>45332876 >The Thing is mainly the latter and only gains a cosmic dimension when researched. In the newer movies which are the base of its fame it is never explained and remains an inscrutable phenomenon >Find the Norwegian camp with videos outright stating they found the Thing very close to the alien star-ship they accidentally blew up.
>>45336817 I think in an older adaptation of the story The Thing was based on the monster outright stated that it had travelled to countless worlds doing the same thing it was doing on earth so it's reasonable to assume The Thing was doing the same.
>>45337144 >The film is less cosmic horror and more generic monster movie. I agree but to say it isn't worth discussion in a cosmic horror thread is going a little far. Should we steer clear of Alien too?
I wholeheartedly disagree, I'd say the xenomorph before James Cameron ruined it forever.
The xenomorph hits just about every primal human fear there is, it's a very smart embodiment of a lot of things that scare you at the animal level that never even touches on the sexual side.
For one, it's bigger than you. By default, this sets you on edge, it's a predator bigger than you. It's insectoid, thin, skeletal, a whole bunch of things people don't like. I've heard we developed the tickling sensation as a response to stuff like insects. It's also thin and skeletal, corpse-like, and we don't like corpses for a number of reasons: who or what killed it, is it diseased, is whatever killed it still around, fear of mortality. It's also just big, fast and strong, the exact thing you don't want to encounter.
Then you get some subtle psychological horror like it's misshapen head, take away the fact it's a dick, which along with the rest of its atavistic body, tail included, perverts its humanoid form into something less familiar. It also has, like every memorable horror monster, no discernible face. Look at every single slasher killer in any horror movie - they all have obscured faces. This dehumanizes things, because humans need faces to recognize stuff and be comfortable. Remove a face from something, it automatically becomes unnerving. The xenomorph just has one big mouth and that's all you need to know.
The Thing is a great monster but works mostly on human paranoia levels. The xenomorph works on that and more.
>>45336396 That's the idea. Fishmen shouldn't exist, an entire town of people who are fish monster shouldn't exist, if this is real, what else it? What else don't I know? What else am I wrong about in the world?
>>45336396 The point is not the spoopy creature, the point is the realization of what the spoopy creature represents.
Aeons of secret history that goes on out of sight of normal people. The fact that there are blank spaces on the map of your reality and they're all filled with what the fuck?!?!
It's kind of like conspiracy theories. The really creepy part comes if you realize one is true and that it's way bigger than you could ever imagine. You don't gain any comfort from your newfound knowledge, it has only allowed you to see that you're even more fucked than you thought and it's too huge for you to ever hope to make a dent.
>>45341508 That's heaped right ontop of the psychological and primal fears, the xenomorph really is a mixed bag of horrible bullshit. It's the reason I love it so much, it's a perfect monster to me.
>>45341566 Remember that these are disconnected, isolated incidents. The narrators are not the same nor do they know each other.
The horror comes from these isolated incidents of sanity-blasting truth surfacing, just a little, to give a mere glimpse into the universe as it is, not as we think it is. HPL wasn't worlbuilding, other people did that. He was writing horror stories about stuff he found interesting and strange, there is no real mythos, just self-referential stories that try to add to a whole framework of a world and cosmos teeming with unspeakable possibilities. It came later that people gave them categories and meanings apart from being tools to convey a particular sense of existential horror. The stuff we see in the stories isn't all there is, what DIDN'T we see? That's the actual question, for every glimpse there has to be something larger to give that glimpse. It's just a snowflake on the top of an iceberg.
in one setting my friends and i worked on, humans are a by-product of an alien race a zillion years ago that seeded planets with life, not because life is useful, but because life tends to dig up and process an element/alloy that is useful to FTL travel. they sit around in stasis for four billion years at a time and then wake up and go around harvesting all the useful stuff off of the worlds they seeded, not knowing or caring if this wipes out everything living there.
alternately, i'm personally (infrequently) working on a short story in which the thoughts of humans who have gone insane are food for some psychic alien race. they keep us like cows and the dreams and hallucinations of our asylum patients are their milk. they influence society here and there to keep us vaguely functional while still encouraging a healthy amount of neurosis and psychosis in the population.
if technology / psychological theory ever progress to a point where we can "cure" madness, they'll wipe us out with an asteroid and restock with cavemen or whatever.
>reading Got the Complete fiction of HP Lovecraft, I read a story every day. I'm about an 8th through the book.
>what are you and your group playing I don't have a "group" really, but occasionally I invite a friend or two over and we play Eldritch Horror, watch movies and play video games. Everyone absolutely loves Eldritch Horror, even those who know absolutely nothing about HP Lovecraft.
>favorite monster I'd say the Deep Ones I guess, but I don't know enough to decide that right now.
As for my favorite old one, its either Cthulhu (bland, I know) or Shub-niggurath.
>>45345369 Shoggoths were the first 'native' life on Earth, and humans are descended from cast of shoggoth material the Elder Things never bothered cleaning up or killing off because they were lazy or ended up finding us amusing in some way.
>>45347587 Cthulhu's a good choice, honestly, because it, and the story itself, work as a wonderfully constructed metaphor to get across Lovecraft's central concepts. It's also a great design because all the elements are totally bizarre and disparate, yet there it is before you, existing. Cthulhu is a very clear message to the reader and characters that the world we thought we knew isn't anything like we naively and ignorantly believed.
You don't have to be a Lovecraft hipster and say 'Oh hmm well yes my favourite Great Old One is Rhan-Tegoth, have you heard of it?'.
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